There is no secret that in Retail price is a key factor of differentiation and competitiveness. Retailers and pure players grant a particular attention to the conception of their pricing strategies.
Today, to deploy a coherent strategy in regard of the market and to position itself effectively, it is imperative to possess up-to-date data, taken from the own store but also from competitor stores – prices, sales, available products, etc. Regardless of their source, these data form the basis of a competitive pricing strategy. How to optimize their collect to use only the most relevant data possible? How to dispose of the most actual offline data to adjust on web reactivity?
To answer these questions, Optimix released two ergonomic solutions, fully customizable and results-oriented: Web Data Collect – a data crawling tool to crawl competition websites – and Scan In Store.
In this article, we will focus on the in-store data collect, Scan In Store.
Scan In Store: optimizing in-store data collect
If various external providers offer in-store data collect services, these operations tend to have a limited interest regarding products with strong competitive potential and / or whose prices frequently fluctuate. Indeed, the results transmission delay of such data collect campaigns limits the fast integration of such sensitive data in your pricing strategy. However, to remain competitive with often modified concurrence prices, it is imperative to demonstrate reactivity and flexibility: otherwise, it is impossible to establish an adequate pricing strategy regarding the last market updates. The appearance of the digital age and pure players increased this need, imposing on the market a new level of responsiveness: that of real time.
Who knows if your competitor didn’t change the price of a competitive product two days, one day or three hours following the last collect at your disposal? Are your pricing operations still relevant?
Scan In Store brings a calibrated answer to these issues, in order to better manage data collection: responsiveness, recurrence and reliability are the keywords here. Do you want your users to check every morning the competitor price of the current top 10 products? No problem, you just need a smartphone.
Scan In Store: organize targeted and regular data collection.
An accessible and ergonomic app.
Scan In Store is a mobile app dedicated to in-store data collection. Once installed on a smartphone, it allows the store team to collect competition in-store data: label, prices, bar codes and pictures.
To begin, the store headquarters defines the data collection perimeter: in which store to operate the data collection, when, who’s in charge and what are the target products. The user in charge receives in his app a mission order with all information. Then he goes in the competition store to take pictures of label and products with his smartphone and downloads them directly into Scan In Store.
Once this step is over, the software kicks in. The artificial intelligence of Scan In Store extracts key information on the captured label: description, regular price and bar code. The app adds these elements to the database and presents them to the operator under the form of dashboards, in order to facilitate reading and understanding. The user accesses the data using Scan In Store’s interface, available on smartphone, tablet and computer.
Scan In Store is a portable and simple tool, making it perfect to collect strategic data and establish a reliable and regularly updated product matching.
An adapted app to product matching and pricing
Aware of the importance of data collection – product matching, pricing strategy, range consistency, etc. –, Optimix released an app adapted to the diversity of needs justifying the data collection. To cover these needs, three types of collection operations can be configured.
Price Scan on Match : competitors in-store data collection using existing product matching.
Let’s jump right into it. The Price Scan on Match operation updates in real time the prices of targeted and already matched products, in accordance with your needs and your competitive scope. It answers a strategic need: to dispose of an up-to-date data collection in order to adopt a pertinent pricing strategy.
Let’s take an example: the own brand store wants to improve the pricing strategy for the appetizers department’s products. In order to do it, the headquarter defines a list of products in Scan In Store of both national and private labels: crackers, etc. The product matching is already done, only remains the update of the competitor’s prices.
Using his smartphone, the user then goes into the competitor’s store and starts to collect data, according to the pre-established list. For each product, the app automatically detects the existing product matching and updates in real time the price of the competitor’s products. The collected data goes inside a dashboard in Scan In Store, but can also complete the data you have inside Optimix Pricing Analytics, our module dedicated to pricing strategies optimization. Thanks to this interconnection between modules, you can first collect then integrate in real time the prices of your competitors directly in your pricing strategy.
The only condition: the matching between your products and your competitors’ must have already been established. This operation is fundamental, because it is impossible to compare the own brand products and the competitors’ without it. By involving two other types of matching operations, Scan In Store ensures that your product matching is efficient, reliable and comply to your needs. Let’s see that.
Collect, Scan and Match: product matching with a pre-established list of products.
This operation configuration consists of collecting data in order to operate a product matching directly inside a competitor’s store.
Let’s look at our example once again. In order to improve the competitiveness of the appetizers’ department, the headquarter wants to collect data in another store: available products – identical or similar to the ones that headquarter sells –, prices, descriptions, barcodes. To do so, the headquarter selects in Scan In Store a list of its own products for which there isn’t a product matching currently available. If these products aren’t yet in Scan In Store database, a first data collection into the own brand store is required to update the database.
After this first step, the user goes into the competitor’s store. His objective is to establish which appetizers in his list are identical or similar to competitor’s products. To optimize and improve the reliability of this approach, he has, inside the app, pictures of the products to be matched, their description, barcode and price. Once he established a correspondence between two products, he takes a picture of the product and its label. With this information, he validates directly into the competitor’ store the matching between products and uploads the competitor’s data in Scan In Store.
Walk, Scan and Match: collection and matching on-the-move.
This last operation’s type also aims to complete your product matching. However, the terms of the collection are different. The user doesn’t have at his disposal targeted products to be found and scanned. When he goes to the competitor’s store, he doesn’t focus on any product in particular, just scans anything he wants.
The product matching will only intervene afterwards. Once the data collected and uploaded in the app, the user matches the products directly in the app. This kind of collect has an advantage: to limit the time of presence inside the competitors’ store and to complete your database according to the availability of your team.
In these two types of matching operations, the products’ pictures play an important role. They allow the operator to check the collected data and the product matching and to ensure that the database is 100% reliable and exploitable. In order to optimize its functions and to best meet the needs of retail, Optimix gave Scan In Store an artificial intelligence, completed by human intelligence.
The optimization of your performances through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
In Scan In Store, artificial intelligence intervenes in multiple ways. For example, when the app reads and extracts data from the label, but also when it operates an automatic product matching. In order to guarantee the efficiency of the app, this artificial intelligence uses the principle of machine learning.
To understand what it means, let’s take an example: the software makes an error in interpreting the label of a product, reading a price of 0,59€ instead of 5,90€. We now know it: operators can modify an error directly in Scan In Store. They just have to look at the product and label pictures to check if the software extracted good information or not. In our case, the operator detects the error and corrects it.
The correction process is essential for two reasons. First of all, it allows, with the intervention of human intelligence, to aggregate and check data which will be used later to control the product matching and to make the holding rate relevant. This verification takes place at every step of the process and every hierarchical level. Once again, the pictures find their purpose: no place for doubt or error in your dashboards.
Then, because of the nature of machine learning itself. Concretely, it means that the more data the application gets – scans, corrections, etc. –, the more its capacity to interpret labels and extract pertinent information becomes efficient. Thus, the app is able to improve its performance. Combined together, the work of human and artificial intelligence optimizes the data collection process in every possible level.
To conclude : data collection, a primary goal for your pricing strategies.
The advent of the digital era shook the traditional ways of competitive intelligence. New techs facilitate offline and online data collection. Collecting such data is a fundamental component of your competitiveness. Exploiting such data allows you to adjust your pricing strategy, in order to increase profits, market shares and margins. Optimix offers, with Scan In Store, a real time and ergonomic data collect solution, suitable for the challenges of market responsiveness. Scan In Store optimizes the organization of the resources needed to collect data, whether it is time or staff.
Its action, combined with the other Optimix modules, allows you to use your collected data in an environment dedicated to your price competitiveness. We invite you to contact us for more information or a demonstration.