I had the privilege this year of attending EuroCIS 2016 in Düsseldorf, where we teamed with our partner Online Software AG. The event organizers noted a remarkable 18% increase in visitors over 2015, with more than 10,000 retailers from across Europe and beyond attending to see exhibits from 411 exhibitors (up dramatically from 320 exhibitors last year).
We heard loud and clear from visiting retailers there that the customer is more in control than ever, as customers demand and embrace a seamless cross- and omni-channel experience. Customers no longer “go shopping;” instead they are always shopping. Retailers can no longer think in terms of segregated online v. in-store experiences, pricing and assortment as customers view the end-to-end selection and purchase experience as a single integrated channel.
This means that trends that retailers formerly viewed as specific only to the online world, such as dynamic pricing, now impact all retailers across all channels. And in an environment where the only constant is change, the winners are not the strongest but the swiftest – those retailers who can adapt with smarts and agility to the ever-increasing pace of innovation and evolution.
A significant implication is avoiding knee-jerk responses to competitive prices, whether in-store or online. We’ve seen again and again how this devolves into a race to the bottom that destroys margins and erodes the bottom line. Retailers need to focus on smart price changes – in other words, it’s important to immediately know how competitor prices are affecting your demand and financial forecasts, so you can choose whether to respond or not with strategic price adjustments.
Interesting Discussions at EuroCIS 2016
We had fascinating discussions with leading retailers about how this strategic, data-driven approach helps them filter through myriad external trends and updates to carve a path to growth and success. Along with Online Software, we demonstrated end-to-end dynamic pricing with smart execution. Revionics’ SaaS-based data analytics execute the retailer’s price strategy to drive optimized price, promotion and markdown recommendations in near real time to Online Software’s electronic shelf labels. And the retailer can set automated workflows within defined parameters to speed execution while maintaining exception management control.
I came out of EuroCIS energized and excited about the opportunities for retailers to seize a winning position in today’s highly dynamic markets. With the consumer fully in control, the innovators who leverage the wealth of customer and competitive data to deliver a smooth, effective and differentiated experience are growing and thriving. Here’s to adaptability!