How this retailer is tackling price competitiveness in a digital era

Everten balances cost consciousness with customer service in the highly competitive kitchenware market

Knowing your customers is important for any retail business. But knowing what your competitors are up is also critical, especially when it comes to pricing.

For 12-year-old online retailer Everten, competing successful in its core kitchenware market is tightly bound to its knowledge of competitor pricing. The Internet era has given consumers near-perfect knowledge of market pricing, and the knowledge that a better deal may be only a click away.

“Kitchenware online is very competitive, and very price sensitive,” says Everten’s marketing director, David Kahn. “It is now just a simple click of a tab [for consumers] to get a price comparison, and with Google Shopping you can see exactly what the prices are in front of you.”

Traditionally Everten differentiated itself on customer service, particularly in the category of chefs’ knives, where it stocks a large range of high-end products and has a strong patronage amongst restaurants and executive chefs.

“Being an online store, you lose that face-to-face with customers, and we really try to go the extra mile by helping our customers and giving our customers good advice when they call. We have very knowledgeable customer service team,” he says.

But ultimately, no customer wants to spend money they don’t have to. Kahn says an early attempt to automate pricing intelligence via an extension to Everten’s Magento ecommerce platform proved detrimental to site performance. The company resorted to using techniques such as monitoring competitor promotions, and often would be alerted to price movements by customers who called up to price match.

Realising the inefficiency of these methods, Kahn signed up to trial a new service from Invigor Group called SpotLite, which scours the Web for all prices offered against nominated SKUs.

“Having SpotLite really helps us in terms of monitoring what our competitors are selling at, and saves the hack work in monitoring the weekly newsletters and promotions,” Kahn says.

“It is a lot more convenient, with the notifications being there in real time, and saving us a loss of sales from customers shopping elsewhere because we haven’t changed our pricing quickly enough. And it also gives us an understanding of our competitor’s strategies and tactics. We are starting to notice patterns in their behaviour – when they are choosing to go on sale and when they are changing their pricing, and what time of the week they are doing it.”

Kahn says SpotLite has also helped the company improve margins in categories where it was pricing significantly under the market, and has returned a large chunk of time to him and his colleagues.

“It has helped us with the productivity and efficiency in being able to change our prices,” he says. “It saves us the time in researching for ourselves and having to be on top of when promotions come out. It reduces manual errors as well, and gives us a holistic view of the market.”

Invigor Group is an information and digital services company with strong specialisation in retail. Chairman and CEO, Gary Cohen, says the company has a lengthy heritage in providing pricing intelligence for some of Australia’s largest retailers.

“We have deep technology we are using for sophisticated corporates,” Cohen says. “What we are now doing is making that same technology available to everybody, but they have to do a fair bit of the work in terms of specifying what they are following.

“Once you specify those products, you’ll get a report daily, or as frequently as you want, either by email or dashboard, and it will tell you all the price movements.”

Cohen says Invigor Group has invested heavily in developing technology that mimics human activity online and allows it to bypass the barriers many sites put in place to prevent software bots harvesting price information.

“We have built solutions that emulate the behaviour of individuals, which makes it virtually impossible for corporates to stop us,” Cohen says.

The company is now developing tools to assist with the analysis of historical pricing patterns, and is also investing in predictive analytics tools based on its data sets.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

It's a pretty interesting article to read. I will learn more about this company later.

Dan Bullock

40 staff and 1000 contracts affected as foodora closes its Australian operations

Read more

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in