The Candid Voice in Retail Technology: Objective Insights, Pragmatic Advice

Retail Pricing in a Post-Channel World


RSR Research has conducted benchmarks of retailers' pricing strategies since 2007. During that time, we have seen retailers swing from trying to achieve Everyday Low Price (EDLP) to hyper-promotions as the bottom fell out of consumer demand, to a panicked response to consumers' latest ability to compare prices, whether between online and store or between competitors.

In our 2011 report on price strategies, we concluded that price transparency would ultimately force retailers to move to the price — one price on the shelf and across channels. Retailers, we anticipated, would increasingly offer consumers your price — the discount a shopper would get for being who they are (a great customer) or doing what they do (some kind of behavioral trigger). Instead, retailers appear to have returned to a spray and pray approach to promotions — an increase yet again in promotional activity, but without any of the customer data or capabilities to enable the kind of targeting that makes your price possible.

Key Findings Include:

  • 34% of respondents report that their zone pricing plans have been damaged by consumer price transparency and 21% report that they have returned to one price across channels  — twice as many respondents as in 2011.
  • Forty percent of retail respondents, down just slightly from 2011, still report that they haven't seen it yet in response to questions about showrooming.
  • 41% of retailers report they are not able to execute at the level of granularity that pricing solutions provide, a three-fold increase over 2011.
  • Retailer's highest investment priorities for 2012-13 include markdown planning and forecasting, followed by end-to-end pricing lifecycle management.

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Benchmarks April 10, 2012
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