Leaving Excel for a More Modern Era

Leaving Excel for a More Modern Era
November 19, 2009 Jeff Smith - Founder and EVP Corporate Strategy and Development

Don’t be embarrassed…You may think that everyone else in the retail industry is using advanced pricing tools and that you are still in the era of the dinosaurs; the fact it: you are in the land of the dinosaurs, but so is the majority of retailers!

Many retailers that I talk to appear to be somewhat embarrassed, and reluctant to admit that they still do their everyday and promotional pricing in Excel. The truth of the matter is, there really hasn’t been a better tool until recently. Advanced price optimization tools have recently been introduced into the retail arena, before that, margin management and competitive positioning was about all that could be leveraged to determine the best price point.

The first generation pricing technologies have gone through a typical technology introduction life cycle. Initially there was great excitement from the early adopters in the industry for this magical ‘cure all’. A few brave souls ventured into the promised land, only to find that it wasn’t all that it was hyped up to be; there were issues with the first generation solutions. Some of the early adopters got burned and had a bad experience, but there was still optimism that something was there to help price products and services better.

As the first generation solutions lost some of the sizzle, the technologists went away and tried to figure out how to make this promising invention usable by the people that would need to adopt it. These technologists appear to have accomplished their mission, because we are now seeing a significant renewed interest in what is now called “full lifecycle pricing”, and the industry appears to be moving this technology into the “must have” category instead of the “that’s interesting” category.  With many successful installations now in place for several years, across many different retail verticals, the “second generation” technology is now becoming mainstream.

So, you may currently still have a lot of company in the land of the dinosaurs, but it doesn’t appear retailers will stay there long.  Revionics is seeing significant interest in adoption – not just from one department at a retailer, but as a collaborative decision between business users and the IT team.   If you haven’t looked at a price optimization solution demonstration in the last 12 months – it’s a great time to look and see if it’s time to leave the land of Excel.