Price Optimization: Information is Power

Price Optimization: Information is Power
February 10, 2010 Jeff Smith - Founder and EVP Corporate Strategy and Development

In retail, there is a key piece of information that contains a lot of power, that piece of information is the price sensitivity of a given item in a given store. Obtaining that piece of information is a very difficult thing to do.  If it weren’t for seasonal effects, holidays, promotions, out of stock conditions, low unit movement and a variety of other challenges, it actually would not be too difficult to determine.  After all, it is simply a prediction of how much the unit sales will change given a change in price.

With this information in hand, there are a variety of tasks that can be done more efficiently. One example is the identification of key value items, or KVI’s.   For retailers without optimization technology, the way this is accomplished today is by looking for the items that have the highest turn.  Unfortunately, this method shows items that are hot sellers, but these items may also be insensitive to price changes.  When retailers are able to obtain actual price sensitivity by leveraging optimization science, it is very interesting to review the sensitivity of these high moving items; there are always items in that list that are not price sensitive.  What does that tell you?  Often there are low margins on high moving items that could easily withstand a price increase without impacting consumer demand.   Retailers could be making up valuable profit dollars on these items.

Another key insight that can be gained from retail data is more accurate forecasting of revenue, profit and inventory requirements when making price changes or promoting items.  This accurate forecast is used when modeling and planning merchandising strategies for a category, department or banner.  Retailers can maximize margin dollars by charging a little more for items whose unit movement is not impacted much by the price increase, and reducing the price on items where the unit movement will increase more in proportion to the price decrease.

Information is power, and a good price optimization environment empowers the retailers with both recommendation and reporting that allows them to improve profits, price image, and customer satisfaction.  Revionics solution delivers both advanced price optimization and price strategy services to help retailers accomplish their goals.  For more information, please visit, or email us at