We are inundated with tech solutions for our daily lives that are fast, easy to use and help to reduce time spent on the mundane. Having used pricing tools for over 10 years, it has always been an observation that pricing tools were a “one size fits all” solution to a very integral business issue. So what should we really be focusing on when selecting a pricing tool?
The fact is that not all online pricing tools are born equal - so how do you filter out the ‘also rans’ to find the front-runner that delivers the very best market analysis for you?
Firstly, it’s easy to get distracted by a professional-looking user interface and fail to ask ourselves about the underlying data and analytics. Accurate data of the highest quality and comprehensiveness is essential… incomplete or poor data leads to poor analysis, which leads to poor business decisions.
So ask yourself: when you peel away the theatrics, are you willing to trust your company’s future on the data and analytics being delivered? What are data sources? Are they comprehensive?
The next thing is speed. As multiple intra-day price moves become normal, the speed at which your solution can provide your data is essential.
So look beyond the load speeds of your tool, and instead ask your supplier how frequently the data within your tool is refreshed each day. Is once or even twice a day really enough, when prices in the market are being changed multiple times a day?
After you’ve satisfied yourself the tool you’re considering fulfills these fundamental needs, it is time to consider the usability and functionality being offered.
We all need tools that are easy to use and that deliver the information we need in the format we need it in. Gone are the days of software solutions that fail to reduce the time we spend on the mundane.
So ask yourself: Can you customise your view of the data? Can your tool inform you when key changes that affect your specific parameters have happened in the market? Can you see beyond basic pricing and search on features, promotional activity or anything else that is pertinent to your business?
If you can’t do these things, you may find you are not getting the value out of your tool that you hoped for – or find yourself wasting valuable time getting your data into the format you want and delaying the speed at which you can make your critical pricing decisions. Didn’t you pay for this tool to simplify things?
A high-performing, high quality online pricing tool will give you more time and better market analytics on which to make your business decisions. To find your best-fit tool, speak to your provider about the requirements I’ve outlined here - and any additional needs that you want your tool to fulfil – and challenge them to push the boundaries and deliver on these. As artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms get used more and more to complete huge chunks of analytics, our online pricing tools will continue to develop and improve at a rapid rate. So make sure you tie-in with a provider who is also planning and developing for the future.
To find out more, please contact Barry Meacher