To start things off Paul provided an introduction into what BlackCurve does: helps retailers manage and optimise the price of every single item they sell. They both went on to explain that BlackCurve does this by taking a clients’ sales history, competitor data, stock levels and website traffic data. BlackCurve stores this big data centrally and writes intelligent pricing rules based on A.I.
Paul alluded to the fact that the retail industry is currently going through challenging times. Bricks and mortar retail stores are closing at a somewhat concerning pace and in 2018 20% of sales were online transactions. Online sales will undoubtedly continue to grow this year.
Paul also referred to ASOS which saw profits fall by 87% last year. Initiatives such as short-term pricing and inventory decisions are believed to have played a significant part in their profit decline. Competition can be brutal so the need for pricing optimisation software is more important than ever to gain advantage and to squeeze profit from every item in your inventory.
Price your entire inventory
BlackCurve has retailers who manage thousands through to hundreds of thousands of products and if you can relate to this you will know that managing thousands of products manually often forces you to focus only on key-selling lines (say 20% of your inventory), leaving 80% unmanaged. Our flexible pricing rules engine allows you to apply your pricing strategy to the 80% of your unmanaged product inventory in order to maximise profit.
Pricing decisions are supported by "Explainable Artificial Intelligence"
Smart pricing opportunities are identified 24x7 across the whole of an inventory, identifying inefficiencies and profit opportunities. Rob knows that there are immediate gains to be made from price automation and suggested that a holistic approach to pricing and marketplaces can be beneficial.
Channels and online marketplaces are continually changing and new ones emerging, BlackCurve allows for prices to be changed dynamically at any time. Putting you in a position to be proactive instead of reactive.
Better Competitive Benchmarking
Rob stressed how important competitive data is, giving clear insights into how a particular market behaves. There will always be products within an inventory that are heavily price driven and he believes it’s incredibly useful to use sales data, web analytics and other data sources to fully understand just why people are buying your products. Knowing when to follow and when to ignore a competitor’s price can be a tough decision but BlackCurve helps you make the right competitor pricing decisions.
"Our flexible pricing rules engine allows you to apply your pricing strategy to the 80% of your unmanaged product inventory in order to maximise profit."
Intelligently Use Data to Improve Your Pricing Strategy
Paul mentioned that many companies try to hold data without the analytical tools, making it difficult to retrieve intelligence based on this data; any pricing decisions will be based purely on a gut reaction rather than the clear analysis that BlackCurve provides. BlackCurve gives you the rules, understanding and leverage to improve and optimise your pricing strategy. Paul calls it a “window into your pricing strategy”.
Artificial Intelligence Without the Black-Box
Rob agreed with this analysis and believes that a successful pricing strategy should be about visibility and understanding of the pricing data. He went on to explain that BlackCurve’s Recommendation Engine gives you all the reasons why a system-suggested price change should be implemented. Simply, it’s AI without the Blackbox.
Save Time and Resources
Manual pricing administration is both time consuming and prone to human error. BlackCurve currently handles over 15 million price changes per month so the platform frees your time and resources to focus on other important aspects of your business.
In a nutshell you should use pricing optimisation tools such as BlackCurve in order to maximise your profits:
- Leave behind manual pricing
- Move beyond competitor price matching
- Gain visibility to enable your pricing strategy
- Manage and optimise the price of every item you sell