Competitive Intelligence Business Cogenta Advises How to Choose the Right Business Intelligence Provider for Best Return on Investment and Long-Term Success

Windsor, UK, 16th October , 2012

New retail and pricing intelligence providers have entered the market in the recent years. Choosing the right vendor is crucial in aim to capitalise on the benefits of the relationship. Market-leading competitive intelligence provider Cogenta suggests retailers and brands consider the following before choosing a new vendor.

 Define primary objectives

The service required may differ depending on the primary business objectives: a retailer may want to manage a day-to-day pricing decisions, while a manufacturer may be looking at product promotion planning instead. The core data requirements are likely to be the same but access to certain data points, levels of history and the way analysis is used will be different.

Who will use the analysis?

Will the analysis be used by a central pricing team, individual buyers, marketing or at board level to assess performance?  The answer may be all of the above but the initial requirement is likely to be addressing a challenge that one team has above the others. To drive the quickest return on investment it helps to clearly identify the primary gain for the business in using the service.

How will the analysis be used?

Particular attention needs to be paid to how the appointed individual or team will be using the end service. Service used needs to meet the individual requirements of the business rather than fit around an inflexible approach to delivering analysis. Here are two examples:

1. Buyers in a retail trading team have an established process in decision making. Providing them with the data analysis in a format that will support this process and aid in quick and easy decision making will be critical to the success of the project;

2. For a manufacturer’s marketing team the immediacy of the decision is not as relevant but detailed and accurate history of price changes is. Therefore the manufacturer must establish if the vendor will be able to provide data analysis to the required standard.

Most vendors facilitate access to your analysis through a portal or software application.  The portal or software a service (SaaS) approach has the benefit of being accessible from any device connected to the internet at any location.

Ad-hoc requests, reporting requirements and their quantity management through the portal or application are also important. The ability to download data and access reports, specific to the business’ needs should be made available.

How much data can be managed?

If the process is new to the business it is easier to implement the change by starting to track a manageable number of products and competitors. This enables costs to be kept low and the results to be assessed before extending the scope of the service as well as allocating human resource to manage the resulting activity.  Start with significant, most price sensitive products against key competitors to start making quick improvements and prove the return on investment.

Managing data quality is key

If the data is 90% accurate that means 1 in 10 prices could be incorrect.  Very high data accuracy levels are achievable and this is facilitated by a partnership the parties. The chosen vendor needs to commit to reaching much higher data quality standards.  Agreeing on the product data to help find and match the competitor’s products is important so the vendor knows what they will have to work with. If providing product data is difficult, the vendor should be able to create a feed using the client’s website.

Keeping up-to-date

The frequency at which data needs to be refreshed can range from part-day, daily, weekly, etc. The decision is often based on the speed at which the industry sector moves and the use of data itself. Identify when the business needs to make pricing decisions and align the data refreshes to the key users’ needs.

RELEASE ENDS/NO EMBARGO

Notes to editors:

Cogenta is the pioneer and the market leader in providing retail and pricing intelligence to UK’s top trusted high street and online retailers. Its competitive intelligence service (NetPrice) equips UK’s operating retailers with the business intelligence to help them optimise stock and pricing decisions and maximise profits every day.

Cogenta providers unrivaled level of data accuracy and tracks price, stock, delivery information and promotional activity surrounding retail products in the following categories:

- FMCG;

- Fashion;

- Health and Beauty;

- Electronics;

- Books, DVDs and Blu-ray, Music;

- Nursery and Toys ;

- DIY, Home and Garden;

- Sports Clothing and Equipment.

Cogenta also publishes consumer shopping applications that help consumers make the best pricing decisions. Cogenta tracks consumer shopping behaviour and enables brands and retailers to communicate and target new audiences via mobile.

Cogenta’s Marketing and Media contact

Dainora Dirmeikyte at dainora@cogenta.com

+44 (0)1753 827900


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