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Amazon, disruption, and changing customer expectations – by Garth Hoff


Both Meg Whitman of HPE and Mark Benioff of Salesforce.com choose to focus on speed at the 2016 Davos World Economic Forum Digital Transformation of Industries panel. Whitman said, “my view is that the future belongs to the fast,” and Benioff built on this by noting, “Speed is the new currency of business.”

Benioff specifically noted that speed is the currency of business… but I have intentionally changed this to focus on PRICING. I say, “Speed is the new currency of pricing!”

It’s almost impossible to talk about speed, pricing, or general success in business without talking about Amazon. The company is likely to be only the 2nd in history to be worth more than $1T, and its history of disruption makes it perhaps a one of a kind firm. Amazon is unique because their core competency is disruption.

Amazon’s Impact on the buying decision
SPS Commerce and Retail Systems Research (RSR) recently completed a survey of more than 500 retailers, suppliers, distributors, and logistics firms to determine the biggest factors impacting consumer’s buy decisions. Amazon’s shadow looms large in this survey as respondents report that price remains the top factor for any buying decision.

Top 4: biggest impact on buying decisions

Amazon marketplace makes price comparisons across multiple options extremely easy. In addition, product availability, also an Amazon strength is cited as the 2nd most important factor. The key takeaway here is that if the price is right, if it’s available, and if the vendor can complete the required portfolio, the deal gets a green light.
Amazon is resetting customer expectations around convenience, speed, price and selection. That’s why twice as many online shopping searches start on Amazon vs. Google.

2X online searches start on Amazon vs. Google

So, what are best in class B2B and omni-channel firms learning from this master class in speed? One answer is found in the Price f(x) dynamic pricing module known as Live Price Grid.

Omni-Channel, eCommerce, and the Live Price Grid

In the case of one of our customers, Price f(x) is able to help balance cashflow, grow sales, reduce seasonality, and increase ancillary product demand. This is accomplished in an eCommerce/omni-channel environment where dynamic updates of key pricing attributes are incorporated into pricing decisions on an hourly to daily basis.

Price f(x) live price grid… Really Fast, Really Flexible

Think of Price f(x) as a great family SUV, with a Dodge 707 Hellcat engine and rocket boosters, and a swiss army knife bolted on the roof. In short… really fast, really flexible, and really effective in changing the game for you and your pricing team.

Speed is increasingly critical in business success, and in the context of pricing it’s becoming a competitive differentiator. Companies are exploring updated ecommerce and omni-channel strategies and utilizing market, cost, and other pricing factors. It will be those companies who implement fast, flexible, and smart pricing who will succeed in a new market reality driven by Amazon-inspired decision process.

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