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Raiders of the lost insight: Unleashing data-powered pricing

Data-powered pricing optimisation is a must for busy traders and merchants.

OK, kids, gather around… we’ve got a story to tell. It’s got everything. The fear of an overstocked warehouse, the frustration when stock isn’t available, the suspicion when a discount sells a little too fast, and the delight at selling through without a promotion. It’s a tale of the relentless balancing act between stock, sales, and margins navigated daily by merchants and traders worldwide. And it’s a tale soon to be confined to history – if we’re brave enough to rethink current processes.

Let’s start with Monday morning.

For most traders, the go-to for planning and monitoring sales is an Excel doc clogged up with everyone’s numbers. Whether that takes the form of Monday reporting via a WSSI (weekly sales, stock and intake) or merchandise planner, the chances are it’s narrowly focused on historical insight and current performance against forecast.

Monday reporting might be invaluable for showing you what happened last week, but when it comes to forecasting the future or modelling different pricing scenarios, they’re as helpful as a cracked crystal ball. By the time you know there’s a problem, it’s at least a week old, and that backwards-looking data gives no indication as to why things aren’t going to plan – just that you’re veering off forecast. It can take hours of sifting through different data sources to determine exactly where the problem lies.

Time to insight is a metric that defines how long it takes traders to get actionable information from a dataset. Chasing various sources to determine why an item isn’t selling or a category is underperforming makes for an excessively long time to insight, and tracking the impact of any changes can take even longer.

“Backwards-looking planners are only looking at sales, margin and stock,” explains Thomas Hill, HyperFinity co-founder and Chief Customer Officer, “So traders are sourcing additional data and combining it with their own experience to make recommendations. This leaves very little room for other critical work, such as measuring the impact of those changes. How do you quickly course correct if the action you’ve taken is wrong or isn’t behaving as expected? Especially when it can take weeks to realise that’s the case.”

Art meets science.

There’s only so much one person can do. But decision intelligence can help traders to automate some of this manual load, pulling in information from other sources to speed up time to insight and tracking performance in real-time, so you don’t need to wait for the weekly numbers to understand the lay of the land.

“Trading is an art, and there are elements of it a machine could never hope to replicate, such as understanding what materials will be the preference next season”, says Thomas. “But science can make the art easier. It can streamline day-to-day processes so traders and merchants have time to practice their art. It’s not about providing more data – no one wants more data – it’s about making it easier to find your data and wring actionable insight from it.”

HyperFinity’s AI-driven platform connects the dots between these data sources, swapping the endless rows of a clogged-up Excel for a highly visual dashboard. This speeds up time to insight, delivering actionable recommendations straight away and providing a central hub where traders can view data collated from across the business without the need to source it manually – although you can still export that data into Excel if you’d prefer.

Designed to make hitting margin targets easier, the platform includes tools to model endless ‘what-if’ pricing scenarios, understand cross elasticity, and forecast commercial scenarios. This allows you to determine the impact of your pricing decisions before pushing them live. Once pricing decisions have been made, HyperFinity’s intelligent key performance indicators (KPIs) around engagement, stock fragmentation, and price sensitivity allow traders to track the impact of those changes day-to-day and see what’s working (and what isn’t).

HyperFinity's pricing module allows traders and merchants to simulate the potential commercial impact of price moves.

Above: HyperFinity’s pricing platform allows traders and merchants to simulate the potential commercial outcome of price moves.

Thinking beyond price.

A world where the first port of call on a Monday morning is HyperFinity rather than a WSSI or merchandise planner is a calmer, more informed place. Within minutes of logging in to your dashboard, you can see an overview of all the information you need in one place alongside (and here’s the BIG change) recommendations for optimisations that will help you hit margin targets.

Take a situation where you have an overstock that’s not selling through quickly enough. Your initial response is to reduce the price, but when you model a price reduction in HyperFinity, the intelligent KPIs show that the competitor price gap is strong and conversions are high when people see it; it’s just too far down the list on the website and people aren’t seeing it. The platform recommendation is to promote on the website with the existing price, saving margin that would have been sacrificed with a discount.

“Data is a powerful tool for navigating the season you’re in, making sure you sell through your product and stock,” says Thomas. “But there are times when a trader will need to override the system’s recommendations, such as when you are price establishing for a promotion or happy to have one product out of line on its own. There’s an art AI can’t always capture, and that’s where traders’ experience and understanding come in. HyperFinity is agile enough to understand and support that.”

Tools to trade better.

And so, our story finds a happy ending – one where traders and merchants no longer rely on a backwards-looking dataset but the highly visual HyperFinity dashboard instead. A blend of art and science, HyperFinity works hand-in-hand with traders, automating manually intensive tasks while providing a host of new tools, such as intelligent KPIs and the ability to model an endless array of pricing scenarios.

Step into a future of data-powered pricing with HyperFinity, book a demo today.

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