E-commerce: Finding the right price from data

Pricemoov’s solution intends to become a necessary tool in the paraphernalia of the 21st century merchante century. From March 2020 to March 2021, the start-up “tripled in revenue and doubled in size,” Pierre Hébrard proudly announces to . For the founder and CEO of the company, this growth is driven by the health context favorable to the development of e-commerce and the deployment of omnichannel strategies: “this is in line with what is happening in our business, the companies must open up to new sales channels ”.

But these changes also induce new reflexes to be acquired. “Prices are becoming more complex to manage. Competitors force companies to find the best positioning, ”observes the latter.

Founded five years ago, Pricemoov is developing an AI-based SaaS solution to set up optimized pricing strategies for mainly French customers. Several data sources are taken into account to calculate the right price, namely internal company data, external data and those relating to business lines. “We want to democratize pricing, that’s the key word,” says Pierre Hébrard. “Before, it was reserved for experts. We see with the pandemic that when we find ourselves in a context where price matters, managing its price becomes everyone’s business. “

Democratize price management and optimization

The former engineer came up with the idea of ​​starting Pricemoov when he was working for Jumia, a leading e-commerce company in Africa, in charge of operations in Kenya and then Nigeria. “It was there that the concept was born,” he recalls. “We sold a lot of references, and in terms of pricing, we had a focus on our top items. But we didn’t necessarily have a lot of people looking after the catalog, ”he explains.

What is “interesting”, he underlines, “is to see how the idea was born in e-commerce”. At the end of 2015, the entrepreneur began to question companies about their pricing policy. Pierre Hébrard notes, over the course of his interviews, that the existing pricing management solutions are either “very expensive”, since they require investing several hundred thousand euros, or “too simplistic”.

You have to be able to meet customer needs, whether or not they have a pricing organization in place. The solution designed by the start-up then adapts to users’ level of expertise and evolves at the pace of their organization, with the addition of additional modules and more advanced analysis rules and price recommendations. “When you spend thousands of hours on R&D, choosing the right price is extremely important. We are creating a tool that allows us to equip these companies, and use the lever that is pricing. “

Performance monitoring requested by the largest customers

The underlying challenge for traders is to respond to this double injunction of “making prices dynamic” while “controlling performance”.

Before proposing dynamic pricing, the foundations must already be laid for price management on the various sales channels, says the CEO. As an indication, “a company which has 20,000 references via different channels is almost 100,000 prices”, he illustrates.

Inventory management is another essential input. Pricemoov allows, among other things, to segment the catalog of sellers between “call products, those which are rather sold alone, products sold occasionally, etc.” », Adds Pierre Hébrard. On each of these segments, different strategies are then deployed.

Pricemoov is based on a licensing model. Small or medium-sized companies often spend “a few hundred euros up to a few thousand euros”, while the larger structures switch to the “Enterprise” offer, allowing them more refined automated management and monitoring. of their performance in real time, by connecting the software to their own system. Large customers in the retail, transport and even B2B sectors, such as Kiloutou or CMA CGM, also benefit from advice and more in-depth support, comments the CEO.

The competition game

Pierre Hébrard observes specificities specific to each segment. In B to B, prices are often negotiated, while e-commerce players will want to reach new channels, such as marketplaces. In this case, they may be subject to very specific rules, like the Amazon buy box. “Amazon decides among all the sellers which ones it puts forward. To have it, you have to deliver quickly, be well rated, but above all have a good price. So pricing on the marketplace channel goes a lot through the buy box, ”explains Pierre Hébrard.

Pricemoov also became a partner of CDiscount a year and a half ago. “Thanks to them, we deployed our solution to several medium-sized e-merchants. More than a hundred smaller sellers are on the waiting list, our goal being to reach more by this summer ”, comments the founder.

Studying competition is of course also part of the pricing equation. Pricemoov relies on partners, such as Amazon and CDiscount, to “develop APIs and inquire with competitors”. Pricemoov’s teams will also go through partners to obtain more complex data, or go and do price crowling themselves for certain sectors.

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