U.K..-based find me a gift sells offbeat, cheeky gifts—think a set of kitchen knives that resemble samurai swords or a bathrobe that resembles a Jedi dressing gown from the movie “Star Wars.”
Selling such unique goods has helped the retailer grow rapidly in the 18 years since it launched. Its 2017 sales totaled around 16 million pounds ($20.9 million), up 14.3% from about 14 million pounds ($18.0 million) a year earlier, says Jean Grant, purchasing and product development senior manager for the retailer, which has about 60 employees.
But growing sales doesn’t necessarily correlate with maximizing profits and sales.
And as the e-commerce market has grown increasingly competitive, the retailer has reconsidered its pricing strategy. For example, the retailer previously may have reduced an item’s price by 30% and generated three times as many sales without factoring in the labor that’s necessary to ship that order volume might offset the sales, even if the margins were good on the product, Grant says. “We were running around like busy fools selling lots of stuff but we wanted to find a way to make each pound work harder for us,” she says.
Find Me A Gift needed a better solution. The retailer in May began testing a service from retail price optimization company Competera Ltd. Competera’s service uses an automated script that crawls websites weekly for data such as pricing information for Find Me A Gift. It can collect data from around the web including Google Shopping results, Amazon.com and other retailer sites as dictated by its clients, says Nick Savin, head of products at the vendor. It then couples that information with macroeconomic data such as current interest rates or a region’s net disposable income and several years’ worth of data from the retailer client—including conversion, promotions and transaction data, and seasonal variances. Using these factors, Competera delivers its retail clients a recommended price per SKU that’s based on the merchant’s goals.
In a one-week test using the recommended price on 100 SKUs with a goal to maximize profit, Find Me A Gift increased its profits per British pound sold by 260%. The suggested pricing data from Competera recommended
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