360pi Research: The Most Price-Dynamic Retailers Change Prices on 15-20% of Their Assortments at Least Once a Day

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New research shows Amazon and Sears are the most price-dynamic retailers overall. Costco makes most of its price changes on Saturday and Sunday.

When we look at how the prices for individual products change throughout the day, we are able to identify some interesting trends by category and retailer, including who tends to follow whom.

Ottawa, Canada: 360pi, the leading provider of competitive price intelligence, has revealed new insights on price dynamism from leading retailers on the Internet Retailer Top 500, including Amazon, Apple, Sears, Staples and Walmart. The company’s analysis indicates that the level of price dynamism varies dramatically across retailers during “normal” shopping periods – from a high of daily price changes on 20% of a retailer’s assortment to a low of none. 360pi’s research clearly shows these daily price changes can easily double at peak times in key categories such as back-to-school and the holidays.

Most and Least Price-Dynamic Retailers
Leading the pack of the most price-dynamic retailers are Amazon and Sears, both changing prices on 15-20% of their 360pi-sampled assortment on a daily basis. According to 360pi’s analysis, however, the use of dynamic pricing is not always directly correlated to ecommerce success. The digital shelf, which ties online inventory to shopper intent and Internet search patterns, plays a significant role in retailers’ sales. For example, while Sears is one of the most price-dynamic retailers today, they own a much smaller portion of the digital shelf, accounting for just under $5 billion in online sales in 2013 compared to Amazon’s more than $67 billion in 2013 sales and a much higher ownership of the digital shelf. 360pi reports that Apple and Staples are the least price-dynamic retailers, hovering around 0% for SKU’s sampled. Walmart changes prices on 6-8% of its assortment on a daily basis, putting the retailer in the mid-range category of price dynamism.

Pricing Trends for Time-of-Day and Day-of-Week
Even among the more price-dynamic retailers, 360pi’s data shows a wide range of fluctuation in price changes by time-of-day and day-of-week. For example, Costco and h.h.gregg make most of their price changes on Saturday and Sunday, Target makes the majority of its price changes on Tuesday and Saturday, and Amazon’s changes are evenly dispersed throughout the week.

The most price-dynamic retailers are making price changes not only on a weekly basis, also on an hourly basis. For a Linksys dual-band, wireless-AC router with a four-port Ethernet switch, 360pi’s data shows that Amazon made eight price changes in one day. The data also shows that for an HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 wireless printer, Amazon typically responded to competitor price increases but did not match those prices. Marketplace vendors, however, followed Amazon’s increase on the printer within hours.

“Daily price dynamism, including hourly price changes, will continue to play an important role in ongoing pricing but will be especially important in the 2014 holiday shopping season. We see amazing things happening with pricing every day as we gather information on millions of products from every corner of the Internet,” said Jenn Markey, VP of Marketing, 360pi. “When we look at how the prices for individual products change throughout the day, we are able to identify some interesting trends by category and retailer, including who tends to follow whom.”

About 360pi
360pi derives profitable insights from product and pricing big data to help leading omnichannel retailers, etailers, and manufacturers compete and win in a price transparent world. 360pi's customer base accounts for over $US100 billion in annual retail sales and includes Ace Hardware, Build.com, Overstock.com, and RIS Fusion award-winner Best Buy Canada. 360pi monitors millions of products with unprecedented accuracy to give retailers and manufacturers real-time visibility into the market with full awareness of the competitive pricing landscape to "right price" for their respective customers. Ultimately, 360pi helps customers make smarter pricing decisions to drive increased revenues and margins.

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