New RSR Research Findings: Retailers’ Pricing Strategies No Longer Working

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Pricing practices simply aren’t effective and the ‘race to the bottom’ is claiming more victims than winners

It’s completely blowing up in retailers’ faces.

Retail Systems Research, LLC today released its findings from its 9th annual Pricing Benchmark, Pricing 2016: Life Becomes Unmanageable. The report, based on a survey of 120 retailers, found that retailers’ current pricing practices simply aren’t effective.

The research is available for free download (registration required).

"Retailers are engaged in a race to the bottom that very few can win,” says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. “The blanket discounts they’ve been using for the past several years were intended to be last ditch efforts. Now customers are just trained to expect them all the time, and it’s completely blowing up in retailers’ faces.”

Key Findings include:

  •     Consumer price sensitivity, competitor pricing aggressiveness, and price transparency dominate the challenges retailers face. As a result, these pricing practices have made it more difficult for retailers to continue to compete on price
  •     Destructive pricing practices have also made it harder for retailers to take advantage of opportunities for pricing to contribute to business success, and retailers are beginning to realize that the pricing tactics they employ are just not working
  •     Organizationally, there is an enormous gap in capability between high performing retailers and their lower performing peers: across people, process, and technology
  •     As a result of these trends, many retailers have shifted their technology focus from promotions back to regular price

Pricing 2016: Life Becomes Unmanageable contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding retailers’ pricing strategies. It also offers baseline recommendations for navigating this brave new world for retailers. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, is sponsored by Precima and supported by dunnhumby and Upstream Commerce, and can be downloaded here:

About RSR Research: Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. To learn more about RSR, visit

RSR Research, LLC
Linda Wolfe, 774-284-4679

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