Frequently retailers shoot themselves in the foot by displaying inconsistent pricing in their stores. A national retailer was struggling to achieve good pricing compliance in stores, 70% of stores were failing price audits and store managers were regularly refunding or compensating customers for charging them incorrect prices at the till due to incorrect labels on the shelves.

Pierhouse worked with their IT teams to create a single automated daily feed of data pulled from multiple sources to feed into NetTickIT and create up to date accurate labels. Stores now get daily batches containing shelf labels and point of sale that match ALL product, price and promotional changes.  Store assistants print off these daily batches and display these labels each day meaning that every label across their store is correct and always matches their till price.

This retailer expects to save over £1m in the first year since deploying NetTickIT by not having to refund customers for incorrect prices. Eliminating a source for negative shopping experiences which lead to frustrated or angry customers. If only the same was true of some other retailers.

Daily across the retail sector there are still customers experiencing this unnecessary friction. For example, the online retailer who listed all the items on their website marked down to £34.99. Quick-thinking customers snapped up goods worth thousands of pounds after word of the malfunction spread on Twitter. One bought an item worth £1,599.99 for just £34.99.

Pricing compliance in stores

Many customers who missed out were angry that the company did not honour their purchases, especially as they had paid for the goods and the majority had received an email saying the product had been despatched. Some customers who did receive their items claimed the retailers staff had threatened to charge their card for the full amount if they did not bring the goods back to the store for a refund.

Although this was an extreme case, this retailer is far from alone when it comes to pricing malfunctions. There have been a large number of errors in recent years, both online and in-store. In October, Asda withdrew a voucher that accidentally offered shoppers £50 discounts on their shopping. The voucher was intended for one use only but a glitch meant shoppers could use it repeatedly – and hundreds of people quickly took advantage.  The supermarket cancelled the voucher within hours and would not honour any outstanding orders. A spokesperson said “a small number of savvy customers” had “got more money off than they should have”.

Tesco has suffered a number of pricing errors. In March a Buy One, Get One Free offer on Danone’s Oykos yogurt and tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter scanned at Buy One, Get Three Free at the tills. One enthusiastic shopper ordered 72 yogurts and 12 tubs of the butter substitute for £2.34 plus £2 to collect them. Other errors by the supermarket giant have seen Terry’s Chocolate Oranges sell for 29p instead of the list price of £2.75, Cathedral City Cheddar sell for £1 instead of £6.55 and six bottles of wine, usually worth £59.94, scan at less than the cost of a single bottle.

Data in retailers can come from many sources.  Price, Promotion, Product information may be created, managed and sent from separate systems operated by different teams in Head Office and distributed in different ways to stores…it’s no wonder that quite often the data doesn’t match, and price labels are wrong or misleading. Store teams get price labels from many sources e.g. printed from till systems, centrally distributed to stores or printed off store PCs.  It’s tricky to know what the correct price or promotional label is to display and unless you have the right controls in place then the more sources of data you have the more risk there is of getting it wrong.

How can NetTickIT help?

The NetTickIT platform is superb at taking data from till systems, marketing management software, merchandising systems and third-parties. NetTickIT takes the current product, price and promotional data from your systems and makes it available for store teams to print off accurate price labels. The NetTickIT platform uses automated artwork to create shelf labels in real time using accurate and up to date data from your systems. Store teams only access the latest version of every label so it’s impossible to print off an out of date label! The real-time audit features of NetTickIT mean that you can monitor when stores print off labels, so you know that the latest POS has been printed and displayed.