Driving Margins, Sales, and Customer Loyalty
Neighborhood Stores Need Neighborhood Pricing
Ace Hardware is a multinational chain of neighborhood home improvement stores. Operating under a cooperative model, Ace’s 4400 stores are run by 3000+ individual owners supported by Ace Corporate for collective buying power and best practices including pricing. Ace has won top ranks in customer satisfaction for six years running and much of this customer perceived value is traced back to localization and personalization at the store level, making regionalized competitive price intelligence a priority.
Ace Hardware was dealing with limited and inaccurate competitive price information without vital data on zone pricing or private label, both cornerstones of their business.
Upon selecting Numerator for superior data quality, Ace Hardware can now make profitable zone-based pricing decisions and successfully leverage its private brand.
Numerator tripled the match rate of our incumbent solution. As well, during the bid process, we provided a list of our hardest-to-match product set to competing price intelligence vendors and Numerator more than doubled the match rate of the next closest competitor.Andy Voelker, Retail Pricing Strategy Manager, Ace Hardware
Price Intelligence Pain Points
Ace manages 90,000 products across several regional markets with both national and regional competitors. Limitations of Ace’s previous implementation included:
Limited and inaccurate product matches: Manual compilation of ‘like’ product matches and post processing of competitive pricing data were error-prone. “When we went to check the data from our previous providor, they would be matching a bag of water softener with a box of screws.”
Outdated data: At times, when individual store owners were making decisions on the data being provided, they were up to a month behind the market. Ace wanted to become more proactive with their strategy.
No support for zone pricing: Without regional insights, zone pricing was not possible. Pricing was approached from a sub-optimal nationally averaged perspective.
No visibility on private label pricing: It was critial for Ace Hardware to understand private brand pricing; however, they had no insight into how competitively priced they were versus comparable products.
After engaging in a preliminary trial with Numerator, which saw an immediate improvement in product matches, Ace conducted a formal RFP process and selected Numerator as their price intelligence vendor.
The price intelligence solution provided to Ace is comprised of three main parts:
Price: Numerator provides accurate and complete competitive pricing information for exact product matches on a regional or zone basis. With timely access to accurate information for thousands of SKUs, Ace is able to “right price” for the local market.
Comparables: Numerator provides Ace with a view into their competitors’ private label assortment and pricing intelligence for ‘like’ products, based on category specific attributes. Private brands are a critical component of Ace’s retail strategy and at the heart of many retailer-manufacturer negotiations, making right-pricing of private label products a top priority.
Integration with IBM/DemandTec: IBM/DemandTec, a leading provider of cloud-based price, promotion and merchandising analytics, uses Numerator’s data to improve Ace Hardware’s pricing rules, automation, and pricing strategy based on timely and accurate competitive visibility. Together, Numerator and IBM/DemandTec leverage big data and industry leading science to help Ace Hardware set the right prices at the right time.
Numerator is essential to our private label success, providing an accurate view of the competitive pricing landscape for both exact and ‘like’ products.Andy Voelker, Retail Pricing Strategy Manager, Ace Hardware
Value to Ace
200% increase in number of product matches: Ace receives competitive insights for exact and ‘like’ products across regional markets.
Increased store conversions: Price intelligence is driving both store and corporate revenues and margins.
Improved store and corporate performance: With timely access to accurate and complete competitive pricing data on a regional basis, Ace is able to “right price” for the local market.
Real-time pricing for private brands: With a real-time view into their competitors’ private label assortment and pricing intelligence for ‘like’ products, based on category specific attributes, Ace has a complete view of the competitive landscape.
Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty: Ace can effectively deliver on its neighbrhood store brand promise.