16 Oct 2018
ken Ouimet honored at the mondavi center in Davis

Ken Ouimet Receives High Honor from UC Davis

The University of California, Davis presented the 2018 Distinguished Alumni medal to Ken Ouimet, CEO and Founder of AI retail price innovator, Engage3. Ken received the award alongside JoeBen Bevirt and Cynthia Murphy-Ortega at a special alumni celebration at the Mondavi Center on October 26, 2018. The award is given to alumni who have achieved an overall high distinction in their field and have contributed a distinguished service to the college, profession or the community. 

Ken joins the ranks of other notable and decorated alumni of the College of Engineering, including Mars Lander Team Lead Adam Steltzner, Astronaut Steve Robinson, and Hyundai Motors Vice Chairman of R&D Woong-chul YangWatch the Mars Lander video “7 Minutes of Terror: The Challenges of Getting to Mars” here.

The College of Engineering has had over 22,500 graduates since its inception in 1962. Among the alumni are company executives, doctors, technological innovators, and an astronaut-turned-professor. Beginning in 1989, UC Davis began awarding the honor of Distinguished Engineering Alumni annually. To date, only 64 awards have been given out.

 

22 Sep 2018

Engage3 at the CGA Strategic Conference

September 23-25, 2018 | Palm Springs, California
Engage3 is a sponsor at the CGA Strategic Conference this week, where hundreds of professionals from the California grocery industry convene to collaborate, network, and learn about the latest trends. Engage3 is showcasing its Competitive Intelligence Platform and Competitive Price Response products at the event. To attend, you can register here.

13 Sep 2018

Price Optimization 2.0: The Efficient Frontier in Strategic Pricing

When managing a financial portfolio, you’ll need to determine how much to invest in each asset. If you have a thousand assets, it becomes a very complicated decision on how much to invest into each one. Harry Markowitz’s Nobel Prize Winning portfolio management theory, called the Efficient Frontier,  allows investors to boil this problem down into a strategic decision of how much risk to take for a given return.

In retail, you’re managing a portfolio of products. Instead of an investment decision, however, it is a pricing decision of how much you will be investing into each product to lower the price. The Efficient Frontier allows us to boil that pricing decision down into 2 dimensions – Price Image and Profit Goals. We use this tradeoff in retail pricing – where you have to manage thousands of pricing decisions to achieve your desired return. The question is: How do you roll that up into a strategic decision?

Because changes in retail pricing are becoming faster, more localized, and being split across different channels, we knew that we needed a tool to pull all that together and manage a consistent strategy across different price types. It turns out that the Efficient Frontier theory is the most powerful tool to solve this complex problem.

If we apply the Efficient Frontier theory to retail product pricing, then the dimensions we’re considering are the Price Image along the X-axis and the Profit Goals along the Y-axis. The highest point of the curve is where you make the most profits. Those are short-term profits. We then get the point-of-sale data that’s recording short-term decisions from customers, and that’s what the demand models are modeling.

There is a risk associated with pricing at the top of the curve because while that is where you make the most short-term profits, it’s also where you’re burning your Price Image. At this price point,the customers aren’t going to come back. The strategic decision to make, therefore, is how far you have to go down and how much you have to invest into having a lower Price Image. The decision is unique to each retailer and each strategy. It’s even unique to each category, fulfillment type, or each channel that you’re pricing.

There is a lot of information and power that goes into creating one of these Efficient Frontier curves. To illustrate: imagine that you have just two products, and each product has ten possible price points. If you look at all the possible ways to price those two products, you’re going to make a grid of prices, and it’s going to be a 10×10 grid. That’s a hundred different price points you’ll need to evaluate for just two products. If we add a third product and it has another ten price points, it’s now a cube and there are a thousand elements in that cube. The growth is exponential–you add a fourth product and there are ten thousand elements. What happens when you have a category of a thousand items? You will now have just one store, one category, with a thousand items. The number of pricing scenarios that need to be evaluated is now ten to the thousandth power. That’s more atoms than there are in the universe!

These are huge computational problems, and this is where algorithms become important—algorithm scalability is extremely important in these optimizations. To manage a hundred million prices in a dynamic market is a really complex undertaking. How do you boil that down to something you understand and make a strategy around? The Efficient Frontier is a tool that can collapse all those decisions into strategic decisions where someone, like an executive, can get their head around. It enables that executive to integrate the strategy all the way to the tactical execution, while automating those decisions.

This is what is exciting about price optimization problems. The same models that were created for investment portfolios are applicable to retail situations, and they allow you to make pricing decisions confidently–even in the face of 10 to the thousandth power price scenarios.

29 Aug 2018
Engage3 Climbs Up the Inc. 5000 List

Engage3 Climbs Up the Inc. 5000 List

Engage3, which helps retailers and brands enhance their pricing performance through data science and analytics, today announced that they have been included, for the second year in a row, in the prestigious Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the U.S.

Ranked at #1,458 last year, they climbed up 327 spots to their new ranking of #1,151. No company in the 2018 list has grown by less than 50 percent over the last three years. Companies who make this list are considered as true job creators, as only about 12 percent of American companies achieve one-year revenue growth of 25 percent or more.

Engage3has a 97%+ customer retention rate and has grown the number of its retail customers across the US and Canada by 56% between 2017-2018. The company has successfully expanded its platform to support sporting goods, electronics, apparel, and pure play e-commerce retailers over this same period.

Ken Ouimet, Engage3’s CEO and Founder, said, “We are thrilled to make it to the Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies two years in a row. It is great validation of the strategy and value that we are providing to our customers, “ he added.

The companies on the list amassed more than $206B in revenue in 2017, up 158 percent from $79.8B in 2014.

“While these last three years of growth have been tremendous, this is only the beginning for us and we look forward to continuing the growth at an accelerated rate,” said Edris Bemanian, Engage3’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re well on the path to revolutionizing retail pricing by improving retailers’ price image and profitability. This award is a testament to our amazing team’s unique ability to execute against that vision.”

About Engage3

Engage3 has assembled a team of price optimization pioneers to develop the next generation of price optimization.  The company was founded by the creators of SAP (KhiMetrics), who are credited with creating the retail price optimization space. Engage3’s leadership team is composed of former SAP (KhiMetrics), dunnhumby, KSS Retail, and IBM/DemandTec executives.

Engage3’s focus is on data quality and management which are the foundation of successful price optimization implementations. Engage3 Competitive Intelligence Platform (CIP) is an integrated end-to-end solution that uses data science to ensure data quality.  CIP 1) enables retailers to automate the management and optimize the design of their competitive shop program, 2) uses demand-side product attributes to link “Like” competitor products, and 3) reverse-engineers and monitors competitors’ pricing strategies. Engage3 Competitive Price Response (CPR) optimizes pricing, and manages a consistent price image across different channels, markets, and categories while providing control over your company’s quarterly sales and profits.

Engage3 was named in the top 1,500 firms for two years in a row in the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S. It also recently raised its Series B financing from retail technology-focused venture capitalists.

More information is available at http://www.engage3.com.

25 Jul 2018

Ken Ouimet’s 5 Big Predictions for the Retail Industry

Engage3 is working to create the ultimate platform for retailers to monitor and develop pricing strategies. Even when focused on products at the store and item level, changes in the market influence these strategies significantly. I met with our CEO, Ken Ouimet, in front of the beautiful Mondavi Center in Davis, California. With big changes at Amazon and Walmart this past year, I asked him to describe the future that he sees for the retail industry.

Gartner identified Ken as one of the pioneers in the retail pricing optimization space. In this video, he shares his insights and enthusiasm for what’s ahead. You can also watch the video here.

 

 

13 Jul 2018

Comprehensive Visibility

One of the largest opportunities for retailers today is to improve their visibility and figure out how their competitors are pricing within a given market. The challenge is how they can do that using their existing budget.

Some large U. S. retailers are making their price adjustments based on a single competitor location in a region. Take a market like Atlanta, for example, which is an area of 8,300 square miles with more than 6.8 million people. Many retailers will take that market and price check one competitor location there, and then base their pricing for the whole Atlanta market, using this very limited information.

“This is not a very good way to get your pricing right for your customers,” Lyle Walker, VP of Strategic Enablement at Engage3, says.

The real opportunity is for retailers to improve their visibility and really understand how their competitors are pricing their products across the market. Engage3 solves this problem by utilizing online data, in-store data collection, and machine learning to QA collection processes. This leads to data that is accurate. We then deliver this back within hours so a retailer can really understand what their competitors are doing across their markets and locations, and even understand what their competitors’ KVIs are, etc.

“Without adding to existing competitive shop budgets, we can give you a window into your competitors’ reaction to new prices. We can track this over time and measure it, and then report against it,” Walker said. “You can make refined decisions that are localized to your markets and to your customers who shop at those sites,” he added.

Watch Lyle talk about what it takes to have comprehensive competitive pricing in your market.

05 Jul 2018
Engage3 Private label Q1 Pricing Report

Q1 2018 Pricing Report: Private Label, National Brands, and Fresh Items

In a study of prices across more than 2,000 items and more than 225,000 pricing records collected during the first three months of 2018, Engage3 reports on who led in the private label, national brands, and fresh areas across 46 different banners.

Aldi Leads in Private Label

Engage3-Grocery Private Label Price Index for Q1 2018
Engage3-Grocery Private Label Price Index for Q1 2018

Aldi led in lower prices on average at -32% less for its private label, beating Target, H-E-B and Trader Joe’s, who came in at -12%, -9% and -9% lower prices respectively, in this study. At the other end of the spectrum, Vons trailed everyone else with the highest pricing for private label at a price index of +10%, followed closely by Safeway at +9%.

Aldi and Trader Joe’s Shine in National Brands

Engage3 Pricing Strategy-Grocery National Brands Price Index for Q1 2018
Engage3-Grocery National Brands Price Index for Q1 2018

Aldi and Trader Joe’s, who carry a very small number of national brands in their stores, still managed to lead at -43% and -30% lower, respectively, in average pricing for the items in this study. Kroger and H-E-B followed with national brand pricing of -16% and -15%, respectively, while Sprouts surprisingly lagged at +5% for national brands.

Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and H-E-B Lead the Way in Fresh Pricing

Engage3 Pricing Strategy-Grocery Fresh Items Price Index for Q1 2018
Engage3-Grocery Fresh Items Price Index for Q1 2018

Aldi took home the top spot in lower pricing for Fresh items at -31% for Q1 2018, followed by Trader Joe’s and H-E-B on par at -13%.  Publix Super Markets and Safeway charged the most in the first quarter of 2018, on average for the items in this study, with a +7% index. Albertsons followed those two at +4% higher average pricing for Fresh items.

To receive a full detailed report or get more information about the full data, REGISTER HERE.

17 May 2018

C&S Wholesale Grocers Partner with Engage3

On April 18 to 19, retailer C&S Wholesale Grocers held their 10thannual Tech West Expo at Thunder Valley Resort Casino in Lincoln, CA. Over 100 independent grocery retailers from the West Coast, including Hawaii and Texas, converged at the town Northeast of Sacramento.

Listed by Forbes as the tenth-largest privately held company in the United States, C&S Wholesale Grocers is a wholesale distributor of food and grocery store items with headquarters in Keene, NH.

C&S recently released their strategic retail pricing system and has chosen Engage3 as their partner for competitive retail pricing. “Engage3 IS the premiere partner in retail price information,” said Frank Puleo, VP of Retail Services at C&S.

Engage3 is a leading provider of solutions that help retailers and brands improve their pricing performance and compete more profitably through data science & analytics.

“We have worked with Engage3 for seven to eight years to deliver the best competitive pricing platform in one of our regions. Over the years, we’ve extended that partnership and now we have it on a national level,” noted Corey Quiring, Sr. Director of Corporate Retail Services at C&S.

15 May 2018
COO

Engage3 COO Edris Bemanian Talks Pricing Strategy, Pressures, and the Market

Last month, Robert Schaulis of Andnowuknow interviewed Engage3 COO Edris Bemanian on his observations of pricing pressures from the likes of Amazon and Lidl. “The biggest trend is that pricing and assortments are becoming more dynamic and localized,” Edris says.  He notes that e-commerce is now becoming a fundamental part of retailers’ strategies versus just a “me too” approach. Read the full article in Andnowuknow.com.

14 May 2018
pricing

White Paper: Leveraging Big Data and AI in Competitive Pricing

Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are giving rise to new retail pricing strategies that were not possible just two years ago. The explosion of data available has provided the perfect storm for AI to thrive. Retailers are starting to differentiate themselves like hedge funds with high-speed pricing models and proprietary market data.

Find out how you can use accurate, localized competitive data and pricing analytics to execute your business strategies today. Register to download the white paper now.