Marcia Webb, VP of Specialty Retail at Nielsen, and Ken Ouimet, CEO of Engage3, talk about the opportunities in combining personalized pricing with personalized health to appeal to consumers’ health and wellness goals. The two predict that a renewed focus on consumers will create a race to the top, instead of a race to the bottom for retailers. This is Part 3 of 3 videos of Ken’s conversation with Marcia at GroceryShop in September 2019.
The following is a transcript of their conversation:
Health and Wellness
Ken: The area that we’re really excited about, where we see pricing going is personalized, but I think the real magic is combining personalized pricing with personalized health. [I’m] just curious if you see that the combination.
Marcia: As I talked about yesterday, consumers are willing to pay a price premium for products that appeal to their health and wellness. And so I think there’s a tremendous opportunity. Retailers in general have been great about using their private label to emphasize value to their customers. But I think on the flip side of that, and you see that as well, even in private label, you think about the Kroger Simple Truth, which is now a $2 billion brand and it’s focused on organic, natural. Consumers are willing to pay a price premium for that, and in that regard they go right up against these national brands that are premium. So I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to focus on health and wellness. And I think that, you know, there’s that fine balance between, you know, sending a customer to stay on their current path on what they’re buying, personalizing meals and solutions for them based on what they’re buying. But with today’s AI and algorithms, I think there’s a way for retailers and manufacturers to help consumers improve their health and wellness. You’ve got to be careful there because if you’re buying Oreos every week, I don’t want to all of a sudden say, “Hey, maybe you want to buy the kale.” But I think there’s a lot of things that retailers can do to encourage you along your health and wellness journey. And consumers historically are willing to pay a price premium for that.
Ken: Does a focus on health and wellness enable the retailer to get away from the race to the bottom and create a race to the top?
Marcia: I think that’s a great concept and I think there’s certainly an opportunity there.
Ken: Marcia we’ve partnered with Nielsen for almost two years now. For people not familiar with our partnership, can you describe to them the partnership and why it’s important to Nielsen?
Marcia: Sure. I think it’s a great unison because we track different things, Engage3 tracks known price in the market, you know, subject retailer versus the competition and Nielsen tracks market level pricing. And so the two are really important together, and the ability to track that gives us the ability to provide our retailers a complete package, a complete view of pricing and how they can impact their Price Image from both comparisons.
Ken: I’ve been really happy to partner with Nielsen. With my first company we worked probably five years trying to partner with Nielsen, we were never able will accomplish it. But we always saw a lot of value in being able to integrate the Nielsen market data with our price optimization and competitive intelligence and we’re seeing that that really provides a lot more value to our customers by integrating those. And the customers have been really receptive to how well we work together.
Marcia: Yeah. Good. I agree good things take time. So I agree, it’s been a great partnership and the ability to provide more value for our retailers in a fast scaleable way.
Ken: Well, Marcia, I really want to thank you for taking the time today. We’ve covered a lot of material.
Marcia: Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity, Ken. I’ve really enjoyed it.
Ken: Thank you again.
For more information on health as a differentiator in retail, you can watch the first part of the video series with Marcia Webb here. To learn more about the 10 items that drive half of a retailer’s Price Image, you can watch the second part here.