Getting Pricing Exactly Right

Michael Vizard

Any time business executives get together to talk about pricing, it's historically been something of a guessing game. No one is quite sure what the market will bear or, for that matter, what competitors might be charging for the same products.

But there is a new player in the United States that wants to take the guesswork out of the equation by providing real-time access to pricing information. Lixto Software has been offering a suite of price intelligence applications as a service in Europe. With the opening of operations in the United States, Lixto is making available three separate software modules for managing the pricing process, a second analytics module, and finally a dashboard designed to provide executives with an overview of the company's pricing strategy.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the Lixto Price Intelligence suite includes search-engine technology that makes it easier to find out what competitors charge for similar services. According to Christian Koestler, managing director and executive vice president for Lixto Software in North America, the search-engine technology can be applied against any industry domain to discover price information on any public Web site or against information located in any private network a customer can access.

In an age where prices change rapidly across various regions, Koestler says access to real-time information can make or break most companies. Unfortunately, most companies are flying blind, often relying more on hearsay and anecdotal information gathered by sales people who are predisposed to believe every competitor is undercutting them.

As a result, more companies have dedicated more financial analysts to try and discover the true pricing trends in any given market. Alas, by the time they usually discover that information, the patterns have usually changed another half-dozen times over.

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