We have been working very hard this summer to bring you a much improved version of Optimus Price.

This release includes:

  • The #1 request: competitor based pricing models!
  • Consider pageviews and conversion rate into pricing with Google Analytics
  • Flexible rule strategies
  • A redesigned Product window
  • Avoid errors with our automatic data validation

We hope that this new release will help you interpret the AI predictions, improve your profits even more, and save time setting rules.

Pricing strategies based on competitors

Always have your competitor prices in mind when deciding on a new strategy.

Optimus Price now connects to any available competitor monitoring API and is aware of competitor prices when recommending a price.

You can see evolution of prices for a given time period and cross-reference them with your sales.

By building on top of your competitor information, you can now learn who is the leading competitor for each product (be ready for some surprises!) and where you are positioned, percentile-wise.

Price depending on customer behavior

You goal is to optimize sales. But how relevant is a sale, in context of your whole shop?

By integrating Google Analytics with Optimus Price you will:

  • Get better pricing recommendations based on product views and cart information
  • View plots with consumer behavior
  • Make smarter decisions based on analytics data

Take into account pageviews and cart information, and therefore conversion rate, to see the relevance of each sale.

Flexible pricing strategies

Use our Artificial Intelligence, create a rule or set the price manually. See how profit changes when you change your pricing strategy.

You have all the options with all the information to establish the best price.

More informative Product window

Monitor a product with a complete dashboard that includes:

  • Pricing strategy: see our AI pricing recommendation and compare those with your own strategies
  • Google Analytics: study the behavior of the users in your website
  • Competitors: compare your prices with those of your competitors
  • Profit and demand: our AI calculates elasticity and profit estimates so you can see which are the prices that derive the best profit

Avoid pricing errors

Validating your ecommerce data is now easier. Optimus Price now generates a list of potential issues exceptions with a detailed explanation and solution.

Never set up a price below cost by mistake again!

Imagine you are sitting at your office desk and you decide that you want to take a trip to see the beautiful Swiss Alps and absorb the calm and tranquil air. What better place to do this than Zurich, Switzerland?  Your impulses take over, and after hovering your mouse over the little blue button for quite some time, you press “book it”.

After countless hours of traveling, you FINALLY get to your Air BNB at the crack of dawn. You look to the left, to the right, up and down and there are breathtaking mountains with light snow sprinkled on endless peaks that extend to forever in the distance. Life is good, the world is right, and YOU are ready! You spend your first day consuming all the Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese and bread you could imagine, and before the day is done you realize you have spent 150 € in your first day there.

While the least expensive meal in Switzerland might cost you 25 €, 4,200 miles away in India you would pay only 1.20 € for the same meal.

So why do we see such price differences between different countries? Within this article we are going to be digging into the reasons as to why Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world and why India is one of the most inexpensive. Why aren’t all prices the same in each country? What specific factors determine the price of a consumable item country? Let’s take a look.

Why Is Switzerland Expensive? Digging deeper into the most expensive country in the world.

1) Switzerland as an Island

Although there are many reasons why some countries are more expensive than others, let’s focus as to why Switzerland is so expensive. After all, isn’t it just another country nestled between three European Countries? It isn’t a tropical island like Bermuda where they must import all their products, so it can’t be that expensive right? Wrong. One of the first reasons Zurich is so expensive stems from the fact that Switzerland is not in the European Union (EU) like its neighbors.

Switzerland acts as its own “island” because it doesn’t have the import discounts of those in other countries in the EU, therefore making goods and services that are not produced in Switzerland expensive to import. Sometimes, locals and business owners send goods to Germany when ordering from other countries in the EU because it is cheaper to send goods from EU country to EU country.

2) The Farming Industry

The Switzerland government wants to protect the small Switzerland farming industry so the government imposed a high import tax on food from other countries. This skyrockets the price because there is already a higher tax on foreign goods because Switzerland is not a country in the EU.

Meat is especially pricey in Switzerland, sometimes costing over 100 € for a cut of beef. Many Swiss farmers have small farms, which makes it difficult for them to stay above the poverty line even though the government pays many farmers a 50% subsidy of their profits.  Because of the small farming industry, the farm produce in Switzerland is produced at high costs, making the food more expensive.

3) Low taxes

High prices in Switzerland can be attributed to the low taxes that locals pay. On average, the locals take home 83% of their salary therefore leaving only 17% going to taxes. The low taxes mean that the people in Switzerland have more money in their pockets to be able to spend on day to day goods and services such as their own healthcare, expensive grocery bills, and overpriced clothing! Countries such as Germany only take home 60% of their salary, however such countries have more benefits and lower prices, which isn’t the case in Switzerland.

Now that we know about the most expensive country in the world, let’s look at one of the least expensive countries in the world: India.

Prices in India are significantly lower than most other countries. To put things into perspective, in some cities in India, hotel rooms can get as low as 1.50 € a night. A three-bedroom apartment on average is 202 € a month versus 2,035 € in Switzerland. Rent in India is 72.5% lower than that of Spain’s rent costs, and 88% lower than Switzerland’s rent costs. Unlike Zurich, a meal for one person is typically only 1 € to 2 € and a large coke is only .37 €. Now why are prices in India significantly lower than those such as Switzerland and Spain?

Why is India Inexpensive? How can the average person live under 2 € a day?

1) Raw Materials

It is shown that the price of raw materials in India is cheap. Clothing in India is manufactured in India, so they don’t have to import much from other countries. Also, Indian food is produced and consumed in India which allows for a lower food price. In the past five years, the prices of raw materials have been decreasing immensely which reduces business costs which then reduces prices.

2) Poverty

Living in a cheap country has its own prices to pay. India has the third highest poverty rate in the world coming in after Congo and Nigeria. In order to settle for the cheap prices in India, one has to settle for a cheap way of living. “68.8% of the Indian population lives on less than 2 € a day. Over 30% even live off less than 1.25 € per day available – which is considered the poverty level of India” (Staufenberg). In order to keep the economy stable in a country with such poverty, the companies need to keep the prices low, so that their consumers are willing and able to continue to purchase their product.

3) Lower working Wages

Since India is known to be a country of high population and high poverty, that means that people will be willing to work for a lower wage. People are excited about any wage they can get, therefore accepting a lower salary which gives them less money to spend in the economy. So why don’t these chefs, maids, and cab drivers in poor countries just move to a country in which they would make significantly more money? Well, the answer is immigration laws. Unless the country is a part of the EU, entering a new country, legally, can be costly so most people would rather stay in their home countries where prices are relative to the salary they make. These immigration laws and low wages keep the prices of goods and services low.


The average salary in Zurich is about 71,000 € compared to an Indian average salary of less than 1,600 €. To put this into perspective, in Switzerland, a person is considered under the poverty line if they make under 41,820 € a year. This would mean that India’s salary, as well as Spain’s average salary of 23,890 € a year would be significantly below the poverty line in Switzerland.

GDP explains most of the differences between India’s and Switzerland’s economies. However, we must not forget the contribution of factors like tariffs, net exports, and a preference for consumption of local products.

As a consumer, it is important to understand the differences in prices in other countries so that you are prepared next time you step foot in one of the most expensive countries in the world! So next time you reach in your pockets for money to purchase a morning cup of coffee in India, be prepared to pay about ten times that much in Zurich. Oh… and don’t forget the mountaintop views as you sip that glorious morning coffee!


We’re thrilled to announce that Optimus Price has been selected to take part in the European Data Incubator (EDI), a 3-year project that offers around 100 startups the chance to solve data challenges set by major European corporates like Volkswagen Navarra, RACC motoring club and the multinational Sonae.

What is EDI?

EDI is an incubation programme run by 20 partners across Europe.

It gives the most innovative Big Data startups the opportunity to tackle real world challenges set by corporates across Europe, such as improving road safety in Barcelona or predicting fraudulent transactions in supermarkets.

Optimus Price is taking part in EDI to solve the challenge set by SONAE: Supply chain optimisation. Our approach is to aggregate sales information by product, store, and season, and reduce security stock by 10%.

Benefits include up to €100k in equity-free funding, mentoring, workshops, access to a free cloud environment, and the chance to connect with and be recognised by major European organizations.

Datathon in Berlin

Each year of EDI incubation process is divided into three progressive phases, in which only the best startups pass to the next level: ‘Explore’, ‘Experiment’, ‘Evolve’.

On 17 and 18 October, Optimus Price will travel to Berlin with 30 other startups for the first ‘Explore’ phase. Here we will take part in a datathon, practice our pitches, receive €5k (equity-free) and meet face to face with the corporates. Finally, a jury will decide which 16 startups will pass to the next ‘Experiment’ level.

Follow our journey through EDI!

Take a look at the EDI startup portfolio to see our team photo, description and a 30 second video.

To read more about EDI, please visit the website: www.edincubator.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 779790.

Pricing can appear simple from a consumer’s perspective. You just see a price, and if you are willing to pay it, then you get the product. The key part of that decision making is if you are willing to pay for it.

Through the years businesses have broken down the psyche of consumers that help them decide to ultimately buy the product. As humans have changed their shopping habits, the pricing industry has evolved with it in order to stay at the forefront of sales. Although there are countless amounts of pricing strategies, there are trends within specific sectors.


An auction is the oldest way to sell a product. This strategy was how the majority of the items were sold in 500 B.C in ancient Greece. Since that time period, it has evolved into a very unique selling approach. It has such a narrow market now due to the high transaction cost.

Products that are still sold through this technique are typically seasonal unique items with high demand and low supply.  This is due to the lack of standard prices available. People who are looking to purchase these items are willing to pay more because there is no other way for them to get that good.

There are numerous types of auctions so we are going to just focus on the three most prominent: English auction, Dutch auction, and the auction market.

English Auction:  This pricing is the one you probably have seen since it is the most common type. It is most effective with more rare types of products such as wine, art, old cars or antiques. For this, the buyers yell out prices the different prices are willing to pay for the item, starting at the lowest and increasing in price until the biggest price wins.

In 1995, Pierre Omidyar, revolutionized the e-commerce sector by introducing the first English auction e-commerce: Ebay. This website brought the thrill of auctioning to millions worldwide.

Dutch Auction: The Dutch auction is the polar opposite of the English version. Instead of starting low and increasing the price, the highest price the seller wants to sell it at is announced. From there he/she will lower it until there is a bidder that is willing to pay that price.

This specific type of auction is used in the Netherlands to sell farmers produce. Due to the specificity of its usage, it is being seen used less and less.

Auction Market: You may also know this as the double action market. This type of auction is less organized than the others because there is bidding from both sides of the sale. There are multiple buyers and the sellers, and they all enter a competitive bid. Then based on the prices given, the buyer and seller with similar numbers are paired up and then the transaction is completed.

The New York Stock Exchange or the US Treasury auction are both great examples of the double action market. They truly showcase the application of this type of auction and the chaos that it can cause.

Posted Price

It wasn’t until the 1840s that an Irish Immigrant, Alexander Turney Stewart, thought that there could be a more efficient way of buying goods other than auctions. His ingenious idea was to create a store with posted prices, or a ‘no haggling policy’. This eliminated the dissatisfaction either the buyer or seller got from auctions while almost streamlining the sales time to maximize profit from each purchase. Stewart’s idea has exploded since then and is now dominating all commerce for more standardized products.

However, now with the debate taken out of the sale, companies were left trying to figure out how to best price their products. They chose from one of these three:

  • Cost-based:  This type of pricing is typically used by manufacturers because it requires the least amount of consumer information. It is just simply the cost of creating the product plus the percent markup they want.
  • Value-based:  Companies that use value-based pricing really optimize on the consumer’s perceived value of the product. It is ideal for high end, trendy, name brand items companies or even something that is indispensable to the consumer. A great example of this a drink at a hot open-air festival. The seller knows the consumer will pay almost anything to get the product they want.
  • Dynamic:  In the past decade, dynamic pricing has really exploded due to how quickly the technology is improving. It uses a series of algorithms to maximize the economic welfare and profit. A huge factor in economic welfare is the number of sales at each price point. That is directly decided by the consumer since he/she has the choice to buy the product or not.
  • This pricing strategy has increased in popularity because it benefits both sides of the sale. It is ideal for industries such as flights, hotels, and even the e-commerce sector in general. Amazon and Uber are great examples of success stories using dynamic pricing.


Although there has already been so much progress in the pricing field, there is still a lot more to come. As technopoly for dynamic pricing advances, it will become more relevant than it even is today.

As a consumer, it is important to be aware of the different pricing strategies that companies use. With a better understanding of what is behind each price you see, the hope is you will get to find the best prices and products for you!




Posted Price:


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How many times have you cleaned out your fridge to find spoiled produce? Or even the pantry? The answer is probably too many. There is a huge issue of excess food waste all around the world. According to the FAO, there are exactly 1.3 billion tons of food waste per year globally. That breaks down to $390/capita/year, just simply thrown away.

Now think about that: if you are a family of five, you are losing $1,950 per year!

You can fix this by applying the techniques that businesses use to manage their inventory.

1. Regular auditing = Throwing out the old before buying the new

You can think of this as your kitchen clean out. Within that are three different types: physical, spot checking and cycle.

Physical auditing happens once a year. This process includes counting all the inventory and comparing it to your logs. It is a very long and tedious job due to the immense number of products you have to look through.

This is how the typical household handles cleaning out the fridge or pantry. Since it is such a time-consuming activity it often is pushed off until the process is completely necessary.

Spot checking does not follow an exact schedule. It is the idea that a company will randomly pick and count their most popular items. These are the most processed through so they are the most prone to discrepancies in the log.

Think of this as casually cleaning out your most used areas of the kitchen. This typically means the fridge and snack drawers. Once you clean them out you can be aware of what is about to expire and what you need to restock. This will make you be more aware of what food is about to expire and remind you to eat it.

Cycle is more of a scheduled process. A company has a rotating schedule with different products that reminds you to audit that specific product.

If you are a more scheduled person this is perfect for you! You can write a schedule out and make sure you cycle through all the different parts of your kitchen on a monthly basis. This will be the most effective but is the most time-consuming.

Once you have your kitchen cleaned out and are aware of most of your food items you are ready for your next step, is organizing your pantry to follow FIFO.

2. FIFO: first in, first out. Watch out for expiration dates!

This focuses on what is first in, is first out. This is applied to businesses of all kinds to ensure that there is a proper flow of items. It is a process that is set up so business doesn’t end up with unsellable product whether because they are out of style or simply just spoiled.

At home, you should implement this when you are doing you regular auditing or during restocks. All you have to do is check the expiration dates and move the older ones to the front to encourage you to eat them first. This will make you be more aware of what is about to spoil so it won’t go to waste.

Now that you have a better understanding of the expiration of your foods, you can start to set the par level.

3. Par level, or making sure you have the basics

Par level is the minimum amount of product a company can have at all times. They decide this by understanding how quickly different products sell and how quickly they come back in stock.

First off ask yourself how long will it take for you to go to the grocery store? Is it super convenient? Let’s say it takes one day for you to restock and go to the grocery store.

Next, you have to think about what is the simplest meals you could make to survive one day.

An example of this could be bread, peanut butter, fruit, chicken and some type of lettuce. Once you fall below one of these you know you have to go to the grocery store. That is your par level.

In the graph below you can see the inventory cycle, where the horizontal dashed line is the par level. The angled distance from that line to the x-axis is the time you have to go to the grocery store (in the example above it is one day).

Now that you are more aware of when you should go to the grocery store, let’s look into what you should be thinking when you are there.

4. Forecasting demand. How much does your family eat?

This is the last main business technique that is applicable to minimizing food waste. It has multiple aspects that one must understand in order to be used executed properly: trends, last year sales, growth rate of the year, guaranteed sales, and special events.

This means you should think about things such as what you all have been enjoying, what do you normally get, are your kids eating more now, or a coming up birthday.

These are all small questions you should be asking yourself when you do decide to restock and go to the grocery store. It may seem silly when you see it written out but being aware of all these influencers will really make you minimize the food you bring home. Thus, minimizing your waste.


By implementing these small lifestyle changes, you can keep better track of your kitchen’s inventory just like businesses. In return, you will save you close to $1,950/year and also minimize your waste by a substantial amount.

Although it might seem hard at first to completely change your lifestyle, you should make a goal to apply one new step each week. This will make the transition more slow and smooth. That will then hopefully make these steps a habit for your daily life.

Good luck and have fun trying out these new tricks!



Artificial Intelligence is an extremely new and powerful tool. Since the term artificial intelligence is so broad, its benefits can be seen in many industries. Also, due to the nature of AI and machine learning, there is little limit to the capabilities of this tool.

Businesses are really taking advantage of all AI had to offer. In fact, McKinsey estimates specifically AI techniques could make between “3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually across nine business functions in 19 industries”.

However, what’s in it for normal consumers?

In this article, we will present the full potential for AI in the years to come. It has already seen immense success in a vast amount of industries such as marketing, journalism, healthcare, and retail. And, more importantly, we will show you everyone, not just companies, how they will benefit from this breakthrough technology.


Marketing might seem like the most obvious industry because the AI techniques are used to market to directly to the customer. This can be done in many ways, the few being giving you personalized ads based on your recent searches and also providing recommendations once you are on their website.

Recently LeSportsac, New York accessory company that is part of the ITOCHU group, chose to invest in using AI to evaluate who specifically shops their e-commerce. Simply through looking at purchasing patterns, AI can see into the psyche of a company’s customers. It can figure out not only who is buying and why, but also who is not buying and why. In the past, this was a guessing game, but through AI all that chance is taken out of the equation of marketing.

Now LeSportsac is able to adjust their website and products in real time due to trends detected through those programs.

For you: This investment directly benefits the customer, because now the marketing campaigns are more customized for them. It streamlines your shopping experience making it easier to find the products you will love by providing smart recommendations and discovering related products.


Journalism has been around for many years and has already evolved so much but one thing has always remained constant, the reporters. However, within the last decade, AI is advancing even this aspect of the news.

Most recently The Washington Post, a major newspaper company based in Washington DC founded in 1877, wanted to grow their sports column but didn’t have the manpower or funds to support such change. They were able to solve this issue by purchasing an AI program called Heliograph. Once given a few keywords and the proper data, Heliograph can write and publish an article in near real time.

Since the launch of the program, it has been used for many events that needed to be constantly reported, such as the 2016 US Presidential election.

Through the help of these “newsbots,” the general public can be updated on major events within minutes of them happening. It also minimizes the biases of different newspaper or reporters, thus making the journalism industry more equitable.

Facebook also has been using AI technology to filter through fake news articles. At the moment, they are using a semi stance based algorithm to detect these hoax stories. Furthermore, they have hired a third-party nonpartisan Fact-Checker Network. This algorithm is said to have decreased their fake news by 80% so far. Finally, they bought out a London based AI startup, Bloomsbury. This technology will use machine learning to understand unstructured documents and answer any questions about the said documents.

For you: In the past few years, there has been a large increase in the amount of fake news generated. A huge source of those articles popularity is from Facebook recommending them. Through the use of Bloomsbury AI techniques, Facebook users will be getting news that is filtered to have only the most reliable articles.


Since universal healthcare is such a controversial field, it has been a large focus for AI technologies. There are many ways companies have been targeting the healthcare system. This can be seen through huge companies such as Google X when they were creating a Nano pill to detect cancer back in 2015. Although that product has yet to be officially launched, another company, Babylon was successfully launched at London in November 2017.

Babylon is an AI-driven health advice application. The application filters through 13 billion variations of symptoms by asking a series of questions. It can tell you if there is something potentially serious to get checked out by a doctor. If so you can schedule a meeting with a doctor and even order prescriptions for you if necessary.

For you: This program has completely revolutionized the industry by allowing equal healthcare to the public for free! Also, this application of artificial intelligence is available at your fingertips which means no more long lines waiting for appointments.


Retail is an extremely competitive field, so companies must stay at the frontier of selling strategies in order to remain relevant. Most recently AI dynamic pricing and demand prediction has been at the forefront.

Dynamic pricing is the based on the idea of maximizing economic welfare. That is the sum of merchant profit (number of sales * margin) and consumer surplus (number of sales * savings). This ensures that both parties benefit from the optimal price, not only retailers, thanks to an optimized supply-demand curve.

A key factor in the definition of economic welfare is the number of sales. That is, of course, decided by the target market because after all, they are the ones purchasing the product. This is known as “consumer sovereignty,” meaning that through dynamic pricing the power to price the product is now with the consumers.

Consumers literally vote which is the best price by purchasing the product at the said price. The more popular prices are favored by the AI since they provide the maximum profit for companies.

Dafiti, a leader in fashion and retail in Latin America, uses Optimus Price to predict the demand for their products and choose the prices which favor economic welfare. These prices are not only the most popular amongst consumers, but also provide the maximum profit.

For you: This novel approach to personalized pricing is respectful of consumer privacy and does not use personal data to provide recommendations, thus being compliant with the even the strictest EU privacy laws.


Artificial intelligence was introduced in 1956 and since has been able to accomplish so much success in a wide range of industries.

Thanks to the power of current computers and an increasing amount of available data, AI applications have been growing quickly in the latest decade.

It has completely revolutionized the consumers shopping, news, and healthcare experience. Since it is still such a new and rapidly growing industry, there is still much more it can do.

AI can be very confusing because there are so many different types of AI in many different industries. But, the one thing you must take away from this article is AI is helping you in more ways than you may know and will only continue to help you more in the years to come.



Facebook fact-checking:

  • http://www.kdd.org/exploration_files/19-1-Article2.pdf
  • https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/21/facebook-expands-fact-checking-program-adopts-new-technology-for-fighting-fake-news/
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/samshead/2018/07/03/facebook-is-reportedly-buying-a-london-ai-startup-for-over-20-million/#97e73ec3cf2f

Journalism and AI

  • https://www.wired.com/2017/02/robots-wrote-this-story/

Economic Welfare

  • University of Amsterdam paper, by Zuiderveen and Poort, “Online Price Discrimination and EU Data Privacy Law”, J Consum Policy (2017) 40:347–366. DOI 10.1007/s10603-017-9354-z