Privacy Notice



FRENCH TRANSLATION GERMAN TRANSLATION



Harnham Search and Selection 
Privacy Notice
1. General
1.1 Harnham Search and Selection Limited together with its group companies (“we”, “us” or “Harnham”) take the privacy of your information very seriously. This Privacy Notice is designed to tell you about our practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information which may be collected in person from you, obtained via our websites or collected through other means such as by an online form, email, or telephone communication.
1.2 This notice applies to personal information provided by our clients and suppliers about their employees and other individuals affiliated with them and also to candidates or prospective candidates (“Candidates”) whose data we process for proposed roles with our clients or prospective clients. Where a given role with our client is to be filled by a limited company or other corporate contractor we may process data relating to that company’s directors or shareholders and in this policy a “Candidate” may include directors and shareholders of corporate contractors. 
1.3 In this notice “you” refers to any individual whose personal data we hold or process (i.e: an individual candidate or potential candidate, an individual affiliated with a corporate contractor candidate, or an individual or employee associated or affiliated with our client or supplier.
1.4 In general, our services are related to the provision of recruitment services to clients and we do not process personal data on a large scale, but we will hold certain data in relation to Candidates and individuals affiliated with our clients and suppliers, and this notice sets out the basis on which we hold that data.
1.5 This notice is governed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) from 25 May 2018.
2. Legal Basis on which we process personal data
2.1 Personal data we hold about you will be processed either because:
2.1.1 the processing is necessary in order for us to comply with our obligations under a contract between you and us, specifically for the provision of our services; or
2.1.2 the processing is necessary in pursuit of a “legitimate interest”, a legitimate interest in this context means a valid interest we have or a third party has in processing your personal data which is not overridden by your interests in data privacy and security
2.1.3 for certain ‘special categories’ of sensitive personal data including data relating to health and ethnic background which we may process from time to time we will process this data on the basis of your consent.

Harnham Search and Selection

Privacy Notice

1. General

1.1 Harnham Search and Selection Limited together with its group companies (“we”, “us” or “Harnham”) take the privacy of your information very seriously. This Privacy Notice is designed to tell you about our practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information which may be collected in person from you, obtained via our websites or collected through other means such as by an online form, email, or telephone communication.

1.2 This notice applies to personal information provided by our clients and suppliers about their employees and other individuals affiliated with them and also to candidates or prospective candidates (“Candidates”) whose data we process for proposed roles with our clients or prospective clients. Where a given role with our client is to be filled by a limited company or other corporate contractor we may process data relating to that company’s directors or shareholders and in this policy a “Candidate” may include directors and shareholders of corporate contractors.

1.3 In this notice “you” refers to any individual whose personal data we hold or process (i.e: an individual candidate or potential candidate, an individual affiliated with a corporate contractor candidate, or an individual or employee associated or affiliated with our client or supplier.

1.4 In general, our services are related to the provision of recruitment services to clients and we do not process personal data on a large scale, but we will hold certain data in relation to Candidates and individuals affiliated with our clients and suppliers, and this notice sets out the basis on which we hold that data.

1.5 This notice is governed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) from 25 May 2018.

2. Legal Basis on which we process personal data

2.1 Personal data we hold about you will be processed either because:

2.1.1 the processing is necessary in order for us to comply with our obligations under a contract between you and us, specifically for the provision of our services; or

2.1.2 the processing is necessary in pursuit of a “legitimate interest”, a legitimate interest in this context means a valid interest we have or a third party has in processing your personal data which is not overridden by your interests in data privacy and security

2.1.3 for certain ‘special categories’ of sensitive personal data including data relating to health and ethnic background which we may process from time to time we will process this data on the basis of your consent.

3. Personal data we collect

3.1 We may collect and process the following personal data (information that can be uniquely identified with you) about you:

3.1.1 for individuals associated with our clients we may hold contact information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and job titles and/or specific roles within your organisation (“Client Contact Information”);

3.1.2 for individuals associated with our suppliers and other third parties we interact with we may hold contact information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and job titles and/or specific roles within your organisation (“Third Party Contact Information”);

3.1.3 for Candidates we may have personal information about you, your background, work history etc. This information may include name, address, telephone number, email address, CV, work history, educational qualifications (“Candidate Information”);

3.1.4 a record of any correspondence or communication between you and us (“Communication Information”);

3.1.5 marketing information we may hold about you in order to provide information about our services this may include names, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and job titles and/or specific roles within your organisation (“Marketing Information”).

3.2 We will collect information either from you directly or from a third party (for instance your employer or an introducer). If we do obtain your personal data from a third party your privacy rights under this notice are not affected and you are still able to exercise the rights contained within this notice.

3.3 Although you do not have to supply any personal information to us in practice we may be unable to provide our services to you without personal data (for instance we will need contact information in order to communicate with you). You may withdraw our authority to process your personal data (or request that we restrict our processing) at any time but there are circumstances in which we may need to continue to process personal data (please see below).

4. How we process your personal data 

4.1 Please see the table below, which sets out the manner in which we will process the different types of personal data we hold:

Purpose/Activity

Type of data

Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest

When we are setting up a retainer or engagement with a client or potential client with whom you are associated or entering into an agreement to provide services to our client.


Client Contact Information

Communication Information

Performance of a contract


Necessary for our legitimate interests (to establish necessary information about you in order to provide our services)


When we research, locate and record information relating to Candidates.


Candidate Information

Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver recruitment services to our clients in the interests of the clients and Candidates).


When we provide information relating to Candidates to our clients or potential clients.


Candidate Information

Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver our services to our clients in the interests of the clients and Candidates).


When we communicate with you as an individual affiliated with our client or potential client in order to provide our services to you.

Client Contact Information

Communication Information

 

Performance of a contract


Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver our services to our clients).


When we communicate with you as a Candidate or an individual associated with our Candidate in the context of a given role or type role.


Candidate Information

Communication Information

 

Performance of a contract


Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver our services to our clients in the interests of clients and Candidates).


When we store information relating to Candidates in order to put Candidates forward for potential roles in the future.


Candidate Information

Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver our services to our clients in the interests of the clients and  Candidates).


When we enter into an agreement with you or an organisation with which you are connected as a supplier.


Third Party Contact Information

Communication Information.

Performance of a contract with you


Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver our services).


When we communicate with you as an individual affiliated with our supplier or another third party we interact with.

Third Party Contact Information

Communication Information

 

Performance of a contract with you


Necessary for our legitimate interests (in order to deliver our services to our clients).


When we communicate with you as an individual affiliated with our client, potential client about our services (for instance if you request assistance).

Client Contact Information

Communication Information

 

Performance of a contract with you


Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business and to provide our clients with our services)


To manage our relationship with you as our client, supplier or third party.


 

Client Contact Information

Third Party Contact Information


Communication Information


 

Performance of a contract with you.


Necessary to comply with a legal obligation.


Necessary for our legitimate interests in ensuring that we maintain good relationships with our clients, suppliers and third parties.


To store your contact information for marketing purposes and sending marketing and other promotional communications to you.


Client Contact Information


Candidate Information


Marketing Information


 

Necessary for our legitimate interests in promoting our services to business customers or Clients, or consumers with consent or because the relevant individual has purchased similar services from us.


 

For each type of data listed above, definitions are included under clause 3.1.

5.1 Data Retention

Our current data retention policy is to delete or destroy (to the extent we are able to) the personal data we hold about you in accordance with the following:

Category of personal data

Length of retention

Records relevant for tax authorities

8 years from the end of the year to which the records relate

Candidate Data

The later of 7 years from placing a Candidate in a given role with our client, or in the case of contractors, 7 years from the end of the role with our client, or 7 years from the last date on which you have interacted with us.

Candidate Data where we have researched and located Candidate Data without direct interaction

1 year from date of data collection

Personal data processed in relation to a contract between you and us

7 years from either the end of the contract or the date you last used our services, being the length of time following a breach of contract in which you are entitled to make a legal claim.

Personal data held on marketing or business development records

3 years from the last date on which you have interacted with us.

 

5.2 For any category of personal data not specifically defined in this notice, and unless otherwise specified by applicable law, the required retention period for any personal data will be deemed to be 7 years from the date of receipt by us of that data.

5.3 The retention periods stated in this notice can be prolonged or shortened as may be required (for example, in the event that legal proceedings apply to the data or if there is an on-going investigation into the data).

5.4 We review the personal data (and the categories of personal data) we are holding on a regular basis to ensure the data we are holding is still relevant to our business and is accurate. If we discover that certain data we are holding is no longer necessary or accurate, we will take reasonable steps to correct or delete this data as may be required.

5.5 If you wish to request that data we hold about you is amended or deleted, please refer to clause 8 below, which explains your privacy rights.

6. Sharing your information

6.1 We do not disclose any information you provide to any third parties other than as follows:

6.1.1 We will disclose Candidate Data to our clients or potential clients and our clients will be the data controller for that Candidate Data;

6.1.2 We may disclose information to our group companies;

6.1.3 if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation (for example, if required to do so by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime);

6.1.4 in order to enforce any terms and conditions or agreements for our services that may apply;

6.1.5 if we are sub-contracting services to a third party we may provide information to that third party in order to provide the relevant services;

6.1.6 we may transfer your personal information to a third party as part of a sale of some or all of our business and assets to any third party or as part of any business restructuring or reorganisation, but we will take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected;

6.1.7 to protect our rights, property and safety, or the rights, property and safety of our users or any other third parties. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

6.2 Other than as set out above, we shall not disclose any of your personal information unless you give us permission to do so. If we do supply your personal information to a third party we will take steps to ensure that your privacy rights are protected and that third party complies with the terms of this notice.

7. Security

7.1 We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate technical and organisational measures are carried out in order to safeguard the information we collect from you and protect against unlawful access and accidental loss or damage. These measures may include (as necessary):

7.1.1 protecting our servers with software firewalls;

7.1.2 locating our data processing storage facilities in secure locations;

7.1.3 encrypting all data stored on our server with an industry standard encryption method that encrypts the data between your computer and our server so that in the event of your network being insecure no data is passed in a format that could easily be deciphered;

7.1.4 when necessary, disposing of or deleting your data so it is done so securely;

7.1.5 regularly backing up all data we hold.

7.2 We will ensure that our employees are aware of their privacy and data security obligations. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the employees of third parties working on our behalf are aware of their privacy and data security obligations.

7.3 This notice and our procedures for handling personal data will be reviewed as necessary.

7.4 Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the Site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use the strict procedures and security features referred to in this clause to try to prevent unauthorised access.

8. Your privacy rights

8.1 The GDPR gives you the following rights in respect of personal data we hold about you:

The right to be informed

You have a right to know about our personal data protection and data processing activities, details of which are contained in this notice.

The right of access

You can make what is known as a Subject Access Request (“SAR”) to request information about the personal data we hold about you (free of charge, save for reasonable expenses for repeat requests). If you wish to make a SAR please contact us as described below.

The right to correction

Please inform us if information we hold about you is incomplete or inaccurate in any way and we will update our records as soon as possible, but in any event within one month.

We will take reasonable steps to communicate the change to any third parties to whom we have passed the same information.

The right to erasure (the ‘right to be forgotten’)

Please notify us if you no longer wish us to hold personal data about you (although in practice it is not possible to provide our services without holding your personal data and we may need to keep your data in some circumstances). Unless we have reasonable grounds to refuse the erasure, on receipt of such a request we will securely delete the personal data in question within one month. The data may continue to exist in certain backup, but we will take steps to ensure that it will not be accessible.

We will communicate the erasure to any third parties to whom we have passed the same information.

The right to restrict processing

You can request that we no longer process your personal data in certain ways, whilst not requiring us to delete the same data. However again, some of our Services will not be available if processing is restricted.

The right to data portability

You have right to receive copies of personal data we hold about you in a commonly used and easily storable format (please let us know a format which suits you). You may also request that we transfer your personal data directly to a third party (where technically possible).

The right to object

Unless we have overriding legitimate grounds for such processing, you may object to us using your personal data for direct marketing purposes (including profiling) or for research or statistical purposes. Please notify your objection to us and we will gladly cease such processing.

Rights with respect to automated decision-making and profiling

You have a right not to be subject to automated decision-making (including profiling) when those decisions have a legal (or similarly significant effect) on you. You are not entitled to this right when the automated processing is necessary for us to perform our obligations under a contract with you, it is permitted by law, or if you have given your explicit consent.

Right to withdraw consent

If we are relying on your consent as the basis on which we are processing your personal data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Even if you have not expressly given your consent to our processing, you also have the right to object (see above).

 

8.2 All SARs and other requests or notifications in respect of your above rights must be sent to us in writing to Harnham Search and Selection Limited 3rd Floor, Melbury House, 51 Wimbledon Hill Road, Wimbledon SW19 7QW, dataprotection@harnham.com

8.3 We will endeavour to comply with such requests as soon as possible but in any event we will comply within one month of receipt (unless a longer period of time to respond is reasonable by virtue of the complexity or number of your requests).

9. Data Breaches

9.1 If personal data we hold about you is subject to a breach or unauthorised disclosure or access, we will report this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and/or our data protection manager.

9.2 If a breach is likely to result in a risk to your data rights and freedoms, we will notify you as soon as possible.

10. Transferring your information outside Europe

10.1 As part of the services provided to our clients offered to you the information you provide to us may be transferred to, processed and stored at, countries or international organisations outside of the EEA.

10.2 Our client may be based outside of the EEA and we may transfer personal data to our client outside of the EEA. For instance we may transfer Candidate Information to our client outside of the EEA where this is necessary to perform a contract between us and the client and this is in the interests of the Candidate.

10.3 Data may be processed by our group companies based outside of the EEA, but we will ensure that any data accessible by our group companies will be subject to a data transfer agreement or binding corporate rules to maintain your rights as a data subject.

10.4 If you contact us while you are outside the EEA, your information may be transferred outside the EEA in order to communicate with you.

10.5 If we transfer your information outside of the EEA other than in accordance with this clause and the third country or international organisation in question has not been deemed by the EU Commission to have adequate data protection laws, we will provide appropriate safeguards and we will be responsible for ensuring your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this notice.

11. Notification of changes to the contents of this notice

We will post details of any changes to our policy on www.harnham.com to help ensure you are always aware of the information we collect, how we use it, and in what circumstances, if any, we share it with other parties.

12. Contact us

If at any time you would like to contact us with your views about our privacy practices, or with any enquiry or complaint relating to your personal information or how it is handled, you can do so via the following address: Harnham Search and Selection Limited, 3rd Floor, Melbury House, 51 Wimbledon Hill Road, Wimbledon SW19 7QW, dataprotection@harnham.com

If we are unable to resolve any issues you may have or you would like to make a further complaint, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office by visiting http://www.ico.org.uk/ for further assistance.


Harnham blog & news

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Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.

How to Succeed in Self-Service BI

How to Succeed in Self-Service BI

Business Intelligence, along with Business Analytics and Big Data, is one of the terms often associated with decision-making processes in organisations.  However, there is little discussion around the importance of what skills decision makers in your organisation need to use the technology efficiently.  In recent years, the development of user-friendly tools for BI processes, Self-Service BI are increasing. Self-Service BI is an approach to BI where anyone in an organisation can collect and organise data for analysis without the assistance of data specialists. As a result of this, many businesses have invested in comprehensive storage and information processing tools. However, many are beginning to find that they are not able to realise the gains of these investments as they were expecting, may often due to underestimating the difficulties of introducing these systems into the current processes and transforming existing knowledge into actual actions and decisions.  In a worst-case scenario, if left unplanned, Self Service BI can sabotage your successful BI deployment by cutting mass user adoption, impairing query performance, failing to reduce report backlogs, and increasing confusion over the “single truth”. To prevent this from happening, here are our top three tips for ensuring the right implementation of SSBI in your company: UNDERSTAND YOUR USERS’ NEEDS There are three major user areas for analytics tools: strategic, tactical and operational. The strategic users make few, but important decisions. The tactical users make many decisions during a week and need updated information daily. Operational users are often closest to the customer, and this group needs data in its own applications in order to carry out a large number of requests and transactions.  Understanding the different needs of each group is necessary to know what information should be available at each given frequency to help scale the BI solution.  HARNESS THE POWER OF ADVANCED USERS To ensure a successful BI deployment, utilising advanced users is key. Self-service BI is not a one-size fits all approach. Casual users usually don’t have the time to learn the tool and will often reach out to ‘Power Users’ to create what they need. Hence, these users can become the go-to resource for creating ad-hoc views of data. Power Users are the ideal advocates for your business’ self-service BI implementation and should be able to help spur user adoption.  UPGRADE INTERNAL COMPETENCIES  Our final tip for a successful implementation is to communicate the new tool thoroughly to the users.  It is highly unlikely that employees who have not been involved in the actual development project will immediately understand what the tool should be used for, who needs it, and what it should replace. By upgrading internal competencies, you can avoid becoming dependent on external assistance. Establishing a cross-organizational BI competence centre of 5-10 members, who meet regularly to share their experiences will help drives and prioritise future use of the tool. The added benefit of a successful implementation is that it will generate new ideas from users for how the organisation can use data to make better decisions. If you have the skillset to implement Business Intelligence solutions, we may have a role for you.  Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in contact with our team. 

The Mummy Problem

The Mummy Problem

As a manager of a recruitment business, I am often called into meetings with organisations to discuss the challenge of attracting a diverse workforce. The expectation of us as an agency being to ensure we are doing as much as we can to create a diverse shortlist. What strikes me about this is that as a supplier, we will be rewarded for sourcing candidates for these roles, so it is firmly in our interest to make sure we send the best candidate, no matter what sex, nationality or age. Also, positive discrimination (Affirmative action in the USA) is not legally acceptable in the UK, and therefore asking agencies to present diverse shortlists will potentially lead to more discrimination, rather than less. Equally, I think that looking at the supply of candidates to solve the diversity problem is potentially looking in the wrong direction, and instead companies need to look at some of the things that they do, that prevent them from attracting a diverse pool of candidates. There is a common trend in the meetings I attend. We work in a technical market where entry is dominated by men and where many clients struggle to attract women into management and senior management roles, and this is where I think that organisations are causing their own issues – namely the “Mummy problem”. First and foremost, let me clear up any potential for accusations of sexist generalisations – the problem should be considered a “parent problem” rather than a “mummy problem”, but the challenge does seem to disproportionately impact the female workforce more than their male counterparts, so please forgive my use of this phrase. The parent trapThe following example highlights exactly what I mean: Chatting to a friend recently, she asked me for some advice. She was in the advanced stages of an interview process and liked the company. She has one child and was thinking of a second in the future. She had asked the organisation in question to send through their benefits package and had been sent it, but it didn’t include the parental leave policy. Her concern was that if she went back to the company to ask for this then she would immediately damage her candidacy, so she wanted to see if there was a way she could find out what their policy was without asking. My advice was simple – ask them for it. If they’re not willing to share it with you or it does damage your chances of securing the role, then you don’t want to work for them anyway. In this situation, the company in question sent it through to her, and all ended well with a job offer and a new role, but that’s not the issue at hand – the problem is her perception in the first place. How many other female candidates withdraw from processes because they haven’t wanted to ask for a maternity policy? The lack of information available on these policies without asking directly for it seems very poor. Had my friend not had the confidence to ask, the company would have missed out on someone they clearly wanted to hire based on her misconception. Transparency is keyAs far as I can see, the issue isn’t exclusively with externally advertising the policies. In researching this piece, I spoke to a client within a FTSE 50 company. She shared with me that she had been looking to leave that business to secure a role with better maternity benefits as the published policy suggested that she would only be entitled to statutory maternity pay and she was worried that if she asked anyone internally if this was the case, she would then be looked at differently. It was only when she had found a potential role and approached a friend in their HR team about a question on notice period that she had an off-the-record conversation about the fact she was looking and was made aware of the fact that she was actually on an enhanced maternity package. She stayed in the business. So we find ourselves in a situation where (some) female candidates don’t want to ask the question, and female employees don’t either. Either way, this should serve as a wakeup call for many organisations that they clearly must do more to communicate parental leave policies. In my eyes, if these two examples are indicative of the norm, then the solution for companies is simple – it all comes down to communication… Knowledge is powerDetail your parental leave policy in your benefits package. Almost all the packages we see from organisations have a thorough breakdown of all potential benefits, however barely any has any detail regarding parental leave. Companies, of course, want to hire people who will spend many years in the business, but in my eyes, they’re simply not doing enough to show what that would involve. As a new father, I know just how important these conversations of maternity and paternity leave are when considering children, so companies need to consider this when selling roles to potential hires. One thing I have reflected on when writing this – is there a reason for companies to be secretive on parental leave policy? Is there a fear of other organisations learning these benefits? Is the fear that employees will feel hard done by at a junior level when their policy is not enhanced? I haven’t been able to pinpoint the answer, and whilst I have asked a number of people about this, and can’t find a conclusive theme, I would appreciate people’s thoughts.

HARNHAM SPONSOR MEASURECAMP

HARNHAM SPONSOR MEASURECAMP

Harnham – Measurecamp Sponsors 2015 - LondonBy Oscar Rousseau, Recruitment ConsultantWe do our upmost to make work fun. Evidence of this is our continued support of important events in the Data & Analytics industry like Measure Camp – the UK’s largest Web Analytics conference.  In March 2015 our Digital analytics team once again attended – and sponsored - the London conference which was attended by some of the biggest names in web analytics including British Airways and Webtrends. Here, we networked with our existing candidates and had the opportunity to develop new relationships with those whom we had not yet worked with. The conference also provided a great chance to promote our Data & Analytics Salary Guide, buy some drinks for our candidates and gain valuable industry insight. One thought that dominated the conference was this:  how is the media affecting web analytics?  There is a perception within the media that constant data monitoring and user tracking is negative. But, obviously, Web Analysts have their own take on this; their job is to optimise and personalise websites by gaining as much information as possible.The question is a tricky one to answer, but one thing is certain: our reputation is growing. Since our second stint at Measure Camp we’ve helped candidates find great jobs and clients find even better candidates.See all our tweets and photos at https://twitter.com/Analytics_Sam

Real Time Pricing - Coming to a store near you

Real Time Pricing - Coming to a store near you

Real-time pricing: coming to a store near you.Personal shopping is on the brink of taking on a whole new meaning. The advancement of mobile technology and the information held on individuals' shopping histories means product prices could soon adapt as shoppers walk up and down their supermarket aisle.Gone are the days of retailers only being able to actively manage the price of a small number of products once a week. Algorithmic pricing and real-time competitive pricing data allows the changing of product prices on the fly.Amazon is at the forefront of such "real-time pricing" initiatives, which have traditionally been the preserve of online-only retailers.However, brick-and-mortar retailers in the US are showing their UK counterparts the limitless possibilities when it comes to dynamic pricing.Independent consumer electronics retailer Abt Electronics pipes competitive pricing data gathered by Dynamite Data into its point-of-sale systems to allow staff to negotiate prices at the point-of-sale, according to Dynamite Data chief executive Diana Schulz.Meanwhile, another one of Dynamite Data’s unnamed clients uses electronic shelf labels and re-prices every product in their stores each morning based on the prices of its rivals.The ability to change prices dynamically is not simply the preserve of all-powerful brands such as Walmart or Target either.Schulz explained that her company has "seen these types of technologies in both large and mid-sized retailers" despite the "investment in technology and competitive data that is typically needed".Commercial sensitivitiesBack in the UK things are not quite as close to a Minority Report-style personalized shopping experience.Even online-only specialists Shop Direct and Ocado claim they do not engage in real-time pricing, while those that do heavily use real-time data to adapt their prices such as the airline brands are reluctant to discuss the issues.EasyJet declined to comment when contacted because of commercial sensitivities around discussing pricing-related issues.Grocers Tesco, Asda and  Sainsbury’s have all claimed they do not engage in real-time pricing, with the latter two both citing the logistical difficulties in aligning such a strategy across their physical stores and online presence.A Sainsbury’s spokesman claims real-time pricing would result in "chaos", while an Asda spokeswoman saying such a strategy would be a "nightmare".Yet, despite such a negative perspective from UK brands, experts are confident real-time pricing will arrive on these shores sooner or later.Simon Spyer, a partner of VCCP data arm Conduit who began his career working on the Sainsbury's Nectar business, believes the UK will begin to see "more and more" of matching rivals’ prices dynamically, particularly in the grocery and electrical sectors.He explained that real-time pricing is likely to affect "anything where the product is largely commoditized" and in instances where the only way retailers can differentiate that product is by "being really keen on price".Electronic labelsAs it stands the major barrier for implementing "real-time pricing" in-store is changing the prices to match the online price, a hurdle that could be removed by the electronic shelf labels being pioneered in the US.Schemes like Tesco Price Promise and Asda Price Guarantee already use real-time data to 'price match'In the UK various retailers have dipped their toes into the water when it comes to electronic shelf-labeling including a Nisa Local store in Shrewsbury that launched a trial in August last year to carry out automatic pricing and timed promotional updates, alongside QR codes and meal deals.Tesco has also experimented with electronic labeling on various occasions with trials in 2006 and 2008, but the retail giant has yet to combine real-time pricing with its electronic labels.Spyer claims "the capability is definitely there both online and offline – it is whether there is a business rationale for investing in it".However, with major UK supermarkets lacking a pressing reason to implement real-time pricing, that investment may be slow in arriving, argues Kaye Coleman, the founder of price consultancy Ripe Strategic.Coleman explains: "The supermarkets already do price matching – it is not so sophisticated but price matching is already happening".Schemes including the Tesco Price Promise, the Asda Price Guarantee and the Sainsbury’s Brand Match currently use real-time data to "price match" by offering money off the next shop.A cynic could argue the supermarkets should knock money off at the till rather than relying on customers to redeem their vouchers at the next shop, but such an action could hit the companies' bottom line.Mobile sophisticationThe growing sophistication of mobile marketing is also likely to revolutionize the way brands approach their price matching."If you can come up with a value proposition where I check-in [on my mobile] when I walk through the store for the first time and that presents me with a personalized experience based on my purchase history then I could see the benefit for a customer and a retailer," said Spyer.The trick for retailers is persuading customers to adopt such behavior, but the offer of being delivered ever-changing personalized price offers and messages in-store is a compelling proposition.Personalization is already a priority for retailers. Sainsbury’s uses anonymized shopping data gathered from the Nectar card to personalize offers.The levels of personalization offered by Sainsbury’s are increasingly complex. If a female customer buys folic acid they will be sent promotions on other pregnancy-related supplements during the pregnancy period and offers on nappies further down the line.UK retailers are sure to keep a close eye on developments over the Atlantic, with Schulz claiming she knows of clients that are piloting technologies that enable in-store personalized discounts.The challenges on the high-street mean there will inevitably be more casualties, but real-time pricing does not have to be the sole preserve of online-only retailers.Innovative ways of manipulating real-time data could be the shot in the arm the high-street retail industry so desperately needs.This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.ukClick here for the article on the web.

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