If you’re a retailer selling brands that are widely available, you’ve probably felt the bite of price comparisons. With all the competition out there, including from site like Amazon, consumers are spoilt for choice and will go where the price is lowest, all else equal. How do you counter this? Today we have Burc Tanir from Prisync to explain how you can track competitor pricing automatically and react in real-time.
You are competing in a market of 12 million players!
The global eCommerce market now contains more than 12 million online stores and this number is still growing at a rapid clip. Along with the developed markets, emerging markets from all around the world are also paving their way towards building a solid eCommerce infrastructure.
As a market grows, and when the early returns of first-mover advantages are exhausted, the competition starts to build up. Business must now fight to gain an edge in the market, which contains well-connected and well-informed consumers.
ECommerce markets all around the world are no exception to this basic fact and, as they grew, eCommerce companies of all sizes felt the need to remain one step ahead of competition.
in eCommerce, there are several competitive forces that come into play, and in this article we’ll be going through one of the most important and effective forces – Pricing. There are already several pricing strategies with proven ROI in the market. However, all these strategies should go hand in hand with proper competitive intelligence.
The Rise Of Price Competition
Due to the rapid penetration of comparison shopping websites, consumers can now find the best deals on the products they want with just a few clicks. This has increased price dynamism and competition in the market, and changed the way consumers buy their products.
However, most eCommerce companies have failed to adapt to this change. Typically, businesses would have to manually track price changes in the market but this is both frustrating and time-consuming.
In order to solve this problem, we now have a new breed of software companies providing fully automated competitor price tracking solutions, like Prisync. These solutions help eCommerce businesses track competitor prices automatically, instead of relying on resource-intensive manual operations.
Best Practices For Competitor Price Tracking
Just like any other business strategy, there are best practices for tracking your competitors’ prices.
Product Assortment And Competitor Selection
First of all, you can’t track everything. You need to prioritize certain products to benchmark against your competitors. There is always a product segment which carries the big chunk of your sales, so those should be prioritized. For eCommerce companies already utilizing price tracking software, the ones who focused on their top 500-5000 SKUs, even if they carry over 100,000 products, gained the biggest benefits.
Similarly, the selection of competitors is also important. This requires some analytical market research, which should take into account competitive forces like SEO rankings, brand recognition, and so on.
As soon as the product assortment and competitor lists are generated, you need to find products listed on your competitors’ stores that match your own portfolio. This needs to be done just once, and the product links found can be batch imported into the database of the price tracking solution you use. Some solutions come with product matching algorithms to help you with this. Once your list is generated, things get automated at the back-end.
Price Updates And Stock Availabilities
After mapping all products for each competitor, the price monitoring begins. Tracking only the price information can be sometimes misleading because some retailers list products that are actually out of stock with a price tag on. Therefore, it’s important to take into account product availability along with the prices.
Another major factor affecting the usefulness of automated price tracking is the frequency of data retrieval. This depends on the market you are in. If prices change on a daily basis, you’ll need to track it very frequently.
Notifications, Alerts and Actionable reports
Obviously, for price tracking to be useful, you’ll need to set up notifications or alerts whenever there’s a change in price on a competitor’s site. You can set up email alerts for you or your team whenever your solution detects a price change. The moment a new alert comes in, you need to act upon it. This could mean offering a discount on your product to match the competitor’s price.
There is also another layer of price monitoring and that’s spotting historical trends. This helps you analyze your competitors’ overall pricing strategies for certain brands or categories. In order to do that, the competitor price tracking tool you pick should be able to create historical data in charts, similar to a conventional analytics tool like Google Analytics.
If you want to do a deeper analysis, you can calculate the average price for each product in the market and then compare that to the relative position of each competitor. You can repeat the process for brands and categories.
Integrations and APIs
If you want to take things one step ahead and get more out of your competitor pricing data, you can do that with your solution’s API. For example, if you have a price match guarantee on your site, you can create a custom function to automatically update your prices to match the market price available on the market. You could also pass your data on to other apps using Zapier or Segment.io.
Don’t Get Beaten On Price
To conclude, competitor price tracking is no longer a hassle for Commerce companies or let’s say it should not be. With automated solutions like Prisync, you can save tons of man-hours and ensure that consumers don’t leave your store for lower prices on a competitor’s site.