Industries : Printers, Office supplies

Printers, Office supplies - making your way amongst 10 000s of SKUs

Ink cartridges, office supplies: this industry, characterized by thousands of SKUs, sometimes very similar and interchangeable parts (for example, an ink cartridge can come from the original manufacturer, or from a replacement) is a very good example of why efficient price monitoring is considered to be one of key ingredients to business success.

Furthermore, many of our clients use Price2Spy not to monitor their competitors, but actually to monitor prices offered by their suppliers instead - so they can optimize their supply costs. This brings the need to monitor B2B sites (requiring login / password to access the product pricing). Price2Spy is one of very few services in the market able to handle such sites.

Given the fact that we're speaking of 10 000s of different SKUs, Price2Spy has performed several site crawl projects in order to help its clients get all the products from their suppliers sites.

Finally, dealing with so many different SKUs is much more comfortable in your own software, and that's why the majority of our clients from this industry have implemented the Price2Spy API interface - which enables them to get fresh, raw pricing data directly in their own database.

Price2Spy will enable you to easily identify your competitors' pricing policies (which probably differ from one brand to another, from one product category to another), and react to important price change alerts (for example, when a competitor lowers the price below a certain threshold). In case MAP-enforcement is needed, Price2Spy will indicate the MAP-pricing violations.

Best price monitoring practices

Here is how Price2Spy can help product managers from this industry

  • The number of competitors / suppliers monitored is usually not that big: 3 - 10;
  • Amazon / Ebay stores are usually not monitored, due to lesser reliability of model part numbers advertized there
  • Number of individual products (SKUs) monitored is typically between 10 000 and 50 000 (usually coming as a result of previously performed site crawl)
  • Price change alerts are usually used only for key product categories (other products get covered by Automated Price matrix report - preferably showing only the products with price changes within last 24 hrs);
  • The client usually does most of the analytics - since they get raw pricing data into their own database, where they build their own reports
  • Use Pricing Strategy module to identify products with price increase / drop opportunities - it will result in a clear and interactive list of products and suggested pricing changes which will hopefully result in turnover / profit increase
  • Most recent price changes, as well as stock movements (per brand or category) can be spotted via Pricing Dashboard; the same goes for the share of cheapest products per site;
  • MAP (minimal advertised price) violation module is heavily used in order to spot competitors who are playing against the rules. This particularly counts for the sites who try to hide such MAP violations by showing the price only after the product is added to the shopping cart (which Price2Spy can handle as well)