Solutions for... : Brands / Manufacturers

Market price watch (controlling the uncontrollable)

Hard to foresee: apart from huge democratization of the market, eCommerce has brought another unexpected consequence: emerging players on the market, with very little expertise to offer, can fight with only one weapon: price (or put in other words: low profit margin).

This brings yet another headache to well established brands - such new players on the market can hugely undermine brand's value and market position that has been carefully built in past years / decades.

Of course, we all know that in most countries price fixing is against the law. However, here we're not talking about raw price fixing: we're talking about gathering pricing data, careful pricing data analysis and establishing appropriate business relationships with various market players - based on the pricing data analysis.

If you're such a brand / manufacturer, Price2Spy will help you with this difficult task. What it will do for you is

  • Help you identify who your main online retailers are, see the differences in assortment and market positioning;
  • Alert you when retailers change their product price, or when they run out of stock;
  • Understand pricing strategies of each individual retailer - who wants to have the lowest price on the market (no matter the cost), or who's using more subtle methods (for example - relying on professional expertise);
  • Analyze which retailer (and exactly when!) started pricing chain-reaction (that was followed by other sites);
  • Compare your prices to prices of similar models offered by your competitors
  • Indicate MAP / MSRP pricing violations and thus help you enforce MAP policy
  • Help you monitor how quick your retailers are when it comes to adding your new products to their offer
  • Understand how your etailers are positioning your brand against other brands they offer

The road to effective market price watch

It's not just about raw pricing data we collect for you. There's so much more than that - Price2Spy aims to be integral part of your organization when it comes to ensuring that your brand's market pricing stays consistent.

In order to do so, we need to carefully consider the following questions:

  • Which sites to monitor?

    • Some of our clients go for the broadest possible range (trying to monitor every single retailer on the market). This may be very difficult to achieve, especially with ever-growing number of emerging retail sites.
    • Others focus just on a couple of key market players - known to be market leaders
    • Hybrid scenarios are possible as well - monitoring broad for certain brands / staying focused on key sites for others
    • Do we monitor just sites from certain market / country, or do we go international?
    • Do we monitor individual competitor sites, or do we go for Marketplaces (Amazon / Ebay etc)? And how about monitoring prices on price-comparison sites (like GoogleShopping or Idealo.de)?

  • How many products to monitor?

    • Do we go for the whole product range? Yes, this is an ultimate solution, but potentially means significant costs
    • Or, shall we stay focused on key products for each category / brand, and introduce new ones only after they achieve significant market share?

  • Product matching - how will you match your products against your competitors?

    • Since it comes as part of your account setup, this is a very important decision, which heavily depends on the quality of your data and the nature of your industry
    • In essence, the following methods can be considered

      • Automated (we call this Automatch)

        • applicable if your products have unique identifiers (EAN, MPN), which can be searched on competitor sites. Most brands / manufacturers can provide such product details - however, not all retail sites use these when displaying product data.
        • this method is cost effective in case of many products (1000 and more) to be monitored on not that many sites

      • Manual - always applicable

        • can be done by your team, or by us (as an additional one-off service)
        • advisable for a smaller number of products (less than 1000) to be monitored on broad range of sites

  • How often to perform price checks

    • In most cases once per day is good enough. Or, in industries where price changes to do not happen that often once per week is also an option
    • However, there are extremely competitive industries (like music industry, for example), with dynamic pricing in place, where several price checks per day is a must (Price2Spy can perform up to 8 price checks per day)

  • Detecting MAP (Minimal Advertising Price) violations

    • Price2Spy helps you detect and document such violation cases.
    • Make sure your retailers know that you have reliable way of monitoring their pricing policies. Prevention is usually the most efficient of all medicines :-)

  • What if retailers do not want their prices to be monitored

    • In certain industries (most often in music industry) we encounter sites which do their best to prevent tools like Price2Spy access their prices. What they typically do is engage significant technical resources to block our traffic
    • Price2Spy is very savvy with such problems, as we solve them on a daily basis. We have mastered a number of techniques to avoid such bans
    • When no standard avoiding techniques work, we go for Stealth IP traffic

  • Splitting the load

    • In large organizations, different people / departments are in charge of different sets of products / brands
    • Therefore, we need to carefully analyze if whole team will receive all pricing alerts and reports, or we're going to split the load?
    • Splitting can be done either per product category, brand, supplier, or country

  • Multi-currency

    • In certain cases our clients want to see original prices, in currencies shown on individual retail sites
    • However, for comparison purposes it often makes sense to apply exchange rate and show all prices in same currency
    • Price2Spy supports both methods, it's up to you choose what suits you best

Price2Spy in your day-to-day market watch operations

With so many available features, it can get hard to make the most of Price2Spy. On the other hand, Price2Spy is built in a modular way, so each client can define their own own best way to use it.

Here are some main suggestions, based on experience of nearly 100 brands that use Price2Spy to keep an eye on their market presence:

  • Use price change alert emails for quick insights. Make sure you react fast, especially when it comes to MAP violations! However, if you're dealing with 10 000s of SKUs this may get inefficient;
  • Define automated Price Matrix report, to be delivered in your mailbox at the time of your choice. Consider having full Price Matrix, or the one containing products with recent price changes (or even one step further - just the products / sites violating the MAP price)
  • Identify most important categories / retail sites / markets. Based on this, define various widgets (pricing dynamics, stock dynamics, products violating MAP, product history chart) to be placed on Pricing Dashboard. This can save a lot of time when analyzing recent market developments!
  • Analyze historical price charts for key products in order to identify which retailer has fired the first bullet in the pricing war;
  • Use Price Change Dynamics chart to identify key moments (for example, when a retailer made decision to go extremely cheap for a range of products, resulting in many products getting below MAP price). Use this to rethink the relationship with such a retailer.
  • Use Price Matrix (segmented per brand or category) to quickly identify sites positioned on lower / upper end of the market;