Are price monitoring tools compromising your data privacy?

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Or, in other words: when using a price monitoring tool, will someone else be able to make use of your data?

An example of a data privacy breach

Since we at Price2Spy are always trying to be on top of all the changes happening in the industry, we encourage our clients to share the experiences they might have had with previous vendors.

Unfortunately, recently we have been told a story which we find very alarming.

Our client, while using services of a different vendor, has noticed that matches from his account (let’s call it Account A) have been used and offered to Account B (not related to Account A, except that they share a competitive landscape) as well. This is not fair to Account A (as someone else is making use of what he has paid for), while Account B can also expect that his matches will be shared with Account C, and so on.

Our client felt tricked and very soon afterward he left that vendor.

Is your data safe with Price2Spy?

is your data safe with price2spy

Someone might think that this is great news – we discovered something dodgy about our competitors, and we can use it to our advantage. That’s true, but you’re missing the moral of the story. This is exactly what makes customers distrustful not only to our competitors, but also to us, and the whole industry in general.

With Price2Spy no data is shared between 2 accounts, although we have many clients with overlapping products, from the same industry, monitoring the same competitors (often monitoring each other).

No price checks are shared – the main reason for this is data security and privacy, but there are also additional reasons:

  • each client wants his own price check timing; 
  • each client might have specifics (how he treats product availability, used products, ZIP codes for delivery, etc.)

No matches are shared between accounts – whether they are done automatically or manually. Not only would it violate data privacy, but it would also be very unfair – that piece of data paid by Client A would get used by Client B.

Of course, Price2Spy will from time to time need some very sensitive data from you (like repricing rules, order levels, stock status) – in order to make your Repricing rules more efficient. But, as you can see, you can rest assured that this data is in safe hands.

We have noticed that several of our competitors are compromising data security (and privacy)  in order to save price check resources, and offer more matches. We consider this an unacceptable business practice and will never be a part of this.

How price monitoring tools use their clients’ data?

When deciding to use the services of a price monitoring tool, you’ll be required to provide a few things. Usually, those are the competitors you would like to follow, how many products you want to follow, and on how many websites. What is important to know is that these kinds of tools need to provide a unique setup for each and every client. That means that clients need to have their own separate accounts where no one besides them and their account managers won’t have access.  

Therefore, their data should be completely confidential, and not used for any other purposes or shared with any other internal or external parties. 

Sometimes, when industries and products are very popular, it’s possible that different clients want to monitor the same products or websites. Yes, you are thinking correctly – in that case, different clients are looking for the same information which further means that price monitoring tools could save time and resources. But no, this is not allowed because it would mean using the information obtained for one client and sending it to another. It’s completely against every rule and regulation. 

Is everyone following these rules and how to know if your data is really safe?

Data privacy in general

The risk of data breaching is an ongoing debate. With so many scandals around this topic, it’s completely understandable why people/companies are hesitant when it comes to sharing their data online. 

data privacy

Data privacy comes as a touchy subject in the eCommerce industry as well. In order for price monitoring tools to do their work, they need to have access to the clients’ data. Hence, clients are usually faced with the dilemma of how to know when (and if) they are sharing too much data and will it be used for the right reasons. 

We’re here to shed some light on this topic.

Data security – inside vs. outside security threats 

The security threats that a company can be faced with are mainly divided into inside and outside threats. Insider threats are more difficult to foresee and prevent. One of the main reasons why insider threats are more difficult to prevent is the fact that they are usually done unintentionally. Both types can cost companies millions, but the public is more familiar with the outside threats since they usually make the news. 

data protection

However, our focus here will be on outside threats, especially on sharing data in the eCommerce sector. That usually means sharing data with price monitoring tools. Even though price monitoring tools can help you to keep an eye on the competition, many businesses are still reluctant to use them. Besides the fact that companies tend to question the legal aspects of such tools, their next worry is related to data security. No one is thrilled to share private data with some third party, so the investigation is the crucial part. You need to be well-informed in order to make the best and the safest decision. 

Let’s see how price monitoring tools make use of their client’s data. By understanding this, you’ll be able to evaluate whether someone is trying to scam you by wanting more information than necessary. 

Conclusion

Data security is a topic that by no means should be taken lightly. In order to reach some short-term goals such as saving time and resources, price monitoring tools could make a long-term mistake – lose their clients’ trust. Not only will this result in the clients’ leave, but it will affect their reputation permanently. Once the word of someone being untrustworthy starts spreading around, there’s no coming back. 

We in Price2Spy take our clients’ trust very seriously. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have clients who have stayed with us for a couple of years now. Believe us, honesty and transparency are the keys!

Another way of gaining our future clients’ trust is by offering a 30-day free trial period. If you’re still having second thoughts, there’s no better way to solve them, than by testing everything out with no obligations. 

What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you ever faced any problems regarding data security? Feel free to write to us in the comments!

 

About Price2Spy

 

Price2Spy is an online service that provides comprehensive and suitable solutions for eCommerce professionals including; retailers, brands/manufacturers and distributors in order to stay profitable in the current competitive market conditions. If you want to learn more about what Price2Spy can do for your business, please get a personalized free demo or start your 30-day free trial.

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About Price2Spy Blog

This blog is a place for eCommerce professionals to discuss ideas, methodologies and strategies to compete more effectively in the ever more tightening world of online retail. We explore things like competitive price monitoring, competitor business intelligence, competitive pricing, and counter-intelligence in general.

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