Automated repricing: Pros and cons

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auto-repricing

Automated repricing is a very appealing feature to many online merchants. It is attractive and popular among retailers because it seemingly makes price change process fully automated. However, behind that appeal there is a big controversy, and we’ll try to shed some light on it with this post.

Lets start with some PROs of automated repricing

  • It can be a real time saver – you do not have to go and manually reprice the products based on the pricing data you get from a price monitoring tool.
  • When you are monitoring dozens of thousands of products, automated repricing can actually be the only option – nowadays retailers often find themselves constantly short on time and resources for activities such as manual repricing.
  • Finally, if you have a very simple set of repricing rules (e.g if you want to be the cheapest of all competitors, or if you want to be the cheapest than a certain competitor by X % and so on…) it usually doesn’t take much time implement such rules and and see them in action.

Sounds good in theory, doesn’t it? However, in real life we have experienced some real CONs:

  • Not safe – if your rules are not strict enough (do not take into account your purchase price or desired profit margin) you can suffer a great financial loss
  • Unreliable – price monitoring tools are not intelligent human beings and even if you set strict, well defined rules, it sometimes might not be a guarantee that you will get what you are looking for. See an example of a UK company that offered fully automated repricing on Amazon.co.uk and the mess they created due to an error in their software: goo.gl/tazccy (competitor prices undercutting each other in spiral, until they reached 0.01 GBP – which caused financial havoc for e-merchants who were using their services)

Even though we have listed more pros than cons, it is obvious that we’re advocating for non-automated / semi-automated repricing. Due to the above-mentioned mishap, we consider fully automated repricing to be a significant risk and we are approaching this feature with great caution in order to give our clients maximum security. This is the reason why we will be introducing only repricing solutions that will require the user’s approval. This will completely remove any chance of error and unwanted price changes, while still saving a lot of time for our clients! It might take up a bit more of your time, but also saves a lot of money that you risk with automated repricing. One extra approval-click – better safe than sorry…

We are working on enabling this feature, and we expect it to be available in approximately 6 months. 

In the meantime, for useful price adjustment suggestions you can use our Pricing strategies.

Price2Spy is constantly evolving and our clients definitely have some new things to look forward to in the future!

P.S. Of course, we’d love to hear your experiences on automated repricing – please share them with us – info@price2spy.com

 

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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