Doubtless, one of the most important thing in traditional commerce is the location of your store. Why is that? Well, because if you aren’t located near your target group, you won’t sell enough products. But, when it comes to e-commerce, the story is different. In this case, the location doesn’t matter, because your store (probably) doesn’t physically exist and your customers are all around the world. Which also means that you aren’t just fighting against your local competitors, but everyone offering the same product to the same target group on the Internet. When you take all of this into the account, the most important factor in online shopping is the prices of your products.
Since the price is the most important thing in e-commerce, one of the most crucial activities is price monitoring. Simply said, price monitoring (price intelligence) is knowing your competitors’ prices and how your prices fit within your industry. Monitoring your competitors allows you to be proactive, and not just sit around and wait for your competitors to make the next move.
If you aren’t sure if you should be doing this, I will give you three good reasons to do it:
The first one is the competitors’ behavior. You should monitor your competitors to see what they are doing. Their behavior is constantly changing and it’s getting more aggressive because the stakes are too high, those being customers and profit. If you aren’t tracking them, you risk to stay behind it the game and lose customers, market share and in the end money.
The second one is consumer price sensitivity. Different target groups have different paying ability, which means some of them are more sensitive to price changes than others. Let’s say that you are selling luxury good. If your price goes up customer can perceive it as even more luxuries and buy it regardless of the change. But if you are selling something that is bought by a large number of people and is essential for their lives, the situation wouldn’t be the same. For example, you are selling milk and decide to increase its price. Many costumers will leave for cheaper brand, so you need to be very careful.
The last one is price transparency. Don’t think that transparency is the least important one because it’s mentioned last. Generally speaking, it is very important in today’s business world. Price monitoring wouldn’t even be possible if the prices weren’t public online. Also, customers prefer when companies are transparent about their prices and their way of doing business. It provides a better shopping experience for them and builds trust between them and a company. Just like it’s easy for you to get information on your competitors on the Internet, it’s easy for customers too. And if you don’t provide correct pricing information to customers, they will leave you for a competitor that is more transparent.
Price monitoring is an important task. If you have one competitor and want to track only a couple of products, it can be done manually and internally. But most of the time, that isn’t the case. You need to monitor many products on multiple websites. It takes time and resources and makes no sense for someone to do it manually. Because of this e-commerce professionals started using price monitoring tools, such as Price2Spy. The tool provides price monitoring, price comparison and repricing services for all industries around the world.
How does it function?
The first decision you have to make is which of the products you want to monitor. Next, you need to know who your competitors are and which of their products match yours. In case you aren’t sure if the products match, our price monitoring tool Price2Spy can do it for you. Product matching can be done manually or be automated. If you don’t know how product matching works, here is our previous blog post about it. It is crucial to obtain accurate and up-to-date information from the price monitoring tool, to be able to make important business decisions. Being a very reliable and flexible tool, Price2Spy (currently trusted by more than 600 companies, worldwide) constantly monitors websites and alerts you as soon as it detects that a price (or item availability) has changed. Such handy data and functionality will help you to make right business decision at any given moment.
Price monitoring is nothing new. Retailers have been doing it for years and years manually. The need for tracking your competitor’s behavior hasn’t changed, only the conditions and the frequency of it did. It needs to be performed regularly, in some industries even couple of times a day. Doing it manually is practically impossible unless you have a team of 30 plus people that is only and constantly checking if anything has changed on competitors’ websites. And even then, the chances are huge that the data you are getting isn’t up-to-date because certain competitor changed their prices only seconds after you checked it. This is why price monitoring tools are the right fit for the job because they continuously checking them. Nothing can get past them.
How long have you been monitoring your competitors? And if not, why aren’t you doing it. Comment down below.