There are a wide variety of reasons why business leaders often fail to collect competitor price data the right way. For example, they may be using outdated software, they may be neglecting this area of their business, they may be relying too heavily on manual price collection, etc.
In this article, we will break down the key factors for selecting a successful web scraping tool for competitor price data collection. Your business can use these factors to streamline its competitor price data collection process.
In order for your company to efficiently collect price data from your competitors, the tool and/or strategy that you are using to do so must be capable of processing large quantities of data extremely quickly. Speed is crucial for price data collection because price data is always changing. So, if your company cannot collect the data fast enough, then it will be irrelevant by the time that you go to use it for your own pricing strategies.
In order to price your company’s products competitively, you need to know exactly what prices your competitors are charging on a second-by-second basis. If you don’t, then you can find yourself accidentally overpricing and losing customers to other businesses who have lowered their prices. A good competitor price data collection tool can help you to prevent this problem.
As long as you can track the prices of your competitors’ goods and/or services on a moment-by-moment basis, you can make any changes that you need to make to your prices in real-time. Such changes can be extremely consequential, especially while short-term or seasonal ecommerce trends are taking place.
Whatever price data collection tool that you use, it has to be incredibly accurate. If it isn’t then you could find yourself trying to analyze and use price data that is irrelevant or just simply wrong. Only highly accurate price data collection tools will be able to give your company the information that it needs to implement effective pricing strategies.
Unfortunately, many price data collection software programs and tools do not provide data that is highly accurate on a moment-by-moment basis. But, if your company wants to keep its pricing strategies optimized, then you will need to use a price data collection tool that only provides incredibly accurate pricing information.
Being able to see and understand competitor pricing data from all around the world that is highly accurate is a tremendous business advantage. It eliminates the need to guess the prices you need to set to be competitive, and it eliminates the need to try to collect data manually. Accurate real-time competitor pricing data is a game-changer for many businesses, and it allows them to make much more informed pricing decisions.
Ease of use is an often-overlooked factor for successful competitor price data collection. However, it is extremely important. This is because any company that wants to use a tool to collect competitor price data is going to have to use it on a regular basis and to train employees to use it.
So, if there is a steep learning curve to use the competitor price data collection tool, or if it is stressful or difficult to use, then you are going to run into a lot of problems. Not only will it take you longer to learn how to use it yourself and to teach your employees, but if the tool is not easy enough to use, you will have to deal with a large amount of hassle and stress when using it on an ongoing basis.
For this reason, it is far easier to simply only use a tool that is highly intuitive and very easy to use. The easier that the tool is to use, the easier it will be to be able to effectively extract competitor pricing information from it that you can use on an ongoing basis.
If your company operates in a niche where you have many competitors around the world, then you need the competitor price data collection tool that you use to be able to process incredibly high volumes of data. Ideally, your competitor price data collection tool should be able to process thousands of pages per hour and save millions of records per day.
Your tool will only be on the cutting-edge of technology if it is capable of processing this amount of data on a daily basis. If it isn’t, then you are not using a tool that will get you the best results, and it might be time for you to upgrade if you want to keep up with your competitors. A failure to keep up with your competitors can unfortunately lead to a loss of market share. This is undesirable for any business.
It is not enough to be able to simply collect competitor price data. In fact, if your company is going to be able to use the competitor price data effectively, then the tool that you use will have to be able to aggregate the data for you as well. If your data collection tool does not aggregate the data in an effective way, then you will have to manually go through all of the data to try to make sense of it. This can take an extremely large amount of time, not to mention it is very tedious.
It is far better to simply only use a competitor price data collection tool that aggregates all of your data in an extremely organized and efficient way. Your data collection tool should be able to present the customized data to you in a way that it is extremely easy to read and understand. The tool should be able to scan the deep web to find all of the relevant data, sort that data in the right ways, match the data to your specific needs, and then integrate it into your system in the perfect way.
If your tool can aggregate data in this way, then it should be more than sufficient to get the job done well for you on a long-term basis. There is no substitute for a tool that can aggregate vast quantities of competitor pricing data into easily readable and understandable content.
In the modern economy, it is absolutely crucial to fully understand the pricing data of your competitors. Unfortunately, trying to collect this data manually can take ages. For this reason, businesses who want to access this data regularly without having to waste copious amounts of time collecting it need a software program they can rely on to help them collect, interpret, analyze, and present all of the key data.
There are a number of software programs available on the market that do this. However, many of them do not perform properly, or lack certain features or qualities that would otherwise make them great options. If your company does not currently have a tool in place for collecting competitor price data accurately and consistently, then you should strongly consider acquiring a good tool for this. You will quickly gain the benefits of using an efficient and powerful solution for your competitor price data collection needs.The post How To Select A Web Scraping Tool For Competitor Price Data Collection first appeared on Ficstar Competitor Price Data Collection Web Scraping Service.]]>
Were you aware that, on average, a 1% increase in price equates to a gain of 8.7% in operating profit?
Isn’t it surprising that a minimal percentage increase or decrease in price can have a major impact on profitability? This just shows how important pricing can be to the bottom line of your business.
At this point, you’re probably wondering which pricing strategies can help you gain a profit. Should you charge the average pricing in your industry? Or should you price your products well above the market? We would recommend pricing that is based on competition, commonly known as competition-based pricing.
In this pricing model, the prices of rivals are used as a reference point. Products are priced at, lower than, or above competitive prices, instead of pricing them based on demand from customers or the cost of production. It is also known as a competitive pricing strategy, or competitor-based pricing.
One of the most important aspects of competition-based pricing is competitor price monitoring. Monitoring your competition is one of the important aspects to consider if you want to be successful in the marketplace today. We are no longer living in times where the greatest challenge for businesses was the upfront startup costs.
Establishing your company in a prime location in the past meant you had little competition, if not complete hegemony. However, we see less of this today as the internet is increasingly narrowing the disparities between marketplaces and businesses that utilize e-commerce.
Currently, the e-commerce landscape is incredibly competitive. To deal with this reality, many retailers employ a pricing manager and use various tactics to counteract the actions of their competitors in a bid to get ahead of them in the market.
One of these tactics, which also happens to be the main driver of a buying decision, is pricing. It has become almost critical for e-commerce businesses to utilize competitor pricing analysis to extract valuable competitor pricing data and price their products accordingly.
A business determines the optimal price point based on the in-house prices, market demand, and what their rivals are paying for to increase profitability. If the competitor price monitoring is used, it can earn you that exact amount with specific e-commerce initiatives.
But why is tracking or analysis competitor pricing so important? Why not focus more on reducing the internal costs? The reality is that price tags have a far more influential role in the buying decisions of consumers in online shopping than conventional shopping.
In addition to pricing products optimally, competitor pricing analysis is needed by e-commerce businesses for the following:
Forrester Consulting finds that 81% of purchasers compare different stores’ offers in search of a better deal. Retailers capable of collecting and analyzing market data, mapping their status against competitors and offering optimum prices are the businesses that first capture the attention of those buyers.
Competitive pricing is the practice that helps companies gain new clients by optimizing prices utilizing product and pricing data from competitors. An effective pricing strategy can greatly increase sales, boost cooperation with vendors and enhance profitability.
In short, e-commerce businesses need to monitor their competitors for pricing if they want to gain a competitive advantage based on pricing and be successful in their marketplace. The importance of a competitive pricing strategy in pricing products and/or services and the steps for obtaining high quality competitor price data are detailed in the following chapters.
Also known as a competition-based strategy, a competitive pricing strategy is mostly used by companies selling similar goods. In this scenario, it is often the case of one company or a collection of companies with the most sales or customers in a marketplace or niche being used as a benchmark for pricing products and/or services.
For example, e-commerce businesses often use this approach as potential customers often determine the cost of moving between each rival (e.g., cheaper pricing versus greater quality). The products are quite similar in design and purpose.
With a competitive pricing strategy, companies have three choices for pricing their products:
So how does this pricing strategy benefit businesses and their sales teams?
If a business prices its products below rivals, it would automatically become a low-cost leader in its market. One the other hand, the sales teams of the business will be able to use the low price to communicate the value of the products and attract new customers. An important point to consider here is that companies often reduce manufacturing and operational expenses before lowering their prices to ensure their profitability does not drop too much.
When a company approaches the market price, it needs to differentiate itself from the market. This is often done using innovative marketing and sales/promotional strategies which help generate a unique value proposition (UVP).
A business choosing to price its products/services above competitor prices must justify the higher price. This can be achieved by providing additional functionality, extra advantages (e.g. world class customer service), or by manufacturing products of greater quality than rivals.
Whether you choose to set prices lower than, at par with, or higher than the pricing of competitors, a competitive pricing strategy will allow you to stay ahead of the competition and keep prices flexible as compared to your competitors in the market.
Competitive price monitoring is a crucial part of developing a successful price strategy. Since the competition is fierce today, tracking and monitoring the prices, promotional efforts and offers of your competition in real-time are critical. This will enable you to measure your strategies against those of your competitors, customer responsiveness and standing in the market.
So, how should you perform competitor pricing analysis to obtain high quality competitor price data? The steps for this are detailed below.
The step is categorizing competitors based on a variety of factors, which include target market and quality of products, but are not limited to them. The three main categories that you can divide the market competition into include:
Primary—Direct competitors who cater to the same segment of buyers.
Secondary—Competitors focusing on upscale / downscale variants of your assortment
Tertiary—Businesses that sell items indirectly related to yours.
By categorizing competitors, you can save time in competitor pricing analysis and focus your attention on competition that actually matters.
Do you need to monitor every business in your market or niche? Considering that your market could have hundreds, if not thousands, of players vying for the customers’ attention, this could be virtually impossible.
So, who do you monitor then? You need to monitor your closest competitor or those directly affecting your sales. Take as much time as you need to find these competitors so that you don’t waste time monitoring competition that has little to no effect on your sales. Contrary to what you think, identifying your closest competitors isn’t too difficult. You can find competitors affecting sales by doing the following three things:
It is important to visualize your price positioning. This means creating a price positioning graph of your products, segments, major retailers, and the entire range of your online store because of identical competitor parameters.
By doing this, you’ll know exactly which of your competitors will impact your sales, and how strongly, over a certain period of time. You can use the Price Index to get a clear picture of the market situation, as well as your positioning towards competitors, at a particular time.
Identify essential competitive data parameters that you need for collecting and assessing the pricing process of your closest competitors. Some of the most important competitive data parameters for pricing analysis include:
Price Index—This shows the position of a retailer in the marketplace over a certain period of time for a particular product or product category
Promotional Activity of Competitors—According to Forrester, one third of customers look for discounts before buying a product. This means that continuous monitoring of certain promotions and sales within the industry is necessary in order to maximize promotions.
Availability of Product –By tracking competitors and their inventory stocks, you can modify your pricing at a particular point in time, based on product supply or supply of a category of products on the market.
While this list is not only final, the aforementioned data is the most important to collect and analyze when using a competitive pricing strategy to price products and/or services.
You should track your competitors and their online channels such as official websites and social media pages to obtain a better knowledge of the market and its impact on pricing. The following are a few important things that you need to look into:
Tracking the above is important because it can help you determine what attracts consumers to the offerings of your competitors, which in turn will help you to price products optimally.
Monitoring trends daily and over time will allow you to get a better perspective of the pricing policies and strategies of your specific competitors. You should set automatic timetables to track several retailers simultaneously. Additionally, you should look to retrieve more than just the price points. Search for data mentioned in step number 5.
You may also want to track the availability of stocks, look at historical patterns and averages, and establish alerts to warn you if there is a shift. Pull everything you need to price products optimally and thrive.
The various kinds of summer clearances, Christmas offers, and weekend sales are all major ecommerce trends that you need to keep an eye on. Timing has a huge influence on the trends in online purchases and ecommerce. Therefore, your product pricing needs to be a continuous process which can be adjusted according to market dynamics and current situations.
If you have enough spare time and do not mind crunching numbers after numbers, then you’re free to perform your competitor price monitoring manually. For the rest of you, we recommend getting automated support for this activity.
Why do you recommend using software for competitor price monitoring and price analysis? Competitive price monitoring software eliminates human error, ensures time savings, and provides alerts in real-time. Not only does the software allow you to monitor your competitors, but it also allows you to know the changes in price of their products.
Manually monitoring pricing increased your chances of noticing price changes late, or not at all in some situations, whereas a competitive price monitoring software system has to face no such problems.
Do you still wish to track your competitor’s price manually? There is no need to waste precious time on manual data collection. Automate the process so that you can focus on your core competency to help your business reach its maximum potential.The post How to Get High Quality Competitor Price Data first appeared on Ficstar Competitor Price Data Collection Web Scraping Service.]]>
With price comparisons being so easy now, most people are going to take at least a little bit of time to look at two or three different companies’ prices to get the best one. Faced with this ease of price comparison, every business has to ask itself: how do my prices stack up against my competition?
The best way to find the answer to this question is competitor price monitoring.
It’s crucial to collect pricing information from your competitors so you can get a better overall view of your market and reevaluate your pricing strategy when necessary. It also allows you to respond quickly to market trends, customer behavior, stock levels and what your competition is doing in terms of promotions, bundles, deals and discounts, in addition to their regular pricing strategy.
Competitor pricing data collection is a key component to your own price optimization process, which can be defined as having the perfect price at the perfect time to entice customers to choose you over your competition.
The one thing you need to have effective price optimization is data. You need a lot of data.
Monitoring your competition isn’t the only thing you need to be doing, but it should be part of your price strategy.
You should be looking at internal data, including:
And, you also need to look at external data, including:
Together, your internal and external data can help you spot trends and opportunities and develop an informed competitive pricing strategy.
Major retailers use internal and external pricing data all the time to alter their prices, often dozens of times per day. And they do it by collecting reams of data on their competitors.
Online ecommerce sites like Amazon, major airlines, car rental agencies, hotels and many more types of businesses collect huge amounts of data to influence their pricing in real time. Price data collection happens 24/7 so companies can be proactive rather than reactive. Your competition is likely thinking about monitoring you (if they aren’t already), so being proactive and starting the process of collecting data on them is like beating them to the punch.
The most obvious reason to monitor competitors’ pricing is to use the information to influence your own pricing strategy, but there are other reasons to do it, too.
In addition to being able to see their prices, you’ll also be able to monitor your competitors’ inventory, what products they’re adding, what products they’re dropping, what their discounts are, how they handle shipping costs, etc.
You’ll be able to get a clear picture of the “Three Ps:”
Gathering pricing data on your competition can show you if any of them are ignoring the minimum advertised price (MAP) and gaining an unfair advantage by doing that. It can help you find optimal price points for your products based on real-time and historical data collected both internally and from your competition.
And, it will let you find where you sit in your market hierarchy, meaning it will show you if you are a high end brand in that particular market, a low end brand or if you sit somewhere in the middle. Knowing where you sit will help you market to your target audience more. If the data tells you you’re a higher end brand, you can market to the people who are willing to spend a bit more. If the data tells you you’re a lower end brand, market to the budget conscious consumer.
If you price too high, people will ignore you. Price too low and you’re not getting as much profit as you could. Competitor pricing data coupled with your own internal data helps you find the pricing sweet spot.
You have a number of pricing strategies you can use. Some are pretty standard, like:
Others are a little less conventional, such as:
These latter three examples of pricing strategies are based on psychological pricing and there are a number of different psychological tactics you can try out. (Reducing the font size of prices, for example.)
No matter which strategy and tactics you use, market pricing should be in your pricing mix somewhere.
Brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be, so optimizing prices is absolutely key to maintaining profitability. And to optimize your prices, you need to collect competitor pricing data.
Automated web scraping tools are virtually the only way to keep up to date with all your competitors’ prices in real time. They save you time and effort, they eliminate data entry errors and they collect more data than a person ever could hope to gather.
Web scrapers can extract pricing data hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or at any other interval you feel is important.
Once you’ve found a web scraper you like, start the process of gathering competitor pricing data.
If you are in ecommerce, it can seem like you’re competing with everyone. And, in some ways, that is true. But, some competitors are more direct than others.
Find your most direct competitors by:
Develop an internal process to identify your competition and use it to continually identify new competitors as they emerge.
Your competitive assortment is the subset of products that will give you the best data points when comparing your prices with competitors. This doesn’t need to be everything you sell.
Choose your competitive assortment based on your best sellers, what is currently in demand, and which products are most searched for.
Your competitive assortment can be identified using the Pareto Principle, which posits that roughly 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products. You want to identify that 20% to use.
Once you’ve identified these products, organize them into categories by SKU for easier comparison.
You’ll need to decide how frequently you want to monitor competitor prices and scrape web data. Ecommerce powerhouses like Amazon do it on a near-constant basis while smaller businesses generally opt for less frequency.
How often you want to scrape data will depend on your product line, your competition, your market, the situation you are in (struggling to stay afloat vs. comfortably No. 1, for example). You can scrape as often as every minute all the way up to annually.
Find the frequency that works best for you. The fresher the data, the more useful it will be.
Gather all the relevant product URLs from your competitors and import them into your scraping tool. You can also scrape an entire website if you prefer to do that. Keep the data you need, discard the data you don’t need and create a report that fits your requirements.
Take the data you’ve gathered on your competitors and run it through your chosen analytics processing platform. BigML is a popular one. These analytics tools will help you identify trends, make informed predictions, compare pricing strategies and evaluate how your prices stack up against your competitors.
To automate this entire process as much as possible, you will require:
If you want, you can set up automated schedules that monitor multiple competitors at the same time. You can even scrape data that goes beyond just price points. You may want to also monitor competitors’ reviews, ratings, specs, product information, etc. This extra information can give you a more well-rounded picture of your competition.
There is also stock availability to keep track of, along with historical trends and historical price averages. You can set alerts for whenever one of their price changes. Do what you need to do to keep on top of your competition’s price strategy.
Research has shown that only 25.6% of businesses take competition prices into account when they set their own prices. That means you can use competitor price data collection as a sales advantage over companies that don’t use it.
Competitive pricing is imperative for success in today’s ecommerce landscape. Your pricing strategy should include data from your costs, your products’ perceived value, the market’s demand, your cash needs, your competition’s pricing and much more. It’s only with these large amounts of data that you can get a whole picture of the competitive environment and find your optimal price.
Ecommerce pricing fluctuates rapidly. Prices rise and fall within minutes. Ignoring your competition will only lose you customers, cost you revenue, decrease your profit and tarnish your reputation.
Your two-step plan to successful data-driven pricing includes:
Competitor price data monitoring is one of the most important tools at your disposal and influences your strategy to a high degree.
Collecting data on your competition’s prices need not be difficult or time consuming. If you find it challenging and frustrating to use a data scraping tool and not getting accurate results consistently, you can consider hiring a full-service data provider such as Ficstar to fulfill your competitor price data collection needs. By utilizing the power of advanced web scraping technology and deep expertise in web data collection from such a service provider, you will have up-to-date information on your top competitors and it will help you develop a pricing strategy that propels you to the top of your market.The post How To Do Competitor Price Monitoring Successfully first appeared on Ficstar Competitor Price Data Collection Web Scraping Service.]]>