In a retail world obsessed with price matching, it’s critical to know when your competitors’ prices are changing so you can alter your own accordingly. But who has the time or the resources to manually monitor competitor prices, determine what kind of changes are significant, AND implement the changes? The answer is no one.
Opportunities to lower or raise prices often arise suddenly and may not last for long. But taking advantage of these occasions could be the difference between increased sales or losing out on potential customers. While there are many factors that go into shopper buying decisions, including updated product information, customer reviews, and blog content, price still plays an important role in the customer’s ultimate decision, and though you don’t always have to have the lowest price in the market, you need to stay competitive. Using Pricing Intelligence tools and strategies can help you seize the best opportunities to build your competitive edge.
The best way to accurately track pricing changes across the market is to set up a series of watch lists, alerts and rules. Below we’ve outlined how each of these tools can help notify you when an action needs to be taken on your own assortment.
An alert is a notification that can be sent to you when there are significant price changes made by a competitor or when there is a shift in consumer signals. We suggest setting up alerts to tell you when:
- Prices increase or drop by a certain percentage
- Important products are out of stock
- New products are added or old ones are removed
- New promotions or sales are introduced
- Shipping prices change
- New customer reviews are added to a product
- New videos or images are added to a product page
- Social activity about a certain product increases such as likes, tweets or pins
Watch lists monitor these same types of events across multiple products. You could, for example, continuously compare a set of 30 products over a year, see how a product performs within a category or track the sales of only Key Value Items.
Based on your pricing strategy, you can also create customized rules that will automatically adjust your online prices in response to competitors’ changes. Dynamic pricing rules can be tricky to set up, but by using an analytics-driven Rules Engine, you have the ability to dictate how your prices will change in response to competitor’s price changes or other market conditions.
Trying to keep track of all your competitor price changes as they happen is humanly impossible. Setting up watch lists, alerts and rules allows you to best leverage your expertise and take action when it matters the most.
Want more information about price tracking and dynamic pricing? We have a Pricing Intelligence eBook just for you!
Mihir Kittur is a Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Ugam. He oversees sales, marketing and innovation and works with leading retailers and brands with insights and analytics solutions around their category decisions to improve business performance.