The price of your product or service has a large impact on how much revenue your business will drive. After all, if you put your price too high, nobody is going to buy your product. But if your price is too low, then you won’t earn enough money per product to keep moving forward.
Figuring out the right price and pricing strategy is an essential yet difficult part of any business strategy. To do so, you need to know the landscape you’re operating in and what prices your main competitors are selling their products for.
And it’s not like you do this once, and then you can keep your price the same for years to come. The landscape is ever-evolving, and prices constantly fluctuate. So how do you ensure that your price is always up-to-date by keeping both your customers and competitors in mind?
That’s where price monitoring comes into play. By keeping an eye on your competitors’ prices, you can adjust your own price accordingly to never lose your edge over them. And how do you monitor your competitors at all times?
That’s what we’ll discuss in this short article below. You’ll find out what competitive price monitoring is and how you can use web scraping to automate the process for you. Ready to beat your competition?
What is competitive price monitoring?
Competitive price monitoring, also referred to as pricing intelligence, is the (automated) process of monitoring your competitors’ prices. By monitoring how they price their products, you can price and subsequently reprice your products accordingly.
After all, if all your competitors sell their product for $100, you don’t want to just sell yours for $50, right?
You might sell a lot more products than your competitors because you’re so cheap, but you also won’t make anywhere near the revenue that you could be driving if you would just up your price a little bit to be more in line with the market landscape.
And that’s, in a nutshell, why price monitoring matters so much to businesses. It helps you define a clear pricing strategy that’s based on pricing data from the industry as it is at the time.
Now you might be thinking: So can’t I just check my competitors’ websites for their prices once a week?
Although this will certainly give you an idea of how to best price your own products, competitive price monitoring – when automated – takes it a step further. It allows you to look at hundreds, if not thousands, of potential competitors all at once.
And instead of just checking once a week, you can check your competitors’ prices practically in real-time. Just look at companies like Amazon, who use this automation to update their own prices as often as every 10 minutes!
So how does this all work?
How competitive price monitoring works
There are basically three main steps to competitive price monitoring. Firstly, you decide on the data you want. Secondly, you collect the data. Thirdly, you analyze the data and adapt your pricing accordingly.
As mentioned above, you can do this manually by looking at your competitors’ websites yourself. But this is time-intensive, inefficient, and – in cases with hundreds of different competitors – simply impossible.
Instead, you can use price monitoring tools to do the work for you. These tools are basically web scrapers that scrape the pricing data for you and store it in a spreadsheet or database of your choosing, after which you can analyze it. If you’re looking to get a scraper for yourself, SERPMaster offers great Google scraping options – visit the website to learn more.
Some more premium tools even do the analysis for you and give you data-driven suggestions on how to best update your products’ prices.
How price monitoring helps you beat the competition
With tools like this, you can practically scrape data from any given website. For example, you can feed the tool a list of URLs of your main competitors’ websites. The scraper will go through these sites and collect all the required pricing data for you. It can repeat this process every month, week, or day, just how often you like it.
Or you can get a Google Shopper API scraper that allows you to scrape pricing data directly from Google Shopping. Aside from prices, it further lets you scrape image data, product descriptions, and much more.
And this is how these tools really take pricing strategies to the next level. Whereas you manually would simply note down competitors’ prices, these tools take all sorts of factors into account, from the color of a product to the headline promoting it, to give you the most data-driven pricing decision possible.
Such a wealth of data can help you dominate the competition through valuable insights that a single person on their own simply wouldn’t be able to collect. In fact, it is one of the reasons that shopping-giant Amazon has managed to outperform all its competitors!