Leverage Web Scraping for Competitor Price Monitoring
Updated: Feb 12
In e-commerce, Pricing Strategy is king. Online shopping essentially means comparison shopping where e-retailers constantly indulge in competitor price monitoring and set theirs accordingly to maintain their dominance in the market.
While many retailers emphasize product quality and ensure a decent user experience, a good pricing strategy definitely triumphs them all. Consumers are hungry for better price deals, frequent discounts and scour a variety of sites to find the price which suits them best. Websites like Google Shopping and Slickdeals are dedicated to comparing different prices of the same product and display the best deal. It takes Amazon literally 10 seconds to adjust their pricing after competitor prices fluctuate.
This makes retail in the digital realm highly competitive. And to slay their competitors, e-retailers are resorting to scraping of pricing data in real time to stay updated about price fluctuations.
Competitor Price Monitoring for Price optimization
According to statistics, only about a quarter business evaluate their competitors for a pricing strategy before setting their own. There’s a chance you can be better than more than 75% of the businesses out there by systematically forming a pricing strategy.
The right pricing strategy is pivotal to your business’s growth. Owing to the fluidity of online prices, your strategy must take into account numerous factors like your current costs, your product value, the market demand, your cash needs, your competitor’s pricing among others.
For tech-oriented online businesses, competitor price monitoring brings a hoard of benefits to the table.
Price-monitoring allows you to track the 3 Ps – Price, Product, Promos. This, in turn, helps you determine your prices. Moreover, it also provides valuable insight into product assortment – product tracking, recent stock additions, and discount offerings.
In the e-commerce world, customers heavily indulge in comparison shopping to find the best deal, with an estimated 60% of the online buyer community considering the price as a primary factor to consider when making a purchase decision. Competitive price monitoring allows you to identify businesses ignoring the minimum advertised price (MAP) and recognize optimal price points for yourself and your competitors. This will help you identify your place in the niche hierarchy and pinpoints the best customer base to market to.
1. Finding your competitors
When you’re working in the e-commerce arena, you’re bound to compete with a hoard of
e-retailers. But not all are your immediate competitors. Your immediate competition is those
who operate in your niche and have an identical customer base as yours.
The first step towards setting up a pricing strategy is to identify your competitors, those who are directly competing against you in the market? You can find them by,
Using search engines like Google and Bing and locate retailers selling similar products as yours.
Following your rival’s social media account and website and to confirm your findings.
2. Identify products that make you stand out
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products.
The next step towards creating a winning pricing strategy is to identify those 20% products,
the ones which make you stand out compared to your competitor’s.
Identifying your competitive assortment will give you data points which can play to your advantage when deciding on a pricing strategy.
You can identify your most competitive products by viewing their bestselling status, their current demand, keyword search volume and so on. Using Web Scraping, Datahut enables companies to filter out this information and determine their most performing products in terms of demand and sales.
3. Set Frequency
It takes Amazon less than 10 seconds to adjust its product prices dynamically. That’s how frequently Amazon monitors competitor data.
Before setting out to determine a pricing strategy, decide how frequently you want to monitor your competitor’s prices. This frequency can be set in a Web Scraping software which would then scrape the web data daily, weekly, or monthly. The frequency you set would depend on your market, products, competition and various other factors.
4. Identify relevant competitor URLs
It is important to gather relevant product URLs from our competitor’s sites and use them as inputs for your scraping tools. You can either scrape entire sites or choose to compare a particular product segment for forming a pricing strategy. You can control the data input in your scraping tool.
Infographic: Online Shopping Statistics-2017
How Web Scraping can be used for Competitive Price Monitoring
The first step to monitoring your competitor’s prices is through scraping pricing data.
It is essential to find the right software that fits your business needs the best. The right web scraping software will increase your efficiency and minimize the scope of a human error thus reducing your workload drastically.
To automate it all, you’ll require fast, accurate and easy to use scraping software which would contain:
An extractor to scrape the requested data.
A script to query the extractor in the frequency set by you.
An automatic scheduler can be set to monitor more than one business and compare multiple price points like prices, reviews, product data, specs, availability at the same time. In addition to the above, looking at historical trends of competitor product can help you notify when a change occurs.
Run this data set through an analytics platform like BigML to identify trends quickly, make calculated predictions, compare, and evaluate your current prices against your competitor.
Datahut’s automated web scraping tool scrapes real-time error-free pricing information from a large pool of sites in a fraction of the standard time. Cloud-based and user-friendly, Datahut’s scraping software can be used with little technical know-how. Scraped business data can be then used to incorporate better decisions and predictions in your pricing strategy.
Datahut’s data as a service (DaaS) solution offers you the following functionalities:
Automated tracking of your competitors in your niche while saving you an investment in time and effort in manual data capture.
Targeted sales strategy by stock tracking and tracking promotions of your competitors.
Indefinite access to the price information of your competitors without saturating your web pages.
Timely alert on dynamic price changes and a dedicated notification system via email.
Frequent updates about any changes in the state of the market.
Wish to leverage web scraping for comparing your competitor’s pricing? Contact Datahut, your web data scraping experts.