Have you ever wondered how eCommerce businesses set their pricing? What about deal aggregator sites?
It’s simple: for many, pricing depends on how much their competitors charge for a specific product. This is where online price monitoring comes in.
But where do you start with online price monitoring? What are some things you need to consider? In this post, we’ll look at these questions in more detail.
It’s a competitive world, and the best way to create excellent strategies (pricing and otherwise) is to know what your competitors are - and are not - doing.
For example, when running an online store, it could be helpful to know what other stores are charging for the same products, so you can evaluate whether your quality should mean you increase your prices or price-match your competitors.
Either way, when you start monitoring website pricing, you’ll enjoy several benefits, including:
You’ll make much better product strategy decisions when you monitor pricing online.
However, you can also benefit from online price monitoring even if you don’t sell products.
For example, customers can uncover the best deals by monitoring product pricing.
Or, you can learn from one of our customers, Tjommi.
Tjommi helps its users get cash back if a product’s price drops after the purchase.
Tjommi needs to monitor a massive range of product prices to provide this service. They rely on ScreenshotAPI and website pricing monitoring best practices:
It’s impossible to track every competitor and how much they charge for a specific product. But who do you track, then?
Identify a few competitors with whom you’re actually competing. For example, based on the product alone, you’ll likely find thousands of competitors on the market. However, if you find competitors based on your ideal customer, you’ll narrow down this list.
To make data-driven pricing decisions, you need accurate pricing information. You need real-time prices, especially in industries where pricing varies constantly or when you use automation to adjust your pricing.
When competitors monitor each other’s pricing, it often happens that if one lowers the prices, another follows, and so on. The cycle repeats itself, which results in a race to the bottom. In other words, many believe that the vendor with the lowest pricing will make the sale.
For this reason, you should always know your margins and the price you’ll need to make a profit. This will keep you out of pricing wars, which could ultimately lead to selling products at little to no profit.
If your competitors can compete with very slim margins, dive into the research to identify why. Their products may be low-quality, so you could increase your pricing and still convert quality-sensitive consumers.
Always remember, while appropriate pricing should form part of your pricing strategy, it’s not the only thing that matters. Customers will also consider the customer experience, after-sales support, and more.
As such, you must know what value you add for customers and what qualities set you apart from your competition. This will be a beneficial strategy in competitive markets filled with similar products with comparable pricing.
Finally, when monitoring competitor pricing online, it’s vital that you use the right tools. Sure, you can manually monitor a few websites, but the workload will increase with the number of products and competitors.
Invest in a good pricing monitoring tool as early as possible.
For example, Tjommi had initially planned to build an in-house tool when they came across ScreenshotAPI, which allows you to take programmatic screenshots of websites.
As Helge Sverre, Tjommi CTO, explains:
“ScreenshotAPI.net helped us quickly solve a problem where we needed to document price changes for products by taking a screenshot of the product page. Our biggest reason for picking ScreenshotAPI instead of making our own solution, was their out-of-the-box banner and popup blocker. [Typically, banners and popups] would obscure the price on the product page[s].”
Apart from this, ScreenshotAPI also has several other features that simplify the process of online price tracking.
For example, for Tjommi, one of the best features is the built-in banner and popup blocker, which allows them to take screenshots of thousands of product pages without ads or promotional popups obscuring their prices.
Finally, if you’re price-conscious like Tjommi (it comes with the territory), you’ll love ScreenshotAPI’s pricing. To learn more about taking programmatic screenshots, get your free ScreenshotAPI key today!