Most businesses are looking for ways to enhance the user experience and gain an edge over their competitors. This is where price monitoring comes in.
Price monitoring helps you undercut your competitors to help you optimize your pricing strategy. If you are wondering whether price monitoring is crucial for your business, read on.
What is price monitoring?
Also known as retail monitoring, price monitoring is the process of analyzing the prices of your competitors to help you optimize your pricing strategy. It involves studying the internal and external price policy of your competitors in real-time.
Competitor price monitoring helps to track whether your competitor has increased or lowered their price in real-time. With this information, you can adjust your prices accordingly to attract potential customers.
This is especially useful given that customers now use search engines to compare prices when shopping online before making a final buying decision. Therefore, you need to thoroughly inspect the pricing strategy used by your competitor so you can undercut them.
What’s more, you can use price monitoring to evaluate your pricing history. This is useful for establishing the best marketing strategy that will help you earn more profit.
Benefits of price monitoring for business
There are numerous advantages of price monitoring for businesses. They include:
- Builds Reputation
Price monitoring, especially in a competitive market, can greatly help build your reputation. It can help you establish the best price possible that will give you a competitive advantage on the market.
- Understand Consumer Preference
If you want to do well in the industry, it is important to understand consumer preference. However, this can be difficult since it keeps changing. Fortunately, price monitoring can help you to track historical data to help you keep in track with the ever-changing consumer preference.
- Track New Sellers
Other than monitoring the market condition, price monitoring can also help you monitor when new sellers in your target category enter the market. This is important since they can come up with pricing strategies that may undercut your prices.
- Establish an Alternative Price
You can use price monitoring to set up an alternative price range for your products during periods with low sales. This can also come in handy during promotions. It can help make your promotions effective.
What makes web scraping crucial for price monitoring?
If you are considering keeping tabs with your competitor’s prices, then e-commerce scraping may be what you need.Web scraping is a price monitoring tool that involves using web crawlers or bots to extract data or content from websites and then replicate it elsewhere. An example of a web scraper is price scraping.
In this type of scraping, scraper bots are used to scrutinize the business database of competitors to find out what they are charging for their products. Most business owners resort to price scraping since they want to offer the lowest price possible that will make them competitive. Besides, price scraping lets you gather prices of competitive products and monitor any changes that may occur. It especially comes in handy when you have a lot of competitors and documenting their prices one at a time would be time-consuming.
It is designed to collect big data from a wide range of websites. Once you have identified your competitor, you can then use the bots to collect the data. To gain an edge, it is always advisable to adjust your price lower than what they are charging.
You should note that the process of scraping using bots requires you to have technical knowledge. However, if you can’t use bots, then using third-party scraping tools will do the trick. Click here to learn about price monitoring tools that will help you gather pricing data.
Main challenges of web scraping for price monitoring
Although price monitoring can be beneficial when you want to stay on top of the competition, it is not without its challenges. Some of the web scraping challenges that make it impossible to do price monitoring include:
- Bot access declined
One challenge is that some websites do not allow bot access. These websites can easily detect activities by bot and web crawlers and can disallow it. Oftentimes, the website will block their IP. If you experience this, you can request the web owner for permission to scrape, which they are unlikely to give.
If you are a frequent internet user, you have probably come across the word CAPTCHA. Most websites use this tool to tell whether it is a human or a scraping tool trying to gain access.
- Varying page structures
If the website you are trying to scrape has different page structures, then you will most likely encounter problems with scraping. This usually happens because most web scrapers are designed for a specific page structure.
- IP blocking
Some websites use the IP blocking mechanism when the server detects multiple requests from the same address. This can also happen when the web crawler makes a high number of multiple parallel requests.
- Dynamic websites
To attract more users and give them an exceptional experience, most website owners are ensuring that their websites are more interactive and user friendly. Such websites have incorporated dynamic coding practices that work against web crawlers.
Price monitoring is important for any business that wants to stay on top of the competition by providing competitively priced products. With the right price monitoring, you will be able to keep track of valuable information that is related to the pricing of other entrepreneurs in the industry.
Web scraping can make this possible by targeting one or more websites and extracting their pricing information. However, you should keep in mind the many challenges that you are likely to encounter during the web scraping process.