The e-commerce industry has grown by over 30% in the US alone this past year. And this is all thanks to many new and smart business strategies employed by digital brands.
One of these strategies includes price intelligence, which uses price monitoring software to keep a close tab on competitors’ prices. The data harvested is carefully analyzed before making intelligent business decisions that see a brand competing globally and dominating their niche.
The system doesn’t only monitor prices each day but can also enable re-pricing in real-time. It is an efficient way of doing so much without losing steam at any point. Your business stays ahead, and the customers are always happy with your prices.
However, collecting this data can lead to many challenges, and in this article, we will examine some of the most common challenges and prescribe a simple solution to address them.
What is Price Intelligence?
Price intelligence can be defined as the act of monitoring, tracking, and analyzing the prices of products and services from different servers and websites at once.
The process uses tools and software that can effectively monitor, track, collect and analyze data from several sources at once.
This data is often product prices and is collected majorly from competitors’ websites. The end-point of this exercise is to make calculated and educated pricing decisions quickly.
Therefore, price intelligence often includes automatic data extraction and a strategy that allows for effective pricing to be done at the right time.
Most of the data extracted include historical market and competition data. And the strategy entails taking quicker decisions that help to outperform your competitors.
Main Use Cases of Price Intelligence
Consequently, price intelligence has many applications for today’s businesses. The following are some uses of price intelligence:
1. Dynamic Pricing
One of the most valuable pricing intelligence is setting a dynamic pricing system. This system collects regular data about consumer behavior, demand, supply, stock availability, seasons, and trends and uses that data to create a very flexible pricing strategy.
This way, the product price increases during peak hours and under high demand and automatically reduces or stabilizes during promotions or off-seasons.
This flexible movement in price keeps the customers satisfied while maintaining a high-profit margin for the business.
2. MAP Monitoring
Businesses across different markets have an agreed price for similar products and services. This price is best referred to as the minimum advertised price (MAP).
All retailers need to comply with this set price to allow fair play in the market. Price intelligence is often used to monitor MAP across various markets to ensure compliance.
Monitoring and gathering product prices from competitors make it easier to detect and determine a violation.
Some sellers like to sell below the agreed price to lure in customers, while others sell above it to rake in more revenue. Both are unfair advantages and can be stopped using competitive pricing intelligence.
3. Competitive Pricing
It is easy to set prices of products, but it must be challenging to set them so that they align well with all market factors without using high-quality data.
Price setting entails allocating prices that attract consumers and still bring in profits. Doing this involves using price intelligence to collect various data from the market. The data types collected include product prices, consumer preferences, behavior, market demand, supply, etc.
The data needs to be combined and analyzed to set competitive pricing which attracts buyers while increasing your profit margin.
A failure to set competitive pricing often leads to loss of customers on the one hand and loss of revenue on the other.
Main Challenges of Price Intelligence
This method of mining data to provide an in-depth understanding of price and the market still comes with several challenges, including the following:
1. Enormous Amount of Data
It must be evident by now that price intelligence involves the collection of a large expanse of data from multiple sources at once.
But the collection isn’t the only task here; the data still needs to be stored for later analysis. Therefore, brands are required to make provisions not only to harvest enormous amounts of data but also to store it somewhere.
Even more challenging because web scraping needs to happen regularly and consistently, creating more work and more need for storage space.
2. IP Block
Internet protocol (IP) addresses are this unique string of numbers that allow users to connect to the internet. It would be impossible to connect to the web or interact with it without it.
They make each person on the internet unique so that a website can quickly identify you and send the results to each query correctly.
But what this also does is that it makes it easy for each user to get blocked. Different websites and servers use IP blocks to prevent interaction from specific users.
It is usually used as an anti-scraping mechanism as it figures out users that are collecting data repeatedly then blocks their IP.
Geo-restriction is another challenge that brands face while harvesting product prices and other kinds of data from competitors’ websites.
It is a measure used by servers to restrict access by users from specific regions. It reads the user’s IP to determine where they are browsing from then blocks them if they reside in forbidden regions.
This problem is practical enough to prevent all brands in a particular region from reaching the data they need to compete fairly in the global market.
Best Solutions for These Challenges
The challenges above are a nightmare for many upcoming digital brands. Still, luckily there is a way to bypass them all and collect the data required for a superior pricing intelligence.
For instance, a tool such as Marketplace Scraper API is an efficient solution for overcoming all the highlighted challenges. You’ll find more information at oxylabs.io.
The Marketplace Scraper API is a high-level tool that can automatically collect data from multiple sources at once, thereby cutting away the struggle associated with extensive data collection. It can also do this repeatedly so that the process never lags.
Also, the tool prevents IP blocking by concealing your IP and using a large pool of IPs instead. It picks from this pool and switches intermittently to prevent blocking. And because it comes with IP from different locations, it can easily change your location to stop geo-restriction.
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Price intelligence involves collecting a plethora of data from your competitors and using it to your advantage.
You can use it to set dynamic pricing, monitor MAP compliance, and establish a competitive pricing system.
And if you run into web scraping challenges, you can employ a Marketplace Scraper API to solve the problems.