Tools for competitor price monitoring

Competition in business is one of those indicators by which you can judge the profitability of a niche. And competent and timely monitoring of the pricing policy pursued by your competitors will allow you to climb to the top of this very niche!

Price parsing is one of the most effective tools of competition for the target audience of buyers! It is as a result of price policy analysis you will be able to form your unique pricing strategy and increase the profitability of your enterprise.

When there is a necessity in implementing the programs for price monitoring?

We are talking about the software, which, one way or another, is needed to build a competitive pricing strategy and at least keep "in step" with your projects on the market, if not to protect, but at least to keep up. Particularly relevant is the implementation of the system in cases where:

  1. You have planned the development and implementation of an advertising campaign. It will be most successful if a competitive price will be taken into consideration.
  2. Price plays a key role for the client when choosing where to buy. Your lag in price strategy will definitely affect the decrease of sales.
  3. During the development phase of your company's promotional strategy. Loyal pricing for your customers will create a temporary advantage in the marketplace.
  4. If there is a necessity in the sale of remainders of old collection or "thinning out" of stocks.

Competitive analysis before parsing. Which of your competitors you should pay primary attention to and which ones you can ignore at all?

Thematic niche analysis is an obligatory stage for an objective evaluation of the situation on the market. Identify your competitors at this stage and properly organize their monitoring.

It is important to understand that all your competitors can be divided into several groups:

  1. Direct competitors are those whose assortment has the greatest number of points of contact with yours. It can be the same price range, completely identical products, the same territorial segment of consumers or all at once!
  2. Indirect - their activities are aimed at the same target audience, but there are products/services of a different kind.
  3. Implicit - players in the market who sell radically different products, but can act as competitors if they engage in the development of related areas of their business.   

Tools for choosing the most active competitors for your business. Helecos tips

You can make a list of competitors for the following systematic monitoring of their pricing policy by using key phrases in your browser search engine. You can further sift out the competitors using several tools:

  • Evaluating the traffic of the online store. Approximate SEO-traffic can be determined by specialized services.
  • Comparison of domain names of resources. Competing sites can also be compared by semantics.
  • Pages leaders in search. The result of this analysis will show real figures for those pages which bring them the maximum number of clicks.
  • Study of the site tree. As a result you get information on what exactly the queries ranked pages of the site.

Besides, the informative sources of data about the competitors can be consumer surveys, analytical articles and reviews, exhibitions, seminars, usage of spy-marketing techniques, research of search queries, direct study of sales outlets, etc.

Each of these tools can be used by you to select exactly which competitors you should prioritize when parsing.

Globally, competitor price monitoring tools can be divided into 2 types:

  1. Those that analyze the market automatically. All the work in this case is carried out according to the algorithm initially set by the initiator of the monitoring process.
  2. The set of activities that require only manual intervention. This way of analysis is inevitably associated with large losses of time and high labor costs. Thus information accuracy leaves much to be desired (by the end of the monitoring process the majority of the collected data loses its relevance).

The peculiarities of automatic tools for price monitoring of your competitors

This is specialized software which is able to gather the information on the prices, promotions and discounts of your competitors effectively and quickly after preliminary adjustment; it also receives information on the availability of the products and the stocks.

What can automated tools for competitor monitoring do?  

  • The software is initially customized to work with online stores. The parsing includes all the necessary tools for effective product and price analysis not only for online stores but also for marketplaces.
  • Not only the competitor's pricing policy is tracked! A modern parser is able to collect data on all points of interest to the initiator of monitoring. This includes such information as the assortment of stores, product descriptions, distributed company promotions, prices, and special offers.
  • Automated parsing is performed in multi-threaded mode. Due to that, it becomes possible to analyze a whole range of competitors at once in an accelerated mode.
  • The use of the technique "Continuous gathering". This technique is implemented in most modern parsers and allows you to guarantee 50% higher quality analytics in comparison with conventional link monitoring.
  • Programmable frequency of bypassing competitors. Prices for products you are interested in can be changed by competitors several times a day. Helecos parser can gather information with a frequency of up to one time per hour (you can schedule it individually) on a frequency you set!
  • Sophisticated security system. Helecos team has a system of protection from changes in site layout and other failures, which can occur during the analysis of competitors. This process is under constant control of the response team!

Price parsing using an automated service from Helecos. Methods to increase your business profitability

The monitoring program can be run at optimal intervals, which helps to instantly see the products for which there is a need to optimize the pricing policy. We are talking about a system that provides not only a report with the results of comparing the prices of competitors but also thoughtful analytics!

Customize the monitoring system to your needs and objectives! What does Helecos offer?

After selecting a service package, the monitoring process is set up! Suggested features:

  • Automatic notification of price changes for the selected product line. The notifications are sent to your specified mailbox as soon as dumping has been detected or after it has been eliminated.
  • Setting the critical threshold for price changes. You can set the price values, the lessening of which will be considered as dumping, when configuring your project.
  • Setting and adjusting the statuses of tracked products. You will be able to add products to the tracking algorithm or disable existing ones at any stage of parsing.

The whole procedure of setting up the algorithm and each of the stages of price matching is performed with the constant support of the service managers!

Online Monitoring Efficiency. What you get as a result:

  1. The average cost of a commodity item and the Delta of the average product price. This indicator allows you to get a current picture of your competitors' prices. If your pricing strategy is to follow average prices across the market, then the product sorting should be configured by Delta of average price. The program will automatically select a list of items that need to be optimized according to your rate.
  2. The delta from the minimum and maximum value. This sorting is especially relevant for those companies whose work setting is to pursue a low-price strategy.
  3. Price Position. Here it means demonstration of the place of your price for the products among all offers of competitors in the market. Besides here you will be able to evaluate the competitiveness of your offer. You will also have access to a service showing general statistics for all positions from the price list with maximum and minimum price tags.
  4. Recommended price. The service's recommendations are given here after price monitoring, analysis and systematization of the received data. Purpose: to maximize sales and business development.

Register in the system, add the products you need to monitor, mark your competitors and get detailed analytics with price recommendations in the required timeframe.

How is the cost of automatic parsing of competitor sites formed?

We are talking about a complex and multi-step process! In this case, the organization of the monitoring procedure is carried out individually, depending on the needs of each store individually! In this regard, it is difficult to talk about a single cost of the service. It is formed based on a number of factors:

  1. The total number of inspections. You will be able to choose the frequency of data collection from 1 check for every few hours.
  2. The number of monitored competitors. Up to 10 competitors are available for selection in the minimum package.
  3. The number of products you need to compare within the selected package.

Helecos is the absence of monthly obligatory payments! The validity period of any selected package is 90 days! You can use all the checks you have paid for in a few weeks or split them into 3 quarterly payments. One of the main advantages of working with us is the availability of all the functional services in all the packages we offer!

Monitoring prices from Marketplaces - how does it work? What is the gist of it?

Similar to any other type of monitoring, parsing marketplace prices is performed in several stages: preparatory, system setup and data collection, bringing the results to your reporting.

What's behind what:

  1. At the preparatory stage for parsing, we:
    • Analyze existing marketplaces for the availability of your products in the assortment.
    • Identify all of the sales representatives working with your brand on each of the marketplaces.
    • Identify all stores operating with dumping techniques on all monitored marketplaces.
    • Determine optimal monitoring time and set the interval between checks.
  2. Setting up the procedure of competitor price monitoring and the subsequent collection of information. At this stage, the following tasks are performed:
    • Setting up the data collection of prices from the sites of all participants of the price analysis.
    • The procedure for collecting additional data on the product range of competitors on marketing platforms is coordinated and configured. This includes data such as discounts, bonuses, promotional offers, free shipping, product availability, etc.).
    • The layout and optimization of analytical reports on the completion of the collection of information are carried out.
    • Establishing agreements on the logistics of data with you or your partners.

At the end of the last stage of cooperation with the companies providing the automatic price monitoring services you get the following information for yourself and your brand:

  1. Comes with an understanding of your brand's overall level of representation on the marketplaces studied.
  2. A list of all stores that sell products similar to yours becomes available.
  3. Access to all the prices of your products across the entire active marketplace network of the marketplaces in question becomes available.
  4. It becomes possible to track all violators of the recommended price on each individual marketplace.
  5. Those market players who only use your brand to attract traffic to their site are singled out.

A little more about the work of the marketplace and the peculiarities of their pricing strategy: each of the representatives of this segment aims to attract potential customers with the most "sweet" price. Most sites independently parse their competitors and upon detection of dumping, provide this information to their parameters, obliging them to lower their price tags to this level or lower. Thus, if price monitoring on Rozetka demonstrates violations, there is no doubt that Prom and Hotline will follow the same trend.

Using your own parsing sites - details of work

Today there are a lot of services that allow you to develop your own monitoring system after a little preparation! However, the difficulty is not so much in writing such programs, but in their subsequent use.

Difficulties that may hinder your own competitor parsing:

  • Prohibiting price data collection. Many sites are equipped with protections that prohibit parsing their resource through robot.txt.
  •  Updating the design of the pages. If the resource was written using a hypertext markup language (HTML) for web designer appears an opportunity to model pages according to his own vision. This point speaks about the unique structural features. For such sites will have to create and use several different parsers.
  • IP blocking. With a large number of requests from the same IP site including its blocking. With the use of modern software, this problem is easily solved with a call to proxy services - they integrate with automatic parsers. There are cases when instead of blocking the address the site opens to monitor deliberately false information.
  • A honeypot trap is a kind of trap for a bot, the essence of which is to provide data about the intruder to the site owner. As traps can be distributed links that are invisible to humans, but not to the robot system of the price study.
  • Reducing the loading speed of the site. With too many requests, the resource slows down. A person need only refresh the page, but the parser does not know what to do in such situations. The result - the failure of the timing of the revaluation, up to the complete blocking of the process.

In addition to this, there are a number of other obstacles to independent monitoring of competitors, so it is easier, faster, cheaper, and more reliable to use ready-made modern programs.

Varieties of parsers used in modern practice

There are several variations of monitoring systems, which can be relevant to both individual sellers and manufacturers:

  1. SEO parsers. This type of software is mainly used by SEO specialists to simplify and perform the most comprehensive analysis of sites and optimize their performance. This type of service can be narrowly focused and multifunctional.
  2. Self-parsing. This technique is used by companies to identify incorrect links, duplicate items, missing images, and other shortcomings on your site. Self-parsing is also useful in organizing the accounting of goods.
  3. Parsing prices from competitors' and suppliers' price lists. This process involves regular systematic collection of all price offers, followed by systematization and analysis. It is not only about the prices but also about discounts, bonuses, promotional offers, etc.

Tracking and comparing prices is just one of the advantages of modern parsing software.

Recent trends show that automatic price monitoring has become most popular for both online and offline entrepreneurs. However, this is not the whole functionality of such services! The main advantages of modern monitoring systems are:

  1. There is the ability to analyze the demand and needs of specific consumer groups.
  2. It is possible to upload product descriptions and images. It is possible to automate the process of unloading the necessary information about products from the supplier's site to your own.
  3. Access to SEO analysis. The better a resource is indexed, the more often it shows up in search engine results. In this case, the monitoring tool will be an effective way to gather information for understanding in what goods it is better to invest for the extraction of the maximum margin.
  4. Attracting new customers. Programs aimed at parsing social networks and forums, where competitors closely communicate with clients regarding each of the goods they sell, will do a good job with this task.

Consultations on using the system or assistance in choosing the best package for your monitoring parameters are possible in a conversation with a representative of the specialized Helecos team!

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