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5 Reasons to Monitor Competitors’ Pricing

June 28, 2011

You know your strategy and your brand positioning and have a pretty good idea of how you compare to your competitors, so is there a need to monitor their pricing in detail? The answer is almost certainly yes. If your products compete with other companies for the affections of shoppers, you need to know what those competitors are doing and when they are doing it. Regular and accurate pricing, promotion, and assortment monitoring helps you know your competition so you can stay ahead of them when in the planning stage,  ensure you are meeting your seasonal goals, and provides you with the information you need to make pricing, promotion, and assortment decisions to achieve your profit goals.

Read on for five key reasons to monitor your competitors pricing.

1. Get a Reality Check

After spending many hours developing your strategy and price positioning goals, don’t let adjustments in the marketplace take you by
surprise. You might assume that with your strategy in place you will maintain your market position, but reality can be different from planning. With regular, accurate reporting you can know your competitors’ adjustments almost as soon as they make them, and can react quickly, helping you to maintain your brand positioning.

Accurate competitor pricing, promotion, and assortment tracking provides you with category, sub-category, and item-to-item match up (as defined by you) so you can ensure your current market position is reflecting your strategy by ensuring products are priced right.

2. Information Needed for Promotional Decisions

Competitor tracking provides you with the information and analysis you need to make and support strategic promotional decisions. Find out what percentage of each competitors’ assortment is on regular, promotion, or mark down at any given time. Know the frequency, depth, and length of their promotions. This helps you to make your own pricing decisions while still getting the best margin on your products.

3. Review Historical Data to Forecast

Once you start collecting data you begin to build historical pricing, promotional, and assortment trending charts which help you forecast what your competitors’ might do in upcoming seasons based on their past actions. This data can be used before beginning the seasonal planning process to help strategize. You can forecast what your competitors are likely to do months ahead of time, and use that information to ensure you get the best possible profit margins.

Knowing what your competitors’ strategy is likely to be regarding pricing, assortment, and promotions gives you the tools you need to fine-tune your strategy and maximize your price.

4. Cost and Time Savings from Outsourcing

You almost certainly already monitor your competitors to some level, probably using Merchandisers. However, this is a slow, expensive, and time-consuming method and hinders merchandisers from doing their main job duties.

By outsourcing data collection and analysis you can get more information, faster, and with guaranteed accuracy. Outsourcing companies save money by using automation (good outsourcing companies provide accuracy by having manual checks done on the data) from
online crawlers. Since online prices tend to reflect in-store prices, this is an efficient way to collect data.

5. More Data, More Accessible

Competitor tracking tools give you all the updated information you want, on all assigned products. The data is provided in an
easy-to-read, customized format that provides relevant information to VPs through Merchandisers. VPs can go online at any time and see a high level dashboard to compare categories, while Merchandisers can drill down to specific products and know exactly how each one compares to each competitor each week.

Accurate Competitor Monitoring Tool

There are many pricing tools on the market but only one guarantees accuracy; PriceTracTM provides reliable competitor
monitoring by using proprietary web data collection backed up by highly trained analysts. Web crawling can only produce information to a point. All companies do not describe their products identically nor provide the same type of information, so it is critical to have analysts to verify the data. Before purchasing any tool ask if they will guarantee the accuracy of their data.

Summary

Competitor price monitoring helps you know exactly where you stand in the marketplace compared to competitors’ pricing, promotions, and assortments; helps you quickly understand your competitors’ strategies both current and historical; and gives you the information you need to make plans and adjustments. A good tool will guarantee accuracy and provide customizable dashboards to support
various job functions.

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