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Flexible Data Collection for Regular and Peak Seasons

December 19, 2011

Continuing the Best Practices for a Competitor Price Tracking Solution series, in previous posts I have discussed mapping accuracy , like and similar product comparisons, and knowing your timelines. A fourth important consideration is Flexible Data Collection for Regular and Peak Seasons.

Your competitor price monitoring solution should allow you to choose the frequency of the product pricing, assortment,and promotion data updates. When setting up your schedules you will want to consider:

  • the frequency and days of the weeks that your competitors normally make their changes
  • the frequency which you and your team will look at the data provided
  • the frequency which you will act upon the data provided

The majority of companies opt for weekly updates as this usually fits the above three points.

However, during peak selling seasons, you may want more frequent updates. A good competitor price intelligence solution will allow you to increase the frequency of your updates for selected periods of time. For example, you might want to move from weekly to daily between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This gives you the opportunity to immediately react to any market changes.

Another great option to look for is “on demand updates”. That is, the ability to get immediate market information on important SKUs at the touch of a button.

PriceTrac from Ugam Interactive offers increased updates during your selected peak seasons, as well as SKU updates at the touch of a button.

Learn more about PriceTrac or read my next posting, Develop a Plan to Use the Data.

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Best Practices for a Competitor Price Tracking Solution. #3: Know the Initial and Ongoing Change Timelines

December 16, 2011

So far in this series, Best Practices for a Competitor Price Tracking Solution, we have discussed mapping accuracy as well as like and similar product comparisons. This post will discuss timelines.

When considering a competitor price monitoring solution, such as PriceTrac, make sure you understand how long the initial set up will be and what your ongoing timelines for updates will be.

The initial set up may be out of a box or customized. Most solutions take months to properly map the SKUs you provide to the competitors you select. While a long initial set up time might disappoint you, ongoing updates of SKUs is more likely to limit the relevance of the data needed. PriceTrac can have you up and running within weeks, not months and provide accurate mapping on thousands of SKUs within days; other price monitoring solutions require weeks and do not provide the accuracy you need.

Learn more about the PriceTrac Competitor Monitoring Solution, or read the next blog in this series, Flexible Data Collection for Regular and Peak Seasons.

Ensure Like And Similar Product Mapping When Choosing a Competitor Price Tracking Solution

December 16, 2011

In the previous blog, 6 Considerations When Looking for a Competitor Price Monitoring Solution: #1 , I discussed one of the six top things to look for in a Competitor Price Monitoring Solution. The second important thing to consider is like-to-like and like-to-similar product SKU mapping. Most companies can map identical products to some degree, but it may be just as important, or more important to have similar products mapped and compared to yours.

Two reasons you may want similar mapping:

1. You sell a unique product which no one else carries
2. Your competitors are sometimes similar, not identical products

In either case, when shopping for a competitor price monitoring solution, ensure that the mapping system allows you to set up parameters for the similar products that you want mapped and that the accuracy of the mapping can be guaranteed.

PriceTrac provides guaranteed accurate like and similar product SKU monitoring.

 

 

 

6 Considerations When Looking for a Competitor Price Monitoring Solution: #1

December 15, 2011
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A competitor price monitoring solution is a large investment in terms of price as well as time. To make sure you get the best return on your investment you should consider several things. This series will discuss six important considerations before making a purchase.

1. Get Accurate Data

There is no point purchasing a system that provides only partial or incomplete data, or data that may or may not match up properly with the SKUs you want. Ensure that the solution you purchase guarantees the accuracy of the data it provides, including proper SKU mapping.

Most companies that provide competitor price monitoring  use an automated mapping solution that searches various website for predetermined attributes and part numbers to use for mapping. This is very inefficient as retailers have different part numbers for products and provide different attributes in different formats. This type of mapping essentially guarantees faulty data.

The only way to get guaranteed data is to use expert Mappers who have been trained in and are experienced in online mapping solutions.

Before purchasing, check how the SKUs are mapped and if the accuracy of the data is guaranteed.

Read the next posting in this series, Ensure Like And Similar Product Mapping When Choosing a Competitor Price Tracking Solution.

The PriceTrac competitor price tracking solution provides guaranteed accurate data.

Response to: 4 Ways To Avoid Brand Suicide

December 14, 2011

The recent article, 4 Ways To Avoid Brand Suicide, was very useful. I would add a fifth problem; “Not maintaining your market position”.

If you do not keep an eye on your pricing vis-a-vis that of your competitors’, it is easy to price too high or too low and stray from your desired market position.

If you have a premium brand and start to lower costs, or if you are known as a low-cost retailer and no longer supply the lowest costs, this will change how you are seen in the marketplace.

For manufacturers, maintaining marketplace positioning often involves watching retailers to ensure the MAP is adhered to.

PriceTrac provides competitor pricing, promotion, and assortment monitoring to help retailers and brands maintain their desired market position. With PriceTrac you can compare prices by categories or item-by-item.

Response to “Watching Margins, but capturing sales”

December 12, 2011

Internet Retailer recently published an article “Watching Margins, but capturing sales” which discussed ways in which retailers were able to entice shoppers for the 2011 shopping season without cutting prices. Internet Retailer went on to discuss how retailers are offering incentives such as free shipping over price cutting.

Retailers realize that shoppers are still looking for the best price, and so continue to watch for changes in their competitors’ prices. Price monitoring solutions, such as PriceTrac from Ugam Interactive, help retailers monitor their competitors’ prices, giving them the information they need to adjust pricing as needed. By knowing exactly what price competitor’s are offering, a retailer can adjust their pricing as far as needed, without going too far and hurting margins. The PriceTrac competitor price monitoring solution is particularly useful during the holiday season when retailers can receive daily or on-demand competitor price updates.

 

Linkbuilding for SEO Through Article Writing

November 29, 2011

One of the best ways to increase your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) position is to add high quality inbound links to your website. The best links come from websites that are frequently visited (and so rank high in Google’s algorithm) and come directly from important keywords. Paid links from directories are almost never a good idea.

A great way to generate links is to write material on your website that people will want to link to. However, counting on outsiders to be motivated enough to link to your material quickly and on keywords is not a reliable strategy. A better approach is to write high quality material (articles, press releases, blogs, case studies, white papers, video commentary, etc. ), post them onto a site that is visited frequently, and then create the links (on the important keywords you have identified) back to your website.

The written material must be interesting and relevant enough to attract readers and then compelling enough to have them click on the keyword link.

A good writing and link building campaign involves hundreds of articles, finding relevant websites to post them, submitting them, then adding several keyword links from each article. Most companies do not have the manpower to complete this in a timely and efficient manner, nor do they know how to find good websites that will accept their articles. When this is the situation, they often turn to Ugam Interactive and outsource the work. We have helped many media and retail companies by writing hundreds of articles each month and then linking them back to their website. Contact us now to learn more…