It is no secret that e-commerce is slowly gobbling up the traditional brick and mortar method of retailing goods and services. Every other day a new store opens online and sets up its strategy to access an increasing number of online shoppers.
There were an estimated 1.8 billion online shoppers in 2018, bringing in sales volumes of $2.8 trillion. That number has grown exponentially and, by 2021, will generate revenue of over $4.8 trillion. E-commerce has become so critical in the retail sector that 63% of all purchases, online shopping, or traditional retail store type begins online.
Data shows that 63% of all buyers will first use search engines to access buying information before spending their money on the best deals. Nevertheless, unlike malls that use sensory enticement to attract foot traffic, websites lack the advantage of this powerful experience.
The online purchase process can be a tad unexciting and sterile. Your online customer can neither smell, touch, nor try out a product. The only other tools in your arsenal are price competitiveness and customer experience.
What is price tracking?
Price tracking is, therefore, a critical need for online retailers. Did you know that 90% of all online buyers compare offers before purchasing? It is also not a surprise that 47% of these shoppers will only buy a product with a discounted value. Pricing is a critical factor in the customer’s decision-making process.
The importance of price in online retailing is decisive. Your store can build a formidable web shopping experience. Still, if your strategy relegates price tracking to the background, it will not be successful in conversion.
Price tracking or monitoring processes assists business owners in understanding price management, especially in highly competitive retail environments. By monitoring both external and internal price variables, businesses can acquire competitive intelligence that ensures decisive and positive pricing decisions.
How businesses perform competitive intelligence
In the past, e-commerce businesses had to track prices and their changes manually. Effective price tracking, however, has to offer fresh insights all day to ensure competitiveness. If this process is done manually, it will cost your business many hours and will produce less than accurate results.
A faster, affordable, and more efficient online data harvesting process utilizes price-tracking software powered by web scraping bots and artificial intelligence. Web scraping is the automated process of extracting online data from web platforms. Data scraping tools made from coded bots combined with AI will crawl and scrape prices data from competitor websites for price tracking.
Scraping tools utilize proxy servers to keep the data harvesting operations as low key as possible. Websites are generally designed to detect web scraping and halt it by blocking or banning the IP address of the computer acting. In the cutthroat world of retail, some competitors can feed a web-scraping tool, the wrong data just to gain an advantage in sales. Consequently, web-scraping tools need proxy servers for anonymity during data harvesting.
There are two main types of proxies out there: the data center and the residential proxy. Datacenter proxies are the most affordable and easily accessible proxy servers. Unfortunately, they do not have genuine IP addresses. Any keen web administrator can detect web-scraping bots if they are using these proxy servers to hide their activity.
Residential proxies are expensive but have genuine IP addresses. When placed in rotational proxy pools, residential proxies can keep all web scraping activities completely anonymous. These proxies are, therefore, the best price tracking proxies out there.
The Benefits of Price Tracking
Improving your e-commerce pricing game plan
An informed pricing strategy is vital for business success. Price tracking avails insights that allow businesses to set adjustable prices that give them an edge in real market set-ups. This strategy also ensures competitiveness in a sea of rival products. By studying metrics such as conversion rates or the margin and price index, a business owner can set up a competitive pricing strategy and improve their store’s performance.
If you study your rivals’ prices, you will soon discover price differences that may point to some in-house problems. A competitor’s lower than average costs could, for instance, point to lower manufacturing costs. Such insights can help your business find cost-cutting strategies.
Increases online conversions
By accessing a detailed view of the market via pricing data, you can up your pricing strategy. Customers cannot say no to fantastic deals, so use pricing data collected to spot periodic price trends. Optimize your strategy by offering discounts and promotions and enjoy more conversions.
By studying trends and opportunities, your business will also have better stock planning and purchase optimization strategies. All these strategies combined will increase your online store’s traffic and conversions as well.
The benefits of price tracking bots for businesses cannot be over-emphasized. They eliminate mistakes in data collection, accelerate price changes decision making, and are the perfect partners for business success.