The retail market is a cut-throat market where the prices of products do matter. Studies show that customers perhaps look at pricing as second only to the quality of a product. However, there is no doubt that pricing is an essential factor when deciding to buy a product.
If online retailers and eCommerce businesses want to remain in the market, they must correct their pricing strategies. However, to do that, they need to know the pricing strategies of their competitors.
In the fast-paced retail segment, pricing intelligence and pricing strategy are extremely important for a business’s health.
What is pricing intelligence?
At a fundamental level, pricing intelligence involves gathering information on your competitors’ pricing strategies and then modifying your prices to match them or do better than them.
Since the prices can change rapidly, pricing intelligence and acting on it also need to be dynamic and fast. That is why most companies use automated processes and data mining for quick information gathering.
Businesses and their competitors are all aware of the importance of data mining. Everybody has to place certain restraints to stop others from gathering or using their data.
However, people have found ways to bypass these checks and still gather the information they require from their competitors.
How do eCommerce businesses use this data?
eCommerce businesses collect pricing information from their competitors to modify and change their pricing to win the market segment wars.
The information is gathered using online automated data mining. This involves using data proxies so that you are not discovered and banned from a website – more about this a little later.
Once the data is collected, an eCommerce business can use this to leverage its market share. This can be done in several ways.
- A business can use pricing intelligence to guide its sales and marketing strategy. Depending on the pricing and demand for competitors’ products, a company can set up its promotions like buy-one-get-one (BOGO) depending on current trends.
- An online business may also want to use pricing intelligence to create a price matching strategy to match the prices or keep them lower than the competition.
- Pricing intelligence will also help you decide on your repricing strategy. Should it be manual repricing or automated repricing? Automated dynamic repricing is the way to go where inputs are fed into a system that dynamically calculates your pricing based on your competitor’s prices.
Different locations, different pricing
Regarding pricing, there is another factor you need to consider. Prices for the same product may vary depending on the location of the market where it is sold. So, an online business will do well to gather pricing intelligence from various locations.
However, suppose you try to gather information from a different geographic location. In that case, you may be discovered, and the data may not be available to you. Worst case scenario, you can be banned from accessing that specific website.
For example, a person in the US may not be able to get pricing information from an Australian website due to geographical blocking. To bypass this restriction, you could use an Australian proxy to still get the information you want.
Gathering information using proxies
To gather data online, you would have to keep visiting the websites of your competitors very often. If your competitor gets suspicious, you could be banned from their website. This can prevent you from gathering the data you need for your business strategies.
This is a common occurrence which is why data mining uses proxies. There are many benefits to using a proxy.
A proxy not only hides your IP address, but some proxies also give the impression that your data request is coming from the same geographic location as the website. For example, a computer in the US may use an Australian proxy server to query an Australian website for pricing information.
For data mining, most businesses would use data center proxies or residential proxies. Some data center proxies also provide rotating IP addresses to suggest that data requests come from different IP addresses or computers. For instance, Oxylabs Australian proxy pool offers 1,131,798 IPs in order to ensure block-free scraping operations.
The retail market is dynamic and changes all the time. For a business to do well, it needs to gather information about its competitors. This is done via automated data mining. However, being discovered can result in losing access to websites.
To avoid discovery, data is collected using proxies that help a business remain anonymous. The data collected is price intelligence. A company can use this data in many ways, like changing its strategies and pricing to keep ahead of the competition.
Price intelligence is at the heart of doing business in this competitive world. With that said, there is no doubt that data proxies are an essential tool in gathering pricing intelligence.