Tools save time

Today, it’s nearly impossible to see how you compare to the all your competitors without the aid of price monitoring tools, such as InSiteTrack.   Yes, you can dip in and out to check prices, but this doesn’t give you an overall picture.

These tool save time and free up valuable resources.  They provide retailers with accurate and near-real time price comparisons that couldn’t be achieve manually.

The on-line challenge

The internet has given retail managers both massive opportunities but also enormous headaches.  Price visibility is now the norm, both for the consumer and competitor.

By using the web, retailers can expand way beyond their store fronts.  However the flip side is this also opens up new and unseen competition.   So how should the retailers stay competitive, particularly as Price is still considered as a key consumer decision criteria?

Do you have to always decrease prices?

Staying competitive is an essential ingredient in survival.  However continually decreasing prices to match every competitor’s lowest price could be a race to the bottom.   Does always decreasing prices result in more customers and increased revenues?   Maybe not in all cases.

Pricing is a skill but it is also the art of understanding your customer and competitors as well.  Information about your competitors activity is essential but also you need to understand how customers perceive your pricing as well.

Your strategy could be that you want to be viewed a higher value retailer with premium customer service.  Yet your pricing model could be to reflect the same or lower prices of your major competitors.  However how does your customers perceive your prices normally?  It maybe that you don’t have to undercut your competition, as your customer already perceives your prices to be higher even if they are not.

Knowledge is power; Price monitoring is essential

Gaining knowledge of your retail competitors price positions is as important as understanding how you are perceived by your customers. Understanding what is that gap between the perception of value and competition price is essential.  It maybe that not all your products have to match your competitors.

However it’s difficult to make these judgements without data.   Turning data into information is a real skill.  Tools are essential.  The  interpretation of data takes experience and judgement to turn that information into actionable results. Combining competitor information with knowledge of how your customer’s perceive your value proposition is essentially what will drive additional business.