Price has always been one of the biggest factors in customer buying decisions. The relevance of price to brand popularity has skyrocketed with the boom in ecommerce. Reports show that 11 million online customers use price comparison websites when making purchases. These websites are an industry of their own, making it easier and easier for customers to compare brands.
Awareness of competitor prices is a key part of running a viable online business. And, as with so many business practices, the future of work is in automation. There are many price-tracking systems available to give you quick and easy access to competitor data. Let’s take a quick look at some tracking strategies, as well as how to use competitor data to boost your brand’s customer appeal.
Your Competitive Collection
Even with an automated system at your disposal, you won’t have unlimited time or resources. Price tracking for every single one of your products usually isn’t feasible. Apply the Pareto principle. It’s likely that about 20% of your product range will be responsible for 80% of profits. When you come to determine product price, you should have a defined collection of your most competitive products.
Follow the sales cycle of your customers to understand which products are the most popular and profitable. Don’t just look at your sales data – abandoned carts can give you as much information as completed sales. Customers might view products on your site, but ultimately choose another retailer for their purchase. For products like these, competitive pricing is vital
You should also track and collate common searches on your website. Analyzing referral data will help you to understand what brings first-time customers to your site. This will help you understand what your brand is known for, and where you should be focusing your competitive energy.
Know Your Competition
With the internet, businesses face more competitors than ever before. Brands from all over the world are just a click away, and it’s nearly impossible to predict where a customer will end up purchasing.
However, not all competitors are created equal. Rather than trying to track everything, focus on your brand’s most pertinent competitors. This will enable you to get the most out of price tracking. Rankings such as Alexa or SimilarWeb are available and can help you easily determine a brand’s market power.
Google Shopping is also a great tool – for you and your customers. Check the search results for products in your competitive collection to see what online buyers are seeing. Google Shopping will give you an idea of the main players for certain products, and their price ranges.
Make sure to listen to your staff and customers to get an idea of which other brands loom large in your business sphere. Listen out for names that frequently come up, or comparisons that are often made. If you can get an edge over these brands, you’ll see huge benefits to your sales.
Actioning Competitor Data
Once you’ve determined your main competition and your competitive products, automated price trackers make it easy to get competitor prices. However, it’s not enough to just gather data – you need to understand how to make use of it.
Automating price adjustment may be worth considering, as it allows you to streamline the process even further. In the dynamic online retail environment, many brands change their prices as frequently as every day. Automating the pricing process will help you to keep up. Of course, you need to consider the frequency you update, and how it reflects on your brand image.
Not everything can be done automatically, though. Ideally, you should be reviewing and actioning competitor data at least daily. Your price tracking software could be configured to provide frequent updates.
Competitor price data should be a big part of your overall sales strategy. Make this data easily accessible to your team, so that your brand’s position in the market is considered at every stage. RingCentral users typically use screen sharing apps to make it easier to share all the information you need for effective marketing.
Set up key performance indicators for your team, and communicate frequently about your pricing strategy. An effective communications approach will enable you to keep in touch, whatever the circumstances. Remember: it’s not enough to have the data to hand. You need to act on it too. For more information on software that can assist you in communications strategy, click here.
Use Price Tracking to Improve Customer Experience
Low prices aren’t the only factor that influences buying decisions, especially when it comes to your existing customers. A low initial price won’t offset inconvenience or failure to deliver on your brand’s promises. You need to consider every stage of every customer’s experience with your brand.
However, price is still a huge part of a brand’s appeal. The data you’ve collected on competitor’s prices can be integrated into creating a successful customer experience. If you’re spending a lot of resource tracking competitors’ prices, your customers should reap the benefits.
Automated systems on your website could be used to show your prices in relation to competitors’. This can be done very simply – for example, adding a symbol on products that you offer at a lower price than Amazon. A ‘wishlist’ system can be used to alert customers when a product changes in price as a result of your competitive strategy.
Above all, your customers should know that your brand strives to be competitive. This shows that you’re keen to keep up with customers’ needs and care about their experience with your brand. Competitive pricing is a sign of a dynamic, responsive brand.
Effective Price Tracking = Competitive Edge
Awareness of your competitors’ prices, and knowing how to deploy this information, will help push your business up above the competition. Not only will you stand out to prospective customers, but responsive pricing improves every part of the customer experience.
Automated competitor price tracking will speed up your daily operations and revolutionize your sales strategy. With these techniques, it becomes that much easier to gain and keep new customers.
Sunny Dhami is the Senior Director, EMEA Product Marketing & GTM for RingCentral a Global VoIP, video conferencing and team collaboration tool provider. He has extensive Marketing experience across SaaS, Telecommunications and Technology sectors within companies such as Vodafone, Reed Elsevier, Calor Gas and SapientNitro.