Competitive eCommerce pricing is much more than undercutting competitor prices and price-matching. If you know how to use competitive intelligence technology, and approach your competitors in an analytical and structured way, you have a high chance to outperform them. In this post, we are going to share six fantastic strategies to help you leave the competition far behind you. Don’t worry; it does not include giving away profit margins and underacting prices. It is all about acting fast and smart while using the latest automated competitor price monitoring technologies.
1. Stay competitive and profitable
If you focus only on the competition and ignore the costs, your eCommerce company is likely to fail. Costs of production and competitive pricing are conflicting forces for companies in eCommerce business. However, product prices depend on both factors. To be profitable, eCommerce must be careful about costs, in particular when attempting to adjust your prices to prices of competitors. Rather than trying cut to beat the prices of the competition, take a look of your own costs and reduce them to achieve long-term competitiveness. If you have uncompetitive prices, the solution is not to simply lower them, but to cut costs of your supply chain. When you lower costs, then it is easy to lower prices and offer special discounts.
2. Don’t undervalue your products and actively identify price to get new opportunities
It may happen that although your prices are lower than the competition, it is not enough for being truly competitive. Low prices indeed bring you the attention of shoppers and some of them will convert into customers. But, we recommend you not to go too low. You should strive for pricing your products at the maximum of the minimum. What does it mean? It means that they should be a bit below than the prices of the second cheapest competitors. The slight increase in the price will not be important for online shoppers and shopping comparison engines. Nevertheless, it will increase your profit margins at no costs for your company.
3. Analyze category and brand level pricing strategies of your competitor
Typically, eCommerce prices are based on brand or category level decisions due to the factors such as supplier deals valid for particular brands and budgeting operations of the company. Taking this into account, it is clear that it is not enough to focus only on micro-managing product prices and product price monitoring of the competitor. The solution is to use the right technology to obtain information about the category and brand level pricing of the competitors. One method is aggregation. More precisely, it means to group products of a particular category or a brand and then calculate the overall price performance for every site separately.
When you have an index value for the aggregated level for a brand or category, you will have detailed information about the price-related performance of particular brands and categories. In this way, you will discover the advantages and disadvantages of various competitors regarding categories and brands. After the careful analysis, you can adjust your price level on the basis of comparative results of overall brand and category management strategies. Would you like to know more about competitive pricing tactics?
4. Examine historical pricing trends of your competitors to find out about their sales such as nighttime flash sales and weekend discounts
Shopping is a matter of the present moment, but pricing is not. What does it mean? Put simply, the majority of companies have discounting strategies and time-based pricing tactics. Some companies are famous for their weekend sales, while others have a strong base of shoppers committed to the late-night discount frenzy. If you know the trends of your competitors, then you can actively compete. Don’t forget than being competitive in this way is equally important as offering competitive products. The reason is that campaigns and trends do not mean just offering a discount. Their real purpose is to create a loyal base of customers. Thus, as eCommerce company, you should track not only actual prices, but also the historical pricing trends of the competitors.
5. Take a look at out-of-stock products of your competitors
Prices are crucial, but they are not more important than product availability. The reason is that online shoppers will not consider the product, no matter its competitive price, if it is not readily available. In that case, the buyer will look for a similar product at some other place. Unavailable products are similar to expensive ones – they are not interesting for online shoppers. Knowing what are out of stock products of your competitors is a great pricing opportunity for your company. When your competitor is out of stock for a product with a tight margin, shoppers will be willing to pay more. It means a competitive advantage for the eCommerce company that has available stock at the moment. The modern technology makes it easy for you to get to know prices and stock availabilities of your competitors and react immediately.
6. Use data to negotiate better deals with suppliers
Data is a powerful weapon in business negotiations, as you can hardly present an objective argument without it. Reliable data cannot be disputed, and suppliers know it. Typically, without showing any data, eCommerce companies would just complain to suppliers about the prices competitors receive. But, naturally, suppliers are not impressed by this approach. However, if you carry out negotiations in a structured way and show to your supplier precise data about a supplier-affected disadvantage of your competitor, the things are likely to change. Hard evidence will most probably result in better deals and discounts. Put shortly, act smart and find out what is the relationship between your competitors and suppliers. Then you will be confident to ask for the best deal for your company.
Competitive pricing intelligence is a term referring to a multi-dimensional analysis, which is much more than simply monitoring product prices vs. competitors. Such monitoring does provide some profit boost and an increase in sales, but don’t stop there. If you implement these pricing tactics, you will soon outperform your competitors in contemporary highly competitive eCommerce market.