Successful business management in e-commerce requires certain skills to handle natural corner cases that are part of the business itself. Product variants are one of the major issues that requires particular attention from merchants, and they need to be handled with care. Product variants has been the subject of countless discussions on forums and help centers of Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Vend or even Amazon.
In other words, it’s a quite common corner case in e-commerce as it’s almost related with the every aspect of e-commerce operations, like the product listing, pricing, shipping and all.
As the most popular global e-commerce pricing optimisation software out there, Prisync also has a solution for handling the tricky competitor price tracking scenarios where product variants are involved, and in this blog post, we’ll explain you what are the most common product variant listings in e-commerce, how Prisync handles them seamlessly, and why it’s really a life saver for some major e-commerce verticals like cosmetics, pet food, designer items and many others.
What exactly is a Product Variant?
What we call in this blog post as a product variant (or actually, what it globally means in e-commerce) is that a certain parent product’s multiple variants, like different sizes of a certain perfume, or pet food, or lamp.
The tricky part with these products is that, they are literally the variants of the exact same product, i.e. can be listed under the same product URL in a web shop, but they are not 100% the same, and may differ in size, color, finish, flavour etc. depending on the product category. And at then end of the day, all these differences also alter the price points for those variants, so product variants listed under the same product URL may not technically the same even though their parent product is the same. So, this makes price scraping harder where the standard URL-based scraping assumes that there’ll be a single price-point for each URL and product, and this brings us to the claim that, being able to handle this tricky, non-standard situation as a competitor price tracking software can be (or actually is) a life saver for e-commerce merchants that have already faced this situation before.
Main Types of Product Variant Listings in E-Commerce
Not every e-commerce site is created equal.
Therefore, we observe multiple ways to demonstrate and list product variants in various e-commerce sites. Here in this blog post, we’ll cover the most common 3 product variant listing types in e-commerce and explain how Prisync can handle all of these variant price tracking cases seamlessly, to let its users facing these scenarios at their own web shop or competitors, and to continue to grow their businesses with smart competitive e-commerce pricing.
1- Variants listed as separate rows
From consumer point of view, this format is the most detailed and intuitive way of demonstrating all the product variants comparatively, as seen below.
In this scenario, the consumer simply pick the desired variant given at the particular line of variants, and adds that product into cart, with the respective price point listed on that line.
From our point of view (price tracking perspective), the product variants listed as lines can be distinguished from one another, by simply knowing which variant’s price is needed to be monitored. Here, by using Prisync’s Variant Price Tracking feature, users can point us to the right direction, by simply adding URL extensions starting with “#” at the end of the original URL, and add the line count that they want to get the price point from.
For example, in the case demonstrated above, if the users need to monitor the price for the variant listed as “Sensitive Stomach & Skin”, all that’s needed to be done is simply adding the product URL into the Prisync account, by adding a #6, at the very end of the URL.
By doing that, the user will be pointing Prisync towards the specific product variant, each time it scrapes the pricing information, and the confusion caused by multiple price points under a single URL will be resolved.
2-Variants listed in different dropdown options
In contrast with the above case of listing variants as separate lines, some web shops prefer to limit the amount of information that it shows for each of the product variants at the first sight, and for more details, the shopper needs to make dropdown selections for the specific variant options.
This time, we have product variant options that appear as dropdown selections but not as visible lines.
However, thanks to Prisync’s sophisticated price scraping technology, we also got this case covered as in the case of variant lines.
Here, when the dropdown is clicked, actually the variants again appear as listed one by one, under one and other. The main difference between this way of listing and the previous one is that, in the 2nd case, the user applies certain clicks for selecting the desired variant. Therefore, for a competitor price tracking software, being able to mimic the exact same user behaviour becomes a necessity. Prisync is able to do that with 100% accuracy, and the method to activate this scenario is exactly same with the previous case.
The user needs to point Prisync to pick the correct dropdown selection, by defining the correct line of that specific product variant in the opened dropdown form.
So, in the example case shown in the picture above, adding a #3 at the end of the parent product URL, and adding that URL into Prisync dashboard will let the user monitor the desired price for the correct product variant of “5 kg.”
3-Variants listed as clickable buttons
The 3rd version is similar to the 2nd version with dropdowns, but it’s also similar to the 1st type, where all variant details are demonstrated together next to, or under each other.
Here, for this Giorgio Armani perfume, we’re able to see all the possible variants of different sizes/ml’s in one shot. And to add the right variant into cart as a shopper, we need to select the right variant by clicking on the right variant.
We already explained you Prisync’s superpowers when it comes to mimicking shopper behaviour from a price scraper’s standpoint, so it should already be clear for you that Prisync can also help its users to track the correct variant prices in such scenarios.
Similar to the 1st and 2nd cases, all that’s necessary is the correct # extension to be added at the end of the parent product URL. So, for the variant “3.4 oz 100 ml” (the 3rd box), adding #3 at the end of the parent product URL and adding that URL into the Prisync account will let the user to receive correct price-point for the respective product variant.
Prisync got you covered!
Working with e-commerce companies of various sizes from more than 40 countries really teaches us a lot here at Prisync.
One of the key learnings we got so far is that, the capability of handling corner cases like Product Variants or Marketplace Merchant Listings (another tricky e-commerce scenario where Prisync has a smart solution, and a blog post on this is coming soon…) is really a life saver for our customers, because otherwise, the competitive landscape would lose its clarity for them, due to the amount of data that’d otherwise be missed and lacked in competitive analysis.
For all the Product Variant listing types that we’ve encountered so far, we had a solution thanks to the capabilities of Prisync, and our price scraping capabilities will continue to evolve in line with our pursuit of covering all the web shops in every single country on earth as we become the ultimate competitive pricing intelligence data source for all sizes of e-commerce companies out there.
So, ride along and feel free to join our journey by signing up for our 14 days free trial here to start automating your competitor price tracking process by covering all corner cases and whatsoever market position you hold, or shoot out your comments to us at the comments section below about the e-commerce corner cases that you’ve encountered across the market so far, or simply, just say “Hi!” 🙂