Let’s say you sell Glow Pets Pillow Sets on your ecommerce store.

It’s so fluffy!

Picture a thrifty millennial mom who is scouting for the perfect pet pillow that would help her infant (and therefore her) sleep well at night. Assuming she finds your online store her next step would be to hop over and check other ecommerce stores — eventually buying the one that offers the best mix of price and convenience.

In the new age of retail it is important to price competitively. While other factors like differentiation, branding and convenience still play a role price matching has become a necessity for any retailer. So how can you do the due diligence needed to identify your competition and keep your prices relevant?

Just manually track’em

The amateur way would be to visit various online stores, search and bookmark pages where the pillow pets are being sold and look at the range of prices that they are being sold at. Till about 5 years ago this is exactly what the market research department had to do. Once they finished the time consuming and labor intensive process of finding and collating prices, they would start thinking on the strategy needed to price tag products. This meant a lag in keeping up with other retailers. Coming back to the example of the Glow Pets Pillow set, if your competitors come up with a Toddler’s Day sale and slash prices moms will flock away to your adversaries. We have heard about brand loyalty, but ecommerce store loyalty is not as strong a phenomenon. The effort of switching between stores is too low to be an actual barrier.

The only way to keep your sales up is to match price offers from other stores and offer better deals. But if you need to visit these bookmarked products and pages daily, check for the prices and deals, and make corresponding alterations on your side then a lot of time is spent researching rather than strategizing.

That works..until it doesn’t

Most retailers aren’t selling just pillow pets. It’s likely that if you sell pillow pets then you would also fancy selling Tree Dazzler Christmas Lights, Pumpkin Patch Gel Clings, Pikachu Plush Toy (and thousands of other products that would come under the same category). Manually curating the list of corresponding product offerings by competitors and checking for price variations daily (if not hourly) would require an old-school market research department.

Yes, there is a retail tech alternative

Semantics3’s Notification API enables clients to tackle this problem head-on. You can provide us with UPCs of the products that need to be tracked. These UPCs are passed through our Match & Merged Data API. Given a UPC or even a product URL the API determines ALL the product SKUs that match this UPC across thousands of big and small ecommerce players. It then pulls rich product metadata, including details like the price, stock availability and last recorded time. The matched product URLs are then automatically registered for updates via the Push Notifications system. These URLs are polled at least once a day to detect price and stock availability changes. If and when the system detects a change it sends a notification to the client’s pre-configured webhooks receiver.

Push notifications at work, so you don’t miss anything.

Register, kick-back and relax

Going back to our original Pillow Pet store, think of this as you giving us a call and telling us that you want to know everything about pillow pets — who is selling it, for how much, and at what discount. We register each item for Push Notifications and every time an ecommerce store on your radar varies the price of pillow pets on their website, we send you a notification.

To empower our clients to design a truly effective pricing strategy, we recently rewrote the notifications system to leverage the latest technologies and built solutions around it to monitor the health of the system. Among other features, the system includes the ability to configure how frequently, you would like a particular product to be polled for price changes; for instance 24 times a day.

Get pricing intelligence for your whole catalog. Talk to our solutions specialist to get setup.

Checkout our UPC & SKUs lookup databases at semantics3.com.