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October 26, 2023
18 min

Web Price Scraping and Price Monitoring Guide by DATAFOREST in 2024

October 26, 2023
18 min
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The Internet and information technology development has led to increased online sales in general and marketplaces in particular. A critical factor in successful e-commerce is monitoring competitors' prices for the same product groups. It is necessary to correctly set the price for your product or service to make the business profitable. With data scraping help, price monitoring as a market trend can be automatic.

E-commerce scraping

The dropshipping company needed a way to automatically monitor prices and stock availability for over 100,000 products from over 1,500 stores. We created a system using custom scripts and a web interface that could check 60 million pages daily. This led to a reduction in manual work and errors, and improvements in customer experience and a $50-70k increase in monthly profits.
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1000h+

manual work reduced

60 mln

pages processed daily

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Jonathan Lien

CEO Advanced Clear Path, Inc., E-commerce Company
How we found the solution
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They always find cutting-edge solutions, and they help bring our ideas to life.

The use of web scraping reduces the price monitoring cost by eliminating manual searches, saves working time, and increases profits by enlarging the intellectual component in pricing. If this is your way, then this information is for you. DATAFOREST is one of the leaders in data scraping for price monitoring (and other purposes). Our team's data collection and storage strategies allow users easy access to an automated price comparison system. If you need an individual approach to a solution, book a call.

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DATAFOREST is an artificial intelligence product data design, pricing intelligence, and web development company. The team is building easy-to-use custom price monitoring and scraping software that helps businesses access and analyze real-time price information for faster product decision-making and sound strategic planning. Below we will discuss how to use these tools to improve e-commerce companies' benefits.

Let's dive into it!

Despite budget cuts, 26.6% of CMOs say they will increase spending on marketing technology such as automation tools.

Despite budget cuts, 26.6% of CMOs say they will increase spending on marketing technology such as automation tools.

What is Price Scraping?

Price scraping is a form of web scraping used to collect and analyze price data from competitors. As a result — insight appears; on its basis, you can make management and marketing decisions about raising or lowering your prices. Also, data analysis gives an idea about what products are better to sell in general and how to sell your market product in a given situation.

Price scraping, or price data mining, collects information from various open sources. The task uses programs or scripts that send requests and retrieve the required data. This approach is convenient for the buyer because of its simplicity and clarity.

Price scraping is performed using one of the following methods:

  1. Web scanning
  2. HTML scraping
  3. API integration 

Price analysis is an accurate tool. In the right hands, businesses and consumers can get the latest objective data on price trends. It provides a competitive advantage in the retail and e-commerce segments. DATAFOREST makes it possible for you with its price analysis solutions and related software. Comparing two identical goods at any time in the price is worth a lot. Sometimes — in real money.

The best thing about price scraping from a business standpoint is that it doesn't disrupt the customer's processes. Businesses can use price analysis to understand their target audience as well as the buying behavior of their competitors. Price comparison data provides a better understanding of the logic of the market for products and services.

With the help of DATAFOREST web scraping services, the user can quickly get information about the price of any product or service on any website. The process is fully automated — you don't have to spend time manually researching or comparing prices. You will need to enter a few parameters into the system (what product/service you want us to retrieve), and we will take care of the rest!

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The Invisible Hand of the Market

Mr. Adam Smith gave a good idea with his “invisible hand” metaphor about using individual interests to maximize social wealth. So, market monitoring is the very hand that leads to the point of union of the curves on the supply and demand chart. Each segment of goods and services will have its own exceptional cases, but generally, the law works: whoever owns the information owns the world.

In our case, information is Big Data obtained by web scraping or using the site's API. Replacing manual monitoring with automatic one has made this economic tool so accessible that it is cheaper. And this is the trend for the future in the global economy, since data, in another metaphor, has become the oil of the century.

Most importantly, price ranking benefits businesses large and small alike, with the monitoring availability significantly increasing. There are several ready-made tools that you can use yourself. But if there are individual requirements, you can turn to the software as a service scheme. DATAFOREST has worked in this market for a long time and has many successful projects. If you're interested in a topic, let's get in touch.

Web Price Scraping and Price Monitoring

What is Price Monitoring?

Price monitoring is tracking the dynamics of the goods and services cost over time to identify trends, make informed decisions, and, as a result, increase competitiveness. Both businesses and consumers can use it and can have many solutions.

  1. Price monitoring for businesses can be a helpful tool to keep abreast of market conditions and competitors' pricing strategies. By tracking prices, companies can make informed decisions about their pricing strategies.
  2. Consumer price monitoring is about finding the best deals to save money. By comparing prices from multiple retailers, consumers make informed purchasing decisions and must be confident they are getting the best value for money.

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There are the following price monitoring methods:

  • Manual check is actual visits to websites and regular price checks by hands
  • Price alerts — this is a notification setting that informs you of price changes
  • Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites using software or scripts

Price monitoring is valuable for businesses and consumers to keep abreast of pricing trends and make informed decisions. This process determines the meeting point of the curves on the supply and demand chart.

Web Price Scraping and Price Monitoring

Critical Options for Pricing Strategies

There are as many pricing strategies as stories in the literature — many but famous patterns are used. Below is the most popular economic plan regarding pricing.

  • Recommended Retail Price — the manufacturer sets it and has a single task: standardizing the price tag for all regions and stores that work with the same goods.
  • “Multiply by 2”. It is the cost of the product that is subject to doubling. In this case, the markup on the goods sold will always be 50%. It is the most uncomplicated pricing.
  • Low price + additional sales. The product cost is minimal, but the buyer is inclined to buy "little things." Earnings are precisely "little things," and the main product can be sold even at a loss-making price — to attract a client.
  • "Reduced price tag." The cost is set lower than competitors, and further price drop formation is carried out after revaluation based on the results of market monitoring.
  • "Inflated prices" is a pricing technique for retailers seeking to position the product they sell as more valuable and, therefore, more expensive.
  • Promotions, bonuses, cashback — "barkers" get started. Studies have shown that 86% of customers are willing to wait for Black Friday or the New Year holidays to make big online purchases.
  • A course on the psychological perception of the price: the more positive the client perceives the price, the more likely he is to buy it (the price ends with 9).

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  • Binding different products to the anchor cost. Higher-priced items are placed next to lower ones. Another option is to show the client before and after discount prices.
  • The price differentiation strategy says to impose on the buyer a product in a set to stimulate him to a complex purchase.
  • Dynamic pricing strategy. The formula of the seller's behavior depends entirely on the market situation and the conduct of competitors.
  • “Customer focus” is a strategy that nullifies all numbers, and emotion becomes the main tool. It is necessary to understand the motives of customer behavior that can motivate them to purchase a product.
  • Cost pricing. First, profit is determined, and an expense component is added to this figure — the actual price tag of the goods.
Think with Google

Think with Google

Review these points and ask yourself: in what cases is it necessary to monitor the competitors’ prices, and where can you do without it? Hint: There is room for application not only in price monitoring but also in data science.

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How Web Scraping Technology Benefits Price Monitoring

Web scraping is data extraction from websites using a program written in Python or another language. The program stores the retrieved data in a database or file. The goal of web scraping is to gain insight into consumer behavior by analyzing data about the products people view online and where they buy them. It is essential if you have several outlets, and one performs worse than the others. You can use the collected data to determine which products are selling well and adjust your inventory accordingly.

Price scraping is similar to a database search, but it presents the result in a convenient form for human understanding rather than a computer one. Therefore, there may be a difference in the data formatting obtained due to the search.

  1. One of the main advantages of scrapers for price monitoring is that they significantly reduce the time required to collect information by automating all data extraction and integration processes. 
  2. The second advantage is that it eliminates double entry for price monitoring and inventory management, which removes double-checking and marketing reporting. 

The biggest challenge when using scrapers to monitor prices is keeping track of updates from already processed sources. If you use the Web Scraping API to monitor costs, you can be sure that you will be up to date with the latest trends in your market segment and will know exactly where you are selling competitive products and at what price. 

Web scraping can help you with an e-commerce site that needs information about competing products. Data enrichment allows you to find additional customer information, such as demographics and purchase history. This data can be used for marketing or tactical and strategic business decisions. 

Data tool scrapers are automated solutions that collect, organize and store information from the internet. A data scraper can be as simple as a program that goes to a website and copies a list of products into a spreadsheet or as complex as an application that collects millions of records and organizes them so that they can be analyzed and performs statistical analysis. 

Price monitoring web scraping is essential for any online business and keeps track of consumer habits. It is critical in popular retail industries such as consumer electronics and clothing. Searching the web helps companies keep track of pricing trends so retailers know when to cut or raise prices — and how much — to stay competitive. The process allows retailers to avoid costly mistakes such as under or over-pricing based on outdated information. The primary purpose of market pricing analytics based on price scraping is to help sellers objectively evaluate their products to stay ahead of the competition. 

DATAFOREST offers insights and strategies to help you gain a competitive edge through price scraping and monitoring. Web price monitoring software allows users to collect price and product data from multiple online sources. A specialized search engine, crawler, turns the processed data into valuable keyword sets, rankings, seller details, and more. It gives e-business owners everything they need about any targeted website, product, or service.

Web Price Scraping and Price Monitoring

Lack of a Unified Scheme Implies price monitoring

The optimal price tag for a product can be set taking into account the following factors:

  1. Retail price is the product's starting price plus advertising, taxes, and development costs.
  2. Markup — a premium to the purchase price tag, considering the company's internal policy and market development in a particular segment.
  3. Margin — the difference between income and expenses from the goods sale.

The basis is always the cost of goods. There can be no single pricing scheme due to the difference in the goals of market actors. Some focus on low prices, others on overpricing with maximum margin in mind, and others analyze the market and set a neutral price.

7 Reasons Scraping Products Prices 

Extracting or collecting pricing data from various online sources can be valuable for businesses and consumers. There are several reasons why companies may want to drop prices. 

  1. The analysis is helpful for consumers who want to quickly compare the prices of different retailers and find the best deals.
  2. Businesses analyze pricing to monitor competitors' selling prices and keep the team informed about their pricing strategies.
  3. Market research firms can use price analysis to collect price trends and consumer behavior data.
  4. Businesses can determine the optimal price for their products or services by analyzing costs from various sources.
  5. Price analysis can help businesses identify opportunities for price differentiation and potentially charge a premium for their products/services.
  6. Price scraping can ensure a company's pricing policy is correctly displayed across various online platforms.
  7. Price analysis is faster and more economical than manually checking, especially on a large scale. 

Price scraping helps consumers save money and businesses — make informed decisions based on market analysis.‍ For additional savings, you can choose one of the cheapest providers of this service.

Price Scraping Workflow: How Does It Work and How to Scrape Prices? 

Tools that collect data during price scraping are designed to work simultaneously with large databases from multiple websites. They use various methods, including crawling sites with JavaScript, extracting data using regular expressions, and combining multiple results into one database. 

The process of collecting price data from various online sources includes four steps: 

  1. The first stage of price scraping involves planning the project and defining goals and objectives: the choice of websites, the specific data to be collected, and the tools and methods to be used. It is imperative to carefully plan the project to ensure that the data collected will be up-to-date and accurate. 
  2. The second stage of price scraping involves collecting data from target websites. It can be done using web crawling, HTML parsing, and API integration. It is essential to ensure the efficiency and reliability of the data collection process, as any errors will affect the accuracy of the final results. 
  3. Once the data is collected, it must be processed and cleaned by price-scraping internet tools to make it usable. It may include filtering out irrelevant data, standardizing formatting, and organizing data into a functional structure. 
  4. The final stage of price scraping is data analysis. It involves interpreting and using data to inform decisions or draw conclusions. The analysis stage may include using statistical tools and methods to identify trends and patterns in the data. 

When running a business, one top priority is ensuring the most efficient and smooth operation. The customer uses web scraping to control price advantageous, keep track of inventory, and automate dropshipping. 

The DATAFOREST platform is efficient for extracting price data. The team provides free proxies to help access any site and collect real-time information. DATAFOREST offers a turnkey solution for all stages so that users can understand how the platform works by trying and testing it on different tasks before extracting data. 

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How to Use Web Scraping to Gather Market Pricing Intelligence on Competitors 

Collecting prices from multiple retailers allows business owners and consumers to compare and make purchasing decisions or their pricing strategy. 

  • Price scraping is good for business. Companies can adjust their strategies to stay competitive by tracking competitors' prices. It can help them to attract new customers, retain old ones, and increase profits.
  • Market research firms can also use price analysis to collect pricing trends and consumer behavior data. It can be used to predict future market conditions and inform business decisions.
  • Price optimization — businesses can determine the optimal price for their products or services by analyzing various sources. It can help them to maximize profits and remain competitive in the market.
  • Some companies also use price scraping to ensure they display correctly on various online platforms. It prevents errors or inconsistencies that could lead to lost sales or dissatisfied customers.
  • Price scraping is a valuable tool with many applications on board. It helps understand consumers, saves time and money, and provides businesses with valuable market research data. 

In addition to pricing, you need to keep an eye on other aspects of your competitors' business, such as products and promotions they may have from time to time (it can also affect how much they charge). ‍ 

Price Monitoring: Do It Yourself or With a Scraper?

Competitor price tracking is a sequence of actions to determine the segment of competitors, monitor prices and develop marketing pricing decisions.

There are several methods of price "reconnaissance":

  1. Manual
  2. By phone
  3. Aggregators and marketplaces price monitoring
  4. Market monitoring in accounting systems
  5. Automatic price monitoring (scraping)

The first two methods are "manual," and the last three can be done automatically using web scraping or can keep API. The question in the title can be rephrased as follows: would you like to clear the snow manually or with a scraper? Only the necessary data may turn out to be more than snow in winter.

Methods of price tracking

Manual price monitoring

The typical manual price tracking system comes from the retailer's awareness that prices must be monitored. Because manual price tracking systems emerge from spontaneous decisions, they are simple. Such systems can use a spreadsheet on a computer to store data. The frequency of updating information needs to be higher.

There may not be enough hands for manual tracking

The seller may occasionally visit a competitor's store or call stores to find products that indicate a price level. You can also manually scrape prices by site, but the number of competitors, in this case, can be in the hundreds, much more than in the case of a geographically delineated area.

What is good and evil in manual monitoring

Strengths:

  • no additional knowledge required
  • no specially trained staff required
  • no extra costs for hardware and software

Weak sides:

  • long process time
  • possibility of human error
  • bias due to missampling
  • the work of employees on monitoring distracts from the main work
  • only a small amount of data can be processed qualitatively
Web Price Scraping and Price Monitoring

What is automatic price tracking?

Automatic monitoring of competitors is a regular process of collecting prices and stocks of goods on Internet sites, where data changes very often. An automated price tracking app is carried out without the participation of the company's personnel. With automated price monitoring systems, it is possible to quickly track and respond on time to the rapid change in the market situation in highly competitive industries such as e-commerce. Hotel price monitoring is also relevant, same as oil price monitoring. Recently, retail price monitoring has been no less popular.

The primary method of automated dealer price monitoring is scraping — the legal extraction of open data from various sites, then presenting the results conveniently for human understanding. Scraping can be used in three ways:

  1. Write your code to solve specific problems. It is expensive (a separate project with its own team and manager), so the solution is more suitable for large businesses.
  2. Use the ready-made scraping tool. It will significantly speed up price monitoring, but the tool must be fine-tuned to your needs.
  3. Contact the price tracking service (SaaS). A third-party company, such as DATAFOREST, will provide a set of necessary custom tools, analyze the results and issue practical recommendations.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) experimented with the Seller Hub tool on the eBay platform. The results showed that simply using data science service results increased weekly sales by 3.6%.

Outside help is better but expensive

A competitive pricing strategy in an industry as dynamic as e-commerce requires a highly specialized service. For example, SaaS price tracking software will have enough functionality to analyze the received data.

Roughly speaking, a scraper is the initial stage of a SaaS. The main disadvantages of price scraping using ready-made power tools for which you have to pay monthly:

  • not high accuracy of automatic comparison of goods is possible
  • the need to individually configure the scraper for each site by the user himself
  • problems with bypassing site protection from scraping
  • lack or brevity of functionality for data analysis

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A clear advantage of ready-made price monitoring tools is the lower cost of using scrapers compared to SaaS.

SaaS pros:

  • plug and Play technology — a turnkey solution
  • practical functionality for data analysis
  • pricing advice

The disadvantage of software as a service is the high price for use compared to universal scrapers.

Most Popular Price Monitoring Tools

Third-party assistance with tools in tracking competitors' prices can have three incarnations, which are discussed below with examples.

  1. uXprice is SaaS; its data is stored in the cloud and available anywhere. Customizable reports are also uploaded to Excel or via API for the desired purposes. To start tracking prices, you need to register and upload your products.
  2. Xmlatafeed is a regular price scraper without additional analysis functionality. The output is a file with price info downloaded from the competitor's website. The cost of the service depends on the number of such competing sites (the scraper is configured individually for each of them).
  3. Elbuz is not a highly specialized price scraper or SaaS but a whole system for automating the daily processes of online stores. Among the extensive list of features, competitors' prices are monitored.

Among the highly rated tools are also: Visualping, Competera, Fluxguard, Skuuudle, Omnia Dynamic Pricing, etc. Some drop alerts if the parameter or product reaches a critical value. DATAFOREST also provides services for collecting and analyzing data on competitors' prices, so please contact us.

Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey, 2021

Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey, 2021

How to Properly Manage the Results of Price Monitoring?

Collecting data on competitors' prices (whether by hand or using scraping tools) is half the battle. Now the received data needs to be read and analyzed correctly. With some preparation, you can do it yourself. But SaaS is good because the information is collected and analyzed in this case. The analysis results are provided in the form of specific practical recommendations.

Preparing price data for analytics

Research data can be in the form of a qualitative or quantitative study. Using the right combination of both methods implies maximum information content for price analytics. The most commonly used tools for conducting price analytics:

  • The choice-based modeling technique calculates willingness to pay for specific products or services using joint and maximum difference analysis modeling techniques.
  • Van Westendorp's price sensitivity allows researchers to understand the value of fundamental psychological price targets and how much consumers wish to pay for a product or service.
  • The Gabor-Granger method is a pricing study to determine the income and demand curve for a particular product or service, allowing you to choose the price elasticity of a product.
  • Focus groups are a qualitative research method for collecting detailed information about a product/service. A trader can use a continuous discovery model and continue to adjust prices based on various macro and micro market factors.

The combination of these methods increases the reliability of the price analytics results.

Why do you need a price tracking analysis?

Pricing analysis is a research process to determine the ideal price for a product. It's all about finding the sweet spot: a price your customers are willing to pay that's not so low that it gives the impression of poor quality but also not so high that your target customers can't afford it or aren't willing to pay for it.

You have probably heard something similar to "pricing analysis" and "competitive pricing analysis." These are not interchangeable terms. Competitive pricing analysis is an analysis of your competitors' prices and how you should price your product to be as competitive as possible. On the other hand, "price analysis" describes a more general analysis that considers competitors' prices but also considers factors such as your customers and what they are willing to pay.

Determining the ideal price for your product is hard data science. Several factors can be considered, such as the costs of creating a product finder and running a business, the prices of competitors, target consumers and what they can afford, prices that target consumers are willing to pay, and much more.

Always be on trend

The data collected by tools or SaaS can be analyzed from different angles, considering the merchant's needs. For example, you can analyze trends and learn how to deal with customer behavior so that it has a beneficial effect on sales.

  • Consumer trend analysis examines the factors that influence the consumption of a product. It provides insight into customers' needs and behaviors and what influences their purchasing decision.
  • Price history analysis provides info about emerging and future trends as well as past.
  • Seasonal or time analysis looks at changes in market trends due to external factors such as holidays and weather.
  • Geographic trend analysis studies variations in specific locations. You can compare trends across regions, countries, and continents to see their development.
  • The essence of social media is that consumer trends go through social channels before they affect the market for goods and services.

Trends are a very revealing analysis option that is constantly changing. To accurately track it and draw conclusions from the results, it is better to use data science. Then the seller will always keep abreast of trade.

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Analysis helps you grow

Before looking for opportunities to optimize pricing, you must understand the business direction, resources, strengths, and potential. Full transparency is the key to making decisions based on product price monitoring data. Then you can evaluate the market and consumer needs and how sellers meet them now. Then, start looking for a solution.

  • Divide the consumer audience based on commonalities. It will help you effectively target the right group.
  • What, when and where consumers buy can be influenced by many factors. You must browse buying patterns and how to change the offer to influence those decisions.
  • Do research on where your business is in the market. And find out what other key players are doing to create a competitive advantage. Then understand how they relate to your business.
  • Indirect competitors target a similar audience but sell different products that meet the exact needs. Analyzing what companies in replacement industries are doing will help improve the offer and attract new audiences.
  • Track the effectiveness of products and services that complement your sales.
  • If a company has reached a high level of maturity in the current market, a diversification analysis will help you understand how and where to grow.
  • If the business operates in a mature or saturated market, studying other countries' needs will help achieve financial goals.
  • Remember to analyze the external factors that affect trading. These are economic situations, geopolitical events, rule changes, technological and scientific developments, and environmental factors.

If you carry out the analysis yourself, you can get confused about the points that are needed or not. In the case of contacting SaaS, specialists will leave only the necessary factors in the analytical note.

Adaptation based on price tracking results

Price is more than just a reflection of the value of your products and services. When properly read, e-commerce price monitoring tools analysis and sales adaptation to innovation can be of interest to customers and become a reliable promotional tool.

  • Customize adaptation to price discounts and promotional offers
  • Maximize customer value factors or non-price leverage
  • Apply research findings to get price changes and adjustment strategies
  • The price adjustment decision must be precise and aggressive to be more successful
  • Ask: What else can be done to cut costs?
  • Flexibility needed to adapt to new price adjustment strategy

Thus, the transition to a new strategy based on the results of competitor price tracking will be smooth and comfortable. This method is popular, for example, in retailer price monitoring.

Making data-driven decisions

Pricing is a complex process because it includes data about competitors and many characteristics of your popular shopping audience. That's why you need to make data-driven pricing decisions. When consumers had limited market knowledge, sellers had more freedom to make decisions. But pricing in online sales is transparent, and you have to maneuver between solutions like a slalom skier on a track. It is where service can come in handy.

Define dynamic pricing rules.

Dynamic pricing is a strategy that uses a repricing algorithm to adjust product prices to changing market conditions. These rules can be based on costs, target profit margins, competitor prices, etc.

If you want to match or outperform your competitors, set dynamic prices that adjust whenever your competitor changes price. For example, the price should be 5% cheaper than the cheapest competitor. You need to add cost-based rules to ensure you sell at least cost. The target price should be $15 less than the average price but not lower than my cost of +4%. Flexibility eliminates the risks associated with a heterogeneous trading environment.

Creating artificial demand

Merchants want to sell goods as quickly as possible, which reduces maintenance and storage costs. If the product has an expiration date, the issue becomes more urgent. To do this, there is a promotion of sales of goods to increase demand. To implement it, they use promotional pricing — a method in which companies temporarily reduce the prices of certain goods below the list price level. It applies to discounts, loyalty programs, coupons, and free shipping.

The primary method of advertising pricing is as follows:

  1. Goal definition
  2. Strategy implementation plan
  3. Picking the best time
  4. Buyer group selection
  5. Setting a fixed budget
  6. Collecting feedback

The exact execution of the plan is influenced by the quantity and quality of data collected through e-commerce price tracking.

Setting a competitive price

Once the pricing analysis is complete, a strategy can be implemented that positions the merchant in the market relative to competitors. There will be three main options:

  1. Above market price — depending on market share and brand perception, it is possible to rank your product as premium and beat the competitor's price.
  2. Fair price — if the decision is made to compete on price alone, own value is set according to competitors' prices.
  3. Below the market price — in this case, it is a distinctive feature and a means of attracting potential customers since the merchant positions his product as cheaper.

At this stage, all errors will be revealed if they were made during online price monitoring. To avoid inaccuracies, it is better to use the tools or services of specialists.

Product Quality Price
High Medium Low
High Premium High Value Superb Value
Medium Overcharging Average Good Value
Low Unprofitable Close to Savings Economy

5 Additional Tips for Effective Price Monitoring 

Several key factors must be considered to make price scraping as effective as possible. 

  1. Many web scraping tools are available; choosing the most reliable and effective one is essential. Consider factors such as tool capabilities, usability, and compatibility with the websites you want to scrape.
  2. Use various methods to make web scraping more efficient. For example, using the correct HTTP headers and user agents helps avoid being blocked by websites, and using regular expressions can help extract specific data points.
  3. It is critical to comply with the terms of use of the websites you scrape and everything with laws and regulations. It includes obtaining permission, if necessary, and refusing to clean up sensitive or personal data.
  4. To get the most accurate and up-to-date pricing data, it is essential to scrape websites regularly. Consider setting up a schedule to make sure you collect data consistently.
  5. Once you have collected price data, cleaning it up and organizing it is essential. It may include filtering out irrelevant data, standardizing formatting, and creating a clear and easily accessible data structure. 

By following these tips, you can turn web scraping into an effective price monitoring tool and keep up to date with the latest price trends and changes. 

Monitoring Competitors

The success of a business directly depends on the pricing strategy, which must be determined with an eye to the dynamics and market conditions. How many big sellers are there, and who are they? How many others and how different are their pricing policies? Answers to these questions are necessary for all retailers to attract customers with the best deals. Now you can't play poker with prices; reseller price monitoring is an open game.

Live trading

Competitor price monitoring software is a system for searching and constantly collecting product data to assess, control, and effectively manage pricing to increase sales and competitiveness in the market. In carrying out, analogous for each product category, the popularity of positions is determined, novelties are highlighted, and the assortment policy of specific sellers is.

Price monitoring apps allow you to accurately maneuver between the difference in found prices in the market and spontaneous bursts of supply and demand. The seller has accurate, up-to-date data, thanks to which he understands strategic decisions in general and at what stage of each specific product's life cycle. It's like live football, not recorded.

Rules for Reliable Price Tracking

Before you start monitoring competitors, it is vital to identify them. Keep track of where their target markets are and whether they match yours. Also, find out where your competitors have expanded their marketing territory and effectiveness. It will help you discover an untapped market for your products and services.

Competitor price tracking techniques can differ regarding the number of tools used and the semantic direction. But they all boil down to implementing some rules, the general ones of which are the following.

  • Regular visits to competitors' websites will help you understand the latest changes, news, events, and product launches to improve your website.
  • Even if you're an established business, you must keep track of competitors' prices to ensure you're not overcharging or undercutting your offerings.
  • Sometimes referred to as media monitoring, this is tracking the mention of keywords associated with a brand on the Internet.
  • Analyzing competitors' content will help you understand their content strategy, which is essential for marketing. Monitoring competitor social media accounts is a similarly powerful method.
  • Constantly monitor the overall marketing strategy of your competitors and then analyze and compare it with yours. Big Data analysis will surely provide insight.
  • Tracking customer service feedback on products and services provides insight into the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. There is a reason to compare with your own business and reviews at your own expense.
  • Finding where competitors need new hires will provide insight into their next strategic move. Forewarned is forearmed.
  • Monitoring prices will be more accessible if you use an automation tool or software as a service. Data-driven decisions can change your marketing strategy.

The last point "covers" all the others — automatically carrying out such a plan is easier and cheaper.

Tools for analyzing price data

Price analytics refers to comparative and predictive software that provides invaluable data for product trends and competitor monitoring. The price analytics tool allows e-commerce retailers to set optimal pricing strategies that convert customers. Knowing how competitors charge prices and discounts gives you an idea of how best to price products before going to market and your discount strategy.

The process of price analytics fits into three simple steps:

  1. Price tracking.
  2. Monitoring and analysis of price data.
  3. Strategic pricing decisions based on data analysis and SaaS partner recommendation.

After all calculations, you need to check the price constantly.

Price monitoring with scrapers

In the commercial realm, a large amount of extracted data can be used for business analysis. It can help analysts and market sellers assess the potential value or make more important decisions. Below are three powerful tools for price scraping.

  1. Octoparse is a free web scraper. It is used to get data from Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Priceline, and other sites, including data on prices, reviews, and comments.
  2. Import.io is also known as a crawler. It offers a Magic tool that can convert a site into a spreadsheet without any special training on the user side.
  3. With Scrapebox, users can easily collect data from a website to access email addresses, check page rank and working proxies, and submit news and blog change requests.

Note that the tools help monitor prices, but do not provide analytics, much less its interpretation.

Mystery user

Mystery shopping is a technique that involves using trained people to test and measure critical stages in a product's life cycle by acting as customers and reporting their experiences.

In the case of competitive price monitoring, this means that, for example, mystery shoppers can use the application on their iPhone and Android gadgets to take notes and photos for reports. This tool allows managers to ask "buyers" to accept and annotate as many photos as needed. It is in the case of a physical visit to a competitor's outlet.

In the virtual space, "mystery shopper" is a market research tool based on artificial and human intelligence. This mystery shopping app uses answers from mystery shoppers to help improve business operations.

Price Scraping Influence on Retail Industry 

Analyzing prices, or gathering price information from various online sources, can significantly impact how you operate in the retail industry. It can benefit consumers by allowing them to compare prices and find the best deals quickly. It can lead to increased competition among retailers, which is an excuse for lower prices and ultimately benefits the consumer. 

On the other hand, price cuts could hurt retailers. If prices are retrieved and displayed on comparison websites, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition, resulting in lower margins and reduced market share. 

In addition, price analysis can also create challenges for retailers in terms of pricing strategy. Implementing dynamic pricing strategies can be challenging if a retailer's prices are constantly monitored and compared with competitors' prices. It can limit a retailer's flexibility and potentially affect its profitability. 

E-commerce, travel, and marketing can also have companies benefit from price monitoring. Learn more about data scraping solutions from DATAFOREST!

Price Scraping Challenges

One of the problems with price scraping is the issue of accuracy. The digital value of prices on the internet can change rapidly, and keeping the collected data up to date and accurate can be challenging. It can lead to incorrect pricing information, influence decision-making, and potentially lead to lost profits or customer dissatisfaction. 

Another issue is the legality. In some cases, price reading may be considered a violation of the website's terms of use or even illegal under civil laws and regulations. It is essential to ensure legal and ethical price collection activities. 

Price scraping can also be technically challenging, especially if the collected data comes from multiple sources. Extracting and organizing this data may require high technical expertise and specialized tools. 

The best way to get accurate price data is to use a price analysis tool designed specifically for this purpose. These programs can scrape thousands of websites simultaneously using their internal information databases. The software analyzes the data received from each website. It compares it to its internal consumer database, creating a single set of standards for comparing prices. 

It helps companies when they are trying to make business decisions based on competitive analysis, such as deciding whether it makes sense to enter new markets with specific product lines or services that will give them an edge over other businesses in those markets. 

Price analysis can take a long time, especially if done manually or on a large scale. It can be a significant additional burden on the business and require allocating other resources.‍

Big Data Drives Sales Efficiency

The effectiveness of online sales is directly dependent on competition, so tracking the prices of other sellers is a task of the first importance. Scraping or a SaaS service is the best way to do this quickly and get accurate data.

Scraping tools were the first solutions in this area, and over time, their capabilities only satisfied some of the needs of e-commerce representatives. Therefore, they have been replaced by modern cloud SaaS services.

When choosing a service to monitor competitors' prices, choosing products from leading developers is better. Due to their extensive experience, they are better adapted to the specifics of the e-market and will always be able to provide prompt support.

Benefits of Competitor Price Monitoring

Using automatic tracking of competitor prices, a trader gets the following:

  • Resource Saving
  • Building an effective pricing strategy for different product groups
  • Purchases on more favorable terms
  • Quick response to market changes
  • Correct positioning
  • Increase traffic and conversions
  • Growth in sales and profits
  • Increasing user loyalty

It is tough to achieve these results with manual price monitoring; to a greater extent, the above advantages apply to companies that use specialized services to track prices.

Everyone has their own strategy

The trading strategy depends on the type of goods and services, the size of the business, the qualifications of managers, etc. Choosing the right strategy with the help of an e-commerce price monitoring tool is easy; knowing exactly what you want is essential. And how to achieve this, the tools or a third-party SaaS will tell — after collecting and analyzing the data.

Total Benefit

The purchase of a product or service is a sign of agreement between the sellers and the buyer; that is when the purchase benefits both parties. Price tracking is helpful for an even larger circle of people — analysts, economists, and IT specialists join sellers and buyers, who will lead the seller to the correct and balanced price through data science. After leaving the offices, these professionals will become buyers and continue to develop the economy through trade.

There is no need to be afraid of mistakes; you must be scared of repeating mistakes. And to avoid them during price monitoring, it makes sense to turn to the price analysis leaders in the e-commerce field.

Advantages of Custom Web Scraping Price Development of a Small Amount of Data 

Custom development creates an individual solution for a specific purpose or need. Custom development can offer several advantages over a pre-existing solution or processing a small number of data tools. 

  • Custom development provides a high level of over-the-solution control. A solution designed specifically for data and requirements can be customized to match those requests. It can be beneficial for working with a small amount of data.
  • Custom development can be more time and resource-efficient. Existing tools can only occasionally be optimized for a particular task, and additional work may be required to adapt them to current needs. Custom development allows you to create a solution from scratch; it can lead to faster and more efficient data processing.
  • Custom development offers opportunities for innovation and the ability to add unique features. When designing a solution from scratch, you can include features not available in pre-existing tools or develop a solution for specific project needs. 
  • Custom development offers control, efficiency, and opportunities for innovation.‍

DATAFOREST Cutting Edge Price Scraping & Price Monitoring Solutions 

DATAFOREST specializes in artificial intelligence, data analysis, web application development, and data integration. The brand also focuses on building easy-to-use custom price monitoring and scraping software. It helps businesses obtain and analyze real-time pricing information to support product decision-making and strategic planning with data analysis and forecasting. We know how to provide the most accurate and up-to-date product and pricing information available to e-commerce reps. 

There are many ways to use web scraping that DATAFOREST offers as a B2B service. Here are some of them:

  • Market research and analysis, search for business insights
  • Price monitoring systems
  • Inventory management for e-commerce
  • Data-Driven Marketing
  • Scraping for real estate
  • Creating custom scrapers for startups and established businesses 

Our price-scraping design services will help you collect the data you need from websites. Scraping may require market research, information analysis, price monitoring systems, inventory management, dropshipping automation, data-driven marketing, and many other use cases. We have created a comprehensive solution to collect all the necessary information quickly. 

Interested in learning more about DATAFOREST solutions for the e-commerce industry? Read about our real cases: 

  • E-commerce scraping
  • Data parsing
  • Demand Forecasting 

DATAFOREST will help you create your web price scrapers and choose the right tool depending on your requirements and budget. Do not hesitate to contact us!‍

FAQ

Why does a business need price tracking?

Price tracking refers to monitoring and analyzing the prices of products or services in a particular market or industry. It involves collecting price data from various sources, such as competitor websites, online marketplaces, and brick-and-mortar stores. The goal of online price tracking is to stay up-to-date with the latest price trends and gain insights into competitors' pricing strategies.

How Price Monitoring Works with Web Scraping?

Web scraping extracts data from websites. It can be a valuable tool for price monitoring, allowing businesses and consumers to track prices from multiple online sources and stay up-to-date on the latest pricing trends. 

To perform web scraping for price monitoring, a software program or script to send requests to websites and extract the desired data is used. It can be done using various techniques such as web crawling, HTML parsing, and API integration. Web scraping can be an efficient and cost-effective way to gather pricing information and is often used in conjunction with other price monitoring methods, such as manual price checking and price alerts.

What are the main price monitoring strategies?

The main price monitoring strategies are manual and automated monitoring, historical and competitor analysis and price optimization. The choice of strategy is custom in each case. The level of price increases the level of responsibility in any case.

What parameters determine the brand's pricing strategy?

Various factors influence a brand's pricing strategy, including the cost of production, market demand, competition, brand image and positioning, customer perception, and marketing and promotional activities. Brands need to carefully consider these parameters when developing their pricing strategy to ensure that they are setting competitive prices that align with their overall business goals.

What are the best practices for promoting a price-tracking strategy?

Promoting a price-tracking strategy involves establishing clear objectives, identifying key metrics, using reliable data sources, choosing valuable tools, creating actionable insights, and sharing insights with key stakeholders. By following these best practices, businesses can ensure that their price-tracking strategy effectively drives growth.

What are the best price-tracking tools to use?

There are several price tracking tools available on the market that businesses can use to monitor and analyze pricing data: Price2Spy, Prisync, CamelCamelCamel, Keepa, Wiser, and Competitor Price Watch. A business's best price tracking tool will depend on its specific needs and budget. Due to the industry's popularity, the retail price monitoring system presents the most striking examples.

Is Web Scraping for Price Monitoring Legal?

Yes, if you follow the rules. The data you collect from price monitoring is public information, so there's nothing illegal about scraping it. The laws that apply to this kind of data collection differ in every country, so it's essential to understand local regulations before scraping. 

In the US, for example, there are no laws against web scraping per se. However, there are laws regarding how you use the data you collect from your scraping. If you're collecting price data and displaying it on your website or app, that's fine. But suppose you're scraping prices to create a competing website or business (especially if you're using the data to charge people). In that case, those actions could be considered unfair competition under certain circumstances. 

The critical thing here is intent — if you intend to display prices publicly and not compete unfairly with other businesses by using their data, then there won't be any problems with legality or ethics.

Does price tracking have legal or ethical issues?

To avoid legal and ethical issues, businesses must ensure that they are collecting and using pricing data in compliance with laws and regulations. They should also be transparent about their pricing strategies and how they use pricing data to make informed decisions. Additionally, businesses should ensure that their pricing strategies are fair and not anti-competitive and use pricing data responsibly and ethically.

How does automatic price monitoring improve business competitiveness?

Automatic ecommerce price monitoring tools can provide businesses with real-time insights, help optimize pricing strategies, enable faster response to market changes, improve pricing strategy, and enhance customer experience, ultimately raising business competitiveness.

Benefits of Price Monitoring to Your Business

Price monitoring helps make better decisions by analyzing competitor pricing and market trends. It also helps determine the price you should sell products or services. You can also use this data to determine if there is a price difference between different locations so that you can adjust accordingly. 

Price monitoring is essential to online retail business because it helps retailers monitor prices across websites and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. 

In addition, price monitoring allows retailers to track competitor pricing and their pricing history over time to improve their pricing strategy accordingly.

Benefits of Price Monitoring to Your Business

Is there room in the digital world for manual tracking?

Manual tracking can be helpful for smaller businesses or businesses with a limited budget for price-tracking tools. Manual monitoring may be necessary to ensure compliance with industry regulations if a company tracks prices in a highly regulated industry, such as pharmaceuticals. While automated price tracking tools offer several advantages, manual tracking still has its place in the digital world, such as "mystery shoppers."

What is Better: In-house vs. Outsourcing Price Scraping

In-house price monitoring requires a significant investment in infrastructure (hardware and software). Building, testing, and maintaining it require substantial time and effort. The company’s resources often limit in-house price monitoring solutions — they may not be able to monitor all products or even all categories of products. 

On the other hand, outsourcing price monitoring is a more affordable option. It also allows you to leverage the expertise of an experienced vendor.

How can a seller take advantage of the collected price data?

Using pricing data collected from a price tracking tool can help sellers make informed decisions about their pricing strategy, monitor competitors, identify trends, forecast demand, and improve sales performance. Theory can always be translated into real deals.

How to Use Price Monitoring for Business Development?

Price monitoring tracks prices over time to identify trends and make informed decisions. It can be a valuable tool for businesses, as it can help them stay competitive and maximize profits. By monitoring prices, companies can better understand market conditions and competitors' pricing strategies, which can inform their pricing decisions. 

Price monitoring also helps businesses optimize their pricing by analyzing prices from various sources and determining the optimal price for their products or services. 

In addition, price monitoring can help enterprises to identify opportunities for price differentiation, allowing them to charge a premium for their products or services. 

Overall, price monitoring is an essential tool for businesses that can help them stay competitive and drive development.

What difficulties arise when implementing a strategy based on e-commerce competitor price monitoring, and how to overcome them?

While implementing a strategy based on price monitoring can present some challenges, these can be overcome by focusing on relevant data, using real-time data sources, filtering out temporary promotions, investing in advanced monitoring tools, and using pricing analytics software to implement an effective pricing strategy.

Nuances to Keep in Mind While Price Scraping Process

Price scraping, or collecting pricing information from various online sources, involves several nuances. One critical nuance is the issue of accuracy. 

Scraping prices on the internet can change rapidly, and it can take time to ensure that the data collected is up-to-date and accurate. It can lead to incorrect pricing information, impacting decision-making and potentially resulting in lost profits or customer dissatisfaction. Another nuance is the issue of legality.

In some cases, price scraping may be considered a violation of a website's terms of use or even illegal under specific laws and regulations. Ensuring that any price-scraping activities are carried out legally and ethically is crucial. 

Other nuances in the price scraping process include technical challenges and the time and resources required to perform the scraping.

How can a business protect itself against scrapers and scraper software?

There are several steps that businesses can take to protect themselves against scraper bots and price-scraping software. One option is to use web scraping prevention tools to help detect and block scraping activity. These tools can be configured to block specific IP addresses or user agents or to limit the amount of data that scrapers can access.  

Another option is to use CAPTCHAs or other verification forms to prevent automated scraping. It can help ensure that only humans are accessing the data and can make it more difficult for scraper bots to operate. 

In addition, businesses can consider implementing scraping legal measures such as terms of use agreements prohibiting scraping or pursuing legal action against individuals or organizations that engage in scraping activities.  

By combining technical and legal measures, businesses can protect themselves against scraper bots and price-scraping software.                          

Does price scrap only benefit large organizations?

Organizations of all sizes can use price scraping or collect pricing information from various online sources. While it is true that large organizations may have more resources and technical expertise available to perform price scraping, small and medium-sized businesses can also benefit from this technique.               

Price scraping can be a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to track prices from competitors, optimize their pricing, and stay up-to-date on the latest market trends. 

In addition, various tools scrape prices and make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to perform analysis, even if they need in-house technical expertise. ‍ 

What impact does gaining access to competitor pricing information have on your sales?

Obtaining competitor pricing data can significantly impact a business's sales. By tracking prices from competitors, a company can make informed decisions about its pricing strategies and ensure that it is competitive in the market. It can help the business attract more customers and increase its sales. 

In addition, obtaining competitor pricing data can help a company identify opportunities for price differentiation. By analyzing pricing data from competitors, a company can identify areas where it can differentiate itself based on price and potentially charge a premium for its products or services. 

Other factors, such as product quality, customer service, and marketing efforts, can also drive sales. Therefore, businesses should consider various factors to increase sales and not rely solely on competitor pricing data.

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