Global e-commerce studies are still talking about the phenomenon of the ‘boom in e-commerce’, with sales continuing to rise, new competitors constantly appearing on the market, and users becoming more agile in price comparisons. Just look at the research, like Credit Suisse’s from earlier this year: Many e-Commerce Opportunities Ahead in Emerging Markets.

Online selling is not a monopoly, there are dozens of competitors in every industry, from multinationals to local providers, and from general e-commerce to specialized or niche online shops. An e-commerce is just one actor in a dynamic and ever-changing universe of digital commerce. And therefore the prices are also conditioned by the complexity of this trading universe.

E-commerce always strives for maximum visibility to attract new potential customers. This visibility enables easy price comparison for users who can find the cheapest, most attractive or suitable option with a single click.

Do not disconnect from the market and systematically collect pricing information

In order to increase sales opportunities, one should be connected to the market and have a broad panorama: of the players, their products and pricing strategies. The market needs to be analysed and online competition needs to be investigated to ensure that our prices are appropriate.

It is a common mistake to lose market access. Those in charge of e-commerce are always informed about competitors’ actions, and in order to be able to react in time, it is necessary to examine competitors’ prices with the help of technology, so that price trends can be tracked, and to systematically obtain information on the range and prices.

To do this manually is complicated, mistakes happen and it takes a long time. In the end, you don’t do it anymore, and you lose a source of essential information about competitors’ price developments. Therefore, it is essential to work with a competitor analysis application.

Do not let the competition distract you, and compare with the right ones.

Pretty much all e-commerce industries show the following competitive pattern: a leader with a dominant position, a challenger who challenges the leader’s hegemony with attack strategies, persecutors with guerilla strategies, and niche players or specialists with vertical strategies.

It is a common mistake to want to compare yourself with all the competitors in the industry, both Pure Players and Click and Mortar. Having too much data that can’t be properly analyzed is just as much like having nothing at all.

The key is to compare yourself with the right competitor, and to do this with technology for price monitoring, and for assortment analysis, so that you can react in time to the competition and increase sales prospects.

The process of Price Intelligence starts with the products of the assortment that are to be compared. Once it has been decided which products are involved, it is necessary to define which are the specific web portals whose prices need to be monitored.

Otherwise, prices from competitors that do not help in decision making could be investigated, which in the end is a distraction rather than an exercise in competitive intelligence.