Having a price tracking of the competition is essential. New technologies give us ways to do this in a quick and simple way.
All retailers should keep track of the prices of their main competitors, to stay in the same range and even try to offer advantages (lower prices) to their customers, as much as possible. This has always been the case, and it is a usual practice for owners or store managers. But new technologies now allow other ways to perform this task automatically and, therefore, in a much simpler and faster way.
Manual tracking of the prices of the competition
To follow up, a group of people must go through the stores and check the prices of different items one by one, and then turn that information into spreadsheets. It is an arduous task, which demands that there be personnel that dedicates a lot of time to that.
The enormous time and effort required means that this task is often left aside. Especially in the smaller stores, it seems that such an effort is not justified, although paradoxically it is only in this type of company that manual tracking can be effective.
Automatic tracking of the prices of the competition
There are programs and applications that carry out this work, mainly through searches on the Web but also thanks to the interweaving of data and the information that other retailers offer.
They greatly simplify the task, both of the data collection and the subsequent analysis. A dashboard can present the numbers very clearly and with different types of graphics that facilitate the understanding of the evolution over time of the prices.
Notifications and alerts
This type of applications usually has a service of notifications and alerts that notify the person in charge of the store when a price is being left, by excess or by default, outside of what is accepted. In this way, the necessary measures can be taken without delay. They can be integrated with applications for mobile devices so that, in this way, not being in front of a computer, is not an obstacle to being able to take charge of what is happening in the store.
Automation of pricing
In more and more places, the price of the products is not decided by people but is established automatically based on numerous internal and external factors. Among the latter is the price of the competition.
While there is still a lot of resistance to giving this task to software, the practice is increasing and probably is usual within a very short time. Those who already incorporate these methods will have an important competitive advantage.
The new technologies are offering to the retail the possibility of expanding and exceeding limits that until a few years ago were unsuspected. At the same time, they make the market increasingly competitive and leave out those who do not adapt to the changes.
All store managers should consider automatic and retail analytical solutions to establish the price of the products. The necessary elements to carry out this task (a person counter and the appropriate software) are not expensive nor do they have to be considered an expense but an excellent investment.