5 Simple Secrets Every Successful Online Retailer Knows About Pricing, Products & Profit

The secrets of knowing your competitors' product assortment and meeting and beating your competitors' pricing aren't really secrets. They are so simple, they may sound laughable. But they're not. They're obvious -- and absolutely essential. Doesn't matter whether you're a mega-retailer or smaller. If you take these secrets to heart, you'll own the keys to your own pricing, assortment planning and management, and business success.

1. Know Who Your Competitors Are. Knowing who your competitors are -- and you probably know many of them already -- is the first key to superior competitive pricing. They are your "mark". They are the ones against whom you will measure yourself and make your decisions. You have to diligently follow them, their assortment, and their pricing patterns, and establish trend-lines over time to see what you are going to do to compete in the competitive landscape. It doesn't hurt to find additional information you can on social websites. Are there complaints, compliments? Whatever you can learn about your competition (legally, of course) puts you in the best position to compete.

2. Know Your Competitors' Assortment. You have to know your competitors' assortment to identify the products you share in common, or don't. Then you can make intelligent assortment decisions. Whether to raise or lower your prices. What is out of stock? Using assortment intelligence you can boost your sales dramatically by helping you know exactly what items you're pricing -- much more accurately and competitively.

3. Know Your Competitors' Pricing. You have to know where YOU are located in the competitive pricing landscape. Higher? Lower? Competitive? The only one? You have to know when (real-time) and how often your competition changes prices. And raise or lower your prices according to your own pricing and competitive strategy. Knowing your competitors' pricing 24/7 helps you chart the frequency of price changes, best price points to set to maximize your sales, to act in real-time, and increase your margins -- and your profits.

4. Know And Spot Trends. Use Predictive Analytics. When you have gathered and charted the competitive information over time, you will be able to see the trends before your eyes -- the competitors', and your own. You'll be able to figure out their strategies. We did this with our blog post "Did Walmart, Best Buy & Amazon Cop Out on Special Pricing On Black Friday and Cyber Monday?" Look how much we learned about what they did, what was their strategy, and how it changed over the course of the weekend.  You can have this kind of information about your competitors in a jiffy with pricing intelligence that gives you charts like this so you a spot trends. Knowledge is power. Having all the information at your fingertips puts you on the path to being able to perform effective predictive analytics. Predictive Analytics allow you to be better prepared for future changes in the competitive landscape.

5. Use Pricing And Assortment Intelligence Tools. Modern price monitoring software designed for the specific purpose of competitive price monitoring and tracking, and product assortment intelligence, are essential to the complete, accurate, easy-to-use pricing and assortment information gathering, analysis, and action.

Take-away:

These simple points are your blueprint for your present and future success. Approach them scientifically. Gather and analyze the information. This is information that's hard to obtain and unwieldy to manage yourself. With pricing intelligence tools, even hard-to-get information is gathered accurately and objectively. If you do these deceptively simple things, and do them well, you'll find yourself in superior rail position in the pricing and assortment competitive race, and be the first to wave the checkered flag of the winner.    

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Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
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