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Keep Your Data Close, and Your Competitors’ Closer

The year is 2015, and the internet is chock-full of easy-to-access data for consumers and retailers. We create data every second. Whether it’s from a website or changing the price of a product, consumers and retailers alike are data powerhouses. This plethora of data has allowed retailers to improve the shopping experience, and intensify competition.

The easy access to pricing and inventory data has allowed retailers to change the way we look at ecommerce. While this is good news for any retailer, there’s one thing that should be kept in mind: your competitors can access your data just as easily as you can access theirs. Whoever gets to each other’s data first is going to be the seller that gets ahead.

Data and information regarding your competitors’ strategies and tactics are also known as business intelligence. Beyond sounding cool, business intelligence is becoming crucial for retailers to include in their arsenal of strategies, from pricing to inventory. The days of taking a gamble on business decisions are over. With the help of business intelligence, data fuels business decisions.

Your data is in the competition’s hands. The hyper competitive nature of the retail industry has led to retailers’ tracking each other’s data to make more informed decisions for their own business practices. But how can you get your competitors’ data before they get yours? And why does it even matter?

One of the best ways to gain access to competitor data is through pricing intelligence software. This software is designed to mine data across different websites and marketplaces for you to make decisions off of pricing data. That way retailers can change their prices according to their competitors’ data. The software does not simply work to cut prices, it helps retailers increase prices as well. If they’re the only one selling a certain product, they can increase the price to capitalize on the opportunity. The software can often give you months’ worth of pricing data to make sure you are up to date on every price your competition has used.

Pricing intelligence can also give you insight into how your inventory matches up with your competitors’. If you see that a competitor is selling a product at a decently low price and you don’t have it in your assortment, you know to add that product to your own. If you know that you’re the only seller of a certain product, you know that you don’t have to worry about competing on price with that product. Capitalize on the opportunity by increasing the price to maximize margin.

With this information, you can make incredibly informed decisions on how you can get ahead of your competition. Keeping tabs on the competition gives you leverage in your decision making process. If you know your competitors’ prices, you know the highest price you should charge for your products in order to stay competitive. Your competitor data can act as a guide map to how you should sell and carry your products.

While all of these could help act as a point of differentiation between you and your competitor’s, the truth is that many are adopting price intelligence software already. That means that there’s a good chance that your data is in the hands of another competitor. Now is the time to react before it’s too late. Investing time and resources into business intelligence is the easiest way to keep up and get ahead in today’s ecommerce industry.

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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