Recently we talked about the importance of taking into account the fundamental elements of a price monitoring software when choosing one tool or another. Specifically, we emphasised the importance of the web-crawler when monitoring the competitors web, which is what defines all information tracking across the market. However, it is not the only key factor of a tool, since there are other benefits that have to be evaluated when looking for the solution which best suits your business. One of these factors is the pricing report.
The pricing report is the report, or exportation, issued by the price monitoring tool at the end of each price capture cycle. As such, it is the one report that allows you to visualise what is happening with your competitors prices and make informed decisions accordingly, in a logical and informed way with regards to the market changes.
Thus, it seems rational to think that the quality of the pricing report itself is vital to determine if the pricing tool that we are currently using (or the one we are considering contracting) is the most appropriate for our brand or online store. So, how will we know? What information should a pricing report contain to be of value to the customer?
First, the key information within the pricing report must be those that identify, in each case, the general information about the competitor to which the tracking refers. This is data such as the date on which the data capture was carried out, the products affected on a unitary basis and the competitor's platform that has been traced should be reflected, since sales of specific brands may be multichannel.
As for the bulk of the data, a good pricing report will contain the following, basic, information:
1. Monetary change of the price per product.
2. Percentage increase or decrease of the corresponding price.
3. Time when the price change was detected.
4. Cost covered by the new price and profit margin.
5. Comparative situation with our own pricing.
As extras, the monitoring software must be able to issue pricing reports in customisable formats as the business needs. It would also be an interesting addition if customised reports can be grouped by product type or competitor, for example, as per the customer needs. In addition, the tool must allow the user to configure as many variables as needed in terms of the frequency of sending the reports, linking with other systems or databases, etc.
On the other hand, within a pricing report it should be possible to include as much information as necessary to arrive at verified conclusions. A good example of this is the possibility of gathering price change information about a product along with the number of units, or availability, of competitor stock. Thanks to this information it is possible to control one additional factor that can result in price changes for each competitor.
In short, a complete pricing report is as important as the ability of the tool to actually track prices themselves. After all, this is the result of the correct functioning of the software, so it is essential to be informed in advance of how detailed the data will be.