Yes. Because online prices tend to be different from those in the physical store, monitoring the offline prices of your competitors isn’t only possible, but also necessary. Companies that also compete offline need to know the pricing strategies of those brands that are relevant to their target audience. In the past, tools such as market surveys or media research made it possible to slowly collect information about the prices of your competition. Today, there’s software available that facilitates this data collection and decision making.
One example is InStore™, the first app on the market to check the physical stores of your competition. The application allows you to check the prices for each of your competitors’ products, segment these prices by store or postcode, and even compare these prices to their online equivalents. But this doesn’t mean that all of the work is done. In order to get the most out of tools like this, you must first take the following steps:
1. Define your brand image.
Before jumping into price comparisons, identify the characteristics that are going to define your brand image. Determine how you want to present yourself to your customers, whether as a company with low prices and continuous sale prices or as an exclusive store oriented to a specific target, among others. The nature of your business will determine who your direct competition is and to what point you’re able to modify your prices to increase your sales, with the resulting risks, such as the possibility of devaluing the brand if you opt for low prices but maintain a refined aesthetic. These limits don’t have to determine the launch of discount campaigns at specific times, though.
2. Select your main competitors.
In offline commerce, the proximity of shoppers to the establishment is more important. This is why price monitoring should be focused on the shops in the same zone, postcode, province, etc. Local businesses are the ones that pose a threat to your growth. So, unlike the competition for an eCommerce business, where anyone with national or international shipping is an adversary, for physical stores, you can limit your monitoring to a sampling of your competitors.
When selecting these competitors, you can also consider other factors, such as the reputation of these other brands. If they have an online store or use social media, their positioning and visibility among your target audience are of interest to you.
3. Decide when to review and change your prices.
In physical stores, changing the prices of all products is a much more complicated task than it is for an eCommerce business to activate its repricing software. This involves reprinting labels, or changing them if they’re digital, both for you as well as for your competition. In this context, establishing a set period for reviewing prices based on market activity is recommended: every three days, once a week, etc. This period will depend on the characteristics of the business, its activity, and the changes in supply and demand.
For businesses that have an online store and an eCommerce store, centralising the pricing information for both channels will simplify the company’s price management and optimise decision making. At the same time, this makes it possible to construct a much more comprehensive and detailed image of the strategies used by your competition to be able to anticipate their moves. To achieve this, you can count on the advice from a team that is specialised in pricing and that will help you grow progressively.