How to track price changes easily


Learn how to track price changes and easily get a feel for your market

If you own a business, you’ve taken up the challenge of growing a business in a very challenging time in history. It’s exciting for sure, but thanks to features like online shopping and fast shipping, you have more competitors than ever before.

So, you’re probably continuously looking for new ways to save costs and beat the competition. Experts know that any plan you devise should include price tracking. Monitoring your industry’s pricing is one of the most effective ways to stay one step ahead of other players in your industry. Make adjustments in your own pricing when necessary and it could be the key to enjoying a favorable bottom line.

This process requires meticulous market monitoring, so understanding this topic in depth is vital for all business owners.

Why do You Need to Track Price Changes?

It’s the key to staying competitive. The reason why it’s essential to include price tracking in your business goals is because no business operates in a vacuum. Other companies in your industry WILL affect various aspects of your brand, such as your reputation, your sales figures and the pace of your growth.

This immense impact other brands have on yours is because all these factors relate to how your audience views you. Public opinion is often based on comparisons between you and your competitors. Consumers continuously measure you against others that offer similar services or products:

  • Do you seem as professional as other brands?
  • Which company is located closest to someone’s home or business?
  • Does your company offer the best price?

Yes, there are many factors that determine whether a consumer will pick you instead of another brand, but pricing is often one of the most important facts that determine consumers’ choices.

So, how will a brand increase its chances of being the preferred seller or supplier if you don’t track the price changes of your competitors? You need to adjust your own pricing to offer competitive rates and stay relevant to the market. You know prices change all the time, so competitor price monitoring becomes an important and consistent activity for any business.

Apart from that, price monitoring helps you keep an eye on changes in your industry.

Who Should Track Prices?

Any and all businesses need price tracking.
It’s clear that if you don’t track price changes, almost no business can operate effectively and reach its growth goals.

All businesses now operate in a market where consumers have many more options than a few decades ago. If they’re unsure about where they’ll get the best bargain from, all they have to do is to use a search engine. So, you’re not even guaranteed a sale if someone visits your website. You need to make sure your pricing attracts buyers.

Since price is a deciding factor in consumer decisions—and also B2B decision making—you must ensure you don’t get penalised for your price tags. You don’t want to lose a sale because you didn’t realize your biggest competitor has a sale on this month. This applies to all businesses, whether you provide goods or services, making price tracking a necessity for all companies.

It’s a challenge to add a new strategy to a business’ activities but there’s no reason why price tracking should slow down your productivity. To streamline price tracking for your business, technology and experts from entities such as Sniffie become important assets.

Time to start tracking prices?

How to Benefit from Price Tracking

To effectively track price changes you will need assistance in the form of software and service providers. But these expenses are smart investments when you look at all the benefits price tracking brings you.

When you track price changes of competitors so that you have real time data at any given moment, you can be proactive. When you see how others price products or services, you can adjust to be the preferred supplier if that suits your pricing strategy.

Price monitoring also prevents from being forced to make decisions without knowing the situation. You can manage your prices on a day-to-day basis and make long term plans to ensure you survive adjustments in the market. If geopolitical changes affect your industry, you’ll notice that by keeping a close eye on pricing.

When you realize local or international factors impact your industry negatively, you may have to make tough business decisions. Multiple fluctuations or a drop in prices can be disastrous if you don’t have any plan to react to them. Price monitoring will show you signs of these changes in advance, so you’re not caught unaware.

Information empowers business owners to make informed decisions, clearly proving the value of services such as the ones Sniffie provides.

Let us show you how easy price tracking can be for your business!

An overview of how to incorporate price monitoring into your business

There are many ways to monitor price changes but it’s imperative you find an effective method. For businesses wanting to stay ahead of the pack, the modern market requires state of the art market monitoring processes. The tools as well as the method determine how effective the outcome will be.

Find Out What You Need to Track

There’s a lot of data to analyze out there when you track price changes, but not everything will be important for your purpose. Take your time to determine what your ultimate goal is before you start using any price tracking tools or methods. You don’t want to waste time and generate reports with irrelevant information that only leave you feeling overwhelmed.

For one thing you need to consider who your competitors are, but this is discussed in more detail below. You also need to determine what you want to do with the data you collect. Knowing what you want to do will also help you employ the best tools and services:

  • Some businesses may require notifications the moment a certain item’s price drops to a particular level. Knowing how others price matching products can help businesses keep ahead of changes. For example, it can help them keep their promises to customers about supplying an item at the lowest possible cost.
  • Certain companies may simply monitor the market over time to identify trends and determine whether they have anything to be concerned about. Politics or economic factors could affect a particular industry and business leaders want to be prepared for changes.

So, the question is: how do YOU want to apply the information gained from price monitoring? This determines many of the decisions you’ll make when setting up your tools. It also affects which plan you’ll pick from service providers such as Sniffie.

Decide Who You Will be Tracking

Do a quick search on Google about competitors and you’ll see how many players you need to contend with. It’s obvious your market monitoring can’t include all of them. You can also download our tool and do a comprehensive competitor pricing analysis. If you’re following a manual price checking method you will simply have too much data to organize and analyze. And even when using effective services and tools such as the ones Sniffie provides, looking at every competitor in your industry can lead to a cluttered outcome.

In many cases, you probably already know who your main competitors are and you can use their data going forward. It does help to make sure you didn’t miss anyone though. Search online or keep an eye on for new developments in your area.

When you have a list, you can prioritize who to focus on by considering factors such as the following:

  • The location of your competitors, if this matters to your audience.
  •  Competitors who have similar branding; you need to set yourself apart from them in some way.
  • Others in the industry who offer the same products or service as you do.
  • Find out who draws the most web traffic, because this signals their popularity online; and you need to find a way to attract more visitors to your pages.
  • Obvious favorites in the market. If there are established brands you need to find ways to draw clients away from them. Remember, pricing is an effective tool in persuading consumers that you’re worth their attention.

Remember that each company is unique. What matters to you when you track price changes may not be important to another business. If you only manage an online store and your audience members are known to prefer online shopping over shopping in a brick and mortar store, you know you don’t have to worry too much about land based competition.

Once you’ve identified which competitors affect your success the most, you know whose data you want to look at when you monitor price changes.

How often will you track prices?

You already saw that each business has unique needs, based on the goal you’ll use price monitoring for. This also applies to how often you need reports on price changes in the market.

To notice general trends, you don’t need to track price changes daily. But if you plan on making regular adjustments in your own pricing, based on what your competitors do, you may need daily reports; even multiple checks every day.

competitor price index tool

Pick a Method — Choose a Tool

Similar to many activities in a company you can decide whether you want to monitor price changes yourself, or outsource and trust experts with the task. Some companies do use spreadsheets and it may be more affordable than other tools, but it comes with various drawbacks:

  • Spreadsheets require a lot of manual work
  • Employees can easily cause errors when transferring data from one platform or file to another
  • This method takes up time that can be spent on other tasks; if you want regular updates you’ll need to appoint someone to do it full time
  • If the data is stored on a hard drive you run the risk of it getting lost due to damage, or it can become corrupted.

As with other business processes, it’s often a wise investment to automate price monitoring, such as using services that Sniffie provides. The benefits of using automated processes is that you ensure accuracy and you receive reports much faster. This empowers quick decision making, so you stay competitive on a continual basis.

What to Do With the Data

In today’s business environment, terms such as ‘data analysis’ and ‘AI’ sound impressive. But if these tools don’t give you practical feedback, they’re not valuable. When it comes to the data divulged from tracking price changes, make sure it’s used effectively:

  • Firstly, make sure you know what your ultimate goal is, as we mentioned earlier. Do you want to understand the market, or monitor a specific company on a regular basis whose prices you need to beat?
  • Whether you’re processing the data yourself, or employing a service provider such as Sniffie, make sure you receive user friendly reports, containing usable information. If you need to make quick decisions, your reports should all contain prices in one currency, so you don’t have to make any calculations and waste time.
  • With accurate, practical data in front of you, it’s up to you to trust the numbers and make decisions based on the facts.

Final Thoughts

A world driven by innovative technology requires business leaders to use modern tools and resources. Sniffie assists clients in getting this right when it comes to market monitoring. Will you give your business the edge it needs this year?