How to Choose the Best Price Monitoring Software for Your Brand
How to Decide on the Right Price Monitoring Tool for You
The process of choosing a price monitoring tool can be intimidating. You’ll find a lot of options with varying capabilities. But there are a few things you should keep in mind as you evaluate MAP monitoring companies to ensure you make the right decision.
Why You Need a Price Monitoring Service
If you’re on the fence about whether you even need an online price monitoring system, think about the size of the Internet and the amount of time you have. It’s truly impossible for a team of people to scan for MAP violations across every ecommerce site and marketplace.
Even if you were able to find all the listings, how frequently could you check them? What would happen if someone dropped a price right after you checked that site? You’d never catch it before other sellers started noticing and a domino effect occurred.
That’s where an automated MAP monitoring tool comes in.
What Does MAP Monitoring Software Do Exactly?
MAP monitoring software crawls ecommerce sites and marketplaces to identify where your products are being sold and capture the prices at which they’re listed. These tools generally run regularly: sometimes every daily or weekly, or several times per day, to catch pricing games.
When a violation is discovered, it’s reported to you in a dashboard or email format so you can take action.
4 Things to Think About When Evaluating Price Monitoring Tools
While most ecommerce price monitoring tools operate in a similar way, they’re not all equally effective. When you’re choosing a service, make sure to ask about comprehensiveness, frequency of monitoring, unknown seller discovery, and data quality.
Maybe you’ve found an Amazon price monitoring software that is priced much lower than other services you’ve looked into. Great! Amazon is a big player when it comes to MAP and marketplaces.
However, as you evaluate, remember that Amazon is rarely the first to violate MAP – they are almost always price matching another seller somewhere else. If you only monitor Amazon (or for that matter, a list of sites you’re already aware of), how will you discover who moved first when pricing games happen?
Make sure the monitoring service you choose has no limit on sites monitored, and that it is searching for any and all sites where the public might be able to find your products.
Frequency of monitoring is another important factor for MAP monitoring services that doesn’t get enough attention. Imagine checking prices on the Web daily – or even once a week! We live in a digital age, and ecommerce sellers are in constant competition. Checking for MAP violations so rarely will not give you the whole picture.
You need a company that will scan as frequently as possible without getting flagged as a bot on marketplaces and websites. This allows you to more easily determine who dropped their price first and to spot violators who may quickly correct prices to avoid getting caught.
3. Unknown Seller Discovery
Finding violations is a big part of the process, but if you don’t know who the sellers are, it’s not as useful to you. Ask potential providers what they do to help you discover unknown seller identities – what resources do they offer, and how are they working toward making it even easier?
4. Data Quality and Delivery
Finally, focus on the data. The best price monitoring software will have a dedicated data quality team working for you behind the scenes.
Find out how the platform handles false positives: is there a way for you to report them, and what happens when one is uncovered? Does the service capture screen shots of violations so that you have proof when you contact the seller? Is historical data stored so you have access to past violations?
And don’t forget about the presentation of the data. How is it reported to you? Is the interface intuitive and easy to use? Even the best-quality information delivered in a data dump is unhelpful and doesn’t save you time.
How to Choose the Best MAP Monitoring Software for You
Taking all the above factors into consideration, it’s up to you to decide which price monitoring tool will work best for your brand. During your evaluation, you should also weigh your support needs. Find out how the onboarding process works with each platform, what kind of training you’ll receive, and how much ongoing help you can expect.
Will you be assigned a dedicated success manager to help you in the beginning? How does the company provide additional support as the relationship matures?
Finally, ask about other clients the provider serves. Are they experienced with the nuances of your industry? Do they work with brands as well as retailers, or do they strictly partner with manufacturers? How important is that to you?
Achieving Long-Term Success with Your Price Monitoring Service
When you’ve decided on the best price monitoring software for you, set yourself up for success by prioritizing the onboarding process and staying focused as you begin the relationship with your provider.
Remember that a lot of the heavy lifting will happen in the early stages, but after that your brand will be stronger. Rely on your MAP monitoring service to advise you on other ways you could be taking advantage of the information you’re receiving, and don’t be afraid to ask how they can help you further.
Ready to get started with the best MAP monitoring software on the market? Contact ORIS Intelligence today for more information or to schedule a free demo using live data from a sample of your products.