Imagine you are responsible for product pricing on an e-Commerce web site. You have a special offer planned for a premium item that you hope will attract customers to your site.
You understand the product’s profit margin and have decided to reduce the price by 7% from the one presently shared with your main competitor. In preparation, you’ve also invested time and money in an online advertising campaign to attract customers to your site.
At the prescribed time, you prepare the web site for the price change. After your price goes live, you check the competitor’s site to confirm that their price is now higher than yours. But to your surprise, they’ve reduced theirs to one cent below your new price. How could this happen?
The answer is price scraping.
Your competitor has used bot technology to continually scrape your company’s site — using that data to maintain its price advantage. Your promotional campaign expense is wasted as you see people clicking your ad but soon abandoning the sale. Your work to gain SEO advantage is also for naught because search engines still list your competitor as having the lowest price. Your site’s brand awareness is diminished, because the competitor offers the same product at a cheaper price. And of course, the planned bump in revenue didn’t occur because the additional sales went to your competitor. The harsh reality is, in e-Commerce, this story is very real and happens every day.
About the Author
Edward Roberts leads Product Marketing and has over twenty years experience in technology marketing. Previously he worked for Juniper Networks, heading up Product Marketing for the Counter Security team. Before that he ran marketing for Mykonos Software, a web security company.More Content by Edward Roberts