Here are 10 ways to monitor your competitor pricing:
1. Realize that competitor prices are important but also that it is only an input. You could be driving prices semi-independently of competitors.
2. Make a plan for how you can grow your competitor price monitoring capabilities in the organization. Very few companies have access to instant, perfect competitor data.
3. Accept that you may never have “perfect” competitor price data. This is OK. It is better to have some than to be daunted by the task and have none.
4. Make data gathering repeatable and fast without significant manual effort, otherwise it will not be done. Insights that are not updated are not actionable.
5. Invest in automated tools. There is only so much you can do in a spreadsheet.
6. Spend sufficient time on getting the product mapping right (which products to compare).
7. Make your process and tools capable of getting competitor pricing data from multiple sources. Very few perfect single sources exist.
8. Consider investing in an external service for gathering the raw data. This exists in a number of industries and prices are coming down.
9. Collect prices often – at least once per month. In some industries (such as e-commerce) do this even more frequently.
10. Use insights into competitor prices tactically as well as strategically. This requires automated analytics of the data and rapid dissemination of such insights.