Comparing Competitor Price Monitors
There are two methods used to provide competitor product intelligence, including competitor price monitoring data. The first is by far the most common and involves sending spiders to crawl predefined websites for identical products based on the item name and/or SKU number. The second method is mapping products based on rules and attributes identified by the originating retailer.
The first method, based on automation, is far cheaper, but assumes that all retailers will use identical or similar names for products or publish the manufacturers’ SKU number. As we know, neither of these reliably occurs. What a manufacturer might call a “Brand X Children’s Cuddler”, one retailer may call a “Baby Snuggle Blanket”. Also, most companies provide their own part number, if any, not the part number of SKU provided by the manufacturer.
Manual mapping is far more expensive than automatic crawling, but provides several benefits. First, it can provide more data, more accurately by having products properly mapped. Second, it allows the flexibility to map not only identical products, but any items that a retailer deems to be competing with its products.