7 reasons to abandon manual repricingGeneral, Price-monitoring, eCommerce ·
Trying to keep your eCommerce business competitive and profitable? The advice that most retailers will give you is that you need to keep an eye on the price changes. Frequent price changes are not a novelty in the eCommerce world, and they are commonly used, especially by big eCommerce sites such as Amazon or eBay. The big players are performing price changes (also known as repricing) every few minutes, which allows them to keep their top places. This is possible because they rely on automation, and they left manual repricing far away behind.
However, the situation for small businesses is pretty different. They are still performing this daunting task manually, which automatically gives an advantage to the bigger players. Of course, manual repricing comes with lower costs, so it’s not strange that smaller businesses are still sticking to that method.
But, manual repricing is usually not worth the invested resources regardless if you’re a small business or not.
Let’s discover why.
The first and foremost problem with manual repricing is the possibility of human error. Why is that the case? Well, the manual approach means that you are checking different websites, filling in excel sheets, and updating the prices on the corresponding platform. In other words, you’re present at the same time in various places which only increases the chances of making some mistake. The most common ones are actually the simplest - inserting wrong numbers in wrong cells or columns. It also requires a constant high level of focus that is almost impossible to keep up with. Price change frequency is happening so fast that manual repricing really is only a waste of time and resources.
The number of competitors
Today’s eCommerce environment is stuffed with competitors, so if a few years ago it was possible to keep track of everything manually, today that’s just not the case. Almost everyone can add a webstore to their site, which means that retailers are facing new competition on a daily and weekly basis. Over time, the product overlapping becomes just too overwhelming to follow manually, and manual repricing can not fulfill retailers’ needs.
Manual repricing is not fast enough
Alongside a constantly increasing number of competitors comes the problem of not being able to react timely. Some of the biggest players, such as Amazon, are changing their prices every 15 minutes, so it’s impossible to keep track of price changes manually. Add to that the fact of numerous competitors who need to be tracked simultaneously, and you’ll easily come to the conclusion why manual repricing is not the smartest option.
You might think - well, I’m operating in a niche market, there are not so many products. True, you’re probably dealing with fewer products than some mass retailers, but your job is still not easier. In the best case, you’re dealing with a catalog of products per competitor. Even if you don’t have the time to reprice all the products, and leave only a few SKUs for the next day, you’re already falling behind your competitors who are doing this more frequently.
You can’t know when the price change will occur
You’re not going around talking about your pricing strategy with everybody, right? Well, your competitors are not doing it either. Therefore, guessing when their price change will occur comes to making an educated guess. It requires that you’re always on alert for possible price changes meaning that you can’t dedicate your time to other tasks. At the same time, chances for missing a price change are pretty high, so your manual repricing can be in vain. On the other hand, price monitoring tools are much more precise when working on these tasks. They can easily spot a price change pattern, and perform automated repricing.
Let’s be honest - it’s boring and tedious
Even if you are a pricing analyst, you’ll have to admit that keeping track of price changes is not the funniest job in the world. Imagine looking at different prices throughout the whole day on 20, 30 retailers’ websites. You need to keep track of all the changes, note them down, make sure that all data matches, and in the end, try to make adequate price updates into your strategy. Shortly said, manual repricing is boring and tedious. All of this could be done by a price monitoring tool, and you wouldn’t even sweat about it.
It’s cheaper to use an automated solution
In order to get accurate results, you’ll have to hire a team that would be able to track prices 24/7. There’s no need to explain how huge an expense this would be. But, if you automate this process, you’ll actually save money and resources. The human error factor will be excluded, and your employees will have time to dedicate their time to other tasks.
Ultimately, replacing manual repricing with automated repricing will keep your prices more competitive and bring more profitability to your company. You’ll no longer be behind your competitors and trying to adjust your prices to theirs. An automated price monitoring tool will help you to spot price change patterns and even predict when a competitor will make a certain price change!
The fast pace in which the eCommerce industry is going is requiring constant changes. What once was the best possible option, now is an outdated one. Of course, it’s not easy to abandon the practices that once brought you great results and to which you got accustomed.
But, the success is for those who are able and ready to adjust to the market changes fastest. One of those changes is abandoning manual repricing and replacing it with automated methods. With the help of the right price monitoring tool, you’ll see that repricing doesn’t need to be a dark hole as it sometimes might seem.
What are your thoughts about this topic? Was the transition from manual to automated approach challenging for you?
Feel free to share your experience with our readers in the comments section! Maybe you’ll encourage someone to take the same path to success!