Competitor Price Parser. Should You Develop Your Software Or Use a Ready-made Solution?

We’ve been working with e-commerce clients for four years, helping companies automate the tracking of competitor prices, as well as many other routine processes that are usually handled by category managers and marketers in e-commerce.

Therefore, we understand perfectly the obvious arguments in favor of a personal solution. Developing software that is initially written for the specific needs of a particular company (the number of competitors, products that require tracking, frequent data collection, long-term storage, etc.) — as an idea it looks attractive.

But what is behind it? What risks need to be considered? These are the questions every person responsible for innovation in his or her company faces when planning the next digital transformation project. We hope this article will be useful to you and help you come to a well-informed decision.

Development of a parser from scratch: disadvantages


Additional resources for management

It will be necessary to create a detailed requirements specification, which defines all the functions of the software. In addition, the project must have a dedicated manager to oversee the process, to accept the work, and to correct development if necessary.

Data storage costs

You need to decide where to store large amounts of data that the software will collect for you.

Terms of implementation

The development process can take from a few weeks in the simplest cases… to infinity. We know a case where it took a company a year to develop a parser.

Overall cost

The price is difficult to calculate at the planning stage, because it is necessary to budget not only the cost of creating the project, but also ongoing support and maintenance.

Prioritization and terms

The project may not be a priority among the developer’s many other tasks — and this will definitely affect the terms of completion.

Human factor

There is a risk of force majeure, which will affect the timing (because the developer is also a person who can get sick or encounter certain difficulties).

An important point: you may need to make changes to the parser settings and you might want it yesterday.. And the developer may be busy or he or she would require time to evaluate the feasibility of implementation and implement the changes. As long as the program does not produce results, the business will lose revenue due to the inconsistency of pricing policy with the prices of your competitors.

What Difficulties You Have to Get Ready To

The web pages of your competitors, price aggregators and marketplaces are often well protected from parsing. Among the tools that can be used are:

  • parsing bans;
  • blocking the IP-address;
  • providing parsers with deliberately unreliable data;
  • the requirement to register on the site or enter captcha;
  • frequent changes in the layout of the monitored sites;
  • use of Honeypot trap to detect parsers — empty links that would not be clicked by a real user;
  • Smart content — interactive website content that adapts to a real user’s behavior and creates difficulties for the parser’s work.

You can independently monitor the parser settings and timely troubleshooting of errors and failures, or you can buy a subscription to a cloud solution that works on the SaaS model.

How Pricer24 eliminates the risks associated with the implementation of automation:


Additional resources for management

Your participation will be required at the start, but all you have to do is fill out a brief and bring your team together for a demo session.

Data storage cost

Zero cost here. You don’t have to think about where to store large amounts of data and the program itself — we’ve already taken care of everything.

Terms of implementation

Two weeks usually.

Development cost

No software investments at the start — the parser is ready to work “out of the box”. You only pay the setup cost and a monthly subscription fee.

Troubleshooting cost

Eliminating all the shortcomings is free. Parser can monitor hundreds of identical sites for hundreds of clients. One request for difficulties from one client is enough — and the problem is solved for all of them.

Prioritization and terms

Also the cost is zero since the solution is ready for use out-of-the-box. Moreover, we can guarantee immediate troubleshooting. Our tech support is available 24\7.

Human factor

There is always a professional available to work on your project right away.

Another important point: our solution is tested and reliable. Dozens of clients have already tried it and stayed with us. At the same time, unlike some competitors’ solutions, it is open to customization.

In fact, it is a constructor, which can be adjusted to the needs of your company.

An additional plus (which competitors don’t have either): in Pricer24 you can track not only prices, but also competitors’ promotions, offered installment purchase terms, reviews, perform analyses of content, competitors’ assortment or the popularity of a certain product.

It’s really clearly arranged analytics that is easy to work with. It has different data visualization options, customizable dashboards, convenient filters for selecting the information you need, sorting options, the ability to create and save the report configurations you need, and many more useful features.

One of our advantages is the super high quality of information. The accuracy of the data we provide is over 99.5%.


Automated data collection tools have become a must-have solution for businesses, allowing the companies to keep their finger on the pulse of the market. However, creating your own parsing software often does not pay off, because the cost of its development and support exceeds the business benefits of the solution, or turns out to be inefficient because of the large number of errors and long troubleshooting. With Pricer24 you will always have up-to-date and accurate data, while all routine and costs of setting up or maintaining the efficient work of the parser will remain our task.

Take a consultation
  • Market analytics
  • Price parsing
  • Product visibility
Take a consultation
  • Market analytics
  • Price parsing
  • Product visibility
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