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Glossary
18.11.2022
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What Is Price Parser and How It Works

To formulate a successful parsing strategy, a clear understanding of the market landscape is indispensable. It means that at any given moment, you need to know the following:

  • which of your competitors are charging the lowest prices for similar products;
  • how the price of goods has changed over a period of time;
  • whether there is a shortage or oversupply of a particular product or product group in the market;
  • who provides the most attractive installment purchase terms;
  • who launches promotions and at which terms, etc.

In theory, you can manually control prices by entering data into an Excel spreadsheet. However, when dealing with thousands of products and competitors, it becomes so important that savings become practical. This is where price parsing comes in and has become an effective alternative to manual monitoring.

Contents:

What Is Price Parser

Competitor Price Parser: Build or Buy?

How Pricer24 Price Parser Works

What Is Price Parser

A parser is an automated tool that collects data according to specified criteria. Such a program will run daily (and if necessary, several times a day) through the sites you specify, which may include your competitors’ web resources, online marketplaces, or price aggregators, and will provide you with the data obtained.

To get such a helpful tool, you can choose one of two ways: develop your software or use a ready-made SaaS solution (i.e., a cloud service provided to users on a subscription basis). For example, some online retailers and brands take advantage of the automated data collection that retail price intelligence tool provides.

What difficulties and pitfalls may await your company on the first path? Read on to find out.

Competitor Price Parser: Build or Buy?

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

DisadvantagesDetails

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.

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

AdvantagesDetails

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 like 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 competitors’ assortment analysis.

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.

How Pricer24 Price Parser Works

Just like any software, our parser work is based on a certain algorithm:

  1. The software visits web pages of your choice at preset time intervals or runs on demand. It simulates the behavior of a real user as much as possible to bypass site security.
  2. It collects the types of data you specify.
  3. It saves the collected data.
  4. It analyzes the collected data.
  5. It reproduces the results in a table, dashboard, or report.

Unlike other parsers, Pricer24 collects product data for an entire category or brand. Thus, no new SKU in a competitor’s catalog will go unnoticed.

Data collected by the Pricer24 price parser is visualized in reports.

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.

Pricer24 provides several types of reports for different tasks: Price Comparison, Price Fluctuations, and Price History. Reports can be customized to make them convenient for you.

Conclusion

Price parsing has significantly simplified the work of category managers in e-commerce, since it makes it easy to obtain up-to-date information about competitors’ prices. The main advantage of price parsers is that they significantly reduce the time required to collect data. This speeds up the decision-making process and allows managers to timely adapt pricing strategies to the competitive environment and improve their price offers.

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