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Keeping Pricing Competitive in the E-Commerce Marketplace

Posted on 9.15.2013

There are many benefits that selling products in online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay can bring, including increased visibility and conversions. In order to reap those benefits, however, merchants must overcome the challenges inherent to marketplace selling.

Among those challenges is finding a way for products to stand out from the competition. This task is particularly difficult because marketplaces contain a variety of merchants who are selling identical or similar products. Luckily, catching the eyes (and dollars) of consumers can be as simple as maintaining positive customer reviews, implementing detailed product descriptions and establishing competitive pricing. Although the latter can prove to be particularly difficult due to the fluctuating prices in marketplaces, eBay has taken steps to simplify competitive pricing for merchants, thanks to the new acquisition of price prediction software Decide.com.

The acquisition, which took place earlier this month, aims to help eBay’s more than 25 million sellers better price their merchandise and sell items faster. Previously, Decide.com was used by customers to analyze billions of price points across millions of products. The company’s technology helped consumers make better purchasing decisions, with Decide claiming that its price predictions are correct 77 percent of the time and save consumers an average of $101 per product. The Decide service, however, will be shut down by Sept. 30, as eBay has other plans for the price prediction technology.

“Over the past year, we began experimenting with eBay and discovered an exciting opportunity to apply our team’s strength in data and predictive analytics to help over 25 million eBay sellers make smarter decisions and be more successful,” said Decide CEO Mike Fridgen in a company blog post. “This is an exciting new chapter and the Decide team will be making the move to eBay’s new Seattle-area offices.”

The acquisition is expected to help eBay build an improved pricing tool to assist sellers in pricing their items better and selling their merchandise faster. And while time will tell how helpful this technology will be for eBay sellers, there are already a variety of repricing solutions available that can help marketplace merchants obtain a competitive edge, including:


FeedVisor

Feedvisor is an Amazon repricing engine that doesn't require sellers to set rules. Instead, the platform takes into consideration the amount of money that customers are willing to spend for products. The self-learning solution checks hundreds of competitive prices every hour and automatically sets prices based on numerous variables, including seller ratings and shipping rates. Feedvisor comes with analytics and alerts to provide transparency to the repricing process, and claims to reduce time spent on price management by up to 90 percent.


WisePricer

If you sell in a variety of marketplaces, then take a good look at WisePricer. This pricing platform supports more than 40 marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping. The platform displays the status of your products compared to the competition on a dashboard called the “Wiseboard”, which can identify prices that are too high and too low. Plus, merchants can set prices according to market demands, as well as to automate their pricing strategies to match the competitions' prices on a daily basis if desired. It is also important to note that WisePricer synchronizes with most shopping carts, cutting down on the time spent manually uploading and exporting data files.


Repricer Express

Repricer Express is another Amazon-exclusive repricing platform. The platform not only enables merchants to create custom pricing strategies, but also allows them to set minimum and maximum prices to avoid either selling too low or too high. Moreover, Repricer Express allows merchants to schedule repricing frequently, and the technology even takes competitor shipping rates into consideration within its calculations.


Appeagle

This multichannel repricing solution can be leveraged to manage pricing across Amazon, eBay and Rakuten marketplaces. Appeagle provides competitor insights to sellers, as well as reporting that enables users to monitor the performances of all their marketplace listings. In addition, sellers can synchronize their inventories across marketplaces with Appeagle to ensure quantities are always current. Sellers can also set up custom rules to keep their prices lower than, or on par with, the competition.


Mercent

Mercent’s Amazon repricing software, dubbed the Mercent Retail Marketplace Price Optimizer, allows sellers to create and control custom rules. The technology continuously monitors competing offers, evaluates their effectiveness and can reprice up to 200,000 SKUs per hour per seller account.  Merchants can set automated business rules to either match or beat the competition based on factors like available products and product variations, current pricing and price history, reputation on the channel, shipping price and expected ship time. According to Mercent, retailers who adopted the company’s repricing software increased their daily sales on Amazon by 100 percent within two weeks, by simply implementing a 5 percent maximum price reduction on select SKUs.


There are many repricing platforms available on the Web in addition to the aforementioned solutions. Which one have you found success with? Let us know in the comments section below:

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