Why Proxies are Essential for Pricing Intelligence

Updated: November 6, 2020
by Cristian Morales

Price intelligence is a solution for business owners who seek to find a pricing system that keeps the customers happy and the business profitable. 

Businesses that are ever faced with the dilemma of setting the right price to stay competitive in the market without devaluing the brand. A slight difference between your prices and the competitors’ prices could have price-sensitive customers running to your rivals.

With most retailers selling their products on e-commerce sites, it has become easier for consumers to compare prices of different brands without having to visit their websites.

Why Proxies are Essential for Pricing Intelligence

What is Price Intelligence?

The right information about your customers will help you come up with a competitive pricing strategy. And this information is what we call pricing intelligence. It consists of pricing data from the other players in the market, such as their promotions, discounts, product catalogue, and special offers. 

Once you understand the competitor’s pricing strategy, you can make pricing decisions that ensure you remain competitive and expand your market share. 

Price intelligence involves continuously tracking, monitoring, and analyzing competitors pricing moves. This way, you can take note of price changes fast before they can have an effect on your market share.

The data you need for pricing intelligence is available in the web, and this is where price scraping using proxies comes in.

What is Price Scraping?

Price Scraping

Monitoring your competitors’ prices manually is time-consuming and could result in numerous errors. And as the business grows and product range increases, the pricing intelligence project may turn out to be unsustainable using the traditional methods. 

Price scraping is an automatic method of gathering price data from e-commerce websites. It makes use of software known as a price scraper.

The price scraper operates by finding price-related data on targeted websites. It extracts this information, exports it into a readable format, and then stores it on the computer. You can then use this data to derive insight into the best pricing strategy.

Most businesses are always implementing new prices and providing new offers and discounts. Continuous price scraping ensures that you get real-time data for better decision making.

The Role of Proxies in Price Scraping

Most business owners do not allow price scrapers in their site for obvious reasons. When you scrape prices with the intention of setting your prices below the baseline to attract price-sensitive customers, you interfere with your rival’s growth strategies.  

Price scrapers lead to misleading web analytics because the scraper gives the impression of real website visitors. Price scrapers also lead to cart abandonment and could slow down the website. 

For these reasons, websites administrators set security measures to detect price scrapers by watching out for behavior that a regular visitor would not portray. A good example is the use of honeypots, which are traps that detect bots.  

Proxies

In order to prevent detection when scraping pricing data, a proxy server can act as a go-between. The proxy will prevent direct contact between your device and the web server, hiding your IP address and location. 

You can use a proxy with rotating IP addresses so that each web request has a new IP address. This will give the impression of organic traffic. In case your IP address is detected and blocked, you can still continue with your project by using a different IP address.

A proxy server will also make it possible to scrape prices from geo-blocked websites by getting an IP address attached to that location. 

There are two main types of proxies you can use for price scraping.

Data Center Proxies

These are proxies that are independent of an internet service provider and internet connection. They are created in data centers and are very fast. 

With a data center proxy, you can scrape data from more websites in a shorter period than other types of proxies. They are also easily available in bulk, making it possible to rotate the IP addresses as you need.  

Residential Proxies  

These proxies are the least detectable, and so the chances of having your IP address blocked are very low.

Conclusion

The prices you set for your products determine your revenue level and the size of your market share. A high price will earn you more revenue, but you could also lose your customers to your competitors. A low price, on the other hand, will attract price-sensitive customers, but setting it too low could devalue your brand.

Pricing intelligence obtained through price scraping enables you to strike the perfect balance. You get to set prices that are slightly below the baseline so that you attract customers, generate revenue, and maintain the value of your business.

Proxies will play an important role in determining the success of your price scraping project. They will:

  1. Ensure that your scraper is not easily detected
  2. Enable you to scrape prices from geo-blocked websites
  3. Provide you with access to the websites that have banned your IP address due to scraping

Ensure that you are sourcing your proxies from qualified vendors.

About the author 

Cristian Morales

Freelance writer and graphic designer with a can-do attitude. I became independent after spending 6 years in the hospitality industry and 5 years in banking & finance. I'm an all-rounder guy, open to working with like-minded people.

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