PriceTrac technology, offered by Mumbai-based Ugam Solutions, enables online retailers to develop a proactive pricing strategy for specific items and improve margins. In conversation with Gaurav Kumar of IndiaRetailing.com, David Schoenfeld, VP, Sales and Marketing, Ugam Interactive Solutions, the online marketing and content services division of Ugam Solutions, offers an insight into the benefits the retailers draw from using PriceTrac.
How does PriceTrac function?
PriceTrac provides a unique view into the competitive landscape of online retailers. It aggregates prices of competitors using Ugam’s proprietary Crawler from different online and offline sources. As the technology is extremely flexible, we can aggregate large volumes of online retail data and present it to our clients in a way that allows them to make intelligent decisions.
The technology allows clients flexibility in defining what is important to them, where it needs to be captured from and how they would like it to be presented. That expands our offering to much more than simple price collection. For instance, true competitive intelligence includes things like new competitors, store openings and promotions in emerging markets like Asia. Clients may wish to identify competitive promotions by specific geographic regions and compare those with their own internal promotional strategies. Such requests can be handled by PriceTrac because we combine various automated technologies with the human element in the form of expert analysis and quality control.
What benefits does the technology bring to its user?
The PriceTrac solution makes clients more successful and, by definition, more competitive. The solution has the ability to look at the client’s internal data and directly index that data to their competitor’s website. Whether it is a category wide comprehensive view, or at the product level, the client has a clear picture as to where they stand in comparison to their competitors.
The client can identify whether they are priced too high or too low and make adjustments accordingly to maximise profits.
We also have the ability to combine the PriceTrac data with the client’s internal sales data to calculate things like price ‘velocity’ and ‘elasticity’ – two areas of extreme importance while making strategic marketing, pricing, assortment and promotional strategies. In fact, many of our existing clients have deployed PriceTrac not just in the pricing team but also in the internal analytics team.
Why should an online retailer go for PriceTrac?
Because it helps them to easily track pricing and trends, base decisions on the most current and accurate data available, predict future pricing based on past trends, compare pricing of same or similar items based on physical attributes, develop a proactive pricing strategy for specific items and categories, analyse data and build custom prediction model, improve product margins and increase sales.
How much does a retailer have to shell out for PriceTrac?
The solution and the price of the product are customised for retailers according to their needs and requirements.
PriceTrac is yet to be launched in India. When do you plan to foray into this fast-growing market?
The solution was introduced in the global market in 2009. As far as the Indian market is concerned, we are still analysing it.
The Indian retail market is not as mature as the global market in terms of the need for a competitive intelligence solution like PriceTrac. We will tap the Indian market when it is more ready to accept such solutions.
How has the response been at the global level?
It (PriceTrac) is doing well. Some retailers have already deployed it, while a lot of others have expressed interest in a competitive intelligence solutions like PriceTrac.