Checklist for Choosing a Price Monitoring Service

By Thomas Bennett Financial expert at Priceva
Published on July 4, 2023
If you regularly monitor your competitors' pricing and product availability, and utilize this information to make well-considered business decisions, we commend you. You have yet another tool in your arsenal to boost profits!

However, the effectiveness of these decisions directly hinges on the quality of your data. Use this checklist to ensure that you're taking into account all necessary parameters for analysis and that you're receiving high-quality data.

Setting up Correct Data Collection

Step 1: Identify Real Competitors

The market and niches within it are not static: some players may lose positions, exit completely, or, conversely, become leaders, while new promising players may appear. Customers also migrate from company to company. To avoid losing your customers, you need to:

  1. Conduct market analysis regularly, on average once a month, depending on the dynamics of your niche
  2. Identify not just leaders (it's useful to monitor industry giants to stay abreast of trends), but real competitors for a detailed analysis. The best way to do this is to survey your customers.

Questions to ask:

✓ Why did they choose your product?

✓ Who else were they considering?

✓ What do they like and dislike about the product?

✓ What would they like to improve?

✓ Which competitor already has features that you don't?

✓ How user-friendly is your website compared to your competitors'?

✓ Are they satisfied with the customer support service and if they have any comments?

Often, a business owner or manager views the niche through an entrepreneur's eyes and doesn't see the market the way consumers do. Regularly surveying your customers and competitors' customers will help you understand what interests them, what dissatisfies them, and why.

Step 2: Prepare a Database for Monitoring

Identify the Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) for monitoring. Usually, companies choose flagship products, which generate the most profit for the store, for the first monitoring.

If the store's assortment is large, we recommend dividing it into three groups:

A, most valuable: 20% of the products that generate 80% of sales.
B, intermediate: 30% of the products that generate 15% of sales,
C, least valuable: 50% of the products that generate 5% of sales.

Step 3. Determine Monitoring Frequency

Based on the overall dynamics in your niche and your own abilities for flexible pricing, determine how many times a month (or week, or day) you need to update your monitoring data.

Step 4. Detail Comparison Parameters

This is crucial to select the correct links to competitor pages for the chosen product positions. Consider the following when selecting links:

✓ Size

✓ Color

✓ Material

✓ Quantity (units for which the price is indicated)

✓ Any other individual variables that impact the price and availability.
Now, considering these parameters, it's essential to match your product positions with the product pages on your competitors' websites.

Note: You can conduct matching – picking out links and comparing products independently, especially if there are only a few positions. It's necessary to select links yourself if there are positions that can't be identified without special knowledge, for example, products without article numbers and brands. If there are 50 positions or more, it makes sense to order matching from contractors, for instance, employees of a monitoring service.

Step 5. Check for Regionality

If your company is represented in other cities, it's important to compare prices in competitors' branches or add local companies to the monitoring list. To do this, determine: are competitors operating in the regions at all, which ones are of interest to you for monitoring? Do competitors use different prices for regions? From which website can you take the general price?

Step 6. Determine the Currency

If your company operates in foreign markets, establish to which currency the collected prices need to be converted.

How to Monitor Data Quality

Your subsequent actions will depend on which monitoring method you use:

  • selective manual monitoring,
  • using self-written parsers,
  • automated monitoring using a service.

Important: Whichever method you choose, it's necessary to regularly check links, settings, and analyze results, as competitors' websites change, assortments change, quantity, availability, and other parameters change.

How to Achieve Data Quality with Manual Monitoring
If you've chosen manual monitoring for a small range of products, make sure you've considered everything.


Assign this task to a specific employee, and establish work procedures.


Determine the frequency of monitoring that's manageable for the employee and acceptable in terms of data relevance.

Manual Monitoring Phase

Conduct test transitions on the links selected for monitoring, copy and save the required format's information about competitors' products and prices, and time how long you spend on the entire list of products for which you're collecting data.


Check the results for errors. Document what percentage of errors you've identified - even machine algorithms produce errors, let alone manual work. For instance, during an assessor check of data by Priceva employees, a full recheck of the collected information is carried out when a 10% error rate is detected.

Important: Check the data no later than 24 hours after the last monitoring: prices can change during this time (for example, repricing may occur or a promotion may come into effect).

Quality Control When Using Custom Developments

1. Here, too, the "ten percent rule" can be applied: manually check the parsing results selectively. If the error rate is more than 10% of what was checked, you'll have to manually check all the results or repeat the parsing.

2. But even if you've carried out the correct matching, the parser can still produce erroneous data. We recommend checking how the program handles the following reasons for incorrect data:

✓ Whether the protection on all sites has been successfully bypassed;

✓ Whether the link's correctness is taken into account: after a site update, the product may not be available at all under the given link, or a different product may be posted;

✓ Whether the parser is collecting the right data: for instance, it might be taking the wholesale price of a product instead of the retail price, or vice versa, the promotional price;

✓ Whether the product's weight, the number of pieces in a pack, and other units for which prices are listed, are correctly accounted for.

Each day, 1 to 2% of all websites change their settings and configurations. And after just 10 days, even a well-set parser can produce many errors and inaccuracies. You must be prepared for its constant readjustment.

Working with irrelevant data is risky as it affects the effectiveness of decisions, ultimately impacting sales and product turnover.

Automated Monitoring Data Quality

Quality Criteria

If you've chosen to monitor competitors using an automated service, it's essential to consider the following criteria that impact the quality and usability of the results.

A reliable service:
1) Conduct accurate product matching with a mandatory verification stage to ensure correct comparisons between your products and competitors'.

2) Performs multi-level data verification to ensure data accuracy and relevance.

3) Verifies not only the correctness of prices but also the availability of a product at a competitor's site at the time of parsing.

4) Tracks out-of-stock products: monitoring when they are restocked or notifying when a competing product has been discontinued.

5) Parses data at the frequency that suits your requirements, thus ensuring that you always have the most updated information.

6) Provides information in a format that suits your needs: comprehensive tables/dashboards, available data filters, and the ability to reformat tables for specific tasks.

How to Verify the Quality of Automated Monitoring Data

Criterion Reason for Error Indicators
Data correctly read from the site Changes in site design, layout, formatting • Sudden jump in prices

• The format of writing prices has changed

• All positions from the site are "out of stock"

• Everywhere prices have become zero

• All discounts are gone

• Too big discounts (80, 99%, etc.)
Data relevancy The parser doesn't manage to update all information, the target site serves pages too slowly, the monitoring schedule is set incorrectly relative to repricing on the source site • Each subsequent scan shows different prices

• Upon manual control, we see a different price, even though the parser doesn't report any issues

• The parsing process doesn't finish by the scheduled time.
Collection of data based on specified positions Incorrect matching, product/page update: model has changed, page has been replaced, prices are collected for incorrect packaging, color, volume • Sharp difference in competitor's price compared to yours

• Median competitor prices significantly differ from the average

• There are outliers in competitor prices

• A significant change in your own price is suggested during repricing.
Does our target audience see the data we are collecting?* Incorrect region or store set for monitoring, incorrect currency specified, incorrect type of discount set Manual check shows a difference from the collected price, but upon restarting the parser, the correct price is still not collected.
Bypassing website protection from scanning Protection has been set up that explicitly blocks access to the site, fake prices are shown as the site has learned to identify users • Parsing results are not updated,
• The parser has become slower,
• A large number of erroneous links have appeared,
• Prices change with each parser entry,
• Manual check shows an error, but restarting the parser does not solve the problem
* This error is typical for companies with regional offices. Often, such resources automatically detect the user's region and show corresponding prices. For example, the website might determine that your region is Samara and shows you a product price of, let's say, 12 thousand rubles. You won't know without manually changing the region that the same product costs 15 thousand in Moscow. Consequently, if the monitoring region is set incorrectly, you will receive inaccurate data.

In the case of custom solutions, a specialist should monitor and rectify such errors. If you are using a specialized service, they should have systems in place to correct such inconsistencies.


In conclusion, effective price monitoring is pivotal in staying competitive and making informed business decisions. Ensuring accurate data collection, understanding the dynamics of your market, and regularly validating your monitoring results are crucial steps in this process. As a comprehensive and efficient solution, Priceva can eliminate the headaches of manual monitoring or custom development issues. With its rigorous data verification, accurate matching, and customizable frequency of updates, Priceva guarantees you receive high-quality, relevant data tailored to your specific needs. Stay ahead of the competition with Priceva – your reliable partner in price monitoring.


How do you monitor pricing strategy?

To effectively monitor a pricing strategy, businesses utilize a combination of market analysis, competitor price tracking, and consumer demand studies. Advanced tools and software are often employed to gather real-time data, enabling dynamic pricing adjustments in response to market fluctuations and competitive movements.

What is a price monitoring?

Price monitoring is the systematic process of tracking and analyzing the prices of products and services in the market, particularly those of competitors. It involves collecting data on pricing trends, promotions, and pricing strategies, aiming to inform and optimize one's own pricing strategy for competitive advantage.

Why do we need to monitor the market price?

Monitoring market prices is crucial for maintaining competitive pricing strategies, understanding market dynamics, and identifying consumer purchasing patterns. This practice helps businesses stay competitive, maximize profitability, and adapt to changing market conditions, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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