Google recently launched a price competitiveness report for the Google Merchant Center. The report allows sellers to compare the price of their products to the prices of other brands that sell the same products.
A free service provided by Google that allows sellers to recognize price differences from their competitors. On the surface, it’s quite similar to the contention monitoring service that Datafeedwatch is working on, so a comparison of both services is inevitable. So in today’s post, I decided to make a detailed comparison of both the service and its features.
I’ve already posted some articles on Price Watch that explain core features and use cases. So today, we’ll start with Google’s Price Competitive Report and make a detailed comparison.
How does it work?
In short, Google’s price competitiveness report shows the price competitiveness of a product. The core metric for the service is the current benchmark price. This is the click-weighted average price of the item. To be clear, this basically means that high click offers have a big impact on the final benchmark price. It’s fairly easy to calculate as follows:
that’s it. Next, Google shows how far you are from the benchmark price, either as a negative or positive percentage difference. It also shows a much simpler average price for your product. This is calculated by taking into account the price of the product when the ad was displayed or when it was eligible to be displayed in the auction.
The data is then aggregated and displayed in the format shown below.
The overview classifies all auctions based on the competitiveness of their products.
Above the benchmark price (yellow) -> Your product was above the benchmark price by more than 1% in 18% of the auctions.
Benchmark price (purple) -> 6% auction, your product was within +/- 1% of benchmark price
Below the benchmark price (green) -> 35% of your product was below 1% of the benchmark price in the auction
No Benchmark Price (Blue) -> Google does not have enough data to calculate the benchmark price for the 41% auction.
You can filter the above data by product type, category, or brand.
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Comparison with price watch
Now that we understand how Google’s Price Competitive Report works, let’s look at a comparison with Price Watch.
Idea: Tools like this have long been available from Google, but when they finally arrived, they weren’t what everyone was expecting. Both have different purposes when compared to Price Watch. Google shows how far away from the industry average. With that help, you can beat the industry average.
Our purpose at Price Watch is to show you where you stand among all your competitors. This will help you better understand your position in the industry as a whole, not just the industry average. It also helps you to make your competitors better. We carefully design our pricing structure to better understand our customers’ competitive environment. Each metric has its own use case, depending on what you want to achieve. Do you want to be the cheapest? Check the cheapest competitive index. Want to be the Top 3 Offers on Google Shopping? Please check the offer position metric. Want to beat a specific competitor? Exclude required competitors.
To find out how PriceWatch can help, read our previous blog post on competitive and position metrics.
Competitors: Competitor data is at the heart of PriceWatch, displayed on the front and center of the dashboard.
Competitor Name Competitor Price Shipping Competitor URL
If you don’t have a particular competitor in mind, you can use predefined metrics such as cheapest, second, third, or closest cheapest competitor. On the other hand, Google has reduced the entire competition equation to a single metric, which is not enough for even novice sellers.
Specific Competitors: Price Watch allows you to filter competitors by name. If you have been in business for some time now, you probably already know your competitors and want to focus on them. You can easily select specific competitors and filter out data that is not relevant to you. By comparison, Google skips everything completely for individual competitors.
Offer Congestion: Provides some metrics such as number of offers, location of offers, top and bottom offers. This will help you understand how crowded your product list is due to your competitors. These metrics will help you find easy opportunities with a low number of competitors and will more and more likely be number one in Google’s search rankings. Metrics like these can also help identify products that aren’t competitive at all and are unlikely to improve your Google Shopping rankings. In contrast, Google’s products only inform you if you are above, below, or at the benchmark price. This does not give you any idea about the level of competition for a particular product.
Average Price: Use Price Watch to see the average price on your Google Shopping listing. You can also check the distance from the average selling price. This is even more useful with Price Watch in combination with other metrics. Google also displays average prices, but the process of calculating that metric is heavily influenced by click weighting. This, in essence, means that if a seller goes crazy low and starts getting the most clicks, this has a big impact on the benchmark price metric. Second, this can lead to misleading data. Benchmark price indicators can be very good indicators of price comparisons, but they are not without their drawbacks.
Apart from these obvious differences, Price Watch is more practical if you have multiple shops in multiple regions. Moreover, if you sell on multiple channels, you only need one feed to compare prices on all other channels. At the moment Price Watch only supports Google Shopping, but more channels will be coming in the near future.
Price Watch’s strengths are further recognized by its ability to export price data. This can be done using a CSV file. You can also select a specific date and time to update your pricing data.
If you want to try out what I’ve talked about today, this may be your last chance to sign up for the upcoming Free Price Watch Beta. If you already use DataFeedWatch, feel free to request early access.
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