Last week I had a simple need. I needed to purchase a USB-C to HDMI cable. What I didn’t realise at the time is that my shopping experience would highlight a critical aspect of The New Reality.
With stores shut and more competition online, a company's price position vs. its competitor's is critical. Price scraping tools are giving some companies - especially the mega-platforms - an unfair advantage. Keeping competitors' price scraping tools off your website is critical to making sales.
Who’s afraid of the big, bad scraper? We all should be.
I need a….
I’ll recount my story from the beginning as it’s instructive about the end-to-end buying experience online. My requirements for a USB-C to HDMI cable were simple and I was not particularly focused on a brand - it’s an adapter after all.
Google trends tells me that I wasn’t alone:
Shopping in stores is so 2019
My shopping experience started with a trip to two local electronics stores. Both shops had sold out of all adapters, apparently, home office tech is the new toilet paper. Clearly, stock levels, logistics, and flash crowd behaviour had a huge impact on the reliability of the traditional electronics retailers last week. I returned home, regrouped and spent some time researching online.
This website isn’t working….
The first website I visited was creaking under the higher demand they hadn’t planned for. The user experience was not pleasant. I found what I needed, the product was super cheap, under $50, so I stuck at it for a while before giving up. Whilst the impact on internet infrastructure has been well documented, many backend applications have suffered equally under the load.
Insight: for every business selling online, ensuring a smooth experience for humans is more critical than ever, and new entrants will have some quick catching-up to do. Every dollar counts more than it did a few weeks ago.
I settled on a Satechi Adapter, for no particular reason. Across seven reputable, local online suppliers, the price ranged from $148.97 to $179.00 for the exact the same model. That’s a 20% difference in the price for the identical product.
Amazon.com had the lowest price, albeit by $0.03 to the next nearest competitor. Interestingly, all the traditional electronics vendors were around 9% more expensive.
Big retailers have a sophisticated, automated pricing system that monitors the market to ensure they maintain cost/price leadership in the products that they care most about.
The days of set and forget pricing are long since over. Online businesses must arm themselves with the right tools to maintain a strong lead in the competition. Price monitoring, tools to protect against scraping should be top on the list.
Insight: In 2020, pricing strategy and automated tools are critical in winning in online retail.
The last mile
With free, next day delivery, the decision was simple to make. I placed the order at 4pm and received the product before lunchtime the next day. By comparison, my grocery provider had extended deliveries to more than 5 days before withdrawing the service.
Insight: Providers that are capable of streamlining a cost effective and rapid delivery service will gain significant market share in 2020.
The business impact of scraping fraud for retailers can be devastating. The new reality will shape and increase the urgency in defending against data scraping bots. It's critical to stop malicious automated attacks before they can hurt the business, customer experience and brand value.
We got this.
The team at Kasada is here to help businesses navigate this new reality.
We preserve your customer’s online experience. Our technology ensures that only humans can access your online store. This removes a significant percentage of synthetic traffic from your servers. For many online stores, bot traffic can exceed 50%. When you’re struggling to serve your customers, an extra 50% is a game changer.
We protect your pricing. We shut the door to competitor’s scraping tools (you can even send them false pricing signals to misdirect them). If you’re competing against big retail platforms this is a must have tool for staying competitive.
What’s more, we deploy remotely and quickly, our time to value is less than 30 minutes.