Google recently launched the Price Competitiveness Report for Google Merchant Center. The report allows sellers to compare the price of their own product, with that of other brands selling the same product.
It’s a free service provided by Google which will help sellers to recognise the pricing differences between themselves and their competitors. On the surface it looks pretty similar to the Competition Monitoring service we are working on here at Datafeedwatch so the comparisons among both services are going to be inevitable. That is why in today’s post, we decided to do a detailed comparison of both services and their features.
We have already posted a few articles on Price Watch which explain the core features & use cases. So today we will start with Google’s Price Competitiveness Report followed by a detailed comparison.
How does it work?
In short, Google’s Price Competitiveness Report shows you the price competitiveness of your products. The core metric of the service is Current Benchmark Price. This is a click-weighted average price of a product. To clarify, this basically means an offer with more clicks will have a bigger impact on the final benchmark price. It's pretty easy to calculate as seen below :
That’s it. Then Google shows you how far you are from the Benchmark Price in a percentage difference which can be either negative or positive. It also shows you a much simpler average price of your product. This is calculated by taking in account the product price everytime the ad was shown or was eligible to show in the auction.
The data is then aggregated and show in a format as you see below :
The overview divides all your auctions based on the competitiveness of the products.
- Above benchmark price (Yellow) -> In 18% of the auctions, your products were more than 1% above the Benchmark Price.
- At Benchmark Price (Purple) -> In 6% of the auctions, your products were within +/- 1% of the Benchmark Price
- Below Benchmark Price (Green) -> In 35% of the auctions, your products were lower than 1% of the Benchmark Price
- No Benchmark Price (Blue) -> Google doesn’t have enough data for 41% of the auctions to calculate the Benchmark Price
You can filter the above data by Product Type, Category or Brand.
Comparison with Price Watch
Now that we understand how Google’s Price Competitiveness Report works, Let’s have a look how it compares with Price Watch.
Idea: Such a tool was long coming from Google & when it finally came, it was not what everyone was expecting. When compared to Price Watch, they both serve different purposes. Google shows you how far you are from the Industry Average & with its help you may be able to beat the industry average.
Our purpose with 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 with the industry average. It will also help you get the better of your competitors. We have designed Pricing Metrics carefully to give you a better understanding of your competitive landscape. Each metric has a separate use case depending on what you want to achieve. Want to be the cheapest ? Check out the Cheapest Competitor Metric. Want to make it to Top 3 offers on Google Shopping? Check out the Offer Position Metric. Want to beat a specific competitor ? Filter out the competitors you want.
Competitors: Competitor Data is the heart & soul of Price Watch, displayed front & center in the Dashboard, For each product you can see
- Competitor’s name
- Competitor’s Price
- Competitor Url
If you don’t have any specific competitor in mind you can use our predefined metrics like Cheapest, 2nd, 3rd or Closest Cheapest competitor. Google on other hand has reduced the whole competitive equation to a single metric which we find less than enough even for novice sellers.
Specific Competitors : Price Watch allows you to filter your competitors by name. If you have been running a business for some time now, chances are you already aware about your competitors & would just like to focus on them. You can select your specific competitors easily & filter out the data that is not relevant to you. Comparatively, Google completely skips everything when it comes to individual competitors.
Offer Congestion : We offer several metrics like No. of Offers, Offer Position, and Offers Above & below. These allow you to understand how congested a product listing is due to your competitors. These metrics will help you in finding easy opportunities where you have fewer competitors, making your claim to first place on Google’s search ranking all the more viable. Metrics such as these ones will also help to identify products where you are not competitive at all & have a less chance of improving your Google Shopping ranking. In comparison, Google’s product merely tells you if you are above, below or at the benchmark price. This doesn’t give you any idea of the competition levels for specific products.
Average Price: Price Watch allows you to see the Average Price of the listing on Google Shopping. You can also see how far you are from the Average Selling Price. This is even more useful when used in combination with other Metrics in Price Watch. Google also displays average price but the process of calculating their metric is highly influenced by click weightage. This essentially means if a seller goes for a crazy low price & starts getting most of the clicks then this will have a major impact on the Benchmark Price metric. In turn, this can lead to misleading data. The Benchmark price metric can be a very good indicator for price comparison, but it isn’t without flaws.
Apart from these obvious differences, Price Watch is more practical if you own multiple shops in multiple regions. Furthermore, if you sell on multiple channels, you will only need one feed to compare prices on all other channels. As for now Price Watch supports only Google Shopping but more channels are coming in the very near future.
The strengths of Price Watch can be further recognised through its ability to allow you to export pricing data. This can be done through a CSV file. You can even choose specific days/time when you want your pricing data to be refreshed.
If you want to get a taste of what we discussed today then this might be your last chance to sign up for the Free Price Watch Beta, which is being released imminently. If you are already a DataFeedWatch customer then feel free to request Early Access.