Why is it not a good idea to depend on a supplier who extracts most of the data from Google Shopping?

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For some time now there has been much discussion about which method is more effective in capturing data that is essential to the world of e-commerce. In most cases, online retailers rely on sources such as Google Shopping to know their competitors’ prices, or employ tools that use this same data source to extract this type of information. The main argument in favor of these solutions is that they can be more cost-effective, and that the information they present is sufficient for competitive price analysis in the online retail world.

Depending on a single data source: when something fails, everything fails.

Last November 12th we saw how Google Shopping failed in Europe. The Netrivals team detected flaws in the data display and decided to confirm whether Google Shopping was working correctly. For this purpose, the platform was accessed from different countries such as Spain, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, using different browsers, to check if these were isolated errors. To analyze the data display status in Google Shopping, transactional keywords were used, namely the keywords with the highest level of competition in the auction. After these checks, our team detected that only one seller per product was displayed. This type of situation, of course, made competitive analysis between sellers competing for the same product impossible. 

In the following video you can see in more detail the type of errors we are referring to.

What is the impact of this situation in case you work with a repricing tool?

Let’s emphasize the topic of repricing. If you are an active user of a repricing tool, you can imagine what would have happened in such a situation: by detecting only one competitor, or in some cases none at all, the repricing system would have decided to raise prices, based on erroneous market data. 

This time, it was an error of Google Shopping, but it can happen with other data providers too.

The case we detected last 12th November was due to an internal and specific error in Google Shopping itself, and it is not something that tends to happen on a regular basis. 

The reality is that data providers sometimes have problems obtaining data from a particular source. That is why we recommend NOT to base your pricing strategy on suppliers that:

  • Extract most prices from Google Shopping or a single data source.
  • Do not have a dedicated Customer Success team.
  • Their main point of differentiation consists of low fees.

Advantages of combining direct-web technology and other price comparators

Direct web-based data collection and massive Big Data, along with Google Shopping data capture, are the factors that act as the differential element of Netrivals’ technology. The great advantage in this sense is that “intermediate” sources can be dispensed with, since our systems capture essential product information on more than 650 million items on a daily basis, directly from the website. We refer to key data for the e-commerce ecosystem: price, EAN codes, photographs, products’ ratings and reviews, promotions, stock availability, and much more. 

Thanks to Netrivals’ AI, which consists of an efficient image and product attribute recognition system, you can directly connect existing items in your product assortment with those of your competitors. This is a great competitive advantage, since  the data compiled via direct web provides the basis for the analysis of your online store’s level of competitiveness, and the subsequent development of a relevant repricing strategy based on real market information. 

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