Efficient Competitive Shopping Management

As today's market has grown to be highly competitive and aggressive, retailers challenge each others to increase their own market shares and sales performances. Therefore they need to know what are the price of the competitors in the market at a certain period in order to:

  • Fit their pricing strategy or align with competition according to products categories and sensitivities
  • Have the best price image to attract new customers and increase market shares

To answer this need, Soft Solutions provides the retailers an efficient way to organize, collect and integrate competitors Retail Prices through an advanced and complete system.

In order to understand and implement competitive price strategies, retailers need to determine their direct competitors and how they are all positioned in the market. The slow market growth for the retail market means that companies must fight each other for market share. Competitive shopping management is a decision-making assistant tool.

“knowledge is power: let's go shopping”

The shopping process to retrieve competitor retail price varies from a country to another. Indeed, the competitive shopping can be noted down by shoppers or can be directly integrated into the system, thanks to some company like panellists Nielsen, IRI and others, which collect retailer prices on a regular basis, based on stores cash register.

However, the shopping philosophy stays the same. After the analysis of the collected competitor prices, the competitive strategy of the retailer will be defined.


To manage competitive shopping, retailers can work with multiple shopping stakeholders. It can be done internally by the retailer or externally by a third party

  • Competitive Shopping Planning

Our competitive shopping planning is a full plan driving competitive shopping milestones and tasks included in the process with the number of Categories to be shopped and their frequencies along the year.

  • Competitive Shopping Preparation:
    The preparation for the shopping starts with creating a checklist of items, which need to be shopped from specific competitor stores. In the definition of the Competitive shopping the following steps should be respected:
    • Identify the competitor items to be shopped
    • Identify the competitor stores to be shopped (multi-channel)
    • Identify who is responsible for the competitive shopping (internal or external stakeholders )
    • Define the timing of competitive shopping
    • Create the shopping list
    • Identify competitive shopping cost
    • Link up Retailer and competitor Store Brand Items for comparability purpose
  • Competitive Shopping Implementation:

Once the previous competitive analysis and preparation have been done, retailers need a competitive shopping support, usually called a "Shopping File". This shopping file contains all the data of the prepared checklist (Items and competitor stores) to realize the shopping. Our solution provides retailers an efficient way to create this support and use it easily.

“listen to your competitors…”

  • Competitive Shopping Activity and Integration:

Collecting competitor retail prices can be done through several manners: manual data entry, scanning of the competitive item bar code, mobile hand-scanner… Once the competitive shopping is achieved, the shoppers can integrate the file into the system, in order, to use and analyze the collected data.

  • Competitive Shopping Validation:
    In order to have accurate and useful data, retailers need to validate the shopping file format and content. Therefore, ibs Pricing provides a powerful system to:
    • Identify any file format or content errors and missing data.
    • Identify the non-linked Items: National Brands are always linked thanks to their bar code . Private Label and First Price can be already linked by the retailer using bar code
    • Purge automatically the non linked data at a certain system date

After this first validation, ibs Pricing offers retailers the possibility to be more specific, thanks to our validation rules, in order to verify the accuracy of the received/shopped (Shopping List) data. The aim is to check that the retrieved retail competitor price is coherent and can be used for analysis and strategy definition. According to the retailer strategy and objectives, the validation rules can be set by competitor banner, category, price range, threshold limit (less, more than retail prices or costs )…

  • Recheck process:

Once the validation rules are processed, the retail competitor prices are validated or rejected by the system, automatically, depending on the validation rules applied. The competitive shop analyst can manually change these validation statuses. One of our reports, updated in real time according to the modifications, enables you to highlight missing or non-validated data. Retailers can use it to send back the list to the internal or external stakeholders for recheck and also to realize some statistics on shoppers.Once the re check captivity is completed, the collected data has to be retrieved for a new process of integration and validation into the System.