We recognise that businesses are both at different stages of market size, as well as at different stages for how much pricing is being used inside the business to support growth. Therefore, we have created three core editions, or “flavours” as I typically say on demo calls with prospects: ‘Tracker’, ‘Challenger’, ‘Commander’, to support whatever stage of pricing your eCommerce business is at. This post aims to take you through these editions to help with your selection, as well as introduce our new ‘Enterprise’ offering.
BlackCurve Tracker is our entry-level, starter edition. It is best to think of it in terms of an insights product. It gives you insights into your competitor prices, as well as optional insights into how much your price position in the market is impacting your google ads performance.
In this edition, we take your product feed (e.g. product names, identification numbers, brand data and more) via either a spreadsheet or out-of-the-box integrations to Google Sheets, Google Merchant Centre, Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce. We then use this product feed to mine, match, and collect from Google Shopping, competitor prices, every day, 365 days of a year. The collected data points are then populated in your Dashboard and Reports.
The Dashboard is an opportunity to ask questions, with the overall aim to set and monitor whether your competitor pricing strategy is being achieved. What is my market position? What is preventing me from achieving this market position? Who are my main competitors? Which competitors should I be interested in? and more…
You can track your average market position over time. You can see which products are priced at the market position, and which products are too cheap or too expensive. You can see on what days competitors are making pricing changes. You can see your relative position to specifically named competitors. You can see how much your product inventories overlap to your competitors. You can complete product-specific analysis, tracking your complete price history.
We provide your competitor matches automatically. As you add new products, there is nothing you need to do. We shall pick these up and automatically match them for you and populate your dashboard and reports. If you wish to track the next best alternative, that is not an exact match, you have the option to add your own Google Shopping pages for us to collect.
We know that not everyone is visual, and we often see that the Dashboard is used as a way for spot-checking anomalies, and assessing an overall strategy. Where you wish to do analysis in bulk or make tactical pricing changes in bulk, this is where our reporting feature comes in useful, which presents slices of data in multiple report variants.
To see your market position and relative competitor position on a product-by-product basis, our Competitor Report is your friend. To just see what products have had a change in competitor price within a certain time frame, you need the Price Change Report. To benchmark your prices against one key competitor, you need the Individual Competitor Report. To see opportunities to change your pricing based on your google ads performance, connect up your Google Ad Account and download your Marketing Report. All of these reports can be downloaded on demand, or sent to you at your required intervals over email e.g. every working day of the week.
For those of you wishing to automate your bidding strategy based on your market position, you can even use BlackCurve Tracker to send your Market Position to a Google Merchant Centre Custom Field for each of your products either on demand or automatically at a schedule of your choice.
The Platform fee is £99 per month. There is also a SKU fee of £30 per month per 1,000 SKUs per Country, to cover competitor data collection costs. Contracts are 12 months as standard. For this fee, you get unlimited users, unlimited competitors, and unlimited support via email.
The Challenger edition enables you to take all the insights, and start to automate all or part of your pricing decisions. Pricing decisions across thousands and even hundreds of SKUs can be time consuming, so let a computer do the heavy lifting, and mitigate against spreadsheet errors.
Challenger gives you access to our drag-and-drop rules engine, where you can build competitor-based pricing rules, alongside having the protection of minimum and maximum price safeguards. The aim is to avoid races to the bottom. The aim is to ensure data errors are caught. The aim is to ensure no surprises.
Challenger allows you to maintain a particular market benchmark, which currently includes being the lowest priced in the market, the highest priced in the market, being the mean, median, or mode price in the market. Alternatively, you can set yourselves to always be in a particular position e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
The safeguards allow you the ability to mathematically set up a formula that uses reference data such as cost, margin etc. to ensure your price does not go above or below a range. The rules engine can even ignore specific competitors, as well as create a pricing lane of excluding competitors outside of a particular range of your current price.
Psychological pricing is built as standard so that you can ensure you have “pretty” pricing and round your prices, as you need e.g. to the nearest 9p or always as multiples of £1.
Challenger can be set up to run semi-manually or fully automatically. It is possible for the rules to build a price recommendation report that can be downloaded to a spreadsheet for onward processing. Within the spreadsheet all of the calculations and resultant prices are properly explained for every product, as well as all of your competitor information found within the competitor report available for cross referencing. Should you wish to go fully automatic, and have the prices uploaded straight to your website, integrations with Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento are available out of the box, or a connection can be made to our API with simple documentation available if you have an alternative technology.
The Platform fee is £499 per month. The SKU fee and contract length are the same as Tracker.
Commander is an extension of Challenger. Competitor data is a powerful tool for optimising your pricing, however, it is a lagging indicator. If you want more control, and want to start using leading indicators to work out where you can ignore your competitors, you want to start making use of Commander. The data sets it makes use of are sales history data, stock level data, and marketing performance data.
Commander allows you to take advantage of price elasticity, using historical sales figures to influence a pricing decision. If a product is selling well, competitors dropping prices can be ignored by way of simple example. If a product has no competitors, how do you know if you have the right price point? Pricing rules using sales history give you the ability to test and refine.
The rules engine includes the ability to make pricing changes based on your stock levels, especially important in times of supply chain trouble. No point in reducing the price of a product if you have limited stock by way of another simple example.
Commander enables you to take advantage of marketing rules. Using marketing data in your pricing is the best leading indicator. Whereas Competitor data relies on you waiting for your competitor to make a move. Sales history relies on your customer to make a purchase. Marketing data can use real-time interaction with your product, and does not even need you to have completed a product sale. Changes in impression rates, impression shares, click-throughs, advertising costs, can all be used to drive pricing decisions, and build a virtuous circle of improving sales and improving your cost per acquisition at the same time.
The Platform fee is £999 per month. The SKU fee and contract length are the same as Tracker & Challenger.
Do you have data multiple locations? Do you wish to use your own analytics product? Do you want a customised support package? All of this is available through our Enterprise product, which enables you to interact with BlackCurve heedlessly or in other words via our API. It is even possible to manipulate our rules engine via the API without even logging in. BlackCurve becomes a giant calculator in the sky!
Contact us for pricing.
How do I get access?
All of our core editions (Tracker, Challenger, Commander) can be tested during a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required. There are no restrictions on functionality or data during a trial, except your automatic pricing rules cannot be turned on during a trial.
What are you waiting for? Start your trial today. Start with Tracker and upgrade at any time during your contract term. Know you need Challenger and Commander, go straight there.