1. How does it work?
2. Cost and success rate
3. Free random searches
4. How to get the best results? (please do not skip this)
In order for us to monitor your competitors we first need to know where your products are on their website. This means you need to somehow end up with the list of all competitors URLs for each of your products.
• One way to do this is manually by visiting your competitors websites, finding your products and copying the URLs to your PriceZag account or putting them all in a spreadsheet. Once you are used to doing this it takes about 20 seconds per URL so if you have 2,000 products and 5 competitors for each you will spend 56 hours adding them to your account.
• If you cannot spend this much time or if you have a lot more products and competitors you can use our Auto-Search software to do this job for you.
PriceZag Auto-Search does not rely on any third party database such as Google Shopping. Our software visits your competitors websites, finds the search form, performs smart queries and matches the results with your products. This way you are not limited to another service inventory and we can find your products on any website regardless of the software they use. PriceZag never discriminates websites, whether for searching products or finding the price. For us a page is a page no matter if on Amazon.com, Ebay.co.uk, or YourCompetitor.com. Our software treats every page with the same algorithms.STEP 1Add the website on which you want to perform the queries by providing the URL of the page containing the search form (typically their home page).STEP 2About 30 seconds later we have already visited the page and found the form(s). We show you a screenshot and draw a red rectangle around the forms. You click in the screenshot to select the form we should use (typically the one in their menu).STEP 3Select your products to be searched on this website based on what you believe they also carry. You can select individual products, groups, or all products. This means you must have already imported your products to our platform, for example from a spreadsheet. Please note that products already having a URL from that same competitor in your account cannot be selected.
TIP: You may want to create a group for each brand first so you can then select all brands carried by this competitor. This can be done quickly in All Products > Search tab, then type "Yamaha" as keyword, select all results and assign them to a new group called "Yamaha".STEP 4Select a search strategy for this competitor's website. You must visit it and experiment with various keywords to understand what works best with their search engine. Some websites may recognize SKUs while others respond better to keywords picked from your products names. You can also provide custom expressions to be searched. In this step you instruct our program on how to search and what to try first. It is important to plan ahead and import your products with the right information. Please refer to SEARCH STRATEGY to learn how to select these options.STEP 5We perform a free search on a random selection of your products so you can measure the success rate. You approve this rate and the full search begins. You can follow the status during the full search, verify the results, and stop at any time.PRODUCTS MATCHINGWe visit the pages of the products found in the results and use as much information as we have to pick the most relevant page. This information includes your price and product name. That's why IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU SET YOUR PRICE CORRECTLY IN OUR SYSTEM. At the end of the search you can see multiple results per product, their reliability, and download a spreadsheet of all URLs found.TIME TO SEARCHIn your interest and ours we try to stay as discreet as possible when visiting your competitors websites. We also want to respect their business and remain a negligible load on their systems. For these reasons we purposely search slowly and blend in their traffic based on the hour of the day and their business time zone. A search may take hours or a couple of days depending on the number of products you are searching. We search all websites simultaneously.MULTIPLE RESULTS?We do not search on a website a product for which you already have a URL from this website in your account so you can continue a previously interrupted search from which you already imported some results. By default we pick only one URL per website so if the website you search on is Ebay we will pick the one page we find the most relevant, then track the main price from this page. We make available up to 3 URLs in the output spreadsheet so if you want to use multiple results you can do it this way.
Each product search is charged 0.05 USD per website with a minimum of $10 per website (so you should search at least 200 products). We often need to perform multiple queries to find your product as we try different approaches depending on your options (see STEP 4). Each product search will still be charged only 5 cents even if we made 3 queries to find it. So if you search 1,000 products on 5 websites and nothing interrupts the search the cost will be $250. We hold these funds from your card before the search begins and only charge for the queries performed once the search is completed (full amount if nothing was cancelled).
We charge per product searched, not found so you will be charged even if we do not find a matching product on the website. We do this because products we cannot find take more of our resources than the ones we find since we have to perform many queries before giving up on them. To limit the waste you can:
• Try each website for free on a random selection of products to measure the success rate. This is mandatory, we do not allow a full search on a website before you tried it and accepted the success rate (unless you used all free searches of your account). Since our selection of products is random this rate should in theory represent the final rate.
• Define a success rate below which we will interrupt the search automatically and stop charging you.
• Cancel at any time during the search so we will not charge any further (with a minimum of $10).
If you carefully select the products to search by making sure each competitor carries them, that you gave your products very official names, and that you select the right search strategy by experimenting with their website there should be little waste and the success rate will be close to 100%.
If you selected 1,000 products to be search on TheCompetitor.com, we will first pick e.g. 80 of these 1,000 products randomely and search them for free. This allows you to test our software on TheCompetitor.com and measure the results before starting the full search. Every account comes with 8 free random searches and 5 free searches are added to this credit every time you order a new full search. Because of this limit it is a bad idea to try multiple websites simultaneously as you may run out of free random searches and be forced to pay a full search you did not previously test. We advise that you pick one website of competitor, use some random searches until you get the settings right, then start the full search so you have another 5 random searches to be used for the next website.
• If you are not satisfied with the results of our random search the first step is to determine whether our software was totally unable to search anything on that website or if it was unable to find anything because of what it has searched. If the results of the search show many "Failed" instead of "Not Found" in front of each product or that you are quite sure that your strategy options and the data from your products should lead our software into performing the right queries on that website, we would then recommend that you open a ticket in your account so we can look into this for you. If however you see mostly "Not Found" and that you believe you could still try other strategies for the search we encourage you to modify your options.
• Edit your selection of products to make sure that most products searched are carried by that competitor. Creating groups for your products can help with this, especially a group per brand.
• Adjust your search strategy after carefully reading our SEARCH STRATEGY help and experimenting with the search form of that competitor to see what works best. Are SKUs recognized? If so the accuracy will be very high. How strict must the keywords be and will we be able to pick the right ones from the data of your account?
• YOUR PRODUCTS NAMES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR FOR A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH. Overwrite your products names by importing a spreadsheet so that it will be easy for our software to pick good keywords from your names. Avoid naming your products with anything your competitor will not know such as "Clearance", "Last Version", or by adding to the name a category like "Bikes" instead of using groups for this purpose. Your product names should be as official as possible. Examples of good names: "Yamaha P115", "Trek Madone 9.9 frameset", "Dewalt DW235G 7.8 Amp".
• As a last resort you can import a spreadsheet with a "Search" column and select this as the only strategy to use to perform the queries.
As a general rule the goal is to make it easy for our software to find from your data either a SKU that the competitor knows or a good combination BRAND+MODEL. Once you are done tweaking your data you can run another random search.
If you still cannot get acceptable results after a couple of random searches please open a ticket so we can advise you.
OUR TEAM WORKED REALLY HARD TO DEVELOP THIS POWERFUL SOFTWARE, BUT AS GREAT AS IT CAN BE IT IS NOT PERFECT AND WE OFFER STRICTLY NO GUARANTEE RELATED TO THE SEARCH OR MATCHING OF PRODUCTS. IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISKS WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO SET A STRICT LIMIT OF SUCCESS RATE UNDER WHICH WE WILL GIVE UP AND STOP CHARGING YOUR ACCOUNT. YOU MUST ALSO ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON THE RESULTS AS WE SEARCH IN ORDER TO INTERRUPT THE SEARCH IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE LIST OF PRODUCTS FOUND. NO REFUND WILL BE ISSUED FOR QUERIES ALREADY PERFORMED.
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