ChannelEngine: repricing

About this document

This document describes ChannelEngine's automated repricing feature, how it works, and how its many settings can be configured. 

Table of contents

Introduction

Requirements

Managing reprice rules

Repricer rule settings

Target buy box

Target fee reductions

Scenarios

Previewing changes

Choose your competition

Check out the competition

Introduction

ChannelEngine offers the option to reprice your products on several marketplaces, based on competitors' prices. When using the repricer, you can set variable price rules for your products based on the prices other merchants use. If those prices change, your prices change according to your settings.

Currently this feature is only available on certain channels, including Amazon, Bol.com, and all Mirakl-based channels (e.g.: Blokker, vidaXL, fonQ, etc.), but more could follow – provided that the channel shares competition prices.

There are two options to target your repricing on, plus a third option available only on Bol.com:

  • Target the lowest competitor
  • Target the buy box
  • Target fee reductions (only on Bol.com)

Repricing can be managed via Channel details > Pricing > Reprice rules.

NB: reprice rules override any other Price rules you may have set for your products, however, price overrides trump the reprice rules. Currency conversion still applies, if configured.

Requirements

  • A product listing
  • Think about the products you want to reprice. Is this your complete offer or a only a subset of it? E.g.: a specific brand or product group.

  • Purchase prices
  • While not mandatory, it is recommended to offer purchase prices in your product feed, shop or ERP system. Without purchase prices, it is difficult to reprice on low margin products without the risk of selling below the purchase price.

  • A top 20 product listing (only for Amazon repricing)
  • To use the repricer on Amazon you need to be in the top 20 for the products you add to the repricer.

  • Your Bol.com sales number (only for Bol.com repricing)
  • Your sales number can be found under Settings > Account in your Bol.com account. Note that Bol.com allows the request of price and competitor information on up to 18,000 unique products per hour. If you have tens of thousands of products in your listing, it can take some time before price updates are retrieved and products repriced, if applicable.

Managing reprice rules

Adding a new rule

  1. To add a new price rule, select +Add under the Reprice rules tab.
  2. ChannelEngine back-end: reprice rules overview

  3. You are then redirected to a page listing repricing settings. These settings, when seen for the first time, might be a bit overwhelming. Properly configuring the repricer is not an easy task, but practice makes perfect.
  4. ChannelEngine back-end: reprice rule

  5. As settings are automatically on preview, you have the opportunity to see what happens to your prices before activating them. Make sure to check the preview for several products before saving the price rule.
  6. ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

  7. If you are happy with the newly configured price rule, select Save. If you check the Preview box, you can see the projected changes. By checking the Active box, the outcome of the price rule is exported to the marketplace – if the outcome is a repriced price and there is no price override active.
  8. ChannelEngine back-end: repricing check

Editing and deleting rules

You can edit an existing price rule by selecting the pencil icon by desired listing, under the  Reprice rules tab, which brings you to the price rule settings page.

ChannelEngine back-end: reprice rules overview

To delete a price rule, select the trashcan icon by the desired listing under the  Reprice rule tab

Repricer rule settings

At the top of the Reprice rule page, you see the main settings applied to your repriced products. 

ChannelEngine back-end: reprice rule

Individual settings

  • Marketplace - while you cannot change this setting for an existing reprice rule, it shows to which channel the rule applies to.
  • Name - the name of your reprice rule. Make sure to use a descriptive name if you have several listings and individual reprice rules, so you can easily see to which listing it applies.
  • Listing - the product selection listing to which you want to apply the repricing. If you have multiple product selection listings and want to reprice all products included, you need to set up multiple reprice rules.
  • Filter by - if you only want repricing applied to the last number of products, you can set a minimum stock number from which the rule is applied.
  • ChannelEngine back-end: filter by

    This is an optional setting. E.g.: if you enter a value of 3, only products with a stock of 3 or lower are included for repricing.

  • Min. price - select the price attribute used as the base value for the Minimum price used by the repricer.
  • ChannelEngine back-end: minimum price

    If you have price rules for this listing, you can use the output from this price rule as the input for the minimum price. As well as the regular Price attribute, you can also use the Purchase price or Catalog price for products if they are available. Next to the attribute input, there are two fields to increase or decrease the price: a percentage-based input and a fixed-value input.

    In the example above, the input price value is increased by 15%. A value of 2 in the fixed-value input field increases the price by 2.00. To lower the output price, add a minus to decrease prices with that percentage or fixed value.

    E.g.:
    
    (Input) Price = 10 | +10% | -0.50
    Result = 10 + (0.1 * 10 - 0.50) = 10.50
    		
    (Input) Purchase price = 25 | + 100 % | + 2.50
    Result = 25 + (1 * 25 + 2.50) = 52.50<br>
    	
  • Max. price - select the price attribute that is used as the base value for the Maximum price used by the repricer.
  • ChannelEngine back-end: maximum price

    If you have price rules for this listing, you can use the output from this price rule as the input for the maximum price. As well as the regular Price attribute, you can also use the Purchase price or Catalog price for products if they are available.

    Next to the attribute input, there are two fields to increase or decrease the price: a percentage-based input and a fixed-value input.

    In the example above, the input price value is increased by 15%. A value of 2 in the fixed-value input field increases the price by 2.00. To lower the output price, add a minus to decrease prices with that percentage or fixed value.

    E.g.:
    
    (Input) Price = 19.95 | -2% | -1.26
    Result = 19.95 - (-0.02 * 19.95 - 1.26) = 18.29
    
    (Input) Catalog Price = 50 | +33% | +0
    Result = 50 + (0.5 * 50 + 0) = 75.00<br>
    	
  • Repricing - set how, either as a percentage or as a fixed value, you want your price to be in relation to the competitor with the lowest price (or Target lowest). Note that this setting is not compatible with Target buy box or Target fee reduction, and you can only use one of these three options for repricing.
  • As with the minimum and maximum prices, you can add or subtract a specific percentage or fixed amount to the price of the lowest competitor. If you enter -5%, as in the example above, your price is lowered by 5% in comparison with the lowest competitor. If you enter a fixed value of 5, the repriced price is increased by 5 – based on the lowest competitor.

    E.g.:

    ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

    Lowest competitor = 82.14
    Repricing = -5% + 5
    Result = 82.14 + (- 0.05 * 82.14 + 5) = 83.03
    	

    Because this price of 83.03 is lower than the set minimum price (a scenario which is discussed later), the minimum price of 87.81 is exported. If the minimum price was 82, the repricer would have exported a price of 83.03.

Target buy box

Besides repricing in relation to your competitors, you can also set the reprice rule to target the product's buy box. This option is only available if the marketplace can provide ChannelEngine with information about the winner of the buy box. You cannot use this simultaneously with target fee reductions. Note that none of the Mirakl-based channels (with the exception of Blokker) share their own prices and buy box information, so this option cannot be used with them.

The Target buy box option incrementally decreases or increases your price based on your buy box position and external triggers. If you have not won the buy box, ChannelEngine incrementally decreases your price until it has reached the buy box or your minimum price.

The incremental steps downward are taken based on your buy box position. If you have added a value under Increase price by, ChannelEngine also increases your price until you have lost the buy box – and then automatically decreases the price to reach it again. The incremental steps upward are taken according to changes in the competition data provided by the marketplace.

NB: targeting the buy box is a complex repricing mechanism, and it is not the best repricing option in some situations. Using this option is only recommended for products with many competitors and frequent price changes. In most other scenarios, targeting the lowest seller provides merchants with better and faster results.

Decrease your price to get the buy box

This applies your regular repricing rule first (see above) with the first export only, but if this does not give you the buy box, the price is decreased in steps until you have reached the buy box – or your minimum price is reached. 

ChannelEngine back-end: target buy box

The timing of the decreasing steps depends on the update speed of the price and buy box change by the marketplace, which can vary between one hour and one day. Note that these are external triggers which can not be sped up, the repricer depends on the information that ChannelEngine receives from the marketplace.

As ChannelEngine matches the price of a competitor only with the first export and incrementally decreases the price based on buy box information, this option might not work as quickly as you need. In this case, it is recommended that you uncheck this box and use regular repricing. You can later switch on Target buy box again to incrementally decrease the price.

You can only ever reach the buy box if your offer is considered Buy box eligible by the change. Marketplaces are secretive about the exact rules determining who wins the buy box. Although it does have a large impact, the price of a product is not the only factor, so make sure that your delivery times and ratings are good. If you are EUR 1.00 cheaper than your competitor, but your customer rating is 50% and your competitor's rating is 95% (with a faster delivery time), this competitor is likely to win the buy box.

Increase the price while keeping the buy box

You can also enable the option to increase the price again, once you have gained the buy box. If you set the step to a value higher than 0, the increase is enabled. The price is increased until the buy box is lost, or your maximum price is reached.

ChannelEngine back-end: target buy box

Set the value to increase the price with each step. As you are likely to lose the buy box once the price increases, you must set a threshold to trigger the increase. The threshold is the change between your current reprice by the regular repricing (i.e.: before the buy box targeting) and the previous reprice by regular repricing (i.e.: before the buy box targeting) as a percentage. As your regular reprice by regular repricing (i.e.: before the buy box targeting) change depending on your competitor's prices, this triggers the increase when they have raised their prices or have fallen away. 

E.g.:

Threshold: 10%
Previous regular reprice (before buy box targeting): €100
Current regular reprice (before buy box targeting): €105
Increase price? 100 * 110% = 110. Is 110 < 105? No, hence do not increase price

Threshold: 10%
Previous regular reprice (before buy box targeting): €100
Current regular reprice (before buy box targeting): €115
Increase price? 100 * 110% = 110. Is 110 < 115? Yes, hence increase price

NB: increasing the price only happens if the price was previously lowered to target the buy box. If you win the buy box directly with the regular reprice rule, ChannelEngine does not try to increase it.

If you lose the buy box due to the increased price, the price is decreased again until you win the buy box again.

Below the threshold: other triggers

If the threshold is not met, changes other than the price trigger an increase in your price. These changes are:
  • Fulfillment status (not any more or vice versa)
  • Buy box winner status (not any more or vice versa)
  • Shipping time status (shorter, longer, out of stock)
  • 10% increase/decrease in price (incl. shipping)
  • 10% increase/decrease in seller rating

Target the buy box - output example

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

Note that if you enable Target buy box, the preview changes as well and contains a lot more information. The repricing flow describes step by step what changes are made or not – and why. Make sure to take a close look if you do not immediately understand why a certain price is outputted by the repricer.

Once the threshold to increase the price is triggered, it shows up as In increasing session in the increasing steps following it. The price is increased until the buy box is lost, or the maximum price is reached.

Target fee reductions

If enabled, the repriced price is lowered to the channel's maximum price for a fee reduction, if available and if this price is not below your minimum price. This option is only available if the marketplace offers fee reductions. More information on this can be found on the article Bol.com: fee reductions.

ChannelEngine back-end: target fee reduction

This option cannot be combined with targeting the buy box or the lowest competitor. 

Scenarios

It is possible that lowest competitor's price is lower than your minimum price or higher than your maximum price. You can set rules to define what happens to your price in those situations.

You can choose to not change anything at all, leaving the price as it is. You can also choose to use the minimum price when the price is lower, and the maximum price when the price is higher. When there is no competition at all, you can also choose to not reprice or use the maximum price.

ChannelEngine back-end: scenarios

Possible scenarios

  • If lowest below min. price - if, for regular repricing, the current cheapest competitor is offering a price lower than your minimum, you can choose what to do. The options are Set your minimum price or No repricing.
  • If lowest above max. price - this is unlikely, but possible. If your lowest competitor is offering a price that is higher than your maximum price, you can choose what to do. The options are Set your maximum price or No repricing.
  • If no competition - if there is no competition and you are the only seller for a product, there is no competitor price to reprice on. There are three options for this scenario:
    1. Max. price - exports your maximum price as the price for this product.
    2. No repricing - exports your regular price, with price rules applied if applicable.
    3. No repricing unless below min. price - exports your minimum price if your regular price is below that – this prevents selling items with a very low price, if your base prices are very low.
  • If buy box below min. price/If buy box winner - the label and options change if you select Target buy box.
    • If Target buy box is checked:

    • Min. price - exports your minimum price, even if the buy box winner has a lower price than you.
    • No repricing - exports your regular price with price rules applied, if applicable.
    • If Target buy box is not checked:

    • Reprice - the exported price goes up or down with the configured increments, based on external triggers.
    • Keep current price unless below min. price - the price remains the same, unless your product is currently offered for a price lower than the set minimum price.
NB: these scenarios are only active if there is repricing information available. If there is no competitor information available, the result is no repricing and the regular price, with price rules applied if applicable, is exported.

Choose your competition

You can choose your competition. Compete with the marketplace itself, merchants using the fulfillment services, buy box-eligible merchants and winners, or choose manually – based on the seller rating or shipping times. You can also include or exclude specific shops by adding the shop name or Seller ID.

ChannelEngine back-end: compete with

  • Seller groups - select with what seller groups you wish to compete. By default, all groups are selected, but if you would like to exclude certain groups, such as the marketplace itself, you can uncheck this. 
  • Max. shipping time/out of stock - exclude sellers that have a very long shipping time by setting a maximum number of days for the delivery time you wish to compete with. You can also enable competing with sellers who have a listing on your product, but no available stock.
  • Min. seller rating - exclude sellers below a certain rating threshold. If there is a seller with a lower price but a bad rating, you might not want to compete directly with that seller and lower your price to their level.
  • Min. seller rating count - exclude sellers that have few ratings. E.g.: if a seller is new and has two five-star ratings, the results is a total seller rating of five stars. On products with many different sellers, you may want to exclude these new sellers.
  • Sellers - include or exclude specific sellers, if you know their shop name or Seller ID.

Previewing changes

All changes made in any of the previously mentioned options and settings can be previewed. The preview changes with every change you make. At the top, you can see the product you are repricing. If you are repricing an entire listing, it shows one product as an example. If you want to preview a different product in that listing, enter its SKU, its EAN/GTIN, or its name in the search bar.

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing example

You can see the repricer in action below the product example. E.g.:

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

Price: 39
Catalog price: 65
Purchase price: 20.90
Min. price: Price - 10 % + 0
Max. price: Catalog price + 20 % + 0
Repricing: -1 % + 0
Target buy box/Fee reductions: off

Min. price

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

Min. price = 39 (Price) + (- 0.1 * 39 + 0) = 35.10

Max. price

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

Max. price = 65 (Catalog Price) + (0.2 * 65 + 0) = 78.00

Repricing

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

There is one competitor, whose price is currently 44.95. 44.95 + (- 0.01 *44.95 + 0) = 44.50. No scenario is triggered, so this price of 44.50 is now exported to the marketplace until something changes. This change can be both internal (e.g.: one of your prices changes, causing the minimum to become 45) or external (e.g.: a new competitor appears and has a price of 40).

Scenario triggered/No repricing

There are scenarios where no repricing is applied. You have direct control over some, as discussed in the Scenarios section. Others are caused by external systems.

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing preview

Next to the four scenarios which you can set to No repricing, repricing is also applicable when there is no competition information available from the marketplace. This might be due to a product being quite new, or to a technical issue with the fetching of this data on the marketplace. If you have no competitors for a product, no repricing is done either.

Check out the competition

You can see where the prices come from this list of competitors. The one in orange is your own shop (i.e.: the preview). In this case, the preview differs from the shop price because there is an active listing that repriced the product.

The one with the ‘x’ is the shop that’s excluded. As you can see, this is because the rating is only 57% while we’ve set to only compete with 75% and higher.

NB: make sure to enter your Seller ID correctly in the channel settings. If this is wrong, the repricer will consider you a competitor and you may automatically continuously lower your prices based on your own price.

ChannelEngine back-end: competition overview

Note that if you are using the Mirakl repricer you might also be competing with the marketplace itself, but that data is not available so there is no guarantee you have the absolute lowest price or the buy box. The channels where this applies show a warning at the top of the screen. 

ChannelEngine back-end: reprice rule warning

When you are happy with the results you can change the preview mode to active, select Save and ChannelEngine does the rest. When the competitors’ prices change, yours will change along according to your settings. You can change these settings whenever you want, they are automatically forwarded to the marketplaces, just like the normal price rules.

ChannelEngine back-end: repricing check

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