Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Are you the owner of an online store that specializes in retail merchandise? If so, you’ll know just how competitive the market is. With thousands of online retailers in the market, it is important that business owners keep on their toes and look into what competitors are doing in order to stay ahead of the game. One of the best ways to do this is to monitor your competitor’s online inventory or scrape competitor data. Monitoring inventory is a method used by many successful businesses to aid them in gaining a seamless competitive advantage. In today’s article, we look at how managing competitor inventory in real-time can help you in forecasting for your own manufacturing, so read on to find out more!

1. Improve Your Margins By Detecting What is Out of Stock

When you enlist the help of web scraping to track competitor inventory, you will easily be able to track what they have in stock and what is no longer in stock. If we go into the psychology of purchasing habits, it is not uncommon for people to perceive a product as more valuable than it actually is if it is out of stock. Based on this psychology, the increase in perceived value of the product can assist you in improving your margins. This is because when your competitor has run out of stock, you will be able to stock the product at a higher price which consumers will be willing to pay for. Being the next option for an online shopper who is looking for a product that is out of stock over at your competitor’s website is a fantastic way for your business to increase its revenue. Detecting what is out of stock early on in the game increases your chance of selling the same product almost instantly. With the confidence of that intelligence, you will be able to set a higher price that will greatly increase your profit margins.

2. Attract New Customers To Your Business

If a competitor has run out of stock of certain products, chances are their customers are more than likely to purchase it from you. If you can constantly provide products that your competitors fail to keep in stock, all the more likely you’ll gain the favour of their clients and customers. As a business, tracking your competitor’s online inventory and allocating a marketing budget to products that they don’t have in stock is one of the best ways to usher clients from their business to yours. Some fantastic ways to do this are to target customers via sponsored ads on platforms such as Facebook. You can also look into keyword targeting with the aid of Google Adwords. Other fantastic options are social media campaigns on Twitter and Instagram which promote the products that are so highly sought after.

By taking advantage of this opportunity, customers will have a great perception of your business in their minds and chances are you’ll be their go-to when they are looking to purchase products online. Over time, you’ll be able to build customer loyalty and a fantastic reputation as an online retailer that always has products that people are looking for in stock.

3. Figure Out The Demand For Certain Products

What you sell is just as important as what you do not sell. There is no point for any business to stock items that no one is looking for. Over time, you’ll end up wasting money and having hundreds of non-purchased products collecting dust in your warehouse. This is where tracking inventory can really help a business. Information on out of stock products is a clear indicator of a product’s popularity. Similarly, on the flip side, products that don’t seem to sell are an indicator of what people are generally not very interested in. Using this valuable information, you will be able to tweak your inventory and forecast for your own future manufacturing plans. Not only will this enable you to make better strategic decisions, but you will also have a deeper understanding of exactly what your customers are looking for.

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Inventory tracking is one of the best ways for any online business to quickly and effectively gain a competitive edge. We hope that this article has given you some insight into just a handful of the benefits that monitoring your competitor’s online inventory can offer you and your business.