PriceGrabber’s New Bidding System

May 7, 2010

Since the cat’s out of the bag about the PriceGrabber bidding system, I thought it may be valuable to share thoughts and some early learnings from experiences we’ve had in testing it. Yes, you can bid below the rate card but no, you shouldn’t bid all your items to a penny. We’ve seen that you can maintain a decent traffic level after lowering a category bid but that bidding too low will cause a significant traffic drop. Whether or not using a penny bid as a replacement for product suppression will be effective is still to be determined but it’s something we’re trying.

Overall, I think this is a step in the right direction. Multiple engines have made moves in the recent past that indicated concern over maintaining maximum assortment and I think this is a similar move on PriceGrabber’s part, which should increase their value proposition to consumers. It also benefits merchants who have a more control and flexibility, giving them a better opportunity to succeed long term.

Another piece worth noting is that this is the first CSE bidding system that allows for not just absolute bids but incremental bids, including negative incremental bids. The interface also allow for rules that facilitate bid changes not only by category and product, but also by price and manufacturer. It’s interesting to see PriceGrabber not only take a significant step in terms of introducing bidding into their platform but also see that step be one not previously taken by including this new level of functionality. I’ve always been impressed by their catalogueueue/matching technology. This development shows they have the ability to roll out rich features that can differentiate them in the market.