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Price comparators may get boost with new software

Mediahawk, which specialises in media monitoring, data extraction and analysis, has developed a suite of programmes that extract price information from websites and tabulate it in an easy-to-use online format.

This will allow retailers to adjust their prices on a daily basis to increase their market share.

Mediahawk's system enables any organisation to build up a price-related database showing where it sits alongside its competitors in any market sector and which offers it needs to make - perhaps just small discounts - to increase its share of the market.

Harry Bott, Director of Mediahawk, says: "Increased access to the internet and a range of 'comparison' sites has made the buying public more price-sensitive than ever before".

"Both online and offline retailers are constantly being told by their customers that their product is cheaper elsewhere, and in many cases they don't even get the chance of a sale, because consumers will go online and choose the best deal. Our system enables a retailer to be able to offer the most competitive pricing on any product on any day, enabling them to capture the price-sensitive consumer market."

Until now, the only way for a business to reliably check the competitiveness of its prices was to visit all of its competitors' websites, note the pricing information, collate and compare the results.

This is so time-consuming that many retailers never do it and even when they do, they often don't monitor the competition at weekends, when the pricing of products in the consumer market can change.

Mediahawk has trialled the system in the motor industry, where the software shows how much a particular model is priced at by retailers across the country, and also how long the cars have been in stock.

This provides the user with a competitive advantage because it allows them to see which models are selling well and which ones aren't.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.