In this article (~8 min read):
1. What is High Price Divergence (HPD)
2. HPD statuses in the Matches list
3. What should I do with HPD: best practices and recommendations
What is High Price Divergence (HPD)
Price divergence is a specific characteristic of a product pair (also known as a product match), which describes by how much per cent the price for the specific product in your online store differs from the price for this very product in any store you monitor. Price divergence is a common phenomenon and a casual practice for retailers, which although can indicate the need for an imminent positive or negative price move.
However, if the price difference is too high, we shouldn't dismiss the possibility of an error – either in the way this product data is collected or in the match itself, as the product pair may be inaccurate due to the lack of specifications (color, packaging, etc.) or matched completely wrong.
High Price Divergence (HPD) is the difference exceeding a predefined threshold of allowed price divergence which would signify a suspicious product match that requires attention or action.
But how is this "high" defined? The answer is that it all depends on the configuration set in the Campaign settings. If your campaign admin didn't assign any distinct value to the HPD threshold, the latter is set to 30% by default. Thus if your product price differs from that in an online store you monitor by more than 30% (unless otherwise defined), such match is considered suspicious, and it's recommended to review the product pair and make sure no error occurred.
There is no limit to the value of HPD threshold a campaign admin can set.
Example 1: your price – 90, your competitor's price – 125.
Price divergence = 90 – 125 = |35|, i.e. 35/90*100% = 38,9% of your price.
Hence this price divergence should be considered high and will be reflected in dashboard prompting action.
Example 2: your price – 110, your competitor's price – 95.
Price divergence = 110 – 95 = 15, i.e. 15/110*100% = 13,6% of your price.
This price divergence lies within the specified threshold and will not be marked as HPD.
HPD statuses in matches list
As HPD is a characteristic of a product pair, the detailed information regarding the HPD is available in the Matches list (Data delivery > Matches).
Here you'll find columns with the Divergence value in per cent and the High Price Divergence status. Let's review these statuses in more detail.
No divergence: this status is assigned if 1) the product match is found and there is an existing product pair, 2) price difference in this product pair is lower than the predefined HPD threshold. At the same time, Matches list does display the divergence value in per cent and the High Price Divergence status.
Divergence verified and confirmed: it goes without saying that Competera team does its best to double- and triple-check data we deliver. Thus once we notice the price divergence is higher than the HPD threshold, we put such match on the queue for a recheck. It is necessary to make sure that divergence wasn't caused by anything but the actual price difference (not the error in data collection or the wrong product URL), and if there was any mistake, correct it.
After we verify all found product pairs with HPD and rectify possible errors, we mark such matches as correct, and the HPD status changes to "Verified and confirmed".
Divergence detected, but not verified: this High Price Divergence status is assigned to unverified suspicious matches. Subsequently, as they require attention, they were queued for recheck but weren't actually processed yet. The Matches list has this HPD status as "Detected, but not verified".
No data: the absence of any HPD status. It is assigned to all matches with the status Not found and Pending, i.e. we either haven't found a match to your product in the online store you monitor, or this match is being processed, and there is no data yet.
As the scanning data is updated, the corresponding High Price Divergence status is assigned to the product pair.
The Matches list isn't the only source of information on High Price Divergence. Such data can as well be found in the Matches overview (Data delivery > Overview) and in the Matches dashboard (Data delivery > Matches dashboard).
Here you will find numbers for both non-verified and verified product pairs. Clicking on these numbers takes you to the Matches list filtered by the selected attribute – either "Divergence detected, but not verified" or "Divergence verified and confirmed".
What should I do with HPD and what are best practices?
Every product pair with the High Price Divergence requires attention. As mentioned above, we indeed do our best to complete verification on our end, but there are still lots of HPD matches pending verification (the corresponding status: Divergence detected, but not verified). We encourage you to pay attention to such matches first and foremost.
We developed best practices for dealing with suspicious matches with High Price Divergence. However, first, it is necessary to verify them, here's how to do that on your own:
1. Find a suspicious match with unverified High Price Divergence in the Matches list.
2. Click on the product link in the first column to open the product page in your online store.
3. Now scroll to the right to "Product URL" column – here you will see all found links to this product in online stores you monitor.
4. Click on the product URL with unverified High Price Divergence.
5. Check if the product in the online store you monitor corresponds to yours. If it does, the link is correct, proceed to step 6.
If the product is different, the URL is wrong, so you can scroll to the right of the Matches list and click on three dots for more options. Select either of these practices: a) report error in URL, b) delete match and blacklist this URL or c) edit URL/product option – read more about each practice here.
6. Check the price for this product: if the price in the online store is the same as the price in the Matches list, mark this match as correct.
If the price is different in the online from the price in the Matches list, let us know by reporting the error in price.
N.B.: if you notice that the numbers of matches with HPD is too high, there's a possibility of the HPD threshold being too strict, and loosening it a little will help in decreasing the number of HPD matches.