Disclaimer: The title and section headers of this blog are an ode to the airplane noise I am missing by not being at gap intelligence’s Liberty Station office anymore. While they all still fit within the general framework of the story, they are not intended to imply by any means that this is a blog about aviation. Just wanted to clear that up before proceed down the tarmac.

Late last year, several gappers attended a team offsite meeting where we worked to craft gap intelligence’s vision for 2020; the statement that would essentially guide everything we did as an organization the following year. No big deal, right? Well, in order to accomplish this substantial feat, one of the exercises we participated in involved each of us individually jotting down our own personal vision of what gap intelligence would look like in 2020, sharing our writings with the group, and then picking and choosing which elements of everyone’s collective visions we wanted to include within the companywide one.

Airplane flying over San Diego


Prepare For Takeoff

I remember at the time that I was really excited about the prospect of one of my suggestions for gap intelligence in 2020 actually being picked up, because there was one in particular that had been on my wish list for quite some time: tracking and reporting online promotions. At that point in time, our online pricing coverage was limited to just a product’s “net” price, or the final price after any discount had been applied. And while that was all well and good, and still provided our clients with arguably the most important data point in the online space, I had felt for a while that there was a  gaping hole in our e-commerce coverage, and that we could provide those same clients with a ton of extra value by simply filling that hole.

Needless to say, enhancing our service offerings by tracking online promos was the main theme of my personal 2020 vision. And guess what?? It made the cut! The final revision of gap’s 2020 vision statement went on to read the following:

We’ve significantly improved our core services based on feedback from our team and clients, and we’re in the midst of planning new offerings for industries we already track. Knowing that improving online coverage was a priority, the leadership team fully backed a complete overhaul.

And yes I realize that the excerpt doesn’t explicitly mention online promos by name, but just trust me, that’s what it’s referring to. At any rate, heading into 2020 I was super pumped about adding this awesome enhancement to our existing services. And I knew it was going to take a lot of time and work, but that it was going to be worth it.

Turbulence Ahead

Then in March, COVID hit full force. People began settling into their new home offices, toilet paper hoarding became a thing, and businesses of all kinds started to shut down. Including retail. Now, if you needed to purchase any sort of consumer product, while at the same time minimizing your exposure to the world outside your own four walls, odds were that you were going to have to do so online. And this fact was not lost on us or our clients by any means. While gap intelligence’s visibility into brick-and-mortar retail has long been a feather in our cap, now our online data was going to be more critical and heavily scrutinized than ever before.

We scrambled to find ways to provide our clients with the additional online insights we knew they’d be looking for, producing various reports along the way that highlighted such data as online inventory and availability, price bands, deals of the day and yes, online promos. However, our online promos reporting was limited, and just meant to be a temporary stopgap as we already knew that far more comprehensive coverage of online promotions was on our docket for 2020. But with this new urgency to get the data to our clients as soon as possible, we needed to build it out. Like now.

So I guess you could say we launched our own version of Operation Warp Speed, as our dev team quickly sprang into action and started coding out scrapes for the close to 100 online merchants we track every week to capture instant savings and both shelf and net pricing. And once all that heavy lifting was complete, we still needed to test and retest the process over and over again to make sure everything was doing what it was supposed to before rolling it out to our team and, eventually, our clients. But we did it, and what I thought might possibly take the better part of the year was completed in a matter of months. The gaping hole had been filled.

You Have Reached Your Destination

So without further ado, I’m proud to announce the addition of online shelf/net price and instant savings promotion tracking to gap intelligence’s core service offerings! Now our clients have insight into the thousands of online instant savings discounts we track each week as part of their standard subscription service. And while our previous online coverage was limited to just those aforementioned “net” prices, now we’ve added online shelf prices as well, so that our subscribers also know the costs of online products prior to any applicable savings. These new data points can be accessed in multiple tabs of gap intelligence’s Pricing & Promotions reports, as well as through the Merchant Pricing Trends and Custom Data Download tools on our online Dashboard platform.

Merchant Pricing Trends - Pricing & Promotions

Promotions - Pricing & Promotions

Merchant Pricing Trends - Dashboard

As I previously mentioned, this new feature addition is something I had been wanting for a really long time, so I am absolutely thrilled that it came to fruition and we can now share it with the masses. I think it’s going to create a ton of added value for our subscribers, and make gap intelligence’s coverage of the online space so much more robust than ever before. And one of the coolest things of all about it is that we were planning on launching this enhancement even before COVID created a more pressing need for it. It just goes to show that gap intelligence is constantly striving to improve our service offerings, and in doing so we can help our clients stay ahead of whatever curves the market conditions throw their way.

So what’s the next big thing we have in store, you might ask? Well, I guess you’ll just have to stick around to find out. But just know this…When you fly with us, the sky’s the limit!

For more than 17 years, gap intelligence has served manufacturers and sellers by providing world-class services monitoring, reporting, and analyzing the 4Ps: prices, promotions, placements, and products. Email us at info@gapintelligence.com or call us at 619-574-1100 to learn more.