How useful is a price comparison site for a catering business?

Whether a business is new or has been trading for many years, management trying to make sure the operation runs smoothly is often to busy to ensure that the prices they are getting are the best and often rely and assume that their longterm suppliers are giving them the best deals. This, however, is not always the case and until now it has been very time consuming looking through suppliers websites or calling up when you don’t have a relationship or account with a particular supplier.

Improve That Price is the first price comparison site for the catering industry aiming to make the catering industry more transparent and reducing the time and effort it takes to compare the same products from a range of suppliers and cash & carry’s.

Improve That Price is continuously updated as prices and offers are constantly changing we search the web for the best offers for our users.

The ‘Special Offers‘ page is extremely popular and will be expanding to soon also include catering equipment, packaging and cleaning & hygiene products.
Its great to see that supply companies seem to be competing for some of the most popular products as they are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that more and more users are coming to ITP and are comparing them, unlike before, with ease.
Improve That Price is already having an effect in reducing prices for business and helping make the wholesale catering industry more transparent.
A price comparison site for the catering industry is a very useful tool to have!

Everyone likes a special offer!

At Improve That Price we have recently launched our ‘Special Offers’ page which is proving very popular with both our users and our suppliers as it clearly displays the best deals of popular products on one page.

Additionally our suppliers can now post their ‘best’ special offers directly on our homepage where the users, once they click on a product, get taken directly to that product on the suppliers site.

A user can of course still go back and add all required products to a basket and compare the overall best deals available as one may not be getting the best deal from a supplier based on a single well priced product. We would strongly recommend to always compare an entire basket for the best overall price.

The prices on Improve That Price are continuously monitored and updated to ensure that all information given is 100% accurate.

We will continue adding suppliers and products to the special offers page because we know that everyone likes a special offer!

 

Happy shopping!

 

The Improve That Price team!

Weekly newsletter from Improve That Price

This week we have started sending out a weekly newsletter with special offers to our registered users.

These newsletter includes a small selection of handpicked products of the most interesting promotions offered by some of the largest wholesalers of food, drinks and other catering related products including packaging and cleaning & hygiene.

The products on the newsletter have a link to the supplier giving users the ability to order directly from the supplier or alternatively users can go to improvethatprice.com  and create a basket to compare additional products for other great offers.

There is a Special Offers page which can be found at http://improvethatprice.com/specialoffers.php.

You can sign up at improvethatprice.com for your weekly newsletter and our Price Tracker to help you save your business even more.

 

Your Improve That Price team!

Post Xmas update.

Now that Christmas is over it is interesting to briefly review the busiest time of the year for the catering industry and see what the most popular products were. I know how much food and drink gets consumed as this time of year and I do feel like I was single handedly responsible for the rise in food and drink consumption.

2013’s number 1, in terms of most searched for on improvethatprice.com, was Red Bull. No. 2 Coca Cola, 3 Peroni Nastro Azzuro Beer, 4 Diet Coke and 5 Jack Daniels.

In addition we launched a new Knorr soup on behalf of Unilever Food Solutions which has proven to be very successful and we have lots of requests for free samples.

We are also about to launch a new cheese on behalf of another one of our partners and I will blog about it once this has gone live.

We are very excited about 2014 and wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful one.

Happy New Year

 

The Improve That Price Team

 

Coca Cola, the most searched for product on improvethatprice.com

There are currently just under 20,000 products listed on improvethatprice.com and in November the most searched for product was Coca Cola.

Coca Cola is the one product sold by every food service company in the country.

It’s the one product that everyone tries to use at some point for promotions and its price can vary from currently £6.59, from McTurks, to £11.28 from 3663, although the price from suppliers can vary depending on where the depot is located.

Since prices at improvethatprice.com are constantly updated users will always know where to buy Coke at the best price. It is, however, recommended to also compare prices of other products as it may be that suppliers increase prices elsewhere to compensate for the ‘cheap’ Coke.

To compare more than just one product there is the basket facility available where an unlimited number of products can be compared instantly.

Are price comparison sites good for business?

A recently published article in an industry publication, Better Wholesaling, discussed the effects Improve That Price and other similar sites could have on the wholesale market. Although many wholesalers are in favour of a site that will compare them, there are some who suggested that they were concerned that a site such as improvethatprice.com could not accurately compare them as they have different prices for different customers especially customers who buy in volume.

This, however, is one of the reasons improvethatprice.com was set up initially, to give smaller businesses, such as the local corner shop, an opportunity to buy at the same prices as the larger ones, the Tesco local etc.

All suppliers compared on improvethatprice.com are compared accurately and objectively as the site is 100% independent and will remain independent.

It is true that it is not all just about the price from a wholesaler but also down to service, deliveries and availability of products. The customers must therefore ensure that they buy where they get the best deal for themselves using improvethatprice.com as a tool assisting them in making and informed decision and leaving feedback on the site to help future users in choosing the right supplier.

A comparison site for the catering industry, or any industry for that matter, creates transparency and competitiveness on a wide scale with benefits for the wider economy.

 

Improve Your Price

18 months ago Improve That Price was launched with the aim of helping SME’s in the catering industry save money on their daily purchases.

Improve That Price helps users, searching for a particular product, find relevant, accurate and current information across all areas related to the catering industry.

There are wholesalers in the catering industry that list prices in catalogues and on websites at higher levels than they would actually sell for and depending on the size of a business and the relationship they have with that business the difference in cost can be substantial.

Sites like Improve That Price are starting to change this  way of doing business by making the wholesale market more transparent. Those suppliers and wholesaler who want to be leaders in internet sales and have one price for all will, in time, drive down prices.

Surely the cost to the supplier when a customer uses the ‘click and collect’ feature, which is increasing in popularity,  is the same whether a customer buys a pallet or a case

Those who are less willing to open up and have a fair pricing structure in place will eventually loose out.

Not all suppliers are keen for this change to happen but this change is inevitable.

It pays to compare!

As a business owner it is possible to occasionally loose sight of some areas of your business due to the fact that you rely and trust your employees to perform in the best interest of your business but, as we know, this is not always the case.

There are suppliers who you and your employees build relationships with over the years and you assume that you are being well looked after and in some cases this may be true but I know that when it comes down to my business, I want to know exactly where my money is going to and know that I am getting the best price possible.

We know what happens when one assumes!

http://www.improvethatprice.com makes comparing your suppliers as easy as possible and gives the business owner the tools to be able to achieve the best possible deal for his business. If, for example, a business owner is looking to buy Coca Cola cans, currently the most searched for and clicked product on improvethatprice.com, then there are several prices to choose from ranging from £6.59-£11.28. These are massive differences and can make a huge difference to any business. Below is a link to that page:

http://www.improvethatprice.com/product-comparison.php?ProductMasterID=13770

Improve That Price also offers a catering equipment category which is certainly not a category used daily by businesses but the savings can be substantial. From the hand stick blenders to the kitchen sink its pretty much all there.

There are several other categories worth checking out.

Will keep you posted with any new developments.

Happy saving!

Strategy through analysis

When planning ahead for your business it is crucial for to understand the pricing structures of the competition, especially for identical product lines.

At Improve That Price we are developing an analytics tool whereby a user can choose a specific product line and compare, at a glance, the pricing structures of the competition.

 

This can help in deciding on promotions and pricing products in line with other traders.

Deal or no deal: what will price-comparison do to wholesale?

The title of this blog is taken from this month’s Better Wholesaling magazine (link below) and the question really is what impact Improve That Price will have on the wholesale/retail industry or if your products are well priced why not be compared?

In the article there are wholesalers commenting about having different prices for different customers especially customers who buy in volume. It seems that some suppliers fear that Improve That Price might damage their business model of keeping the ‘special prices’ for their ‘special customers’. Bellow are three comments by wholesalers taken from the article:

  1. IT COULD ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO CHERRY-PICK: Customers could be tempted to buy the cheapest product at the cheapest time, which Landmark suggests could impact margin.
  2. SAVVY RETAILERS AND FOODSERVICE OPERATORS ALREADY KNOW THEIR STUFF: Customers don’t have much time to spend on price-comparison sites, when many know the market anyway.
  3. CUSTOMERS WANT TO COMPARE MORE THAN JUST PRICE: Retailers, caterers and foodservice outlets want to compare other areas of service, such as availability and deliveries.

When Improve That Price was created it was with the SME’s in mind and if a business can ‘cherry pick’ to stay profitable then this is the right way forward. When I ran my small business, part of the regular tasks was to improve the bottom line, which one would always make time for, and when attempting to do this there are usually two options:

  1. Increase prices.
  2. Improve your COS.

When a business increases its prices usually it tends to loose a number of customers and therefore the ideal option would be to improve the cost of sales as the profit is in the buying.

It is important that a supplier has good stock availability and that deliveries are regular and on time but should any of these basic requirements be unsatisfactory then users have the ability on Improve That Price to leave feedback for the supplier in order to inform their colleagues and keep the suppliers on their toes.

Improve That Price’s aim has always been to provide the most up-to-date information as possible for the 99% of businesses that do not poses the ability to purchase in bulk or buy in volume but are limited to buying the products they need as price marked. It is in the interest of these SME’s to compare suppliers as they make up the bulk of the sales for many wholesalers.

Keep comparing, keep saving and don’t keep calm!

http://www.betterwholesaling.com/magazine/september-2013/deal-or-no-deal-what-will-price-comparison-do-to-wholesale/