Working with products that you love in your eCommerce business is a dream for many. Competition mapping and competitor analysis are very important to do because the competition out there is very tough. It is essential for entrepreneurs, eCommerce managers as well as the SME owners as they have been working on the matter for some time now and it can help in making a mark in the market by taking some worthy decisions.
We know that online shoppers will not show mercy at all. If you have a competitor who only appears before you due to his better offers, you are history for the shopper. So before everything, you must know the strategies of your competitors which make him worthy enough.
This article is especially for entrepreneurs who are aiming to study their competitors. Not only a detailed checklist is provided but also we are providing some professional recommendations so that you can compete even better out there in a marketplace where information and knowledge is everything.
Understand Your Competitor Before Analyzing Them
Google can be a very good place to start to look for your competitors because it provides the best platform for promotion no doubt. It will also assist in understanding how your target customers react to certain strategies.
Start by making a list of searchable keywords related to your business. Next use them to search Google and observe who ranks at the top of search results. Next, you can surf their stores online. With a calm and observing heart, list out their strengths and weaknesses.
You can take great help from the questions given below and record your answers and findings in a spreadsheet which will help you maintain focus.
- What is making your competitor different?
- How do they price the products? Is their price according to the market or is there a lower or upper difference in their price compared to the market?
- What is the frequency of their promotions?
- How are they making their user interface friendly using pictures and descriptions?
- What kind of delivery rules and policies do they have?
- Which mode of conversation are they adopting for customer care?
- What mechanism do they use for the checkout?
- Do they respond to mobiles via mail or website?
- What marketing tools are they using to grab a non-interested customer’s attention?
- How are they making use of social media? Do their social media pages have direct purchasing options?
- With what frequency do they update their blogs, social media accounts, and website?
Step-by-step knowledge e-book along with a template for competitor analysis, both are provided free by Kompyte. If you are done with knowing how your competitors operate, let’s start checklist and go through different categories and classes of competitor analysis.
Detecting And Tracking Traffic On A Competitor’s Website
This technique will help us know where we can get traffic and ultimately customers for our website. It will point us to a probable direction where we can focus our marketing efforts.
Here are the things which you should be on a lookout for;
- Total traffic plus new visitors and page sessions with KPI’s per month
- Referral traffic ratio
- What type of traffic is going through the site? Is it local, national or regional?
- Where are they getting their traffic from? Is it direct traffic or organic or referral?
For monitoring of traffic on a competitor’s website, you can use this tool;
Keep Track Of The Paid And Organic Keywords
In market performance, one of the most decisive components is keywords. We should understand that there is a direct association of our products and target audience with keywords and searches and that the perfect keywords will associate them in the best way which is our main goal.
Though we should be aware of the fact the in eCommerce the keywords keep changing with time as does the audience. So we should continuously do our research on Search Engine Results Page (SERP). A frequent analysis of SERP will inform you about the maturity of your search results and strategies. You can also get assistance from keyword rankings as they portray the change in the behavior of the consumers. Hence, your change in managing search keywords can change as well.
For monitoring the paid and organic keywords of a competitor’s website, you can use this tool;
Keep The Backlinks Of A Competitor Analyzed
Know where your competitor is going to get the good stuff. It is essential for you to keep the knowledge the backlinks of your competitor. Keeping tabs on his link profiles and contacting them yourself will enable you to compete with more potential and moreover you will be informed of any communication that takes place on your competitor’s behalf if you are properly linked and in contact with the websites which your competitor is backlinking with.
Backlink of your competitor will be easy if you use the following tool.
Analyze Your Competitor On Social Media
The effect of social media is not hidden. It has an equal part in e-business. Most of the online shoppers can be found active on social media all the time and eCommerce can be boosted when the audience is contacted and engaged through social media as well. not only free marketing is possible on social media but certain other stunts can also be practiced to engage the shoppers. For instance, putting out contests to participate in, providing customer support on social media and even placing a Buy Button on the social media pages of Instagram and Facebook is a good way to engage the shopper with your eCommerce business.
By following your competitors on social media, you can understand which platform can be better than the other. It is better to understand at this point that such a strategy of observation will help you create a fine social media platform which will be potentially important for your business to in getting shoppers.
Asking the following questions and observing their answers while you search your competitor’s social media accounts will prove to be very helpful.
- Which social media platform is preferred by your competitors?
- How much following do they have and how does their following change with time?
- How much active is their social media account?
- How much response are they getting there?
- Which posts are attracting more traffic?
- What is making them stand out on the social media and what is lacking in their activity?
- What starts the buzz when your industry talks?
- Which influencing entities are discussing your competitors’ and your brands?
Keep in mind that you should not follow blindly. Stay calm, observe, deduce and then take your decision which increases your potential.
You can keep track of your competitor’s social media accounts using the following tools.
Continuously Observe The Pricing Of Your Competitor
In the world of eCommerce, pricing is a factor that is always volatile, varying and vibrant. Having a large collection of e-stores to choose from, the shoppers don’t mind if they would leave your store and go to another online store. The other store will be providing the same item at a lower price because they can. That is something you can also do but you were unaware of it and now your competitor is enjoying your clients by earning a profit just a little less from you. Shoppers will change stores within seconds. Let us shock you with some pricing statistics which will help you get into perspective.
- The number of shoppers who first look at the price while shopping! 60%
- Amount of shoppers who would hunt down the best price and best deal! 90%
- The number of shoppers who would go for items left in a shopping cart on another store! 54%
- Amount of minimum websites visited by an average shopper before making his final purchase! 3
Monitoring your competitor’s prices will allow you to know when to make an offer on certain products, how low can the prices be in the sale season and also it allows you to manipulate the thinking pattern of your clients sometimes as well by associating different items with different deals and different sales. It helps you to design your marketing campaign which is your ultimate tool to attract shoppers.
This allows having an extensive knowledge about the market which in turn enables you to predict the next market change regarding prices. Ultimately, you can set your strategy in advance to meet your goals at a certain time.
You may use Prisync for the purpose.
Keep A Check On Your Competitor’s Mentions And Research His Contents
This step will increase your content creation for your website in an immense amount. Because when you follow the most visited post of your competitor, you understand how it is working and why it is working. Keeping check on the number of shares and mentions your competitors get will allow you to understand the keywords and the topics that can be helpful in obtaining an audience. You can also figure out what length and which format can be suitable for a certain type of post. Ultimately you will get help in setting your strategy right.
By using certain tools and setting alerts, notifications will be sent your way which will allow you to know if there is any other post that is also getting a considerable amount of traffic.
BUZZSUMO is a tool that can be quite helpful in tracking your competitor’s mentions and contents.
Keep Visiting Your Competitor’s Website And Observe The Changes
Having a contact check on your competitor’s website will allow you to know what changes are they making to their website. This will, in turn, let you know which products are up for sale, what changes are they bringing in their selling procedure, what changes are they bringing in the UI of the website and which promotions are they going to launch or have launched.
What can you use to monitor the website of your competitor?
Collect The Newsletters Of Your Competitor
Newsletter and emails have proved to be great sources of maintaining a relationship with your audience and continue your marketing program. You can stay updated and even ahead of your competitor by regularly collecting his newsletter because many eCommerce businesses nowadays use newsletters to inform their clients and audience about their upcoming sales, brands, products, and deals.
Looking for the following factors in a newsletter will help you use it better
- How frequently do they publish their newsletter?
- What type of content goes into their newsletter?
- What format does it follow for articles, CTA placements, and pictures of their products
A good tool for collecting the newsletters from your competitors is MAILCHARTS
We have attempted to provide you with the best checklist of things you should be looking out for while analyzing your competitor. eCommerce retailers also provide an excellent overview of the complete landscape and provide insights which are practically actionable to lead businesses to potential outcomes.
Published April 2, 2018