Do you think monitoring competitors and competitive analysis are beneficial for your success? Maybe not, as you believe that their tactics are not affecting your business. Or perhaps, you do find it important, but it is way too time-consuming and you simply don't have time for it. In this article, we explain how important it is to keep a close eye on your competitors, how competitor intelligence tools can make the process easier and faster and which metrics are useful to start with.
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Competitive analysis is the analysis of your competitors and how your business compares. It can be used as a benchmark that helps determine where you stand in relation to other competing businesses. When you are already active in a market, it involves finding out who your direct competitors are, what their influence on your sales channels is, and whether there is a shift in the market trend. This information is key for you to keep up with a competitive strategy.
In order to continue to grow as a company, it is imperative that you do not sit still and let opportunities go by. A successful eCommerce company is always looking for new ways to increase profits and acquire new customers. But which option is best suited for your company?
Monitoring the competing market can hand you the data to make an informed decision and build your strategy. Whether you are thinking about:
For each growth strategy, you should start your competitive analysis by listing a few channels, brands and categories you want to track, and start adding metrics that you want to compare to a list or spreadsheet. It could include prices, content, user reviews, availability, search rankings and seller details.
You could gather competitor information by surfing the internet and visit the websites you want to monitor, manually. However, collecting and reporting all this information by hand is a hassle, a very time-consuming job. In addition, given that you have to do it regularly in order to actually spot trends and developments over time, it might as well be unfeasible.
Using professional tools can make your job easier by continuously and automatically monitor the webpages you are interested in. Moreover, they can translate data into reports and speed up your decision-making process, by giving you the insights you need. This is what we call competitive intelligence.
Competitor monitoring and analysis uncover powerful insights for brands, retailers and marketplace sellers, and enables them to take control and stay ahead in the challenging world of eCommerce.
SiteLucent continuously screens online shop shelves - looking through the customer lens, and translates the data into actionable reports. In order to stay ahead of competitors, the following 5 metrics are useful.
How do your prices compare to your competitors prices? A stable price often shows a product to be successful (and vice versa). The image below is showing the selling price over time of waste bin products of competing brands.
You can also easily zoom in to product detail level information. The example below shows the selling prices over time on multiple retailers for 1 specific vacuum cleaner.
How does availability evolve over time (low - high stock rotation)? Is a retailer re-stocking your competitors' products more regularly than yours?
SiteLucent can quickly reveal what products are out of stock on retailers websites, how many days products are out of stock and what a retailer communicates to shoppers about it.
For example: Let's look at the data table in the image below. You can use the search bar on the top of the data table to search for specific keywords, retailers, categories or EAN codes.
In the example below we used a data table that shows us the availability overview per retailer. We used the search intent "tondeuse" (which is the Dutch word for hair trimmer). We get a clear overview of all hair trim and groom products and their availability at each online retailer.
A data table can be used to quickly zoom in to product details by clicking the “i” icon in the rightmost column of each product.
For instance: In the image below we can see the availability rate over time, of a specific Philips hair trimmer.
Do your rivals' products have a decent amount of reviews? If not, you can set up a targeted review campaign for your products, to gain reviews and a competitive advantage.
What are people saying about their products online? If your competitor products does have a decent amount of reviews, you can use the customer feedback to get an impression of the quality of the product and improve your own products.
If you know for which keywords, organic or paid, your competitors show up in site search results or not, you can create your campaigns and manage SEO in a more targeted way.
SiteLucent can help you find out which other brands' products you are competing with (top 3 positions) on page 1 of the eCommerce search results (typically the first 24 results) for your most important keywords.
If your competitor has not focused on keywords of a certain group of products yet, you can be the first mover.
Do not make the mistake to use and target specific keywords without knowing if the price of the product is competitive or not. This may create traffic that notices your products or ads, but ends-up buying your competitor’s.
Who is winning the buy box on marketplaces and who are relegated as 'other sellers'?
The image below is showing an example overview of the most important sellers on Amazon.de for a specific set of products. The numbers tell you how many products are 'winning' the buy box. You can export the data to a CSV file to do more detailed analysis.
It’s impossible to compete in the challenging world of eCommerce without knowing about your rivals. Whether you are looking for growth strategies, or aiming at analyzing existing products in the eCommerce channels you are active in, competitor monitoring and competitive analysis can bring you valuable feedback, which can inform future strategic directions.
We think the following metrics are useful to start monitoring in order to stay ahead of the competition: