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The significance of monitoring competitors in eCommerce

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Can you guess how monitoring competitors is considerable for your success? Or maybe you’re one of those merchants who don’t provide regular competitor monitor? Many shop owners delude themselves that they don’t have time for this. Otherwise, some of them believe that their enemies’ tactics are not influential. If you have never done competitor monitor before, it’s the right time to start. In this article, we will explain the significance of keeping a close eye on your rivals. Also, you will find out essential tips for competitor tracking. So, don’t miss interesting and useful material, keep reading!

The Reasons To Spy On Others

It would be logical to start with the root causes. Actually, it will allow you to:

  • discover the merits and demerits of various trading approaches;
  • find new rivals and track their influence on sales;
  • understand your price positioning relative to the market or enemies’ prices;
  • evaluate the situation in the eCommerce world;
  • get possible gains and barriers in the market;
  • reveal trends and predict the possible shifts in the market;
  • develop your brand, find mistakes, and get more sales.

Who Is Responsible For This Process?

Actually, even not very tech-savvy merchants can provide competitor monitor following well-described instructions. If you really don’t have the time or desire to get into this field deeper, hire a professional marketer. This worker will regularly track your enemies helping to develop the strategy to boost company productivity.

Step-By-Step Instruction

Determine who your rivals are

Now your aim is to find the companies that sell similar goods on the same channels. Choose both well-known and new enterprises. There are some ways to find them:

  • surf the Internet;
  • read industry reviews and analytical articles;
  • make surveys of target consumers;
  • follow the opinions of market experts or sales managers;
  • monitor shops of some brand in your field;
  • visit conferences and seminars on marketing.

There is one more tip, often used by online store owners. Pretend that you’re an ordinary purchaser. Being in this role, search for products on thematic requests and select several websites that pop up most often.

Create a spreadsheet to track observations

List a few brands you will track. Create a spreadsheet to keep vital information that you find during competitor monitor. Add indicators you want to compare. For example, it might include prices, content, blog, the number of new users, the quality of goods, trade offer, user reviews, involvement in social networks, etc. In this document, you have to jot down your observations and evaluate your rivals by different measures.

Analyse contestants

This is the main step that requires detailed analysis of a rival. You have to be highly observant to get good results. As a rule, merchants start searching for various measures. Of course, the majority of them go to the competitor’s website first. What they are looking for:

  • User experience

Pretend that you’re an ordinary purchaser who looks through a catalog to find a particular sale item. Estimate whether a site is organized well or not. Is it easy to find the needed information, related to payment methods, delivery or a specific good?

Try to add a product to your shopping cart and place an order to estimate the services. Contact support team to check how they work, too. Do you feel that you can trust this company? Do you like the site’s design? Are you satisfied with the time, spent here? Stay sincere with yourself when answering these questions.

  • Content

This is a vital part of any online store. During monitoring competitors, decide whether the content is good or not. It must be interesting, useful and written without grammatical errors. If a brand leads a blog, be sure to read a couple of articles to check the quality of texts and frequency of updates. Is it easy to read? If you find any interesting tips of ideas, note them in a spreadsheet.    

  • Technical part

Of course, testing the site is essential, too. Shopping on a good-working and quickly loaded online store increases user satisfaction rate. In addition, inspect it for failures and bugs. Is this site adaptive? Visit the page using your smartphone and check how it operates.

  • Trading tips & tricks

What calls for actions do you notice? Are there any discounts and loyalty programs? Analysis of price policy is important, too. During competitor price monitoring, determine whether charges for products are high, average or low. How would you comment on the quality of goods and services provided?

  • Social media pages worth checking, too

It is highly recommended to track competitors in social networks, too. Many merchants spread their business ideas through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. You have to check the number of likes & shares and also monitor users’ activity. Conclude which kind of content attracts them most of all.

Moreover, some online store owners spy on workers from competitor company in social networks.

Use professional tools

Some indicators can’t be reached manually, so you can use competitor analysis and content discovery tools. There are both free & premium solutions: Kompyte, Spyfu, SimilarWeb, Ahrefs, Feedly, BuzzSumo, etc. Using these programs, you’ll be able to easily monitor keywords, site traffic, referrals, visitor behavior, search rankings, paid ads and so on.

Common Mistakes

  • Do it regularly

For some reason, many merchants consider that monitoring competitors is the one-time process. Remember, your eCommerce rivals are developing and growing all the time. So, be sure to track competitors on an ongoing basis.

  • Don’t make it harder than it is

There are a lot of free and paid solutions that make the merchant’s routine easier. Therefore, use professional tools that speed up the process and give the insights you need to make decisions. Determine which type of data you want to monitor. It will simplify your survey, too.

  • Limit the number of brands

When you start competitor tracking, don’t overdo it. There is no point in monitoring many rivals from the very beginning. You’ll be able to add some of them later.

  • Don’t steal ideas

It stands to reason that you provide competitor tracking not just to copy their approach. Of course, you can highlight some interesting points that will inspire your team to new ideas.

Takeaway

It’s impossible to compete in eCommerce knowing nothing about opponents. The thorough analysis will help you to discover more about rival’s virtues and drawbacks. Never underestimate their power because you risk losing your clients.

To cut is short, track competitors right. For this, monitor competitor website, take a note of something you consider captivating, discover the pros & cons of trading tips and so on. Your main goal is to know your rivals well in order to keep your business successful. Generate new ideas but do not copy their approach. Doing it regularly, your brand will beat the competition one day.

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Anastasia Sydorchenko

Anastasia SydorchenkoSoftware Expert

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