How to monitor your competitors? A complete guide for ecommerce businesses
How should you check competitors?
Regardless of whether you run a large corporation or small business, competition analysis is one of the most important departments of the company. Without a properly conducted competition analysis, it is difficult to run a business and monitor the sound condition of a company. Check below how to monitor your competitors in a proper way.
What’s more, it is often impossible to enter the market with your product without first analyzing the market and competition. You should check how other vendors are operating and what methods they use. It also happens that the actions carried out by the competition may decide about the future of your company.
That is why the monitoring of competition and the analysis of its activities in this area is so important. In this article, we will present various techniques and tools with which you can learn a lot about the competition analysis.
Why to analyze and monitor competition at all?
It is worth it, especially in business, using the principle to learn from other’s mistakes. This principle allows us to avoid unnecessary problems and suggest reliable solutions. Especially the ones that we might not have come up with ourselves but which are already proven and interesting. It is worthwhile to benefit from the experience of others.
There is, of course, a chance that our own ideas and actions will be better than those of our rivals. By combining these two activities – ours and others, we can achieve real success. Monitoring the competition undoubtedly enables you to determine your own position on the market.
Thanks to this, it is always known if there are any new companies or products that may be a threat to the functioning of the business. And at the same time make you aware that the environment remains awake. You need to remember and be vigilant about it.
What is worth knowing about the competition and what to check?
It is worth checking and monitoring the competition – that’s clear. But what exactly to learn about them? Here are some of the ideas. However, we should keep in mind that the number of things checked depends only on our imagination.
First, we need to ask ourselves who our real competitor is. Does it work on-line or only as a brick and-mortar business? We need to understand the market that interests us. And it is best to list the companies that could potentially threaten our company in theory. In such a situation, it is worth creating an Excel file and dividing the alleged competition into groups. The most obvious division is main and growing competition.
In this way, we will have a structured market, which will give us a view on a larger scale. We must also ask ourselves what on-line communication channels are used by rivals to attract new customers? Having such an extensive analysis of the current situation in relation to each competitor is priceless. We undoubtedly have some valuable information. This allows us to comprehensively look at our own position in relation to the entire industry.
It is also very important to check our competition already listed in the search engine. It does not matter whether we are interested in the ranking in the Google search engine or in the Amazon search engine. Checking the position of the competition is of great importance. The very fact that competitors conduct SEO activities proves the rightness of this type of task. While defining the right keywords and targeting the target group may be the key to success.
What to pay attention to?
Comparing yourself to the competition is one of the main issues checked during this type of analysis. A good way to review the product offer, or even verify the prices of competitors, are comparison websites or browsing the auctions all by yourself. It gives us an idea of what we look like in a broader perspective and against the background of the entire market.
We can check whether our prices do not differ one way or the other. Try to find strengths and weaknesses – your own and your competition. Ask yourself what is the difference? Think what kind of relationship your competition has developed with the customer. Think if customer service is a strength of the competition – or is it more your domain? If not, what can you improve to distinguish? What do you think your competitor is doing wrong and could be done differently?
Do competitors have similar goals?
The analysis of your and your competitors’ goals is also a very crucial aspect of the comparative phase. Investigate what your competition is doing and where it might be heading in the future.
How does it deal with both regular and crisis conditions? Is it flexible or does it stick firmly to the previously assumed plan? These are all questions that you should ask yourself and look at them from both perspectives. Look at your own company and competition and choose a plan of action . Choose which works better in our opinion.
Customers feedback in monitoring competitors
No less important as the pricing are the opinions of the customers. Following information about competition on auction websites or social media should not be overlooked. Customer feedback gives us an overview of the situation and demand and gives some sort of market signals to watch out for.
For example – have you noticed that customers of your competitors have been complaining about the quality of after-sales service? So, improve your own customer service process. Have you noticed that many people ask for a specific improvement? Figure out if you can make an improvement in your business.
To sum it all up, competition monitoring is:
– expanding knowledge about the entire market and its changes
– duplicating good solutions and avoiding mistakes on the example of others’ mistakes – an opportunity to compare our products with competitors’ offers
– a source of inspiration for changes and development through the analysis of customers’ behavior
How we use the collected data largely depends on us and our commitment. Tools for monitoring activities of the competitors are extremely helpful, but it is worth remembering that they will not draw as far-reaching conclusions as a person who will be able to use them properly.
It is worthwhile to take the time for the purpose of thoroughly analyzing and creating your own competition analysis system that will serve you and thanks to which you will be able to quickly spot disturbing changes or unusual opportunities.
Good planning, knowledge of rivals, internet monitoring and quick response will enable you to always stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Remember, the competition never sleeps and can always be one step ahead of you if you lose sight of it even for a moment.