In today’s world of fast-paced markets and growing customers’ needs, businesses must adapt to every scenario. Process-automating tools, complex reports, and task outsourcing are one of the ways to make day-to-day operations more efficient. The E-commerce industry also has its all-time favorite and its Competitive intelligence.
What exactly is Competitive intelligence?
Competitive intelligence, also known as CI, is an invaluable tool for any online business to stay ahead in the ever-changing market dynamics. CI helps e-commerce stores to get an in-depth understanding of their competitors’ business strategies, tactics, and activities, thus enabling them to anticipate changes in the marketplace and take the necessary steps to ensure their survival and success.
CI can be gathered from various sources such as competitor websites, news, industry reports, customer surveys, and even from industry insiders, giving e-commerce stores a comprehensive view of the market. With a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors, e-commerce stores can create a sound business strategy and take advantage of market opportunities.
Through Competitive Intelligence, e-commerce stores can also identify potential threats that could endanger their success. By monitoring the activities of their competitors, they can locate any likely disruptive trends or new business practices that could threaten their market share and profitability.
How to collect and analyze competitor data
Collecting and analyzing competitors’ data from an e-commerce store’s perspective is essential to marketing success. Keeping track of industry trends, pricing strategies, product offerings, customer feedback, and other pertinent information can give the store an edge over its peers.
The first step towards collecting and analyzing competitors’ data is identifying relevant market competitors. This can be done by researching the competitors’ websites, social media presence, and the products they offer. It shouldn’t be troublesome since recognizing the company’s competitors is a must-have process even before launching a company. New rivals, if they appear, are most likely easy to find online.
Before embarking on the CI journey, the team should have a defined set of targets. What information do they want to learn? This is the key to understanding which approaches and data sources to pursue. Let’s say that a sunglasses online seller wants to gain insights into their competition’s marketing strategies. This includes their messaging, campaigns, and content marketing. Knowing this, the staff can now precisely formulate a plan to collect this data.
Picking data collection strategies
Knowing the goals, it’s much easier to develop strategies that will be useful in the data-collecting process.
Desiring to become aware of their opposition’s marketing strategies, the data scraping team/person should examine their competitors’ websites, landing pages, blog articles, and freebies.
Social platforms will also help understand the type of material their adversaries are posting, how customers respond to their content, and their overall engagement.
Having a plan of action for data collection helps CI teams remain within the scope of the task. When you try to cover too much ground, it can be challenging to know where to begin.
Gathering and analyzing the data
Once you establish your competitors, set the goals, and pick data collection strategies, it’s time to collect the data.
The process may take up to several weeks – it all depends on its complexity and the number of competitors. As you compile all your data, using a competitive intelligence tool will be crucial in breaking all the information down into different categories for analysis later on. Click here for the most useful CI tools (paragraph 5 reference).
The moment you gather all the relevant data about your market rivals, you’ll start to see all the patterns in their actions. Moreover, it will clear their every strength and weakness so that you can recognize them quickly and adjust your strategy based on their mistakes.
Using competitor data to improve your e-commerce strategy
One of the goals of collecting data from your competitors’ websites, blogs, 3rd party review sites, and so on is to improve your e-commerce business model and better adjust your daily operations based on what patterns you see in your rivals’ communication. It’s also good to know what data matters and what insights aren’t valuable from the company’s perspective.
Sure, every business is different, but plenty of competitive intelligence examples apply to most of them. Here are some of the most common ones:
Keeping track of your competitors’ C-suite personnel changes is not a joke. It’s often the calm before the storm and most likely to be followed by some significant strategical shifts. Entry levels and managers’ rotations shouldn’t be overlooked, as they may also give you a picture of what is happening behind enemy lines.
You probably know that reviews are a great source of knowledge on your competitors’ products. One thing to remember is that it can also reveal much more than that. You can get precise data on their weaknesses and strengths by consistently monitoring your rivals’ reviews online. Well… you should view them more as your opportunities and threats.
Pricing is the one thing that significantly influences customers’ decisions and thought processes. Monitoring the prices of each of your competitors, analyzing them accordingly, and adjusting your fees might be crucial to success.
To do that precisely, you may need price tracking software, as manually covering all your competitors’ prices is nearly impossible.
You should always pay attention to your competitors’ content updates. This example of competitive intelligence might not be so obvious, but it’s crucial. Remember – the subject matter of your rival’s prospect-oriented content will be highly connected with what the actual customers are. A company that sells shoes won’t publish content for audio producers…and vice versa.
Tools and resources for gathering competitive intelligence
In search of accurate competitor intelligence, you must choose which tools would fit best in your company’s structure and business model. Hence, digging deeper into what possibilities you have is a crucial step towards beginning a whole process. In this part, we’ll cover some of the most helpful software for this task. We will briefly describe how they could enhance the process of gathering CI. Let’s find out!
Dealavo – a price tracking software of the future | source: dealavo.com
Dealavo is a price-tracking software that helps e-commerce businesses monitor and analyze their competitors’ prices. The software uses web scraping and machine learning algorithms to gather accurate pricing data from various online sources, such as e-commerce websites and marketplaces. Having all that intel, businesses can gain insight into pricing trends and strategies of their competitors and use this knowledge to make informed decisions about their pricing strategies.
The tool also provides businesses with real-time alerts when their competitors change their prices, allowing them to respond quickly and adjust their prices if necessary. DeSalvo can also generate reports and visualizations of pricing data, making it easy for businesses to analyze and understand the market.
SEMrush – one of the vital search engine tools on the market | source: semrush.com
SEMrush is a competitive intelligence tool that allows users to track their and their competitors’ search engine rankings and analyze their online visibility, advertising strategies, and backlinks. To use SEMrush most efficiently, take advantage of its keyword research feature to identify profitable keywords, create effective campaigns, and use the Domain Overview and Backlink Analysis features to analyze your and your competitors’ online visibility and backlink profiles.
SimilarWeb – a tool for measuring traffic, engagement, and many more | source: similarweb.com
SimilarWeb is a competitive intelligence tool that allows users to analyze website traffic, referral sources, and user engagement. It also allows you to compare these metrics across different websites, thus giving you an idea of your competitors’ performance.
The tool also enables users to take advantage of its website comparison feature to understand how you stack up against your competitors and use the referral sources and user engagement data to identify opportunities for improving your website.
Ahrefs – an excellent backlink analyzing tool | source: ahrefs.com
Ahrefs is a competitive intelligence tool that allows users to research backlinks, search engine rankings, and organic search traffic. It also allows you to spy on your competitors’ organic search traffic and backlink profiles to identify potential growth opportunities.
Among many valuable features, “backlink analysis” stands out from the rest, as it helps to identify opportunities for building more backlinks and improving your website’s search engine rankings.
Google Trends is a tool that allows you to analyze the popularity of search queries over time. It can be helpful to understand how your industry is trending, what are the most searched keywords and how you can leverage them.
With Google Trends’ help, you can quickly identify profitable keywords, create effective campaigns, and use the trend data to spot opportunities for creating content that aligns with current hot topics.
Tips for staying ahead of the competition
In this part, we’ll share some valuable tips on staying ahead of your competition in the e-commerce industry.
Use price tracking software to set automated dynamic pricing
Using such a tool will help you to automate the whole process saving you a lot of time and work. First, you must determine the products you want to use repricing. Then, you have to specify the rules according to the prices to be set (see below for some examples). You can define different rules for different product categories, sales channels, and locations. Based on data collected from the market, ERP systems, etc., the system will propose prices for your shop. You can choose to have your costs changed automatically based on Dealavo calculations, but you can also require that every proposed change be approved before it is applied to the sales channels. It is also essential to follow up on the results of your actions – you might want to check if the rules you use to define the prices are optimal. You can also test various repricing rules.
I am setting AI-optimized price rules.
AI may work wonders in terms of accurately setting and analyzing the prices that would fit best and bring the most profit. Powered by historical data and backed up by a support team creating the best first-price rules, AI provides measurable benefits in conversion and overall profit just a couple of weeks after implementing it.
Offer exceptional customer service.
Building and maintaining a positive reputation can help you lure and retain customers. This can include offering fast and efficient customer support, providing clear and accurate product information, and going above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction. By doing all that, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal customer base.
Don’t stop improving.
Stay on top of industry trends and new technologies, and look for ways to improve your business operations and customer experience. It means implementing new software or tools to streamline processes, testing new marketing strategies, or experimenting with new product offerings. Your business will stay relevant in the ever-changing e-commerce industry by continuously seeking ways to improve.
Competitor intelligence is a critical factor in staying ahead of competitors. By closely observing your competitors and their actions, you can easily find their strengths and weaknesses. These could be your threats but also gaps that your company may fill and outperform your industry rivals. Having price intelligence software collecting and analyzing the data for you will save you tons of time and do it all the better than if you were to do it manually.