How To Do A (Simple) Competitor Analysis In eCom

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I’m going to let you in on something you may not have considered…

Are you ready?

 

Everyone spies on the competition!

Well, everyone that is successful…

It’s extremely important for every eCommerce business owner to know what their competitors are up to and to be knowledgeable about the tools they can use to get a deeper insight into what their competitors are doing. To start using these tools and dig deeper, you first need to understand more about competitor analysis’.

What is a competitor analysis? 

A competitor analysis is a more formal version of spying on your competitors.

To do a competitor analysis, you need to not only check on your competitors, but also organize the information that you discover.

 You can then compare that information to other competitors and to your own company.

Why Analyze Your Competition?

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So, why do a competitor analysis at all?

The eCommerce field has become extremely competitive over the years, and even the slightest edge can be the difference between beating out your competitors and being left behind.

 By looking at what the most successful eCommerce businesses are doing (heck, by looking at what people that are a couple of steps ahead of you are doing), you’ll be able to gain valuable insight that will help take you to the next level.

You can not only learn what your competitors are up to with a competitor analysis, but you can also see what their growth is looking like.

This valuable information will help keep you competitive and to stay a step ahead of the competition.

Super Successful Analysis Tools

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Now that you have a better understanding of what a competitor analysis is and why you need to do one, let’s take a look at some digital tools that you can use to get to know your competition better…

1. Xpareto

A couple of important things to look at when doing a competitor analysis are... 

  • Best-selling products 
  • Social media presence.

And Xpareto allows you to look at these two things in an easy and streamlined way.

The Xpareto website has a simple design that allows for quick searches of competitors. From there, links are provided for best-selling products and Facebook campaigns. Daily traffic and ratings are also provided.

 Best of all, this website is completely FREE, making it a great tool for anyone looking to get an edge on the competition.

2. Commerce Inspector

Commerce Inspector is a tool that allows users to track the competition, identify trends and more. With Commerce Inspector, you're able to view a competitor’s units sold, shop revenue, traffic and more. This makes this powerful plugin a must-have.

While there's a free version that provides a good deal of insight—for a deeper dive—there are also comprehensive paid versions available.

3. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a powerful tool that's highly focused on discovering the social media activity of competitors. This includes a comprehensive look at their...

  • Twitter
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram 
  • LinkedIn 

Sprout Social takes the information that it collects and presents it both in the form of a graph, as well as individual numerical breakdowns. Sprout Social also makes it easy to stay on top of your social media engagement, ensuring that you never miss an important message.

4. SEMRush

SEO has become extremely important for the success of online businesses—including eCommerce businesses. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that you are using the right keywords to improve the success of your advertising campaigns and overall copy.

SEMRush allows users to look at what competitors are doing with their SEO efforts and do a technical SEO audit.

With this information, you’ll be able to improve your own SEO and stay in the game.

5. Buzzsumo

To succeed, you need to not only understand the SEO of your competitors, but also the content that they're using.

 Buzzsumo helps to analyze content and view the engagement of your competitors’ content. You can then create your own content to compete.

The Old-Fashioned Way

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Before web tools, businesses still did competitor analysis’. Let’s take a look at how they got it done!

Researching Websites

While websites are still “new media” in a way, they've been around for more than a couple of decades. Since early on, companies have been viewing the websites of their competitors to see exactly what they're up to.

 Sure, seeing sales and engagement numbers can be difficult by simply looking at a website, but other important information can be found.

For instance, by viewing the website of a business, you can learn more about their brand positioning and target audience. You can then see whether they're a direct threat, and you can also consider expanding into new markets!

There's a LOT of information on most companies’ websites…use it!

Check Social Media

This really should go without saying…

Even with analysis tools, you may not get the full picture of your competitors’ social media campaigns. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you actually LOOK AT their social media.

 Consider their followers, their engagement, their copy and more. Then, see how you can use this information to sell more of your own products.

Make Phone Calls

This is where the spying part of it really comes into play…

 Before the internet, people used to CALL EACH OTHER. I know, how bizarre…

 Companies also used to call each other—but not directly. Instead, they would pretend to be customers and ask a bunch of questions to get more information about the company.

Well, guess what? You can still do that!

Is it sneaky? Sure. Does it get results? Absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with peeking behind the curtain of other businesses and seeing what they're up to.

How To Do A Competitor Analysis In eCom

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If you want to ensure the success of your eCommerce store, make sure you check out other eCommerce stores and see what they're doing.

From there, you can improve your own store and your own sales campaigns to boost sales.