Guides and tips
Six key strategies to perform an e-commerce competitor analysis
It is essential to conduct different surveys early in your offline or online business, including competitor analysis. For an e-commerce business, you have to perform a competitor analysis regularly. The online business world is ever-changing, and profiling your competitors to know more about their business operations and marketing strategies is critical.
A competitor analysis — also called a “competitive analysis” — is when you analyse your competitors’ strategies, operations, and sales tactics. Your analysis results can, in turn, guide your marketing strategy and help you set your business apart from the competition. You can use some vital tools like Google, social media, YouTube, SEMrush, Facebook, Quora, and others for competitor analysis.
Whether it’s your first competitor analysis or an update on old information, the e-commerce competitor analysis is essential to:
Understand your business’s stance in your ecosystem.
Have a solid knowledge of your competitor’s strategies.
Identify opportunities and weaknesses in your competition.
Know who is your direct and emerging competition.
Discover how to be different from your competition.
With a clear grasp of the results you want in mind, here are some key strategies that will help you perform your competitor analysis:
1. Identify your primary competitors
Your first step is competitor identification. Identify your closest competition in terms of online presence, audience, business size, product differentiators, and others.
Which brands are you often compared to?
What names do your customers bring up as references?
Who appears in similar web, social media, and online search results?
These questions will help identify your primary competitors.
2. Research your competitor’s products and the benefits
Product analysis is where you ask questions like:
What products do they offer?
Are their products similar to yours?
What features do your products lack compared to theirs?
What products do you offer that they do not provide?
Product analysis aims to help you understand your competitor’s products and strategies for improving your product offerings based on your findings.
3. Analyse your competitor’s SEO strategy and content marketing
As the famous saying by Bill Gates goes, “content is king.” This is no different with e-commerce content, as content marketing is vital for e-commerce business strategies.
You need to deep-dive the internet using tools like SEMrush, Ubersuggest, and SPYfu to know your competitor’s SEO stance. This research is to know your competitor’s keyword ranking, organic and non-organic visitors, top-performing content, and much more.
Measure your competitor’s brand positioning and check their content quality against yours to know how you can improve.
4. Perform a SWOT analysis of your competitors
Having a clearer insight into your competitors will help you conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a strategic planning technique organisations use to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or projects.
Use a list to keep tabs on your competitor’s SWOT and ensure the items listed are specific, like “X.Y.Z. does not use high-quality imagery.” This list should reflect your view as a business owner and a prospective consumer. It will help pinpoint specific aspects of your competitor’s business that you can leverage.
5. Analyse the user experience of your competitor’s platforms
User experience is an essential aspect of e-commerce because it plays a crucial part in business reviews and low cart abandonment rates, to mention a few.
Visit your competitor’s platforms (website or app) to get the same experience as the customers who use these platforms. It would help if you took note of the following:
How fast does the platform load?
Is the checkout process easy?
How is the user interface?
How easy or difficult is it to navigate through the platform?
These questions will help you understand how satisfied or dissatisfied your competitor’s customers are and how you can improve your platform’s user experience.
6. Document your findings using a competitor analysis framework
Before you start strategising and making business changes, you need to document the results of your analysis using the proper framework. A competitor analysis framework is a model to represent all of your data findings understandably. Using a document or sheet, there are various templates of a competitor analysis framework online that you can use.
These key strategies will help you perform a detailed competitor analysis yourself. You must keep the research goal in mind and remember that this analysis is not about how your competitor is doing but how they are doing compared to you.
Another way of staying ahead of your competitor is by putting customer satisfaction at the forefront of what you do and increasing user experience through seamless payment gateways.