If you have an online brand, you'll want to perform a competitive analysis to make sure you are not falling behind. These sorts of analyses give you a better in-depth view of your market, including important trends. If you want to keep up with your competition, this is how you start!
As a business owner, you already understand that eCommerce is extremely competitive.
Follow these 4 simple steps to get an idea of where your brand stands in the market.
1. Find Out Who Your Competitors Are
Before jumping into the analysis, you need to know who your competition is! Identifying your competition accurately is essential to a successful competitive analysis. By picking the wrong competitor you won't see the eCommerce results you want because you're working towards the wrong goals.
Start by finding your closest competitors. These businesses would be about the same size as yours and have a similar audience, products, and marketing channels.
The best way to determine who they are is to type your Ecommerce name into Google- who else shows up in the paid and organic search results in similar positions to your company?
You can also use tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to get estimates on the traffic of competitors to make sure they are as similar to your business as possible.
You'll need to keep an eye on three main competitors. These include:
Direct competitors will have the most similarities to your brand, including audience and products. A well-known example would be Coke and Pepsi!
Does your audience often mention another brand that's very similar to yours? That company is likely one of your direct competitors!
Identifying your direct competitors is essential to your brand. If a customer buys from a direct competitor, the odds that they also buy from you is very low. You can also learn about eCommerce marketing by watching your direct competitors! Overall, you'll want to keep an eye on them.
Indirect competitors have fewer similarities, but they still compete in the same market. Although they tend to fall into the same categories, they can have slightly different products. For example, Chipotle and McDonald's are indirect competitors.
Both offer quick service meals, although Chipotle focuses on providing fast Mexican food. At the same time, Mcdonald's is best known for having burgers and fries.
Your indirect competitors offer a product that your audience views as an alternative. They won't buy from you if they want what the competition has, so you will want to identify these groups correctly.
Finally, know who your replacement competitors are. They share the least similarities with your brand, but customers will only choose one. These competitors are the most difficult to identify.
They could sell a completely different product but could still take your audience away. They may offer different solutions that people find more appealing, so you'll want to include them in your analysis.
Replacement competitors encourage customers to buy from them as an alternative to your brand. You'll need to know your audience well to identify this type of competition.
2. Study Your Competitors' organic traffic and rankings.
Choose two or three of your competitors to study. You'll want to look at their SEO strategy, and results. You should do your best to learn the following information:
- • Their top-performing content
- • The keywords they rank highly for
- • Where your site shows in the search engine compared to theirs
Knowing your competitors' SEO strategies will let you see what works and what doesn't within your market. You can grow your online brand by increasing your SEO too. However, that sometimes means you adjust your strategy depending on what the competition does.
You can use tools like Ahrefs that have content gap analysis where you can input your competitors and it will show you the keywords you are not ranking for. The job is not done though, you need to revise the keywords to see if they apply to your business and if it is actually worth your efforts to be targeting these keywords.
Overall, take what you learn from your competition and use it to improve your eCommerce strategy. You can use their successful strategies while also learning from (and avoiding) their mistakes.
3. Note Your Competitions' Benefits and Downsides
Next, make sure you track your competition's strong and weak areas. It helps to make a list to keep track of everything.
Once you have this information, you need to evaluate your brand/product value proposition. Make sure that your brand cand stand out from the competition. If you can provide more for your audience, they'll turn to you instead!
For example: If the competition doesn't offer good customer service and assistance, make sure yours does. You can also read reviews from their customers online to determine where their business lacks.
It's also good to know the strongest part of the competition, then try to improve your brand in that area. If customers expect your brand to be strong in those areas, they may feel disappointed and choose the competition next time.
Finally, consider what you like about the competition's experiences- customers will likely feel the same way! You can emulate those ideals and services in your eCommerce shop to create a better experience.
4. Implement the Results of Your Analysis
Once you know your competitors and how they operate, you can move forward with adjusting your strategies. As you make changes, you must monitor your audience. You'll want to see how they react! Otherwise, you won't know if it's working or not.
When you understand your competitor, you can always react accordingly. You can become a recognized name on the market- and stay there! You'll want to perform an analysis every few months at least.
Although, if you think the market's changing or your direct competitors are switching their strategies, you should too! Your eCommerce brand can get left behind if you don't adjust with the rest of the market.
Overall, you'll want to implement the results of your analysis soon after you finish. That way, you know the information is fresh, and the competition has made any changes yet. You need to record and study how your audience and competition react to you.
Understanding Competitor Analysis is Essential
In short, you need to know that competitor analysis is essential for every eCommerce brand- no matter how big or small you are! Your competition is likely already monitoring you, too- so you'll want to react accordingly. Without it, you'll quickly lose the edge in the market.
Overall, there's a lot that you can gain from understanding competitor analysis. The more you know about your competitors, the better off you'll be!