How To Conduct A Competitive Analysis
One of the best ways to take your online business to the next level is by having a deep understanding of how your competitors operate. By analyzing your competition and monitoring them on an ongoing basis, you’ll get a better sense of who you’re up against, and save a lot of time and money. This kind of research also enables your business to quickly identify industry trends and adapt to competitor campaigns or strategies.
Keeping track of what your competitors are up to can seem a bit overwhelming, but a competitive analysis is crucial to your success as an online business. Here are some tactics that make conducting a competitive analysis easier and help build your plan of attack.
1. Identify Your Competition & Categorize Them
The absolute first step in a competitive analysis is to identify your competitors. As you find competitors, it’s important to categorize them as either an immediate threat or could become a threat within a year. Your ultimate goal with this should be to get a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape in your niche.
2. Identify Your Competition’s Strengths & Weaknesses
Now that you know who you’re up against, the next step is to determine what makes them appealing to consumers. Ask yourself these questions: How do they emphasize their value proposition? What are their prices like compared to yours? Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are the foundation that will help you shape your own e-commerce strategy.
3. Analyze One Marketing Channel At A Time
To avoid becoming lost and disorganized, do not try to analyze your competition’s marketing strategies across all channels all at once. Start by focusing on a single channel like social media, SEO, or PPC. This will allow your business to go far deeper into your analysis and uncover key insights.
4. Take Advantage of Competitive Analysis Tools
Conducting a competitive analysis without the help of online tools is tedious and unnecessary. With the growth of online activity, there is now no shortage of competitor analysis tools on the market (free and paid). These online tools can give you fast and valuable insights, so why not take advantage of them?
5. Perform Regular Competitive Analysis
A competitive analysis is not a one-time task. It should be performed on a regular basis so you are staying up-to-date on the competition. Competitors come and go, but you need to stay in the know. With regular competitive analyses, you will always remain one step ahead of the competition.
The goal of a competitive analysis is to fully understand where your business ranks in the playing field. So, make sure you are revisiting your analysis about every three months, monitoring changes in the competition and watching for new threats in your niche.