eBay lead blog CrazyLister recently wrote about how competitors can kill your business if you don’t research your competitors. When starting a new business it’s important to know exactly who your competitors are. It’s equally important to research into what they are doing to get ahead in an increasingly competitive market.
Why it’s important to know your competition
Many new startups and eCommerce stores believe they have the ability to attract customers to their brand. But many have never done the research to see what makes them different from competitors.
You need to make your business and brand are unique. CrazyLister state this can be broken down into five categories.
The first being customer experience what will you offer the customer what no one else will. You know your own business and what your customers get from the service but what could they get from competitors. Your unique USP (Unique Selling Proposition) might not be as unique as you think if you haven’t done any research into your competitors.
The next two categories I would analyse is your customer service and customer satisfaction. You need to be delivering excellent customer service that differentiates you from your competition. As am example after your research of your competitors customer service you might find none of them offer an online chat this could be a huge selling point for yourself.
“Your USP might not be as unique as you think”
The third category I would look at for yourself and competitors is adding value to your product and brand. If you can research your competitors product and add an extra value to your own it will give you the edge on competitors. It doesn’t also have to be huge changes to your products for example sending a thank you flyer within the product can add value and make the customer feel appreciated. The final category I would research in competitors is returns policies if you can have similar returns or even better having an ISP like free returns can be a huge attraction on eCommerce stores.
How to Identify your competitors
When trying to identify your competitors there is usually two different types of competitors. The first one is usually direct competition this is usually a competitor in close proximity selling exactly the same services or products. The other type of competitor is indirect competition maybe not a competitor that immediately springs to mind but is offering services and products similar to your own.
- Direct Competitor: You run an eCommerce store selling Sports Equipment and there is a brick and mortar store in your local area selling Sports Equipment.
- Indirect Competitor: You run a eCommerce store selling Blinds for the home. There is a eCommerce store selling all kinds of furniture and home furnishings.
In summary they say its’s important to keep track of what your competitors are doing and offering if you want to stay ahead in an ever changing market. It’s equally important to know how to spot and Identify competitors even when it’s not always obvious.
Competitors need to be watched closely we advise you check them regularly so every week or every month to keep track of what they are doing document it in a Google Document or Microsoft Word. Keeping on top of your competitors will mean you retain clients because the service you are offering should be better and it means you will acquire new clients because you can offer more than your competitors as long as you keep on top.
Top search marketing agencies have been using competitor research to help their clients grow for years and it is a tactic that is likely to be used more and more as competition online increases in all sectors.