Are you struggling to develop impactful new products for your e-commerce site? Perhaps your marketing strategies are falling flat for reasons you don’t quite understand? We’ve got great news for you – competitive intelligence could utterly transform your business and facilitate unprecedented growth!
Okay, we understand that the name sounds a little dry and (dare we say it) dull. However, competitive intelligence could hold the key to improved product development, better brand positioning, and enhanced customer engagement for your business.
Over 90% of businesses currently invest in competitive intelligence. In the dog-eat-dog world of e-commerce, failure to get on board with this trend could be detrimental to your sales figures. To help you get to grips with competitive intelligence, therefore, we’ve put together a quick guide to its benefits.
Competitive intelligence is a market research strategy designed to uncover actionable e-commerce data about different brands within your industry. The metrics you decide to track will depend on your market niche and your company’s primary pain points.
The ultimate goal of using competitive intelligence is, of course, to generate useful data that can be harnessed to make smart business decisions. Helpful data points to analyze include, but are by no means limited to:
There is no single way to collect actionable e-commerce data, and some companies may be easier to research than others. Here are a couple of tried-and-tested tactics to help you get started:
Still skeptical about the value of competitive intelligence? These amazing advantages are sure to change your mind:
1. It enhances the product development process
Even the most creative of product designers can’t read customers’ minds. The only way to develop winning products that genuinely improve customers' lives is to learn about their needs and desires using competitive intelligence. Check out your competitors’ latest products and reviews to ascertain what they’re doing right and where they’re going wrong. Once you’ve ascertained what your audience members want and need out of e-commerce brands, you can start designing products they won’t want to live without.
2. It will help you discover your unique selling points (USPs)
Effective branding is all about finding your unique selling points and shouting them from the rooftops. Whether you’ve invented a new technology or boast super-efficient delivery services, your USPs should be sprinkled throughout your marketing emails, paid ads, blog content, landing pages, and more.
Of course, you must ensure that your USPs are truly unique before you start showing them off. Overselling certain aspects of your business could breed distrust in your all-important customers.
Fortunately, it’s really easy to ascertain what your competitors are selling, thanks to the wonders of Google! When scouring competitor websites, we recommend heading straight to product descriptions, homepages, and mission statements to ascertain their USPs.
3. You could improve your SEO
Did you know that 68% of online shoppers use search engines to find information about products they want to buy? As such, it’s really important you scramble your way to the top of those all-important results pages.
Competitive intelligence could help you hone your SEO strategy by revealing the best ways to please Google’s algorithm. Start by figuring out which keywords are popular within your industry niche using a tool such as SEMRush. Then, take a look at the top-ranking sites for these words, accounting for the following factors:
4. It helps identify gaps in your hiring processes
Wondering why your turnover is so high? Don’t rely on employee surveys or other kinds of internal data to fix your hiring practices. Learning more about who your competitors are hiring and why could help you improve your company culture and retain top talent. Check out jobs listings and job review sites to learn more about the state of the hiring market in your sector.
5. It could warn you of potential threats
The world of e-commerce is constantly evolving, meaning business owners often find themselves outflanked by new marketing strategies and product development. While you may not be able to predict the future, competitive intelligence could alert you to up-and-coming trends. Once you spot a threat on the horizon, you can quickly start adapting your business strategies to prevent disruption. The best places to discover potential threats are social media platforms, press releases, and online databases.
If you’re keen to start growing your business with competitive intelligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to Particl today. We provide e-commerce brands with valuable data from over 150,000 sites, allowing clients to supercharge their product development and marketing efforts.