Ecommerce is a booming industry but leading the market is a different ball game altogether. The most formidable challenge for ecommerce players is driving continuous innovation because it all boils down to the quality of customer experience that you deliver throughout the sales process.
Today, customers have more online shopping options and a limited attention span than ever before. Therefore, rendering it utterly crucial for ecommerce players to differentiate themselves from the competition. Online businesses can leverage competitive intelligence data to have an advantage over competitors by consistently monitoring them to know the latest changes other online players are bringing in to drive sales.
Ecommerce businesses need to identify the inventory gaps based on the top-selling products to expand the business. But, monitoring or tracking competitors to learn new selling strategies and opportunities isn’t easy. Most sellers find incomplete information on competitor and third-party websites, making product mapping difficult. There is also the issue of duplicate listings and incorrect product category tagging that might affect the analysis.
With competitive intelligence monitoring, these challenges can be solved effortlessly. But before we look into how it can help you increase your sales, let’s understand what competitive intelligence is and why competitive intelligence is so hot in today’s business environment.
What is competitive intelligence?
Competitive intelligence (CI) involves accessing, analyzing, and interpreting actionable information about the competition, customer behavior, and market trends. CI enables companies to plan their current and future business operations and strategies by delivering valuable insights into marketplace changes. With access to such critical information, businesses can improve their online stores, launch new products, enter a new category or market, and make any result-driven strategic move.
Studies have shown that 64% of customers like to compare products before buying. When a buyer lands on your website, they see the product’s price and how easy it is to proceed with the purchase, including product pricing, payment methods, return policies, etc.
Ecommerce competitive intelligence can help online players benchmark against competitors and determine where they stand in relation to different aspects of the competitors’ business. Additionally, competitive intelligence monitoring can enable online businesses to gauge the effectiveness of competitors’ product messaging and positioning.
Now, let’s understand how you can leverage ecommerce competitive intelligence for your business to win against competitors and increase sales.
How to use ecommerce competitive intelligence to improve sales?
The purpose of competitive intelligence is not limited to just collecting and analyzing competitor and customer data. It is also crucial for businesses to check if the competitive intelligence tools, solutions, or techniques adopted follow the best practices for data collection. Moreover, sellers need to know how to utilize best the data and insights provided for critical decision-making and business strategy planning.
Know competitor pricing strategies
Sellers cannot drive conversions by simply making relevant products available to their consumers. Product prices can steer customers towards purchasing as attractive prices have always proved to be effective in conversions. But, in such a drastically changing market, how would online sellers come up with competitive prices for the products?
Competitive intelligence data can help analyze competitors’ pricing, enabling ecommerce sellers to sell products at the lowest possible price. While many companies monitor their competitors today, they do it manually. But, manual monitoring can be tedious, inaccurate, and time-consuming. Furthermore, price monitoring gets challenging when sellers are not aware of their potential competitors or when their competitors have large product catalogs.
Here, a competitive pricing intelligence solution that offers flexibility and scalability can help identify the right competitors and products for price monitoring as often as required. Sellers can even monitor promotions, deals, and coupons offered by competitors for similar products across marketplaces to boost conversions.
Find product assortment gaps
Every online business has some best-selling products in its catalogs. The same stands true for the business’s competitors. If online sellers compare their best-selling products against their competitors, it will help identify the most in-demand products.
Here, competitive intelligence monitoring offers critical insights into product inventories. Thus, enabling sellers to evaluate competitor products and find gaps in their product assortment. The more products a seller provides its customers, the more traffic and conversion their online store will yield.
Identifying the products that you don’t have but your competitors prominently display on their online stores can be a huge market opportunity. Let’s think of a scenario where a customer is looking for a smartphone. Seller A offers an expansive range of smartphones, while Seller B has a more diverse catalog that displays smartphones, smartwatches, earphones, phone cases, and other accessories. From which seller would the customer buy the smartphone? The answer is rather obvious.
Ecommerce players can perform an assortment analysis at brand, category, and even product-level using competitive intelligence. A comprehensive analysis will offer insights into the market opportunities and leave you on higher ground.
Improve online store experience
Research shows that 75% of customers scale a company’s credibility based on its website. It is necessary to analyze your website or online store to understand what can keep your customers hooked and what could drive them away.
Benchmarking against your competitors’ websites would allow you to compare the product details, format styles, product positioning, CTAs, customer support touchpoints, etc. It can help you evaluate and fix the gaps or issues in your website.
More often than not, online store visitors know what they are looking for before landing on your online store. If they land on your website looking for a product you offer but cannot find the product, you would have lost a conversion opportunity. So, how you structure and design your website is essential in driving conversions and boosting sales.
Through effective competitive intelligence, sellers make the customer experience their key differentiators. Amazon is one such example. The on-site experience it provides its customers is exemplary and makes it stand out from the competition. Being customer-centric will reward you with customer loyalty and revenue growth. You will be amazed at how the tiniest change in your website or ecommerce platform can lead to a monumental rise in your sales.
Understand customer buying behavior
The way consumers buy products online is rapidly changing, and so are the factors that drive them to make purchases. And this is common across regions, categories, and marketplaces.
Today, customers are more tech-savvy and can identify and grab the best online deals. Since the success of your online store depends on offering customers what they need, you need to be aware of their purchasing trends.
Needless to say, online sellers need to know when a particular product is in demand, what is the driving force behind it, and what price customers are willing to pay for it. If you can crack the code behind consumer buying trends, you will be able to offer products that are high in demand, increasing your sales.
For example, if a seller of home furnishing products analyzes trends and patterns based on region, it will offer them insights into the customer purchasing behavior. This way, the seller will know during which time of the year the demand for their products will be the highest in a particular city/country, enabling them to manage their inventory better.
Our ecommerce competitive intelligence solution offers accurate and relevant data in the form of statistical reports, enabling our customers to gather valuable insights and proactively make strategic decisions quickly. We allow online sellers, retailers, and marketplaces to revise their business objectives, product offerings, and roadmaps.
We identify similar products and collect pricing information by comparing product features from multiple marketplaces and websites to suggest the best competitive price for your products. Check out our competitive intelligence solution today if you want to fine-tune your strategy to upsell and cross-sell your products.