Whether you are running a small or big business, there are bound to be direct or indirect competitors. To maintain long-term success, you need to understand your competitor’s weaknesses and strengths.
Identify them and know what you can do for your business to make strides. You do not have to spend hours and lots of funds in researching your competitor’s products.
Below, we have detailed tips you can use to gather your competitor information.
Point out your competitors
Before starting your research, it is essential to know your competitors. Do not ignore even smaller companies that do not look like a threat because, with a few adjustments, they can turn into significant competitors. It is advisable to list all your competitors who are offering similar products and are targeting the same market.
Once you have the list, you can narrow it down to five companies that are your biggest threat. Dig deep into their marketing strategies to learn how they do it and perfect it to beat them in your online business. You can also pick a few marketing strategies from similar companies and utilize them.
Advance from Google Search
A significant number of online entrepreneurs work with online stores, especially Amazon, as affiliate product marketers. Most of these entrepreneurs begin their competitor’s research on Google. However, there are other, more effective research tools you could use. Invest your time and learn about the best Amazon product research tool you can use to get exciting insights into your competition. The tool can significantly help you to not only research your competitor’s products but also increase your revenue.
Check different keywords to find out if your competitors are in the sponsored listing. Bing, Yahoo, and Google are the common platforms that most people use to sponsor their content. If you find out your competitor uses search-based advertising, there are high chances that they are bidding on their brand name too. Other paid tools, trace where your competitors have appeared in the past on Google, including their organic keyword rankings and Ad words. On those sites, you can see the campaigns your competitors have been running and what they have learned from them. You can find out profitable keywords and see the ad copy that offered the best results.
A significant number of entrepreneurs utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as their marketing platform. You can pick a few interesting facts about your competitors and apply them to your business. It is a cost-effective and easy way to know the public’s point of view about your competitors. If your competitors are not active on social media, there are high chances that they give newsletters through emails or print varieties. You can sign up or subscribe to their free emails and get updates on new products.
Compare your competitors
As much as you would want to compare your competitors to your company, it is essential to compare them to each other. Your competitors may compete for your customers by utilizing different ways from each other. Put together detailed information on your competitors, to know how they operate and threaten your business. The effective way to do this is by comparing your competitor’s side-by-side, leaving nothing behind. Compare their products and services, unique capabilities, target audiences, distribution channels, business categories, and anything that would make a business unique.
Do a comprehensive SWOT analysis
Customers are always looking for new alternatives trying to get what they want. No matter how loyal you think your customers are to your business, they are still looking for better products and services elsewhere. To view your business as a customer, you can use online competitor analysis to reveal your business weaknesses and strengths. The analysis can also help you identify threats to your business and its potential opportunities. To get the analysis, use your company’s profile and that of your competitor to identify the following:
- Strengths – What are the strengths of your company that make it unique from your competitors?
- Weaknesses – Identify areas that your competitors used to outdo your business.
- Opportunities – Identify the emerging changes or trends of your competitor that can benefit your business over the long run.
- Threats – Be keen to identify the competitive activities that could disrupt your business.
With this analysis, you can identify areas where you need to improve and learn strategies that you can use.
Check your competitor’s citations and reviews
Reputation matters a lot, not only in online business, but also in other companies. Assess your competitor’s reputation by reading people’s experiences with them. Most people use platforms like Citysearch, Yelp, Google Plus Local to express their experiences with various companies. Compare your competitor’s reviews with yours and customer satisfaction. Gather common customer complaints that point weakness in customer service.
Communicate with your customers
Customers are among the primary sources of information regarding your competitors. It is the cheapest and convenient way of gathering vital information about your competitors. When you find a new customer, ask them about their previous experiences with their last product and service provider. Do not forget to do the same when you lose a customer too. Ask them what they prefer about your competitor that you did not offer. With such information, you will have a good idea of how your competitors operate and know how to improve your business and beat your competitors in the industry.
After looking at these variables, you can have a clear picture of how your competitors operate and how you can improve your business to outdo them. Bear in mind that even the best players cannot meet the needs of every consumer. You might find it difficult to beat some of your competitors on certain aspects of your business. However, there is a chance that they have left some opportunities open to you. Thorough competitor research will expose those opportunities, and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.