Many people want to do an analysis of competitors, but do not always understand the algorithm for conducting such a study. We have developed a step-by-step action plan to help you organize a systematic approach. Our algorithm makes it easy not only to study the competitive environment, but also to find new opportunities for the growth of your business.
Analytics can relate to specific tasks – studying the assortment and product line, comparative analysis of positioning. However, the most complete picture for online business promotion is provided by an integrated approach to studying competitors.
Where does competitor analysis begin?
In any action in business, it is important to start with the most important thing – defining the purpose of the research. At different stages, their tasks may be interesting:
pricing and pricing policy,
positioning strategy features,
characteristics of USP,
definition of distribution channels,
the dynamics of expanding the product line.
For each of these tasks, you need to use a different approach to examine the most important indicators. This will save you unnecessary information and reduce your marketing research costs.
Once you have identified your research objectives, you need to select competing companies to research. An accurate understanding of your target audience and its pressing needs is always an urgent task. To clarify the information, use the following questions:
how similar is the target audience of your business to the offers of competitors,
what needs are addressed by the products and services of a competing company and yours,
what methods of finding solutions to their needs from competitors are used by representatives of your target audience.
If you overlap in these three characteristics, then this is a sign of a competing company. It is important to distinguish between ways of solving similar problems of customers, since products may differ in some parameters. Carefully analyze the match and difference in closing customer needs to get the most accurate picture.
Pay attention also to:
value for money,
occupied market segment,
product line and assortment.
If your company is new to the market, then study not only little-known brands, but also industry leaders. By choosing the best business representatives to research, you can learn a lot from them so you don’t come up with obvious solutions. In addition, the experience of predecessors will show the most effective tools that bring results.
How to correctly identify the most important competitors
In the first step, collect a list of companies that intersect with your products or services. The next step is to explore sites for which you can use the similarweb service. It is important to understand how similar you are to each other, and what are your strengths or weaknesses.
Pay attention to the semantic core of their site in order to understand – for which queries they entered the TOP. It is best to study the general summary report in Serpstat – there you will see an indicator such as “visibility”. It shows how many pages of the site have reached the TOP of search engines. The greatest visibility will show the strongest competitors online.
Also, pay attention to the keywords the site is ranking for. They can be used when developing copywriting specifications for SEO promotion. For a thorough analysis, choose no more than 10 competitors, this is quite enough in complex Internet promotion.
Competitor Analysis Plan
Basic information that will allow you to form an opinion about the company. What it includes:
year of foundation / opening,
regions of active work,
leadership composition and administrative structure,
number of staff,
occupied market share,
estimated financial turnover,
Study of the product matrix. What is the main product of the company – it is important to study carefully and thoroughly. It is the market offer that is the foundation on which the business is built:
study the product / service carefully and in detail (characteristics, warranty, color, size, appearance),
determine not only global differences, but also little things (packaging, delivery time, forms of payment, ease of ordering).
Pay attention to the specifics of pricing. Larger companies tend to have higher prices as customers overpay for the brand. Examine what is included in the cost of goods. The second criterion of assessment will be the opinion of the consumer – how much the price corresponds to the willingness of customers to pay it. Also pay attention to loyalty programs, promotions and discounts.
Marketing strategy development:
It will not be possible to study it thoroughly through external characteristics, but pay attention to the promotion channels, activity in advertising, social networks and other platforms. Analyze USP especially carefully to assess strengths. Be sure to consider the strongest players in the market to study the corporate identity, company values and its mission.
Outperform the competition – to gain advertising advantages. For example, if you are 1 position higher in contextual advertising, it means you will get a large market share. To do this, carefully study the advertising channels and campaigns of competitors in order to understand the strategy and outperform.
Develop a customer retention strategy and drive repeat purchases. Correct work with the base of contacts will allow returning existing customers again and again. Customer retention methods include marketing tools and sending out useful materials, price lists, new products, marketing whales, and informing about promotions.
At the stage of attracting customers, marketing plays a critical role. But no less important is the sales department and managers who communicate with consumers. Analyze not only product knowledge, but also the manner of communication, education, personal qualities, intonation, speech, appearance.
Sales optimization tools directly influence results. If managers forget to call back, are late with sending the order, then this approach will lead to the loss of customers.
Evaluate how your competitors’ CRM system, sales scripts, staff motivation, reporting.
From the outside, the easiest way is to study the sales scripts, since all you need to do is contact by phone. Other types of information are more difficult to obtain, as this applies to the internal regulations of work.
As accurately as possible, study production, logistics, installments, and other conditions for working with consumers. From the experience of the best companies, you can learn many of the secrets of high checks and great profits only through careful and detailed analysis. Go all the way from a call to a purchase to understand how it works. Pay attention to product returns, claims handling and returns. Show persistence and meticulousness to get the most accurate picture of your competitors’ business.
Where is the best place to look for your competitors.
We provide the main sources of information in the form of a list with comments:
The Internet. Use search engines to gather information. You can collect basic search queries – for which customers are looking for similar goods or services, and then analyze the results of Google.
Connect your sales staff. Managers usually come across information about competing companies and are well versed in the features of USP of other brands. Collect and organize this information.
Researching the requests and needs of your target audience. Specify as much detail as possible about the expectations and problems of customers that fit your target audience profile.
Explore rankings by business and industry. Among these, you can easily identify leaders who should be scrutinized. You will receive ready-made lists of your business representatives.
Use specialized services. Many of them are paid, but they have free access with limited functionality, and that may be enough. For example: similarweb.com, serpstat.com and spywords.ru.
What criteria should be used to analyze
First of all, rely on the goals of your research, and set tasks on this basis. Evaluation criteria are quantitative and qualitative.
Collect all data in tables to get organized answers immediately. The form can be arbitrary, but it should be quite simple and convenient.
Quantitative indicators are those characteristics that can be evaluated in points. For example, the usability of the site, the presence of a callback form, navigation and the quality of the texts. Make yourself a rating of the best sites that will become an example for your project.
Qualitative indicators reflect what cannot be estimated in numbers. This includes the friendliness of communications with the sales department, packaging design features, the meaning of the logo or name, and more.
You can present the results in the form of graphs and charts, as visualization allows you to better compare indicators.
How to use the results
The most important thing is to summarize and analyze the obtained data. This requires not only experience, but also knowledge of Internet marketing. Only after careful analysis can you get a complete picture of the business. Based on the research data, the development of a strategy begins, which takes into account the specifics of the market situation.
It is quite difficult to carry out such work on your own. Here, specialist consultants or marketing agencies who have the necessary experience and carry out comprehensive Internet promotion will come to the rescue.