Competitive Analytics has been around since trade began, with simply understanding what the competitor was doing that made you better than your competitor and vice versa. With modern technology the entire process has simply moved online, and competitive intelligence software has taken over the primary functions of the brain. The other difference between then and today is the amount of competitor data that you need to process. In the eCommerce world, things are tougher, as customers have little to no brand loyalty, and are prepared to switch to the site with the best offers in a heartbeat. This doesn’t become easier as an eCommerce vendor is always trying his best to optimize margins.
Competitive Analytics and Intelligence (CAI) software simplifies the collection of data on your competitor, and performs the first level of analysis on your behalf, leaving you to make the next level of analysis by using to software to segregate, filter and sort the data as and when you feel it is necessary. This makes the entire process more efficient, simple and time-saving. It decreases the time your organization needs to spend on decision-making and strategy creation.
Here’s what most CAI software can do to aid your eCommerce business:
• Supply Trends:
By observing the supply trends, the CAI software can tell you how your competitor is managing his inventory by analyzing stock levels on his website, and tracking how and when new stock is brought in. This can help you decide if you need to optimize your inventory management, or if your system is better suited for your needs.
• Pricing Trends
CAI software will take into account the difference in product pricing between you and your competitor, which will help you estimate the profit per piece that each of you is making. This will help you not only understand your competitor’s pricing strategy, but also to re-evaluate your strategy and possible changes you might make to it. This is the most popular feature of CAI software and many SME’s use this as a standalone function.
• Sales Trends:
It isn’t enough to know the price at which your competitor is selling a product, so most CAI software will also take into account the volume of sales per product, so as to allow you to calculate the difference in margins through that single product.
• Comparing Picture Quality:
It is important that the quality of product picture be clear and sharp. The CAI software will compare this as well to let you know f you need to have better product pictures on your eCommerce site.
These basic analytics will certainly help you understand your competitor and their strengths and weaknesses, but they do little to help you improve your own services and website. This is why it is important for CAI suites to do more than the necessary and give you and your organization data like:
• Similar Product Comparison:
Most CAI programs only compare the same product, but it is equally important to know the value of products that are similar in nature and tell you which variant is more popular in the market.
• Content Comparison:
A CAI software should not only note differences in the content of the same product on your site and your competitor’s, but also extract the data and update the product details on your site for you.
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
With a good CAI tool, you’ll be able to understand which keywords are giving your competitor a bountiful of customers, and you can employ them to direct some of them your way.
These additional features have more benefits in terms of what they do for your eCommerce site:
When the data on products increases, customers will be able to better understand it, and thus make more informed decisions. This serves the current trend of researching a product before purchasing it.
Through the information you offer, customers will be able to get exactly what they want. Being delighted with your services, they’ll full your site and others, with positive reviews of your offerings.
• Zero-Moment-Of-Truth (ZMOT):
By increasing your SEO and link building (through customer reviews), your ability to reach potential customers at the ZMOT will also increase. This means better traffic, and more conversions.
To find out more about ZMOT and why it’s important for eCommerce, be sure to read our Whitepaper here: Shopping in the Digital Age