Online sales channels have quickly become a highly competitive market – how do you stand out? As experts, we at Upshelf know that having enough stock, an attractive price, engaging images, and being visible to the end consumer are the weapons with which retailers fight for the final sale.
It’s possible that your products and your competitors are on hundreds of websites, and you need to analyze them in order to make a plan of action. Knowing the performance of your products in ecommerce, and benchmarking with your competitors gives you a more complete and accurate view of the market.
This exercise allows you to identify where your competitors are better positioned than your brand, and helps you to prioritize the factors you should focus on.
How do you benchmark the competition?
1.- Observe price trends.
Monitor the price your products are offered at, how they’re positioned in the market. The prices of similar products can help you determine if they’re really your competition, or if they are in a different range.
Knowing which promotions your competitors run most often, or which ones are most frequent at different stores allows you to optimize for competitive plans. As all, tracking minimum, maximum, and average price trends helps you plan future launches more easily. As a brand, you don’t control the final price, but having this data will help you when advising or renegotiating agreements with the retailer.
2.- Analyze the distribution and stock of your competitors.
To improve your market coverage, it’s important to study your competitor’s ecommerce. This allows you to detect in real time retailers where you have a risk of substitution, and those retailers who you don’t work with yet, but where you could start selling.
- Identify the stores where your product is out of stock and you have competitors, running the risk of substitution.
- Find out where you sell, but your competitors are out of stock, to reinforce your positioning and attract new customers.
- Analyze the retailers where you don’t have a commercial agreement, but your competitors do, to capture new market opportunities.
- Compare your offline and online distribution map to allow for optimization.
- Check if the opportunities you detect for online sales can also be translated into improving the number of offline points of sale.
3. – Determine who’s more visible on the digital shelf.
The first spots on a search engine results page are the most visible to ecommerce visitors. These products tend to receive the vast majority of clicks and, therefore, sales.
Identify the position of your product and that of your competitors for a category or a specific search, and decide where to invest your efforts to improve it.
To improve your position, consider investing in advertising, as well as ensuring the content of the product page is complete and well-worked: title, images, description, presence of keywords, ratings, etc.
4.- Identify trends by POS or POS type.
Study the performance of your products in relation to your competition by type of retailer, helping you detect trends in price, stock, positioning, and content. By performing this exercise, you’ll be able to identify if there are stores where you suffer more frequent stock-outs, which are more aggressive in promotions, and which stores don’t have complete or updated content for your products.
This granular information allows your brand delegates for those stores to have an overview of market trends, and to act quickly to resolve any issues.
5.- Protect your brand reputation.
Reviews and ratings have become an essential element within the product page: 97% of consumers look for reviews before buying. According to Power Reviews, ratings increase conversion by 115%, and the ideal score for the sale is between 4.2 and 4.5. Why do they convert more than those with the maximum score of 5? When everything seems perfect, consumers are suspicious, and tend to think that the product is “too good to be true.”
For this reason, negative reviews are essential for your brand because they bring trust. The user consults the worst reviews before the best ones, to know what’s the worst that can happen with that product. It’s also possible that what’s so negative for one consumer is irrelevant for another.
As such, marketing teams should also look at how their products are rated and talked about in relation to the competition.
Having reliable, easy-to-use data that allows you to quickly identify opportunities for improvement will give you a great competitive advantage. Request a no-obligation demo with our team, and discover how Upshelf can help you beat your online competition.