Other factors to consider when monitoring your competition

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Angela de la Vieja

Competition monitoring is a fundamental task for every brand and online store.  Knowing first-hand what other vendors and competitors are doing allows a business to operate within the market under the same conditions and also to consolidate its clientele.  However, it’s not only important to take references from any price variations but also other factors are important when monitoring your competitors if you wish to improve the possibilities of our own brand.

When analysing the competition, for a brand or online store, it is essential to know what relationship exists with the customer.  After all, these are the people that allow you to survive thanks to their purchases.  This perception is influenced both by the presentation of each product and the connection with customers and potential customers.

In the first instance, the product presentation, it is essential to be aware of the innovations and aesthetic trends that allow the customer to get a real, un close, idea as possible about what they are buying.  In this context, the product datasheet becomes vital for the eCommerce since it needs to contain all the information required, as well as a complete view of its characteristics.  The 360​​° product photography is a clear example of how the needs of the customer has generated new ways of presenting the catalogues of both brands and retailers.

Keeping up with the image, comes the content.  What kind of content does the competition create to reach out to the customer?  How can it be improved?  The content is a key piece in the customer experience and is also a factor that intervenes directly in the final decision making.  We must bear in mind that both the sector and the type of product are going to delimit, quite profoundly, which content is the most coherent in each case.  Once the competition benchmarking has been carried out, the real challenge lies in providing a fresh and renewed perspective to increase the value added on the purchase.  In addition, it is essential to align the content strategy, and even the pricing, to the customer journey.

On the other hand, it is also necessary to take into account the direct relationship between the business and the customer.  Today, the interaction through social channels is what allows one to build a community in which you create the online reputation of a brand.  When it comes to monitoring the competition, it is necessary to know:

- Verbal brand identity that helps you connect with your potential customers.

- The actions carried out to encourage the creation of community.

- The type of content created to boost the connection with your audience.

- The online customer service offered by the brand through its social channels.

In addition, it is also important to situate yourself in the client’s shoes in order to gain breadth of perspective.  Knowing their reactions and what their opinion is about each of the companies involved can help brands identify and indicate which are the strengths and improvements needed for them to enhance their overall offering.  A practical way to access this information is to wade through forums and read user comments that can be found directly on most web sites.

Finally, now dealing with the economic part of the business, it is recommended that competitor prices are monitored by using a software tool that offers automatic tracking and data organisation.  Thanks to specific dynamic-pricing tools it is now possible to visualise how competitive pricing strategies work and adapt your business to them within your own personalised parameters.

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