It has become essential to use competitive intelligence to remain competitive on the market. 93% of businesses1 see competitive intelligence as a key to standing out from the competition.
For your competitive intelligence to be effective, you need to determine clear goals and choose the right indicators to allow you to reach them. For 74% of businesses2 this is the first step in the competitive intelligence process.
Discover the 5 indicators to track closely to get the most from your competitive intelligence.
As part of your competitive intelligence strategy, you should be monitoring changes in the prices of your competitors: special offers, frequent price changes, price variations…
This tracking can help you to find the « right positioning3 » (leader, premium, low cost…) to remain competitive. It can also improve your responsiveness in adjusting your price strategy to changes in the prices of your competitors (increase, reduction, stagnation…).
You should also be monitoring price variations across the entire distribution network as this will allow you to ensure that the prices displayed by your distributors and selling network are consistent with the prices on your eCommerce site. This will avoid you missing out on selling opportunities resulting from a perceived reduction in value of a product, cart abandons, loss of confidence in your brand…
2. Stock levels
For successful competitive intelligence, you should be monitoring movements in stocks on competitor eCommerce sites: out of stock, over stocked, insufficient quantities… This will help you to optimize your prices appropriately and strategically.
For example, when a product is out of stock on several different eCommerce sites, some brands will offer that same product at a cut price (reduction, special offer…) to encourage shoppers to buy from their website. This strategy works well as it can see sales increase very quickly with 21 to 43% of shoppers4 admitting that they will look towards the competition if a product is out of stock.
You should also be monitoring stock levels on your own eCommerce site to ensure that customer orders are processed properly and to avoid the negative impacts caused by stock issues: increase in logistics costs, loss of credibility, missed selling opportunities…
To carry out competitive watch, you need to have information on competitor products: innovations, improvements, new range launches…
This watch allows a business to be inspired by existing products to identify any necessary improvements (features, options, design…) and to optimize their own products. These optimizations are essential to maintain a product's competitiveness: 53% of CEOs5 are troubled by the competitiveness of disruptive companies.
A business may also identify heretofore unexplored growth opportunities (new technologies, winning new markets, targeting a specific segment…) and leverage them to establish their place in the industry: 57% of businesses1 use competitive intelligence to improve their competitive advantage.
To implement effective competitive intelligence, you should be tracking the position of your competitors on the most strategic keywords: high search volume, high level of traffic generated, low KD (Keyword Difficulty)…
By monitoring these elements, a business can save a lot of time on the search for strategic keywords and improve traffic towards their own eCommerce site. Search engines are the second most popular source of information for shoppers6 when researching a product.
This observation can also help you to detect new keyword opportunities to increase your visibility in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). This visibility is essential to stay ahead of the competition with the first 5 organic results in SERPs representing 67.6% of all clicks7.
5. Quality of product information
Within a competitive intelligence strategy, a business should monitor the quality of the information in competitor product pages: completeness (multilingual, per target and/or per selling channel), detail of product descriptions, photo definition… and to compare it with their own information. This will help them to optimize their product pages and make them more competitive.
They should also monitor the various selling channels (eCommerce sites, marketplaces, price comparison websites…) to ensure that the information is comprehensive, reliable, and up to date. It is essential to provide top quality product information to satisfy the demands of shoppers: 40% of them8 have returned a product purchased online because the product information presented was of poor quality.
The challenges of monitoring indicators
To monitor indicators (prices, stock levels, products…), a business needs to establish a list of their main competitors (direct, indirect, new arrivals…), collect thousands or even hundreds of thousands of data elements from their eCommerce sites, gather all this information in tables and ensure that they are constantly up to date. When dealing with numerous eCommerce sites, and product data that varies constantly, this task is just not possible. It becomes essential to use a competitive intelligence solution to simplify the tracking of indicators and their movements.
Columbus, L. 84 % Of Enterprises See Big Data Analytics Changing Their Industries' Competitive Landscapes In The Next Year. forbes.com.
2 Blask, M. (2022, May 23). The Competitive Intelligence KPIs You Need To Be Tracking. crayon.co.
3 Cousin, E. (2022, June 8). Comment fixer son prix de vente ? Calcul et conseils. blog.hubspot.fr.
4 Corsten, D. & Gruen, T. Stock-Outs Cause Walkouts. Harvard Business Review.
5 Hover, Z. Competitive Intelligence : 19 Statistics to Blow Your Mind. evalueserve.com
6 Statista. (2022, October 20). Leading online sources for product searches worldwide 2022. statista.com
7 Backlinko. 69 Important SEO Statistics for 2022. backlinko.com.