Becoming a winner is never easy, especially in business. The weather in the market is often rough, and if things appear to be calm, a storm might be hiding on the horizon. There is much competition. You usually need to go toe-to-toe with the big guys on the market to gain customers and protect your share from smaller companies that try to gain their footing. One day, you make a decision for your business. Along the road, things happen, and it appears that your business is failing. Maybe it is due to your branding. Or maybe, your pricing strategy is not really on point. In short, many things can cause your business to fail.
To become a winner, you need a plan. You need enough knowledge about yourself and others. But how do you gather knowledge about your competitor? This article will guide you to the basics of competitor analysis and tell you how Strikingly can help you survive the complex world of businesses.
What is a competitors analysis?
Competitor analysis, or often called competitive analysis marketing, is a process of comparing your own business with other players in the same market. You compare several aspects such as products, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, online presence, and so on, and find areas where you can improve.
Doing competitors research is beneficial as it brings many benefits. With a good competitor analysis, you can identify gaps in the market. When you have done research on your and your competitor’s business, you will often find gaps or needs that have not been satisfied by either you or your competitor. This often leads to new ideas for products and services. Studying your competitor’s business can also lead you to uncover new trends. Lastly, with all the information you have about your competitors, you can devise a new strategy that can help you to sell and market your products and/or services more effectively.
How to do competitor analysis?
- Determine your competitor
The first step in doing competitor analysis is, of course, to determine who you are really competing with. Technically, there are two types of competitors in competitor analysis; direct and indirect.
A direct competitor, as the name suggests, is a competitor that directly challenges your business. Challenges can be in the form of products, which means they sell the same kind of product as you do, and geographical challenges, which means they operate in the same areas as you do.
An indirect competitor, on the other hand, is a competitor that does not provide products or services similar to what you do but could fulfil the needs of the same customers.
- Look at your competitor products
Products and/or services are the heart of a business. To understand your competitors better, you need to understand what kind of products or services they are offering. You need to know their complete product line and the quality of their products or services.
You can focus on several of their products. The goal in this step is to analyze competitive products to find the strength and weakness of your competitors’ products that directly challenge your products.
- Study your competitor sales tactics
There are several things you need to note when you study the sales tactics of your competitors. You need to find your competitors’ sales process; what kind of preparation do they make? How do they pitch their products? How do they answer customers' inquiries? Etc. The next thing you want to find out is the channels they are using. Channels refer to the means that a business uses to sell its products or services. It can be done through personal means, as in a salesperson who sells the product to a customer, retail means, such as opening a shop, or e-Commerce, where a business sells through digital means like a website or social media, and so on.
These are just simple things you need to note in your research. You can further study the partnership of your competitors; who are they partnering with? What are they getting from the partnership? You can also find out whether your competitors are expanding or scaling down their businesses.
- Look at your competitor pricing strategy
When studying the pricing strategy of your competitors, there are several things you need to find out. At what price company A sells their product? Is company B providing high-cost goods? Do your competitors have a different pricing strategy in their online platforms and offline store? These are just simple questions that you need to answer to find out your competitors’ pricing strategy. There are lots of things that can decide a price of a product, such as perks or different versions. So, make sure you note all of those extra factors.
- Study how your competitor market their products
There are lots of ways for businesses to market their product, and if you want to understand your competitors better, you need to know how they market their products. The easiest way to do this is by having a look at your competitors’ websites.
Websites are one of the most powerful tools for marketing. Take a look at whether your competitors have a blog or not. If yes, what kind of content are they putting in their blog; It can be articles, books, videos, infographics, case studies, buyer guides, and so on. You might also want to take a look at their content strategy, such as the frequency of their posts, what kind of topics they are talking about, how they wrote their content (its tone, structure, and depth, keywords, link building), and so on. Study those contents and strategies, and compare them to what you are doing in your blog.
Other than websites, there are marketing tools that a business can use. Podcasts have been gaining popularity today. There are also campaigns or advertising, both offline and online.
Compare your marketing performance to what your competitors have already done. You might get an insight on where and how to fight your competitors.
- Look at their online presence
When it comes to marketing, a huge online presence is a strong weapon. You need to understand the presence of your competitors to make sure you are not falling behind.
Other than websites, you can look at their social media accounts. Take a look at what platforms they are using, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Make sure to take notes on qualitative items such as numbers of followers, numbers of engagement (shares, retweets, etc.), and their post schedule.
Similar to blog posts, you need to study their content and their strategy. Take notes on what kind of content they are making, the originality, and the tone of the content.
Gather all the data you need about your competitors’ online presence. Compare your social media marketing performance to your competitors’ performance. Once you have a clear idea, you can decide whether to invest time and money on the same platform where your competitor has a huge fanbase or to find your footing in another platform.
To help you get a better picture of competitor analysis, let us take a look at one competitive analysis example. Suppose that you are going to sell ice creams. Everyone loves ice creams, and it is a good business. At Strikingly, you can find another ice cream business; Nicecream.
Image taken from Strikingly users’ website
Nicecream is hand-crafted ice cream based in. It has been operating since 2014 and opened four ice cream shops. It has been recognized by the likes of CNN, US News, and World Reports. Nicecream can be one of your competitors if you are trying to start an ice cream business in DC.
However, do not be afraid. Let us do a competitor analysis and find out more about Nicecream and find out what missing gaps you can try to fill.
First, let us take a look at their product. Nicecream specializes in ice cream. Their products come in many kinds of flavors. Their website shows at least six flavors that customers can pick for their ice cream. Other than ice cream, they also sell biscuits and milkshakes that really go well with their ice cream. Furthermore, customers can order a Nicecream pint that contains several products. This Nicecream pint often comes with themes, such as birthday-themed pint, thank you-themed pint, and others, so that customers can buy a pint that suits their situation.
Image taken from Strikingly users’ website
What about their sales tactics? As has been mentioned before, Nicecream has four shops across DC. To reach more people, they also use their website as an online store where people can buy their ice creams. Customers outside DC can order their ice cream online and pay through several methods. They also offer catering services for customers who want their ice cream at their events.
Image taken from Strikingly users’ website
What about their price? According to Statista, the average ice cream price in the US is $4.93. Ice cream from Nice Cream is just a little bit more expensive than average at$4.99. However, Nice Cream offers additional experience at that price. Customers can see real-time how their ice creams are made in Nice Cream shops.
Let us move on to the marketing side. It appears that Nice Cream does not do much marketing on their website. They use their website mainly to communicate their product. They instead market their product on their social media; Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. On Instagram, they regularly post about their products. They photograph their products with an appetizing appearance. Sometimes, they also post photos of their customers and about their catering services. In general, the tone of their posts seems relaxed, indicated by the use of emojis and non-standard language variations.
Lastly, let us take a look at their online presence. Nice Cream Instagram has 7.312 followers so far. Their Facebook has around 3.800 fans while their Twitter appears to be abandoned with only 13 followers. Nice Cream does not have a fixed schedule for their social media posts, but it appears they post around 3-5 times a week.
Now, what can you learn from this? Nice Cream appears to focus mainly on their Instagram account. It appears to be reasonable as they mainly post pictures and videos. However, there are other platforms such as Pinterest that people can use to post pictures. Moreover, Pinterest appears to be a good platform if you want to make beautiful pictures collages for social media marketing. Nice Cream also appears to not have any blog or written content for their website. You can start a blog and write SEO-friendly content to have a lead in terms of an online presence. As have been mentioned before, a huge online presence can be a strong weapon for your marketing.
To help you gain a huge online presence, Strikingly can help you create a stunning and striking website that can give you an edge in online marketing. Strikingly comes with features that can help you thrive in the competition.
Strikingly can also help you to do SEO optimization. To establish your online presence, you need to be able to be found on the internet. It means that when people are looking for products or services that you offer, you need to appear on the first page of the search engine results page. To do this, you need to optimize the SEO of your website. You can find how Strikingly can help you optimize your website SEO at our help center.
While you are working optimizing your website, you need to know how much traffic your website attracts so you can make changes accordingly. Strikingly can help you with the Google Analytics feature. Having an idea about how much traffic you can get and where they are coming from can help you focus on the channel that gets you more visits which means that channel is really popular with your customers. Google Analytics can give all the information you need, such as how many new and returning visitors, from which country they are coming from, how long they spend their time on your website, etc, for you to work on optimizing your website.
Last but not least, Strikingly can help you to engage with your audience better. You can utilize the newsletter feature to inform your customers about updates regarding your products or company. You can also help your customers better with the LiveChat feature, where your customers can reach you better if they have any inquiries or need any help when they are on your website.
Now, you know how to make your way around this jungle called business. The first thing you need to survive is honesty; be honest about your weakness and your competitor’s strength. Learn from others and become strong yourself. To help you survive in a business, you need to have a strong brand. Having a website can boost your online presence and helps you gain an edge over your competitors.
Are you ready to start your business brand? Create a website today with Strikingly!