2 part series to succeed in e-commerce business
“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” – Otto Von Bismarck
Competition keeps a business on its toes. From bringing in new product line categories to scouting for consumers (and engaging old customers), the idea is to become the go-to choice for your customers. Online shoppers are merciless beings (no offense) as they’re spoiled with a plethora of choices and offers. While shopping for their requirement, if the competition’s business appears before your business does, you tend to become a history for them.
In today’s world of free-market and internet accessibility, e-commerce has become a lucrative choice for shoppers and businesses alike. No matter what product you offer, there will always be 20 other websites to offer similar products that are trying to woo customers with varied schemes and offers. The competition is pervasive and if you do not keep a close eye on your competition, there’s a good chance that your business will no longer be in the competition in times to come. The E-commerce business is in cutthroat competition. Every business must have its eyes and ears everywhere, all at once.
Understanding Competitive Intelligence
Understanding competition is not as easy task as it may sound. Although every query is a click away, however, the idea is to first understand the kind of competition you face. Direct competitors are those businesses in the competition who sell the same products and services as your business does. Indirect competitors are businesses who do not sell similar products as your business but satisfy the same customer need. The sweet spot is to determine how your business offerings fare in comparison to theirs and what are the differences that stand out.
Competitive intelligence, therefore, is a strategic understanding of your business in the marketing relation to your competition. What’s your business like, who’s your competition, what are they selling and at what price, product availability, discount and offers; there’s a wide range of intelligence that is gathered and the same information is put to use to outshine your competitors.
Gathering effective competition intelligence in today’s barrage of marketing and avalanche of digital marketing techniques requires a dedicated team that will monitor and report data in real time. Difficulty arises when such processes are done manually which is cumbersome and time taking. By the time all such data is gathered and analyzed, your competition might have already wooed your loyal customers making your business redundant.
Automation is the key
Processing massive chunks of data manually is nearly impossible. As you start scaling your business, processes become more dreadful with repetitive tasks. Taking care of product availability, vendor inventory, order dispatches, packaging, every task has to be on point all the while staying on top of customer service and reviews. Apart from managing your own business, it is also important to keep a close check on the competition to better position your services. None of this is practically possible by employing manual processes. That is where automated tools such as mScanIt offer an optimized analytical support for your e-commerce business to succeed. It is imperative to analyze your e-commerce business through the right mix of relevant insights, including, competitor price and discount comparisons, RoI on ad-spends in marketplaces, automated reports. Not just this, such tools also help businesses in finding USP (which might be different than what the business thought), analyze your competition’s weaknesses and explore possibilities to tap into untouched market segments.