How to research your competitors?
In every business, there are competitors. In whatever product or service you are trading, sooner or later, you will found your competitors.
And whether or not you have to admit they are hungry for your customers.
Every business owner or organization has its strengths and weaknesses.
And understanding their capability and or weakness in the trading sector is an aspect of your long term export business.
Competitive analysis is one kind of export marketing strategy that makes out you what your competitors are doing and how they are doing to acquire customers.
Why is it important to research export competitors
Now the question arises in your mind. Why I would research my competitors. My business is not just that fine?
If you have not enough budget to hire a professional market intelligence team, but your competitors doing it by hiring an excellent marketing team, you then need to look out what they are doing to acquire customers. You can learn a lot about their effective export marketing strategy by doing some simple analysis of their operations, their prices, and how they provide value to their customers.
In this post, you will learn..
- Who are your competitors?
- What products and services do they offer to customers
- Where are they located and What is each competitor’s market share?
- What marketing strategies do they use and How do they communicate with their customers?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses and what can you do in it?
- How do you compare your products and services with your competitors?
It could be added to your marketing strategy to compare your trading strength with your competitors.
Competitor analysis is completely legal and it a collection of information of your competitor which is available in their accessible public domain.
How to research your competitors?
Now just only knowing what your competitors are doing is not enough. There are loads of data you need to gather and aggregate in one place, and then you need to figure out which is the first step to work out in your business.
How do you effectively start your competitive analysis?
Here is 5 step to just starting the job.
#1 Identify your relevant competitors
Not all the exporter in this world is your competitor. Your competitors are, who presenting the same product or service that you are presenting to the buyer.
A competitor is someone who targets the same market with similar products of yours or a different market with the same products.
Let me clear this. There can be three types of export competitors who can compete with you.
- Very Closed Competitors: If your competitor offers the same product that you are offering to the same buyer within the same market where you are trading, consider closed competitors or direct competitors. This type of competition is very challenged and hard to won.
- Unclosed Competitor: If your competitor is offering the same product to the different buyers of the same marketing area considered unclosed competitor or indirect competitors. This is less competitive.
- If your competitor is offering a different type of product to same or different marketing are consider zero competitors.
Now the first two types of competitors are your competitor and you need to analyze their business intelligence data.
How do you do that?
#2 Gather their information from their online existence.
Once you have identified your main competitors, its time to start the job by gathering their data as much as possible.
Our next step to competitive analysis is to collect the data of your competitors…
- Products: Analyze their product by comparing it with your product if it matched the same quality with yours or found better than you. Are they trading with only quality products or an average quality product like you? From where they are sourcing their product.
- Pricing: How much they priced their product? Is it cheaper than you or the same pricing, or is it a little bit costly? Do they offer a discount on a huge quantity order? What is their purchasing cost and how much they make a profit averagely?
- Company Size and Brand: Are they just an export organization or a bigger brand or just an individual exporter. How many people operating their business?
- Reputation: Are they reputed company. What their customers saying about their service offered. Do they present different aspects to promote their products that attract customers?
#3 Go for deeper looking online
You might be doing all the research on Google. Most people do that to know about a company online.
But there are lots of information about your competitor that you cant just found on the google search result.
You need to dig into their website to check their SEO strategy, website design, Product description writing, etc, etc.
- Analyze their SEO structure: SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Are they ranking on google when your buyer searching the product online?
If you are unable to rank on google top ten results when a buyer searching for a product, you need to implement or improve your SEO for your export website.
For example your exporting green chilli and your buyer searchign for “export quality chilli” on google, google will rank those site who improved their seo in terms of green chilli.
You can see here above the screen shop that Indiamart and Agrocros are ranked to the top because this company did something to rank their product on the top search result. That’s SEO.
There are many tools to check your export competitors’ SEO level.
Ubersuggest is a free tool to check in which product your competitors are ranking on the top and what their SEO level.
You can see agreecromp.com are receiving 1643 trafic per month to their website and and they are ranking 878 keywords that are related to their products.
What’s your website SEO value? are you ranking in terms of your related product when your buyer searching it on google?
How many visitors you are getting per month on your website?
By doing this analysis you will be clear out what you need to do the next to compete with these competitors.
#4 Analyze their product descriptions and other content.
A product description is the most effective marketing copy that shows your buyer what your product is and why it is important to them.
When it comes to integrating a marketing strategy in your export business, you must spend some time to design and write a compelling product description on your webpages.
an eCommerce study found that 20% of purchases fail due to incomplete or unclear product descriptions.
Check your competitors website what they write their product description to gain customer attraction?
Do they design it just as traditional description or created some unique design to present their product.
Look at this example of http://sijaindia.com
They have just write simple rice informaton without any additonal informaing.
Now look at this example from Alibaba
This product descripton has more detail than the previous one.
So when you visiting their product pages, just check out how compelling they write their product description.
#5 Identify their marketing area
Our next step to analyze their marketing area where they are trading. If they are trading in a region where you are selling your product, that could be a challenge for your business.
Look deeply where they are not going to sale or not interested to trade.
If you identify the region where they have not reached with their products, it could be an opportunity for you to land your product in that region.
#6 Check their reviews
Can you identify their marketing place, their buyer, and their supplier? Or even the Export agent where they have a connection with?
Business feedback is very important because of its impact on how your next sale will run.
You can ask their buyer about how they are providing services and if the buyer is satisfied with their business relationship.
you can contact their supplier where they source their products. Try to know how much quantity they ordered in a month.
Contact an export agent to know more about your competitor and ask them if they are connected with your competitor. Try to know how they are performing with an agent.
You must check their reputation to know how satisfied their client and what they are providing to retain this satisfaction.
You need to analyze whether they are using their social platform as their business marketing option or just utilizing it as personal socializing.
Check their profile and pages what they are posting on their pages and how often they are posting
You need to check their follower, liker. How many do follower likers do they have? and what people are responding with their posts.
#6 Tap the social profile of competitors
A good number of export business firms use social media to engage with their buyers and promote their products.
Social media is a good place to engage with customers. and it will let you know how they are engaging and responding to their customers on social networks.
If you want to get more insight about your competitor, social networking sites are the place to check out.
Try visiting their social media profile and pages on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc where they are found.
Check if they are conducting any ads on social media.
To check social media ads on any page, just go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/library and type your competitor page/profile name. Facebook will show you how many ads they have conducted on facebook.
You can check how alibaba advertise on facebook and how many ad copy on facebook.
It will show you which product they are advertising on social media to reach the customer.
By checking your competitors ads on social midia will clearer you thinking about what they are doing on their marketing strategy to their advantage.
#7 check google PPC Ads.
As I cited earlier that you need to spend time on SEO of your website to rank on google top search results.
If it’s well with your competitor, they might use the power of Google PPC ads campaign to rank on the top.
Thanks to many web tools allow you to check whether your competitor is ushing any PPC ad campaign on Google or not.
Spyfu.com is one of the best tools to check out,
Notice they are spending $400k+ on 117,189 keywords per month from the last 13 years.
By checking your competitor’s ads on google gives you deep insight about how they are serious to reach to their customer.
#8 Attend trade fair and conferences
Industry conferences or trade fairs are where export companies go to show off their products. A trade show or conference is a place where exporter goes make new business connections.
If you are not capable to purchase a booth on their and If your competitor booked a stall on conference or trade fair, you can visit and see their presentation to learn their value propositions of what they are showing off to the buyer and whats not.
You can also found there pricing and product quality and mostly you can talk with there visitor what if they are interested or not to there products
Visiting on trade fair will teach you what others are doing and what’s not and learn what you can do it better.
A competitor analysis program is not a fun thing. It’s a win-win game.
In this strategy, you need to find out your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
You have to identify the area of what imrpovement do you need to compete with them
Most of this analysis you can do free or within a very low budget.
Identifying your competitor’s challenges and marketing gaps will help you to forward your business to the next level
Do you think researching export competitors will impact your business? Let me know in the comment.