3 best practices for optimizing your ecommerce strategy with competitive intelligenc


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3 best practices for optimizing your ecommerce strategy with competitive intelligenc

  1. 1. 3 Best Practices for OptimizingYour Ecommerce Strategy with Competitive Intelligence What you will gain from this report Electronic commerce (ecommerce) is a rapidly growing business as an ever-increasing number of digitally savvy consumers spend more of their time and money online. This report will demonstrate how you can leverage competitive intelligence to launch or improve your ecommerce strategy. Learn how to identify your prospects when and where they are most likely to buy, anticipate holes in your sales funnel to recover lost conversions, and effectively benchmark your performance against that of your competitors to improve your online marketing ROI.
  2. 2. 11 Is Ecommerce Right forYou? Before you can adopt or improve ecommerce for your business, you should have a solid understanding of what electronic commerce actually is and whether or not it’s an arena you should be exploring. An easy—oversimplified—way to think about ecommerce is as an online storefront where shoppers can buy whatever you’re selling online without any personal interaction. Ecommerce is often the best strategy for established businesses to grow and scale to a larger market. By reducing the amount of personal interaction you must have with your prospective customers during the sales process a business can become more efficient and better focus its marketing efforts. Lastly, you need to consider your industry standards. Are your competitors and similar companies leveraging an ecommerce platform? If you’re not sure, you can use Compete PRO’s Related Sites feature in combination with your local analytics’ referral traffic report to determine where your prospective customers might be cross- shopping and establish your full competitive set.
  3. 3. 222 Figure 1: Compete PRO Traffic Dashboard Step 1:FindYour Potential Customers WhenThey’re in Buying Mode By identifying when your customers are most likely to buy, you can better understand consumer behavior as a whole and make more informed decisions about your online marketing as it relates to ecommerce. Because new and returning customers will be buying from you directly, online, you should focus your marketing efforts on websites they’re visiting throughout their paths-to- purchase. Since you’ve already identified which of your competitors are using ecommerce to sell their products and which aren’t, you’ll now need to analyze from where those competitors are receiving their traffic. Using Compete PRO’s Incoming Sites feature, you can get a good feel for types of sites your potential customers are visiting before they buy. This knowledge is invaluable as you plan your content and advertising strategies and research deeper into reasons why your competitors are getting traffic from the sites they do.
  4. 4. 33 As you’re conducting your investigation, make note of any specific trends in the types of sites that are driving traffic to your competitors. Once you’ve gathered a list of top traffic sources, you’ll need to understand why those sites are sending traffic. Explore the sites on your list and think about them in terms of your competition – look for advertisements, affiliate links, partnerships, etc. If, for example, ecommerce businesses in your industry primarily sell products that they don’t directly manufacture or create, take a look at shopping behavior. Are potential customers visiting product pages on the manufacturers’ sites before visiting you or your competitors? If so, this could be a sign that you and/or your competitors aren’t providing enough product information, or that consumers are searching for manufacturer coupons. Additionally, looking for coupon or bargain sites in incoming traffic reports is a good way to identify potential partnerships or other opportunities that aren’t yet being thoroughly leveraged by your competitors.
  5. 5. Figure 4: Compete PRO Outgoing Traffic Feature 44 Step 2:Anticipate Holes inYour Sales Funnel to Capture Lost Conversions 4 Now that you have a better understanding of where your customers are going when in buying mode, you can look at trends in outgoing traffic to find out which websites you and other players in your industry are losing traffic to. For example, if most of your industry’s lost traffic is going to the largest player in the market, it’s important to understand why that is. Do they have a better price point? Is their site easier to navigate? Maybe they have a better ratings system or product reviews. Because you know that these customers visited your website or others before the largest player’s, you can infer that the reason for their success is more than just their brand. They’re doing something better. Find out what that “something” is and do it even better.
  6. 6. 5 When looking specifically at lost traffic from yours or your competitors’ ecommerce sites to other sites in your industry, you’ll want to understand, in detail, why the traffic is being lost. Are shoppers looking for a brick and mortar option? Are they leaving because they can’t find what they’re looking for? Is another checkout process more effective? Why? These are the questions you’ll need to ask yourself as you step outside of your competitive intelligence tool and into your off-site research. Just as in the previous step, it’s also important to look at relevant sites that don’t offer an ecommerce option. Looking at outgoing traffic reports for the non-ecommerce sites can help you validate your own decision to join the ecommerce space. How much of their traffic is lost to competitors that do have ecommerce options? Step 3:BenchmarkAgainstYour Competitors Now that you’ve done your research and investigated your competitors’ ecommerce strategies, you’ll need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry. By regularly benchmarking yourself against your competitors using competitive intelligence data, you can easily identify traffic that you’re losing to your competitors and keep your program optimized over time. As with any business strategy or marketing campaign, your ecommerce platform needs constant improvement to compete. Again, you can monitor this data with the Outgoing Traffic feature in Compete PRO. The most efficient way to keep tabs on your outgoing traffic as well as your competitors’ is to use the Saved Groups or Custom Category features in Compete PRO. Creating a group of the sites in your competitive set allows you to easily compare the referral traffic metrics that you care about and track them over time. Additionally, you can opt to receive monthly email alerts highlighting changes in the data for the sites in your Saved Groups. Regularly monitoring your competitors can be made even easier with custom-built monthly dashboards, showcasing how you can capitalize on the weaknesses of your competitors. Once you’ve got your outgoing traffic baseline established from current metrics, it will be easier for you to follow yours and your competitors’ progress and find possible improvements on your end that can give you a competitive edge.
  7. 7. 6 About Compete Compete, a Kantar Media company, helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Leading advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Compete’s products and services to create engaging online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Compete’s online panel—the largest in the industry—makes the web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’s lives. Compete PRO, Compete’s syndicated offering, is the only online competitive intelligence service that combines site, search and referral analytics in a single product and user interface to help you outperform the competition and increase online marketing ROI. For more information please contact pro@compete.com or 866-633-8390. Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn Subscribe to us on YouTube