An online competitive analysis provides a quick overview of the maturity of direct competitors’ online activities. Following the identification of relevant direct competitors as a first step, a comprehensive analysis is carried out based on the following seven categories.
- Sales channels: Analysing to what extent a competitor is currently represented on various online sales channels – online shop & affiliate network, online marketplaces, social commerce
- Target groups: Reviewing whether and how competitors align themselves with particular B2C and B2B target groups
- Pricing strategy: Analysing pricing strategy with regard to price transparency, recommendations (RRP vs. deals), etc.
- Digital visibility: Reviewing various digital visibility metrics including Sistrix, Alexa page rank, Google search volumes, number of backlinks, etc.
- E-commerce system: Reviewing the extent to which competitors use shop systems, content management systems and other active online tools
- Online maturity: Reviewing competitors’ offerings in regard to user experience (UX), interaction, brand and product presentation, mobile commerce, payment options etc.
- Online marketing activity: Analysing competitors with regards to content marketing, search engine marketing, remarketing, social media activities etc.
As is evident from the brief descriptions above, each of these categories is comprised of multiple criteria. Each of these criteria is assigned a value between 1 (worst) and 10 (best). In addition, the individual criteria within a category are weighted differently according to their degree of relevance. Once all criteria in all categories have been weighted, this results in an overall score that is ranked alongside the scores of competitors. As can as be seen from Figure 1, this enables us to obtain a transparent overview.
Figure 1: Example of an online competitor analysis
On the basis of this competitive analysis, areas of action can be ascertained, ranked in order of priority and ultimately shaped into concrete measures.
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Markus Fost, MBA, is an expert in e-commerce, online business models and digital transformation, with broad experience in the fields of strategy, organisation, corporate finance and operational restructuring.Learn more