Credit card frauds, phishing scams, and frauds by customers are challenges that online stores can overcome by deploying secure coding practices and a robust seller-buyer management program. The biggest challenge e-commerce players face today is innovation. Innovating the next best thing or a feature that improves customer experience by a notch is undoubtedly the biggest challenge.
Also, customers gauge on-site experience by comparing one platform with the other hence spying on your contemporary becomes an important part of CX innovation. With competitive intelligence, e-commerce executives can read into the next big change popular e-commerce platforms are coming up with.
What is Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive intelligence is about gathering information like pricing, structure, and process flow chart through legitimate and ethical research. Often carried out on a prime competitor, such researches are ethical and cannot be labeled as a breach.
Agents who conduct these researches rely heavily on annual reports, monthly decks, and balance sheets published by organizations or third-party audit agencies. By reading into these prestigious documents, enterprises can develop an understanding of methodologies followed by their competitors to achieve specified goals.
Competitive intelligence is different from espionage and illicit hacking because it never breaks into a system; it is more of research that is customized to suit the industry and its varied nuances.
Why Studying your Competition is Important?
- 64% of customers compare products online before making a purchase
- Price is secondary but early delivery and easy returns are primary influencers
- Customers are betting their money on players who are innovative
- 80 out of 100 people are willing to go with a business that is continuously introducing them to new products, services, and experiences
- E-commerce players that offer multi-payment option and pickup facility are likely to win
Information sources for online and other searches include:
- Company websites for insights into target audiences or shifts in strategy, product pricing, and product benefits, and so on.
- Company press releases for a new product, staff, or expansion news.
- Social media postings, particularly if the company begins sharing information related to a product or service that hasn’t yet been introduced.
- Company information aggregators such as Dun & Bradstreet or Hoover’s Online.
- It’s also possible to gather relevant competitive information by talking to people inside and outside the company.
Example of Competitive Intelligence from Other Industries
Competitive intelligence is not a new practice; varied industries have been relying on it for ages to develop an edge over their competitors. While such practices offer incomparable benefits in terms of cost-cutting and saving manpower, it often backfires because enterprises blatantly copy campaigns that worked for their competitors.
Irrespective of all the challenges, competitive intelligence continues to be one of the most exciting tools in the arsenal of digital businesses. Here’s how popular industries have been using it
Example 1: Airline Tickets
Airlines have leveraged competitor intelligence to identify the right pricing for a ticket and then convincing customers to buy from them. Such effective use of research and competitor studies tells us how pricing continues to be an important