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If you have big aspirations for your online store, you need to plan ecommerce marketing strategy ahead of time. According to the Ecommerce Report by Statista, “there will be an estimated 1.92 billion digital buyers worldwide in 2019 and is expected to reach a massive 2.14 billion people in 2021.” This huge number foretells a landscape that is so competitive that brands should be extremely prepared before trying to race on. Having a planned strategy will help implement different marketing tactics to help you win.
Start your ecommerce marketing strategy with market research
Market research is a crucial component when you are launching a product, trying to improve an existing service or when you are hoping to stay ahead of your competitors. It is one of the best sources of information that will help you make better business decisions.
It will help understand your customers
Market research is a crucial part of ecommerce marketing strategy since it answers questions like, who are the ideal customers? Who will buy the product? How often will they buy? What are the solutions that your customers need? What do they want or expect?
Collecting more answers to these questions means better understanding of where your customers are coming from. This research should directly meet the customer’s needs better than that of the competition.
It is also through market research that you will be able to map out the entire profile of your ideal customer. Knowing your customers will help determine the market size and what triggers them to buy. Brands can gain valuable insights on customer’s location, age, gender and income, which are all helpful in building a tailored marketing and pricing campaign.
Gain knowledge about your competitors
Keeping an eye on your competitor is more important than it seems especially when looking for the best ecommerce marketing strategy. It enables your brand to anticipate your competitor’s move, it is also the best way to be ready for what’s ahead and stay on top of your market at all times.
However, studying your competition goes far beyond spying on them. Brands must have a prepared strategy, from where you can get conclusions and update your views about the niche. Market research will help assess the market and identify key players and those that are on the rise. It also helps to find competitor weaknesses, so that you will be able to avoid the same approach.
Analysing the competition is no rocket science, but brands can start by identifying the points that you should be ready to cover. Though it may change depending on the business type there are some basics that you must not neglect:
- Who are the customers they are targeting?
- Competitor’s market share.
- Elements of their website such as page load time, cross-browser compatibility, CTA’s characteristics, etc.
- The key differentiators of their product.
- Their approach towards order fulfillment for example shipping.
- Social Media approach.
- Key factors of their marketing message.
- The type of content they are marketing.
There are a ton of competitive analysis tools out there to enable you to efficiently evaluate how you stack up against your fiercest competitors. Using the right tools, you’ll be able to spend less effort trying to find out more about competitors and more time doing actual marketing.
This tool is an Instagram engagement calculator. It provides data on how active any given account’s followers are. It is one of the best tools to use if you want to know your competitor’s Instagram activities.
This is an excellent tool if you want to monitor bigger brands. It evaluates follower counts on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
This tool is one of the most popular SEO software in the market. One of its best features is its competitor analysis tool. For example, SEMRush can put together your competitor’s backlinks and monitor changes in their ranking.
This is a tool that enables you to monitor the top-performing content of your competitors. The tool efficiently puts data on the engagement of relevant content on social sites and its total shares across the web. Additionally, it also provides clues on who is winning in the industry when it comes to relevant content topics. This will help you plan out your content strategy and allow you to explore hot topics yourself.
This tool is the best competitor research tool that allows you to review every place where brand rivals have appeared on search engines. It also shows all the keywords that a competitor has bought on Adwords, their ranking and ad variations. SpyFu accelerates your PPC advertising by giving you information on what tactics to copy and what to avoid. For example, it enables you to compare overall data of both organic and paid search terms so you can plan out the most profitable keywords to work on.
This is a competitive analysis software that allows you to capture, store and analyse any emails sent from a website. This means you can monitor your competitor’s email and understand what is working or not working for them.
Similarweb is one of the most comprehensive competitive analysis tools on the internet. The tool helps brands benchmark versus their competition, reveal the competitor’s analytics, monitor the industry and reveal the online strategy of your rivals. Similarweb also helps identify emerging trends and can help explain consumer intent and journey. By collecting raw data and organizing it, you will be able to see all the statistics that you need to make sense of all in competitor information.
This is an all-in-one SEO software that can analyse your website, as well as, that of the competitors. Some of the features included are:
- Keyword research – analyse and compare keywords, find semantic variations and identify long-tail keywords
- Competitor research – position your business alongside the competition
- Market intelligence – monitor industry frontrunners so that you can advance your SEO and PPC efforts
- Search analytics – track domain and keyword rankings, check which posts produce the most traffic
- Backlink analysis – track competitors’ backlinks, score referring domains
- Content marketing ideation – compare your content to target your industry better
How to do competitive research
Doing a competitive analysis might sound scary, but in most cases, you won’t need entire marketing to get you complete data.
Identify your top competitors
Once the goals for your competitive research is set, the initial obstacle you will be facing is to identify your competitors. Your competitors may come in many forms, but all of them will fall under one of two categories:
- Direct competitors – These are your rivals that are directly competing with you for the same customers.
- Indirect competitors – These are other brands that offer similar products but don’t directly target the same customers. For example, they might be from a different town (for local businesses) or another country, they may be targeting different types of customers (different age groups, higher or lower income, etc.), or they may even come from different sectors.
To identify your competitors, you can start by looking at the existing competitors, run a Google search, or use tools like SpyFu to find out who is using similar keywords.
Analyse your competitors
Once you have identified your competitors, it’s time to analyse them.
- Examine their website – Consider the overall design of the competition’s website, CTA’s, homepage, landing pages, social sharing buttons, imagery, etc.
- Website load time – After the visual check, make sure to verify other aspects like website load time, is the website optimised for use in various devices and are they using any plugins?
Identify traffic sources
One of the most essential parts of your competitive research is learning about your rival’s traffic sources. This ecommerce marketing strategy will acquaint you with your competitor’s visitors. As a result, you can copy their success. You can reverse-engineer their tactics by looking at:
- Where their traffic comes from – this will enable you to tailor your content so that it resonates and engages with your potential customer. This will also help you uncover the most effective sources of traffic and can help you plan where you should invest the most.
- Devices their customers are using – this will help you optimise your site to also work on these devices.
Review competitor content
Content is the core of any website and one of the most important aspects of any digital marketing. It is what will rank you on search engines and will help your customers find your products online. Analysing the competitor’s content will help you explore various opportunities to outperform them.
Some of the most important factors to research:
- Does their website have a blog page?
- What type of content they publish are they using text, videos, infographics, podcasts, ebooks, slides, webinars, case studies, etc?
- Review the quality of their content, as well as, the frequency of their posts
- What are the topics that they cover?
The best ecommerce marketing strategy involves creating useful plans with the help of the right tools and software. Doing market research and learning about your competitors is a good start in creating a foolproof plan that you can apply across your marketing efforts.