5 Must-follow Steps to Run An eCommerce Competitor Analysis

If you run an eCommerce business, running a solid competitor analysis will help you better understand your competition and what they are trying to achieve. It will put you in the right position to make better and more informed decisions to nail your pricing strategies and marketing campaigns.

Due to the fast-changing nature of online retail operations and marketing communications, for eCommerce businesses, it is crucial to gather competitor information and be flexible to react in time to the market changes.

In this post, we are highlighting some simple steps that will help all eCommerce businesses, big and small, run successful competitor analysis periodically and without breaking the bank.

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8 Best Free Tools to Monitor Website Changes

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Step 1. Identify your main competitors

It may sound obvious to business owners, but identifying competitors is essential to get the eCommerce competitor analysis right. Your competitor is not just the one who sells the same products as you do.

When running a 100% online business, you need to start thinking more broadly about your competition. So how can you find your eCommerce competitors? Start by asking yourself, or your team, the following questions:

Who addresses the same pain point, even with a different product solution?

It would be best if you had a good understanding of why your customers are buying from you. For instance, if your products are sold as gifts for men, you need to start seeing your competitors as other eCommerce sites where products are purchased with this intent.

Who’s targeting the same geographical market?

If you are shifting your products internationally, you will need to keep an eye on competitors on a global scale. But if you focus on particular countries, narrow your search to other sellers covering the same geographical area.

Who else is ranking in the search results for your target keywords? 

You will find that other eCommerce and direct competitors are ranking, but you might also come across resellers or more prominent marketplaces. So you will need to define who are those competitors getting the organic visibility you want for your business.

What products are ranking on Google Shopping & other shopping engines?

When customers are looking for a product, they don’t limit their search to Google. Consider if your potential customers may also be looking on Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, Yahoo Shopping, Wanelo, Shopzilla or Etsy.

Identify your competitors on all relevant platforms.

Step 2. Narrow down the list

At this point, you may have realized that you have more competitors than you thought, but that’s OK. Now it’s time to prioritize and reduce it to a more manageable list to continue with your eCommerce competitor analysis. But what’s the best way of narrowing down this list? 

You may want to keep three direct competitors. They are the ones selling the same products to the same demographic and geographical buyers. And two or three indirect competitors. These are the ones that have a slightly different offer or serve other locations but target the same buyer persona.

You can use the insights you obtain from them as a source of inspiration to stand out with your offers and marketing strategies.

Step 3. Automate the data collection process

Automating the process of gathering information for your eCommerce competitor analysis will save you and your team an enormous amount of time and money in the long term.

Another important benefit of automating this process is that you will be able to monitor your competitors’ moves and keep evidence of before and after scenarios.

8 Best Free Tools to Monitor Website Changes

8 Best Free Tools to Monitor Website Changes

Website monitoring tools alert you of changes on a given web page according to your configured settings. Here... Read more

A website change detection tool like Visualping can help you track changes on your competitors’ websites and social media channels. You can use this competitive intelligence tool to monitor changes in their pricing or marketing communications, new product releases, announcements of new funding rounds, new hires, or job openings.

All these insights will give you a better understanding of their next moves and put you in a better position to react.

Step 4. Analyze your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses

As an eCommerce business, you will need to gather the following information about your competition:

  1. What is their Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and how do they communicate it? Search for this information on their homepage.
  2. Do they make any changes to their pricing strategy? Keep an eye on their product pages. But also on their shipping costs and any others fees that may affect the final retail price.
  3. How do their products compare to yours? Check if they offer exactly the same items or provide added value to their customers.
  4. How are they positioning themselves in the market? Pay special attention to their branding elements, image, and identity.
  5. What do their customers’ reviews say about them? Their online reputation will also be valuable information.

Once you have all this info, you will be able to create a matrix based on strengths and weaknesses and look for gaps in the market to better position your eCommerce business.

Step 5. Keep an eye on their communications

Monitoring your competitors’ social media presence will be of special importance to understand how they interact through the different social media channels, and to be the first one to know when they run a promotion.

For social media listening, Sproutsocial is a very useful tool. This social management solution offers competitor reports to give you deeper insight into what works for your industry, what resonates with your audience and where you need to adjust your strategy to stand out from the crowd.


You will also need to stay on top of their organic and paid rankings on Google search. This is Wespecially important for those competitors who are ranking for those keywords you want to rank for, but also to get new ideas of other keywords your target audience is searching for.

If you plan to run ads on Google to improve your search visibility, keep an eye on the keywords your competition is bidding for and get an idea of the cost per click for each market you want to target.

A great tool to automate this part of the process is Spyfu. You can use this online service to dive into your competition’s SEO and PPC strategy. This research tool will help you determine the keywords your competitors are ranking for organically and bidding for on Google Ads.


eCommerce competitor analysis is an ongoing process, so it is essential to integrate these five steps into your monthly teamwork routine. In this sense, automating the procedures of gathering information will free up time for you and your team to focus on regularly reviewing the data and reacting to the market changes to stay ahead of the competition.

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