Product management is crucial for any business. The market is full of competitive products which require targeted product differentiation in order to succeed. To achieve the best product decisions, we must make use of competitor data in order to understand how they are performing, what strategies they are following and what strategies we should be following.
It's true that you can use your own data to determine the effectiveness of your product decisions, but it's always better to take information from external sources such as industry experts and case studies. In fact, a recent survey discovered that 100% of leading retailers are using some sort of competitive data in pricing decisions. If you are able to collect this information in an organized manner, you will be able to make more accurate product decisions that are suitable for your company and customers.
Data collection can be a tedious process, especially if you don't have the right tools available for you to use. You can use certain tools on the market today which enable you to collect this information in a matter of minutes or even seconds. Popular tools to see what keywords your competitors rank for are SEMrush or ahrefs. Google Analytics is famous for tracking and reporting on website traffic and aids in e-commerce marketing. Luz, a new e-commerce tool, allows you to track popular products and their variants within your specific industry. These insights allow for more targeted project management processes, especially in the ideation stage.
Although data is impersonal, it's also an effective way to get unstuck when you're searching for new ideas. By analyzing your competitors' best-selling products and the pages on which they appear, you can spot opportunities that might have been hiding right under your nose.
Here are some tactics to help you incorporate competitor data into your product ideation process:
Look at their top sellers. What categories are they in? What keywords do they rank for? Which ones might you be able to improve upon?
How are they advertising? What ad copy is working for them? What ad copy isn't working? Could you possibly create a new product or variation of an existing product with a better headline or image?
What content is converting for them? Which blog posts, videos, infographics and other content are bringing in new sales? How could this content be used to promote your product and improve sales?
Where does the competition rank for their most important keywords (product titles)? Consider how you could adapt their SEO strategy to work for your product. This can also help you learn more about what works in terms of keyword phrases and topic clusters.
What are their best selling products? What variations of their products are best-selling? How much of each product are they selling?
Do you have a product page with no sales? Maybe your shop is doing well, but you want to grow faster. Maybe you've been in the same niche for months and want to try something new.
My guess is that you've tried many things with no results. You might have even tried your competitors' products and failed. After all, if they can't sell these products, why would yours?
This is the main reason why so many sellers rely exclusively on their own products, or worse, on their own intuition. They are convinced that only they understand their market and, therefore, only they can sell it.
There are two problems with this strategy: one big and one small. The big problem is that it's wrong. Your competitors are selling the same market as you are – often better than you do. So if you want to win this game, you need to learn from the best and their data is a great place to start.
The small problem is in actually getting hold of the data because competition isn't sharing it with you – although some will give it away for free if you ask nicely! The rest keep it tightly under lock and key and guard it as though it were their secret recipe for success (which in many cases, it is).
Using the public domain, Luz has found a way to gather and cleanly present your competitors data to transfer into actionable insights. Oftentimes, you may see heavy advertising for your competitor’s products that aren’t selling well. You may think a certain variant of your competitor’s product is doing well because it's selling out. However, that may not always be the case. The product could have had limited quantity to begin with, doesn’t move well at all, and actually doesn’t match consumer preferences. Seeing the data behind what your competitors are doing can help you learn from their mistakes.