POV:

You are about to launch your new site, you are excited about your idea, about your project, you think that one day you might even receive recognition for what you are going to propose on the market. You have already read all our articles, but you still have little doubts and something scares you a little?!


Will people understand my idea? Will they buy my product? Did I choose the right price?

You can solve all these uncertainties and understand if your idea is really good even before you invest time, resources and money to make it happen.

Yes, you read it right, you can! However, this is not an activity that can be done in those two hours between one activity and the other. It requires a good amount of time, curiosity, some tools and a good knowledge and awareness of what you want to enter the market.

First of all, what are we talking about?


It takes the name of Analysis of competitors and is a market survey that allows you to study your competition, presenting a clear picture of competitors (in terms of brands and products), their strengths and weaknesses and their sales and marketing techniques.

Once you have studied the competitors, it will be easier to do better than them and understand if your product responds to the needs that at the moment remain discovered on the market. Unlike, you may also understand that the market you are proposing is saturated and launching yet another such proposal would be a low-profit investment.

How do you


The analysis of the competitors includes only three key points (which in turn, however, contain an infinity of subpoints!).

The process involves:

  1. the identification of competitors
  2. data collection
  3. the analysis of previous informations.

1.  Identification of competitors

Who can we define as our competitors?

Sounds like an easy question. The reality is different, however, not only must we consider our competitors the companies that offer our same product or service, but also all those who through their activity meet the same need. So it’s not just the direct ones, but a large part of them are indirect.

For example, if you decide to sell online your competitors could be small and medium-sized businesses, local, but also national or international. Don’t forget to take a look at the big marketplaces as well. It means that, if you sell clothing, you will also have to consider companies like Zalando because it will always appear before you in research thanks to very high advertising investment budgets.

2. data collection 

Having identified the competitors we need to understand what their competitive advantage is. We must therefore find out what “keeps” the business of our competitors and above all… if we can do better! Our advice to you? Put everything on yourself! Try to keep in mind at this stage what your added value could be

WHAT DATA TO LOOK FOR
Data collection involves information that is easier to find, but also some that may require different comparisons and hard work. You could proceed by following this to-do-list:

Product information

  • What product/service do they sell?
  • What are its main features?
  • What are its features? Why would a client choose that?
  • At what price is it sold?

Distribution channels

  • What distribution and sales channels are active? (online, offline, third-party sites)
  • Is it a B2B or B2C business? Do they rely on industry retailers?
  • Do they have physical stores? If you where?
  • Do they have partners?

Company information

  • What is their sales strategy?
  •  Do they have other brands/businesses?
  •  What is their turnover?
  •  Are they growing?

MARKETING STRATEGY

Okay, now it’s about understanding how they communicate and promote these concepts. Proceed by points and mark everything you observe in detail!

General information

  • Do they carry out offline promotion activities? If so, which one?
  • What is the tone of voice on the different channels?
  • Are the images original or from given banks?
  • What do their reviews say?

Website

  • Do they often do discounts or promotions in their shop?
  • They have a blog and what kind of content do they post?
  • Do they offer case studies/achievements/testimonials?
  • Do they publish videos/podcasts/tutorials/e-books/guides/webinars? On what topics?
  • How is their website structured?

Social

  • Are they active on social media? On what channels? What do they communicate? How often is that?
  • Do they make Adv for a fee? On what platforms and with what objectives?
  • How many interactions do they have from their followers?

If you have done all the research carefully, you should also have a very important data for each competitor: Why do some users within the funnel then choose to buy from a competitor? Why don’t other customers who have bought then become regular customers?

3. analysis of the information collected

There are several ways to put together and interpret the collected data. The most famous and perhaps simple to use tool is the Swot analysis.All collected information must be entered within a matrix and divided between:

  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • opportunità
  • threats

For the first two you must take into account the merits and defects of the company and the product in question; for the third and fourth go to see the strategies that the competitor is applying on the market in which it is inserted.

The strengths and weaknesses are certainly clear from the data collected about the competitors, but it is not said that it is the same for threats and opportunities.

To help you get a clearer market picture, we recommend that you perform a PESTEL analysis. It consists in studying all the external factors that can be impacting on the company.

PESTEL is the English acronym of six factors subject to analysis with this tool:

Political

Economic

Social

Technological

Environmental

Legal

You thought this was over?

You could certainly stop at this point, but we recommend that you take one more step to look at possible opportunities and threats in the long run.

The Porter Model explains that the rivalry within a market is not only given by the various competitors that populate it, but also by four other forces, which contribute to increasing it: new competitors, the power of suppliers, the power of buyers, the threat of replacement products. It’s good to also go and rattle off all the characteristics of the other four forces and be prepared for every opportunity or threat that the future holds for us.

Useful tools and websites


Abbiamo parlato di moltissimi dati da reperire e ricerche da fare sui vari competitors. Se ti abbiamo spaventato con questa grande quantità di informazioni ci facciamo perdonare svelandoti tutti i nostri segreti. Di seguito troverai una lista di tool e siti web da consultare per trovare tutto ciò di cui hai bisogno.We talked about a lot of data to find and research to do on the various competitors. If we scared you with this vast amount of information, we’ll make it up to you by revealing all our secrets.

Below you will find a list of tools and websites to browse to find everything you need.

Sites to do market research:

  • Istat
  • Cerved
  • Ice
  • Nielsen
  • Databank
  • Datamonitor
  • Reuters
  • Cia
  • Nationalmaster
  • Colweb
  • Comtrade
  • Unioncamere
  • Fao
  • Globaledge
  • Imf
  • Worldbank
  • Eiu
  • Wto
  • Worldchambers

It can also be useful to know what people are looking for the most online and what are the current trends. For this there are:

  • Feedly
  • Google Trends
  • Answerthepublic

To monitor competitors’ SEO activities:

  • SimilarWeb
  • Buzzsumo
  • Mention
  • Seo Zoom
  • ScreamingFrog

To find ADV activities on Facebook:

  • Facebook Library Ads (article link)
  • Facebook Audience Insight
  • Ninjalitic

To see email marketing activities:

  • Mailcharts

As you will have understood, the analysis of competition is a rather articulated activity that deserves to be done without haste and scrupulously to give tangible results.

It provides important qualitative and quantitative information to consider when making business decisions.

The analysis of competition must not be taken lightly, because it can identify new market niches and anticipate market changes.