Know your enemy - it sounds simple but it's easier said than done. For some, this phrase comes with negative implications, but in the world of e-commerce, knowing your competition is critical to success. Competition can be combated more easily when you know what they're doing and how to do it better.
Investing time in understanding the competition will not only allow you to provide more value to your customer base, but will also equip you with knowledge of how to compete against them on all levels. Consider which battles are worth fighting and winning, learn how they make money, study their campaigns, become aware of their weaknesses, note what they do well, and analyse their pricing structure.
Knowing your enemy is an essential step to success and will keep you one step ahead of the game at all times, with important insights that can be invaluable in helping you push on towards ultimate victory.
This isn't to say you should spend all of your time attempting to anticipate your competitors' next move. There is a fine line between knowing your enemy and laying strong brand foundations. Though knowing the competitive tendencies of the industry is important, building strong brand foundations should be your top priority when running a business.
In order to do this, your brand needs to stand against something.
What is your brand's purpose, its reason for existing? What difference do you want to make in your customers' lives?
Take Tesla, Apple, and Brewdog for example. They all stand for something different than their competitors. Tesla stands against high-polluting vehicles, Apple stands against boring stuffy tech, and Brewdog stands against poor quality, boring beer.
It’s not good enough to just create a product that you know is better than the competition. Your customers are smart, they won't fall for it if your products aren't different in ways that matter to them or feel more substantial somehow.
Your brand's mission should be a call to action, a counterattack on something you stand against. This is how you earn the loyalty of your customers. This is how you turn them into evangelical fans of your brand.
How can you make sure your real advantage goes beyond what competitors offer?
How do you get your brand into their hearts?
How do you get to a place where they proclaim you as the one brand that truly understands them and cares about what matters most in their lives?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself.
If you're starting your own e-commerce business, you should consider how the competition will affect the market. It can be useful in determining what might work for your business and what might not. But, at the end of the day, make sure you're concentrating on what will set your company apart from the rest.
I hope this blog post has provided you with some useful tips to help your e-commerce business thrive in today's digital marketing landscape.