Always stay close and keep a watch on what your competitors are up to. Innovative new products and services could just be the very thing that differentiates your business from your competitors.Remember this works both ways because your competition is not sleeping either.
Be your Competitor’s Customer
This may sound counter intuitive but it’s far from it. This is the best form of Competitive Analysis for use where your business is in direct competition and/or produces similar goods to your competition. It’s one of the simplest yet most informative methods to analyse your competition’s unique selling point. With the information you gather here, you’ll be able to judge how your business compares as well as the magnitude of the gap.
In the event that your business has no competition or is in a very small niche, why not flip this around and start exploring areas or businesses you may want to expand into.
Let’s delve into the type of information you should be after. Remember to always align and customise the following checklist to suit your particular business.
The Purchasing Experience
- How much did you pay including any discounts / offers?
- What options were available to purchase via (sales channels)?
- Speed of delivery (if applicable)
- What is the returns policy / money back guarantee?
- If purchased in person, how friendly were the personnel?
- How many variations (if any) were offered?
- How was the presentation/packaging? (if applicable)
- What technology was used/ does it use? (if applicable)
- What are the features and benefits?
- What was your experience in using / consuming the goods?
- What materials make up the goods? (reverse engineering where applicable)
- Are the goods fit for the intended purpose ?
Back Up Service
- How accessible are the Customer Services?
- How long does it take to get an issue resolved? (make up a small problem with the goods received)
- Is there a FAQ or Trouble shooting guide?
At the end of this exercise, list all the attributes and variables where your current offering/performance is below your competition. These become your opportunities for improvement .