Ecommerce Marketing: How to Spy on Your Competitors

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( — June 24, 2020) — Why conduct market research from scratch and spend loads of money, when you can learn from your competitors?

Competition isn’t always a bad thing.

Since your competitors are pursuing the same demographics as you, that means their market research and marketing strategies are relevant to your business dynamics, as well.

That’s why it makes sense to spy on your competitors, learn from them, and build upon what they’re doing, instead of doing your research and developing your strategies from scratch.

In this guide, we cover several strategies to spy on your competitors, so you get better results out of your ecommerce marketing campaigns.

1. Study their traffic source

Study their traffic source to learn which channels they’re investing their marketing resources on.

If most of their web visitors are referral traffic from other sites, learn which sites specifically are referring loads of traffic to them.

If their traffic comes from social media platforms, then learn which specific social media platform is sending them the most traffic.

Obtaining these details about your competitors is a lot easier than you would think.

By using free online tools, such as Similarweb, uncover your competitors’ traffic source.

After typing in your competitor’s website into their search box, click search, and the tool will come up with heaps of information about your competitor. (As an example, I used

It will reveal their traffic sources.

Which social media sites bring them the most traffic.

And their top referring sites (among other details).

Analyze your competitors using business intelligence solutions to save time and resources on your market research and your marketing spend.

Avoid making needless, costly mistakes by learning from your competitors.

2. Subscribe to their newsletters

Visit your competitors’ sites then subscribe to their email list.

That way, you’ll know the products they sell to their audience, their special offers, and the general direction of the content they create and share with their target audience.

Imagine this.

If you subscribed to ten of your competitors’ newsletters and you see nine of them sharing tips (on the same week) on how to start a keto diet — when they could have covered other forms of diet — then it should prompt you that something’s up.

There could be a new trend or a recent finding of the keto diet that you aren’t aware of, but your competitors learned.

Just by subscribing to their newsletters, you obtain invaluable information about what’s a hot topic to talk about or the best angle to use when promoting your products.

You can also take things a step further by replying to their emails and asking about their products or discount offers.

Ask about where their products are sourced, if you can get free shipping, or if they have upsells, etc.

The more information you can obtain, the more strategies you can absorb and integrate into your ecommerce marketing strategies.

3. Analyze their customer testimonial page.

Go through your competitors’ testimonial pages to read their customers’ positive feedback.

Since you pretty much share the same customer base with your competitors, it’s safe to say that your competitors’ customers’ preferences are pretty much the same as yours. (They’re the same group of people, after all.)

If their customer testimonials are all about exemplary customer support, then take the hint and provide top-notch customer support, as well.

There is a reason why they highlighted customer support out of quality, affordability, fast delivery, etc.

You might not be able to uncover why they’re so keen on customer support, but you have evidence that it’s important to them so, be sure to get that covered.

On top of your competitors’ testimonial pages, check out their social media pages, website review sites, etc. Look for patterns or commonalities about what your competitors’ customers are saying about them.

Use the information to create better ecommerce marketing strategies.

4. Gather and learn from their ad creatives’s ad search tool pulls together and reveals your competitors’ ad creatives (from varying channels) into one place.

This makes the process of discovering and gathering your competitors’ ad creatives a cakewalk.

I entered to Moat’s search box, and it came up with these results.

Pretty awesome, isn’t it?
With Moat, you get instant visibility to your competitors’ ad creatives, instead of spending hours scouring the web to obtain the information.

By studying their ad creatives and learning how much they’re pricing their products, you can even develop a pricing strategy that your audience will love.

Now that you have all of your competitors’ ad creatives in front of you, it’s time to dissect the ads, look for patterns, etc.

Pay very close attention to these elements:

  • The words they’re using
  • The issues they’re trying to solve
  • The product/service they’re offering
  • The special promotions they’re sharing
  • etc.

If several of your competitors are focusing on solving a specific problem, then you need to give their angle a closer look.

For example, if they’re all highlighting customer convenience, then perhaps they studied the market and learned that this time around, convenience is more important to your audience than affordability or fast turn-around-time, etc.

These are crucial bits of information to help you relate better with your audience.

BY learning they’re burning issues, you can create marketing materials that highly resonate with your audience, allowing you to build a deeper and more meaningful relationship with them.

Bonus tip

Be picky about which competitor to spy and learn from.

Not all of your competitors know what they’re doing.

Some don’t bother to conduct research. They just throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.

While others invest thousands of dollars in running surveys, interviewing people, etc., to have a clearer and more accurate understanding of their audience.

Learn from the latter.

If you aren’t careful with who you learn from, you might adapt faulty ecommerce marketing strategies and burn through your marketing budget without getting anything meaningful in return.

What’s next?

Take your ecommerce marketing strategies to the next level by spying on your competitors.

When you learn from your competitors, not only can you avoid making needless — let alone costly —  mistakes, but you can skyrocket your sales and fast-track the growth of your ecommerce business.