Ecommerce Industry: Top 9 Ways to Outsmart Competition

The eCommerce industry is becoming increasingly competitive, with new brands emerging left, right, and center.

To stay ahead of the game, you need to be employing brand strategy, marketing, and sales tactics that are as unique as your offering.

Before you know it, you’ll be hitting the peak of product sales and managing to outsmart the competition.

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1. Identify your target audience

Even before you start developing your ecommerce store, you need to have a clear idea of who you’re aiming at. Start by defining your target audience: who are you selling your product or service to?

You can use a number of online tools to help you pinpoint your ideal customer, such as Google Analytics and demographic analysis tools like SurveyMonkey. By identifying your target audience, you’ll have a clear idea of what marketing messages to convey to them.

2. Develop a clear picture of your competition

Make a list of your top 10 competitors. You don’t need to limit yourself to just these 10 brands: get as many top-tier competitors as you can. Having a clear picture of your competition will help you stay ahead of the game.

The reason behind this is simple: the more competitors you have, the more opportunity you have to outsmart them. By doing so, you’ll be able to secure a greater share of the market.

There are a number of strategies that you can use to develop a clear picture of your competition. One of the simplest and yet most effective is to use Google Trends.

This tool will pull relevant data from social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus to give you a clear picture of the competition. You can use this tool to follow the competition, gauge their popularity, and even identify the topics that they’re most passionate about.

3. Learn from the best

The entire purpose of this article is to help you outsmart the competition, so let’s stop beating around the bush and get to the point.

There’s no better place to learn than from the best. This is where you come in: pick the brains of those who are significantly more experienced than you. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to outsmart the competition.

The best thing about this strategy is that you’re not bound to one mentor: you can pick the brains of a variety of experts, even if they’re from different industries.

The key takeaway from this is to always be learning.

Never stop researching and developing your knowledge base.

By understanding your target audience’s needs and wants, you’ll be able to develop products and services that they’re more likely to want. Additionally, by focusing on a few key areas, you can significantly increase the odds of making your eCommerce store a success.

4. Understand consumer behavior in eCommerce Industry

As a business owner, marketer, or brand manager, you’ll undoubtedly be involved in marketing research. Conducting research to better understand your target audience is an essential part of the process.

However, you should not limit yourself to simply answering questions: you should be asking them!

To do this, you’ll need to get creative.

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms For eCommerce Industry
Survey Monkey

Here’s where your favorite tool, SurveyMonkey, comes in handy. You can create a survey and get specific questions about your target audience’s needs, wants, and feelings. A good survey will enable you to gain important insights, without appearing too sales-y.

Where Do Groceries Fit Into Ecommerce?

Additionally, using a tool like SurveyMonkey can help you identify key performance indicators (KPIs). These are numerical values that you can use to determine the success of your marketing efforts. For example, the average time that individuals spend on a product/service page can act as a measure of how engaged that audience is. Knowing this, you can adjust your marketing strategy to be more effective.

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5. Identify the competition’s key strengths and weaknesses

With a clear picture of your competition in mind, it’s time to put yourself in their shoes and see how you can outsmart them. Start by identifying their key strengths and weaknesses.

Simply put, what are their advantages? What are their drawbacks?

Use these advantages and disadvantages to your advantage: if you see that they’re weak in a particular area, you can be sure that there’s a gap in your own expertise or experience that you can capitalize on.

Strengths and weaknesses can be used to your advantage. If you see that your competition is strong in areas that you’re not, it’s time to develop a plan to outsmart them. By doing so, you’ll be able to increase your own customer base and become the go-to source for your chosen products or services.

Your competition’s key strengths and weaknesses can be determined using a variety of sources, such as a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, andThreats) or a Pivot Analysis (Problems, Solutions, and Options). If you’re not sure which analysis method to use, look at the two together and make a choice that makes the most sense for your situation.

6. Identify the competition’s pricing structures and marketing plans

In the fierce world of ecommerce, low prices are becoming a thing of the past. People are now more likely to pay more for quality than for quantity. To stay profitable, you’ll need to adjust your price structure accordingly.

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Additionally, because customers are now expecting more for their money, you’ll need to develop marketing plans that are as exciting as they are effective. To do this, you’ll need to consider the competition’s pricing structures and marketing plans.

Pricing structures and marketing plans can be immensely beneficial in helping you understand how your competition operates. By comparing your own business to that of your competition, you can more easily identify areas of strength and weakness.

Additionally, because your competitors are operating in your chosen marketplace, you can be sure that they’re aware of your own existence. With this in mind, you can develop a marketing strategy and plan to outsmart them.

7. Identify your competition’s pricing and marketing strategies

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As we’ve established, people are more likely to pay more for quality than for quantity.

To achieve this, you’ll need to analyse your competitors’ pricing structures and marketing strategies. Begin by taking a look at their prices: are they low, or are you able to price your products lower than your competitors?

You’ll also need to consider how they’re promoting their products: are they using traditional means like word-of-mouth and billboard ads, or are they using newer, more effective approaches like social media marketing and YouTube videos?

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Pricing structures and marketing strategies are some of the most important factors in helping you outsmart your competition. By having a clear idea of your competition, you’ll have a clear idea of how you can beat them.

Additionally, by considering their pricing structures and marketing strategies, you’ll be able to devise a custom marketing strategy that’s specific to your own brand. With this in mind, you can increase your own customer base and make more sales.

8. Identify your competition’s sources of revenue

In the grand scheme of things, your competition’s revenue sources can be incredibly important. Where do they get their funds from? This becomes important because you can then identify the avenues available to you as a brand or business to gain revenue. Is your competition relying on adsense, display, or affiliate marketing for their revenue?

With a clear idea of your competition’s revenue sources, you can begin to consider how you’ll be able to outsmart them. If you see that they’re reliant on one particular source of revenue, you can be sure that there’s an opportunity for you to take a different approach and gain a competitive advantage.

9. Consider your competition’s customer base

Price Competitor
Price Competitor

Your competition’s customer base is important in the sense that it determines how much opportunity you have to outsmart them.

Are they relying on a select audience, or are they reaching out to a broader group of people? Having a large and varied audience is important for business growth, but it also presents certain challenges.

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For example, gaining and retaining customers becomes more difficult when you have a large following. Additionally, because your customers are now your competition, you’ll need to consider the loyalty that you gain from and the ways in which you can outsmart your competition.

The Evolution Of Ecommerce

The History of E-commerce Industry
The History of the E-commerce Industry

If you’ve ever shopped online, then you know that eCommerce has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s.

In fact, many of the biggest players in the industry started off as small businesses selling their products at flea markets and online auctions but have evolved into huge enterprises.

Back in those days, all you needed to start an eCommerce store was a computer with a modem and an online marketplace like Yahoo! or eBay.

If you were particularly tech-savvy or had more than $5,000 to invest in the necessary equipment, you could even set up a small storefront and start selling your products. Today, the process is much simpler.

You need only a web browser and a microphone to establish an Amazon account. From there, it’s just a matter of getting the hang of online marketplaces and learning how to sell.

In the event that you decide to create your own e-commerce store, where will you start? Which of the biggest players in your industry will you partner with? How will you fund your operations?

These are just some of the questions that you’ll need to answer so that you can hit the ground running once you launch.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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