How to Do a Competitive Analysis (Quick & Easy) in 2024
Updated: Oct 18
Why do a Competitive Analysis?
A competitive analysis - or "competitor analysis" – is a process of evaluating the performance of your business and its products/services compared to similar products/services being offered by other companies in your market.
In the fast-paced world of business, conducting a competitive analysis is like the secret weapon in your strategic arsenal. It's your key to staying one step ahead of the competition, making informed decisions, and ultimately, dominating your market.
But who says it has to be all business and no fun? In this article, we'll give 8 steps on how to conduct a competitive analysis with a twist – the professional way, yet with a playful spirit.
Let's turn the game into your playground!
1. "But I don't have any competitors!"
Wrong. Unless you are building something extra revolutionary, this is unlikely to be the case. Even then, it would be wise to still scope the horizon for indirect competitors - those that offer a different solution to the same customer need you are addressing.
After all, why are you even reading this article? There's no point conducting a competitive analysis if you do not know you had competitor's in the first place. Take Netflix for example, founder Reed Hastings famously shared their biggest competitor. It wasn't Amazon or HBO... it was sleep. So do a quick search to see what alternative solutions to the gap you are filling already exist - we're sure you'll find at least one.
So the very first step to a competitive analysis is to identify your competitors.
2. Get Your Spy Glasses On
Remember playing detective as a kid? Well, here's your chance to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes. Grab your metaphorical spy glasses and start by gathering intelligence on your competitors. What products or services do they offer? How do they position themselves in the market? It's a bit like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, one competitor at a time.
As you go about crawling your competitors' websites, a great tool that can help collect information is Beep. Why?
Take Instant Automatic Screenshots + Annotations - Instead of having to take note of the information on a separate document or window, Beep allows you to drop comments anywhere on a website with an automatic screenshot. These can be viewed anytime on Beep's dashboard via a specific link created for each comment.
Even a 2-year old can use Beep - Just prompt Beep mode (Alt + C or Option + C), click to where your heart desires, type your comment, and hit "Save". That's it. No multiple open tabs. No multiple windows. Just simple, fast and pretty fun.
View all your saved websites in one page - For easy organisation and future reference, using hashtags of your choice (for example, #competitor) while creating a comment will add it underneath that category (hashtag collection). These hashtag collections can then be opened via Beep's dashboard to view all comments created with that hashtag all in one page!
In fact, why don't we just show you? Here's a video we made to demonstrate how easy your competitive analysis can be with Beep. 👇
3. Follow Them on Social Media
Now, let's bring some modern flair into our detective work. Follow your competitors on social media platforms - and not just for their cat memes.
Not sure how to find them on social media or which channels they use? Easy. Most usually display their social media links on their landing pages (usually contained in the website footer).
💡 Tip: Best to do this on a mobile device, as some social media platforms have a tendency of reducing their features on desktop. Plus, most social media content is designed to be consumed on phones or tablets.
Pay special attention to:
their posts (type of content, format, frequency and time of publication, etc.)
their engagement (likes, comments, shares and possible ways they are encouraging/limiting these)
the kind of content that resonates with their audience
What are their strengths when it comes to their online presence?
What are their weaknesses when it comes to their online presence?
Remember, sometimes, subtweets can speak volumes.
4. Map Out Their Marketing Funnel
Visualize your competitor's marketing funnel as a rollercoaster ride. Map out their customer journey from awareness to conversion. Where do they excel, and where do they lose momentum? Identifying these touchpoints can help you craft a more effective marketing strategy.
5. Customer Reviews: The Truth Serum
Customer reviews are like the tell-all books of the business world. They provide honest, unfiltered insights into your competitors' products and services. Sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, or Trustpilot can be gold mines of information. Take your time reading through them, and you'll uncover valuable nuggets that will help you refine your own offerings.
⚡ Tip for those using Beep:
Once possible gaps or opportunities than can be filled, you can instantly inform your team and delegate tasks. Beep allows users to share comments (+ an automatically generated screenshot) they create via tagging other users, via a link or through email. As Beep's screenshots specifically pinpoint where on that page you left the comment, your instructions or feedback are much clearer. That's not all... The ability to leave replies and collaborate in real-time on the screenshot page means tasks get done much faster. Less misunderstanding. Less unnecessary back-and-forth clarification. Less stress.
6. Get a Taste of Their User Experience
Ever tried an escape room or a treasure hunt game? Well, conducting a competitive analysis can be equally thrilling.
Test your competitors' products or services first-hand.
Experience their user interface, customer service, and overall journey.
What technology do they use?
This is the moment when you walk in your competitor's shoes, and trust us, it's a fun way to uncover your own gaps and strengths.
💡 Tip: Remember you're doing this for research so have a pen-and-paper, a notetaking system or Beep handy to record your first impressions, opinions, and possible takeaways from the experience you had to implement or improve your own business.
7. A Peek into Their Pricing Strategy
Pricing strategy is the cat-and-mouse game of the business world. With regards to your competitors' pricing strategy, some things to look at would be their:
pricing tiers (if applicable, and which tier they recommend)
price endings (there's a lot of psychological strategy that goes into this)
availability or absence of a free plan. What features are offered in this tier?
Charged monthly, yearly, or both? If both, what's the price difference between the two payment schemes?
There's more to pricing than meets the eye, and a lot of thought and research has gone into why certain pricing decisions are made. You might find that a playful tweak to your pricing strategy could give you a competitive edge.
Taking a look at your competitors' pricing strategies will give you a better idea of what gaps or opportunities exist that your business could fit.
💡 Tip: Refrain from just pricing below competitors (loss leader pricing / penetration pricing). Although this could help acquire many customers and increase your market share in the short term, the revenue earned may not ensure the business' survival in the long term. This pricing strategy is usually used by multinational companies to push out their smaller competitors from the market. But they can afford to do so as they possess surplus capital to sustain such a move for a considerable time, and/or have a wide product line or product categories that make up for the lost revenue.
8. SWOT (It's Not Just a Buzzword)
Now, it's time to get down to some serious business. Conduct a SWOT analysis for each of your competitors. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This structured approach will give you a clearer picture of how your competitors measure up in the marketplace.
⚡ Tip for those using Beep:
By this time, you should already have built an extensive database of information on your competitors organised into various categories (hashtags) for easy reference. So this makes finding the necessary information for each of the quadrants of the S.W.O.T. analysis much easier.
Seeing a completed SWOT analysis with all the key points laid out in front of you makes it easier to strategize how your business can operate moving forward.
Let the Games Begin.
Conducting a competitive analysis is not just about playing to win; it's about playing smarter. By mixing a bit of fun with the professional approach, you can turn this often daunting task into a thrilling adventure.
So, go ahead, put on your spy glasses, embrace your inner detective, and let the competitive analysis game be your playground. Unearth your competitors' secrets, learn from their successes and failures, and emerge as the true champion of your market!
Remember, in the world of business, the fun and the strategic can go hand in hand.