Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Using rivals to help your business

When setting up an online store, all stores have rival competitors that they essentially must outperform in order to make their store a success. While some of these rivals are bigger than others, you can use all store rivals to your advantage in being able to not only improve the quality of your business, but increase the number of traffic and sales you can generate.

The first thing all businesses should be doing is monitoring their rivals on a regular basis looking at not, just what they have for sale and how much their products cost, but the layout of their site, their overall brand image and any promotions they may currently be running. Basically, you want to look at every different aspect of their business that could potentially persuade a customer to purchase from them rather than you. Once you have gained this information, you can then look to make changes to your own store in an attempt to get these customers back. For example, if a rival store is selling the same product as you but at a cheaper price, you may look to lower your price in an attempt to undercut them. 

However, before you look to do this you must consider that you still want to make sure that you are making a good profit from each sale, so you shouldn't look to lower your prices too much. You also need to remember that there are a number of aspects that make up a successful ecommerce store, not just the cost of the products. If your overall service is much better than your rivals, in the long term you are going to achieve much more success as you will develop a much stronger public and brand image. 

When looking to develop your brand image, you can also look to take advantage of their social media following in order to help develop your own social media identity. For example, if one of your rivals has a large social media following, you may decide that you yourself will follow them also, not only to keep an eye on their status updates, but also allows the large following they have to see your account and possibly decide to follow you. The benefit of this is that you know the people who are following your rival are interested in the type of products you have for sale. However, before doing this you must remember that following your rival means that people who are following you are then also made aware of this other business. You should consider this before making any decision as potentially, following a rival competitor could result in one of your customers coming across their store and deciding to have a look at what they have to offer.

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