Running an Amazon competitor analysis is crucial to your success on the marketplace. Using a framework to monitor your adversaries’ efforts is a great way to ensure you can beat them at their own game.
Amazon earns nearly $17 million every hour. A portion of those earnings goes to Amazon sellers, product manufacturers, and fulfillment partners. However, the competition among these players is fierce.
According to Statista, of Amazon’s 2.5 million sellers, 10% make over $100,000, and 1% generate over $1 million in sales per year. Top sellers continually monitor market strategies to get ahead on Amazon.
To compete with the top players, sellers must be aware of their competitor’s strategies. An Amazon competitor analysis involves conducting keyword research, comparing product pages, and much more. The information you learn from analysis helps you improve your Amazon marketing.
Your competitors are constantly bringing new products to the market. With millions of sellers vying for attention, it can be difficult to drive enough traffic to your brand’s products. And if that wasn’t enough, converting that traffic and making sales can be a bigger challenge.
Every seller needs to optimize their listings with Amazon SEO. However, updating product listings alone is not enough to win a competitive edge on this eCommerce platform. Instead, you must have an understanding of Amazon competitor analysis if you want to get ahead.
Nearly 300,000 new sellers join the platform each year. Bringing attention to your brand’s products requires a long-term strategy and a framework to help you achieve your goals.
This guide explains how you can use the same strategies as your competition to improve your Amazon sales. It takes a lot of work, but it will help increase your click-through rate, drive conversions, and optimize your listings.
Ready to discover how you can use marketing strategies to sell more as an Amazon seller? You are about to learn the fundamentals of competitor research and build a sales framework to keep an edge on the competition.
Fundamentals Of An Amazon Competitor Analysis
Learning the basics (or refreshing your memory) on competitive analysis will help you apply the right concepts from the get-go, whether you’re planning to stay on Amazon or expand outside. Here’s what to know:
Amazon Competitor Analysis: A Definition
The competitive analysis involves thorough research of your competitors. This includes identifying who your competition will be, as well as their marketing strategies, products, and more.
The point of conducting a competitive analysis is to scope out your competition and gather vital information. For example, what are your competitors doing right? How can you improve your own business strategies, as well as setting yourself up as solid competition?
An analysis of your competitor’s business will also help you to identify where they are falling short. Checking through their customer reviews may help you notice flaws or gaps in their business, which could be something you and your business could fill.
Measuring your competitor’s success will also give you something to work towards. You know who you need to outperform, and hopefully, after a competitive analysis, you will know how to do it.
What does this mean for a seller looking to conduct a competitive analysis? For a start, briefly checking through your competitor’s website and scrolling through their social media feed does not qualify as a proper competitive analysis! To collect real and helpful information, you will need to go deeper.
How Business Owners Conduct Competitive Analysis
There are four main points you will need to work towards in a competitive analysis:
- Discover new market trends – how can you better sell your product?
- Streamline your marketing and selling habits – this is something you can always improve.
- Identify gaps in the market – remember, if you have noticed these gaps, chances are, so will your competitors.
- Work towards developing new services and products – the market is constantly changing, and you and your business must adapt along with it.
As mentioned earlier, a proper competitive analysis involves more than just checking your competitor’s website, social media and reading a few customer reviews. While these are important steps that can collect useful information, you will need to do more. A thorough analysis may take time and effort, but it is worth it.
Start by identifying your competitors. Once you’ve done this, you need to research their products. What do they offer that you don’t, or vice versa? How do they sell their product or services, and what success are they having?
Pricing and Marketing: Yours Vs. Your Competitors
A simple yet obvious aspect of analyzing are your prices. Compare yours with your competitors, including costs like shipping. Are your prices competitive? How do your marketing strategies compare?
How Do Your Competitors Use Technology Such As Social Media?
Never underestimate the powerful effect social media can have to promote a business or a product. How active are your competitors on social media? What kind of traffic and engagement do they receive on their websites?
Perform A SWOT Analysis.
This is something we’ll discuss in greater detail later. A SWOT analysis will help you get a more rounded view of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
Why Is An Amazon Competitor Analysis Vital for eSellers?
Amazon is a hugely competitive marketplace, with hundreds of thousands of sellers. It is all too easy for your product to get lost in the weeds. Consider an example.
When you search for something on Amazon or any online marketplace, do you search right to the end of the page listings? Probably not, since there can be dozens or hundreds of pages. Ideally, you and your product will be listed right at the top of the page.
To do this, you need to stay competitive and relevant.
This means more than just including the correct keywords in your product listing (although it is a vital part, too!). You need to understand exactly how your competitors are conducting business if you want to stay ahead of the game.
How Can An Amazon Competitor Analysis Help Business Owners?
Maintaining a successful business involves more than just producing good content or a popular product. As mentioned earlier, if you notice a gap in the market, so will others. The market for a product can quickly become saturated, and you can get overlooked.
Competitive analysis can help a business owner see exactly what they are working towards – or against. They can observe their competitor’s strengths, weaknesses and even get some helpful pointers to streamline their own business.
Understanding Your Brand Positioning on Amazon
An Amazon competitor analysis always starts from who you are as a brand first and what you might offer that they don’t. This is part of an exercise to document your brand positioning efforts.
Since proper brand positioning is so important, let’s take a few moments to consider the fundamentals: for example, what does it mean to create a brand position? What will be the consequences if you don’t?
What Is Brand Positioning?
A brand identity can make or break a product. It involves careful marketing, cleverly telling a story, and creating a “vibe” around that product. This distinguishes the product from its competitors and often makes customers loyal, preferring that brand above all others.
Proper brand positioning involves creating this identity. It doesn’t happen overnight and requires you to analyze all aspects of your product carefully, including the packaging, the social media, the advertising, font, colors, and more. Every detail matters.
Why Is Brand Positioning Important For Amazon Sellers?
Getting a customer’s attention on the Amazon marketplace is not easy. Millions of sellers clog the site with countless products. If you want your product to get noticed, a strong brand identity is essential.
If you feel that your product hasn’t had a proper brand identity up until now, it’s certainly not too late. With work and strategy, you can market your product to stand out on Amazon. Working on your brand positioning helps you determine how to market Amazon products.
A strong brand identity can also work away from Amazon. It’s something you can (and should) carry into all aspects of your product’s promotion. However, since Amazon is currently the juggernaut of online selling, it’s good to first concentrate on proper brand positioning.
What Are The Various Types of Brand Positioning Strategies?
There are many ways to position your brand identity properly. Many sellers use a combination of both, but it can largely depend on you and your product. It’s important to think about what you’re selling and who your customers are.
There are six main types of brand positioning:
Affordability, or value or money, is a good way to appeal to more customers. People like to think they’re getting good value for their money, and you will likely attract more buyers.
Conversely, you might create a high-priced product with the benefits of durability, high quality, and perhaps even an investment idea. A high-priced product may not attract the same number of customers as a lower-priced one, but you will have the advantage of needing to sell fewer items to make the same profit.
Problem and Solution Positioning
There may be a current problem that your product can help to solve. This involves listening to your customers and staying alert to current trends. Ideally, you create a solution that stands the test of time.
Benefit and Convenience Positioning
People love items that can make their lives easier. Marketing an item that can give a customer extra time or smooth a difficult chore can be very lucrative.
Using a well-loved and familiar famous face to promote your product can go a long way.
Competition is healthy. Playing up your own brand against a competitor’s is a popular strategy, but beware. The best product will win – let’s hope it’s yours!
How Do You Create A Brand Position Strategy?
It’s a common saying that the devil is in the details. When it comes to brand positioning, this is certainly true. You need to consider every aspect of your product and think about adjusting it to fit your brand identity.
Create An Outline
This is the first step to creating your brand identity and subsequently positioning your brand. Who are you aiming towards? What is your selling point, and which of the brand positioning strategies do you intend to use?
Focus On Brand Assets
This means aspects such as the colors you will use (no more than two or three and match your colors to the kind of clients you intend to target), logos, brand story, and so on.
A simple logo is often the best choice. For example, think of McDonald’s golden M. It’s a simple logo, but one that immediately brings that brand to mind.
You should also think about other details; what fonts you will use (professional fonts for professional clients, whereas you might use fun or colorful fonts if you aim towards children) and what kind of packaging you will use.
Create a good brand story. The point of this story should be to motivate your customers to buy your product. People often don’t pick the straightforward best-value product to buy; they buy the product they like best.
Pay Attention To Social Media
How will you promote your product on social media? This can be a hugely effective tool for your brand, but only if you post regular content that sticks to your chosen brand positioning strategy.
This means that each post needs to be tailored to your brand identity. An impressive social media following can help you collect new customers and promote new products.
Improve Your Packaging
This may seem like a strange detail to focus on. Remember, Amazon has certain packaging guidelines that you must follow, so your creativity may be somewhat limited.
However, if your brand uses eco-friendly as a selling point, for example, your packaging must correspond with this. Besides, no customer wants to fight their way through an unintuitively wrapped package! You can include easily unwrapped and reusable packaging in the whole buyer’s experience.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the details you’ll need to consider when creating your brand identity. Each product will have various aspects to consider. However, knowing these strategies help you determine how to market on Amazon.
How Is Brand Positioning Related To An Amazon Competitive Analysis?
We’ve already discussed the importance of brand positioning and competitive analysis, but how are the two related?
The answer lies in competitive positioning.
Essentially, you will not be the only seller offering that kind of product. If you’re offering eco-friendly makeup and skincare, for example, there will be other sellers who offer the same or similar products.
These are your competitors, and it’s important to highlight to customers the difference between your products and theirs.
You might choose a different brand positioning strategy or simply create a different brand identity. What do you have that your competitors don’t? How do your products match up?
Competitive positioning is part of your reaction to your Amazon competitor analysis. You’ll discover valuable information about your competitor’s sales, marketing, products, and brand position strategy in your analysis.
Now it’s up to you to highlight your products’ differences, making your brand seem more attractive to potential customers.
Analyzing Competitors Against Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Based on your positioning, you can assess whether your brand (including your products) is competitive. You can also identify the areas that need the most work.
While the day-to-day requirements of running your business can be all-consuming, remember to keep the Big Picture in mind. Your business always needs to be moving forward, so you need to be looking ahead.
For this, you’ll need a SWOT analysis.
What Is A SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a tool used by businesses to analyze this current situation. It focuses on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, hence the acronym.
Conducting a SWOT analysis is easier than you think.
Sit down with pen and paper. You may wish to create a 2×2 graph, download a SWOT analysis template, or simply write a list. Below is an example of the kind of graph you could use:
The idea is to consider each aspect of the SWOT acronym, looking at four categories in each. You’ll look at harmful and helpful aspects, both from the internal and external origin. Consider the perspective of your business, your competitors, and most importantly, your customers.
SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Curious about the metrics of a SWOT analysis? Here’s what each letter in the acronym means.
Strengths: These are internal things that are good for your business and help in achieving your objective. Ask yourself about your advantages, your resources, and so on.
Weaknesses: These are internal things that are harmful to you and your business. This includes what you perceive as your own weaknesses, as well as what customers and competitors would consider weaknesses. This may take some frank self-examination, but it’s necessary to make changes.
Opportunities: These are external factors that you cannot control but could lead to good things for you and your business. However, could you put your business in the way of opportunities? What can you do to help yourself in this regard?
Threats: Again, these are external factors that you have little or no control over, but they may damage your business. These could include new regulations that will impact your business, rising costs, more competitors, and more. What can you do in the way of damage control?
You can conduct a SWOT analysis against your competitors by applying these steps to their business. It can help you identify possible weaknesses in your competitors, as well as preparing yourself to deal with their strengths and prospective opportunities.
What Are The Benefits Of A SWOT Analysis?
Thorough SWOT analysis may be time-consuming and difficult. What are the benefits?
Simply put, a business requires a lot of moving parts, especially on a thriving platform such as Amazon. Neglecting the big picture means that your business will struggle.
Some benefits of regular SWOT analyzing on yourself and competitors include:
- Fully understanding your businesses’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to prepare for opportunities and possible threats.
- Forewarned is forearmed: you can prepare in advance for what might come your way, adjusting your business as you go.
- You will be aware of your competitor’s SWOT statistics, meaning you can prepare for possible threats as well as keeping your brand separate.
- Having a clear grasp of the big picture means that you and your business will continue moving in the right direction, expanding, and making progress.
Now that you have a better understanding of your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, let’s a framework for analyzing the competition.
The Amazon Competitor Analysis Framework
Amazon’s ecosystem is unique in that it has specifics to look at, such as buy boxes, sponsored brand ads, a+ content, and more. This is all accounted for in our competitor analysis framework.
What Is The Amazon Competitor Analysis Framework?
The purpose of an Amazon competitor analysis is to assess your competition. This strategy helps identify potential threats and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own.
A competitive analysis framework is a model you’ll use to go about assessing your competition. The SWOT analysis that we’ve just discussed is a top-rated method of analyzing your competition. However, there are other frameworks available.
How Is A Normal Competitor Analysis Framework Different From One Specific To Amazon Sellers?
Amazon focuses specifically on sales. This means that your business will be focused on selling a product. The Amazon marketplace is highly competitive, meaning that you will need to conduct an Amazon competitor analysis if you want your business to thrive.
When choosing your analysis framework, one thing you must consider is keywords. Does the framework allow for this kind of investigation?
Amazon works via keywords; customers will type in a kind of product they are searching for, usually with extra keywords. For example, they might search for anti-dandruff shampoo, specifying eco-friendly or vegan. If your product matches the keyword, Amazon will push your product to the top of the list.
It’s important to choose the correct keywords and keep an eye on what keywords your competitors are using. Are they getting more success or less while focusing on those keywords? This is an important point to analyze.
Other important issues specific to Amazon include auditing product listings and checking customer reviews. Not all Amazon competitor analysis frameworks allow for these points.
How To Audit Product Listing And Competitor Keywords
Auditing product listing is an important part of keeping your Amazon business up to date. Auditing your own products is essential, but so is auditing the products of your competitors. There are a few points you should consider:
First, review competitor’s product titles. Are your competitor’s products in Amazon’s recommended format? Is the title informative? Does the title attract buyers?
Next, look at their product’s features or selling points. Compare these to the selling points of your products.
Next, look at product descriptions. Is the product’s description easy to read and informative? Is it brief and straightforward without leaving out any key details?
Afterward, check the competitor’s product images. Your product needs a suitable, attractive image. Shoppers tend to scan lists, and a poor or inaccurate image will have them skipping right over the listing. Can you beat the competition with better product images?
Review your competitor’s Q&A sections. Many shoppers check this section before making a purchase. By identifying new questions on competitor’s product listings, you can improve your own. Which questions do customers ask your competitor often?
Reviewing your competitor’s keywords is another vital part of an Amazon competitor analysis. If you’re selling the same product, you’re likely using the same keywords.
However, when you’re auditing your competitor’s product listing, keep an eye out for keywords used in the titles. This is a great way of bringing a listing right up to the top of the page.
Where Can I Store This Data?
You’ll need to refer back to this data, so keep it safe. A Google sheet is a good way to keep track of information you collect, as well as sharing it with the rest of your team.
A Google spreadsheet is designed like a basic, straightforward spreadsheet that team members can access. This makes it ideal for creating notes and sharing with others. Store your competitive analysis data here.
How To Create An Amazon Competitor Analysis Following A Framework
Now it’s time to put theory into practice and conduct a real analysis on your competition.
Step #1 Of Analysis Framework: Audit Product Listings
Feel free to refer to the earlier section on auditing product listings. It involves reviewing all aspects of your competitor’s products, including titles, images, descriptions, reviews, and more. Compare them with your own.
Step #2 Of Analysis Framework: Research
Try and determine your competitor’s angle. Who are they are selling to, and how are they doing this? Do your brands clash? It could be that you are taking a completely different approach to sell the same product as your competitor.
Step #3 Of Analysis Framework: Read The Reviews
Customers will leave honest feedback on a product’s listing page. Are your competitor’s customers dissatisfied or delighted? If they’re unhappy, what’s the problem? Is there a gap that you and your product could fill?
Step #4 Of Analysis Framework: Review Keywords
Which keywords are your competitors using? What is their strategy? This is likely something you can figure out by reviewing your product audit. How does this interact with your competitor’s ad campaigns?
Step #5 Of Analysis Framework: Compare Prices And Sales
All sellers need to make a profit. But you may get many more customers by selling at a lower price than your competitor – while still making a profit. You can estimate their profit by how much inventory they move each month. Of course, this is a guideline, not a rule.
Using The Framework To Stand Out on Amazon
Your end goal is to increase brand awareness on Amazon by standing out from the crowd and giving your products something more than just a utility factor.
Now that you’ve collected all this information, what you should you do next? Remember, knowledge isn’t power if you don’t know how to use it. Apply what you’ve learned to your own Amazon business.
Which Tactics Can You Use To Improve Your Product Listings?
It’s crucial to optimize your business to fit in with Amazon’s SEO. This may mean something of an overhaul or changing your methods of marketing. However, with the information you’ve gleaned from your Amazon competitor analysis, you can immediately put this into practice, refining your own business.
Here are a few tactic suggestions:
Improve Your Product Titles
This is the main factor that Amazon will consider when determining how relevant your product is to the customer. Incorporating keywords in the title is a good way to get customers to click on your listing. You might even want to include specifics in your title listing (height, weight, thickness, and so on).
Add Unique Selling Points To Your Product Features
In the sea of Amazon products, yours needs to stand out. What are you offering that your competitors are not? Be sure to include this where customers can easily see it.
Improving Product Descriptions
Your description needs to informative without being boring or lengthy. How do your competitors describe their products, and what could you do differently?
Going the extra mile in your description may help customers decide that you have the superior product. Good formatting, drawing attention to keywords, will help the customer better browse the listing.
Upload High-Quality Product Images
If a customer searches “red tennis shoes” they’ll instantly find a plethora of results. Many of the product images may be similar. If yours is different, it will stand out.
On the other hand, blurry, inferior quality, or misleading images will be a turn-off for the customer. Having an attractive product image can be the deciding factor for a customer; we shop with our eyes and hearts!
Improve Your Q&A Section
It’s important to review your Q&A section regularly. A customer who asks a legitimate question who does not receive a quick answer may become annoyed and take their business elsewhere.
The Q&A section is where you determine how satisfied your customers are and whether any issues need to be resolved. Also, this is where your competitors will come to analyze you.
If a question is commonly asked, you can update the product description or add another bullet-point to your Q&A section.
Your Amazon Presence Deserves To Be Unique
Competitors will always try to steal your market share but the difference between those who succeed and those who give in to the status quo is in the strategies that they employ to beat them.
With millions of Amazon sellers, it’s likely that your competition sells very similar products to yours. Because of the hyper-competitive space of the platform, you must make your brand stand out from the rest.
In addition, the size of the Amazon Marketplace means there is an abundance of opportunity for you. Even in popular niches, there aren’t quality products for every sales category.
Your business can benefit from an understanding of brand positioning, SWOT analysis, and a winning framework.
If you want help increasing your Amazon sales, our team at Sunken Stone has a valuable resource for you. Download the Ultimate Amazon Playbook for 2021 and start increasing your sales!
Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding your competition is only half the battle on Amazon. The other part is updating your listings using the information you’ve uncovered. Your next steps might be to update your keywords, improve your images, or rewrite your product description. Base the decisions you make on your competitor research.
Although Amazon streamlines product listing creation, it does take time to update products, especially if you have hundreds (or thousands) of listings. Being a top seller requires a team that can help you manage the process.