This year $1.17 billion was spent on Cyber Monday, marking the heaviest online spending day in history. That’s a lot of capitol being exchanged exclusively online (in terms of Furbies, it’s about 19,500,000, in case anyone was wondering).
Inevitably, in the thick of the commercial maelstrom known as The Holiday Season, concepts like Path-to-Purchase are gaining an almost reverent focus. The point of a Path-to-Purchase concept is that it puts a consumer’s buying experience into a framework that marketers can manipulate and ultimately intercept at specific stages with their most influential tactics. Though these frameworks differ, there are certain and practical dogmas in optimizing an ecommerce strategy through competitive intelligence. Several from our downloadable white paper are listed below.
1. Timing is Everything
Reaching your consumers just as they’re ready to make a purchase is the difference between a sale and just being another glanced-over contender. If you understand when your customers are most likely to buy, you’ll be able to tease out why they’re most likely to buy.
Look at the requisite conditions: what are your customers doing moments before they visit your site? What are they doing moments before they visit your competitor’s site? What gets them to buy? Competitive intelligence answers these questions because it lends a marketer an unbiased clarity when looking at a consumer’s shopping behavior.
2. Investigate Your Referral Traffic
Now that you know where your visitors originate, take it upon yourself to investigate the places that send you the most traffic. Look for trends in your list of referrers. For sites that are highest in relevance but lowest in referrals, try to understand what’s getting in the way of your own sites magnetism where it should be the strongest.
And what about your competition? Have you checked their advertisements and strategy? Their affiliate links and partnerships? Look at what works, but also look at what doesn’t. Often times the duplicity between what functions for the better and what doesn’t function at all tells a more insightful story than looking exclusively at one or the other. The goal is to know why something does or does not work.
3. Patch Runoff
Apply what you’ve learned, but do so judiciously. Every sales funnel is porous, so detecting where runoff is heaviest should be a priority. Analyzing trends in outgoing traffic from your ecommerce page will reveal several things: if a larger competitor is responsible for a large portion of your runoff it isn’t just their brand’s implicit allure—it could be their price point, their simpler navigation, their superlative reviews or their rating system
4. Don’t Stop Innovating
Installing improvements is not worthwhile if you’re going to let your brand’s agility stagnate moments after. Keep improving. By paying attention to trends over time you’ll be able to devise how shifts in your specific niche—or the market abroad—will either accent or obscure your most prolific channels.
Regularly check up on competition, whether through competitive intelligence tools like Compete PRO, or even through social platforms. What works? What generates buzz? Essentially, don’t just envy. Emulate. But don’t just emulate—enhance and elevate your own strategy with what you learn.
These points were taken from Compete’s free downloadable white paper 3 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Ecommerce Strategy. For the full report, download through this link: http://success.compete.com/three-best-practices-for-optimizing-your-ecommerce-strategy-with-competitive-intelligence
Ryan La Sala joins Compete as the Digital Marketing Co-op for Compete.com, sovereign of all things social media. Ryan is a current attendant of Northeastern University, dual-majoring in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs (with minors in Biology and Psychology), with career interests in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Consumer Anthropology. Aside from acquiring aspirations with big words, Ryan’s other interests include reading cheesy fiction, writing in any capacity, singing and cooking. Find Ryan on twitter @Ryality or connect with him on LinkedIn.