Amazon boasts more than five million marketplace sellers, and while you’re not competing with all of them, you are competing with some of them. That’s why it’s essential to conduct an Amazon competitor analysis, which provides your business with an in-depth assessment of your competition. Ready to learn how to conduct an Amazon competitive analysis in eight steps?
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Benefits of an Amazon competitor analysis
An Amazon competitive analysis may sound like a lot of work. Is it really necessary? Is there anything to be gained?
The answer is, “yes!” Researching your competition offers you the chance to:
- Ensure that your pricing strategy is competitive
- Gain insights into catering your message to make your product stand out from the competition
- Make accurate sourcing choices for your portfolio
- Track profitability and performance
1. Audit your competitors’ product listings
Start your competitor analysis by compiling a list of your opponent’s products — for easy reference, create a Google Sheet, which you can then share with your team. Here, you can grade every feature of a product listing, from the title and description to the images. For your audit, you want to focus on the following areas:
- Product title: Compare the product title to Amazon’s recommended format — Brand + Model + Product Type. Next, look at the product title from the perspective of a shopper. Is it informative and free of pricing information and promotional messages?
- Product features: View the product features next, which are to the right of a product’s photos. What unique selling points (USPs) does your competitor highlight — and how can your business counter those points?
- Product description: Move on to the product description now. What additional information does it provide on the product or what information does the seller leave out? Does the seller deliver the information in an easy-to-read, original format?
- Product Q&A: Browse the product questions and answers (Q&A) section too. Does the seller take an active role in responding to shopper questions? What kinds of questions do shoppers ask, and how can you apply that to your product listing?
- Product images: Return to the top of the product listing. What product pictures does the listing feature, and what is their quality? Do they feature product images that your team could recreate, like showcasing the uses of your product?
2. Research your competitors’ branding
Following your audit, you want to assess your competitor’s branding. A lot of sellers often overlook this step in an Amazon competitor analysis, but it can offer insight into why shoppers choose your competitor and not you. A few ways you can assess branding include:
- Looking at the tone and language used in the product description, features, and Q&A
- Evaluating the angle and approach used in the product images
- Researching the product packaging, design, and labeling
- Analyzing the Enhanced Brand Content or A+ Enhanced Marketing Content design
Spend 15 to 30 minutes studying your competitors, and you can develop a good idea of their brands. Maybe they’re laid back with a focus on humor or to-the-point with a focus on details. In some cases, your branding may align with your competitors’ — or have an entirely different take.
If your brand is the opposite of your competitor, it’s worth evaluating whether you share the same target audience. For example, maybe they’re targeting businesses with their fact-based approach, and perhaps you’re focusing on consumers with your humor-first stance. With millions of sellers, however, you can trust you have a direct competitor on Amazon.
3. Check your competitors’ reviews
Next, you want to read the various product reviews from consumers on your competitors’ product listings. This step in the Amazon competitive analysis allows you to gain an immense amount of insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your competition — and that can inform your future strategy for selling on Amazon. Some of the features you want to look at when reading reviews include:
- Quality: Amazon wants to provide shoppers with products that have reviews with substance and detail. Look at the reviews on your competitor’s products — do they detail why a user likes or dislikes the product? Or, do they feature reviews with barely a sentence?
- Quantity: Amazon balances the quality of reviews with the number of reviews. Ideally, Amazon’s algorithms prefer products with high-quantity, high-quality reviews. How many reviews does each of your competitor’s products have, and how do they compare to yours?
- Perks: For improving the competitiveness of your products, it’s essential to know the strengths of your competition’s products. What features do they have that consumers love — and do your products offer the same perks? How can you demonstrate those benefits in your listing?
- Problems: Understand the weaknesses of your competitor’s products, and you can maximize your product’s value to shoppers. What don’t consumers like about your competition’s products, and how does your product resolve those issues?
- Ratings: Check the average score for each product too — you can note the star rating in your Google Sheet. Depending on your competitor’s strength in this area, you may need to consider a review management strategy to earn more genuine reviews for your products.
- Responses: Look and see if your competitor responds to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. How do they interact with shoppers, especially unhappy ones? Is there anything your team can learn from their approach or improve?
Based on your review assessment, your team can form the basis for improving your overall strategy. For example, your company may decide to revamp specific product listings to capitalize on competitor weaknesses, like a short product warranty.
4. Visit your competitor’s Amazon Store
Depending on your competition, they may have an Amazon Store — an Amazon Store almost serves as a microsite for companies on Amazon, as it provides shoppers with convenient access to your products. If your competitor maintains an Amazon store, check it out. A few features you want to look at when evaluating your opponent’s storefront include:
- Design: Amazon provides a series of Amazon Store templates, but the design a company chooses can offer your team some insight into your competitor’s strategy. For example, they may feature a few select products on their homepage, emphasizing their biggest sellers.
- Product display: Amazon also allows sellers to customize which products they showcase in their Amazon Store — you can hand-select products or use pre-programmed widgets. For example, some sellers may use a widget to promote their best-selling items.
- Social media: Amazon Stores can feature social media links too. You may already know a competitor’s social media accounts, but this feature can help your team see which platforms competitors are promoting the most.
While your opponent’s Amazon Store may not offer a tremendous amount of insight, it’s still worth visiting. For example, if your team checks your competitor’s Amazon Store every quarter, you may notice their sudden switch to showcasing a different product, emphasizing a change in their strategy.
5. Analyze your competitors’ targeted keywords
What’s the most critical step in an Amazon competitor analysis? It’s researching your competitors’ keyword strategies. Based on your product listing audit, you probably have an idea of what keywords your competitors use.
In most cases, sellers include their primary keyword in their product title. In the example below, for instance, you can see that most of the products feature the phrase, “tv wall mounts,” or, “rv tv mount.” These repeated phrases suggest that they’re the targeted keywords. If that sounds like an exhaustive process for finding your competitor’s keywords, you’re right — there’s an easier way to research your competition’s keyword strategy.
- Copy the product’s Amazon Standard Identification Number(ASIN)
- Enter the ASIN in Sonar
- Click “Ping”
- View the results
With Sonar, your team can also view which keywords your competitor targets in their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Plus, you can download all the keyword data in a convenient Excel file, which you can then import into your Google Sheet. Even better, you can discover the backend keywords they’re targeting.
That’s helpful, as backend keywords don’t appear in product listings — they’re hidden on the backend, which is why Sonar is a useful tool to use. If you look at the results from Sonar below, you can see that the products in the earlier example did target the keywords, “rv tv mount,” and, “tv wall mounts.” The one product search result is even running a PPC campaign that includes, “rv tv mount.”
6. Assess your competitors’ prices
Price has a tremendous influence on the purchase decisions of shoppers — it can even convince them to purchase a product from another seller. That’s why another critical part of an Amazon competitor analysis focuses on assessing the competition’s prices. Like discovering your competitors’ keyword strategy, there is an easy way to research competitor prices.
Sellics, the company behind Sonar, features price tracking software that allows your business to monitor the product prices of your competitors 24/7. A few alternatives to Sellics include Priceyfy and CamelCamelCamel. While it’s essential for your business to compete with your competitors’ prices, it’s critical that you make a profit. It doesn’t help your company if you’re clearing inventory but failing to make a profit — so, use your competitor’s prices as a reference, not a standard.
7. Estimate your competitor’s monthly sales
Improve your competitive analysis of your opponents on Amazon by researching their monthly sales. By understanding how much inventory your competitor moves each month, you can calculate how much they’re making — and if they’re underselling their products. This step seems challenging, but there are several tools you can use, including:
- Sellics: Try Sellics’ Seller Edition software to track the sales of your competitor — this software requires a monthly subscription. It also includes competitor price monitoring, as well as several other features to help your company.
- Jungle Scout: Use Jungle Scout’s Amazon Sales Estimator tool to estimate the average monthly sales of your competitors. All you need to provide is the marketplace region, product category, and best seller rank number.
Following your research, your team can compare your sales to your competitors. You can also estimate the potential profits your company could make by becoming a more competitive choice for shoppers, whether by advertising, optimizing product listings, or another strategy.
8. Investigate your competitors’ ad campaigns
Finish your Amazon competitor analysis with an in-depth evaluation of your competitor’s ad campaigns. With Sonar, as well as Helium and Sellics, your team can discover your competition’s advertising strategy. Focus your analysis on your competitor’s keyword choice.
Check the keywords that your competition targets in their ads. What are the average cost-per-click (CPC), search volume, and competition for these keywords? How are those numbers affecting their Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS)?
With an insider’s view of your competitor’s advertising strategy, you can build a better one. For example, instead of focusing on short-tail keywords like your competitor, you direct your attention to long-tail keywords, which have a lower CPC. That strategy allows your business to lower your ACoS, plus connect with shoppers in your target market.
It also contributes to your goals of increasing your profits and reviews, which can help improve your ranking in search results. Now that you’ve finished your competitor analysis, are you ready to start accelerating your sales?
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