Industry Insights

3 min read

How To Get Data For A Solid Competitor Analysis In E-Commerce

It goes without saying: every market has multiple sellers. If you run an e-commerce store, then you’re almost certainly stepping on someone’s toes. However, not tripping over them requires a good competitor analysis.

To do this well, you need web data. You need to know what your competitors sell, how much they charge for it, and what their customers think of it. You should also stay up to date with their promotional and SEO strategies. This allows you to isolate market trends, discover gaps in your own offerings, and tailor your strategies to compete more effectively.

Collecting this data manually is inefficient and unnecessary. You might already have in-house software for these functions, which scrapes SERPs and websites. Unfortunately, Google and most websites will have safeguards in place to limit these tools’ effectiveness, so you will usually need a reliable workaround.

Here's how e-commerce businesses can use proxies and web data to refine their strategies and stay ahead in the game.

Anonymity in Competitive Analysis

The first important thing is to set up the relevant infrastructure, namely proxy servers.

Proxies act as intermediaries, masking your IP address and allowing you to access web data without direct association with your business. If you’re just checking in on your competitor every other day with a cursory glance, this isn’t strictly necessary, but you’re also not getting a great breadth or depth of information.

However, if you are gathering information at scale, such as monitoring every single price shift, page update, and search engine result, you need to scrape automatically. Moreover, if you don’t do this anonymously, you risk getting your IP banned and your operations killed entirely.

Identifying Key Competitors and SERPS

Once you have the relevant infrastructure in place, you can start to work out who you’re actually competing against – and, more importantly, how they’re doing it. The best way to do this is to scrape search engine results pages (SERPs) in the same keywords you target.

At a surface level, this will put companies you may not have noticed on your radar. However, the real value lies in analysing the context of these rankings. For example, examining the types of content (e.g., blog posts, product pages, videos) that competitors use to rank can inform your strategy.

It also lets you note the SERP features (like featured snippets, local packs, or shopping ads) competitors are leveraging. This insight can guide your efforts to optimise these features in your marketing efforts to grab higher rankings.

Additionally, you can track SERP positions over time and reveal the SEO strategies competitors are experimenting with, such as site restructuring or backlink campaigns.

Pricing Strategies

Dynamic pricing is the norm, so competitors can change their prices several times daily. Having a good understanding of competitor pricing will help you optimise your own. There are a few things you can do:

  • Establish your baseline prices and compare them with your competitors' prices for similar products. This will help you understand your market position.

  • Set up alerts for when competitors change their prices. This real-time information allows you to respond quickly, either by adjusting your prices or by highlighting value propositions that justify a higher price point.

  • Monitor competitors' promotional activities alongside their pricing strategies. Sometimes, the list price might not change, but a promotion could effectively lower the price.

  • Look at how competitors adjust their pricing for seasonal trends, sales cycles, and major shopping days. This can inform your pricing strategy for similar periods, ensuring you remain competitive when consumer buying intent is at its peak.

  • Use the data collected to test your products' price elasticity. Small price adjustments, informed by competitor pricing data, can help you find the optimal balance between volume and margin.

Automated scraping scripts can help you constantly monitor this—as long as you have the right proxy infrastructure to do so without getting banned. Proxies enable continuous, real-time monitoring of competitor pricing strategies without detection.

Website Changes and Product Offerings

Staying updated on competitors' website changes and product offerings gives you solid insights into their strategic priorities and market focus. You can then leverage these insights into your own website and product strategy.

For example, changes in product offerings or content might indicate a new target market or a shift in business strategy that could impact your market position. Likewise, knowing when competitors launch new products helps you respond quickly, either by improving your offerings or adjusting your marketing strategy.

Competitors’ website updates can reveal broader market trends and consumer preferences, enabling you to align your offerings with market demand.

Doing this well requires constant uptime on any data-scraping tool you have. If a server goes down or is blocked, it must cycle to a working one automatically, so you don’t lose any data.

SEO and Marketing Strategies

Finally, data obtained through proxies can significantly enhance SEO and marketing efforts. Start by looking at the keywords your competitors rank for, especially those for which your site does. This includes identifying high-value long-tail keywords that bring in targeted traffic but have less competition.

You should also look at the format of content that your competitors rank well for, such as videos, infographics, or blogs. It might be worth adjusting your tactics if you notice they’re ranking well in something you haven’t committed much effort into.

Elements like site navigation, page speed, mobile-friendliness, and call-to-action placement play significant roles in SEO and user engagement, so it’s worth getting data on these things and comparing them to yours.

Trusted Proxies

A reliable proxy server solution is key to any kind of web-scraping initiative and, therefore, a competitor analysis.

New businesses open and close every day, so your competition will always be changing. Choosing a solution that can handle a large amount of online data, reliably bypass IP restrictions, and self-heal is vital.

At Trusted Proxies, we have servers in over 80 different countries, self-healing capabilities, and a proven track record.

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