What is competitor monitoring?
Question; when a savvy shopper wants to purchase something, what’s the first thing they do? Well, since they’re a savvy shopper they’ll no doubt search the Internet, look through the coupon advertisements in the newspaper and, today especially, even use apps to determine where the best prices are on the items they’re going to purchase.
In essence, a savvy shopper is going to monitor prices to find the one that’s best.
But here’s another question; as a business owner, how do you make sure that your prices are competitive and, even more importantly, how do you make sure that you’re giving customers the prices and products they want?
The way you do that is with competitor monitoring.
Competitor monitoring, simply put, is keeping track of the prices that your competitors are charging, keeping track of whether or not they are changing their prices and also determining whether they are getting rid of certain products in their product line. Competitor monitoring, when done correctly, will let you know valuable information about what your competitors are doing, the prices they’re charging and the products they’re carrying (or not carrying).
Competitor monitoring also includes brand monitoring, social media monitoring and price monitoring as well. The rise of the Internet in the last few decades has made keeping tabs on your competitors much simpler but, on the other hand, it’s also made it much simpler for your competitors to keep tabs on you.
It’s actually quite important to monitor what your competitors are doing and, although there’s some confusion surrounding the topic, any company that decides to forego competitor monitoring is giving up what might be by far one of their biggest competitive advantages.
What types of competitor monitoring are there?
There are a number of sub categories of competitor monitoring that, while similar, beg a bit more explanation.
For example, brand monitoring is keeping track of the perception that your brand has among the public, especially on the Internet. Price monitoring is self-explanatory although it does include monitoring whether or not your competitors have added or deleted products from their line, and why.
Social media monitoring has become extremely important in the last few years with the explosion of websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so many more. Like brand monitoring, social media monitoring is simply keeping track of the reputation that your company has on social media. Even more importantly, it also means keeping track of the reviews being left on the burgeoning Internet review industry, including various business directory websites; Yell, Google Plus and so forth.
Why competitor monitoring is so important
Let’s say, for the sake of example, that your competitors are busy analysing the market on a regular basis, determining what prices are being offered for similar services. Knowing this information, they’ll be able to not only offer the best prices but also the best services to go with them. Once customers realise this, any companies that haven’t been doing the same thing are going to get left behind as customers flock to the company with the best prices and packages.
From a success and profit standpoint, your company needs to be this company.
Competitor monitoring is the key to innovation
Lastly, another excellent reason to monitor your competitors is to keep up with changes in the market. Adding or changing products and price structure will keep your company fresh, as well as removing old or unwanted products. Knowing what the competitors in your area or industry are doing will allow you to take action for change and offer your customers the products, and prices, they want.