Standing out from the crowd can be a double-edged sword, especially for small businesses with limited resources to fund their marketing actions and sales campaigns. Providing a service or product that is exclusive in the market can get you a lot of attention and increase sales, but are you considering what the market really wants (or needs) when you are creating this offer or are you trusting your gut that it can be a game changer?
I know many people like the motto “Go big or go home”, but when 73% of retailers say they have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 virus (according to a survey conducted by SMB Group) can you really afford to go all-in with a novelty item? Or should you run a competitive analysis, assess what your competitors are doing well, based on positive consumer reactions, and use this information to expand your mix and improve your business strategy?
The magic of costumer reviews
It is no secret that we live in a world where online consumer reviews can make or break a business. Potential customers will search for a product or service and use the information posted by those who have already consumed it to make their decision on completing a purchase or booking a reservation at a restaurant.
And before you say “ah, there are a lot of fake costumer reviews on Amazon and people don’t care”, while that is true, you must know that consumers react differently when they are doing their due diligence to choose a bar to have a drink with their friends or a restaurant to take their family for dinner. Their emotional attachment with this purchase is much higher than just buying an additional HDMI cable online for their TV that can be easily replaced.
Thus, the opinions and experiences that people take their time to post online on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and many other platforms represent something that most consumers take really seriously before deciding where to spend and bring great value to competitors analysis.
Use competitive analysis to learn from other businesses
Having access to this information is just the first step. Next, small businesses must map all their main local competitors and analyze what consumers are saying about them online. Then, compare this information with your own customer reviews and offerings. Finally, expand this search to other regions to observe market trends.
All this is necessary to make the most of the information available and turn it into data intelligence. Retailers should consider what are consumers saying about product quality, customer service, delivery details, in-store experience, inventory availability, preferred brands, and many other items. Restaurants and bars should see what dishes, drinks, and craft beer styles are the most coveted, how do customers evaluate the service they receive, are options such as curbside pickup and delivery available. And for online merchants, how is the purchasing journey, availability of different sizes and colors, does the site offer online chat for quick answers, what are delivery costs and time?
These are many questions whose answers may be hiding in different sites, pages, and profiles. And they may provide valuable data that certainly will offer a great ROI for those SMB’s that can access them and apply them strategically in their businesses.
Finding a needle in a haystack
It can be daunting for a small business owner to understand where to start when performing competitive analysis, especially with so much information available online.
It is even harder to extract, compile and transform competitor data into actionable insights.
That is why at Spark SMB Data we created an exclusive software that does the hard work related to Big Data and our team combines this information with a qualitative analysis of how consumers are looking at your competitors.
Then, we cross reference this data with how your own costumers are rating your services and products. This allows us creating a report that is both deep in its data analysis and customized with simple actions that you can apply in your business based on consumer behavior and market trends.
Before this type of technology was only available to larger organizations through paid market research at a high cost. Now, we can offer an affordable service focused on small businesses to help you grow your sales and attract more customers.
The Number: 73%
The Action: Your business can use the power of data analytics and competitive market analysis to stand out from competitors based on detailed information, not just your intuition. Learn more about how we can help your SMB expand its market share here or contact our customer service team if you have any additional questions.