Competitive research is a type of strategic research that monitors and analyses what your competitors are doing. 
The aim of conducting competitive research is to gain an in-depth understanding of the competitive landscape. This can help you to identify opportunities in the market and keep the products or services that you’re offering competitive and current. 
It can be particularly beneficial to carry out thorough competitive research at key stages of setting up and running a business, like when launching a new product range. 
However, it is just as important to keep up with some level of consistent monitoring of competition on an ongoing basis. This can help your business to keep its finger on the pulse when it comes to changes and developments within your industry’s marketplace. 
How to carry out competitive research 
The areas that you choose to examine as part of your competitive research are likely to vary depending on what stage your business is at. 
A few key areas that you may wish to consider if you’re carrying out competitive research at a higher level include: 
List of competitors. 
Who their target market is? 
What makes them, their products or services unique? 
Price points. 
A more in-depth analysis may include some of the following: 
Website features. 
Social media engagement and strategy. 
Content marketing. 
Email marketing. 
Analysis of customer reviews. 
Position in search results. 
Checkout and shipping options. 
Whilst competitor research can be time-consuming, the information you gather, the opportunities it presents, and the ideas it is likely to help spark, are all invaluable to progressing your business. 
You will find that a lot of your competitive research will need to be carried out manually, but there are also some tools available online that can help you to gather certain data and information quickly and efficiently. 
Useful tools to research include Facebook Audience Insights, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Mailcharts and Buzzsumo. 
What are the benefits of carrying out competitive research? 
Effective competitive research can be key to understanding the market, creating an effective business plan, and growing a thriving business. 
Just some of the key benefits of keeping up with what your competitors are doing include: 
A better overall understanding of the market. 
Identify your business’ strengths and weaknesses when compared to its competitors. 
Identify opportunities and threats in the marketplace. 
Knowledge of competitor pricing to keep your offering competitively priced. 
Identify new and emerging trends in the market. 
Inspire new ideas. 
Discover which competitor strategies are successful and which are not. 
Helps you to set yourself apart from your competition. 
If your business doesn’t have the time or resources to spend on competitive research, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits. Outsourcing your competitive research to a virtual personal assistant is simple and affordable. 
Find your local Pink Spaghetti office and get in touch to find out how we can help you to get ahead of your competition. 
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