Eyeing The Competition
What Are They Doing Right Or Wrong? Now Improve It
Originally Published September 30, 2008
Revised December 5, 2012
The internet is integrated into mainstream business and consumer activities; practically every major business has a website, and a large percentage of online consumers are conducting everyday business and purchasing goods online. Due to the online growth, it has become easier to find competitor websites to compare to your company website, and find ways to improve and out-do the competition.
To get the most from your marketing dollar, it is imperative to keep an eye on the competition and make note of what they're doing, as well as not doing. Making notes of what your competition offers, and how they offer it, will help you gauge what features your website needs in order to be competitive and get ahead online.
Questions to Help Analyze the Competition
When viewing competitor and other related websites and features, there are many important questions to ask. Depending upon your industry, there will be other industry specific questions to ask as well. The following are some general questions in the areas of Design & Navigation, Content Setup, Website Functionality, and Customer Service:
Design & Navigation
- Does the website offer online sales of products and services?
- Does the site allow online scheduling and appointment setup?
- What other types of online services does the website offer?
- Online Signup
- Account History
- Payment on Account
- Gift Certificates
- Online Billing
Customer Service, Sales & Support
- What kind of online customer service support and help do they offer? (Online Chat, Email, etc)
- Do they have a resource library of related information for customers?
- What type of related resource information is available?
- Do they offer industry related news or online newsletters?
- Does the company have online social media (Facebook, Twitter) for reaching out to consumers and providing a public forum for feedback?
Summing It Up
Viewing the competition and making note of the above questions will help you understand and see how your website compares to the competition. You will see where your website is lacking and needs assistance, in addition to where your website exceeds the competition and expectations. As well, it gives the opportunity to see what can be added to the company website to get ahead of the competition.
Customers are picky when it comes to buying off the internet. To gain a consumer confidence it is important to have enough information to make an informed customer, while portraying a look of confidence, competence and security when compared to competitor websites. Determining how to make your website better when compared to the competition is not a one time occurrence, but instead an on-going duty.