Top 5 Competitive Intelligence Tools Helping Retailers Drive Revenue
December 22, 2022
What’s the key behind successful businesses? While there are many, competitive intelligence is where strategic initiatives begin. Competitive intelligence tools help with the gathering and analysis of information about a business, its industry, environment and competitors. In other words, these are tools that help to better understand your business’ challenges, opportunities and its overall ecosystem. A recent report found that 94% of businesses are investing in competitive intelligence, and over half of organizations have a team dedicated to competitive intelligence gathering and analysis.
When data is gathered, and used to create actionable competitive intelligence, it can provide a number of benefits to a business.
Benefits of Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence gives a business immediate information about shifts in competition, which affect the overall business environment. These insights can be used to help a company stay agile and react quickly to these changes. An agile business is a strong competitor.
Understanding the moves that your competitors are making can help a company identify threats to their own business. The competition could be making a move to acquire some of your customers, with a persuasive marketing campaign or new product offering. Threats don’t just come from the competition, though. Competitive intelligence tools can help to identify threats due to shifting consumer interest, current events, or changing trends. Preparedness leads to better strategic planning, helping to counteract potential threats.
Competitive intelligence can help a business with early identification of opportunities—for new products and services, markets, and customers. Identifying these opportunities quickly allows this intelligence to be applied to strategic planning. The faster opportunities are identified, the sooner they can become a part of effective strategic initiatives.
Competitive intelligence tools provide a deeper understanding of the competition and general business environment, which can be used to help a company identify their own unique selling proposition (USP). What makes your business different from your direct competition? Your USP can help improve revenues, enhance customer loyalty, and identify potential new customers.
Competitive Intelligence Tools
There are several different types of competitive intelligence tools that help retailers drive revenue, including:
1. Foot Traffic
Tools, which measure your foot traffic data against competitor locations, can provide deep insight to your competitor’s customers. This privacy-friendly data can help business owners make better decisions and predictions.
2. Online Traffic
Online traffic can be measured through monitoring social media and keyword intelligence. Monitoring consumer attitude and behavior on social media can give a company insight about consumer likes and dislikes. This is an effective way to learn about the competition and improve a company’s offerings. Website traffic is another way to monitor online consumer interests. Using an online tool to monitor a competitor’s website performance can reveal a competitor’s strategy—and the success of that strategy, which can then inform your own business campaigns.
3. Product Information
Product information can be gathered from your competition’s websites, customer reviews, social media interactions, and marketing efforts. Keeping tabs on your competitor’s products, current offerings, scheduled updates or improvements, or releases of new products is highly valuable. This knowledge provides insight to changes in the business environment. By understanding your competitive advantage, you can make changes to your own product line. Furthermore, these new insights into your product can be translated into strategic action plans.
4. Behavioral Analytics
Behavioral analytics is the study of the way that customers interact with brands, to gain a deeper understanding of the customer. That understanding can be used to inform marketing strategy, improving ROI, targeting, and effectiveness of campaigns—present and future.
Insight to your competition’s customers tells you what they are doing, and that information can be applied to improve your own ability to attract those customers.
5. Location Intelligence
What about competitive intelligence tools that connect online and offline behavior? One of the key difficulties in creating a comprehensive view of the consumer is translating online and real-world consumer behaviors and habits. Understanding how a customer behaves in the real world provides a deeper level of insight, connecting the dots between online and offline behaviors. Offline activities can tell you about a customer’s habits, interests, values, and attributes which can be used to improve messaging, targeting, and strategy.
Keeping ahead of the competition is a key factor in running a successful business. Advancements in technology have made this easier by creating tools that can be used for data gathering. However, technology has also made the business landscape more complex. There are far more ways to track the activities of your competitors and their customers than ever before, and it can be difficult to identify the correct analytical tools and most impactful strategies for your business.
Most companies do not have the in-house expertise necessary to make the best use of data analytics. Leveraging an analytics partner provides your company with the data gathering and analytical expertise needed to make the best use of competitive intelligence. The resulting data can then be used to drive strategy and improve business outcomes.
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