How to find business growth opportunities within your competitive landscape

Global pandemics have pushed digitalization to new heights. Online was booming, even though offline industries were suffering a catastrophic decline.

Search traffic in the US and globally is surging. In today’s digital world, especially when most indicators are going up, if you don’t grow, you will lose market share and, ultimately, customers.

This article will show you how to use competitive insight to identify new growth areas for your company.

Understanding the Business Value of Competitive Analysis

Competitive intelligence can help you avoid costly guesswork and high-risk experiments. You can use competitive intelligence to…

Consider the potential threats to the market and competition.

Find gaps in product offerings

You are fighting to win the same audience.

Spot seasonal trends and demand shifts, and adjust your product/marketing/business strategy accordingly.

Use marketing channels that work for you and ignore those that do not.

You only need a framework that has been tested and proven and reliable tools to get these insights.

How to use competitive analysis to discover new growth points

Semrush’s competitive intelligence will help you quickly implement a three-step structure that can generate ideas for your business.

Market dynamics: Identify your share of the market and general market dynamics. You must first understand the market and industry trends in your area before you begin your research.

Walmart will be used as an example in order to show what opportunities Walmart, the US online retailer, may be missing.

Entering Walmart’s website into Market Explorer gives us an instant view of the US e-tail landscape.

Walmart will have a staggering 10% share of the US retail online market in January 2021. This number is not very telling without a look at the market trends for previous periods.

Let’s compare Walmart’s growth/declining dynamics with the overall market trend.

We can now see that the traffic fluctuations of the big-box retailer are nearly identical to those of the market. This means that the brand’s share of the market remained fairly stable throughout the last year (with only a small decline in July 2020).

This is good news. Stability may be a sign of stagnation, however, because Walmart’s surge in traffic is consistent with the overall growth of the market. Walmart may want to examine its main competitors in order to find new growth opportunities.

Budgeting is easier when you know the key acquisition channels of your competitors

Walmart competes with the following top 5 players:

Walmart is way ahead of the traditional big-box stores like Target and Costco. Walmart, which has become a giant online retailer rather than merely an ecommerce site, is now in competition with Amazon and eBay.

Market Explorer Benchmarking Report gives us an in-depth view of our competitors’ traffic generation strategies and the strategies they use to generate traffic within their market.

In this niche, the importance of brand recognition is evident.

Amazon and eBay are Walmart’s main rivals. They have a higher share of direct traffic and a lower percentage of paid visits. Walmart could consider investing in organic growth strategies instead of relying solely on paid channels. Costco, the fifth-most popular ecommerce site, has nailed organic growth with zero paid search investment.

If we examine the social breakdown, it is clear that Walmart relies too heavily on Facebook. At the same time, the rest of its competitors have a more evenly distributed social media strategy with a greater emphasis on YouTube and a certain level of penetration on Reddit, which Walmart does not have.

This brief overview gives us some ideas about Walmart’s future Marketing Strategy: shifting advertising budgets towards organic growth strategies and diversifying social media strategy.

Find out what products and marketing campaigns are most successful for your competitors

We should now be able to understand better what Walmart should promote, knowing how it could improve its marketing strategy.

Walmart competes with other big-box stores more on products. We’re going to use the traffic analytics tool in order to identify Target as the main competitor and its top products.

Disclosing the top products of a competitor

Target’s most popular products can be determined by analyzing its most-visited pages.

Sony PlayStation 5 dominates every top page, from the console to the PS5 video games that are most wanted.

Walmart promotes its video console as well, but when comparing the traffic breakdown of both brands, it is clear that Walmart should get more traffic from search engines (it receives just 2% in comparison to Target’s 17%).

Walmart could learn from its competitors about how to best promote similar products.

Trending marketing campaigns

It is important to examine the top pages of your competitors because not only do they showcase their most popular products, but they may also point out campaigns that have a large audience.

We noticed a marketing campaign in Target’s overview of the top pages that attracted around 2% percent of its site visitors. This is a dedicated page with all of the Target locations’ weekly specials: you can browse through the offers to find all the sales at a particular store.

Walmart should take note of this approach: first, keep an eye out for its rivals’ promotions and then launch a similar marketing campaign to appeal to Target’s customers and increase their loyalty.

Triggering your business growth

Walmart employs large teams to conduct this type of research. However, they still miss some opportunities for growth.

You don’t always need to hire a big team in order to uncover marketing opportunities and ensure business growth. You only need a framework and an analytical tool, such as Traffic Analysis, in order to get market and competitor insights and reveal key gaps between the marketing strategies of your business and those of your competitors.

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