If you have a Shopify business, you probably know that finding lucrative, trending products to sell is easier said than done. While improving your return on investment is possible, it requires a data-driven strategy to find and sell high-converting products that appeal to your niche market base.
That’s where competitive research analysis comes in, and this article will cover the numerous ways it can assist you on the path toward selling the best products on the market.
How Competitor Research Can Help You Find Bestselling Shopify Products
Consider competitive research as the data or insights used to generate a robust analysis of a company and its approach to business. Effectively using competitor research can supercharge your decision-making process when adding new products to your niche Shopify business.
Competitive intelligence can reveal:
- If there’s something similar already on the market.
- If so, has there been any success with the product/service?
- If the product hasn’t been successful, what went wrong?
- Product pricing: while your product may be exactly what customers are looking for, your business will miss out if it’s priced incorrectly.
- Product features: you need to identify customer expectations of your product so that you can match or exceed them.
- Performance: once you’ve identified what customers are looking for, you need to understand the standards acceptable for quality and performance.
Many businesses take a traditional approach to competitor analysis, strictly focusing on angles like competitor products and weaknesses. While these analyses can prove helpful, they’re often too generic and deny you the broadened perspective needed to succeed in a competitive market.
Even the best Shopify entrepreneurs fall short when gathering vital data like product data, website optimization, and Ad campaign budgets. They also miss lucrative blindspots that reveal through more comprehensive CI or analysis.
According to CIO Magazine and Forrester, research shows that “organizations with a system of data-driven insights are 140% more likely to create sustainable competitive advantage and 78% more likely to grow revenue.”
These detailed business insights can distinguish between a winning strategy or a costly business misfire. And if you’re looking to be an outlet for top-selling Shopify products, you’ll need to gather insightful data that can aid you in strategic decision-making.
You can accrue this data through current sales reports, product category best sellers, sales forecasting and other customized reports sourced from direct and indirect competitors.
Determining Your Niche
Niche Shopify stores target a smaller, well-defined portion of the market. These stores have scalability and provide you with a better chance of achieving sales goals than appealing to wider audiences.
Common Niche Markets Include:
- Dating and relationships
- Meal kits
- Health and wellness
- Pet owners
- Socially conscious consumers
- Homeowners (Airbnb and VRBO)
A niche store focuses your resources on a specific demographic, geographic, psychographic, product, or service. Choosing to run a niche Shopify store will help you carve out a market of your own, but selecting the right niche is a process in and of itself.
In the initial stages of planning, using competitive analysis to gatherer intelligence on business competitors can help you:
- Choose better-performing products for your store
- Get ideas for your marketing strategy
- Identify rivals’ weaknesses
Suppose you’ve already identified products or solutions you think your customers want. In that case, the next step is to consider the products and features customers haven’t identified because they don’t know they exist.
Your niche business should use competitive analysis to set trends, not just follow them. Competitive analysis can help you forecast customer needs and find emerging market signals that may not yet be visible to other companies.
There are additional benefits to being a niche Shopify business:
- It’s easier to produce a strategy targeted to the right audience if the focus is more minor.
- You can pick up a larger market share if there’s less direct competition already serving the market.
- You have a better chance of becoming a market leader or expert via your well-defined expertise in your field or sector.
- Increased visibility, more marketing and PR opportunities in less crowded marketplaces
- Potential to create stronger customer relationships due to the limited number of competitors serving the market
- Ability to preserve resources, fewer expenditures against limited competition
Targeting Your Niche Audience Needs
Competitive intelligence can help you maximize profit potential by targeting the needs of a niche or underserved market.
Take, for instance, UNTUCKit, the store that only makes men’s and women’s casual clothing, which got its start by specializing in well-made shirts meant to be worn “untucked.”
There’s also The Container Store which only sells––you guessed it–– containers. The store, which specializes in home organizing products, had net sales of $276 million in the second quarter of 2021, up 11.2% compared to Q2 fiscal 2020 and up 16.7% over Q2 2019.
Once you establish your niche, the next priority is finding top-selling products for your Shopify store so you can build your website, begin product sourcing, and create and implement your marketing plan. Readily having access to relevant research and data can help you accomplish these tasks and more.
Use competitive analysis to identify and define your audience's needs and position your business as the solution they seek. Be mindful that many companies fail by expanding into too many markets all at once. By starting smaller, your Shopify business will also have a better opportunity to establish itself with consumers and achieve organic growth through product sales and expansion.
Customer Loyalty in Your Niche Market
Beyond sales potential, your Shopify niche business has an added chance of capitalizing on customer loyalty. For example, suppose you’re a business that sells adaptive clothing to people with varying needs and disabilities. You may benefit from a dependable and loyal market base due to the lack of competition. In contrast, larger clothing businesses like Gap, Levi’s, and American Eagle, for example, notoriously don’t tailor to the same market, giving your niche business an advantage.
While larger businesses are constantly fighting for the same piece of pie, consumer loyalty to your niche store will mean your business can capitalize on:
- Customers that are repeat shoppers
- Customers who will become product evangelists, happily spreading the news about your product or service and helping with marketing efforts
Successfully capitalizing on your niche means more than being the first person in the marketplace. It also means your business has the expertise required to stay ahead of the competition, even when they take notice of your growth and try to capitalize on your approach.
Researching Competitors and Exploring Existing Data
The need for competitive intelligence has become increasingly important, particularly for eCommerce. Identifying, gathering, and analyzing data from your competitors can help you predict market trends that will impact the strategy of your niche Shopify store.
The most successful businesses use competitive intelligence as a benchmark to determine their standing concerning direct competitors in their niche. You can also use CI to compare competitors’ marketing efforts vs. yours.
Businesses can use a few different available data sets to reverse engineer their own dream Shopify website. The key is finding out what’s available then putting it to practical use.
The data you’ll get from good competitive intelligence falls into two distinct categories: tactical or strategic. Strategic is more concerned with long-term planning, while tactical data gathering helps you find ways to increase profits or market share.
Now, let’s look at some data categories you may want to use to track and monitor your competition.
Everyone prioritizes concern over website “traffic” or the number of visits their Shopify site receives. The more online visits you have, the more sales leads you’ve generated from your website.
But what about the competition?
Can you use information collected from competitor websites to help your niche business?
Traffic analysis of competitors is among the essential datasets you can invest in. Use CI to understand how competitors set their digital marketing priorities, which digital marketing activities they’re investing in, and more.
Monitoring your competitors’ website traffic can help you determine where you stand about their audience and provide a benchmark for current and upcoming digital campaigns.
Business insights on rivals’ traffic, i.e., when their audience increases or decreases, can give you insightful user behavior data.
- What marketing works (and doesn’t work) for your Shopify store competition
- Does their audience grow or decrease during specific periods or quarters, holidays, etc.
- Is their overall traffic growing or decreasing–if it’s declining, maybe your new marketing campaign is working.
- Where is their audience traffic coming from–which search engine results pages (SERPS) or geographic regions, for example
- Which are their top performing pages
Current technology used by business insight companies, like Commerce Inspector, lets you quickly find and leverage the above data and other relevant competitor data points to evaluate current Shopify digital marketing campaigns, optimize your online presence, and more.
Everyone wants to know how they stack up against the competition regarding total sales figures.
But analyzing your competitor’s sales data can give you more than just bragging rights; it can also help you see how strong your rivals’ businesses are.
Competitive intelligence can give you robust data you can use to choose a new sales strategy or refine current tactics that no longer work.
It can also give you other valuable information to analyze new market trends and buying behaviors, which may lead to better decision-making for your Shopify product selection.
- Are your competitors selling in additional product categories you’re currently not in, and is there a potential for you to expand
- Which sales tactics are they using–what works, what doesn’t, why
- Are Shopify rivals differentiating their brand in ways you don’t currently, such as offering free shipping
- Where are your Shopify niche competitors’ weakest in sales? Is this a category you can potentially excel in
- Where are your Shopify niche competitors’ strongest in sales? Are they showing increased sales in a class you currently lead in (maybe it’s time for new tactics)
- Do current market trends indicate your new/existing product is a “fad,” or does it reveal potential stability for your brand
- Are you in a growth market, or are indicators trending downward
More reasons good CI helps you analyze the competition
Good competitive intelligence, once diagnosed, can be used in many ways and inform your decision-making in several unexpected business conditions.
Using CI may reveal the product or brand with the most name recognition (and your perceived sales rival) isn’t necessarily the one getting the most website traffic or leads. Competitive intelligence can help you identify your store's real business competition and weed out these business distractions.
Perhaps sales have gone up at a rival company, but you can’t determine what’s driving their increase. If you use a competitive intelligence app or service, you can simply look at past sales data to see if perhaps a new hire, a rebrand, or product changes have affected their bottom line (and consequently yours.)
The possibilities for market awareness are limitless when you have the correct data.
Your Shopify brand can counteract sales tactics by rivals, but only if you know what they’re doing.
One way to always know what the competition is up to is by purchasing consumer intelligence services so you can monitor the competition’s product offerings.
Product analysis is a direct comparison between products you currently offer in your store and products provided by the competition.
If you’ve worked in eCommerce for any time, you’ve likely done many of these analyses in the past.
But instead of using potentially out-of-date info you’ve found online to compare your business offerings to competitors, maybe it’s time to use a trusted competitive intelligence provider. One is offering robust competitor data collected directly from your rival websites.
The targeted data gathering offered by research professionals will help you better compare your niche Shopify inventory to products offered by competitors—all with the click of a mouse.
Using detailed product analysis generated from competitive intelligence can help niche Shopify store owners learn more about:
- Pricing - do you need to adjust pricing to compete with rivals–or is it too low? Should you be charging more
- Feature comparisons - don’t let competitors get ahead of you in the marketplace
- Find ways to differentiate their brand from other brands - see what perks rivals offer, then determine if there are other, more valuable rewards you can provide to customers.
- Find gaps in the current marketplace - comparing the competition to your product offerings may make it easier to determine the competitive landscape find gaps in current market offerings.
- Evaluate the potential market size of a new product you’re considering
- Who is the “real” audience for the product you’re offering or planning
Business insights like those above are just examples of how competitive intelligence can help you create better business decision-making and strategy by leveraging data.
Shopify Spy Tools
Gaining access to data on business rivals was once a more convoluted process, with many businesses using makeshift data collection methods to track Shopify rivals.
Most so-called spy tools fall into two categories.
First, are apps made specifically to provide Shopify competitive intelligence (like Commerce Inspector.) These business insight tools are best for your Shopify niche store due to built-in tracking and monitoring capabilities, reporting ability, customization options, and other devices.
Some Shopify businesses have tried their hand at creating their DIY data discovery systems, using a mishmash of available apps and alerts to develop their competitive intelligence.
They’ve struggled with a complicated maze of:
- Using “Google alerts” to track rival mentions, monitor deals, and general press.
- Google Keywords to compare competitors' keywords to theirs.
- SEMrush and Moz Link Explorer are two popular extensions to follow domain performance and check competitor backlinks.
- Following competitors’ social media and online communities to gauge customer engagement get customer insights.
Unfortunately, these DIY business insights and data mining solutions take time and often don’t always give you the features you need, such as report generation, sales tracking, filters, and more.
Luckily, dedicated apps explicitly made for watching competitor Shopify stores, like Commerce Inspector, are available.
CommerceInspector - How to Use for Competitor Analysis
CommerceInspector does away with Shopify businesses’ needs for multiple apps and convoluted systems for your business insights. It takes a deep dive approach to competitor intelligence or analysis, giving you comprehensive looks at your Shopify competitors.
You’ll have access to your most essential data and insights in one place. This easy-to-use yet powerful competitor analysis tool is available as a toolbar extension and a website solution that works with Chrome, Windows, and Apple.
One of the best ways that CommerceInspector can help you is by giving you fast, detailed access to other stores. Coming up with new ideas for your Shopify store can be challenging for you as an entrepreneur, but CommerceInspector gives you the data you need to evaluate/confirm new ideas right on the spot.
See a Shopify product that you think might work for your store? Use the CommerceInspector web extension or web app and see for yourself just how that product is doing on rival Shopify stores.
Get product sales figures, marketing campaign information, and more—in a few seconds.
Which CommerceInspector plan is right for your Shopify store
CommerceInspector is available to users in several Free and Paid/Premium versions. Pick the best one based on your Shopify business needs and budget.
CommerceInspector (free and paid versions) come with:
- Product tracking includes: bestsellers, order numbers, new product launches, variants, vendor and inventory information
- Tracks your competitors’ traffic (traffic sources, visit counts, more)
- Tracks which Shopify apps your competitors use; find new tools for your store
- Trend tracking - which products are top-sellers on Shopify
Meanwhile, CommerceInspector’s Paid plans let users monitor rival Shopify stores, product revenue info, get rival ad reports, and more.
CommerceInspector (paid versions only) have the following additional features:
- Ability to view Shopify store’s Facebook ad campaigns
- Get weekly revenue estimates and unit sales figures for the past week for 847,984 Shopify stores
- Monitor trends/find out what’s selling now
- Shop-level revenue figures
- Product-level revenue figures
- Last week’s best sellers
- Search products across shops
- Search apps across shops
- Top selling and trending shops lists
- Current ad creative live
- Historical ad creative
How Commerce Inspector Works
This tool gives users access to valuable business insights for competitor websites in real-time.
It’s simple. Just pick the Shopify store of your choice. When you visit a compatible store, the Commerce Inspector “lights up,” letting you know that data is available.
Users can then just click on the extension’s icon, and you will reveal an assortment of competitive data. Quickly follow current trends monitor competitors with the click of a mouse.
Our information comes from a variety of trusted sources. Let Commerce Inspector do the work for you instead of using a ragtag collection of unaffiliated apps and alerts to create your business research.
Want to find trending products for your store? Search products by keyword across all shops to see what other Shopify stores are selling?
Use Commerce Inspector to learn about rival brands’ Facebook campaigns; discover what their customer engagement is really like, through their Facebook groups.
Our CI can give predictions about projected sales, revenues, and profits of your biggest direct and indirect competitors.
All the data and analysis you need to help your brand compete is available at your fingertips, all on the same app screen.
Monitoring competitor sales trends, new launches, and other data can be a full-time job, and you already have one—your Shopify niche store.
Successful Shopify owners know that having access to comprehensive competitive intelligence is one of the easiest—and best ways to ensure a shot at real success in the Shopify niche market.
Learning through trial and error is helpful but also time-consuming.
And though there are many ways you can compile the data you need to find trending products, competitor sales reports, bestselling product lists, and more, Commerce Inspector is the leader in Shopify business insights.
Commerce Inspector is the primary way Shopify store owners get the info they need to differentiate themselves from other Shopify owners with essential competitor information like:
- One-Click Bestsellers
- Traffic & Social Media insights
- Product Insights
- Apps & Tools (used by competitor websites)
Try Commerce Inspector and see for yourself
Ready to access the robust competitive intelligence you need to find more products for your niche Shopify store? Sign up for one of our free or premium Commerce Inspector accounts at our website today.