Far too many business people treat ecommerce as a zero-sum game. For somebody to win, somebody has to lose. While this can be a strong motivator, it isn’t really true. All boats float in a rising tide. Competition is good for business. And, learning from your competitors can improve the way you conduct your dealings.Here’s how.

Adapt Successful Strategies/Avoid Failing Ones

Regardless of what you’re doing, there’s always going to be somebody better than you and there’s always going to be somebody doing worse than you. When you run across someone who is performing better, stop and take a look at how they do what they do for elements you can incorporate into your game. Similarly, when you run across someone who isn’t as successful as you, examine their strategies to see what they’re doing wrong, so you don’t accidentally duplicate their mistakes.

Anticipate Trends

Even if you have one of the best ebooks online stores from Shopify, you could be overlooking certain patterns and trends. Observing the pattern of activity conducted by your strongest competitor could help you see something coming you might have missed. Gaining access to their customer’s search and purchasing behavior can help you spot new trends before they fully emerge. This can position you to ride a wave as it builds, rather than scrambling to catch it as it crests.

Maintain Customer Loyalty/Attract New Customers

If your rivals have a strong customer base from which they derive lots of repeat business, it will be useful to analyze their strategies in this area and adapt them to your offerings. Perhaps they’ve hit up on a way to enhance the customer experience of which you may not have been aware.

While you’re looking over their shoulders to gain more understanding in this regard, look to see how they conduct customer acquisition.  After all, before they can hold on to all of those new customers, they have to attract them in the first place—right? This could give you insights into innovative methods of attracting shoppers you may have previously overlooked.

Improve Your Marketing Strategy

If they have very deep pockets, it will be useful for you to observe where they’re mounting their strongest marketing pushes, so you can avoid the brunt of their efforts. Conversely, you might see an area they’ve overlooked and court it before they realize their mistake. Either way, your marketing dollars won’t haveto power through as much clutter to get you noticed.

Advance Your SEO Rankings

In a similar fashion, once you know what keywords they’re focused upon, you can look for ways to go after less competitive ones. Pay attention to their backlink strategy as well. Zigging when they zag will save you both time and money. It will also find you ranking better more quickly.

Adjust Your Product Offerings

When you see what sells best for them, you’ll gain more understanding into the marketplace, specifically in terms of what shoppers value. If you’re selling the same thing, but not doing as well, you can adjust your value proposition, so customers see you in a different light.

As you can see, learning from your ecommerce competitors holds the potential for a number of key advantages. With that said, the key is to learn from their actions, then rework what you learn to fit the image and persona you project. In other words, rather than copying them wholesale, look for ways to adapt what they’re doing to work within your parameters. Above all, don’t be a copycat. The customer’s desire to stick with the original is reinforced when they see you as a copycat.