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Guide
9.06.2023
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Step-by-Step Guide to Digital Shelf Analysis for Online Stores

Analyzing competitors’ digital shelves is a standard practice in e-commerce because competitor intelligence provides valuable insights for category managers. Based on data from a digital shelf analysis of competitors, you can identify what attracts customers, offer unique advantages, and understand how to improve your online merchandising.

In this article, you will learn about key parameters to focus on during competitor digital shelf analysis and how to evaluate them.

  1. Price index by category
  2. Assortment
  3. Promotional activities
  4. Positions in product listings
  5. Product ratings
  6. Content in product cards
Checklist for online stores
📑 Download PDF and optimize competitor analysis in e-commerce

1. Price index by category

Regularly analyzing the price index within a category helps you understand how your positioning aligns with competitors’ prices.

If your prices are higher than those of your competitors and you know that customers in this category are price-sensitive, it’s a signal to consider adjusting your pricing strategy. This will make your offerings more accessible to customers.

Methodology: Compare the prices of your assortment with the prices of similar items offered by competitors.

To conduct price comparisons, the category manager should have accurate and up-to-date competitor data. Parsing competitors’ prices using Pricer24 can save you time when collecting this information. Here’s how you will be able to analyze the data you gather:

Price Comparison report displaying in a pie chart the number and percentage of market offerings whose prices are lower than yours

In the Price Comparison report, you can easily get an overall understanding of the market’s price positioning in terms of your price and competitors’ prices on your products with just a few clicks. Statistics for specific stores allow you to quickly identify how many products in your store are sold at higher, lower, or the same prices compared to other online retailers.

Table showing the Price Comparison report

Next, you can display a list of positions with prices higher than yours and see the differences in percentages and absolute numbers.

List of your products with prices higher than competitors’

By regularly analyzing the price index in the category compared to competitors, the category manager can make informed pricing decisions, optimize profitability, and maintain a competitive advantage.

2. Assortment

Analyzing competitors’ assortments in a specific category helps you gain insights into market trends, identify gaps, and identify opportunities for improving your own assortment and representation.

Understanding market positioning

By studying the assortment of products offered by competitors, category managers can identify their unique selling propositions. This knowledge allows for improving your own assortment strategy and identifying areas of competitive advantage.

Identifying product gaps and opportunities

By exploring competitors’ assortments, category managers can identify segments where competitors do not meet market demand. These gaps represent opportunities. By filling them with your own products, you can attract customers who are looking for specific products that competitors may not offer.

Optimizing assortment and product diversity

Analyzing competitors’ assortments helps you determine whether your own assortment is too narrow or too broad to make informed decisions on expanding or consolidating your offerings.

Tracking market trends and innovations

Monitoring competitors’ assortments provides category managers with insights into new market trends. They can identify new product categories, brands, segments, or items offered by competitors to meet customer needs. This information allows for timely adjustments to your own assortment strategy.

Methodology: Compare assortment (category width) and detailed availability data vis-à-vis competitors.

In Pricer24, it works as follows: You provide your catalog and a list of competitors for monitoring. After matching, our platform starts regularly collecting all necessary information. The service can gather data not only on your catalog but also on competitors’ catalogs, allowing you to see the entire market.

Up-to-date data on assortment and availability are displayed in the Assortment Analysis report.

Example of the Assortment Analysis report

In this report, you can quickly find answers to questions such as:

  • How many items have the status out of stock or not found both for you and your competitors?
  • Which competitors have a better representation of products from your assortment?
  • What’s interesting on competitors’ digital shelves, and what new products are on the market?

Using tags and filters, you can create separate reports to monitor the availability of top-selling and other important products.

You can not only analyze the current situation but also track changes in the market assortment: the total number of items, how many items are currently in stock, and how much has gone out of stock (daily or over a specific period) to timely notice shortages or surpluses with the help of Pricer24’s Dynamics of assortment changes report.

By analyzing competitors’ assortments in a given category, managers can understand the market landscape, identify strategic opportunities, and optimize their own assortment strategy.

3. Promotional activities

Analyze promotional campaigns and compare your advertising strategy with the market. By studying types of promotional activities, discount levels, and mechanics used by competitors, you can assess the competitiveness and effectiveness of your own promotional campaigns.

Methodology: Evaluate the level of promotional activities in a given category, a given segment, or by specific SKUs.

Collecting data on competitors’ promotions can also be automated. In Pricer24, this information is displayed in the Market Analysis report.

Example of the Market Analysis report

You can easily create a list of current promos for SKUs and explore them in detail.

4. Positions in product listings

Analyze the top positions in competitors’ product listings and gather information about competitors’ bestsellers to identify market trends.

Methodology: Check what products appear at the top of online stores search results of competitors’ product listings.

Compare it with your shelf, create hypotheses, and, if necessary, transform your product listings to align with your competitors’ (for instance, to optimize the sales structure).

5. Product ratings

Assess customer preferences in your category: Which features, attributes, and advantages make a product popular?

Methodology: Analyze which products have the highest number of reviews and ratings in competitors’ catalogs.

If possible, work with these products and evaluate the results.

6. Content in product cards

Descriptions, photos, and videos determine the quality of product presentation on the digital shelf. By carefully examining these elements on competitors’ websites, you can assist the content department in prioritizing tasks.

Methodology: Analyze how product cards are presented, compare them with your own, and identify areas for improvement.

With the help of Pricer24, you can quickly see:

  • Whether descriptions are available for specific products on competitors’ websites
  • The number of photos and videos in competitors’ product cards

With this data, you can compare your catalog with competitors’ and understand where content improvements are needed: adding descriptions, photos, and videos.

How Pricer24 helps analyze the digital shelf

Analyzing the digital shelf is crucial for category managers, but it can be a time-consuming and complex process. Thankfully, automated solutions can simplify the process and provide valuable insights.

With Pricer24, a category manager can create and test hypotheses on:

  • How to improve pricing by setting market prices better than competitors
  • How to expand their catalog (if it’s not a niche store) and maximize product assortment using specific positions
  • How to make promotional campaigns more attractive than those of competitors
  • How to identify potential growth opportunities through popular products

Summary

To achieve profitability goals or increase market share, category managers need to regularly analyze competitors’ digital shelves. To make this analysis fast and effective, you can automate the time-consuming task of data collection. Make informed decisions to enhance your retail competitiveness while Pricer24 handles all the routine work.

Take a consultation
  • Market analytics
  • Price parsing
  • Product visibility
Take a consultation
  • Market analytics
  • Price parsing
  • Product visibility
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