One of the most lucrative ways to improve your business is to attract your competitor’s customers to your business. Consumers will switch brands and businesses if they can see real value, so you need to give them a pretty good reason to choose your business over your competitors.
Thorough competitor analysis is the strategic way of developing a clearer picture of what's happening in the market and giving you a basis to develop your own action plan. Follow these steps to make your business irresistible to your competitor’s customers:
1. Lower your prices
Simply being the cheapest supplier can be an effective way to attract new customers, but what your business sells will have a major impact on how effective this technique will be. If your business sells commodity items such as books, CDs, DVDs etc., which are identical no matter which retailer sells them, consumers will look for the cheapest price.
Value however, is often related to price. An item that has a very low price can frequently be perceived as inferior. Look closely at the pricing structure of your competitors before slashing your own prices, as this could damage the brand value of your company.
And value for money doesn’t simply mean more for your money, as the equation consumers use to decide what price they want to pay for any goods is complex. Attracting customers away from competitors may have a price component, but this isn’t the only factor consumers will use for goods that are not seen as commodities.
2. Create brand loyalty
Inviting customers to become part of your brand can be a powerful attractor. Companies such as Apple illustrate how successful strong brand values can be. Consumers want to be part of a group or tribe that not only delivers great goods or services but, also shows the people in their network they support the values of the brand they associate themselves with.
Trust and interest in a business’ customers and what they do are strong ways your business’ brand can become highly attractive to your competitor’s customers. The emotional ties your business can make via social media for instance can be highly effective. In addition, it has been shown that consumers who are emotionally connected to a brand are less price sensitive, which is why Apple can charge so much more for its products.
3. Raise your profile
As consumers are constantly bombarded with marketing messages, making your business standout from the crowd is vital. Marketing of course has always been critical to all businesses.
However, today, social media has enabled direct and highly personal connections to be made with groups and individuals. This granular marketing is a highly effective way to raise your business’ profile in the minds of your competitor’s customers.
Remember though that overt marketing and selling techniques can have a negative impact across social media networks. Discounts and competitions are proven to be highly popular with consumers. Offering these across your social networks could enable you to steal some of your competitor’s customers.
Consumers are also looking for help, support, value and something to share with their networks. Creating content for these groups delivers these shareable materials, which could mean your brand and business becomes more desirable to buy from than your competitors.
4. Encourage brand advocates
One of the most powerful ways to attract customer from your competitors is via word-of-mouth. A personal recommendation – often on social media – can have a profound impact on consumers looking for goods and services. Indeed, Nielsen discovered that word-of-mouth recommendations are the most credible. No amount of advertising can beat a personal recommendation from a trusted friend, colleague or family member. Look closely at your business’ key influencers. These are groups and individuals that have shown a keen interest in your brand and its goods or services. Your business should support these groups or individuals, as they can often be the start of a recommendation that then widely disseminated across what could be vast networks. Brands can encourage brand advocacy through referral marketing strategies and techniques. As a small business owner, this can be an effective low-cost acquisition channel if done well.
5. Find the gaps
Think about the market sectors your business is trading within. You should be constantly looking to innovate and fill the gaps with new goods and services. One of the most effective ways to attract customers away from competitors is to not only offer something unique, but something that you know is missing from the market.
Use social media to constantly assess your market. Ask your customers what goods or services they would love to see become available. Your competitors may come along with something similar later, but your business was first to market, which can gain new loyal customers.
6. Support your customers
According to Oracle, 89% of consumers would move to a competitor if they had a poor customer service experience. Today thanks to social media, customer service has become an almost real-time exercise. Twitter is now one of the most used channels for consumers to contact the businesses they buy from.
Moreover, consumers are using their experience of a business’ customer service support as a means to differentiate businesses in any given market, which they use to decide where to spend their money. Making a personal connection to them is critical. SpotOn revealed that 41% of consumers buy from businesses that send personalized emails.
It’s a simple equation: the better your customer service the more customers your business will attract – and more importantly – retain over the long-term with high levels of loyalty.
7. Invest in m-commerce
How consumers now connect and buy from businesses has changed. The internet has of course become a massive channel for commerce, but mobile commerce looks set to eclipse even the huge success seen with e-commerce. Businesses that can embrace the mobile space will be highly attractive to customers – especially those in the lucrative millennial group.
Businesses that can use the mobile channel with dedicated websites and apps will be able to gain the customers looking to do even more with their phones and tablets. As figures from eMarketer suggest that nearly 50% of m-commerce sales are completed with smartphones, businesses need to ensure they are fully supporting this burgeoning channel across their businesses.
And the app economy shows no sign of slowing. According to the Business of Apps global revenue from in-app purchases could reach USD $189 billion by 2020. What is clear for all businesses, is if they can expand into m-commerce this could be a massive attractor for competitor customers.