Source: flickr.com/ photos/ taksidia/ 1249605102

When it comes down to it, every company wants to compare their products against the competition. Healthy competitive metrics right?

Oddly enough, its not that easy to get competitive information. You could send out an army of data collectors to storefronts and keep note of how much of your competitors’ products are being sold.

Or you could hire a hacker to steal sales data (and risk jail time for it)

But there are much easier (and legal) methods of trying to divine how well your competitor is doing in almost real time.

Every product sold online has a bunch of metrics that you can observe. These are subtle clues, so invisible that you might totally have missed it. But put them altogether and they help create a pretty comprehensive picture of your competitors’ product health.

Its invaluable. And it isn’t even that hard!

Here are some things that you could watch out for:

  1. User ratings: these are an immense source of information. In addition to just the overall ratings, you could look at the number of scores, the growth trajectory of average user ratings, and instances where ratings suddenly jumped or dropped — all of which point to a variety of activity: increasing sales volumes, the impact of social trending, etc. Its even more useful when you have historical data, which could help you plan your own sales strategy
  2. Price change frequency: Many products change price, often around holidays or shopping seasons. These can be sources of invaluable information especially if you’re trying to gauge your competition’s pricing strategy. Also, increased demand for a particular product results in more traffic to the page, which in turn would have an effect on pricing as the retailer tries to convert as many customers as possible.
  3. ProductRank: Semantics3 provides a proprietary product ranking system that assigns a rank to every product in our 50-million product database. ProductRank is an absolute number that is generated for every product based on several inputs which include, among others, product price change frequency, user ratings, and seller ratings (more reputable sellers tend to have their products ranked higher). This is incredibly useful in gauging your competitors’ products: rapid rises in ProductRank, as well as a generally high rank is indicative of great product performance.
  4. Stock availability: This one’s pretty obvious; products that are out of stock should be popular right? Not really, since that product might be discontinued. BUT, if a product is presently in stock, but runs out quickly, that’s a very good indication of sales frequency. Throw in historical data, and you can get an awesome gauge of your competition’s sales.

Semantics3's Product API can help you get all of this data, especially historical data that can be very useful in competitive analysis. We have coverage on over 50 million products from many leading online retailers.

Reach out to us at contactus@semantics3.com!