- Know what the Competition is Charging!
- Get a Snapshot of their Inventory and Product Placement!
- Learn how your Operations Compare with Competitors in the Eyes of the Consumer!
- Increase Market Share by Analyzing Market Dynamics!
What is our competition doing better than us? How does our pricing, product selection and inventory stack up against our competitors? What great revenue/traffic-driving ideas do they already have in place that we could easily adopt and increase our market share? Apples to apples, how does the customer interaction experience compare between our operations and our competitors’ operations? In what areas are our competitors winning over the consumer, versus our company? How does the customer feel about our brand and retail experience vs. our competitors?
What are Price Audits / Competitor Shops?
Price Audits are exactly what they sound like: a specific listing of products and/or SKU numbers and the associated retail prices being displayed for consumer purchase as of the date of the audit. They allow companies to see a snap shot of how their present pricing compares with that of their identified competitors. This data can then be used to make adjustments to, or affirmations of, the company’s current pricing structure, as well as develop pricing strategies, promotions and sales for upcoming quarters.
Due to the cost-effective nature of price audits, these measurement tools are a key element of a corporate customer intelligence strategy. They are used heavily in retail environments, but also have utility in any industry in which there is a competitive environment.
Competitor Shops allow a company to have an inside peek at their competition’s consumer experience. Typically, they will measure all the key elements of a customer interaction, including accuracy, friendliness, product knowledge, sales process skills, adherence to company policy and timings (when applicable). Often observations of the location are incorporated into the report as well, such as cleanliness of the facility and condition of signage. It is in essence a Mystery Shop of a competitor.
The power of this data increases exponentially when competitor shops are conducted and compared with identical criteria administered through mystery shops of the original company: these data streams, tied together with the baseline information of the original company, provide a sophisticated global snapshot and analysis of the original company’s strengths, weaknesses and rankings against its key measured competitors. This information can then be used to adjust policy, programs and pricing to increase market share and make measurable gains in specific categories over market competitors. Repeated studies illuminate the progress made quarter over quarter to close performance gaps and capture a larger slice of the market.
The ultimate competitive analysis includes a Neuro-Economic Analysis combined with competitor shops. The data mined from the latter provides objective, actionable information to the original company about its competitors. This data, when married to mystery shops of the original company, then gives a more complete market snapshot. Adding a neuro-economic analysis injects personal consumer attitudes into the objective data to better forecast how the typical customer reacts to all the gathered data: in other words, what does the customer like about the operation of the competitor? Which of the measured objective criteria from the competitor shop influence the consumer to greater levels of brand loyalty and positive halo in ordinary conversation or through social media?
They help companies understand which of those differing competitive elements of the marketplace are actually material and valued by the customer in making preferences of brand over brand, maintaining or chipping away at that brand loyalty and influencing future patronage patterns of the current customer and his or her network of influence.
Like price audits, competitor shops are a staple of the retail world, but are increasingly being used across all industries, including Automotive, Hospitality, QSR, Casual and Fine Dining, Theme Parks and Attractions, Health Care, New Home Builders, Multi-Family Housing (Apartments), Home Services and Education. Competitor shops can be done as on-site mystery shops, recorded or non-recorded phone shops or internet shops, depending on the industry.