How market intelligence helps brands achieve maximum performance in e-commerce

Market intelligence in e-commerce enables confident strategic decisions about offers and positioning based on external market data.

14 March, 2023 / Sebastian Klumpp

The complexity of online retail is growing, but the challenges remain: the thicket of marketplaces from Amazon to Zalando and the identification of relevant sales channels, increasing competitive pressure amid fluctuating consumer confidence, drastic market developments such as supply bottlenecks, the consideration of different conditions and needs in other countries, and many other factors.

Multichannel retailers have been maneuvering these wild waters for many years. However, many brands have only recently set sail. Especially since the Corona pandemic, brands are increasingly pursuing a direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy and selling directly through various sales channels. But how can you keep track in the thick fog and stay on course? How can available data help to make confident decisions about offers and positioning constantly and in real time?

The solution: market intelligence based on product and price data from marketplaces, price comparison sites and competitor shops.

Selecting the right sales channels is a real challenge with an international orientation in omnichannel e-commerce and the high market dynamics.

What is market intelligence in e-commerce

Market intelligence makes it possible to observe the market and the competition, to generate decisive insights and to derive strategic actions from them. In e-commerce, market intelligence means collecting, analyzing and interpreting information about the market, including competitors and industry trends, on the basis of product and price data from marketplaces, price comparison sites and online stores. The focus is on external market data, whereas business intelligence works primarily with internal company data. However, both analysis methods are similar in their objectives: they are intended to prepare strategic management decisions through the systematic collection and analysis of the market environment, enable precise market positioning and create a competitive advantage.

By means of market intelligence in e-commerce, external market data can provide insights into new opportunities and optimization potential or the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and enable well-founded decisions on pricing, product development and sales.

Market intelligence for maximum performance in e-commerce

Market intelligence offers numerous opportunities to maximize performance, especially for brands with little experience in marketplace business and D2C sales. Experienced players can also discover new potential with high-quality data.

the competition. However, the actions that are derived from this for the company's own e-commerce business are decisive for success.
  • Market transparency: Obtaining a comprehensive overview of the e-commerce market cannot be done manually due to its complexity. To gain clarity about which retailers offer which products at which prices on which channels and which trends are emerging, automated collection and analysis of external market data is required.
  • Visibility: Where are products not prominent enough in rankings? By analyzing external market data, brands can identify where action is needed to improve product visibility.
  • Understanding the competition: Market data helps illuminate competitors’ product and pricing strategies – a key competitive advantage when designing and optimizing your own offering.
  • More sales and better margins: Price monitoring creates price transparency and helps to always determine the best price within the framework of your own strategy. Coupled with automated repricing, this can maximize sales and margins.
  • Identify customer needs: Product reviews provide insight into customer satisfaction. Using semantic analysis, these can be evaluated automatically to draw valuable conclusions for marketing and product development.
  • Brand protection: In e-commerce, loss of control over the brand is a problem. Data analysis uncovers threats to the brand and image from price dumping, non-authorized retailers, gray imports or inadequate product presentation and enables targeted brand protection measures to be taken.
  • Identify trends: Those who recognize product trends early on can help shape them and profit from them. The analysis of market data provides valuable information on current developments and makes it possible to stay ahead of the competition with a suitable offering.

The potentials are enormous. Instead of manual diligence, data-driven decisions can drive the business forward and resources can be allocated to strategic projects. A reliable partner is needed for the procurement of external market data and its analysis as there are also some pitfalls that need to be taken into account.

The challenges with data when using market intelligence

Data is a raw material. The quality of the raw material determines how valuable the end product will be. For data to be used in a targeted manner to advance one’s own business, a number of things must be taken into account. First of all, internal data on the company’s own products as well as competencies for data evaluation are needed as a basis for controlling the data and drawing the decisive conclusions. On the other hand, a reliable source must be selected for the collection, structuring and clear preparation of external market data.

The following criteria should be considered in data collection:

  • Data quality: data can be inaccurate, incomplete or inconsistent. High data quality must be ensured to make informed decisions.
  • Data volume: Collecting and analyzing large volumes of data can be overwhelming and time consuming. If high volumes of data are needed at high frequency, a provider who can handle it is needed.
  • Data protection: In terms of data protection, the collection and use of certain types of data can be questionable, which is why attention must be paid to GDPR compliance.
  • Data security: The storage and protection of data can also be a challenge. If German servers are used, for example, this gives additional confidence in the security of the data.
  • Data integration: Collecting data from different sources can be difficult and integrating them can be time-consuming and require technical expertise.

With XPLN’s software solutions, you overcome all these challenges. You automate data collection with guaranteed quality, evaluate the data in our dashboards and receive individual support from our experts.

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How brands can benefit from market intelligence in e-commerce

Brands in particular are currently still finding it difficult to get a complete overview of the market. So many questions are looking for answers:

  • Where are my items sold?
  • Who sells my products?
  • At what prices and discounts are my products sold?
  • How stable are the prices?
  • How do prices change at certain sale periods?
  • Are there minimum price underruns?
  • Are all products published and available to customers?
  • Which competitors have comparable offers?
  • How do my offers compare to the competition?
  • Are my exclusive assortments truly exclusive?
  • What is my strongest channel (compared to the competition)?
  • What are the differences among various sales channels?
  • Where is there still potential?

The information is available, but the external data must be captured and analyzed. If there are problems, this can quickly impact brand perception and profitability.

In combination with internal data and KPIs, a comprehensive picture of the market and current developments emerges. If this data is used in a targeted manner, strategies can be developed and decisions made on the basis of data.

We already support many well-known brands such as Gardena, Tommy Hilfiger or Severin and retailers such as Euronics, Zoologo or Aponeo in making confident decisions about their offers and positioning in e-commerce. We would be happy to advise you on how you too can use the potential of market intelligence in e-commerce.

Sebastian Klumpp

I support you in making confident e-commerce decisions through digital shelf analytics.

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