Knowing What Your Competition Is Up To

Whether the market is strong or frail, it’s essential to know what your competition is up to. You can gain a lot of insight to who their customers are, what they are doing to market themselves, how they merchandise their product and much more by routinely visiting their stores and websites as well as following them on their social media accounts. But before you dive into knowing what your competition is up to, make sure you are prepared.

For starters, you will need to have email accounts and social media accounts available to use that do not link back to your business. Don’t use your business name or personal name on Twitter or Facebook  because it’s likely they will recognize you. This may mean having more than one account, since you should definitely have accounts for your business. By doing this, this gives you cushion room to get engaged in their social media chit chat, newsletters, email announcements and more without them knowing it’s “you”. If they know you are their competition and following their marketing efforts, they may remove you from their lists. That is exactly what you want to avoid, so make sure you are prepared before you sign up, follow or friend them in any capacity.

Outside of using the internet to track what they are up to, it’s important to actually get into their store. Every six to eight weeks is long enough between visits to recognize what is new and yet short enough between visits that you won’t forget what is already there. Take note of their product assortment, merchandising strategies, sales and promotions, special events and anything else that makes up their store enviorment. One very important thing to notice while in their store is their customer. Who is she or he? Pay close attention to their customer service and associates, as well. How does it compare to your own store?

Taking the time  to know who your competition is will only help you if you utilize what you learn. Apply their strengths to your business, learn from their mistakes and be smart enough to recognize the difference. And don’t stop learning from them – ever. Make it a responsibility to follow their business as if it’s part of your business… Just  don’t let them know you are doing this!


  • Kristie
    February 11, 2010

    Great suggestions! I am going to start peeking around the competition’s blog’s and teets.

  • Candace
    February 24, 2010

    I don’t find that it is necessary to disguise myself. Forums like Giftbeat give retailers the opportunity to share information of all kinds. There are also several retail stores that follow me openly on Twitter and I follow them back. We know who each other are, and we don’t mind.

    • Nicole Reyhle
      February 27, 2010

      Candace, you make an excellent point. It’s NOT necessary to disguise yourself. But often this helps some retailers in their quest to learn more about their competition and apply it to their store, as well. It will ultimately depend on your store and who you are following on these sites. Thanks for your feedback!

Post a Comment


This blog accepts forms of cash advertisements, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensations. While we may receive commissions when you click on some of our links and make purchases, this does not impact our reviews, comparisons, opinions or thought-leadership perspectives. Please note we also welcome contributed content and there may be links that are affiliate oriented within these contributions, as well. Retail Minded always aims to deliver trusted news, education and support for our readers.

Read More about our Privacy Policies


Retail Minded on Entrepreneur
Retail Minded on Fiverr
Retail Minded on Forbes
Retail Minded on Gift Shop
Retail Minded on LRG
Retail Minded on Museum and More
Retail Minded on NBC
Retail Minded on Party Paper
Retail Minded on today