In the ever-evolving and competitive eCommerce landscape, staying ahead of the competition is the key to success in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. Brand Managers, Product Marketers and eCommerce professionals can’t afford to operate in a vacuum. They require real-time visibility of their entire competitive landscape, from understanding who competitors are in specific categories or products, while being able to zoom in on competing strategies for sales, advertising and product content. To achieve this, industry professionals require competitive intelligence to make data-driven decisions that allows businesses to outsmart and outperform competitors.
Competitive intelligence is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information about competitors and the market to inform strategic decision-making. With the rise of Big Data, eCommerce, and digital transformation, the demand for competitive intelligence has become essential for growing eCommerce organizations. Recent studies have shown that 61.8% of product marketers maintain a competitive intelligence budget at their company, and 52% of companies expect that budget to increase.
But with such high volumes of data and data competitive intelligence, it can be overwhelming to gather and analyze it efficiently. It becomes even more challenging to convert eCommerce data into insights professionals can act on. That’s why businesses are relying on competitive intelligence tools to provide a simple and streamlined way to collect, process, and leverage competitive data.
This post will take a deeper look into competitive intelligence tools, their benefits, types, and features. We’ll survey the top ten tools available today in five key categories to help better inform your eCommerce strategy and stay ahead of emerging challenges and competitors.
- What are competitive intelligence tools?
- What are the benefits of competitive intelligence tools?
- What You Need to Know About Competitive Intelligence Tools
- The 10 Best Competitive Intelligence Tools for 2023
- It’s Not Just the Tool; It’s How You Use It
What are competitive intelligence tools?
Competitive intelligence tools are platforms or software that offer a centralized solution to view and manage competitive intelligence, which all company stakeholders may use for their individual purposes. They allow companies to monitor, gather, store, analyze, and share information and insights about competitors, markets, and customers obtained from both internal and external sources, including social media, websites, product information, financial filings, customer feedback, publicly available information, and other sources.
Utilizing competitive intelligence tools allows users to assess current competitor tactics and predict future competitor behavior. Competitive intelligence tools offer marketing, sales, and product teams critical insights into ad strategy, pricing changes, and product additions and deletions. Senior executives might utilize them to influence investments and upcoming business plans. The ability to monitor competitive intelligence analytics via dashboards can assist users in seeing significant trends, possible opportunities, and emerging risks.
The increased demand for competitive intelligence has inexorably led to the rapid expansion of the market for competitive intelligence tools from $41.2 million in 2020 to a projected $82.0 million in 2027. They have become an essential part of the eCommerce tech stack.
What are the benefits of competitive intelligence tools?
Competitive intelligence tools offer eCommerce businesses significant benefits, including:
- Automation of intelligence gathering and data analysis saves teams time
- Map and monitor competitors in your space to get a full picture of the landscape
- Collect and streamline competitive data into one centralized location
- Growing digital shelf traffic and ROI across all eCommerce channels
- Leveraging competitive intelligence at scale by applying strategies across thousands of products in your catalog
- Planning, refining and updating high-level growth strategies
- Gaining a deeper understanding of customer sentiment and traffic metrics
- Predicting your competitors’ next moves—and getting ahead of them
- Finding new opportunities for growth and innovation
The information advantage provided by competitive intelligence tools is precisely what eCommerce businesses need to ensure they are never taken by surprise and are always tapping into the lucrative and timely opportunities for growth. The question is, how do you choose the right tool?
What You Need to Know About Competitive Intelligence Tools
Not all competitive intelligence tools are alike. Competitive intelligence tools fall into categories depending on the kind of information they specialize in aggregating and analyzing. Tools may be specialized for eCommerce, B2C or B2B marketing, social listening, SEO, market research, financial information, sales enablement, web monitoring, or other functions.
While features may vary depending on the tool’s goal and niche, the standard criteria for determining if the solution you choose qualifies as a competitive intelligence tool are that it must:
- Collect and analyze competitive intelligence data from one or more sources
- Maintain a central platform for all competitive intelligence so that a company can review and collaborate to plan its strategic decisions better
Today’s AI-powered competitive intelligence tools can unlock tremendous value, along with more detailed insights into the competitive landscape, so consider one that employs machine learning if it fits your organizational needs.
To choose the right competitive intelligence tool for your business, be sure to do the research and discovery to help you decide if your intelligence needs are best met with a tool (or multiple tools).
Next, decide what kind of competitive intelligence is required so you can know exactly which type of tool or tools to add to your tech stack. For example, do you require insights about your own brand or your competitors? Do you need more transparency into your ad and content performance? Do you need to measure historical performance over time and compare against other brands? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine the best solution for your business needs.
Finally, once you understand your business needs, you can pair them with a solution that addresses all or most of them. It is always recommended to get an all-in-one solution versus juggling multiple platforms to achieve one objective. With that information in hand, you’ll be able to select the solutions that provide the right insights and the most value for your business.
The 10 Best Competitive Intelligence Tools for 2023
Here are ten of the top tools for competitive intelligence available today, broken down by category.
One of the leading platforms for selling on Amazon, Jungle Scout has everything needed to start and grow an eCommerce business on the world’s largest online marketplace. Key features include management of product listings, inventory, pricing, customer reviews, and advertising. It offers competitive intelligence via the Opportunity Finder, which enables sellers to search for a keyword and then view competitive insights, emerging trends, and sales performance around it.
Best for: Amazon sellers
Price: Jungle Scout provides three plans billed monthly or annually: Basic at $29/month, Suite at $49/month, and professional at $84/month.
Review: “Since using it, our company has found many untapped opportunities to grow our Amazon presence and drive additional revenue.”
Noogata is an Ecommerce competitive intelligence platform used by many leading consumer brands. It provides multichannel, AI-powered analytics enabling brands to map and monitor their competitive landscape, transform data into actionable insights, drive intelligent decision-making, and grow ROI with action-focused impact tools.
Powerful competitive intelligence analytics offered by Noogata include:
- Digital Shelf Intelligence
- Search Trendspotting
- Price Benchmarking
- Perfect Content
- Advertising Booster
- AI Insight Activities Feed
Best for: Multichannel and Amazon eCommerce analytics for leading global consumer and digital brands, eCommerce aggregators, and Amazon sellers.
Price: By inquiry. Free demo.
Review: “Our ability to create such granular insights has dramatically increased our ROI—in fact, we’ve seen over a 30% uplift. And without Noogata, it would be way too time intensive to do this type of targeting.”
Brew is a strategic marketing platform that uses AI to help marketers accurately assess the results of their marketing activities across all channels and use that knowledge to make decisions. It provides a fully automated, in-the-moment picture of market trends. Brew’s features include competitive landscape mapping, share of voice tracking, and topic and influence metrics.
Best for: B2B marketing departments
Price: By inquiry.
Review: “I was able to quickly and easily pull key marketing data to showcase the competitive landscape my client is facing.”
Crunchbase provides detailed business information about private and public companies, including fundraising and investments, founding members and leaders, mergers and acquisitions, and news. The platform features advanced search capabilities and automated prospecting tools. Users get competitive intelligence from the Market Research feature, which provides insights about industry trends and access to live company data.
Best for: B2B sales for prospecting and lead generation; B2B market research
Price: Crunchbase has a Free plan offering only firmographic data. Paid plans with more features are in three tiers: Starter at $29/month, Pro at $49/month, and Enterprise by inquiry.
Review: “At Crunchbase you can find your potential clients, in a simple way, through filters defined by your objectives. Also, you can reach some investors that have been working with your clients.”
Contify’s market and competitive intelligence platform enables users to gather, curate, and share actionable insights across their organization. It tracks information about rivals, clients, and industry segments from 500,000+ sources. Then, machine intelligence, contextual noise-filtering algorithms, and human curation extract actionable intelligence from “unstructured digital noise.” Contify’s API allows intelligence reporting integration with a company’s CRM and other systems.
Best for: Market and competitive intelligence professionals, and knowledge management teams
Price: A free trial is offered, and pricing for the solution is by inquiry.
Review: “Comprehensive summary of updates related to competitors and partners. Great way to keep up on current events in the industry.”
Crayon boasts the ability to monitor the digital footprint of a competitor thoroughly. The AI-enhanced competitive intelligence tool automatically tracks over 100 data types across millions of sources, including campaigns launched, content, pricing and product changes, customer and employee reviews, messaging and positioning, and more. Internal and external insights are viewed on a single dashboard, where competitive intelligence is organized and curated.
Best for: Market research for mid-market and enterprise businesses
Price: By inquiry.
Review: “I wish Crayon had the functionality to automatically populate competitive intelligence beyond company info, recent news mentions, or reviews.”
Social Searcher is a search engine and social listening solution that enables real-time monitoring of all public social mentions on any social network. It offers a dashboard where all mentions are collected and instant email alerts. Premium plans include competitive intelligence via actionable social analytics and brand monitoring. The platform also allows users to search for individuals on social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter.
Best for: Real-time social media monitoring for B2C companies
Price: Social Searcher offers a Free plan with 100 real-time searches/day, then three paid plans that provide more searches and features: Basic at 3.49€/month, Standard at 8.49€/month (with a 14-day free trial), and Professional at 19.49€/month.
Review: “It’s an overwhelming amount of information that comes from one simple (or advanced search), and it is nice to have it all in one place rather than having to do it individually across separate platforms.”
Oktopost is a comprehensive social media management platform designed especially for B2B. It includes AI-powered social listening and monitoring tools that measure and analyze your brand’s social media mentions and your competitors. Actionable insights are generated around your target audience, brand reputation, sentiment analysis, and relevant conversations while tracking and benchmarking the competition.
Best for: Social listening intelligence for B2B enterprise and mid-market companies
Price: By inquiry. A free demo is available.
Review: “It saves me so much time, and I am able to manage everything in one place.”
A search analytics tool, SpyFu detects the organic and paid keywords that a site is ranking for, then uses various tools and reporting features to compare and analyze the findings. Unlike most keyword tools, with SpyFu you can compare all the metrics, such as monthly clicks, CPCs, and related keywords, side by side. This intelligence lets you understand how a competitor’s keywords overlap with your own, which can help you identify gaps in your marketing and SEO.
Best for: Keyword competitiveness and analysis for PPC and SEO
Price: SpyFu offers three pricing tiers, billed annually or monthly: Basic at $29/month, Professional at $49/month, and Team at $299/month. There’s also a free demo.
Review: “The platform offers detailed information on my competitors’ keywords, ad copy, and backlinks, which gave me valuable insights into their digital marketing strategy.”
Ahrefs is a popular all-in-one SEO tool that provides many helpful features, including keyword research, link building, rank tracking, organic and paid traffic monitoring, and mentions monitoring. In the competitive intelligence realm, two features stand out. The Content Gap tool shows which keywords your competition ranks for but that you don’t, allowing you to “fill the content gap” with your own content optimized for those keywords. You can also turn Ahrefs’ tools onto any website to uncover its organic and PPC keywords and backlink strategies.
Best for: Finding and exploiting content gaps
Price: There are four plans, billed annually or monthly: Lite at $99/month, Standard at $199/month, Advanced at $399/month, and Enterprise at $999/month.
Review: “Ahrefs is a handy tool to help me with competitor analysis, backlink monitoring, and lead generation.”
It’s Not Just the Tool; It’s How You Use It
Competitive intelligence is a must-have to outperform the competition in today’s eCommerce landscape. The benefits it offers businesses create the winning edge of differentiation between your company and others selling similar products. Efficiently collecting and analyzing the data is best performed by automated, AI-powered competitive intelligence tools.
Each of these ten best competitive intelligence tools for 2023 will help gather some of the needed information, but ultimately you need a combination of a powerful tool, the right analytics, and actionable insights that impact and boost ROI when you take action.
That’s where Noogata comes in. It empowers data-driven business decisions by leveraging AI and an easy-to-use competitive intelligence platform that drives growth for leading CPG and digital brands.
Try Noogata and apply the power of competitive intelligence to your brand.