What you'll learn
1. Who your competition really is, whether you’re looking to validate your guesses or are even curious about who else is out there
2. How to test experiences other than your own, so you can adapt and work your way into a customer journey you may not be a part of
3. How to save time, money, and resources on unnecessary development by testing what works and doesn’t work on your competitor’s existing app, product, or experience
4. How to compete with a new product or feature that your competitor has launched, and test it to ensure there’s really a demand for it in the market
Let’s face it, markets are saturated. Equally as important as regularly vetting your product for its potential and pain points is scoping out the competition. To stay ahead of the pack, brands often analyze the competition’s strengths and weaknesses to devise winning strategies. However, it’s not enough to skim through a competitor’s website or social channels and base new projects off of this limited information.
Human insight on competitors offers valuable reactions and feedback that you can use to your advantage—from why a consumer remains loyal to what causes them to jump ship. While you may not have control over your competitors, you do have control over how you stack up and respond to shifting industry and customer needs.
While there’s no one answer to when you should monitor your competitors, you can’t go wrong with kicking off your research with this activity, to help guide the direction of a new project. Other testing timeline options can be before or after a product launch, after a surgence of new competitors, or upon realizing your customer retention rates have dropped. Depending on your goals, you may be honed in on something specific about your competitors that you admire—or you’re in need of more clarity on who your competitors even are.
1. Define the competition
Competition isn’t solely limited to who customers leave an organization for. You can also factor in both up-and-coming and veteran brands, top-tier brands that you look up to, and even organizations who wouldn’t traditionally be considered a competitor—but have something you admire or want to emulate. If you’re stuck, consider leveraging UserTesting’s contributor network to plan your tests, by conducting studies for perspective or validation on who you should be targeting.
2. Find your target audience
If you’re aiming for first impression insights without bias, consider recruiting test participants who have never heard of or tried the competitor you’re targeting, with the help of screener questions. On the other hand, it may be more fitting for your needs to target loyal customers who know your competitor best and have a better idea of its strengths and weaknesses.
3. Decide on a testing method
It’s up to you to decide your target audience demographics and the total number of test participants you want to hear from. The competitive comparison template provides pre-built audiences to find customers and non-customers of each website. It also offers pre-designed questions that you can tailor to better understand your competitive differentiators and identify areas of opportunity.
Alternatively, a UserTesting Live Conversation offers a freeform, real-time conversation that opens up the floor for follow-up questions and on-the-spot inspiration. Consider asking why a contributor chose a certain product, what it’s lacking, and how they decided what to choose. If you’ve previously done unmoderated testing on your product with UserTesting, save time by using the same test plan and swap in your competitor’s product.
Hear from our customers
When early testing revealed Costco Travel's initial prototype for a new travel experience didn’t resonate well with customers, they turned to UserTesting to understand how they compared with competitors.
The insight gained helped them refine their prototype and successfully launch, increasing customer-curated travel bookings and decreasing support calls by 82%.
Now that you know how to use this template to fit your needs, dive into the resources below to learn how teams across your organization can rely on human insight to create successful, customer-centric products and experiences.
Marketing teamsDrive growth with critical insights from real customers about your brand, products, advertising, promotions, and more.
Product and Design teamsCollect feedback on any experience, analyze results, and share findings while saving time and reducing the cost of rework.
Forrester: UserTesting delivers a 665% ROI over three years
A recent Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study, conducted by Forrester on behalf of UserTesting, illustrates how organizations using the UserTesting Human Insight Platform can realize $2.03M in value and 665% in ROI over a three-year period.