How to Spy on ecommerce Competitors

Post by
Mehdi Boufous
How to Spy on ecommerce Competitors

Learning how to spy on eCommerce competitors is one of those smart things you can do to revisit your own marketing strategy. 

Didn’t they say that “Wise people learn from others’ mistakes”? Just that when you learn how to spy on eCommerce competitors and other businesses, it’s not just mistakes that you’ll learn about. 

By spying on competition, you can gain insights (that you won’t find elsewhere), understand market demand, dig deep into the nitty-gritty of consumer behavior, and craft your own marketing campaigns to put you on a winning path (at least, more often than not). 

Why Spy on ecommerce Competitors? 

You can call it spying; or you can call it market research. It’s just a smart thing to do. 

Checkout your competition (other eCommerce businesses), helps reveal the sales channels and marketing strategies they use. The assortment of products they sell, how eCommerce businesses upsell, how eCommerce products are bundled and sold, pricing strategies, market share, product feedback, and more. 

You’ll also learn how eCommerce products are shipped, the eCommerce platforms that your competitors use (and how that stacks up against your own chosen platforms), and more. 

If you want to dig deep, you can put yourself in the shoes of your target customers and see how the entire experience is like: visiting eCommerce sites, browsing products, placing orders, a sneak peak at their transactional emails (such as order confirmation emails or order updates), shipping speed, returns, customer support and more. 

These are the kind of eCommerce business insights you won’t get elsewhere. 


We built Panoramata as a premier eCommerce campaign benchmarking solution -- an effective way to keep tabs on the world of eCommerce businesses, eCommerce advertising campaigns, eCommerce email campaigns, and more. 

Inadvertently, Panoramata also makes it ridiculously easy for you to spy on eCommerce businesses (your competition). 

If you haven’t done so yet, sign up with Panoramata - and follow along: 

As an example, let’s impersonate a bit. Let’s consider that you have an eCommerce “supplement business” which falls under the broader category of “Health and wellness”. 

Now, let’s get cracking on just how to spy on eCommerce competition in less than 5 minutes and improve your own marketing campaigns: 

Step 1: Sign up With Panoramata & Search 

Sign up, login, and hit up search by category. You have a list of eCommerce businesses that are already tagged as “health and wellness” and if you click through, you’ll notice (from the gallery of eCommerce brands displayed), that you’ll also see a subcategory of “Supplements” listed underneath a few brands (if pertinent). 

You’ll be able to quickly discern just how many brands are listed on Panoramata for the main category and the subcategories you choose. 

In our case, we found at least six eCommerce brands listed under “Health and wellness”, and then for “Supplements”. 

For instance, we might find these interesting for us in this case: 

Step 2: It’s Time to Spy 

You'll also, just as quickly enough, access their ad creatives, email campaigns, and more -- a way to see what these brands do, marketing-wise. 

Click on emails, ads, and other tabs to see the actual marketing campaigns (could be email campaigns, ads, and so on). 

You’ll have a lot of data to sort through, on top of the actual ad or email creatives themselves -- subject line length, typical dates and days of the week emails are sent, software used to send eCommerce emails, spam score, email list size, and so on. 

Using the “Snapshots” tab, you can quickly check on the changes any of these brands have made to their home page or other website pages. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to see “before and after” scenarios (if snapshots are available, for that brand). 

Step 3: Take notes or Create Lists, or Both 

As you peruse through ad creatives, email copy, campaign angles, changes made through snapshots, do take notes.

  • What kind of copy are they using? 
  • What creative types -- text, video, images, or a combination of these -- seem to work best? 
  • What kind of angles are your competitors using? Ads with scarcity? Ads or emails with product reviews? Video testimonials of actual users? 

You can do more than just take notes with Panoramara. Create “lists” -- just like you create a list when you create an email marketing calendar [link to post on email marketing calendar] for keeping tabs of all the campaigns you pick. 

This is eCommerce marketing benchmarking at its best. 

Note: Without Panoramata, you’d have to individually go to websites of each of these brands, do some high-level snooping around, search on Google or Social, sign up for emails (for each of the emails), and then see the creatives.