Questions? (877) 643-7244
FutureNow Post
Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 at 11:05 am

Compare to Your Competitors Before Your Visitors Do

By Melissa Burdon
October 9th, 2009

Your visitors are empowered with the ability to access information with the click of a button. You can’t pull a blind-fold over their eyes or manipulate them into anything. They’ll find out the truth with or without you being upfront about what that truth looks like. Being transparent means that you’re being vulnerable, exposing all your wrinkles, scars and bumps, but it also means you’re fully disclosing what makes you better and different.

How can you be completely transparent on your site, you ask? Compare your products and services to the visitor’s other options directly on your site. This will help you build credibility because you’re showing all characteristics and aspects of the product and service you offer, and are willing to display what might be better or worse about competing products and services. Let the visitor then make an educated decision based on this information. After all, the visitor’s main questions are; What’s in it for me? What makes you unique and different from my other options?

If you don’t make the comparison for the visitor, they’ll likely try and make a comparison on their own, and then perhaps the information they find out elsewhere will be skewed in the wrong direction.

Toyota gives us a great example, showing us how to effectively compare their product to their competitors. The screenshots show a compare tool that Toyota features on their site where you’re given the ability to compare a vehicle you’re interested in to all other brands and each model. They even show you the most common competing vehicles to the one you’ve identified. They make it easy for you to compare exactly what you’re looking to compare. They even have various in-depth comparison chart options, where you can choose to compare details on “cost,” “features,” “fuel economy,” etc.

Toyota Side-by-Side Comparison- tool Toyota Side-by-Side Comparison-chart

Does anyone have any other great “comparison” examples? What other things can be done to achieve more and better transparency?  Let us know. Need help making your online presence more transparent and effective? Let us know.

Add Your Comments

Comments (97)

  1. One thing to be careful of when offering comparisons is to make sure the data on your competitors is up to date and accurate. This requires vigilence and constant updating, or else you run the risk of looking to be deceptive, or worse, a lawsuit from a competitor saying you’re publishing false information.

    It’s a great idea, but every great idea comes with a great amount of responsiblity.

    Rob – LexiCon

  2. Hi there, really excellent post! I agree with you 100% that complete transparency is the only way to go. The internet has grown up now and if people want information about you are your company they can find it a the click of the mouse. If you’ve something to hide they’ll find it. Having said that there are still so many companies that hide behind their websites. The absolute worst offenders are the diet pill review sites, no phone number, no address, no details…how they get anybody to do business with them is beyond me!! I think that transparency allows you to engage with your customers and become a real part of the conversation. It is the only way to go..Thanks for the excellent post

  3. Great post. So often in a tech environment we forget about basic marketing principles that can make or break a site. Without proper market research and intelligence, we may think our website is the best it can be, but it could be very inferior to competition.

  4. You’re absolutely right Mel, it is important to compare us with other competitors. If the customer do first, then we’ll be loss potential customer and value of course.

  5. This actually a wicked idea, I will be doing this one my site, its such a great plan

  6. After I read this post I went right to my site’s “Compare Us” page and added a disclaimer at the bottom:

    “This list was compiled at a specific point in time and is updated at regular intervals. Competitive sites do change their features without notifying us, therefore the accuracy of this list is not guaranteed. We encourage you to try other sites to see which ones might work best for your needs. If you do discover an inaccuracy in this list please tell us and we will address it immediately.” (please tell us is a link to email our support team)

    So THANK YOU for pointing out this issue, much appreciated!

  7. What great information to use. I also love the idea of the post by Lisa above.
    Thanks.
    Lynn Lane The Warrior Of Success

  8. Great post.This is a great idea, but every great idea comes with a great amount of responsiblity.
    THANK YOU

  9. Good article Melissa.

    I think the best example of this is progressive offering quotes from their competition for comparison. I’ve always been impressed by their marketing strategy.

    Again, good post.

  10. While I agree transparency is the way to go with mainstream products I feel it is a bit more difficult with niche products. Does any one have any recommendations to moderate transparency and education with little known niches?

  11. Great info. Thank you!

  12. I agree… having options and giving the consumer control will drive loyalty back to your site.

  13. This is a great idea. Thanks!

  14. It’s a great idea..

    Tanks…..

  15. Thanks for any good idia.

  16. Great post indeed. Many people online make the big mistake of thinking that they are the only ones because they are so great. Like you rightly mentioned – the competition is just a click away, no matter how good you think you are. So – yes, I agree 100% with lots of the points you raised here and adhering to them will help ANY online business. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Great post – but also interesting in the sense that the users will compare anyway. The social media already plays a significant part in the users purchase processes.

  18. This service is already available to ecommerce companies. http://www.justrelevant.com/

    The kicker is they guarantee to show comparison prices that are always HIGHER than your competitors for the same product. Neat.

  19. Is there not a legal implication to this as well? If you are going to compare someones products and say that yours is better, I guess the information has to be accurate and up to date else you are at risk of litigation?

  20. Very inspiring post, thank you for the read. Now Im off to work :)

  21. The post is amazing.
    after reading it,i have a clear direction for my future career.
    i like the marketing strategy.
    thanks for the post

  22. Grea article, thx for sharing

  23. definitely a nice share

    just be unique that is it

  24. My first encounter with product comparison, which didn’t involve comparing competitors’ products though, was disappointing. The product visitors tended to choose from the product comparison feature was one with low margin. It had taken me quite a while before I realized that improved conversion rate and revenue per order didn’t result in more profit!

  25. On the other side of the coin, a competitor once made the mistake of linking to us and other competitors in order to demonstrate they were cheaper. A few of those referring clicks turned into sales for us, ha!

  26. Good way to make it more transparent. I think it will increase business also. thanks for sharing

  27. I think you have to update yourself with changes in market conditions. For example you need to be aware of the customers wants if you want to survive in the market.

    Thanks for an informative article.

  28. Great idea – as long as you actually are better (in most places) than your competitors.

  29. Great idea, thanks for this info

  30. What would be nice next is an article on how to pursuade management / sales staff that this is a good idea. It seems some folk are obsessed with keeping pricing a secret despite competitors requiring minimal effort to find out. I find it very frustrating. Thanks for highlighting this, it’s nice to see my personal perspective on this business strategy re-enforced.

  31. A good article but you also put a lot of pressure on your business to perform that way, which I believe is a good thing.

  32. Thanks for highlighting this, it’s nice to see my personal perspective on this business strategy re-enforced.

  33. thanks for this info

    thanks :)

  34. Hmm food for thought, I think this depends on how aware your potential customers are of your competitors. You could easily be giving away customers so its really each to their own.

  35. HMM!Very stunning title. i like your sense of describing.it seems very positive!keep it up.

  36. nice idea…really…

  37. Great info. Thank you!

  38. Consumers are a lot smarter than most businesses give them credit for, and they have an uncanny ability to recognize when you’re not being entirely honest and open. I don’t think transparency is a bad thing at all, and it definitely serves to differentiate you from your competitors.

  39. Consumers are smart, but it’s really hard to review your competitors on your website, and not expect to lose some customers. I mean, if they don’t already know about your competition, and you review them on your site, they may go over there and never come back. I would be cautious with this approach, but hey, if you truly believe you are better, then have at it!

  40. You make an excellent point about the importance of researching ahead of time. Taking the time to scope out your competition up front will not only make your customers happier by saving them time, but it will help you to gear your site development going forward.

  41. When a company has a great product, showing your competitors’ products makes your own products shine even more. Progressive is another great example … they informed us that Geico would be cheaper, but I’ll always revisit Progressive if I need to compare again.

    I firmly believe that if you rely on hiding the strengths of your competitors to win a sale, your product isn’t good enough.

  42. I think that is worse practice to compare your products with these of your competitors on your site. It is a king af advertisement for competitors. How wants that?

  43. a classical comparison were the comercial from pepsi and coke.

  44. I agree that we can’t to put blind-fold over their eyes. But there are many strategies which can be used to motivate the visitor to buy quickly – e. g. special discount if he buys right now. Especially if you use some nice countdown, the effect can be very good.

  45. Those are great points. I agree comparing what your competitors are doing is a key step to improving a business.

  46. Nice Discussion is going here. I think the best example of this is progressive offering quotes from their competition for comparison

  47. Thanks for posting this, definitely worth reading. I plan on implementing something similar on one of my latest sites. And I agree that hiding the strength of competitor’s products is not the way to go.

  48. but is it prominent in indian marketing ways also??

    means limited to just foreign tacts or so?

  49. Great article. Comparing products yourself saves the visitors time and helps them stay on your website.

  50. In retail its difficult to manage having competitors pricing on your website, however creating a price comparison microsite can help your search optimisation and if marketeted independently can become a massive source of revenue even if you do occasionally pass revenue to competitors (become an affiliate ;)

  51. The best competitive analysis you can do is to compare your brochure to your competitors’. How good is the copywriting? How professional is the presentation? You must run a competitive analysis on all of your competitors’ marketing.

  52. Thank you very much for that great article

  53. Its a tricky situation for affiliate marketers as you have that one time to get the click through. But you are correct honesty and openness will win every time!

  54. My attempt to be more transparent is to offer something of value before trying to collect money, in order to establish a business relationship of mutual trust.

  55. CNET.com is good example of comparison that is up to date and accurate data. CNET.com is not product owner probably the comparison is fair.

  56. [...] of sticking your head in the ground, why not proactively address why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect “gets” that your offer is superior; [...]

  57. [...] of sticking your head in the ground, why not proactively address why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect “gets” that your offer is superior; [...]

  58. [...] of sticking your head in the ground, why not proactively address why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect “gets” that your offer is superior; [...]

  59. [...] of sticking your head in the ground, why not proactively address why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect “gets” that your offer is superior; [...]

  60. [...] of sticking your head in the ground, why not proactively address why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect “gets” that your offer is superior; [...]

  61. I agree. You should always take into consideration your competitors so you would know if you were ahead of them or behind. This is a good idea but when you do comparisons you have to make sure that your details are accurate or you will lose your visitors trust.

  62. I would be a bit worried about comebacks from this…I don’t know if legally one would get away with it.

  63. The day I read this article, I decided to build our own comparaison price system.

    We are selling french cosmetics but all market players are selling at same price. Our goal is to show real price and services on our online shop to prevent the consumer from being tempted to compare prices by itself by navigating on other competing sites.

    this is how it looks like : http://www.monguidesante.com/anti-fermete-2×40-prID=4654.html?compare=1

  64. [...] Source:Compare to Your Competitors Before Your Visitors Do Share and Enjoy: [...]

  65. I thank you for this informative article. And I thank you for this I follow your vendors. It’s verry good. I wish you continued success.

  66. I’m about to use video to compare my membership site to a competitors. The key I think in succeeding is to try and make your comparison as objective as possible and w/o degrading your competitors. Even highlighting something insignificant of theirs may show your not totally one sided. Also, doing so keeps your competitor from throwing a law suit at you for whatever reason. I could easily compare numbers and details but I’m going to try and let the viewer come to that conclusion…that way I don’t have to keep reviewing and updating.
    I would also point out… Do make sure your product or service you’re comparing is truly better… over all. Because I think its safe to assume your competitor will counter with their own review.

  67. Nice idea.This is a very good way to compare it should be the standard. Thanks for this wonderfull article.

  68. This is vital – you can spy on many different things, such as link strategies etc…

  69. Once again you can’t underestimate the importance of doing one’s research. Thanks for the post.

  70. Comparing to competitors help, but I wouldn’t put it right out there for them to see. The curious shopper is like page rank, they will find anything they can to make the comparison. So give them the tools, but make sure you don’t force the issue.

  71. I take this strategy, and I success for it.

  72. Great post here.

    Link builders – find more linkable pages like this. Visit our site for more information

  73. why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect

  74. amazing… toyota make us have own car with cheap .

  75. “This inclination was compiled at a particular quantity in case and is updated at habitue intervals. Agonistic sites do exchange their features without notifying us, thence the accuracy of this inclination is not warranted. We encourage you to try otherwise sites to see which ones might learning unexcelled for your needs. If you do conceptualize an inaccuracy in this tip delight inform us and we will destination it immediately.” (please recount us is a tie to netmail our support unit)

  76. It’s great idea to running your own business. Make a compare for visitors can see and they don’t need to compare it anymore.

  77. I’m about to use video to compare my membership site to a competitors. The key I think in succeeding is to try and make your comparison as objective as possible and w/o degrading your competitors.
    car contract hire

  78. As a Realtor I am constantly looking at what other Real Estate agents are doing with their websites. It is just good business to know your competition like the back of your hand!

  79. that’s why i’m here! thank! great article!

  80. Thanks for posting this, definitely worth reading. I plan on implementing something similar on one of my latest sites.

  81. thanks .. I’m not sure I understand what you mean but I can conclude from the moment I read your article, a lot of which you are offering here is very good and very complete, I am happy and want to know more .. more successful.

  82. Well inadvertently followed your advice. I wrote an ebook and compared it to the only other one on the subject I could find on pages, content and price.

  83. Seems like a great strategy – thanks for your advice.

  84. Interesting article. Well done and good luck with your very great work.
    I wish you have a luxury time to consider using benefits articles can offer.
    Thanks for sharing.

  85. I am very interested with your article. I think your article is very good much can I take. I say

    thanks for the amount for all

  86. after I read the article that you made and I studied it, I conclude that your article made a

    very good, much can I take from your article to the material of my job, and I really helped at

    all with this because of my job that much can be resolved quickly , Thank you for everything.

    good job

  87. Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. I’ll likely be coming back to your blog. Keep up great writing.

  88. Comparing our product is one of the best method to get visitor impression, so advice to compare before visitor do is right.

  89. Very good points Melissa. You have to walk a fine line though if your services our on the higher end though.

  90. That is the basis of a review site having all the information you need to narrow the field to one product in one location and have them buy on your site.

  91. That is the basis of a review site having all the information you need to narrow the field to one product in one location and have them buy on your site.

  92. Hi Melissa,

    I think this is absolutely correct. Mostly now a days all the consumers are more conscious about the product. Before buying up the product they do search it on the internet and if they find a good deal then they visit that site and purchase it. Also the option of “Compare Us” is a very good method of comparing your product with the competitors product.

    There itself they can figure out what are we offering and what we are not offering compared with the competitors. Smart Choice is always better option!!!

  93. Thanks for the article, there was a survey (marketing sherpa I thinl) that showed that people first want to know the price and then they want to compare products, so why not to give them a price comparison of you and competition.

  94. Whether you think it or not, a consumer is smarter today than ever before. If you put out a poor product, they will know, and you will lose business, if not go out of, business for it.

    My competition reads this blog, so I don’t want to say much, but I do believe our website is a much better product than what they are offering!

  95. Agreed even local small businesses can benefit from transparency. Negative local reviews can be so damaging if not handled properly.

  96. [...] of sticking your head in the ground, why not proactively address why your offer is better than the other guy’s? Don’t assume that your prospect “gets” that your [...]

Add Your Comments

 

Print this Article
Share

Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

Marketing Optimization Blog
FREE Newsletter Sign-Up
send it once every: