Facebook added a feature in June 2018 that allows you to view all active campaigns being run by your competitors on Facebook.
To see your competitor’s ads, simply go to their Facebook Page and click on the ‘Info and Ads’ tab on the left side of the screen.
Now this is great, for obvious reasons. Before, you had to use some third party tool to see what your competitor’s active ads were.
However, this isn’t the focus of today’s post. Instead, I wanted to take you a step further, and show you how to spy on my competitor’s entire backend funnel. Sure, seeing their ads is great, but what if you could see the retargeting emails they use? What if you could see their upsell/downsell process, if they have one?
It’s really quite simple. And I’ll show you how.
First, find a competitor. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll be using Gymshark, a well-known fitness brand.
If the store is using Shopify (which most good eCommerce companies are), then the checkout process will go Shipping Details > Choose Shipping Method > Payment > Completed Purchase.
It’s important to note that each of these steps occurs on a different screen. For example, after a potential customer inputs their shipping details, they have to click on a button to proceed to choosing their desired shipping method.
This is important because this is how 99% of eCommerce stores do abandoned cart retargeting. Notice how it’s a requirement to input your email in the very first step? As soon as you hit ‘Continue to Shipping Method’ your information is being saved and sent to whatever email remarketing app they use (which, again, 99% of good eCommerce stores use).
Some stores even use apps/plugins the require people to enter their email before they add anything to their cart (which works, but I don’t recommend it).
So, in order to see the exact sequences and email copy your competitor’s use, all you have to do is fill in your information on this first screen of the checkout process, then abandon your cart.
After this, you’ll more than likely be added to their retargeting sequence and start to receive follow-up emails from them, allowing you to ‘spy’ on everything they’re sending to prospective customers.
Additionally, simply by viewing the product pages and the checkout screen will likely put you into their Facebook Ad retargeting funnel. As you scroll through Facebook and Instagram, be sure to ‘Save’ those ads so you can slowly start building out a swipe file on what’s working for your competitors.
You can take this a step further, if you’d like, and actually purchase your competitor’s product. This will allow you to see what sort of upselling they do (if any) both through email and through Facebook.
This process doesn’t only apply to eCommerce stores. You can do this is any industry, all that’s required is that they have a website. For example in B2B, just filling out their contact form will be enough for them to send you dozens of follow-up emails that you can add to your swipe file.
The best way to succeed in business, in any industry, is to find what’s working and emulate it in your own style. Don’t directly copy your competitors, figure out the ‘core message’ of what’s working for them and make it your own.