Amazon Competitor Analysis Made Simple

You have a great product and you’re ready to sell, sell, sell—but there’s a problem!

You have lots of cool competitors and colleagues who have taken dozens of different approaches to marketing on social media platforms and Amazon. How do you keep up with your direct competitors?

The Critical Nature of Competitive Analysis for Amazon

"Don't compare yourself to others," they say. Well you shouldn't, right?

While that’s true for plenty of things, like facial features or zip codes, Amazon is a different story.

Amazon-seller competitor analysis takes detailed study and focused effort, and it pays off massively. Well-done competitive analysis can help you know what makes some certain brands look great, even if they represent single products in a hugely competitive landscape.

“It’s important to have your fingers firmly on the pulse of your own business as well as what’s going on around you, especially when [your] industry is so competitive.” Kitomba

However, becoming too focused on or similar to your competitors takes away your competitive advantage. The key to not spending too much effort in competitor analysis on Amazon is finding a way to strain out only the most important information.

So, we put together a simple guide to thorough Amazon competitor analysis that you can get done in one day. If you have an hour, you can get it done today! All it’ll take is some dedicated time, mental effort, and a laptop—you’ll be selling in no time.

And, before we move on, remember watch out for our AI tech tips as you read. Using ChatGPT or other AI tools could help you speed up some of the steps in your competitor analysis.

An Outline for Window-Shopping-Style Competitor Analysis on Amazon

compass and a map representing the exploration of amazon seller competitors

Let’s start with an intuitive observational approach specific to competitive analysis, and then we’ll branch out just a little bit.

If you do something like this regularly, it might only take 15-20 minutes. Since you’re new to Amazon seller competitor analysis, expect to spend about an hour. It might seem tedious, but keep your objectives in mind---managing brands and creating product listings is hard work.

To begin conducting Amazon competitor analysis:

We’re assuming you have a product on deck. If you don’t, get one!

1. Describe your product in the simplest possible terms

  • Example: “Bluetooth earbuds,” not “2.45 GHz Bluetooth earbuds for sport.”
  • If it’s absolutely critical that a particular product feature be central to your analysis, you can add maybe one qualifier. Example: “Waterproof bluetooth earbuds.”
  • Try not to get narrower than this; you want to view as much of the competitive field as possible. 

2. Open your internet browser

  •  Use incognito mode, private tabs, anonymous browsing, or whatever it’s called on your particular browser. 
  • You want to use incognito mode to make sure your search results are as organic as possible. Any data about you, your personal search history, location, etc., will skew the results that you see. This will fog up your competitor analysis on Amazon

3. Go to Amazon, and search for the “simplest possible terms” that you worked out in Step 2.

image of the amazon search bar

4. Ignore any search result that has a “Sponsored” marking, or anything else that indicates it’s appearing higher in results because the seller paid for the spotlight.

Amazon SERP for Ear Buds - Ignore Sponsored

5. Scroll through and find the 3-5 product listings with the highest number of reviews. Open these listings in new tabs.

Top Amazon Search Results for Waterproof Ear Buds
  • As a general rule, you shouldn’t need to go past page 1 or 2.
  • Try to study products from different brands. Tozo is dominating this page; grab their best example, and then find other brands.

6. Study the product listings

  • For this example, we’ll look at these two listings by TOZO and Donerton.

  • You’ve already determined that these listings are doing well; now you need to figure out how and why.

  • At a glance, does it seem like a professionally created listing? This can tell you a lot about where a company stands in terms of professionalism, cash flow, and the likelihood of longevity.

Amazon Product Image for Waterproof Ear Buds

  •  The ideas in this graphic aren’t bad, but the text is inconsistently formatted, and a little off grammatically. Within seconds, you can tell that you can get an edge by being a little more careful with spell checking and editing.
  • Tech Tip 1: You can use ChatGPT to correct your own grammar, but if you do, read the output carefully. It may add unnecessary wording or flowery language in an attempt to fill in blanks. Repetition and cliched language are dead giveaways for an over-reliance on AI. You may be better off using spell check tech, like Grammarly, Quillbot, or Google Labs, to catch your typos.
  • Look at the Titles---titles reign supreme for search results. What keywords do you see? How is the Title formatted?
  • We think both brands’ titles are a little rough, but Donerton wins in this case for including formatting marks in the form of commas. Proper punctuation makes it easier to absorb bits of information:
Amazon Product Title Analysis for Waterpoof Headset
  • Next, check out the photos. Are they exciting? Is the graphic design good? Do they prioritize lifestyle photography or more abstract infographic setups?

Amazon Product Image for Waterproof Ear Buds
    • Donerton does a better job at making an emotional connection through the use of lifestyle photography that implies a lifelike audio experience.

    • Read the bullets out loud. How does the phrasing sound? Is there substance to the content? Do they prioritize features or benefits? How’s the grammar? (Don’t worry about being a grammar expert; go with your gut.)

    • While Donerton has an edge elsewhere, their bullet points are a bit weaker than TOZO’s:
    Amazon product description example from Amazon seller listing


    • All lower case text looks great on an indie rock album cover, but here, it seems a bit weird. Formatting is awkward, keyword placements are less than subtle, comma placement is incorrect, and there are some typos that could wreck the seller’s chance of making a sale. Read some sentences out loud; does this text inspire your confidence?

    • Tech Tip 2: Here is where a language model chatbot can come in handy. You can copy and paste a listing’s bullets into ChatGPT, Bing, or another chat tool, and ask it some questions about the listing’s writing style, voice, and mistakes. We recommend asking just one question at a time, and making your questions pretty specific. The more focused your prompts are, the more focused your answers will be.

    • A+ Content: What’s the balance like between text and imagery? If it’s text heavy, does it have a reason to be? If it’s photo heavy, what’s the visual style? 

    Amazon A+ Content Example


    Bluetooth earbuds are simultaneously experiential, emotion-activating devices and fairly technical, so it makes sense that both of these sellers have adopted an even balance between imagery and text.

    7. Study the reviews

    • Don’t read every single review or every single word. You want to feel out larger trends.

    • Read one to three 5-star reviews, one to three 3-star, and one to three 1-star.

      1. At the very bottom of a listing’s reviews, you can click “See All Reviews.” The page this link takes you to shows the most helpful positive and critical reviews up top.

    • Make note of things your competitors are doing right. Think about how you can emulate those things without coming across as a copycat.

    • Make note of things your competitors are doing wrong (or what shoppers think they’re doing wrong). Shoppers will call out sellers for everything. Be sure to differentiate between more legitimate complaints and complaints stemming from mismanaged expectations or deficient knowledge on part of the customer.

    • If a customer is wrong—if they don’t know how to use your product, for example—they won’t be the only one. Always manage expectations. 
    Amazon customer review example
    • Both TOZO and Donerton have lots of reviews indicating problems with earbud pairing. This is an expectation to research and manage. Never underestimate the difficulty of making your product truly compatible with other products.

    • There are also negative reviews for both questioning their waterproof ratings. The IPX8 rating sounds super-official and regulated, but it’s not. Some sellers play fast and loose with “waterproof” because it’s a word that sells. Don’t be like them.

    • Tech Tip 3: We often ask ChatGPT to summarize customer reviews for us, and you can do this too. After giving ChatGPT several product reviews, you can input questions like, “According to these reviews, what are customers’ top 5 pain points with this type of product? What are the top 5 benefits? What occasions do customers buy these for?” And so on.

      8. Analyze

      • Put together a list of do’s and don'ts based on what you saw. From our examples above, we could say:

        • Devote some time to spell-checking, editing, and reading out loud. If grammar isn’t your strong suit, ask your friendly neighborhood English teacher, journalist, or Marketing by Emma to help!

        • Be really careful with your claims of things such as compatibility. Expect product returns, and work to mitigate that problem.

        • Set soft expectations for things like “waterproof.” Most “waterproof” earbuds are just resistant to things like sweat and a little rain. Getting something to be truly waterproof at depth is really hard, and why make the claim anyway? Who’s listening to today’s top 40 hits while scuba diving?

      • Put together a list of gaps in the competitor’s approaches that you can fill. As an example:

        • Want a competitive edge? Make sure you’ve got great engineers crafting your device’s firmware. Bragworthy beginnings are always a great selling point.

        • One negative review noted that the earbuds didn’t have a volume control. Build one into yours!

      • Start with the assumption that the market is saturated and ask yourself how you can stand out.

        • If you want your product to be perceived as better, the best thing to do is make your product better. Fill gaps left by your competitors.

        • Presentation is everything—if you sell a great product with fuzzy photos, terrible text, and confusing benefits, customers will stay away from your product listings.

        • You might be able to make a really nice product with a great construction, solid firmware, and excellent features. But you probably haven’t reinvented the wheel. If you want your product to stand out, YOU need to stand out as a seller. Make service a priority, and develop a unique brand identity. Both of the above brands probably try too hard to imitate Apple, diminishing their chances to set themselves apart.

       9. Articulate

      • The reams of notes you’ve assembled have served their purpose. Now you need to articulate your approach into a guiding statement. It could be its own statement, or even part of your branding documents. 

      • This articulation is good for you; it makes it easier for you to make decisions quickly and confidently. You’ve already made the decisions, in a sense.

      • It’s immensely helpful to any writers, designers, or photographers you contract. Set a clear expectation and your contractors will love you.

      10. Stay connect with trends

      • Vigilance is key; don’t spend 100% of your time on Amazon seller competitor analysis, but do stay aware of shifting trends.
      Amazon seller optimizing their Amazon listing


      Take It A Little Further

      “Many of my clients compare themselves to their competition. Perhaps it’s not a bad idea to know what they are doing that you might not be doing, but there’s more opportunity if you look beyond the competition.” – Shep Hyken

      1. Search for your “simplest possible description” on google and social media.

        • If the product appears on a consumer watchdog site or is associated on social media platforms with #dontbuy or #donotbuy, that’s a telling indication of the market’s thoughts about that product, and an important call to action for you.

        • This step is more about feeling out your competitor’s identities, which you won’t always get a full sense of on Amazon.

      2. Collect competitor contact info and make some new friends.

      • Have you ever noticed how so many professional athletes seem to be friends with people they play against? Competition doesn’t have to be ruthless. In some cases, you can cooperate with the competition. In exceptional cases, the competitive factor might be altogether illusory. GMC and Chevy are both GM labels, for example, and their cars often share crucial design characteristics.

      GM's own product offerings include multiple brands
      GM competes with other sellers by creating multiple brands in its market share to sell its own products



      Here we have a 2019 Chevy Silverado and a 2019 GMC Sierra. They are both in GM’s portfolio; the brands compete, but the money ends up in the same collective pool.

      Both of these trucks share drivetrain, chassis, interior design elements, rear doors, and roof panel. The 2019 year marked a greater divergence between the two lines, but both are still very similar, with GMC being marketed as a more luxury line. This practice of “badge engineering” has been going on for over 100 years.

      You don’t have to merge with a competitor, but you can learn from auto companies while selling on ecommerce; both these companies win more because the marketing competition is largely for show.

      Let’s say you make some bluetooth earbuds that are truly waterproof; you might want to target hikers, hunters, fishers, folks who are more likely to fall in some water than a jogger. You could make friends with your sport-oriented competitor and come to an understanding that you’re not really fighting over the same customers. You’ll both spend less time worrying about each other, more time focusing on your individual market, as well as more time swapping secrets and sharing helpful insights for selling on ecommerce.

      Get Into the Action


      amazon business owner doing amazon competitor research

      Here’s the culmination of your research and planning phase—use your guiding statement from Step 10 to:

      • Identify your needs

        • What do you need to change about your product, brand, or marketing?

      • Define your goals

        • What exactly must you accomplish to meet your needs?

      • Set your plans

        • How will you meet your goals?

      Once you’ve sufficiently spruced up your product, gotten fine photos edited, and written your listing, observe your listing’s results. Even if you like them, don’t rest on your laurels from these selling-on-Amazon tips. Take a break, regroup, and continue to search for new ways to refine your product, your listing, your customer outreach, and your overall ecommerce selling.

      I did it!

      people talking competitive analysis and observing market trends

      “It’s important to keep tabs on the competition and improve your business in response, but you shouldn’t allow concerns about what others are doing to dominate your strategy.” -- Mallika Kazim

      Spending too much time mining through Amazon seller competitor analysis isn’t productive, but smart, targeted effort in planning and research can go a long way. Bookmark this tab or take careful notes so you can understand your market, refine your approach to it, and maximize your competitive advantage, all with just a little window shopping.


      If you’re having trouble figuring out Amazon seller competitor analysis, we can help! Reach out for a free listing analysis so we can give you pointers on how to boost your listing’s effectiveness. Bit by bit, we can help you strengthen your brand with the power of words.

      Sean Levine


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