by Renee

3 min reading time

3 steps to identify your competitors within the European market as a e-commerce seller


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Who wants to be successful? Everyone, indeed. However, to be successful in this competitive environment, it is vital to understand your competitors and to differentiate your offering. In this article, we will show you how to conduct a competitive analysis and develop strategies to help you differentiate within the European market in a few easy steps.


Step 1: identify your competitors

Naturally, it all starts with recognising who your competitors are. Here are some steps to help you with this crucial first step:

  1. Google search: Start with a simple Google search using relevant keywords for your industry and products. Note the companies that appear at the top of search results, as they are likely your primary competitors.
  2. Social media: Examine the social media accounts of businesses in your industry. Who has the most followers and engagement? These are potential competitors.
  3. E-commerce marketplaces: If you operate on platforms like Amazon or Bol, research sellers offering similar products or services. They could also be your competitors.
  4. Analytical tools: Utilize tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or SimilarWeb to gather data on your competitors’ online presence and performance. This helps you understand their strategies better.


Step 2: analyze your competitors

Once you’ve identified your competitors, you should delve deeper into their strategies. Take the following aspects into consideration:

  1. Website and user experience: study your competitors’ websites. Are they user-friendly? Are they missing any vital information? Ensure that your website is equal to or better than theirs in terms of design and usability.
  2. Product offering and pricing: evaluate what your competitors offer and at what prices. Identify gaps in their offerings and consider providing unique products or competitive pricing.
  3. Customer service: analyze how your competitors handle customer inquiries and complaints. Improve your own customer service to attract and retain customers.
  4. Content and marketing: review your competitors’ content strategy. What types of content do they create? Develop valuable, unique content to position your brand as an authority in your niche.


Step 3: develop your differentiating strategy

Now that you have a thorough understanding of your competitors, it is time to differentiate yourself within the European market. Here are some optional strategies:

  • Niche markets: consider targeting niche markets within Europe. Identify specific audiences with unique needs and tailor your offerings to cater to them. This can reduce competition and build loyal customers.
  • Localization: adapt your website, product descriptions, and marketing materials to the local language and culture. Customers are more likely to engage with brands that communicate in their language. Want to know more about this approach, read our article about localization vs. globalisation!
  • Innovation: continuously innovate and expand your product line with unique or improved products. Staying relevant and offering something new can attract customers seeking innovation. 
  • Customer service: invest and prioritize customers in customer service. Quickly address inquiries, provide effective solutions, and ensure customer satisfaction. Exceptional service can turn one-time buyers into loyal advocates, boosting your reputation and repeat business.
  • Sustainability: respond to the growing demand for sustainable products and practices. Position your business as environmentally friendly and socially responsible.



Identifying your competitors and developing a distinctive strategy is essential to thrive in the European e-commerce market. Understand who your competitors are, analyse their approach and find ways to differentiate yourself. Europe offers countless opportunities for e-commerce sellers, but success requires insight, dedication, and innovation.

And if you need assistance with the complexity of cross-border VAT returns or simply want a sounding board when making your decision, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our experts are ready to advise you, so you can make the best choice for your online store! Reach out today, and let us help you realize success. 

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Yonis Brander

VAT consultant

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