One common practice when starting a website is to check your competitor’s website. In fact, many businesses tend to copy their competitor’s websites.
However, the idea that copying the strongest competitor’s website in your market will enable you to remain competitive in the marketplace is a misconception.
In this article, we will be looking at reasons why copying your competitor is a poor strategy that all businesses should refrain from, especially when it comes to web development.
You have no idea why your competitors are successful
It might be tempting to copy how the webpage of your successful competitors looks. After all, it has been proven to work…or so you think.
There are probably many factors that contribute to your competitor’s success besides their webpage. From effective marketing campaigns, good advertising to quality service, it is unlikely that their website was the sole contributor to their success.
In fact, web design might not even be a priority for your competitor. Their website might thus not represent their reason for success. Within their website, there could also be elements that contributed to their success and others which did not.
If you cannot effectively identify what the success determinants are for your competitor, it would be a waste of time and resources. In this case, copying what your competitors have done would not bring your company the success you thought it would.
Your competitors are also clueless about what they are doing.
Most companies are also clueless about web design. Your successful competitor might have copied their competitor’s websites.
As such, copying them would also be copying their competitor, leading to a very uniform and mundane web presence for all the businesses in your marketplace. It will be very hard to have a website that stands out among others in your industry if you copied your competitor’s website which was copied from another and were all similar.
It might not work for you
Despite being in the same market, your company’s unique selling preposition (USP) is likely to be different from your competitor’s. Your competitor’s webpage is likely to be tailored to promote their own unique selling preposition.
As a result, copying their webpage is likely not suitable to your company’s own unique selling preposition. Copying their webpage will not set you apart from them.
If they are already more successful than you, why would customers choose you instead of them for the same unique selling preposition?
What To Do With Your Website?
Now that you know why you shouldn’t be copying your competitor’s website, here are some tips on how you can improve your own.
Building a website from scratch can be tough. It is common to look at your competitor’s website for inspiration on how to organise content, what design to adopt and more.
While their success story may tempt you to adopt the same concept for your website, a line has to be drawn. Their website should simply be used for taking inspiration, to spin off on and improve.
Your website should aim to be better than your competitor’s, not be the same. Copying your competitor’s site is a safe option but it puts a ceiling where the best your website can be is at the same level where your competitor is.
Take Risks and Improve
From your competitor’s site, identify what they did well, what they didn’t do well and what they did not do. Doing so will allow you to effectively draw inspiration from the things that could help your website and avoid doing things that weren’t good for the site. Most importantly, identifying what they did not do is an opportunity of a gap that could be closed. This something that you could apply to your website to one-up your competitor.
Closing this gap by being innovative will involve risk. It might not be 100% successful but if it is, it will end up setting your website apart from all the others in the industry and bring you success.
In addition, from what they have done well, you could think of ways to further improve it for your website.
Support Your Brand, Not Your Competitor’s
Copying your competitor is an easy and safe choice. However, if your competitor’s webpage is well-established and well-known among consumers compared to yours, copying their website does not help you.
People are smart and instinctive. They know who you copied your website from. Instead of promoting your brand, consumers are likely to remember the competitor you copied from.
Many consumers these days look out for uniqueness and originality. Copying a more successful and established brand makes your brand less authentic and seem like an inferior alternative.
In order to avoid this, build your own brand. Ensure that your website is suited to promote your own company’s unique selling preposition. This will help you to gain the attention of consumers and help them see your brand for your brand rather than a copy of your competitor.
Applying these tips will help to set your website apart from your competitor’s. However, identifying and coming up with such improvements to ensure your website performs better than your competitor is easier said than done. If you find yourself stuck, you might want to consider consulting a web design Singapore agency to help you out.