Jun 22, 2022

Knowing your competitors' movement is crucial for any business especially in the commodity trading industry, as the market is highly volatile and the competition for market share can change at any time. By monitoring the information on all your competitors' movements, you can easily keep track of them and even take leads in the markets. Know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never be defeated (idiom, from Sunzi's Art of War 孫子兵法|孙子兵法[Sūn zǐ Bīng fǎ]).

From this article, you will understand more about doing competitor research from the following questions:

How to define your competitors?

Defining your competitors in the commodity trading industry is always the first step in market research. Except for the big competitors that can easily come to your mind, some potential competitors can impact your business but with relatively lower exposure in the market. Here are the simple steps to help you list down both your direct and indirect competitors:

1.  Research on Search Engine

The first step is to do research on Google/Bing/LinkedIn and find out who are the top competitors in your industry. Simply typing the terms that are related to your business, you can find out the direct competitors that have exposure in the market. You can see their social media statistics and what they offer etc. This will give you a better understanding of the market and what you need to do to compete with them. They provide a benchmark for your company to measure market share and growth.

2.  Find Competitors in Trade Data Pro

Besides finding competitors online, Trade Data Pro could provide you with a more comprehensive and effective method of finding. The platform will list out the competitors with its custom records database, including both direct and indirect competitors by simply searching your core product name or its corresponding HS Code.
From the above example which was using LED industry. Users were able find out the top LED suppliers in the United States in 2021. If you are LED lamp exporter in the United States, your top 3 competitors would be SAMSUNG INTERNATIONAL INC, MARTAINER INC, and LG ELECTRONICS MEXICO SA. You can view and download the comprehensive competitor's list within CIC Trade Data Pro Database.

Use Trade Data Pro to Track Competitors

After getting the comprehensive list of your competitors, it is your turn to track their movements through Trade Data Pro. Trade Data Pro is a paid service that provides information on the shipment and trade data of your competitors. It gives you an idea of where they are sourcing their products and how they are marketing them. Here are the simple steps to track all your competitor's movements from the database:

Step 1: Download your competitors trade records


You can search any company in the CIC Trade Data Pro database to get their historical trade data records including both shipment data and customs data. Trade Data Pro database provides B/L level data including weight, quantity, value, and other customs data details. You can also apply more than 10 filters to filter out the refine data that are most valuable to you. Meanwhile, you can download your competitors' trade data into excel to conduct more analysis.

Step 2: Check your competitor's suppliers and buyers





From the example above, if your direct competitor is "Walmart", you can see the overview relationship mapping of WALMART by listing all the suppliers and buyers from its database. You can also dive into every record of your competitor's suppliers and buyers trade data to see their trade details and compare their importing value and exporting value with those of yours.


Step 3: Get your competitors' suppliers/buyers contact information



After filtering out your competitors' buyers and suppliers, it is important to let them become your potential suppliers or buyers. You can directly find the key person's contact information such as email address and phone number in the Trade Data Pro buyers archive Company Contact tab. In the meantime, you can check the latest company news and follow the company's social media directly to get more information.


Analyze your competitors in Trade Data Pro Database

Doing competitive analysis is vital in understanding your competitors and market trends. This information will help you create a better strategy for your own business. Here are some analytical dimensions that can be visualised through Trade Data Pro database:

Trend Analysis from Database



You can view the trading trend of the company in different dimensions over the specified period through the trend chart. Meanwhile, you can use the overall trend to generate a visualisation chart for comparison between your business and your competitor. Also, you can compare your company’s performance to the other industry's performance. This can help you uncover your company's strengths and weaknesses and find room for improvement to make your company more competitive and gain more market share.


Country of Origin Ranking



You can view your competitors' supplier countries and compare them with your own company's supplier countries to ensure that you are optimizing your sourcing.


Port of Departure and Port of Destinations




From your competitor’s loading port and unloading port list, you can infer the origin of your competitors' imports by looking at their most frequently used ports (loading, unloading and discharge). In the meantime, if you just began in this category's import/export trading, you can also use your competitors' port information as a reference to choose your loading and discharge ports.

To get free online demo of Trade Data Pro, please contact us or email us at: sales@cic-tp.com