There are countless reasons to spy on Shopify stores. Out of these, two stand out:

  • The desire to know what your competition is doing so you can stay competitive and keep your business alive.
  • To start a new business. Spying on other Shopify stores helps you determine which products you will likely succeed with.

Whatever your reason is, it probably feeds into one of these. This article aims to provide you with efficient ways of spying on Shopify stores.

Are you ready to learn more?

The best ways to spy on Shopify stores: An overview

We see you're eager to learn more; that's great!

To simplify things for you, we've created an overview of different ways you can spy on Shopify stores. We hope you'll find it useful:

MethodMain FocusPricingRead Review
Spy toolsAd and product spyingDepend on toolSpy tools review
Google text searchProduct spyingFreeGoogle text search review
Carousel productsProduct spyingFreeCarousel products review
Google LensProduct spyingFreeGoogle lens review
Two ordersRevenue estimationFreeTwo orders review
Revenue formulaRevenue estimationFreeRevenue formula review
Social pagesGeneral spyingFreeSocial pages review

Why do you need to spy on Shopify stores?

Have you ever wondered what your competitors are doing to increase their revenue?

Who are we kidding? You definitely have. You wouldn't be reading this article if you hadn't.

It's a good thing you're researching it because it's crucial to the success of your business. You must always be aware of your competitor's activities. You must study their strategies and pick up on things that help you stay competitive.

By spying on competing stores, you can identify their best sellers. Also, you can discover their social media pages and the ads they are running.

7 Ways to Spy on Shopify Stores

This article explores the various techniques you can use to spy on your competition. Some require you to spend money, while others need some inspiration and creativity.

Any technique you choose will help you find valuable information to help grow your business.

Alright. Enough of the talk. Let's learn something new!

1. Use spy tools

A person tracking his profits

This is, by far, the most popular method. It involves selecting a Shopify spy tool from the sea of tools in the market. You pay a subscription fee and use it to spy on one or more Shopify stores.

It is preferred because it is straightforward. Subscriptions can cost you as little as $20 and as much as $700. It depends on your budget, team size, and the information you seek.

Examples of Shopify spy tools include but are not limited to:

  • Sell The Trend. They are known for identifying winning products. However, the company also offers a tool called Store Intelligence, which you can use to analyze your competitors. (Check out our review here)
  • Anstrex. It primarily focuses on product research but can help you discover successful products in other Shopify stores.
  • BigSpy. Focuses on ad spying.
  • Meta Ad Library. It is not built as a spy tool but can be used for that purpose.
  • Ali Hunter. Browser extension for checking the revenue other Shopify stores generate and additional essential information like best sellers.

Each tool has been built with a specific purpose in mind.

Some focus on spying on ads, while others focus on the products Shopify stores sell. Your needs ultimately determine which tool is suitable for you.

For more information about these and other spy tools, check out our other great article here!

2. Use Google text search

Google home page

"Wait, what? You mean I can spy on Shopify stores with Google?"

Oh yes, good old Google. It works like a charm if you know what to ask. You'll see what we mean.

Remember that this technique is appropriate in the market research phase. You don't know what to sell yet, but you have an idea of the niche you want to get into.

Suppose you are looking for product ideas in the sunglasses niche. Here's what you need to do.

Advanced Google search query for Shopify stores
  1. Find a keyword that most stores in your niche of interest will likely have on their website. Let's go with 'polarized' from polarized sunglasses. Single-word keywords cast a wide net with plenty of relevant results; we want this.
  2. Build a query to give to Google. How, you ask?
    • We want results from Shopify stores only. And we know every Shopify website is assigned a subdomain on myshopify.com by default. For instance, alo-yoga.myshopify.com is the Shopify domain for aloyoga.com.

      So, the appropriate Google query to restrict the search is site:myshopify.com.
    • Then, we want product results only from different websites. To achieve this, we tell Google to only return results from websites with URLs that include '/products/' (without quotation marks). All Shopify store product pages have the same URL structure that includes that phrase.

      The Google query, in this case, is inurl:/products/
    • After that, we request Google only to return results that include the word 'polarized' in their text anywhere on the product page.

      The query that achieves this is intext:"polarized" (wrap your keyword in double quotation marks if it has more than one word).

      Note: If you have several keywords, create similar queries for each keyword. Using all your words in the same query won't yield any results. Google will assume your text to be one keyword.
  3. If you have done everything described in the previous steps, you should end up with something like this 'site:myshopify.com inurl:/products/ intext:"polarized".'
  4. Press enter and let Google do its magic.
Google results for advanced search query

After getting the results you want from Google, click on different results and check out their products.

Use tools like Similarweb to check out the traffic on the website, their marketing channels, and other stats.

Related article: How Do You Find Shopify Stores in Your Niche? (6 Great Tips)

Farer watches homepage
Source

We know. This sounds too obvious. Why would anyone lay bare their winning product for all to see? Shouldn't they make it harder for competitors to find their best sellers?

Think about it.

As a store owner, your main priority is not your competitors. Your highest priority is your customer. You want to give them the best experience so they can return, right?

This is precisely why you take an image of your best-selling product and incorporate it into your carousel's design.

Doing this makes the product pronounced; customers can point it out faster when they land on your website.

Farer best selling watches

Consequently, the sales of that product are likely to skyrocket!

This, of course, assumes that you have significant quality traffic on your website. Not sure how to get high-quality, organic traffic? Read this article here.

Now, we are not the only ones who think this logic works. Many store owners know that making it easy for customers to find your best seller is a good idea. After all, one product can account for most of your store's revenue.

Tip: To find this page, put this at the end of their URL: /collections/all?sort_by=best-selling

Some stores will turn this off, but you can read here how to beat them!

So, the next time you visit a Shopify store you're spying on, check out those pronounced products. They are bright and always begging for you to click on them. They are not pronounced by mistake.

There is a caveat to this tough. Not all stores do this. Some don't even have carousels, to begin with. But this information should always be at the back of your mind.

Note: Even when you visit non-Shopify websites, this information will help you easily identify winners. The logic is the same across different stores on the internet!

4. Use Google lens

Google Lens homepage

The Google Lens search is simple. It is suitable for your product research phase.

Before proceeding, we recommend you have an idea of the product you wish to sell and a few photos.

This method is even better if the product is sourced from a standard site like AliExpress.

Google Lens can find the supplier for you. It doesn't happen all the time, but you can get lucky.

Google Lens results page

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to google.com and click the small camera icon on the right of the search text box.
  2. Drag and drop the product photo in the box that appears. Click Search.
  3. Google Lens will list all web pages where that image or similar images appear. Perfect!
  4. Go through the list and explore the stores that show up.

Remember, you can combine this method with the Google text search for refined results.

5. Order two items from a competitor a month apart

An image showcasing cash on delivery

Let's say you want to launch a new business. Your gut tells you it can work, but your mind is insistent on finding proof.

Your proof will come from identifying some stores and investigating their daily, weekly, or monthly revenue.

To do this, you must first use the Google search text method we reviewed earlier to find similar businesses online. You could also pick the ones you already know.

Pick one website, then browse it to identify the cheapest-selling product. 'Cheap' may vary greatly depending on the niche you're in.

Make an order for the item and note the date and time. Then wait.

After 30 or 31 days, find the same item and make another order. Wait for it to arrive.

Each order comes with a receipt that contains a receipt number. Ideally, the receipt number is incremented for every order. (Usually, you will receive an email with the number as well)

If you subtract the receipt number on your last order from your first, you should have the total number of orders the Shopify store has had in between.

Given your understanding of the business, create a list of potential average order values for the store. Multiply each average order value by the number of orders, and you will have a list of possible revenue values from the store.

This process may take a long time but provides tangible proof of a business's average revenue. However, it might be expensive if:

  • You intend to use it in multiple stores.
  • The products in your niche are expensive, even the least expensive ones.

Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that the store you spy on will calculate receipt numbers incrementally.

If this is the case, use other numbers on the parcel documents that could suggest incremental use, like invoice numbers.

6. Use the revenue formula to determine the average Shopify store revenue

Shopify dashboard with revenue

Another nifty way to estimate the revenue is to use the revenue formula.

It is simple to use and provides a straightforward answer. However, you need to get a few things right to get the closest estimate:

  • Shopify store traffic. You will need to use a tool for this. There are plenty of tools that will estimate the traffic of a website at no cost. For instance, Similarweb is a popular, reliable, and reasonably accurate tool.
  • The conversion rate of your niche. Each niche has a unique conversion rate guided by the average price of products in the niche. For instance, a niche with high-ticket items like lawnmowers will have a lower conversion rate.

    A niche like apparel has a higher conversion rate because apparel is cheaper.
  • The average product price on a Shopify store. This figure can be a bit tedious to calculate, but it is easier if you have some experience in the niche. Calculate the sum of all prices on the website and divide by the total number of products.

    If you have some experience in your niche, you probably already know the average product price. Use that.

How do you calculate a Shopify store revenue?

Shopify store revenue = Estimated monthly traffic X Conversation rate X Average product price

Assuming the estimated traffic is 10,000, the average conversion rate is 2%, and the average product price is $20. The store revenue will be:

Shopify store revenue = 10,000 X (2/100) X 20

This gives an average revenue of that store as $4,000.

The accuracy of the results you get highly relies on the figures you provide. Take your time to find the most practical numbers before investing in that niche. Using tools with a good reputation can help you find reliable results.

Additionally, we recommend using this method and other revenue-spying techniques to get a clearer picture of a store's revenue.

For more information about this tactic, check out our other article here!

7. Check out a Shopify Store's social pages

meow meow tweet pinterest account

So far, we have looked at several strategies you can use to find competitors, discover what your competitors are selling, and calculate average Shopify store revenue.

However, you can learn more about a competitor from their social media pages than you think. Most Shopify stores will list their social media pages in their footers. From these pages, you can:

  • Determine a business's content strategy. You can assess a business's content to determine its publishing frequency, the focus of its content, its content creation techniques, etc.
  • Determine its marketing strategy. It is difficult to unearth a business's entire marketing strategy. However, you can collect clues on its goals depending on where it publishes and its target audience.
  • Examine the quality of its customer support. You can make attempts to interact with your competitors through their social media platforms. Ask them questions that will help you determine the strength of their customer support.
  • Estimate the financial capabilities of a business. If a business has sufficient financial power, it will be evident from the quality of its content. Companies with more access to capital tend to have higher-quality content.

    This can be a tricky metric to use because some businesses with less capital will find creative ways to create quality content, which can be misleading.

    Be sure to check out other signals of financial power, such as employee headcount and office location and size.
  • Find valuable unintended information. Looking around a competitor's social media platforms, you can find helpful information you weren't privy to.

    For instance, you might realize that your competitor is gaining public trust faster than you because they are collaborating with a certain influential individual.

How do you find a Shopify store's social pages if they are not listed on the website?

  1. Go to a social media website you'd like to investigate. Like Facebook.
  2. Search the business name. Usually, if they have an account, it will show up in the search results.
Facebook Ad Library results

Once you have found the business's identity on Facebook or Instagram, visit the Meta Ad Library and search using the name.

Meta Ad Library will show you all the ads the business runs on the platform.

You can search using the business name if you have ad-spying tools, like BigSpy. This will help you discover more ads that the business is currently running on other platforms like Google, Youtube, TikTok, etc.

Summary

Before we go to the final verdict, we've created a quick summary of this article for you, so you can easily remember it:

  • Tools can help you get the information you seek much faster. However, an upfront payment is required for a subscription.
  • Google text search can help you find Shopify stores and stores on other platforms that sell products you're interested in.
  • You can use Google Lens to find websites selling a specific product. If you're lucky, you can even find suppliers of the product.
  • You can purchase two products a month apart from a store and use the receipt number to estimate a store's monthly revenue.
  • If you know a Shopify store's monthly traffic, average product price, and a niche's conversion rate, you can estimate the store's revenue using the revenue formula.
  • Observing social media pages lets you learn a lot about a business. You can determine its content and marketing strategies, customer support strength, etc.

Conclusion

No matter how valuable, information only means something if acted upon. The methods we have reviewed in this article are simple but powerful.

As an established business, you're probably better off using paid tools. Tools meet your needs faster. They also have robust reporting capabilities that present the information you need in valuable ways.

If your goal is to find winning dropshipping products other Shopify stores are selling, we have an article on The 17 Best Winning Dropshipping Product Research Tools.

It wouldn't hurt to use one of the free methods for exploration occasionally. Each method has its strengths that could prove useful to your cause.

Beginners, in contrast, especially those on a budget, are better off using the free methods to spy on competing Shopify stores. Not only do you get the information you need, but you also acquire much-needed qualities and skills in the process.

Beginners can gain qualities like patience and intuitiveness. Additionally, research and critical thinking skills can also be acquired. These things are crucial to a business's success.

Want to learn more about Shopify?

Ready to move your Shopify store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth how to start a Shopify store guide here.

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