Among the most useful extensions for e-commerce, Commerce Inspector has a very good position. Discover in this article a complete tool to analyze the shops of your Shopify competitors.
There are a number of online tools and services that allow for more or less exhaustive analysis of e-commerce data.
For example, if you are dropshipping, it may be interesting to know the sales curve of a product over the last 10 or 30 days.
Some tools are completely free, such as the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center while others adopt a freemium model – a free part with paid features.
On the occasion of the last big update that the developers of Commerce Inspector have done, I thought it would be interesting to talk to you about it, I have a little bonus for you at the end!
What is Commerce Inspector in a nutshell?
Commerce Inspector – or Shopify Inspector is the same thing – is a tool for e-merchants and dropshippers dedicated to the analysis and legal espionage of your competitors. It comes in the form of an extension to install on Google Chrome.
Unfortunately, it is not available for Firefox, but most of the extensions of this domain are not available either…
Chances are you’ve heard of this tool, at one time it made a lot of noise. It’s an ultra complete tracking tool to analyze among others the products of your competitors and find potential winners.
Since the major update, the Commerce Inspector has expanded the capabilities to include traffic and ad analysis on social networks. We’ll go through all of that in detail.
The tool comes in two forms: the web version and the extension. They are complementary and work together.
Commerce Inspector’s key features
1. Overview of the best products
So we find ourselves in the web interface which is free to discover a list of products that are currently best sellers on Shopify shops. Here is a quick overview of this feature:
It’s a simple list of shops and products, the rest comes when you launch the extension. It’s interesting in that you can analyze how the product sheets are constructed.
2. Posts that buzz
A very original feature allows you to see Facebook posts that have a lot of commitment over the last 7 days or the same day. These are all publications that highlight a product.
Post uploaded only one day ago with already thousands of comments and shares, found thanks to Commerce Inspector in free version!
From there, we can take the product back if we find it at a dropshipping supplier or be inspired by it.
3. Internal search engine
Commerce Inspector has a comprehensive search system. You can search for shops, products and apps by keyword. It is possible to search in English!
When you type a keyword to find a product, for example « dog collar », you can analyze the shops that sell a dog collar.
In this example, we can see that the shop has about 300,000 visits every month with an estimated turnover of more than $155,000 per month. These are estimates based on traffic and source distribution.
Commerce Inspector displays the best sales of the month or since the creation of the shop.
4. AdSpy free version!
Well it’s not exactly an AdSpy, but it’s still a very useful feature. For competitive intelligence or inspiration, you can search for ads on the Facebook and Instagram networks.
Unlike AdSpy, this is about find viral ads that run directly by targeting Facebook pages. That is to say that the search will focus on a Facebook page and not directly on an ad.
To put it more clearly, MVMT, which is a major fashion accessories brand, has 790 active advertising campaigns at the time of writing, according to the Commerce Inspector:
This result is only with the France filter, this number is explained by the fact that each ad has several variants. I still think that this number should be taken with tweezers.
Now it’s up to you to see what your competitors’ ads are!
5. E-commerce groups
In addition to everything else, you can join various Facebook groups dedicated to online commerce.
The list seems pretty complete so if you’re looking for mutual help, joining a Facebook group is a great initiative, you’ll probably meet other merchants there.
There are Anglophone groups, but also Francophone groups, including ECOM FRENCH TOUCH which gathers one of the largest communities in the dropshipping and e-commerce world.
These four features are the main ones you’ll find when you sign up for Commerce Inspector, but the tool goes further with its Chrome extension!
Key features of the extension
1. Shop analysis
The extension is especially useful for analyzing and spying on your competitors simply by visiting their Shopify shop. When you open the app, you will have to log in.
Just to have concrete data, I will take the example of an existing shop. When I launch Commerce Inspector, this is what I get back:
We find the same information with the number of visits and the number of sales always based on the traffic sources. SEO represents 71% of all visits, that’s why it is essential to work on it!
On top of that, the extension allows you to know the e-commerce theme used, as well as the brand’s social networks.
2. Product analysis
Then we can analyze the products in the shop. In this case, it is a question of knowing which are the best products of the brand and the last ones that have been added to the catalogue.
The analysis does not go any further, it does not show a sales curve for example. I’ll show you how you can tell the potential of a lower product.
The tool also shows us the number of products that have been launched in the last three months of activity:
This is a particularly interesting function to know if the site is always up to date. In my example, the owners add very few products, 8 in the month of March.
3. Facebook Ads
If your competitor is currently running advertising campaigns on Facebook or Instagram, the Commerce Inspector will be able to show them to you.
It works in the same way as the AdSpy type feature available from the interface. Since the shop I’m analyzing has no campaign in progress, I’ll use the example of MVMT:
You see the details of the ad directly on Facebook and Instagram. There are still more than 2,000 active ads worldwide. Again, I wouldn’t advise you to take that number as definitive.
4. Shopify Apps
Finally, the last notable utility of using an extension like Commerce Inspector is the ability to know which Shopify apps your competitor is using.
« What app does this shop use? What is this plugin? » We’ve all asked ourselves that question when we visit a shop, right? Now you have the answer!
In the Apps section, the tool lists in a complete but non-exhaustive way the free and paid apps installed. To come back to my first example, the apps are the following:
I personally love this feature because it allows you to discover little-known apps, but also to find out how many shops have installed it.
Even if it doesn’t mean that your competitor doesn’t have other apps, it already gives you a precise idea of the monthly expenses related to the plugins.
Choose Commerce Inspector free or paid?
As I was saying, the Commerce Inspector extension is available in two versions, the first one free and the second one for a fee. In both cases, you will need to create an account to use it.
The vast majority of e-merchants who use this solution do not need to pay, because it is in its 0€ version, which is very complete. You will be able to take advantage of its full potential without having to pay!
Here is a comparative summary of the two versions:
- Trendy products
- Best seller products
- New products
- Installed plugins
- Trendy products
- Best seller products
- New products
- Installed plugins
- Estimated overall revenue
- Estimated revenue per product
- List of the best shops
- Active advertising
- Inactive ads
The difference is not huge and the free version is sufficient for most users. That said, if you need to upgrade to the premium version, there are several plans to suit your needs:
Once you have created an account, you can register sites, and the only difference between all these prices is the amount of data you can register.
If you want to go on a paid plan, I’ve got a coupon code for you! Apply the code REFERRAL25 when paying to get $25 less… every month.
The plan which is normally $49 is now $24 which is about 22€ for a really great tool.
What’s the alternative? What additional extensions?
Since I’ve been using Commerce Inspector, I must admit that I haven’t felt the need to find another similar solution. But I did search for the needs of this article and I didn’t find anything very interesting.
There doesn’t seem to be any real alternative. On the other hand, I use others plugins for my Chrome browser, especially for dropshipping.
The first one I recommend you install is AliTools which is a practical solution to search for your competitors’ products on Aliexpress.
The second one is very similar, but with a slightly different operation, it is AliPrice. It allows, among other things, to have a history of Aliexpress prices.
Finally, the last one is not indispensable at all. AliSave is very useful for me to download Aliexpress images. I’ve already talked about it on the blog, because I use it to be able to make modifications on the images with the graphic editor Canva or Photoshop.
Review of Commerce Inspector
In my opinion, Commerce Inspector is a plugin that you need to have as soon as you start e-commerce. It doesn’t really matter whether you have a free or paid version.
It makes competitive intelligence so easy that you can keep an eye on your direct and indirect competitors in just a few clicks, their advertisements, products, apps, etc.
Don’t hesitate to use the complementary extensions, they will save you precious time that you can reinvest in your product pages, social network or marketing.
Since the last update, Commerce Inspector is now much more user-friendly and easy to use. Good sales!