In today’s competitive dropshipping market, it’s essential to have a good spy app that keeps tabs on other Shopify stores.
Spying helps us learn best practices from other successful stores. This can include finding out what products others are selling, how their sites are organized, or what apps they use to maximize their sales.
By the same token, the act of spying informs you of the competition’s marketing strategy, and what’s happening with their products.
For example, you can gauge the relative interest in a competitor’s product by spying on their ads. Additionally, you can see whether those ads are translating into sales.
The information you gather can help you decide whether to move forward with a product and succeed where your competitor failed.
Spying also helps you conduct proper product research. For example, you can find out who is selling a product, where they are getting it from, and whether their store is powered by Shopify.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best Shopify spy apps on the web and show you how they can help you improve your results.
The Koala Inspector extension is the number one app for spying on Shopify stores. It provides dropshippers the most important information they need. From what Shopify theme other sellers are using to the best selling products in their stores, Koala has you covered.
Here at AutoDS we love using this app for many purposes. In fact, our Shopify wizard recommends it as a primary tool for product research in his Shopify Dropshipping A-Z course.
How To Use The Koala Inspector
One of the first things you want to know is whether you’re looking at a Shopify store or not. Otherwise, your research won’t be relevant and the app’s features won’t work.
For example, we found that this kids’ magnet toy is pretty popular, but the store selling it isn’t a Shopify store.
In order for you to make the Koala Inspector work, you’ll need to first make sure you’re visiting a Shopify store.
Let’s use the Joyride Harness store to illustrate how the inspector works.
The first option you’ll see is the ‘Structure’ of the store. It shows you its Shopify web address, the Shopify theme it uses, and the Shopify apps the seller optimizes their store with.
This is valuable information because whatever is working for them can work for you too. For example, perhaps an abandoned cart app can help you gain those customers who didn’t check out.
Lastly, the structure tab allows you to track how many sales a store is getting and what changes are being implemented.
The next feature is called ‘Products.’ It tells you what is selling, when, how many, and for how much. For example, you can find out how active this store is by looking at the last published product.
Then, click on the ‘New Products’ or ‘Best Sellers’ tabs. They inform you of newly added variations or the hottest products in the store. That can help us decide whether to move forward with listing a product in our store.
Koala Inspector allows you to add any New Releases or Best Sellers as favorites by clicking on the heart icon to the left of an item.
For example, perhaps you think the colorful striped harness or the winter trees variant would do well in your store. In that case, simply add them to favorites. Later, you can scrape the product from the store and add it to yours.
Here’s where the magic of the Koala Inspector comes into play. The ‘Find Retailers’ tab tells you how many other retailers are selling the same products. This way, you can size up your competition and see which supplier they get their products from.
Once you click on any of the links, you’ll see the same or similar products and their price range on other sites. It’s a great tool for many purposes. For example, even if other sellers change the product’s title, this feature lets you find it.
Another measure of whether a product is worth dropshipping is the traffic it attracts. Koala Inspector tells you not only how much traffic Shopify stores are getting but also the trendline. So you’ll know whether the product is still popular or perhaps not as much as it once was.
The Shop Traffic feature offers valuable information. Over time, interest in the harness product waned, but it still gets loads of traffic, with more than 85,000 visitors in April 2021.
Additionally, under the same tab, you can find helpful metrics about traffic sources. For example, you may find that most buyers of this harness are American shoppers, and the majority got to the store via social media or a Google search.
This shows you how you can learn best practices by using a Shopify spy app. In this example, you can decide how to invest your marketing funds by finding the most likely traffic source for a particular niche.
Just when you thought you heard it all, Koala keeps surprising you with even more powerful features. The Ad Campaigns tab reveals how the store utilizes ads to gain traffic.
You can view the number of ad campaigns the seller launched and what keywords led people to the ad. It is a fabulous tool for those who want to learn about optimizing an ad campaign for any particular product.
Other Helpful Features
In My Shops, you can keep tabs on all the stores you’re tracking. It will allow you to view each store and see things like price changes or product additions.
A Subscription Plan helps you get more out of the Koala inspector by increasing your traffic or retailer research limits. Finally, Koala’s Shopify Coupons help you save money on tools for your Shopify store.
If you’re already going to spy on other Shopify stores, don’t miss out on the Ecomhunt app. This company offers several services including detailed product research tools, a chrome extension, and other resources for dropshippers like courses and ebooks.
On the product research end, Ecomhunt finds you winning products through new hot trends or those under the radar.
You can track the performance of products over time and gauge overall interest. Additionally, dropshippers can utilize Ecomhunt Adam to see which AliExpress products are hot with detailed metrics.
The Ecomhunt Chrome Extension provides two simple one-click features. The first is a direct link to a Shopify store’s Facebook Ads. The second is a link to the store’s similarweb profile, where you can find detailed traffic and social media analytics.
Ecomhunt is the brainchild of Mordechai Arba. Watch AutoDS’s CEO, Lior Pozin, interview Mordechai about his dropshipping journey and why he started Ecomhunt. As a bonus, Mordechai offers some great tips on how his Shopify app can help you land the next bestseller.
When you visit a Shopify store, you’ll be able to pull up detailed traffic source analytics right inside of the extension. Additionally, you can view the per month store numbers for visits, units sold, and revenue earned.
The Commerce Inspector covers much more than just the specific store you’re visiting. For example, you can view which Shopify apps a store utilizes and how many other stores use the same app.
Finally, the Commerce Inspector extension has an inbuilt Facebook Ad search feature that allows you to find any Facebook ad from any category or store.
When it comes to spying on Shopify dropshipping ads, PowerAdSpy should be your go-to option. From Google PPC and YouTube ads to Quora and Reddit, this app can track ads from just about any platform.
You can filter your search results by keywords, highest converting ads, or region, amongst many other options. What’s more, the PowerAdSpy extension can capture all of this in a single click!
Similarly, Mailgaze allows you to search for marketing emails from any product niche, keyword, or region, so you know exactly what your competitors are up to and what products are the hottest right now.
5. MY AD FINDER
The simple and quick solution to finding competitors’ ads is the MY AD FINDER chrome extension. This Shopify app offers three simple features that help you spy on other stores’ ads with the click of a button.
Dropshippers can change their Facebook feed into one strictly showing ads. As a beginner dropshipper, you may see ads of all kinds. However, once you get your Shopify store rolling, most of your ads will be for products or dropshipping services.
If you find viral ads or others you want to learn from, the extension lets you add them to your favorites. Lastly, you can look up all ads from a single company using the extension.
Researching and spying on other stores is important and necessary. But what do we do once we’ve found products from a competitor Shopify store that we want to sell?
The Shopify spy extension is a perfect app for adding products directly to your store. Once on a Shopify store that you like, you can scrape 1000s of products at a time.
The extension pulls all of the necessary information like the title, images, description, vendor, product type, variants, images, and much more. All of it gets extracted into an XLSX document in the format required by Shopify, so you don’t need to do any extra work.
Wrapping Things Up
Learning from other shops, or spying on them for that matter, can help you save hours of work and skip the hassle of testing new products. You won’t need to make mistakes because you can find out what does or doesn’t work from other Shopify store owners.
There is an eCommerce tool for just about anything in today’s booming dropshipping market, and product research is no different. So take advantage of these Shopify Spy apps, many of which are completely free!
In the meantime, you don’t have to wait until you finish researching the competition. We have some winning ideas for products and categories to help you earn profits right away! Check out these two articles and video for inspiration: