One of my oldest competitor is moving on and emailed me to let us know that they were selling parts of their business.
It is niche ecommerce, they were one of the pionneer and did not evolve quickly enough. Their sales are slowly declining, their product range is not exclusive enough, big guys are direct competitors to them (not our case) but they are still:
twice our sales, with decent average profit,
twice our traffic,
good rankings on some keywords,
clean backlink profile (not a lot of links, but good ones, not anchor issues,etc.. better profile than ours)
Their brand KW gets 3 times the traffic our brand KWs. Website is thin, but clean.
We can buy their mailing list, their domain/site but not their inventory . it has been sold already. They have 4-5 times more customers on their list than ours. But I will need to get know how active they are.Loyalty: 40% of their traffic is returning customers (ours is lower)
Site is old, brand is aging and looks like a website designed in early 2000. I had the impression 5 months ago they were giving up. I am guessing cutomers did too. Prices are being slashed all over the site.
So how do I go about it?
Ultimately I would want to find a solution where I get the benefit of their domain, traffic, customers while keeping my brands or merging the 2 brands.
Number wise, it looks like i should just merge my brand into theirs, but slowly declining sales over the last 3 years and their positions/image in the market indicates to me it might not be the right solution.
I have been advised to buy, and run it seperatly for 6 months. I am a one person show, so running two website could get difficult, especially if I have to buy all the inventory new for the new season. it is risky. I could share a bit of the invetory but that would also require doing everything twice (product listings etc..) to avoid duplicate content.
I could simple 301 redirect and ensure that my customer service and product selection could work for the competitor's customer. I was working on that anyway.
But if I am buying them out, I want to make the most of my purchase, and I feel like I could lose all these good rankings they have etc..
Do I merge both brands and go with something like "site A" by "site B"?
If I plop my site on their domain, I am taking the risk of losing their rankings by the fact a lot of the site will change, no?
I am in dire need of some advice here. It makes sense for me to buy, but I am not sure how to go about it.