Shopped by the Competition

I mentioned in my last blog that ZeroLag recently became a Platinum Hosting Partner for Magento.  This has increased our visibility on the Magento website and has piqued the interest of both potential clients and our competition.  If you haven’t heard of “shopping the competition” it’s when one of your competitors calls you acting like a potential customer using fake or disingenuous credentials.  The goal in shopping the competition is to understand why their customers view them as a preferable source for the product they offer.  It’s usually done by smaller firms looking to get information on one of the leaders in the industry, such as ZeroLag.  In this case, the other web hosting company wanted to know what made ZeroLag’s service, performance, reliability and security the best in the business for optimizing Magento.

The first instance of being shopped by the competition came from a contact form submission.  It sounded odd right from the get go.  We had a name, a generic gmail address, cell phone number and a number of questions regarding hosting Magento Enterprise.  A quick google search of this individuals name brought me to a linkedin page that showed he worked for a south east based web hosting company with a focus specifically on Magento web hosting.  He didn’t even bother to change his real name on the contact form.  We politely let them know that we were on to them and we thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t.

When they realized that didn’t work they got a little more creative in their technique.  This time they filled out another contact form with a different name, a company name, a website URL, a cell number and some generic questions about Magento.  When I tried to go to the URL listed it had a copy of Magento Community loaded onto a live site that said it was 5% complete.  Basically, they parked a website with a copy of Magento Community and didn’t even finish creating a full store.  Although they had created a fake name and company the area code for the phone number they provided was from the same small south east state as the other contact.  Just to be safe I still made the call and it became very evident it was the same company trying to shop us again.

As I mentioned earlier, being “shopped by the competition” provides insight to the competitor as to why ZeroLag’s customers view us as a preferable source for the product we offer.  If they really wanted to know all they had to do was ask.  ZeroLag delivers peace of mind to our clients.  We offer a product as a service because in today’s day and age everything is a service.  We believe that web hosting is a customer-centered world, where ZeroLag has prospered by developing relationships with our customers by listening to them, adapting and responding to their wants and needs.  Most other companies are reactionary, but not ZeroLag, we customize solutions that work and then we are there to support the customers’ needs and scale as they grow.  This is a philosophy for ZeroLag that has been embedded in our corporate culture; it doesn’t really matter how many competitors try to shop us because they don’t practice this philosophy and therefore don’t have what it takes to provide this best in class service.