Six ways to watch your ecommerce competitors watching you

You watch them, they watch you, so let’s see what they are looking at.
I’m reasonably certain we’ve all had a good look around our competitor’s ecommerce sites and I’m pretty sure they’ve had a good look around ours as well.
It’s been industry practice to do ‘competitor shopping’ for decades – but in the digital world where everything is measurable is there anything we can learn from them while they are trying to learn from us?
Firstly to be able to achieve the following we will need our competitor’s IP address. This is most likely not the IP address of their web server, but the IP address of their office / home. If your competitor is medium to large in scale then it’s likely they will have a static IP address or one or several IP address ranges.
If they are smaller then they may well be operating on a dynamic IP address (which changes every time they re-boot their router or loose connection).
For the purpose of this post I’ll be talking about IPv4. While some ISPs are switching to IPv6 the former