The American engineer, statistician, professor, author, and management consultant W. Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” In today’s unprecedently complex business world where the company’s’ ability to effectively collect, analyze and use big data and information is what separates the winners from the runners-up, these words have become more actual than ever. Data is the new currency and is the most valuable asset in any industry, from the Internet of Things to brick-and-mortar businesses.
The online area is full of important and useful information, and if you know how to use it right, taking your business to new heights won’t be a difficult task. Staying up to date about all the players in the market, their products, pricing, and marketing strategies might seem a challenging task, due to the growing number of eCommerce and the massive volume of data trapped in the web pages. Luckily, technology is always one step ahead of our needs, and today there are advanced data scraping services that deliver you rich insights about your market and help you create an effective, data-driven strategy for your business.
While many online businesses still don’t pay much attention to the ever-changing market trends and competitor strategies, failing to get data management right is a big mistake. Scraping eCommerce websites for valuable data and monitoring where your competitors stand helps you stand out in your niche and gain a competitive edge for your business. As an eCommerce website, you need to know who your online counterparts are, what strengths and weaknesses they have and what you should do to keep up with the competition.
Here are a few cases when data scraping can be indispensable for your online business.
Real-time tracking of competitor prices
Effective pricing strategy is essential for any eCommerce business. Scraping competitor websites for their pricing lists can allow you to match the prices being offered by your counterparts or provide even lower prices, attracting more customers to your online store. It will not only help you adjust your own pricing strategy to the market trends but also infer which products are more popular on competitor websites and what you might be missing on yours. If you see that you’re not able to provide lower prices than your competitors do, you may also want to extract the pricing information from your supplier’s website and compare it to that of other suppliers.
Another major advantage of price scraping services is the ability to extract data at any frequency. If you’re operating in an industry when the prices change on a daily basis, you need to monitor competitor prices in real time to adjust your price optimization strategy. This is the reason why not only online retailers but also many travel companies take advantage of price scraping to harvest price-lists from airline’s websites and adjust their travel package.
Gaining product performance intelligence
In order to leave your competitors in the dust, you need to know how your products perform against your online counterparts and whether your product coverage is falling behind that of other eCommerce platforms. You can achieve this knowledge by scraping competitor catalogs for product types or other details and gain actionable insights about the latest updates and new developments in the industry. Scraping eCommerce websites will also help you get an idea of what promotions and customer retention strategies your competitors are using that you can implement as well to drive your business.
Obtaining product information from supplier websites
As an eCommerce business, you may have hundreds of suppliers. Some of them may have APIs which will allow you to access the list of products and features, but this is not the case with most suppliers. Data scraping services will help you gain a full access to product lists, imagery, markup percentage information and any specialties related to products. While doing this on your own or with web crawling bots would challenge your time and require extra resources to structure and parse the data after harvesting, partnering with a data scraping service, you’ll have all this data at your fingertips at minimal cost.
Analysing customer sentiments
Customer opinion is crucial to any brand success. When companies choose to sell their products online, it becomes more difficult for them to engage in a face-to-face dialogue with their customers, since virtually all the purchases, transactions and communication happen online. But, in return, they get a great chance to monitor customer behavior and references on the web and use this intelligence to align their business goals.
Every day thousands of online users leave comments and references about the features and benefits of the products they purchase. Web scraping services help you crawl other eCommerce websites for customer reviews and opinions and analyze their sentiments not only on other online stores but also across any social media platform and forum. Why not use this opportunity to learn what your customers like or dislike, what you should improve in your service and what’s trending in the market.
Predicting market trends
Successful and comprehensive market prediction is another benefit offered by web scraping. In order to fulfill your customer’s needs with your products and campaigns, you need to be aware of their expectations in advance. As unrealistic as it may seem, predicting customer needs and industry trends is perfectly achievable with data scraping services. Tracking the previous buying habits of your customers and collecting massive volumes of user data will allow you to make data-driven decisions when planning your future marketing campaigns and develop your business strategy backed by predictive analysis.
By scraping eCommerce websites and analyzing big data, you’ll be able to enhance the performance of your own online store and drive customer engagement to a whole new level. With incredibly valuable insights delivered to you by web scraping service, you can easily catch a glimpse of all the existing market trends, basing your business strategy on real data and maximizing your profits.