E-Commerce Scraping: How to Make the Most of It
The internet is loaded with many opportunities for budding and growing online businesses. For instance, digital brands can find potential customers, understand markets and trends, and even watch their competitors closely enough to outperform them.
These opportunities didn’t exist until the coming of data which is essentially every detail on the internet, from consumers’ reviews to keywords, product prices, and competitors’ information.
Once the business can collect this data, they can leverage it to make essential business decisions and drive unprecedented growth.
While this data is scattered across different e-commerce platforms, collecting them is no small task. Hence, we will consider the challenges of collecting this data and how brands can easily navigate these troubles.
Types of Data That Can Be Automatically Extracted From E-Commerce Pages
There are several methods for data extraction, just like there are different data that can be collected from e-commerce pages. Some of this data include:
1. Product Prices
Each product or service price may differ across various markets, but it often remains with a similar range, especially within the same market.
Having a different price from another seller can easily lead to many problems. For instance, selling at higher prices than your competitors means you will quickly lose your customers to them while selling at lower prices means you will lose revenue and barely break even.
Therefore, it is paramount to set the ideal prices and do this; brands need to collect product prices regularly.
2. Customer Information
Brands can also collect customer information such as name, age, address, and even contact details and then use that data to generate leads.
Collected from the right e-commerce pages, these can serve as people to which a digital company can quickly sell its products and services.
It is also a free way of finding potential buyers and a ready market to sell the brand.
4. Reviews and Feedback
Customer reviews are also vital information as they can grant the collecting brand an idea into the customer’s pain point.
Gathering what buyers are saying on e-commerce pages can help influence decisions that can help you serve those customers better and even win them over.
5. Market Trends
Another valuable data that brands can collect from major e-commerce websites is the trends and structures coming to a particular market.
It is believed that more prominent brands often have the tools and resources to monitor the market more closely. This means they are often ahead of trends and new patterns that would hit the market next.
By collecting this data from these platforms, smaller brands can save their time and resources and still compete globally.
How Companies Can Use This Data
There are several uses for the data that brands collect from e-commerce pages, and below are some of the most common:
1. Price Optimization
Most of the data harvested from e-commerce websites often optimize the prices of products and services offered by a brand.
Brands can collate this data and put very competitive pricing on what they manufacture and sell.
2. Generating High-Quality Leads
The data collected, especially customer information, can also generate very high-quality leads.
This is because the information you collect about buyers from related e-commerce sites can often be the same people that your brands can sell to.
It is much easier for you to reach them with a better offer and sell to them than when you try to sell to a random internet user that has never used a product or service similar to yours.
3. Developing Products and Services
The data you collect, such as market trends and patterns, can develop new products or penetrate new markets.
The trends can be studied to create insights or develop a solid strategy to manufacture new products or enter a novel market with minimal risk.
The gathering of trends also helps to reduce the amount of time you would need to carry out complete market research from scratch.
Lastly, it is the smart way to save money and effort as you only need to key in into what other more giant corporations already know to get your products flowing.
Main Challenges of E-Commerce Web Scraping
But harvesting data this way is not without its challenges, with some of the most common, including the following:
1. IP Blocks
The number one thing that discourages web scraping in any form is IP block. An IP is a universal tool every internet user uses to access the web. A digital identity distinguishes one user from the next and allows each user to connect with servers and websites.
Since the IP is unique to the user and the only thing allowing you to connect to the internet, blocking is easy, preventing you from doing any other operations on the internet.
2. Changes in Website Layouts
Website layouts and structures constantly change to keep up with growing technologies, but web scrapers can become a problem.
For instance, once a scraping bot is designed to collect data from a website with a specific structure, a slight change in that structure renders that bot useless, becoming a challenge for web scraping.
Restrictions based on geo-locations are among the biggest challenges brands have to deal with today. Brands that stay in forbidden locations experience this challenge more often.
Some mechanisms are used to deduce where a user is browsing from. Once the user is identified to be browsing from a restricted location, their access is immediately limited or terminated altogether.
As you can expect, this means those users and brands will be unable to collect what they need when they need it, thereby causing a severe problem for them.
Practical Solutions to These Challenges
Luckily there are several effective solutions to the problems highlighted above. One solution works to solve all the challenges above in one simple move, and this is the use of web scraping tools such as Marketplace Scraper API. Here’s more info about this tool and how it can help you.
This tool helps conceal your IP address to prevent it from getting blocked. But because an IP is necessary to establish a connection, it brings a pool of IP addresses and switches them to avoid blocking.
A Marketplace Scraper API can also easily adjust to accommodate any changes in the structure or layout of a website and does not become invalid because of a change on the website.
Lastly, Scraping APIs are built to host several locations and allow you to select a different location to prevent geo-restrictions.
Data must be harvested and leveraged if a brand plans to make significant growth in a highly competitive market.
But due to the many challenges surrounding web scraping, there is the need to employ highly sophisticated data extraction tools such as Marketplace Scraper API.