Running a digital e-commerce store is one of the most lucrative business models today. However, running such a business with success is quite challenging as the internet is an overwhelmingly competitive business environment.
With so many online businesses today, getting your online store to stand above the rest is quite difficult. There are challenges such as generating enough leads, converting prospects into customers, driving more traffic to your website, beating competitors, etc.
Then, there is also the challenge of staying within your budget while performing all these operations. While there are many ways to boost your e-commerce business, nothing is as efficient as web scraping.
If you want to scrape e-commerce data to track and monitor your competitors, attract more consumers, rank your business higher in SERPs, and generate valuable insights, there are some things you should know.
Why gathering data online is important for business
E-commerce makes for a large chunk of the digital business realm on the internet. This digital business sector is constantly accumulating data regarding abandoned online shopping carts, web browser histories, geolocation services, and customers’ social media activity.
Although digital businesses have many ways to gather consumer data, analyzing that data is the main driving factor of success. The ability to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively analyze real-time data is what gives e-commerce businesses an advantage over their competitors.
E-commerce business organizations leverage big data analytics and web scraping to gather data to understand their competitors, strategies, customers’ purchasing behavior, and the latest market trends.
In turn, these businesses tailor and customize their customer experience and marketing directly to consumer preferences, create personalized campaigns, products, and services that match customer needs, etc.
It can benefit them in many different ways, including:
- Taking customer and shopping experience to the next level;
- Ensuring more secure online payment methods;
- Increased personalization;
- Increased sales and optimized pricing strategies;
- Dynamic, customer-centric service;
- Forecast demand and predict market trends.
Clearly, gathering data is incredibly important for every digital business, especially e-commerce companies.
Scraping e-commerce sites
E-commerce businesses can rely on web scraping to target top websites and extract valuable data from the web. It can help a business get ahead of the competition, identify their weaknesses, compare their performance to main competitor brands, create more dynamic pricing and trending products, and more.
Web and data scraping is an excellent way to conduct:
- Competitor mapping and analysis;
- Real-time price tracking and market monitoring;
- Sentiment analysis;
- Predictive analytics.
The primary purpose of web scraping is to extract valuable data that e-commerce businesses can use to further improve their websites and services. Keeping an eye on your competitors allows you to identify your weak points, improve lead generation, increase conversions, promote and increase sales, drive more traffic to your website, and make data-driven business decisions.
Using web scraping tools to Scrape e-commerce data can benefit your e-commerce website in many different ways, such as:
- Allowing you to conduct product research and price monitoring;
- Performing detailed consumer and competitor analysis;
- Better ad placement;
- Increased productivity;
- Elevated customer experience;
- Improved marketing campaigns and sales strategies;
- Trend predictions and future market analysis.
Web scraping gives e-commerce access to competitive data to achieve their primary business goals and ensure their customers receive the customer/shopping experience they deserve across every step of the customer journey. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.
While an effort to scrape e-commerce data has its advantages, it also comes with quite a few challenges. Modern websites use several defensive mechanisms and solutions to block access to their content and detect web scrapers.
Let’s list some of the most common challenges of scraping e-commerce data.
Legality issues and bot access
Modern websites prohibit web scraping and will block any attempt at scraping their data. This can be easily mitigated by using robots.txt to check whether a website permits scraping and extracting data.
Alternating web page structure
Modern websites frequently alternate the structure of their web pages. To scrape their data, you’ll need a new scraping tool for each page.
CAPTCHA and IP blocking
Web pages will instantly block a web scraper’s IP if any suspicious request is detected. Most websites use CAPTCHAs as the best method of differentiation between computers and humans.
Geoblocking is the most common web scraping challenge and refers to websites that make their content inaccessible in different locations. However, geo-restrictions can be bypassed using proxies.
How to deal with these challenges
Proxies are the best way to solve any problems and bypass any restrictions that may stand in the way of your web scraping efforts. Proxies are a gateway between the user and the internet. They can easily hide your IP, mask your location, route your traffic through secure servers to increase your anonymity and privacy, among many other things.
A proxy allows you to scrape e-commerce data completely anonymously and free of any risk of being detected or blocked by target websites. They automatically assign a new, real, and physical IP for each new scraping request you make.
Proxies are reliable scraping tools that can bypass geo-blocking, target multiple websites for data extraction, avoid blanket IP bans, prevent browser fingerprinting, disable cookies, and prevent third parties from tracking your online activities.
Web and data scraping is the best technique for automating the process of targeting websites, scraping, extracting, and gathering data in a secure, anonymous, and reliable way.
Scraping can ensure an abundant source of data that can help an e-commerce business in various ways, ranging from beating competitors and providing customers with personalized customer experience to predicting market trends and making better business decisions.