When it comes to running a business online, automating your eCommerce strategy is not only beneficial but, these days, it has become essential. This is why data collection, or data scraping, is a specific technology used and loved by many eCommerce businesses.
According to Wikipedia:
"Data scraping is a technique in which a computer program extracts data from human-readable output coming from another program."
In simpler terms, this technique involves crawling through websites such as Amazon and collecting information like most popular items in a category. You could then use that data to further find out which sellers are selling the most of those products, how much inventory they’re carrying, which colour of the product is the most popular amongst customers etc.
The same can be done on any website applicable to your specific data collection needs whether you sell on Amazon, Ebay, or another platform. Hopefully, you can see how incredibly valuable this insight can be for getting ahead of your competitors, and structuring your content, sales, and marketing plans.
Data scraping is a central part of growing for many eCommerce businesses when they are trying to grow their leads and sales at a faster speed.
You may have been doing data scraping by making use of automation tools, but are you really getting value from it?
One of the main challenges eCommerce businesses have is how to make use of the data they collect and how they can attribute gathered data to the overall growth of their business.
In this article, we’ll cover how you can use data collection to grow your business and help you understand how your growth matches against your competitors and whether you need to be paying more attention to them.
When it comes to your product listings, knowing how to properly optimise your pages can greatly improve your conversions. At the end of the day, real humans will be viewing your product pages, so it’s no longer enough to just throw up the product name and price.
With data scraping you can quickly find and compare the following (but are not limited to):
If you know exactly which product name, product description (terms being used) and other product details your customer is searching for and clicking on, you eliminate all the guesswork and the chances of you outperforming your competitors greatly increases.
Apart from product name and description, you can also use data scraping to find out other product details such as shipping times, the amount of sellers, availability of products, recommended products, etc.
Ever wondered how to track exactly when and by how much your competitors are increasing or decreasing their prices? Data scraping for pricing information allows you to do just that and adjust your pricing accordingly to keep up with the market.
When shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday come along, wouldn’t it be nice to know the discounts you’ll be up against when it comes to certain products and categories?
By gathering data you can gain real and actionable insights like this in order to quickly make and implement pricing decisions in your own eCommerce business.
Okay, so now you know that data scraping can be used to monitor product pages and pricing, but how does this correlate to your customers?
By scraping for customer behaviours and reactions online, you can easily see the performance of a certain product or products and decide whether it’s worth it to keep stocking or to get rid of it.
Customer behaviour tracking isn’t just limited to checking customer profiles on eCommerce websites…
Gathering public opinion has never been easier. Whereas before, this was done face to face on the streets by asking passers-by to try your product and tell you what they think of it, data scraping now allows you to do this with a click of a button online.
Where do customers (and potential customers) usually go to state their thoughts on products? Social media is where customers tend to let out their frustrations and praise for products! By monitoring brand pages and social networks you can see what people are saying about certain products and companies.
Data scraping allows you to get specific by scraping for terms, phrases, and more.
Once your customer has bought from you (or your competitor), for better or worse, they may leave a review.
When you consider that 67% of people are influenced by online reviews and that 22% of sales are lost with just one negative review present, this quickly becomes an important part of your eCommerce strategy!
Instead of combing through reviews on by one and uploading them to a spreadsheet (even of you outsource this), data scraping can allow you to quickly analyse customer sentiments so that you can make changes accordingly.
In eCommerce, it’s easy to get caught up in the sales numbers and product orders, and while that’s always important, it’s just as important to understand your audience in order to grow.
Sure, there are ways to do audience research, but most of the time it involves a lot of time you just don’t have.
This is why automating this process is essential for growth. Data scraping for audience data can reveal such information as:
This can help you understand your target customers whom you hope to impact the most with your products and also help you understand in which ways your brand is open to reputation damage by offering the wrong products or message. Use this data to your advantage to give your customers exactly what they want.
Finally, data scraping is a surefire way to provide better-targeted marketing campaigns to your customers (and potential customers).
Not only can you scrape information they’re searching for, you can search for which types of ads are performing best for your audience by monitoring your fellow competitors and their successes for what your customers are reacting positively to.
Accessing information to use is easy using certain tools, but most of this information is spread out and not in a very structured form which could lead to simple analysis. When pulling data together, it often takes a lot of time.
But what if you had a tool that didn’t require any programming at all from you, a program that was specifically customised to your exact data scraping needs? We create custom data scraping tools for eCommerce businesses that will allow you to easily extract just the information you need.
Not only will you avoid the labour and time it typically takes to sort through various data tools, but you’ll have complete control over the data you want to pull with no limit to how often you wish to do it.
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