If you have an e-commerce business, there’s one thing that you should know, and that is web scraping. Now, all modern businesses practice web scraping, especially price monitoring. Find out more here.
Web scraping is a method useful in an e-commerce business, whether it is for market research, competitor monitoring, or looking for leads. However, it can do more than that. In this article, you will find out about what web scraping really is, how does it work, what modern businesses should know about it, and what benefits it provides for businesses.
What is web scraping and how does it work?
Web scraping can be defined as the process of public data collection from various websites or search engines. In general, it is categorized into two categories. Manual web scraping is where you manually copy and paste data from a website. Automatic web scraping is where you use codes, application, or browser extensions to collect data from a website.
Now, we will talk about the techniques available out there to do web scraping. First, we will tell you about doing web scraping manually. This technique will take much of your time because you have to copy all the data you need one by one.
Next, is using a regular expression. A regular expression means you use code lines used in the search algorithm to find a certain type of data from some files. In this case, the files here refer to the files used in a website.
After regular expression, there is HTML parsing. It is done by sending an HTTP request to the target website’s server. With this technique, you can do web scraping not only to a static website but also to dynamic ones.
The next one is DOM analytic. DOM stands for document object model. It is a structure inside a web page written in HTML. When you do HTML parsing, the DOM from the website will be extracted first. Luckily, DOM comes with an HTML file. Thus, DOM analytic can be an alternative to the HTML parsing method.
Another technique in web scraping is using XPath. XPath is a query language used to choose a node from the XML and HTML file structure. The implementation of XPath is not very different from DOM analytic. With Xpath, you can also look for any data from the XML and HTML files’ text elements.
However, these techniques require deep technical knowledge because there are many web scraping challenges as well. If you have a team of developers, you can try to implement these techniques in your daily tasks. Also, there are many reliable web scraping tools in the market that you can use for the best results. You have to try combinations of some techniques mentioned above or pick a reliable web scraping tool which suits your needs well whether it is for keyword research, price monitoring, consumer behavior monitoring, etc.
Why do modern businesses should know about web scraping?
If you are a business owner, whether you are starting a new project or arranging a new strategy to improve the performance of your business, web scraping will help you effectively gather the needed public data and information from websites. Data has now become the core of market research and marketing strategies.
No matter what industry you are in right now, we are sure that web scraping can benefit you. Especially if you are in an e-commerce business, we will tell you exactly how it will gain advantages for your business in the next part.
What are the benefits businesses will get with web scraping?
1. Price monitoring
When you have an e-commerce business, especially in a time where people don’t need to step out of their houses to shop, the price will play a key role in determining your success. Price is the main factor of whether the customer buys your product or not. Let’s see how web scraping will help you in doing price monitoring so you can produce a suitable pricing strategy for your business. With web scraping, you can gather products’ pricing data from your competitors and compare it to yours. Then, you can decide the best price for a product so you can get maximum profit without losing any customers. You can also observe the pattern of your competitors’ pricing strategy and then grab some advantages from it. Click here to learn about price monitoring for your business.
2. Fetch products’ image and descriptions
Products’ images and descriptions are also important in selling your product. It is because your customers cannot directly touch and see the product they want. This way, you will need to see your competitor’s products’ images and descriptions. Then, from the data, you can decide how you will showcase your products to your customers.
3. Monitor consumers’ sentiment
Monitoring consumers’ sentiment can be done by comparing the data of consumers’ reviews on your e-commerce business to your competitors. You can then analyze it and see how well your products perform.
As businesses and technology have evolved and merged, data has become a driving factor in all decision-making processes, including price monitoring, competitor monitoring, marketing strategy, etc. Thus, web scraping is a crucial thing to do and it has become crystal clear that those who can utilize it will gain more advantages in the future.