Web scraping e-commerce: 5 ways to help you succeed
If you ask people if they browse e-commerce sites and marketplaces every single day, most likely the majority will answer yes to that question.
However, few know that e-commerce websites fail 90% of the time…did you? A pretty shocking figure considering the popularity of these sites.
If you’re an e-commerce owner and want to avoid being just another failure figure – then it is crucial for you to understand how to leverage open web data by web scraping e-commerce sites – and extracting e-commerce web data.
An estimated 2.14 billion people made online purchases in 2021, and e-commerce sales surpassed $5.2 trillion worldwide. With such staggering figures, it's no wonder that e-commerce and online retail is a highly competitive and contested landscape. If you don't pay close attention to your business and marketing strategy, product content and pricing, your ship can sink quickly.
In this article, we’ll look at why it’s important to scrape e-commerce sites and use open web data to your advantage.
Most importantly, we'll show 4 ways data extraction and e-commerce web scraping can help you gain key insights to improve your products and services and move your business forward.
What is e-commerce web scraping?
Web scraping e-commerce sites is the automated process of collecting and extracting structured web data from e-commerce web pages. This is performed with the help of tools and applications known as web scrapers and data extraction software. If you are using a shopify development company to run your e-commerce, web scraping would be extremally beneficial for your conversions.
It essentially helps you get the right data and information that leads to better informed decisions. As a result, web scraping improves sell more products to your potential customers, email address lists of that can be obtained from the email search tool. This way you will be able to maintain communication and interest through an email outreach strategy.
E-commerce data examples:
- Product details (such as name, price, description, features, stock availability, etc.)
- Product reviews (ratings, date posted, reviewer, etc.)
- Product lists (category on a search page with an overview of name, price, delivery information, etc.)
- Product seller details
E-commerce web scraping use cases
When you have insights from an accurate, reliable, and up-to-date e-commerce data feed, you’ll have better visibility into pricing intelligence and competitor intelligence.
You may still be a bit confused and wonder what is an example of e-commerce web scraping and data extraction?
Let’s look into three main examples.
Use case examples in e-commerce web scraping
Web scraping e-commerce websites and extracting data allows you to answer questions such as what’s trending on the market, customer preferences, customer sentiment around your brand and products, and so on.
Here are some common use cases of e-commerce data extraction:
Studies show that price is a major factor influencing a buyer’s purchasing decision. It is therefore crucial to have accurate, up-to-date data to analyze and compare prices from major e-commerce sites – so you can price your own products competitively, boost sales, and ensure you’re not selling at a loss.
Competitor Intelligence and Brand Monitoring
An integral part of business is knowing how your competitors are performing. For example, data on how competitors are pricing their products will be useful for you to price your own.
Similarly, when web scraping e-commerce sites you can also monitor competitor inventory levels, or keep an eye on any promotions or deals they might be offering.
Market Research and Analysis
To market and sell your products effectively means to understand what your customers want. Once again, it is imperative to understand how the process of web scraping e-commerce works together with market research analysis.
Outsmart the competition
We’ve established that extracting e-commerce data and web scraping e-commerce websites can be beneficial for businesses in a variety of ways.
Let’s dig deeper into ways that help you get ahead.
- Supercharge your marketing strategies
Customers today want personalization - a whopping 54% of consumers allegedly consider ending their loyalty relationships if the company doesn’t provide tailor-made, relevant content and offers.
As such, your marketing campaigns will need to be on point – not only to establish your brand and capture prospective customers, but also to maintain the loyalty of your existing customer base.
When you scrape e-commerce data, both historical and current, can be used to form targeted marketing campaigns to match what your audience prefers, determine which channels work best for your campaigns, and uncover sales opportunities.
- Increase brand visibility and conversions
According to a survey by SerpWatch, 67% of all clicks on search engine result pages go to the top five results.
You can use web scraping to organize data, glean insights, and formulate a dynamic SEO strategy, using keywords that can help you boost your rankings in search engines. This is imperative to stay ahead of competitors and increase your brand’s visibility.
Additionally, by gathering data on product features and reviews ratings, you can optimize and enrich your listings for SEO, make them more informative, and lead potential customers towards the conversion journey.
- Improve your products, services and pricing
Aside from product data, web scraping e-commerce customer reviews from third party sites can provide an extensive look into how your customer perceives your product, how it stands compared to the competition, and so on.
Retailers and manufacturers can use this data to fine-tune their products, push preferred products on the market, enhance the customer experience, and more.
- Manage operations efficiently
There are several ways that web scraping e-commerce sites can help companies manage their operations smoothly.
For example, it can be used to gather data on your supply chain, including information on supplier prices, lead times, and product availability. You can use this data to ensure you always have products your customers need in stock.
Additionally, web scraping e-commerce sites can help you to track competitor pricing and identify potential sources of supply chain disruptions, so you can avoid costly delays or disruptions to your business.
Another way is through product enrichment.
- Automate e-commerce data extraction
Traditionally, companies would hire an employee to extract product details from a manufacturer’s site manually.
Nowadays, this process is done via automated processes, minimizing human error and freeing up your resources for more important tasks.
Here is an example of how it looks like if you use Zyte Automatic Data Extraction API
Get a reliable data feed
Now that you don’t need anyone to explain what web scraping is and you understand how web scraping e-commerce data can benefit your business, you’ll want to implement it.
Depending on your needs, the use of data extraction software to get web data for e-commerce projects can be pretty straight forward.
However, in many scenarios getting a reliable data is challenging, especially since many sites deliberately make it difficult to scrape data – whether it’s by employing sophisticated anti-bot or banning measures.
Yes that’s right, you can get banned even if you’re web scraping legitimately. And there’s also volume to contend with when web scraping e-commerce.
Overcoming challenges to obtain e-commerce data
E-commerce stores and sites often deal with massive volumes of data, and as you scale, it would be impossible to manually scrape 20,000 products, every hour, every day.
A task not easy to accomplish with many factors to consider – from managing proxies to avoiding bans and more.
To overcome these challenges, you’ll need flawless web data extraction expertise.
A straightforward way to fully leverage the power of this data, is through automatic data extraction and a robust infrastructure in place when web scraping e-commerce websites.
Here is a brief video on how Zyte’s automatic data extraction helps you get e-commerce data.
With that said, it’s crucial to decide whether it’s worth it for you to do it in-house in the long run, or seek to outsource to a web scraping provider.
Web scraping e-commerce and leveraging e-commerce data is not just a ‘nice-to-have’ for retailers and businesses.
It’s necessary to give your business a competitive edge, and enables you to stand out from the competition. Especially if you look to automate data extraction.
If you don’t have one in-house, then your best bet is to outsource to a data extraction expert, such as Zyte to take care of your needs when it comes to web scraping e-commerce.
With over 12 years of experience in data extraction projects in various fields, including e-commerce and retail, we know what data is best for you to reach your business goals.
We deliver with speed, accuracy, and reliability, no matter what format you need it in.
Talk to our experts today to see how we can help.