Creating a store on an eCommerce website is just one aspect of managing an eCommerce business for sellers. It is important to monitor ongoing activities and consistently make an effort to stay on top of trends, update inventory on schedule, address technical problems, manage campaigns, engage in social media marketing, and boost brand reputation, among other things. Consequently, gathering information from eCommerce websites is crucial for both current and potential online sellers to gain useful business insights.
The seller can gather this information either by manually copying/pasting it from the target website or using a data scraping tool. A data scraping tool is software created specifically to extract relevant data from websites. For large business houses, extracting data related to the product, price, quality, sales, customer reviews, deals, and stock availability manually can be a challenging task. Therefore, the preferred choice is using a data scraping tool or simply hiring a web data scraping company.
Read on to learn how to use a data scraping tool and its benefits for your business.
The Importance of eCommerce Web Scraping
eCommerce web scrapping is a data scrapping process that revolves around eCommerce platforms and online retail stores. If a website owner wants to get all the information and data about their competitor’s goods and services, they can hire a web scraping company or use a data scraping tool. Nevertheless, they can also copy & paste the information into a spreadsheet manually. Generally, such copying and pasting are feasible for limited data analysis. For websites like Amazon or Shopify, the owner can’t waste tons of time and effort on scraping data from hundreds of products.
How does Data Scraping Work?
Every scraper has a unique code and follows a different method to scrap data. Nevertheless, each scrapper follows three principal steps:
Step 1: Send an HTTP request to the server
An individual visiting a website, sends an HTTP request to it. Once the request is approved by the website, the user can read the website content. Similarly, the Scraper sends the request and gains access to viewing the website’s content after approval.
Step 2: Parse the website code
Once the scraper has access, the bot can read the HTML and XML code of the target website. The scraper will “parse”, or break down the code into its component parts. This helps the scraper recognize and extract any predefined elements (including specific text, ratings, classes, tags, IDs, or other information) given to the bot before it was released.
Step 3: Save data
Once the website has been parsed and scraped, the scraper will save the relevant data in a structured format. These data are saved in Excel, CSV, or API format, depending on the tool used. Now, the data is ready to be used for the intended purpose.
Note: The scraper might run ‘Step 2’ multiple times on a single website or on different websites to gather relevant data.
How eCommerce Web Scraping Helps in Boosting Sales
Web scraping tools and services can be used to outline your marketing strategies. Here are some aspects wherein the web scraper finds its use that can eventually boost sales.
1. Market Trends
Knowing the market and the most demanding product is essential to maintain the ranking of your products and services. Web scraping provides businesses data on bestseller products, demanding new categories, customer interests, and other publicly available details. Business houses can use these details to change their product listing with demanding products.
2. Price Monitoring
Price is the deciding factor for any customer to purchase a product. So, maintaining a competitive price is important. Businesses can use web scraping tools to monitor the price of a product before launching it in the market. Additionally, web scraping performs on-time price monitoring and helps us understand price variations.
3. Knowing the Customer
A successful eCommerce marketing strategy includes knowing how the customer feels about your product. This helps the business to fill in the gap and expand its influence on the customer. Web scraping provides data about a customer’s opinion by collecting data like customer reviews.
4. Product Ranking
Successful eCommerce marketing includes SEO. By using web scraping, you can get useful data on meta descriptions, headlines, keyword density, and the kind of content other websites are using. This will help you employ comparable strategies to rank higher on Google, boost sales, and get more positive reviews.
Challenges of eCommerce Web Scraping
Web scraping has major benefits in boosting sales. But, if not done correctly, it can create problems. Here are some challenges that a scraper faces and solutions to each.
1. Challenge: Large-scale extraction
An eCommerce store owner has to manage 10 categories and 30+ subcategories of products daily. Copying and pasting data in a single spreadsheet for each product detail sounds unrealistic. Not to forget the other information like thumbnails, customer reviews, descriptions, and prices. This hectic work will not only lead to time waste but also poor data quality.
Solution: Hire A Data Scraping Company
For large-scale data extraction, the owner should outsource the task to a data extraction company. The company has resources and a team that can provide accurate data in no time. Apart from this, the owner can also buy a No-Coding web scraping tool for better results at a comparatively low cost.
2. Challenge: Different Website Formats
Different eCommerce sites are made by different designers and are unique in their own way. Moreover, owners keep on changing or upgrading their websites from time to time. As a result, most of the websites have different structures and layouts. This is where the scraper faces challenges and gets stuck. Crawling the sites based on the previous structure will collect irrelevant or copied data.
Solution: Using A Scraping Tool
The best solution to this problem is to fix the scarper code. Or you can keep this challenge in mind while developing the scraper. Alternatively, to avoid any problems, you can simply buy a subscription to the data scraping tools available.
3. Challenge: IP blocking, CAPTCHAS, and Bots.
All the terms are together referred to as ‘Anti- scarping technology.’
· Bots: Various sites refuse bot access.
· IP Blocking: If a website sees an unusually high number of requests coming from a single IP address, it immediately blocks the IP.
· CAPTCHA: Others employ CAPTCHA, which can differentiate between a human user from a scraper with ease.
· Honey Pot pages: These pages are traps because bots open all of the links on a page even though a human visitor wouldn’t need access.
Solution: Versatile Scraping Code
Here are some solutions to each problem.
· Bots: slow down your crawling link to give a human effect.
· IP blocking: Use the Rotational IP Management tool for smooth functioning.
· CAPTCHA: Use Anti-CAPTCHA Provider or opt for website data scraping services to escape the problem.
eCommerce Web Scraping Tools
A web scraping tool is created specifically to extract relevant data from websites. When you automate data collection from websites, you will almost certainly be using a scraping tool. Here are the top 3 web scraping tools to make your work easy.
Octoparse: A No-Code Web Scraping Tool
· A user-friendly point-and-click interface eCommerce web scraping tool.
· It can be used by both iOS and Android users.
· Anyone with absolutely no knowledge of coding can extract data.
· It offers infinite scrolling features.
· Provides cloud services to store and extract data.
· Offers IP rotation to prevent IPs from getting blocked.
· The download results can be in Excel, CSV, or API format.
ParseHub: The Most Powerful Web Scraping Tool
· It offers IP rotation to prevent IPs from getting blocked.
· It can be used by both iOS and android users.
· It offers cloud-based services for automatically storing data.
· Offers infinite scrolling features.
· The download results can be in Excel and API format.
· It can extract data from tables and maps.
· Regular expressions to clean text and HTML before downloading data.
ScraperAPI: The Proxy for Web Scraping
· A customizable web scraping tool that allows users to request headers, request types, IP geolocation, and headless browsers according to their needs.
· It manages CAPTCHA, browsers, and proxies.
· It offers IP rotation to prevent IPs from getting blocked.
· High reliability and fast speeds (unlimited bandwidth with 100Mb/s speed).
· It offers desktop and mobile user agents.
This blog will have clearly guided you about eCommerce data scraping, data scraping tools, and guides on how to scrape data from any website. As a business owner, you can use data scraping techniques to fill the gap, understand the customers, remain updated about market trends, and improve your products and services.