Point and Click Potential – 6 Ways That Web Scraping Can Benefit Your eCommerce Store

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Web scraping. It’s an awkward-sounding term which refers to a quite recently developed process which is exciting to eCommerce businesses the world over.

But what is web scraping exactly?

In a nutshell, computer programming technology has progressed in recent years to the point that there are now programs available which are able to crawl through vast amounts of internet data and target information which may help your business gain a competitive edge. It may sound slightly nefarious or dangerous, but in actuality, web scraping is becoming a more common tool for businesses of all sizes.

Consolidation

One of the major benefits of ethical web scraping services is that they’re able to consolidate information from multiple sources into a single, easy-to-digest format.

When you engage the services of a web scraping company (or employ the use of a web scraping program), you’re taking part in a process which utilises publicly-available, web-published information to enrich your business, without the need for more expensive, time consuming data crunching. This means that you can spend more time and energy targeting your eCommerce efforts, and less time gathering information from competitors.

Staying Up-To-Date

Web scraping can also be used to consolidate information from your own business, across multiple platforms and sites. For example, a web scrape can be performed across your internet presences (social media, website and any professional pages) and the information can be checked for consistency.

This type of cross platform checking is particularly important when it comes to pricing and eCommerce performance. Presenting consistent pricing data and specifications is a major part of maintaining a competitive advantage over your competitors, and it can save you from any potential litigation or costly pricing errors.

Identify & Target Your Market

Another benefit to your eCommerce store can come from the ability of web scraping programs and services to help identify and target your market. A web scrape can be set up to grab data from competitors websites, web forums and social media, allowing you to identify growing trends from both (potential) customers, and from competitors.

This information can be set-up in a way which is accessible across your entire company, and is formatted for easy interpretation and dissemination.

Automatic & Precise

Web scraping can be setup to automatically scrape at particular points in time.

This can be useful if you’re running a sale or a particular eCommerce campaign and wish to gain specific data in order to fulfil metrics.

Web scraping also removes the element of data contamination present with human error. It is a precise way to capture information for your eCommerce purposes.

Competitive Edge

The major benefit and purpose of web scraping is of course its ability to provide your eCommerce business with a competitive edge. Web scraping can help your business by providing comparative data and information from competitors websites, including sale and pricing information.

Hidden Treasures

Further to that, the seemingly hidden treasures that web scraping uncovers are also invaluable for your eCommerce business. Web scraping can pull metadata, keywords and other useful (but seemingly mystic) information, and it can potentially identify patterns and repetitions in the data, saving you the time and expertise required to do this from scratch.

Web scraping is a valuable service which can be performed either on behalf of your eCommerce business, or set up to be performed by your business in-house. It’s a time-friendly way to generate usable data-sets, and it is easy to decipher and disseminate – if you’re willing to take the plunge.