How to utilise automated web data collection in ecommerce

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Date: 15 June 2020

A women assess markerting data collected as part of ecommerce

Data analytics has become a crucial part of ecommerce. According to The Economics of Scraping report, content scraping is the top use for automated web data collection by businesses. Other top uses include price intelligence and market research.

Online businesses use this data to understand current trends, audit their strategies, make the necessary adjustments, predict future demands and monitor competitor practices among others. Data-driven businesses are more likely to achieve steady growth and stay ahead of their competitors.

Therefore, no one in ecommerce can afford to ignore web data collection if they hope to remain relevant. But what exactly is automated web data collection, and how does it work?

What is automated web data collection?

This is the process of collecting data from websites using automated web crawler tools. The process involves converting unstructured data into structured data and storing for further analysis.

For example, in ecommerce, you can extract data from a competitor website and use it to analyse their strengths and weaknesses. This can help you gain insights on opportunities that will allow you to compete against the competitor.

We all know the internet is flooded with information. So, how do you sieve this information to avoid junk data? By use of automated web scraping tools. The tools are designed to collect specific data according to the needs of the business. You can learn more about web data collection tools here.

Common reasons for using web data collection

Pricing strategy

This is one of the most common uses in ecommerce. Online customers are very price sensitive. Most of them will research different sellers to compare prices before making a purchase. It is, therefore, important for online businesses to price competitively.

To do this, you need current data on marketplace conditions, consumer behaviour, product performance, and competitor pricing strategies. Automated web data collection can supply such details in real-time.

Campaign monitoring

Ecommerce campaigns have become a way for brands to engage consumers via social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and so on. Consumers are also much more likely to share their opinions on products and services online.

Online businesses need to look beyond the number of likes, shares and views. They need to watch, listen, and act on what customers say. Web data scraping can help to extract comments related to their products and those of their competitors. This information can be used to act accordingly and improve future campaigns.

Business strategy development

Ecommerce is a cut-throat business. It is a versatile marketplace that requires top-notch business strategies.

It helps to know what other businesses are up to. Web data extraction can provide accurate and up to date data on your competitors. Having access to data like pricing and product information can help you develop a competitive sales and marketing strategy.

Business decisions

The truth is, gone are the days when business executives made decisions based on nothing more than intuition. Ecommerce decision-makers need to base their decisions on evidence, which in this case is data.

Web data collection supplies up to date, credible data. For example, information on competitor products and pricing can help you decide when to offer discounts, for which products and the amount of discount to give to maximize revenue. This kind of strategic decision making will place an online business at a competitive advantage.

SEO analysis

Every online business should pay attention to search engine optimization. If you expect your business to appear top in search engines, then you need to evaluate and improve your SEO continuously.

Web scraping is a valuable technique to help you know where to focus your attention. If your competitor's website is ranked highly in google search, you can access their content to determine their SEO-related techniques. For example, assessing their meta descriptions, titles and which keywords they use to rank highly in search results.

In your SEO analysis, this information will help you decide which keywords to avoid and the ones to use to maximise the chances of being ranked highly.

Fraud detection

Let's face it, online scammers understand that ecommerce offers a massive marketplace in which to conduct their fraudulent activities. There are many cases where retailers sell products below the agreed minimum retail price because they are selling counterfeits. This can tarnish a brand and cause incredible financial harm.

Automated web data collection can be used to extract product data points to assess any significant price fluctuation and authenticity of the online retailer.

Conclusion

Whether you are a start-up or an established online business, the ability to convert extracted web data into valuable information is vital in ecommerce. You do not necessarily need to be a tech expert to conduct web data extraction. You simply need to familiarise yourself with the concept and get a reliable scraping tool from a reputable provider.

Automated web data collection can help in product improvement, pricing strategy, and comparison, market research, demand analysis, among other functions. It is up to you to use the data to ensure the growth of your business.

Copyright 2020. Featured post made by Content Manager Goldie Sullon from Oxylabs.io

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