The eCommerce retail segment is snowballing, and companies are finding ways to get ahead of their competition. Researching the industry and market, in general, is the first step, but companies are also using new ways of discovering what is working for their rivals. eCommerce scraping, which involves lifting valuable data from other websites for research purposes, is the latest trend in retail technologies and is fast becoming an integral part of an overall eCommerce marketing strategy.
Data is the key to thriving in the eCommerce retail space. Having the right information helps large and small businesses reinvent themselves. The best way to get data is through mining it from a variety of websites. A data-driven approach is successful in retail because it provides a clear idea of what prospective customers want, which tactics have worked, and where the market and competitors are going.
The Role of Residential Proxies in Web Scraping
For effective research on rival websites, it is vital to avoid detection. Scraping several pages, downloading documents, or taking other actions on a website can result in a ban if the activity is traced to a single IP. Using proxy residential IPs will disguise the actual IP address, and using multiple proxies will allow taking as many actions as needed for productive web scraping.
Residential proxies operate as an intermediary between a personal computer and the internet. A residential proxy is issued by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and has an IP address connected to a geographical location. These proxies appear to a website as if they are regular users rather than proxies and allow for anonymous browsing. In addition, residential proxies also protect against hackers and will keep data safe.
The best residential proxies have high-quality IPs that have not been used before and won’t be detected as proxies, a pool of IPs to choose from, and a variety of locations, including USA residential proxies. Some provide a proxy network that enables switching between residential IP addresses with every new action. Sticky IPs will keep the same IP address throughout the duration of a task. Selecting an address from a location that will not get blocked or restricted is a critical step when using residential proxies for web scraping.
The Advantages of Web Crawling and Web Scraping
Ecommerce web crawling provides data on pricing, reviews, ranking, and which keywords are effective. Keywords are particularly valuable, because they give insight on how a customer is conducting searches, the number of searches for specific items, and how searched-for products are ranking. Refining an SEO keyword strategy is particularly relevant for Amazon, where most of the purchases are made through organic search terms entered by the visitor.
Obtaining the full text of customer reviews is a vital resource for marketing and product development. Customers are candid in reviews about the features they find useful in a product and those that are not essential. For instance, after some research, it may emerge that more customers are interested in same-day delivery than a flawless product or vice versa. Besides, reviews provide direct feedback about a company’s products and those of competitors. Scraping product pages provides information on what customers consider as significant flaws and what they would like to see when purchasing particular items.
Web scraping also keeps a company informed about pricing changes that occur and even price wars that may be raging among competitors. Price fluctuations have a significant effect on the health of sales since prospective customers tend to base their decisions on reviews and prices. Crawling and scraping keep pricing research up to date and allow companies to implement a pricing strategy that works immediately.
Web Crawling versus Web Scraping
When discussing data collection as part of an eCommerce strategy, the terms “web crawling” and “web scraping” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are quite different. As the image suggests, Web crawling involves “crawling” across the web to find relevant URL links of reviews, product descriptions, and web addresses that may provide the information needed for data research. Web scraping is copying and taking the text from the pages to analyze it further. There are many cases when web scraping can be done without crawling first, but often, crawling is the first phase, which is finding links of potential sites to scrape and then getting the data through web scraping.
How Retailers Can Stay a Step Ahead
It is hard to know whether to be optimistic or pessimistic about the retail sector. To survive in an uncertain climate, retailers need advanced strategies. Web crawling is fast becoming an indispensable part of eCommerce retail research. In a fast-paced online environment, companies need the most recent data to refine their marketing and product development. Web crawling through residential proxies is a safe and direct way of obtaining the data required to research keywords, mine information from reviews and product pages, and implement winning retail strategies.