Maximize Your Ecommerce Success with a Web Scraping Service

published on 03 January 2023

Empower your ecommerce business with a competitive edge by using the right web scraping service to grow your business to new heights.

A web scraping service can fuel the growth of your ecommerce business.
A web scraping service can fuel the growth of your ecommerce business.

Would you like to unlock stronger growth for your ecommerce business? If so, adding a web scraping service to your digital strategy can help grow your ecommerce business.

A web scraping service enables businesses of any size to quickly and efficiently harvest vast amounts of web data. Whether you would like to generate new leads, analyze your customers, identify new products to sell or monitor your competitors, a web scraping service can enable your ecommerce business to automatically extract useful data from the web to drive data-driven decisions.

In this blog post, we will outline how working with the right web scraping service can take your ecommerce business to the next level. We will highlight key benefits of a web scraping service for an ecommerce business; how you can leverage a web scraping service to monitor your competitors; and what you should look for when choosing a web scraping service.

What are the benefits of web scraping services for ecommerce businesses?

Web scraping services provide several benefits for ecommerce businesses.

First, a web scraping service can be an invaluable tool for your ecommerce business to acquire new leads. Web scraping enables your ecommerce business to automate the extraction from the web of large volumes of lead data, such as contact information, social media profiles and other data that can enable you to build a rich profile of your potential customers.

Comprehensive lead data enables your ecommerce business to effectively identify qualified leads and score them by the likelihood of their conversion to paying customers. Lead information empowers your business with the insights to tailor offers to each lead or lead segment, in order to boost your conversion rates.

A web scraping service reduces the time and effort you spend on tedious manual processes, making it easier for your team to focus on activities that contribute directly to growing your business.

Second, a web scraping service can enable you to identify what products to sell. A web scraping service can extract data from your competitors' websites, giving you a complete picture of what your competitors are selling. You can then leverage such competitor data to fine tune what products you offer on your website. For example, you could offer the same products at lower prices; a broader selection of the same products; or an entirely different but superior product offering.

Web scraping services are highly-efficient at collecting data from online sources, enabling your ecommerce business to capture the most up-to-date information about what is trending in your specific industry or product category. By leveraging web scraping services, your ecommerce businesses can identify the best products to offer on your site, enabling you to stay ahead of your competition.

Third, a web scraping service can reduce your expenses. Manually extracting data from third-party websites can be a time-consuming, tedious and expensive effort, potentially requiring you to increase your headcount. Much of the time, you will need to perform additional data cleansing, standardization and transformation before you can use the data.

Leveraging the right web scraping service enables you to offload such web data extraction and transformation work, freeing up your team to focus on growing your business. With a pay-per-use web scraping service, you pay only for the extracted web data that the service delivers to you, enabling you to focus on using the data to make decisions that grow your business.

Fourth, a web scraping service can provide you with superior data quality over manual data extraction. A web scraping service eliminates or, at least, reduces the amount of human effort in your web data extraction workflow. Reducing the amount of human effort in your data extraction workflow minimizes the risk of errors in your data.

A web scraping service uses software to automate the extraction of your web data. Web scraping software will always operate as designed, enabling you with data that is of a predictable data quality. The right web scraping service will perform robust data quality checks to proactively guarantee that your extracted web data is complete, correct and consistent.

Lastly, a web scraping service enables you to extract data on your competitors. Beyond extracting product listings from your competitors, as noted above, a web scraping service can empower you with information to perform comprehensive competitor analysis. You can leverage a web scraping service to collect data on your competitors' pricing trends, social media presence, content strategy and other marketing activities.

Similar to an SEO competitor analysis tool, a web scraping service can generate customized data to answer specific questions you have on your competitors. A web scraping service empowers you with that edge to make data-driven decisions to effectively compete and win in your market.

What kinds of data can a web scraping service extract?

A web scraping service can extract several kinds of data to drive business intelligence and data analytics to grow your business. A web scraping service can effectively extract any data that is published on a web site.

Examples of data that a web scraping service can extract include:

  • Competitor product prices
  • Competitor product listings, availability and inventory
  • Competitor product descriptions, specifications and features (E.g., colors, sizes)
  • Competitor shipping and delivery costs and options
  • Competitor return policies
  • Competitor payment options
  • Product reviews and ratings from competitors, online forums and B2B/B2C directories
  • Lead contact information from online directories or social media
  • Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) from search engines, as well as competitor websites, blog posts and advertisements
  • Social media audiences, engagement and sentiment analysis data for competitors, industry/sector and adjacent markets
  • Industry/sector data on consumer preferences and buying habits
  • Third-party data on competitor website traffic, conversion rates and marketing strategies

A web scraping service can generate a wide range of useful data points and valuable insights that can help grow your ecommerce business, including data on competitors, customers, and industry trends.

What are the features of the best web scraping services?

Every web scraping service should, at the very minimum, automate the extraction of data from a web page. However, the best web scraping services go above and beyond basic data extraction to perform the following:

Data Cleansing, Standardization and Transformation

The capability to perform data cleansing, standardization and transformation is a key differentiator of the best web scraping services. Much of the data that a web scraping service extracts from the web will not be in the best format for use. For example, you might need to fix errors/misspellings, standardize product names or convert currencies before you can use the data.

Some more examples of data transformations you might need to perform include cleaning HTML tags, removing white spaces, fixing blank columns, changing text (string data) to numbers (numeric data), standardizing boolean values (Such as changing "T" or "True" to "Yes") and fix several kinds of data inconsistencies. There is a virtually unlimited realm of data transformations you might be required to perform on web data to put it in the best state for your analytics and decision-making.

Additionally, the best web scraping services will ensure that your web data is also machine-readable so that you can easily integrate web data into your other systems, such as your Excel spreadsheets, transactional databases, analytics data warehouses; as well as specialized systems, such as for CRM (E.g., Salesforce), ERP (E.g., SAP), Email Automation (E.g., Mailchimp), CDP (E.g., Twilio Segment) or DCR/Data Clean Room (E.g., Snowflake Clean Rooms).

Working with a web scraping service that possesses deep expertise in data transformation empowers you to quickly make informed decisions that grow your business; by ensuring that you have the web data you want in the right structure in the right place at the right time.

IP Rotation

An IP address is the unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to the internet. A web scraping service will use a specific IP address when extracting data from a web page. Certain websites might block an IP address from making requests to the website when the website detects multiple requests coming from the IP address.

IP rotation is a technique a web scraping service uses to avoid being blocked by websites. When using IP rotation, a web scraping service uses different IP addresses for each request, making it difficult for the website to detect and block the web scraping service.

There are several methods that a web scraping service uses to perform IP rotation, in order to avoid being blocked. One method is to use a proxy server, which is a network that acts as an intermediary between the web scraping service and the website. The web scraping service sends its requests to the proxy server, which then sends the requests to the website on behalf of the web scraping service. By rotating through a pool of proxy servers, the web scraping service can effectively change its IP address to avoid being blocked. 

Another method is to use a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts the web scraping service's internet connection and assigns it a new IP address.

Web scraping services can leverage IP rotation to effectively bypass website blocking and extract the web data you need to grow your ecommerce business, in a reliable and sustained manner.

Handling Website Changes

Website changes can pose a challenge for web scraping services, as changes to the structure and layout of a website can cause a web scraping service to break or produce incorrect data. To handle website changes, a web scraping service can use several monitoring techniques to ensure that data extraction is functioning properly and producing correct data.

One method that a web scraping service can use to handle website changes is by automating web monitoring to track changes to the source website's structure and layout. Such automated monitoring can alert the web scraping service when there are changes to the source website, enabling the service to update its extraction algorithm to reflect the website changes.

Cloud Integration

Data gravity is increasingly moving from on-premises data systems to the cloud. Therefore, the best web scraping service should possess strong cloud integration capabilities across the major cloud platforms, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Snowflake, and Databricks.

Deep integration with cloud platforms enables the web scraping service to seamlessly integrate its solutions with an ecommerce company's existing cloud infrastructure, leverage the latest technologies and services offered by the cloud platforms, and scale to meet an ecommerce company's growing needs.

Leveraging the cloud enables your ecommerce business to store and analyze web data on a pay-per-use basis with high scalability, resiliency, availability, elasticity and cost-effectiveness.

Finally, ecommerce suppliers and partners are increasingly leveraging the cloud. Therefore, you position your ecommerce business for long-term success with your business stakeholders by leveraging a web scraping service that seamlessly makes your data available on the cloud.

Data Quality Checks

High-quality data is critical for your ecommerce business. Your data-driven decisions are only as good as the quality of data driving your decisions. Poor-quality data can lead to incorrect conclusions and poor outcomes. To ensure that the data extracted by a web scraping service is accurate and reliable, it is important that the web scraping service performs extensive data quality checks after extracting data from the web.

A great web scraping service should have processes in place to verify the accuracy and completeness of the extracted web data. Such data quality processes may check the data against established business rules to detect errors or inconsistencies. Additionally, the web scraping service could compare the data to other sources to ensure that the extracted data is consistent.

The web scraping service should also have processes in place to clean and transform the data, if errors or inconsistencies are detected, to ensure that the data is in a usable state. By performing extensive data quality checks, a web scraping service can enable ecommerce businesses to use the extracted data with high confidence that the data is accurate and reliable.

Custom Professional Services

In order to ensure that ecommerce businesses have the exact data they require to grow their business, the best web scraping services provide custom professional services. Custom professional services tailor the outputs of a web scraping service to address the specific needs and requirements of each ecommerce business.

In order to deliver custom professional services, a great web scraping service works closely with ecommerce businesses to understand their business needs and objectives. The service should be able to provide a range of options and recommendations for data sources, web scraping techniques, as well as data processing and analytics methods. The web scraping service should be able to adapt its solutions as needed to meet the changing needs of the ecommerce business.

Wrapping Up

A web scraping service can be a great addition to fuel the growth of your ecommerce business.

A web scraping service can enable you to acquire leads; refine and enhance your product offering; reduce your expenses; generate higher quality web data than manual extraction; and, last but not least, strengthen your ability to leverage competitor data to grow your business.

However, it is critical that you thoroughly verify that the web scraping service does much more than basic data extraction. The best web scraping service will perform the data transformations you require after extracting data; will implement IP rotation to avoid being blocked by source websites; can seamlessly handle changes to the structure of source websites; possesses deep cloud integration capabilities; performs robust data quality checks; and goes above and beyond to deliver custom professional services to ensure your data is in the best state to drive decisions that grow your ecommerce business.

Ready to grow your ecommerce business with a web scraping service?

Web Scraping-as-a-Service is the perfect solution to grow your ecommerce business. We are experts in web scraping and use AI-powered, cloud-based technology to get the data you need quickly and efficiently.

Save time and energy by using our service to extract and transform data from any website.

Grow your business with confidence from superior quality data that we run through robust data quality checks.

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