If you aren’t sure what web scraping is, then fear not. You are definitely not alone. Web scraping is a particularly useful tool if you are looking for a competitive edge or some market insight. There are many difficult aspects to this tool such as avoiding a web scraping block, so it is best to work with professionals. Understanding what web scraping is and its advantages could be the difference between success and failure for your business. If you want to learn what web scraping is and how it can transform your business, then explore the benefits of web scraping tools with us.
Web scraping 101
One of the best ways to describe scraping, is to actually rename it mining. Web scraping in basic terms is a tool which has the capability to mine a website for key information about products and customers. A web scraper can capture information about products including pricing, purchases and click throughs.
This sort of information can help an e-commerce business understand which products perform better across multiple sale points. For example, helping a business optimise their offering across eBay vs Amazon. The scraper itself simply send a query to the site for the information required in the form of a code. Then the scraper analyses the returned data and provides it back in the desired format. How a business uses that information can be a critical success factor in any industry.
One of the biggest advantages of web scraping is that it provides an insight into a customers behaviour. A web scraper has distinct advantages over customer research, largely because the gap between what customers say and what they actually do, tends to be quite large. A web scraper isn’t interested in what customers say, only what they do. Scraping tools capture key information such as buying behaviour, product clicks and interests. Armed with this information, especially from competitors, you can easily adapt your offering to what your customers want.
Another great advantage of utilising a web scraper is through the identification of business insights and intelligence. By scraping industry wide websites you can easily identify how you stack up to your competitors. A web scraper can help you analyse competitor offerings, buyer personas and even market research.
Armed with that sort of intelligence, you can make informed decisions about the future of your own business. Not to mention, you can more accurately forecast market share and identify those competitors who you can begin to benchmark against. Capturing this kind of market intelligence is possible through the use a scraper and intelligent analysis of the data returned.
The last benefit to using a web scraper is monitoring and managing your brand health. As we all know, a businesses brand and reputation are crucial to success. A poor brand image and your business doesn’t stand a chance. Using a web scraper, you can easily monitor multiple social media and forums to keep an eye on the consumers opinion and view of your business. Understanding the voice of the customer by using a scraper can give your business a competitive edge in addressing any red flags early. Using social media data to determine brand sentiment is a great way to capitalise on a web scrapers full capability.
Whether you have briefly heard about web scraping before or have never heard of it, the longer you go without the powerful insights this tool provides – the more disadvantaged you could be. Web scraping is a simple enough concept, but it comes with powerful advantages if set up correctly. Instead of waiting to see those around you succeed, use this guide to help start your journey of web scraping now.