Knowledge is the key to success in any business, eCommerce included. Without knowing what’s going on, a company can’t react to market changes, competition, or customer feedback.
However, this data can be hard to gather and manually review. Using modern tech, an eCommerce business could have the information it needs on hand, all through automated services.
What Is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is how software goes across the web, sifting through data from various websites. This data could include changes in prices, content information, or other data the web scraper is coded to gather. In other words, web scraping is an automated web data collection tool.
Web scraping works by gathering data from the website itself. Anything pulled from the HTML – the coding language for most websites – can be found using a web scraper.
Once the data has been pulled from the website, the web scraper sort that data based on set parameters, one way the web scraper can sort this data is into categories established by the user. For example, customer reviews could go into one database while pricing data goes into another.
How Web Scraping and Technology Have Changed eCommerce
Web scraping is a great data gathering tool to take advantage of for an eCommerce business. But, if someone hasn’t heard of or ever used a web scraper before, the benefits might not be obvious. So, here are some of the ways web scraping can help an eCommerce business.
Price Monitoring and Invoicing
One of the easiest ways to use a webs scraper is to gather price data from other stores that sell the same product as you. An eCommerce business can see where it stands in the broader marketplace by collecting this data. The web scraper keeps this from being a long, manual process.
With that data in hand, executives and sales folks for the business can review that data and see if their prices are too high. Companies can make adjustments much faster, thanks to this information.
Once they have the correct prices, companies can manage their invoicing entirely online. Thanks to electronic invoicing software, billing has never been more straightforward.
Before, this research would have been with manual searches in other markets, and invoices were printed. Now, eCommerce businesses can employ a web scraper to review these prices automatically and handle even their invoices online.
Content SEO Comparisons
For eCommerce businesses that run a blog or try to optimize their store’s pages for search engines, a web scraper can help. Web scrapers assigned to this task can review the keywords and SEO decisions to improve that page’s chances of appearing in the top search results.
Also, Tools such as keyword generators and SEO analytics can make honing in on high-volume keywords easier. These tools together can give an eCommerce marketplace more organic traffic.
Appearing in organic search is an easy way to garner more sales for a business. By being higher up on the results page, an eCommerce business can sell more products without changing their website.
Leaving SEO aside, there are many other ways to size up your competition with a web scraper. However, finding all the competitors for your products or services is an arduous task that would take a long time to go through.
By setting up a web scraper for competitive analysis, an eCommerce business can gather other data on their competitors to see what they are doing that works for them. The web scraper can compare different aspects of the competitor’s website to the business’s and render those results as a table.
API integration from these websites would also let an eCommerce business check analytics for the website in real-time. Regardless of which monitoring tool the business uses, keeping an eye on the competition is how a business stays relevant.
The lifeblood of any eCommerce business is its customers. Without a constant stream of customers, the company doesn’t generate any revenue. So while it’s possible to make repeat customers, new leads are necessary as the business grows.
A web scraper can pull how other businesses generate leads from their websites. Hits on email signups, promotional deals, and other marketing tactics will show how the website generates traffic.
Meanwhile, tech automation like email lists, ad campaigns, and influencer sponsorships can give a business another avenue to generate new customers. And, these extra leads wouldn’t require additional work once implemented as the tools work 24/7.
Finally, modern tech lets an eCommerce business verify its customers. The debate of electronic vs. digital signatures will come down to how the company runs and what identifying info it needs.
Still, these digital or electronic signatures make it so that customers can instantly verify their identity, allowing the eCommerce business to speed through the checkout and purchasing. Keeping this process fast ensures that customers don’t get frustrated and leave before buying a product or service.
Whether an eCommerce business follows SaaS models, PaaS models, or IaaS models, or instead acts as a marketplace of products, it stands to benefit from modern tech. Learning about the best eCommerce practices can be the difference between success and failure in the digital market.