Collecting data online has always been a struggle for retailers and they only continue to have difficulties with finding the products that stores have as well as what they are actually selling. On top of that, they can’t seem to figure out for how much the items are being sold at, whether those products are getting positive or negative press, as well as which competitors are selling the same thing. They can’t even figure out the price that their competitors are selling them at, too, let alone the amount as well. Therefore, in order to really figure out how to compete in a market that is so dynamic and beat out the competition, retailers need to understand what their competition is doing that way they can make the best business decisions.
In the case that your brand is already established online, you most likely already have a lot of competition that you have to deal with all across the online realm. As a result, you need to keep up with all of their items, purchases, and reviews to ensure that you are on top of everything. In order to get that information, though, you will have to scrape information from retail websites online, also known as web scraping, in order to gain intelligence regarding both the items and the prices.
Since the customers are the driving force behind any company’s brand presence, they have never hesitated to put in a lot of money and energy into solidifying customer loyalty. That being said, those retailers who put in a lot of effort into gathering data from online are able to then get a hold of their competitor’s customers, winning them over for good. In fact, gathering data via web scraping has proven to be effective with regards to web indexing, data mining, data harvesting, tracking site changes, as well as tracking contact information alterations. Out of all of these, though, both price and product data scraping have been the most widely used via online retailers. Let’s take a look at how web scraping is able to help out retailers.
Product and Pricing Strategies
Research shows that 80% of shoppers compare prices online prior to shopping in actual stores, which helps prove just how important prices are to them. Indeed, if they are able to save even just a few bucks, they are all for going through a variety of sites in order to compare the prices prior to committing to a purchase. This has been made possible today thanks to the comparison shopping engines available that are powered by web scraping technologies. Indeed, their main job is to assist retailers with offering consumers the best deals by gathering item data such as prices and descriptions. Therefore, if you want to figure out how to price your items at the best margins, you will have to constantly reassess as well as change up the pricing strategy that you have at the moment based on things such as continuously fluctuating market trends, customer reviews and behaviors, your inventory, along with so many other factors. To see the best results, you’d need to gather item and pricing information about each one of your products from every brand in each one of your markets on an hourly basis. This is best accomplished via price scraping software. Through them, you’ll be able to put the data through analytics in order to measure the market trends as well as make the best pricing decisions. In addition, you’ll learn at what price you should be pricing your items, which features can assist you with charging a premium, along with the time of year, or even day, for that matter, which would be best to offer discounts.
One of the most important factors that will help you figure out which items that you should put your time and money into is the demand that is forecasted. In other words, you want to figure out how much your customers will like your item. While you can do so by coming up with your own sales figures, there’s a big chance that by the time the customer actually ends up on your site, they will end up changing their mind. As a result, it’s better to get an idea with regards to what would most likely be in demand prior to actually putting the item out there. After all, it’s not fun to put your time and money into an item that doesn’t actually reflect that market dynamics of that time.
You can accomplish this by gathering information via web extraction or scraping that way you can track both the rate and the pace that the items of a certain category are posted. Afterward, you can use it to your advantage by prioritizing items, regions, and categories that you should place the majority of your attention onto.
Since the online retail industry moves at an alarmingly fast rate, the products within it also go in and out of either the industry or the marketplace in a flash. Therefore, if you want to ensure that you are up-to-date with everything, you can take advantage of creative mediums in order to promote either your items or your services. For instance, with more and more users on websites such as YouTube, it has only proven to be beneficial to engage in video marketing. On top of that, those websites are very useful as they are able to provide you with statistics such as the number of views. That being said, though, those numbers don’t actually let you know whether or not your campaign was actually successful. Indeed, if you are a retailer, you need a lot more information such as how the viewers’ feel about the video. In order to get that kind of information, retailers should gather the customer comments that were posted beneath the video and then run that information in order to uncover any sentimental patterns whether they are based on opinion, mood, or feeling.
This can also be applied to third-party sites and social media mentions on, for instance, Facebook or Twitter, just to name a few. As a result, retail organizations are able to quickly detect information such as new item perception, brand perception, and reputation management, along with many others. In other words, if a customer has written something online, you wouldn’t want to not take advantage of gathering that information.
Policing the Grey Market
Retailers selling items through resellers have really benefited from web data mining or scraping. Typically, those retailers weren’t allowed to sell items via third-party websites such as eBay or Amazon. As a result, they could only search those websites for each individual item in order to check out if they were which took up a lot of time and often times, simply wasn’t effective. However, through automated web data extraction, searching for items is now a much faster and more efficient process. Through it, legal departments can pinpoint those resellers that are working in the grey market in order to hand out issue enforcement notices along the way. As a result, firms are able to analyze the damage that had been done to both their brand name and their finances through illicit merchandise trade and then take the most helpful measures necessary afterward.
Managing Channel Partners
It’s not easy to ensure that you have the smallest retail price, however, it does help increase numerous folds whenever you are selling items in an indirect manner via channel partners. It’s no secret that pricing for online retail may change hourly, for example, which means that your channel partner could have a flash sale for one item for an hour and then change back the item’s prices before you, the wholesaler or manufacturer, have time in order to even become aware or respond to the changes.
Websites like Amazon, for example, sometimes agree to the upfront margin. This means that they would sell items at $100 even though they had bought it from a retailer such as yourself at only $80. As a result, they end up providing the competitor with a discount, which they would gladly charge the difference onto you. Therefore, that type of discounting can be beneficial to Amazon, but not so much to you. However, if you take advantage of data scraping solutions, you will be able to track each one of your channel partners’ websites in real-time. As a result, you will be aware of any item that is not adhering to the MRP.
Discoveries that Occur in Actual Time
Brands want to gain the attention of their buyers granted they have real-time data about how effective and popular their store actually is. After all, the ecommerce pricing industry is notorious for how dynamic it is, which is why those data insights have been proven to be so very beneficial. In fact, that kind of data helps brands pinpoint issues related to CTA as well as figure out the pain points revolving around how such high-traffic areas are resulting in such low conversions, for instance. In addition, that kind of data assists with figuring out if both external and internal links are working the way that they were intended to do; if not, they want to figure out where they need to make some changes. Indeed, collecting all of that information on the move requires a mini army, however, with the help of web scraping companies, your retail store can receive that type of intelligence in actual time. On top of that, it will assist retailers in spending more time on making positive changes versus focusing on collecting large amounts of data.
Importance of Reviews
Regardless of whether you are a consumer or a merchant, reviews are key to both within the retail industry since they help boost pricing strategies, availability, as well as customer confidence. However, although taking a look at Yelp to see what people are saying about your company or brand can be easy, it doesn’t provide you with the entire picture which is why you can’t trust it entirely either. That being said, since Facebook influenced over 52% of shoppers when making a purchase either online or offline, it’s no secret that social media reviews have gained a lot of popularity and they aren’t going anywhere, too.
However, social media mentions and reviews aren’t only important for the decisions that consumers or merchants end up making. They also influence SEO or the search engine optimization group of staff within a merchant’s firm. Indeed, monitoring reviews and mentions on hundreds of thousands of sites is definitely no easy task. This can be simplified, though, with the help of web scrapers. In fact, with the help of web extraction services, brands are able to scrape reviews from all over the Internet in very little time. This is exactly what will help those companies who are looking to compete with the top ecommerce companies such as Amazon, for example.
Through web scraping experts, your brand is able to raise the chances of them gathering the data necessary in order to make business, sales, inventory, and marketing decisions at a much higher level. Indeed, by analyzing web information, you can get a lot of insight into how you can boost both traffic and sales as well as get the best conversion rates that way you can ensure that your business isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.