Applications of Web Data Extraction in Ecommerce
We all know the importance of data generated by an organisation and its application in improvement of product strategy, customer retention, marketing, business development and more. With the advent of digital age and increase in storage capacity, we have come to a point where the internal data generated by an organisation has become synonymous with Big Data. But, we must understand that by focusing only on the internal data, we are losing out another another crucial source – the web data.
Check out our previous post on the importance of augmenting enterprise data with web data to know more. Coming to Ecommerce, the very nature of this type of business ensures that web data is critical for business growth in this domain. Let’s now explore various applications of web data. Note that these are real-world use cases based on the client requirements we’ve encountered till now.
This is one of the most common use cases in Ecommerce. It’s important to correctly price the products in order to get the best margins and that requires continuous evaluation and remodeling of pricing strategy. The very first approach takes into account market condition, consumer behavior, inventory and a lot more. It’s highly probable that you’re already implementing such type of pricing strategy by leveraging your organisational data. That said, it’s also equally important to consider the pricing set by the competitors for similar products as consumers can be price sensitive.
PromptCloud’s DaaS solution can provide data feeds consisting of product name, type, variant, pricing and more from Ecommerce websites. You can get this structured data according to your preferred format (CSV/XML/JSON) from your competitors’s websites to perform further analysis. Just feed the data into the analytics tool and you are ready to factor in the competitors’ pricing into your pricing strategy. This will answer some the important questions such as: Which product can attract premium price? Where can we give discount without incurring loss? You can also go one step further by using our live crawling solution to implement a robust dynamic (real-time) pricing strategy. Apart from this, you can use the data feed to understand and monitor competitors’ product catalog.
There are many manufacturers who sell via resellers and generally there are terms that restrict the resellers from selling the products on the same set of Ecommerce sites. This ensures that the seller is not competing with others to sell own product. But, it’s practically impossible to manually search the sites to find the resellers who are infringing the terms. Apart from that, there might be some unauthorized sellers selling your product on various sites.
Web data extraction services can automate the data collection process so that you’ll be able to search products and their sellers with less time and efficiently. After that your legal department can take the further action according to the situation.
Last year Apple found out that most of the chargers and cables sold on Amazon as genuine products were in fact poorly constructed, with inferior or missing components, flawed design, and inadequate electrical insulation. In simple terms customers were purchasing counterfeit product because of the trust on Amazon. There’s no doubt that the counterfeit accessories were tarnishing Apple’s brand image among the customers.
In this type of cases, web crawling can be used to automatically extract product data points to detect if there is significant fluctuation in pricing and find out the genuineness of the seller. Moreover, this can be used to ensure that the channels partners who sell your products, are maintaining the agreed minimum retail price. If prices go below the specified MRP, it can have negative effect on the bottom line. Near real-time crawls or live crawls can be performed to identify the partners who don’t stick to the agreement.
Demand analysis is a crucial component for planning and shipping products. It answers important questions such as: Which product will move fast? Which one will be slower? To start off, e-commerce stores can analyze own sales figures to estimate the demand, but it’s always recommended that planning must be done much before the launch. That way you won’t be planning after the customers land on your site; you’d be ready with right number of products to meet the demand.
One great place to get a solid idea of demand is online classified site. Web crawling can be deployed to monitor the most in-demand products, categories and the listing rate. You can also look at the pattern according to different geographical locations. Finally, this data can be used to prioritize the sales of products in different categories as per region-specific demand.
Search Ranking on marketplaces
Many Ecommerce players sell their product on their own website along with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. These popular marketplaces attract a huge number of consumers and sellers. The sheer volume of sellers on these platforms makes it difficult to compete and rank high for particular search performed on these sites. Search ranking in these marketplaces depends on multiple factors (title, description, brand, images, conversion rate, etc.) and needs continuous optimization. Hence, monitoring ranking for preferred keywords for the specific products via web data extraction can be helpful in measuring the result of optimization efforts.
Many brands are engaging with consumers via different platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. Consumers are also increasingly turning towards various forums to express their views. It has become imperative for businesses to monitor, listen and act on what consumers say. You need to move beyond number of retweets, likes, views, etc. and look at how exactly consumers perceived your messages.
This can be done by crawling forums and sites like YouTube and Twitter to extract all the comments related to your brand and your competitors’ brand. Further analysis can be done by performing sentiment analysis. This will give you additional idea for future campaigns and help you optimize product strategy along with customer support strategy.
We covered some of the practical use cases of web data mining in the e-commerce domain. Now it’s up to you to leverage the web data to ensure growth of your retail store. That said, crawling and extracting data from the web can be technically challenging and resource intensive. You need a strong tech team with domain expertise, data infrastructure and monitoring setup (in case of website structure changes) to ensure steady flow of data. At this point it won’t be out of context to mention that some of our clients had tried to do this in-house and came to us when the results didn’t meet expectation. Hence, it is recommended that you should go with a dedicated Data as a Service provider who can deliver data from any number of sites according to pre-specified format at desired frequency. PromptCloud takes care of end to end data acquisition pipeline and ensures high quality data delivery without interruption. Check out our detailed post of on things to consider when evaluating options for web data extraction.