Ecommerce is an industry with immense possibilities and great future potential. The possibility of putting technology to work is one of the biggest perks of this domain. Most things associated with Ecommerce can be automated. For example, from a customer’s point of view, if you want to find out the eCommerce platform which is selling the product you need at the lowest price at the moment, all you have to do is use a price comparison site rather than visiting each site separately. This is possible only because the data you need to make such a price comparison is publicly available on the eCommerce sites, which lets us write programs to fetch and compare the data.
It is not just the customers who can benefit from the data available on eCommerce stores. Every entity associated with the eCommerce industry in some way or the other can benefit from eCommerce data scraping. If you are a seller who wants to increase your sales across multiple eCommerce platforms, you can use automated web scraping to get relevant data from these eCommerce sites. Here are the ways how sellers can maximize their sales and profit figures by leveraging the power of data.
Why do sellers need data
From a seller’s point of view, the data available on different eCommerce sites are goldmines of information. By harvesting it, you can get all the pointers you need to take your eCommerce selling to the next level. Most sellers on eCommerce sites are missing out on various opportunities that they are unaware of. If you are a seller who is into computer accessories, you might want to know about the newer accessories that get launched in the market every day. The easiest way to spot such trends is to gather data from various eCommerce sites under the ‘computer accessories’ category and analyse it. If you are late to come up with what the customers demand at the moment, you could lose out in this game easily. You could also find out the best-selling products, the ones that don’t sell, the pricing of products by other sellers and much more. Since Ecommerce is an industry where changes happen quite frequently, you need the automated data extraction technologies to keep up with the race.
How to get hold of the data
Given the size and spread of the data in question, manually collecting the data is not feasible. Fortunately, there are technologies that can be used for collecting this data by using programmed crawlers. Web crawling is the most efficient way to acquire large amounts of data at speeds impossible by conventional methods.
The concept of web crawling is simple; Programmers write code that can automatically visit a given set of URLs one after another and extract the required data fields from them. These programmed crawlers are run on high-end servers where they constantly work on extracting data from the source websites and saving it into a dump file. Since websites differ in their structure and design, the ‘setting up’ part of a web crawler is extremely complicated and require skilled technical personnel. Once the setup is done, the web crawlers can run on autopilot and keep supplying the data without any manual intervention.
What can you do with the data:
Every online business should use data to make smarter decisions. Since there is no shortage of data on the web related to your field of operation, it wouldn’t be wise to not leverage the power of data. Here are the insights that Ecommerce data can give you as a seller.
1. Price comparison
Pricing can be deemed as one of the most important factors behind eCommerce profits. If you price your products way lower than the others, you are making less money. If you happen to be selling a bit higher than them, you won’t even make any sales. This explains how critical pricing can be in the eCommerce industry. Now, how do you find this thin line where your pricing nails it? The best way is to use web scraping to grab pricing data from different eCommerce portals and analyse it. With the pricing data acquired by scraping, you can automate and even dynamically set your pricing with respect to that of others. This can give you a competitive advantage by having optimum pricing that would make a good number of sales and maximum profit.
2. Track duplicate products
If you are a seller who lists your own products on the eCommerce portals, it makes sense to look out for people who are selling counterfeit products under your brand/product names. This situation can affect you adversely as both your brand reputation and sales figures go down at the same time. Using web scraping to monitor such instances can effectively help you identify and report such instances as and when they occur.
3. Discover new products to sell
You might think your product catalogue is complete when you have already listed all the best products that you can think of under a particular category. However, this is never the case. There is always something new being launched in the market that you should have in your catalogue. Since many of these products don’t sell after the initial fad, it is crucial that you find and list them soon to exploit the opportunity. Besides, eCommerce selling has always been about providing customers with what’s new in the market before it penetrates into the brick and mortar stores. Web scraping lets you discover new opportunities that you might be missing.
4. Optimize your product catalogue
There is no point in listing too many products if they don’t sell. If you want to maximize your profits from selling on eCommerce platforms, you need to focus on the products that sell more. Part of this optimization has to do with understanding what kind of products sell more and whatnot. If you are a new seller, it is not easy to figure this out on your own. But data has all the answers. You can gather data from multiple eCommerce sites on a list of products and evaluate their ratings and reviews to figure this out. This data can help you identify the best sellers and the ones that aren’t doing well. With respect to this, you can add more products or eliminate the low performing ones. This will help you focus on the products that deserve it, thus maximizing your profits.
5. Predicting future sales trends
The ability to predict sales trends can work as a great competitive advantage in eCommerce. This can be made possible by running product data for a long period of time through an analytics system. Targeting different geographies for products that do well there can also help improve the number of sales you make. You can even get deep insights such as how well different products perform at a particular time of the year from the data.
Ecommerce data scraping can be extremely beneficial to sellers who are trying to maximize their sales across different Ecommerce portals. Since data-backed decisions are the only ones that you can rely on being in a highly competitive industry like eCommerce, it is better to find ways to gather and analyse this data at the earliest. Web scraping is hands down, the best way to acquire data. Being fast, efficient and scalable, makes for a great way to have a competitive advantage without spending too much.
Stay tuned for our next article on web scraping for investigative journalism.
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