Product data scraping is the simple process of importing specific pieces of data about products from a website into a spreadsheet for analytical or other purposes.
If you consider selling a particular product on the internet, for example, and need to know the traffic it enjoys, what would you do? Would you send out inquiry forms?
Will you monitor the traffic on similar vendors selling the product? Whatever you choose to do, you should set yourself strategically to get the highest possible patronage.
Product data scraping makes it easy to obtain factual data about any product and its market, as well as the characteristics of its position. When analyzed at a large scale, the outcome summarizes the advantages of a robust market survey.
The concept has come to be a regular online activity for marketing, trading, and other related purposes and has been very effective in making key market entry and modification decisions.
Product data extraction involves the use of tools that are mostly modified to identify and collect specific data. More so, they are automated to work seamlessly and continuously, where needed.
They can be used to get such data as buyer search criteria, buyer demographics, favorable pricing, mean, median, and mode amongst others.
This article explains how this practice can help online sellers to understand trends and make the most of inferences to create robust marketing strategies, gain sales data insights and boost sales.
Product Data Automation Tips and Challenges
Even though data scraping can help online sellers to gain a competitive advantage, it has its fair share of challenges. Product data automation has its challenges due to the continuous changes happening on the web.
Webmasters are constantly monitoring their content to keep the website updated. In this regard, it’s critical to keep the automated product data extraction solutions up to date and plan the process carefully.
For example, you may choose to use a website that provides product information about your competitors. You could map products from your competitor’s site into a spreadsheet and sort out the ones that attract the most traffic and highest sales, and so on.
To get started with product data automation, consider these useful tips below:
- Know what you are searching for – Before starting any search procedure, ensure that the keywords are accurate enough to give you the product data you want. If you are in the fashion industry and sell shoes, for instance, you need to choose the best fashion websites to scrape, your keyword should be “shoe” and the information might include size, color, price, etc.
- Identify specific categories – Most websites are formed in a hierarchical manner that gives you clear instructions on how to find what you are looking for. The homepage is always the best place to start.
- Find product details – If you found the page with your target data, it means that the search is complete. As a rule of thumb, ensure that all information has been captured before moving to another category or website. Always ensure that the information includes dimensions, weight, color, etc. A good example is scraping car parts information since they contain lots of variables.
- Plan your time well – Plan your work to avoid last-minute stress and rush especially if you need accurate information. Most websites update their content at a certain time daily. Therefore, you should make your search at the correct time.
- Compare and prioritize important information – Comparing product features helps you know where you stand and what changes need to be made on the product pages. Furthermore, it also enables you to discover new products from your competitors which can help increase sales.
Advantages of Product Data Extraction
Efficiency and precision – This process is straightforward and carries out the complete process in a fixed set of steps. More so, the procedure does not have room for differences in output as the scraper progresses from the first item to the last. The process is also free of errors.
Time-saving – Product data scraping saves you the many productive hours that would have been put into carrying out market research – online or manual. It can compress hundreds of man-hours into minutes and still provide more accurate data for informed decisions.
Economical – Like the feature above, scraping for product data saves you the money that would have been put to paying different people to do the work for you. This way, you are maximizing your resources.
Correct market data – When using an automated system to get data sets that are homogenous in attributes, like the prices of products, model, size, etc., the output is usually sorted correctly that one can make correct inferences from the data. The dispersion, variations, and stereotypes can be seen from a distance and this helps the decision-making process.
Information for market projection – The key purpose of product data scraping is often to understand the market and make correct projections for entry and modifications.
Making the Most of Product Data Automation
Price is a key factor in determining the behavior of consumers. Hence, you should factor it into your metrics as much as possible to understand them better.
More so, price monitoring, like one of the world’s largest online markets eBay price scraping allows you to manage your prices at different times, places, etc. based on the response level of consumers when these factors combine with the price.
If this factor is controlled effectively, the larger part of the market can be influenced.
Monitor The Competition
While you are trying to understand the market behavior, some sellers are still making waves in your niche. Hence, you should scrape more websites and understand how much of the market they control.
This step allows you appropriately position yourself in the market and properly combine other factors that would allow you to gain visibility in the market.
Watch Product Trends Closely
If you use a product data extraction automation software or use time as a scraping criterion, you would be able to watch as product trends change with seasons and different factors.
This would also allow you to stay ahead of the competition. If there is increased traffic for female hats in summer, for example, it is an indicator that you could prepare more of it and make your potential buyers know that you would be making lots of it available before that time, at a discount.
Combine Your Factors Effectively
After you know the outcome of different combinations from your data analysis, it is now time to make the unique mix that will position you for the highest visibility in the market.
Product data automation is one of the best decisions any online seller could make in today’s growing e-commerce world.
With product data in place, you would be in a better position to make the right decisions that will give your business an edge above your competitors.
Assess the market, identify your advantage, and position yourself suitably. Then, monitor and tweak as needed to achieve your goals.