Public data extraction is the process of obtaining publicly-available information from entire websites or specific web pages. When it comes to the E-commerce industry, almost all shopping brands operating online rely on this technique to collect product information.
The extracted product details can help brands perform market research, competitor analysis, customer sentiment analysis, price intelligence, news monitoring, and lead generation.
As scraping online marketplaces often gets difficult due to the availability of massive amounts of data, many solutions have introduced scraping tools for different industries, particularly E-commerce.
This post will shed light on the benefits and difficulties associated with web scraping, along with mentioning scrapers available for some main industries.
Web Scraping: Benefits & Difficulties
Web data scraping is a fast and effective approach to collecting and organizing data from websites for further analysis. It automates the time-taking process of data extraction from third-party sites with the use of web scrapers. This method includes sending a request to a specific page, reading the HTML code, and sending it to the user.
Some primary benefits of web scraping are as follows:
- Automation – Automated web scraping tools extract data from websites in large volumes without any human supervision. These tools automate scraping activities to save our time from spending on mundane data collection tasks.
- Better Insights – This process is used to collect data for monitoring the marketing activities and product prices of your competitors, which is then used to gain insights and perform better decision-making.
- Data Accuracy – Web scraping services are automated and deliver accurate results. No human intervention indicates higher accuracy.
- Low Maintenance – Web scraping technologies require significantly less or no maintenance over time. So, budgets and services will not go through serious changes in terms of maintenance.
- Speed – Scraping tools are known for completing tasks in a matter of hours, which would otherwise take weeks to be done. The automated scraping activities quickly scan the web pages and extract data. But, of course, the speed depends on the complexity of the projects, resources, and tools in use.
- Easy Implementation – With the proper deployment of the scraping mechanism, the tool gets data from not just a single page but from the entire domain. This one-time investment retrieves a massive amount of data in a breeze.
Here are a few difficulties associated with the web scraping process:
- Data Analysis – Processing data extracted using web scraping can take so much time and energy. This is because the information comes as HTML code and can not always be easy to comprehend.
- Website Changes – Since the HTML structures of a site change frequently, scrapers experience different problems while extracting data. This happens due to the lack of periodic maintenance performed to ensure data collection pipelines are functional.
Is Public Data Scraping Legal?
While scraping data reserved for public consumption is legal, you still need to follow ethical rules. It is legally allowed to extract publicly-available data, like blog posts, public social media profiles, and product pages on E-commerce sites.
However, collecting confidential or restricted content from websites, such as private social media profiles, research and reports, and course modules, is illegal. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consider legal consultation before commencing any scraping activities. Some steps must be taken in order to avoid getting blocked during the scraping process.
Different Scrapers for Different Industries
Since there are various industries serving customers online, scraping service providers have introduced different tools or bots dedicated to respective industries. Here are the best scrapers used for each popular industry:
- E-commerce – E-commerce brands need insights into competitors’ strategies, pricing data, and market trends, which are provided through web scraping. For example, to scrape pricing data from the biggest online marketplace, Amazon, the Amazon scraper is used. Amazon scraper is a scraping tool that collects customer reviews, sales rank, and pricing information from Amazon. Scrapers for other E-commerce platforms include eBay scraper, Etsy scraper, and AliExpress scraper. Visit the Oxylabs website for more information about solutions for gathering public data from E-commerce websites.
- Finance – Financial managers rely on scraping techniques to analyze stock prices and predict them with machine learning algorithms. One good example of a web scraper for the finance industry is Beautiful Soup.
- Real Estate – They use scraping methods to inspect what factors influence the prices of the property. ScraperAPI is a good tool for scraping real estate data.
- Entertainment – This industry highly relies on its customers’ reviews for great viewership. So, it is important for entertainment companies to invest time and resources in analyzing their customers’ feedback via web scraping. Selenium works great to extract entertainment data.
Online marketplaces are a great source of product information, so scraping E-commerce websites can help brands stay ahead in the industry. As a result, more and more E-commerce companies are using scrapers to generate more revenue and grow their business.