With so many businesses depending on accurate data for decision making and growth, web scraping is becoming a more familiar term as the day goes by. It has gone through different stages of development to become one of the best methods of data extraction to get a large amount of information from target sites in a fast and automated way. One such data that is needed by corporations especially eCommerce companies is price data and for more efficiency, price scraper tools are used.
Limeproxies is one of the premium proxies that are available and used by companies to perform their web scraping tasks. Different companies constantly explore web scraping techniques including new and growing businesses as they all stand to benefit from what data extraction has to offer.
Interesting Read : Most Common User Agents For Price Scraping
Some of the right questions to ask before you begin your web scraping task are: what is the most efficient way to begin your web scraping operation? Or how can growing businesses optimize the existing processes to increase their return on investment with minimal costs?
In this article, we would focus on an in-depth understanding of how to use proxies for pricing intelligence. You would understand what the term ‘pricing intelligence’ means, and you would also know why pricing intelligence is important for online businesses.
There has been an ongoing debate on which is better; building a price scraper tool or buying an existing one and we would have the pros and cons of each here. Finally, we would briefly go over essential price scraping ingredients and give insights every business should take into consideration if they want to use proxies for pricing intelligence.
WHAT IS A PRICE SCRAPER TOOL?
A price scraper is a bot that is used to extract price data from a website together with other information that may be relevant from the target site.
1 . THE REALITY OF THE E-COMMERCE GAME
Ecommerce businesses have evolved from what they used to be. These days, real-time data is used and guides policies and decision making. One of the most extracted data for eCommerce sites is pricing data as it helps the company strategize on the best approach to gain more customers.
Due to its importance, it has become a necessary skill to know how to successfully scrape pricing data from websites and this is where the use of price scraper tools comes in.
Strategies are ever-changing and not as they used to be due to the numerous choices consumers have online. There is good competition in the eCommerce industries, and consumers are more sensitive to pricing. According to the report from Eurostat, a greater percentage of e-shopping comes from young internet users. Customers also stated that the availability of different choices online which makes it possible to easily compare prices is what makes them make purchases online.
Talking about consumer purchasing, BigCommerce researched the top factors that influence the choice of online shops for Americans. 87% cited price as their determining factor, 80% agreed that shipping cost and speed was their determining factor, while 70% chose discount offers. Of the online shoppers, over 86% compare prices before settling to buy from a particular store, and about 78% of shoppers buy from a store that offers the product for a cheaper price.
By this, it is clear what consumers need, but how should eCommerce businesses go about it?
It all lies in the pricing and to compete and adjust your pricing when necessary, businesses need to extract data quickly from their rivals. This data includes product catalog, promos, pricing strategy. Discounts, and special offers amongst others.
The good thing is that these data are available on the internet for you to utilize and all you need to make it possible is to use a scraper tool.
2. TO BUILD OR TO BUY PRICE SCRAPER TOOLS?
This is a key question that should be asked in the beginning by businesses that depend on pricing data to thrive. A business needs to make careful considerations whether they are just getting into web scraping or they have already chosen one path over the other.
Assuming a business has decided to build its price scraper tool to retrieve data, the following scenario covers what should be done.
MAKING A CHOICE
Building a price scraping tool can be straightforward, or a bit difficult depending on how familiar you are with the processes that are involved. Just as with everything, you become more competent as you continue to do something so it becomes easier to achieve your goal.
Businesses can’t afford to make mistakes however and so they need to ensure that every investment is maintained. From time to time, the web scraping tools would have to be updated, renovated, and adjusted to give the expected performance. so it can be more expensive than was originally anticipated once everything has been set in place. Expenses could also differ based on the target and magnitude of data to be extracted.
Interesting Read : How to Automate Price Intelligence?
Older online stores know how important accurate data is and will therefore set up obstacles to prevent successful scraping. Examples of such obstacles is a bot detecting algorithms on the site, IP blocks, or other tools that would prevent web scraping. The bot detection algorithm is occasionally updated and this is one of the reasons why a price scraping tool is more expensive as the tool would need to be made to bypass the blocks.
The scraping tools also require maintenance and this has to be carried out by a professional. It will cost the company some money to do this from time to time and so it should be taken into consideration.
Going further, in creating a process for price extraction from websites a business may need to monitor multiple pricing intelligence data points. Sone would not be easy to target while others may be a walk in the park. But no matter the scenario, it’s important to collect all the necessary data under one roof in structured datasets. This can be done effectively if businesses get professional developers to man their pricing scraper tools.
All of the above have focused more on the cost of purchasing a scraper, but what about the promptness that is required when real-time data is required for dynamic pricing changes? Or the time-consuming tasks a scraper may be needed for? It could cost a loss of revenue.
On the other hand, an in house price scraper tool would be built as businesses desire it to be. It may be time-consuming to build from scratch and according to your business requirements, and it may also be expensive at first but is the best option in the long run.
It doesn’t just end with building or if you choose to, buying pricing scraper tools. Proxies are a very important part of the entire process and what’s more important is choosing the right one. There are different types of proxies you can choose from; datacenter proxies, residential proxies, and also location-based proxies (location-based proxies are used specifically when location-based data is needed).
Datacenter proxies are private proxies that are not gotten from any ISP but secondary corporations like Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, etc. They provide you with a high level of anonymity and private IP authentication.
They work the same way regular proxies do by first processing every request you send and then sends it on your behalf via their servers. So the sending IP changes and what the site sees is a different IP from yours. The result also goes to the proxy first before it comes to you so your internet privacy is protected.
USES OF DATACENTER PROXIES
- Datacenter proxies are great at protecting your identity by keeping you anonymous online. It sends requests on your behalf using a different IP address from your original one so that websites don’t know it’s you.
- They also grant you access to geo-blocked content as you can connect to any server around the world. So if a site or web content is blocked to you because of your location, try connecting to a different location where such content is available.
- Datacenter proxies are great for use with web scraping bots for data extraction. Using your real IP increases your chances of getting false information as the site may recognize you as a rival. Also, chances are that your IP would get blocked when bot activity is noticed and without a proxy, this block would mean the end of the process.
- Proxies also help with successful sneaker copping. It helps you send multiple requests so that your chances are higher. You can also cop multiple pairs of sneakers if you want and this is only possible with the use of a proxy.
- Datacenter proxies are also used to filter incoming and outgoing requests on a network. A reverse proxy server would be used to cache content, limit the internet access to your website, and ensure internet use on the network is moderate.
- With datacenter proxies, you can have multiple social media accounts. This will be of great benefit to your business as you can reach a wider audience for more effective brand promotion.
TYPES OF DATACENTER PROXIES
1 . PUBLIC
Public proxies are also known as free proxies as you don’t have to pay for their IPs. They are only beneficial if you wish to change the location and are not recommended for any other serious task.
Shared proxies are unlike public proxies, but the IPs are also shared between more than a user at a time. They are not free and offer better performance than public proxies.
Private proxies are only used by a user at a time and so you get maximum performance all to yourself.
Residential proxies provide IP addresses from real locations to the user. These types are provided by the ISP, unlike datacenter proxies.
BENEFITS OF USING RESIDENTIAL PROXIES
- Residential proxies allow you to operate online anonymously as it replaces your IP address with that of a chosen server.
- Since residential proxies are tied to real locations, they are not seen as proxies and have lesser chances of being blocked.
- Connection loss or a timeout is not as frequent with residential proxies and so you get better connection speed.
- With a fast internet connection, web scraping is more efficient.
- You can have access to your favorite sites and content even if they are blocked by geo-restrictions. This is possible because you can connect to IPs in the server location of your choice.
BUYING THE RIGHT PRICE SCRAPER TOOLS
To carry out successful price scraping, you would need real-time data to adjust your pricing strategies and tactics as needed. If a business prefers to buy a price scraper, then the management of the infrastructure wouldn’t be done in-house. It will permit instant data extraction so you can focus on the insights promptly.
Interesting Read : How to monitor competitor prices in e-commerce?
The first downside to this decision is that the price of these scraper tools is high. But the convenience of extracting data after such purchases justifies the high cost. it isn’t always the case as businesses would still have to choose a product that is specific to their data extraction needs. In some cases, it’s impossible to adjust the tools to suit the company’s specific needs and wants and so companies should lookout for the most flexible products. It’s also important to think of the format the data would be gotten and how the data in such format can be analyzed.
Real-Time Crawler is a data collection tool to extract data from search engines and eCommerce websites. You can say it’s a tool meant for heavy-duty data extraction. It’s a great SERP scraper and price tracking tool that’s designed to meet every business requirement. A real-time crawler has the advantage of providing you with specific pricing data and in the right format for prompt actions to be taken.
It may be a tricky process to track prices online and it gets even more complex when more marketplaces are tracked. You’ll most likely need a unique process to extract data, thus adjusting the proxies too.