Businesses have to step up their approach to analytics these days if they want to stay ahead of their competitors. One of the most important ways that businesses can enhance their analytics is through web scraping. Web scraping is mostly practiced by tech companies and large corporations, but that doesn’t mean that other businesses can’t implement web scraping. Scraping the Internet for massive amounts of data requires a great deal of knowledge to do effectively and efficiently, which is why many businesses hire firms that specialize in web scraping. No matter how your business goes about web scraping, it is vital because it can grant you advantages in these three key areas.
Web scraping techniques are often used for competitor monitoring by ecommerce companies, but companies in other sectors can certainly benefit from the intel garnered about competitors through web scraping. Ecommerce companies who want to fine-tune their product selection can take a big leap forward by monitoring the products that their competitors offer. Just as important as monitoring the product selection of your competitors, of course, is monitoring the prices that your competitors set. Many ecommerce companies utilize data from web scraping to automatically adjust the prices of their products with an advanced algorithm.
Web scraping, as you no doubt already know, can be extremely useful for market research. This is true no matter what the size of your business may be or what sector you operate in. There is so much data available for market research through social media, the news, reviews, et cetera that aggregating and making sense of this data can be a powerful advantage if your competitors are not implementing web scraping practices. On the other hand, your firm cannot afford to neglect web scraping for market research because your competitors are surely using this resource and your business will likely fall behind unless you also add web scraping to your market research strategy. The scope of market research is pretty large if you think about it. For example, it is useful in unearthing treasure troves of information from extensive research papers and scholarly articles. Nothing which adds to your competitive advantage should be neglected, and with web scraping it’s so much easier tackling otherwise very dense and difficult content.
There are so many media outlets and so much news breaking on social media that web scraping is an absolute necessity for content aggregation in all niches. Believe it or not, many businesses that engage in content aggregating, even successful ones, use manual aggregation (at least in part). While content aggregating practices do need to have a human curating the content, your content aggregation should run through web scraping to ensure that you are getting a wide variety of content as quickly as possible.
With Web Scraping Reliability is Key
Implementing a reliable web scraping infrastructure is absolutely vital for businesses that decide to go down this path. The most important component of which is your proxy network that enables you to scrape at scale without the risk of getting blocked. For those of you who are interesting in building your own web scraping competency then here is a list of the best datacenter, HTTPS and static proxy providers for web scraping.
As we’ve learned in this article, web scraping has the potential to transform your business intelligence activities and give your company an edge in any market. Be it e-commerce, content aggregation or market research. But for those interested in going down this path, the most important thing is making sure that you’ve built your web scraping infrastructure with reliability and scale in mind to avoid running into trouble down the line.