Data is the new oil that empowers the growth of all businesses, especially the retail industry who is under overwhelming pressure from the rising eCommerce businesses. Speaking of data, we should take into account two kinds of it, internal data related to your own business and external data open to the public, like website information.

Without a doubt, you have full access to your internal data that comes from within your retail company, including sales performance, logistic data, product information, and customer profiles – they’re pretty crucial for your future business decisions.  Besides, a retail company still needs to keep an eye on the outside world, to stay competitive in the market and follow the trends. 

There are 5 aspects where retailers can start using web crawling and web data scraping to fuel their business:

  • Pricing Strategy
  • Sentiment Analytics
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Campaign Monitoring
  • Demand Analysis

#1 Pricing strategy

In terms of pricing strategy, lots of factors should be taken into consideration, such as product inventories, sales, customer behaviors, etc. Above all, competitors’ pricing in the market is one of the most decisive factors. Having a larger picture of the product pricing landscape can give retailers a more profound background knowledge to make a wiser decision in pricing.

Among web scraping tools, Octoparse is a great pick for retailers to gather competitor price information across more than 20 eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, just to name a few. Octoparse offers prepared templates for users to scrape from these eCommerce platforms.

With the help of Octoparse’s task template mode, the product price information can be scraped down easily and efficiently to your computer or database, which can be later imported to a data visualization tool like tableau for further analysis or presentation. This information can help you price at the largest margins.

#2 Review Monitoring

Reviews play an important part in a retail business for monitoring your clients’ ideas and attitudes towards your product. The most easy way is to check on Yelp how people are talking about your products and similar products. If you want to make further analysis, try using Octoparse advanced mode to scrape the review from Yelp.

#3 Competitive Analysis

Studies show that 61% of online shoppers visit retailer or manufacturer websites to compare prices before making a purchase decision, which indicates that comparison shopping is a common behavior that happens on most online shopping experiences. Thus, a retailer should know your competitors and keep track of them at a certain frequency, including their product categories, product descriptions, add-on services, sales performance and so on. 

Similar to gathering product price information, Octoparse can be used to gather the product details as well. These data can be further analyzed for setting up product strategy and making marketing strategies.

#4 Campaign monitoring

Many brands use novel digital methods for promotion activities today to attract more potential audiences. The trend of video marketing has become more popular than ever before, which results from the universal use of mobile devices. Sites like YouTube allow statistics to be shared on measurable content, such as multiple views. However, the view cannot be used as the element to evaluate whether a project is successful. You need to know more about the number of people who have seen your campaign and what they think about this project.

To do this, you need to collect all the information from your videos (and those of your competitors). You can turn the extracted data into a word cloud so as to understand video audience perceptions. This information will provide you with a direct way to measure the result of the campaign you carry on.

You can also monitor the result of the campaigns by collecting customer comments on third-party websites, like Twitter and Facebook. 

#5 MAP Monitoring

If you’re a retailer of a certain brand, then you might need to sign up a MAP policy of the brand. So do the other retailers of the brand, you competitors. To make sure you’re playing a fair game, you’d better make sure your competitors comply with the MAP policy as you do. In this case, a web scraping tool, like Octoparse, could be a good help. >> Article: MAP Monitoring use web scraping <<

Final Thoughts

At the age of big data, the key to using web scraping for retailers is to make sure all the important information is collected quickly and accurately. With that collected information, retailers can get a glimpse of the bigger picture of the current market and benefit a lot for making pricing strategies, marketing plans, adjusting product selection and so on. Take your time and have a try!