Benefits of Web Scraping
Not all the best pieces of information from the website can be copy-pasted, especially if you want to collect huge data. And that is where web scraping comes into the picture.
Unlike the long and tedious process of manually obtaining the data, web scarping utilizes intelligence automation techniques to obtain thousands and millions of data sets in a very short amount of time, therefore saving efforts.
To give you in-depth detail about the process of web scraping, we are assembling this blog with various information surrounding it. So, keep reading to unveil the details.
What is web scraping?
Web scraping is an automatic technique of obtaining huge amounts of data from websites. Most of these collected data are unstructured and in HTML format. These data are then converted into structured data by using databases or spreadsheets so that they can be used in various places.
The professionals follow various ways to perform web scraping, such as using certain APIs, online services, or even creating a code for web scraping from scratch. In fact, many established websites like Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc., have APIs that enables people to obtain their data in a structured format.
However, there are many other sites that don’t allow the users to access a huge amount of data in a structured format, or their site may not be as technologically advanced as others. At such times, using web scraping tools prove useful.
Web scraping works in two parts – crawler and scraper. The crawler, an AI algorithm, browses the web to find certain data needed by checking the links scattered across the internet.
The scraper works as a tool for extracting data from the website. The scraper’s design can vary as per the scope and complexity of the project, therefore enabling it to quickly and accurately extract the data.
How does the web scraper work?
Web scraper can extract specific data as per the user’s needs or all the data from particular websites. Preferably, it is best to specify what data you need so the web scraper can complete the work quickly.
For instance, you might want to scrape a home appliance’s website for types of juicers available, but you may want only the data of the different models and not the customer testimonials and reviews.
The scraper will obtain the required data from this HTML code and output this data in a format defined by the user. This data is typically in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file; however, this data can also be saved in other formats like JSON files.
Types of web scrapers
Browser extensions : These types of web scrapers are extensions that can be added to the browser. They are easy to run because they are fused with your browser. But again, their functions are limited. Any advanced features that don’t align with your browsers scope can be impossible to run using a browser extension.
Software web scrapers : Software web scrapers, on the other hand, don’t have limitations like browser extensions because you can download and installed them on the computer. These web scrapers are more complex to use as they have advanced features.
Cloud web scrapers : This type of web scrapers run on the cloud, typically on an off-site server provided by the company you purchase the scraper from. This way, it becomes possible for the computer to focus on other tasks because the computer resources are not needed to scrape the data from the sites.
Local web scrapers : This type of web scraper run on a computer employing local resources. But again, they can use more CPU or RAM, resulting in your computer working slow.
Benefits of web scraping
Competitor monitoring : The digital retail landscape is regularly evolving, all thanks to the growth of digital devices that are integrated into customer’s lives as well as the changed purchasing behaviours.
Even though it is easy to enter the prospering market, but the competition amid the retailers makes it tougher and leaves very little room for the newcomers. So, to make the business survive, it is important to study the competitors. By using web scraping on your competitors, you can:
Scrape product information from the competitors’ website to make prompt updates to the new product launch and devise a new marketing strategy.
Scrape the products and service ads to gain insights into their budget.
Scrape social media sites to analyse the audience and find potential customers.
Estimate the fashion trends to stay competitive.
Pricing optimization : Setting up prices for services and solutions is never easy. But, this is where you will know why web scraping is useful for price optimization. With optimization, the challenge is of finding a perfect balance where you can increase your profit but not lose customers.
Besides, you should know that customers are willing to pay more for a product if they gain value for their investment. And in order to gain that value, you will require improving your services in sections where your competitors haven’t reached yet. With web scraping, you can:
Scrape the customer information and gain insights on how to enhance their satisfaction by making tweaks in your marketing strategies.
Then create a dynamic pricing strategy. And since the market isn’t static, your pricing should fluctuate as per the changes to maximize the profits. With web scraping, you can also keep track of changes in promotion events and market prices regularly.
Lead generation : They say generate leads for better conversion. Well, that is easy said than done.
Yes, of course, you have the option of buying leads, but we all know that such leads lack quality. Besides, using lead generation tools can break your budget.
So, yes, it can be both challenging and tiresome to get more leads. But, thankfully, there is a trick. Even though following the route of web scraping isn’t a sustainable solution, you must keep in mind that, similar to every other process, there are advantages and disadvantages of web scraping. But on the positive side, you can use it to extract lead’s contact details from millions of sites within a very little span.
Start by setting up a target persona based on factors like education, job, title, company, etc.
Find relevant sites as per your industry.
Once you establish a list, start sending newsletters and relevant information. But make sure not to spam them.
Investment decisions : Yet another benefit of web scraping is that it helps in making investment decisions.
We all know that making an investment decision can be complex because it usually requires following series of processes like setting up the hypothetical thesis, experimenting and researching in order to make one sound decision.
And one effective way to test the investment thesis is through historical data analysis. It provides you insights into the root cause of past pitfalls, failures and successes, things you should avoid and investments that offer better returns. Web scraping does the job of extracting historical data effectively.
Product optimization : Launching a product is yet another challenge for a business owner. Everyone wants their product to make a breakthrough in the market, which isn’t always a possibility.
But as the value of web scraping is boundless, you can use it to leverage your sentiment analysis technique. This way, you can analyse the attitude of your customers without the need for wasting tons of time and effort on such mundane work.
Over to you
Well, the above-mentioned web scraping advantages are only a fraction of what web scraping is capable of achieving. In fact, the possibilities and applications of it are boundless.
So, if you wish to benefit from the impressive features of web scraping, it is best to work with a reliable service provider like Wersel. With seamless integration, our web scraping solution is capable of achieving insights that give you an unbeatable competitive edge. Connect with our team to know more about our web scraping service.