Modern businesses possess a humongous amount of data – both structured and unstructured. As far as a business is concerned, data plays an instrumental role in driving growth, development, and innovation within the company. But the data that enterprises possess comes handy only if they are structured and the company can derive value from it. This is where web scraping comes into the picture. Web scraping helps in extracting unorganized data and converting them into organized and manageable formats. This is especially useful if your brand is being talked about on multiple platforms or ways (social media, expert forums, comments, etc.), in which case you can set the scraping tool algorithm to fetch only data that contains reference about the brand. As a result, marketers and business owners can gauge brand sentiment and tweak their marketing campaign to enhance visibility.
How can retailers use web scraping in their business?
Web scraping has been revolutionizing the use of big data in business. The retail industry is one of the most benefited sectors with this tool. Here are some of the applications of web scraping that retailers can use for brand monitoring :
Determine pricing strategy
The growth in the number of players in the market is resulting in retailers competing hard with one another to stay ahead of the growth curve. Using web scraping techniques, companies can crawl price comparison sites’ pricing data, product descriptions, and images to receive data for comparison, affiliation, or analytics. This gives retailers the opportunity to trade their products at competitive prices and increase profits.
Track online presence
In this digital era, prospective customers research online about a company’s brand value and the products before making a purchase. Hence, it is essential for modern businesses to establish an online presence. Web scraping helps firms to achieve online brand intelligence and monitoring by providing a crystal clear picture of product performance, customer behavior, and interactions.
Detect fraudulent reviews
Product reviews have become a testimony which most customers consider before making a purchase. However, not all the reviews written about a particular product might be authentic. Web scraping helps companies to identify opinion-spamming, thus figuring out fake reviews. It further helps in reviewing, streamlining, or blocking reviews, according to the business needs.
Online reputation management
With social media going mainstream, the online reputation can either make or break a brand. So, it is vital for businesses to continuously undertake brand monitoring on digital platforms. In web scraping, a web crawler identifies demographic opinions such as age group, gender, sentiments, and geo-location, helping retailers learn about both the impactful as well as vulnerable areas for online reputation management.
Advantages of web scraping for the retail sector
Web scraping provides some significant benefits to companies in the retail industry :
- Provides improved customer insights
- Helps to monitor competition
- Allows companies to stay informed about latest comments about the business on social media
- Mends the communication gap between customers and the brand, thereby improving the consumer satisfaction