Any web resource becomes valuable and visited only if there is useful, attractive to users and unique content. "Whoever owns information owns the world" is a simple truth, without which it is impossible to become a successful businessman (as well as a politician or any other specialist).
General global trends are bringing us closer to the day when all operations and trade transactions will take place using the World Wide Web. In order to successfully fit into the new law, it is essential to be up-to-date data on market movements (dynamics of prices and goods) and local news, which sometimes affect the formation of demand, on time. Today, the amount of information surpasses the processing capabilities of any, even the most talented person or a narrow-profile specialist. And there is nothing unnatural in this. That is life. Therefore, for the automatic collection and scraping (processing of large amounts of information) of websites was invented.
How does web scraping help in marketing?
Possible use cases for web scraping tools:
Data collection for marketing research
Extract contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.) from different sites to create your lists of suppliers, manufacturers, or any other persons of interest
Download solutions from StackOverflow (or other similar Q&A sites) to allow offline reading or storage of data from various websites - thereby reducing dependence on Internet access
Tracking the prices of goods in multiple stores
How does it help the business?
You can get product feeds, images, prices, and other related product information from various sites and create your data warehouse or price comparison site.
You can look at the performance of any particular product, user behaviour, and feedback according to your requirements.
In this era of digitalisation, companies are spending a lot of money on online reputation management. Thus, web scraping is also necessary here.
It has become common practice for people to read opinions and articles online.
By culling organic search results, you can instantly recognise your SEO competitors for a specific search term. You can figure out the title tags and keywords others are planning.
Collecting E-Mail database
For regular mailing, an extensive list of mail addresses is required, which still needs to be continuously updated. A good base of potential clients has tens of thousands of contacts. Of course, such things are not compiled by hand. Collecting email addresses can be done using a web scraper.
Services parse data from social networks or forums. To find the email of legal entities, they process information from the corporate sites of these same firms.
Web scraping service allows you to automate the process, but the main advantage is that it does it incredibly quickly. A hundred addresses can be found in a couple of minutes. Also, it can save information, process it, and provide it in graphic form.
The service selects letters and sites by various parameters: subject (keywords), date of publication of the text, location, and other criteria (their list can be configured manually). After that, it searches on the detected site for any lines with the symbols "@" and "email". Matching found objects and putting them to the email database.
A base with mail addresses is usually needed for mass transmission of advertisements and commercial offers. And since each trade proposal must fall exactly into its target audience, the base must have specific characteristics and be narrowly focused. This means that the web scraping legal service should not collect any addresses, but only the necessary ones.
Who will benefit from collecting email addresses from sites? Almost any commercial organisation and individual entrepreneurs that conduct at least part of their activities via the Internet. However, even this does not limit the audience because the database of email addresses can be useful to public organisations or companies that conduct their activities exclusively offline.
Most sellers point out that it is the search for customers that takes up a significant part of the time, and this stage is the most ineffective. Distribution of letters to cold mail contacts, further polling and analytics take a considerable amount of time, and out of hundreds of processed people, you can get only a few real customers.
Competitors price monitoring
Anyone works in the field of E-commerce sooner or later is faced with the need to be the first among competitors. One of the most effective tools in this matter is price management. The results of marketing research show that among those consumers who are ready to change the supplier of industrial equipment and tools, a third name a low price as a decisive factor in choosing a new supplier.
Ways to get information about competitors' prices
Agree with a competitor's employee. This is not quite a correct and honest way. Therefore, it is not an option.
The easiest and most effective way to monitor prices at the moment is data extraction. You can quickly collect price information from online stores and analyse them. Adjusting your prices to be lower than competitors can make a huge difference.
Manual monitoring of the prices. Not the most efficient method that takes a lot of time and even yields negative results.
Web scraping is a useful practice when information available to you is available through a web application that does not provide an appropriate API. Data mining from modern web applications requires some non-trivial work, but mature and well thought out tools can do the trick.
As you can see, web scraping is a necessary tool for almost any business, that can help not only get more customers but also make work a lot easier.