This year’s Black Friday is likely to be more competitive than ever before – most likely due to the current economic recession. Some people may think that the bigger players have an advantage, however, the power of big data can level the playing field. This 3-part strategy can help businesses of all sizes get started.
No longer a luxury, public data extraction through web scraping is now critical to e-commerce. It’s no longer a matter of providing a “competitive advantage”. Data extraction is going mainstream as a vital part of the marketing process. Web scraping is more than just extracting product and pricing information. Businesses use it to monitor their reputation, maximize SEO efforts, obtain data on the competition, and much more.
Now that Black Friday is coming up, web businesses across the globe are revving up their extraction efforts so they can get the insights needed to outperform the competition and maximize sales. This year is looking to be more competitive than ever and from SEO to dynamic pricing, web scraping can provide data that is essential to every component of a business strategy.
Black Friday Is More Important Than Ever
Black Friday is increasingly becoming a bigger deal as time goes on. Research from the National Retail Federation suggests that sales increased on Black Friday by 14% from 2018 to 2019. Besides the number of sales, the amount spent also increased by 16%.
Web scraping for marketing efforts also increases significantly before and during Black Friday. According to our web scraping data and trend report, scraping activity increased by 45% between 2017 and 2019. Besides Black Friday, our report outlines all major shopping holidays during the “golden quarter” (from fall to the new year) and beyond. It’s an essential source of information that can guide data extraction efforts throughout the entire year.
Web Scraping Is No Longer a Luxury
Data extraction is now essential to all sizes and types of businesses across all industries. It is one of the most effective tools for online stores to maintain a high inventory turnover, monitor brand reputation, gain valuable insights on the competition and implement dynamic pricing strategies.
Below is a 3-part plan for incorporating web scraping into an overall marketing strategy:
Start by Bringing Traffic to Your Site
Everyone knows that search engine optimization (SEO) is essential, however few understand just how much value web scraping can add to the process.
First off, effective SEO that gets clicks is a combination of “organic” SEO (through keywords), “domain authority” (how important a search engine thinks your site is), social media mentions (how important people on social media think your site is), and backlinks (how important your site is according to other sites).
Web scraping can help with all these elements, particularly for the discovery of keywords. Examples of valuable intelligence that can be extracted include information like titles and categories for use in content marketing.
Once this information is obtained, the next step is to publish relevant content of higher quality on a regular basis that people will want to share on social media. While there is definitely more to the process, these steps can serve as a useful starting for ranking higher in search engine results.
Stock in-Demand Products That Sell
Consumers are diversifying and becoming more unique. Not everyone wants the same products and trends are always shifting. Web scraping can help a business determine what products and categories are most popular so that inventory is current and always in demand.
Besides scraping sites to obtain consumer insights, businesses can scrape their competitor’s catalogs to determine if their inventory is competitive. Other useful places to find publicly available information include forums and social media sites where new products are mentioned and trends can be discovered.
Maximize Sales With Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing uses flexible prices based on real-time demand and supply factors to provide the most competitive price. As a quick reminder, a higher supply pushes down prices (and vice versa) while higher demand pushes prices up (and vice versa).
Internal factors affecting supply include the amount of stock, production costs and the cost of shipping. External factors include trends, competition level, time of year, and other outside issues that are often beyond the seller’s control.
When compared to the past, price variations occur all the time in the digital commerce world. Changing prices on hotels and flights are commonly accepted by consumers that are accustomed to seeing price fluctuations on a daily or even hourly basis. Accordingly, consumer goods are increasingly being subjected to dynamic prices and can often be witnessed in real time on price aggregator websites.
The web scraping process uses predefined target sites and keywords to extract and parse the data. Done in real-time, this information can be used to adjust prices immediately and capture sales that otherwise would be lost had the strategy not been implemented.
Web Scraping Can Level the Playing Field
I like to think that big data is the equalizer that can level the playing field on the digital landscape. Used for SEO, inventory optimization and dynamic pricing, smaller businesses can compete with the bigger players to maximize sales and profits this Black Friday.
It’s no longer a technology exclusive to large companies with matching technology budgets. Web scraping solutions exist for businesses of all sizes and types across all industries and are critical to marketing efforts more than ever before.