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That data scraping is a potential goldmine for e-commerce businesses is a notion that plenty of aspiring entrepreneurs have tuned into over the years.

The challenges behind scraping data from the big players in the field, like eBay and Amazon, can appear prohibitive at first but, like many things in life, just require some extra bit of work and solid knowledge. Let’s see why you should consider using data scraping tools for your own e-commerce business.

Compare and adjust prices
In the digital age, consumers are more informed than ever. Price hunting is not just for the tech-savvy anymore as anyone can just hope onto a price comparison website or plain-old Google and check out thousands of listings from an equal number of competitors. Keeping your prices at a competitive level is obviously not the only thing that can keep your business afloat but it’s certainly one of the biggest factors that you can affect, at least from a consumer perspective. Even better, you can understand trends as well as how your competitors react to them so you can adjust your prices accordingly. For instance, offering a discount on your own products after a competitor hikes their prices might give you an incredible advantage that should not be missed.

Get access to a wealth of real-time data
While doing market research and competitor analysis, one of the pitfalls that many businesses face is that they have to act quickly on every single part of the process: from data gathering to analysis to doing something about it. With data scraping, all of your data is received in real-time, from the real world, and with palpable implications. Say, for instance, that you are trying to understand sale patterns across different stores. Data scraping allows you get an instant look at what’s happening in the market and give you a chance to react that can enhance your own sales.

Understand what the people want
If you think that you can just ignore reviews, both those of your own company and those of competitors, then I would urge you to think again. Consumer reviews, across platforms like Amazon but also social media like Facebook, can provide invaluable information, as long as you understand how to look at the data. On a surface level, ratings are a good indicator of whether or not people like a certain product or service, and potentially what could be done to improve it. But look further and you will also get access to a wealth of data including why customers prefer one product over the other, what they think about its price points, and what your own business could do to entice them over the competition.<

Build your products and get leads
While you should not just copy whatever your competitors are doing, having a good grasp of the market and what makes other people in your industry successful is always a good idea. By scraping data, you can better build your own product lists and get some seriously impressive leads for your e-commerce business. Anything from product descriptions to imagery should be carefully analysed and compared to your own; you may be surprised by what’s lacking and what’s great.

In the digital age, you can’t do without data scraping
An e-commerce business that doesn’t take advantage of the tools available to it in order to stay ahead of the competition will quickly find that the digital age is unforgiving and that building customer loyalty and retention is much harder than it once was. Gathering, analysing, and acting on e-commerce data you can find on websites like Amazon will give you a distinct advantage and a steady ground to walk on, allowing you to grow your business on the most valuable commodity of all: information.