How to extract a price from a website?
Web scraping, web harvesting, or web data extraction is a relatively new method in gathering data online. The term refers to an automated process of accessing websites to download product data and price information. Web scraping allows the user to create large and customised data sets at a low cost. Consequently, it has become an essential tool for online retailers.
To scrape websites it is necessary to create a script that can access the host's site and extract the desired information. The script imitates a web user and navigates its way through a website extracting the requested information. For example a web scraper can be setup to target a website and scan a product page for product data such as product name, product prices, descriptions, discounts etc. Then produce a report of the scraped data for analysis later. Programmes such as Python offer pre-programmed libraries. However, it is always necessary to adapt the script to the targeted marketplace or website. It is also essential to have clearly defined requirements without which assessing the quality of the data will become problematic.
There are very few limits to gathering data online. It is possible to scrape Google shopping prices, and to scrape Amazon prices, or any other e commerce websites, if it is on the internet, the chances are you will be able to collect that price data in real time and be notified when it changes.
Ecommerce price scraping
For online retailer's gathering data on their competitor names, price and stock have become invaluable information in their pricing strategies. According to Deloitte data, Data-backed price management initiatives bring significant results in the short terms perspective: 2%-7% increase in business margins and a 200-350% average growth in ROI over 12 months
The quality of data is their main priority. The data contributes to critical strategic business decisions and therefore needs to be robust, timely and accurate. Even a small drop in the accuracy of the data can have drastic consequences for a business. Without continuous monitoring and adjustment, the accuracy of the scraper bots and the quality of the data will degrade over time. Therefore, it is necessary to allocate time to test and to remove existing, potential, and future defects within a script. Due to subtle changes in a website and online marketplaces, scrapes can also be prone to failure. Subsequently, it is necessary to include alerts and notifications for when such an event occurs.
The best way to scrape big and reliable data is through a professional services such as price scrapers and price scraping services. As discussed, mistakenly acting on inaccurate data can and will have severe consequences. However, when done correctly, the rewards will be far-reaching.