Web scraping is a powerful tool you can use in various industries, including e-commerce, real estate, and media. You can collect information on competitors, such as pricing, product offerings, listings, and more data. Think of all the things you can do with that kind of data!
You can use it to make informed business decisions, such as pricing products competitively, finding the right deals, and keeping ahead of the competition.
Web scraping is legal as long as you do it ethically. It means you should not scrape data that is not publicly available and you should not overload websites with requests.
We will dig into the many facets of web scraping like, what it is, how to do it, and why.
In this article:
- What is Web Scraping?
- 3 Example Industries Where Scraped Data Makes All the Difference
- Web Scraping is Here to Stay
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What is Web Scraping, and Why Should You Do It?
Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites automatically, and more and more companies are realizing that they need to use web scraping if they want to keep up with their competitors.
Read on to learn how web scraping is all about getting the correct data to make the right business decisions - no matter your business.
The internet is a vast resource for data, but it was designed to be used by humans, not machines, so it can be challenging to get that data at scale and use it in databases, data vaults, spreadsheets, or applications.
Web scraping changes all that by using bots - small snippets of computer code - to rapidly visit web pages or whole websites and collect specific information.
That data is then packaged in a structured format that is perfect for use in other purposes.
When you do web scraping ethically, the target website can even be unaware that any data was scraped.
The data is public, and from the website's point of view, it's the same as if many regular visitors had been reading those pages.
But you ultimately get data in a format usable by computers. Data is essential for any business that wants to succeed in an increasingly data-driven world.
“Data is the new oil.” – Clive Humby
3 Example Industries Where Scraped Data Makes All the Difference
eCommerce - Gaining a Competitive Edge
Oberlo predicts that global e-commerce growth will rebound to 10.4% in 2023 following the market downturn caused by the pandemic.
Looking ahead to 2026, retail e-commerce sales are expected to hit 8.1 trillion dollars, presenting substantial opportunities for businesses looking to expand.
Online shopping is becoming one of the most popular online activities if it isn’t already the most popular.
How is web scraping affecting e-commerce?
- E-commerce moves fast. Online businesses, Amazon sellers, and dropshippers all change prices continuously.
Trying to keep up with that manually will affect your revenue growth. Web scraping enables any seller to monitor their competitor's prices and products at scale.
That data can then be fed into the best SaaS tools to keep prices fresh and competitive dynamically.
- Performance tracking. Web scraping can also be used to track the performance of products over time, watch trends in reviews or comments, and evaluate shifts in listings and sales data.
The more data you have on the products you’re selling, the easier it will be to make the right business decisions.
- Don’t be left behind. Even if your current range of products is doing well, you need to get ahead and find out what will be popular in the future.
Market research can be carried out at scale with web scraping. Scrape reviews, likes, and comments on social media sites to understand what might be trending or find new niches that have yet to be identified.
Real Estate - Finding the Right Deals
Web scraping is revolutionizing the real estate industry.
Now, anyone can scrape real estate listing websites and other sites and use them to learn where the market is headed first and plan for future investment.
A real estate agent CRM system can enhance your ability to make informed decisions and stay ahead in the constantly evolving real estate market, utilizing the insights gathered through web scraping.
Modern property investors can no longer rely on faith that real estate prices will always go up.
They need to make the best decisions based on the correct data, including invoice scanning ai, to ensure they get their clients' returns. It's not about the current situation; it's about future trends.
Scraping big data enables those investors to gather real-time information on how the markets behave and combine it with updates on government planning, local shifts, and buyer sentiment.
The digitization of business is also transforming real estate marketing.
Web scraping can enable real estate businesses to create lists of potential buyers and sellers to automate lead generation and keep the property deals going throughout the year, even in tricky spells.
Media - Keeping Ahead of the Story
The media industry doesn't need new ways of gathering information. After all, they've been finding out facts and reporting them for a long time.
But web scraping makes it easier than ever to collect data at scale and lets media companies do more than ever.
The media industry survives on advertising. Knowing what display ads are doing well and what kinds of campaigns competitors are running could make a big difference to ad budget and revenue.
Web scraping lets media companies track advertising across websites, giving them more data than the official Google or Facebook tools and providing essential data for planning campaigns.
Publishing the right content is essential for news and magazine sites.
These sites will be able to track the performance of those articles on their sites, but web scraping can let you track how articles are shared, how viral they are, and what kinds of audiences are most attracted to which articles.
Conclusion: Web Scraping is Here to Stay
In the past, web scrapers were only available to large corporations that could afford to hire development teams to build and run them.
But that has changed with the rise of scraping platforms like Apify, which makes it possible for you to use ready-made web scraping tools.
Whatever industry you're in, the way you do business is changing.
The shift to digital is just the beginning, with the massive amount of data made available already generating millions of dollars for those who know how to collect it.
The future of business is appropriately using the correct data, with tools like web scrapers essential for extracting and organizing data at scale.