Nowadays, data extraction methods are in high demand, especially for market surveys that disseminate information and ideas from data scraping to many in today’s ever-changing business world.
After all, if you look at the market today, one of the business’s crucial components is information. Collecting enough data is the key to more information, but the process can be time-consuming. That’s why using web scraping is vital because it frees up businesses to do other essential tasks.
Furthermore, competitive businesses that wish to be proficient in the market can rely on the wonders of the pricing information. Through pricing information, companies can form better strategies and control prices in opposition to their various competitors.
Understanding Data Scraping and Price Scraping
• Data Scraping
Data scraping is also known as web scraping. This is the process of utilizing bots for the extraction of data content from a website. Simply put, it draws from HTML code, and it will store the collected data in a database.
As a result, the scraper can duplicate the entire website content. In today’s business world, data scraping has become an effective tool for business growth.
• Price Scraping
This is the process where price data is extracted with the use of a bot or web crawler. Its entire workflow comprises duplicating and searching data from websites to check on business competitors’ databases to be later analyzed.
It’s simple enough that anyone can understand and do its process. Moreover, its tools can save more time, especially if you must pull out data from different websites. In addition, price scraping aims to help access pricing details, strategies and boost sales regarding discounts, special offers, and promos.
Furthermore, price scraping is widespread in digital businesses. Its use case includes price comparison websites that install bots to auto-generate prices and descriptions of allied vendor databases.
However, price scraping can also be used for unlawful purposes like undermining prices and stealing copyrighted content.
In fact, most price scraping attacks occur commonly in companies where they can compare the products quickly and where price plays a significant role in buying decisions. Usually, the victims include ticket sellers, online vendors, and travel agencies.
To stay competitive, their strategy is to offer the most affordable prices possible as consumers will usually decide on the lowest price offering. For this, a vendor uses a bot to consistently scrape the competitors’ database and get an instant update of prices to gain an advantage.
Meanwhile, a targeted scrapped website often experiences severe revenue and customer losses, mainly if the business is firmly depending on pricing models or trades in distribution.
Price Scraping Prevention
Price scraping can be a threat to digital business websites since their strategies in pricing are uncovered to competitors searching to undermine their pricing and process in marketing.
However, technologies like WAFs are not well equipped to identify the latest generations of advanced scraper bots. Furthermore, businesses commonly targeted choose to appoint a reliable bot solution to stop bots that conduct scraping.
User-Agents for Price Scraping
As mentioned, price scraping can be crucial for every business. After all, it allows e-commerce businesses to observe the actual time of selling products on competitors’ websites. However, some sites block any type of scraping as they don’t like offering unlimited data access.
Of course, there are many ways to block data scraping, but a common one is to stop requests from most common user agents that don’t come from main browsers. This serves as a first warning sign to identify doubtful requests.
When data scraping is ongoing, the website will receive multiple requests. So, for instance, if a user agent is similar, the site marks these requests as suspicious. However, user agents need to be updated since every web browser updates its user agents.
Furthermore, using special user agents is not possible for price scraping. This is because doing so is a sure way to get blocked by a web server.
Using uncommon user agents will increase the likelihood of the server considering your data scraping process as suspicious activity and preventing you from accessing the website further.
Overall, price scraping is an essential part of web scraping. It can benefit e-commerce businesses when acquiring more profound insights into your competitors’ marketing strategies and why they’re offering the best prices.
In addition, it also helps collect valuable data about your competitors. This will allow you to come up with better decisions for your business’s development. However, illegal price scraping can be detrimental to your competitors’ business as they can suffer severe revenue losses.
So, make sure you’re engaging in proper price scraping practices, such as using the most common user agents when doing so. Not only will these help you acquire the information you need, but they can also prevent you from being blocked by website servers.