What Is E-commerce Price Scraping and How Does It Work?
Online stores regularly update information about products and prices. To analyze the competitive landscape and adjust your pricing strategies, you need to track this data. Doing this manually is as challenging as trying to assemble a puzzle from hundreds of thousands of pieces when the picture keeps changing. You’ll spend a lot of time without achieving even part of the expected outcome. To scrape prices in e-commerce, there are reliable automated scraper solutions. In this article, we explain how price scraping works and why you should use price scraping tools to boost your online sales strategy.
To understand what price scraping is in simple terms, imagine you are tracking information about your competitors’ prices. You have a list of online stores and the products you’re interested in, and several times a day, you manually monitor this data and update it in Excel spreadsheets. Pricing scraping in e-commerce automates and organizes this process.
A scraper extracts data that is publicly available on websites (price, product availability, promotions, discounts, bonuses, and any other relevant information) and transforms it into a convenient format for analysis.
So, for example, with Pricer24 price scraping software, you can regularly and effortlessly collect up-to-date information about the competitive environment to track market dynamics and adjust your pricing strategies.
Price scraping has numerous advantages, but let’s highlight the main ones:
Rapid data updates (up to several times a day), which is crucial for the dynamic e-commerce landscape.
You can set specific data collection parameters for a price scraper so it extracts only the information you need.
Collected data can be extracted, organized, and structured in a user-friendly format. You can also export data in Excel format or receive data via an API.
There are no limits on the volume of data collected (price scraping results can include billions of records, making this tool suitable for both small businesses and top global retailers).
Price scraping can be performed on specific competitors’ websites, within certain categories, or across all online stores, marketplaces, startups, and price comparison websites. You set the parameters and begin the analysis, and the program consistently performs its task according to the schedule, 24/7, without breaks.
Why Do You Need Price Scraping?
In a nutshell, in order to develop effective pricing strategies, it is necessary to regularly monitor competitors’ prices and timely monitor your own prices.
According to Insider Research, e-commerce giant Amazon changes product prices up to 2.5 million times a day, constantly tracking prices on other platforms and lowering prices on its own website when necessary. This is how the company implements its main competitive advantage: guaranteeing customers that when they visit Amazon, they will find the lowest prices. The results of using this strategy didn’t take long to show: Amazon’s annual revenue increased by about 9.4% from the previous year to hit $513.983 billion in 2022.
Moreover, pricing scraping allows for in-depth market research to:
See at what price direct competitors are selling products
Discover promotions offered by other companies in your niche
Identify who has set the lowest price
Check if fair competition rules are being followed or if any market players are violating MSRP or MAP
This information makes it possible to analyze rivals’ pricing and marketing tactics and how they affect the sales of your business.
Use cases for pricing scraping:
1. Competitive analysis. Gathering current information about products, prices, and promotions to track changes and refine tactical moves. The scraper acts as a kind of intelligent agent that always possesses the most up-to-date information on who is selling what product at what price.
2. Marketing activities. Information obtained through pricing scraping highlights potentially successful advertising campaigns that can outperform a competitor’s promotions and attract part of a competitor’s audience.
3. Content enhancement. Assessing the completeness of product listings; the accuracy of product descriptions, photos, videos, and the number of customer reviews.
4. Analysis of market trends and growth points. In addition to prices, the parser can collect various types of information including the status of products on competitors’ digital shelves: in stock, out of stock, not found. With the help of assortment analysis, category managers of online stores can detect new products on the market and monitor the dynamics of product availability on digital shelves.
Challenges of E-commerce Price Scraping
We’ve already covered what price scraping is. In theory, it sounds simple, but in practice, pricing scraping can present challenges:
Risk of blocking. Top e-commerce players can identify and block the IP address from which data is collected.
Scalability. It requires substantial computational power to scan prices several times a day for 50,000 SKUs across hundreds of different websites, such as to handle requests from online electronics shops with thousands of products and their variations.
Product price variations. When a single product has many variations (dozens of colors, sizes, and other characteristics), the pricing scraping process becomes complex.
Quality and timeliness of data. To track competitors’ pricing strategies and adapt your own, it’s crucial to receive real-time, up-to-date information. If a Sony PlayStation 5 on eBay costs $500 in the morning and drops to $450 after lunch, you need a solution to monitor such changes.
You can develop a price scraper on your own. But doing so is resource-intensive, expensive, and economically inefficient. Alternatively, you can use a pre-packaged solution that will scrape prices according to parameters you specify, daily or even multiple times a day. This is cost-effective for making pricing decisions and incredibly time-saving for gathering essential information. Pricer24 is a SaaS price analysis platform that includes a price scraping tool that will benefit every e-commerce company.
How to Use Pricer24 for Price Scraping
Pricer24 will navigate hundreds of websites and scrape prices and any other information you’re interested in from their pages in just minutes.
Here’s how its works:
You provide a list of sites and categories to monitor.
The system mimics the behavior of a regular user who wants to find and buy products in order to bypass any security systems installed in online stores.
The system collects and organizes the specific types of data you’ve requested.
Collected data is displayed in your Pricer24 account in the form of reports.
Price data is updated up to seven times a day. When you access reports, you’ll see the most up-to-date information, and you can track price changes over a specific period.
Pricer24 is more than just a data scraper. It’s a service with additional analysis features. You can use additional tools for price analysis, such as MSRP/MAP monitoring, comparative analysis of competitor promotions, or dynamic pricing for quickly and automatically updating prices in your online store to align with your competitors’ prices. In other words, with Pricer24, you get much more than just pricing scraping. It’s an all-in-one product analytics service to boost sales and increase profit.
Advantages of Pricer24 for Price Scraping:
Pricer24 is a comprehensive solution that addresses all tasks related to analysis of competitors’ price positioning and pricing strategies, digital shelf analysis, and deep market analysis to make informed decisions.
Data is exported in different formats (Excel, CSV, PNG, or PDF) for convenient information exchange.
Convenient report formats and data visualization ensure you never again get lost in the numbers.
You can configure custom dashboards and display all important information specific to your needs on one screen.
You can integrate via APIs with other systems and services you are already using in your work.
Pricer24 operates stably and reliably thanks to the Pricer24 tech team. Most importantly, it’s ready to go. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and Pricer24 can be deployed in companies of any size.
Pricing scraping is an essential tool for companies operating in highly competitive markets with a large number of SKUs. With automated solutions for scraping prices, you can gain valuable insights into the competitive landscape, optimize pricing strategies, identify market trends and changes, and make informed decisions on how to maximize sales in the current market situation. The Pricer24 price scraping and analytics tool significantly simplifies this process, allowing companies to focus on analyzing obtained data and swiftly responding to market changes.
Request a demo to see how Pricer24 can meet your needs
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