September 27, 2017
As every business owner knows, conversions are the foundation on which a business lives and dies.
Unfortunately for most brands, only around 22 percent are satisfied with their conversion rates, according to Econsultancy’s 2016 Conversion Rate Optimization Report.
Considering all that goes into improving conversions rates, it is certainly an uphill battle. Everything from SEO to the checkout process must be considered and optimized; this can be a long and challenging process.
One of the greatest hurdles, however, comes down to the very items that a store carries. What is sold? For how much? Is there buzz around these products? How many others carry the same merchandise and how much are they selling for?
To understand how to gain a leg up over your rivals, you need to understand what the competition is doing; this is how you will make appropriate decisions for your business.
The reality is, your brand likely has thousands of competitors all over the Web. This equates to potentially millions of products, hundreds of thousands of customer purchases, and an equal amount of reviews that your business needs to be aware of, account for, and analyze.
Fortunately, the digital age always has a solution up its sleeve. In this instance, its Web scraping.
Web scraping is a data collection process used for Web indexing, data mining, harvesting real estate listings, monitoring changes to websites, and surfacing contact information. There are, however, many other ways to use Web scraping tools.
An example of a popular Web scraper that many are familiar with is Norbert. This tool uses an individual’s name and website domain to scrape the Internet to find their corporate e-mail address.
Here are a few uber potent ways for eCommerce owners to leverage Web scraping technology that can boost conversions and potentially save your online store from shutting its digital doors for good.
Prices matter to consumers; if they can save a buck or two, most will jump through hoops to do so. In today’s connected economy, 80 percent of consumers visit various online destinations to compare prices before making their ultimate decision.
This phenomenon has become so widespread and prevalent that comparison shopping engines have come on the scene; their sole purpose is to gather product information such as prices and descriptions so that consumers can get the best deal possible.
These engines can sometimes operate by allowing retailers to submit their product info. Most often, however, they are powered by Web scraping technologies.
Of course, there is nothing stopping retailers from creating their own comparison services, but that information is more valuable when used to create a more competitive pricing strategy.
By continually monitoring and tracking the prices that competitors have listed on their sites with Web scrapers, brands are able to supply their customers with the best offers available.
This technology can also be used to confirm shipping strategies, product availability, and other meaningful areas for consumers, but there is one field where Web scraping is a total game-changer.
Reviews are another massive factor in the retail industry on both the merchant and consumer ends of the spectrum.
Reviews help to dictate pricing strategies, “availability,” and consumer confidence.
While anyone can hop on Yelp and check out how people are talking about a specific brand, this site doesn’t paint a complete picture.
In today’s world, social media reviews are becoming an increasingly important factor for online businesses. This has been clearly illustrated by the fact that Facebook influenced 52 percent of consumer’s online and offline purchases in 2015; and it’s not like Facebook is losing its influencing power.
Reviews don’t just impact consumer ad merchant decisions; it also has some level of control in SEO as well.
Tracking down all the various reviews and mentions floating around on the Web, however, is pretty much an impossible task to conduct manually.
This is where using Web scraping technology not only becomes convenient, but necessary. With this type of tool, a brand can scrape reviews from thousands of websites simultaneously.
This is the type of edge many small businesses need when competing with ecommerce monoliths such as Amazon.
When brands have real-time information about their store’s effectiveness, they are empowered to create an atmosphere that buyers love. Since the eCommerce world is so bloody dynamic, this type of data is invaluable.
Information like this can help brands see where high-traffic areas are still garnering low conversions, which is likely indicative of a CTA-related issue. The data can also point to how various internal and external links are performing, and which may need to be fixed for maximum results.
Having access to all this information is the key to making wise and informed business decisions that will have prosperous results.
But harvesting this data on the fly is not going to cut it, unless you have a small army at the ready.
Web scrapers can get you this type of intelligence in real-time so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly. This allows you to spend the bulk of your time making improvements, rather than gathering data.
By leveraging Web scraping technology, your brand stands to gain the type of data it needs to make more informed marketing and sales decisions. This can help to increase traffic and sales, manifest ideal conversation rates, and ultimately, save your business.
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.