Businesses need information about environmental factors affecting their operations, like their consumers, suppliers, and competitors. Part of the business strategy is to monitor these elements to maintain a competitive advantage.
However, gathering information can be an exhaustive, costly, and time-consuming process. Businesses need tools to assist them in accomplishing this activity in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Web scraping provides a solution to the issues related to data extraction. This data-mining method is an effective tool to gather information from the web.
More importantly, web scraping can benefit your business in product pricing, marketing, sales generation, and strategy formulation.
This article discusses what web scraping is and how this tool contributes to price intelligence and competitor monitoring.
What Is Price Intelligence?
One strategy to use in your business to maintain competitive pricing is price intelligence or competitive price monitoring.
Being aware of market-level pricing intricacies and their impact on business can help you assess market prices and determine your products’ competitiveness.
Price intelligence helps your business determine an optimal price for your products and services. Implementing this strategy can increase profitability and market share.
What Web Scraping Contributes to Price Intelligence
Web scraping is an information-gathering method that automatically scans and extracts information from the internet.
Businesses use this tool to gather data from websites like product pricing and competitors’ products and services.
Web scraping may prove to be helpful to your business by creating an opportunity to be more competitive.
While performing web scraping activities, you should ensure that your business’ network is protected from potential cyberattacks.
One effective way to keep your network secure is to use a comprehensive suite of network services, eliminating the need for multiple appliances.
The following web scraping features benefit your business in terms of price intelligence.
In most cases, prices change due to supply and demand. When demand exceeds supply, prices are likely to rise.
A price increase almost always results in an increase in the supply of goods or services. A price reduction will decrease supply.
Through web scraping, you become more responsive to changes in demand and market trends. This strategy allows you to change the prices of your products and services when the situation calls for it.
You may even use dynamic pricing to create demand rather than just responding to trend movements. In other words, you can create your trend.
Some industries that use dynamic pricing include aviation, hospitality, tourism, rideshare, and utilities like water and electricity.
Analyzing your competitor involves finding out its strengths and weaknesses and scanning its environment for opportunities and threats.
Your goal in monitoring these elements is to know what your rivals are doing so you can make adjustments to your business strategy. For example, your competitor’s acquisition of a new factory may lead to them offering products at a lower price.
Web scraping can also provide opportunities to optimize your revenue.
You can increase and improve your revenue stream by expanding your business through diversification or acquisitions.
You can also optimize revenue by tapping your customers and building long-term relationships with them.
Web scraping can help you analyze market trends and customer demand. Data like reviews, frequently bought products, and changing customer tastes are helpful information you can use to craft a pricing strategy.
For example, you can offer loyalty programs or discounts to entice your customers to buy more of your products.
Product Trend Monitoring
Trend analysis involves reviewing past product data and making predictions on the product’s future movements. Web scraping can analyze product trends by scouring the web for historical product prices and events that affected those prices.
Product trend monitoring allows you to prepare price changes or product offers so you can optimize your revenue.
For example, seasonal products may be cheaper in specific months based on historical data. You can then make adjustments in advance, like offering discounts, increasing production, or introducing a new product.
Minimum Advertised Price Compliance
A minimum advertised price or MAP is the lowest price at which you can promote a product.
MAP does not necessarily mean the lowest price at that you can sell your product. Instead, MAP determines the minimum price that you can show in advertisements.
MAP is limited to the advertised price. The policy is legal under U.S. antitrust laws since MAP does not affect the final sales price.
Web scraping allows you to comply with the MAP policy by providing a list of rival products and their advertised prices.
You can advertise your products without posting prices that may be lower than what MAP allows. This strategy also ensures that your products are priced competitively.
Web scraping is a data-mining solution that can help you make informed business decisions regarding price intelligence and other business strategies.
However, the data gathered by this tool still needs to be analyzed and interpreted correctly to be helpful in decision-making. Wrong analyses can lead to losses.
Still, web scraping provides you with information that you otherwise may have difficulty collecting. That advantage may place you ahead of your competition.
Ask an IT expert or data-mining specialist to find out what web scraping tool or data-mining solution is a good fit for your business.