Since most retail activities now take place online, buying e-commerce data or scraping it has become a massive trend. What collecting data in either of the two fashions can offer is direct and definite growth. It’s our goal to find out which is better – buying or scraping data?
Scraping or buying e-commerce data enables retailers to enrich their product listings, optimize their most successful strategies, and understand the needs of their frequent and new customers. With the aid of collected data, retailers can stay in the game and better their position on the market.
Let’s face it; if you want to be ahead of the game in the competitive e-commerce market and its landscape, you have to track your competitors and understand what you lack.
In this article, we will primarily focus on the benefits you can get when you scrape e-commerce data, as well as potential downsides.
As we’ve already mentioned, you can also buy e-commerce data instead of scraping it, which is a field we’ll also tackle in this text.
You’ll see all the pros and cons of buying such data so that you can get a clear comparison between buying and scraping to decide on the best possible option for your business.
Why is e-commerce data so important?
As mentioned in the introduction, having access to the appropriate e-commerce data is essential to making your mark among numerous competitors.
If you consider counting online retailers, you’ll count around 7.9 million of them, 2.1 million of which are based in the USA.
These numbers should serve well enough to tell you that the competition is fierce and that if you want to beat that competition, you have to make a data-driven strategy. For you, the crucial data is information about your customers and competitors.
Two options for acquiring e-commerce data
There are two primary ways for getting your hands on e-commerce data that are vital for the growth of your business.
The first one is web scraping, while the second one is buying that data. What is the main difference between these two options for acquiring e-commerce data?
The primary tool that can enable collecting such data is a web scraping tool. In a nutshell, web scraping is a process that can automatically collect useful data from numerous designated web pages with the aid of web scraping software.
If you’re wondering what the best e-commerce sources to scrape are, click here to read the entire article.
The collected data is transformed into well-structured formats so that you can import them into spreadsheets and databases for machine or human use. This technique is not only useful for e-commerce. Web scraping is used in numerous other industries as well.
The other option is to buy databases from third-party websites. However, the data you buy can sometimes go out of date quickly and sometimes be completely inaccurate. This downside can directly turn off your prospects.
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of scraping and the pros and cons of buying e-commerce data to determine which one is a better option.
Pros/cons of buying data
When you opt for buying e-commerce data, the key is not to get fooled into buying cheap databases compiled from multiple sources.
Yes, the primary benefit of buying data is that it’s cheap, but cheap data will usually result in poor delivery rates and a decaying onset of around 2-4% each month.
We can therefore conclude that buying cheap data is actually a downside. However, if you use a highly reputable company to purchase data in external databases, you can increase your market in terms of geography and size – so that’s a pro.
Good data purchases require a lot of decision-making so that you can expect prospects through targeted sales. After all, your goal is always to have an interest in your services and products.
Pros/cons of scraping data
When you decide to scrape e-commerce data for prospering, the first advantage is speed. Web scraping tools enable automated data collection instead of the manual one, so you can rapidly scrape from numerous websites simultaneously – that’s a definite pro.
But web scraping comes with a learning curve, and choosing the right scraper is just like looking under the hood of your car. It looks complicated but impressive and works like a machine in the end. Therefore, you’ll need constant maintenance of this machine and ensure your web scraping software isn’t outdated.
Which one is better?
If you haven’t come to the answer yourself by now, we’ll lay it out for you. Scraping e-commerce data is faster and more accurate and thus a better solution.
Though investing in proper web scraping software can be costly, at least the data you get will be precise and not outdated.
We surely hope that our in-depth guide on which option is better – data buying or data scraping for e-commerce, has helped.
We’ve concluded that scraping is more efficient and faster, and all you have to do is update your software regularly. That’s not such a difficult task. Good luck!
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