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Web-scraping use-scenario: How to scrape the marketplace to extract maximum juice

  • 17/07/2017

With the online marketplace theme really picking up and aggregators like Amazon & Flipkart fighting tooth & nail for the largest market share, quite often, the sellers are lost in the chaos. With more sellers getting on-board as e-tailers with online marketplaces like amazon, selling online has become all the more competitive & challenging. Gone are the days of caveat-emptor where the buyer had to be aware, it is now caveat-venditor where seller-beware is the new mantra.

While the market for consumer goods is largely homogenous with sellers having no option but to fight the price & positioning war, many are not able to pull it off well enough. Why you ask? Simple, they are complete strangers to data and competitive intelligence. This post will continue to highlight and guide through the significance of data intelligence in turning your flat-line retail business into a booming opportunity.

Learning from experience, we have realized that price is not an absolute term, but more of a relative parameter. To place things into perspective, a person may be willing to shell out over $ 15 for an original hard-back book, but would feel that the price is too steep at a $5 price point for an abridged version. It is not just about the price, but much more about the demand for it and its positioning in the marketplace.

Following are a few steps that will help you stay ahead of the curve in the e-tail space.

Understanding peer pricing

It always helps to know what price are your peers willing to sell at. This allows you to gain an insight into their unit-economics and develop well-informed strategies for your own venture. A continuous surveillance of peer pricing ensures that you are not positioned as an outlier in the marketplace. It is always good to hang around the category average when the products are homogenous.

The best way to go about with this surveillance is through web scraping marketplaces like Amazon & Flipkart. A web scraping and data extraction exercise will fetch all relevant pricing data in a ready-to-consume format and will help you understand how well your product is positioned in terms of pricing.

Better product positioning

Quite often an e-tailer may gain a lot of traction and revenue, but the momentum does not trickle down to the bottom-line. Of what use are sales without profits. One needs to understand the demand for a particular product to extract maximum selling value out of it. If a product has a really high demand and a relatively diminished supply, that’s exactly the sweet spot where you, as a seller, can extract a premium for the product. Now, this is only possible if you know what’s the kind of demand and what’s the supply response to it.

Web scraping services come to your rescue at this very juncture. In an otherwise chaotic world where it is difficult to make sense to the demand or supply, data is the only truth you can turn to. Web scraping  offerst an insight into how many people are looking for the product and where does the gap lie.

Opportunistic placement

With efficient web scraping and data extraction, you get to know not only what works for your peers, but also what doesn’t. An insight into your peers’ drawbacks and product shortfalls opens up an opportunity for you to place and position your product as a superior and cost-effective one. For example, if your leading competitor’s amazon review ratings have gone down to 3.5 stars while you are at 4, it makes all sense to start promoting your product as assured by the highest-rated seller. That’s definitely going to catch a lot of buyer attention

If used well, web-scraping and data extraction techniques are really effective in pushing online sellers closer to the growth curve.


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