Web scraping has been around since the birth of the internet, but not many people are aware of this fact. Ironically, the success of web scraping tools in business models contributed to its under-the-radar-status. Companies that relied on web scraper development to meet their data needs did not want competitors gaining access to their secret weapon.
With increased awareness among business owners and a widespread use of web scraper apps, it has now become an indispensable business tool that has helped many business owners and entrepreneurs get their bearings right.
Web scraping tools have greatly contributed to the success of innumerable businesses from a wide range of industries. Put simply, web scraping is the process of extracting information from the world’s largest database: the World Wide Web. Data gathering projects that would otherwise require hundreds of work hours can be easily and quickly done using a web scraper app.
As Big Data and Data Science become increasingly important, more organizations are realizing the potential of web scraping as vital to data-driven decision making. Common web scraping use cases include:
- Location data
- Product listing
- Price monitoring and comparison
- Competitor research
- Market research
- Reviews and rating
- Social media
A good web scraping tool can collect almost any data point on the internet, so potential use cases are almost endless — irrespective of the industry that the business or organization belongs to. With over 2 billion websites and more being added daily, there is a data set for everyone. Some of the businesses that have benefitted immensely from the adoption of web scraping tools include:
For retail stores, the competition is limited since it includes stores that are close to their space. But online stores have pretty much very similar online stores in the world as their competition. Web scrapers supply data-based insights in the form of latest relevant information, news, and updates related to consumer preferences. This in turn helps e-commerce business owners make informed decisions with their marketing and sales efforts and strike gold.
2. News Reporting Websites
The events in the world are reported every second, and for any news reporting website or blog to be successful, it must provide the most current information. Web scrapers make this task possible by scourging the web for news updates from around the world.
The main advantage of scraping news websites and overall data is that it can be done with virtually any website — as long as the content is online. From weather forecasts to government spending, any kind of news can be scraped even if the particular site does not have an API for raw data access.
3. Websites Providing Product Comparison Information
People refer to the internet when they want to compare two or more products and decide which one to buy. Websites that provide price and features comparison of products can simply take information off the internet and cater to the demand for knowledge about a large number of products.
4. Websites Providing Reviews about Products or Services
It is a common practice to read the reviews about a product or service on the internet before opting for it. A number of websites provide useful information about how a product or service was perceived by a large section of people, finally giving a rating to the said product or service. In order to give a fair picture, these websites collate data from a series of places where users have left reviews – it could be social media, popular blogs, or company websites. Web scrapers help access and collect this information from various sources in an easy manner.
5. Market Research
Before creating a new product or starting a service-based business, entrepreneurs usually carry out market research to assess the demand for it. Various websites help in this step by providing accurate data that has been collected from a large number of trusted sources. Web scrapers have a huge role to play in the success of businesses that study the market to make vital decisions before starting a new venture.
With the reliance of businesses (whether physical or digital) on the data obtained from the internet increasing by the hour, web scrapers are becoming even more popular.
Some of the best web scraping tools are:
Mozenda allows users to extract almost any publicly accessible data point on the internet, from product and location data to image and file downloads. It helps organize and prepare data files for publishing and its ability to scale makes it useful in a lot of different scenarios.
Scraping-Bot is an efficient tool to scrape data from a URL. It provides APIs adapted to all scraping needs: a generic API to retrieve the Raw HTML of a page, an API specialized in retail websites scraping, and an API to scrape property listings from real estate websites.
X-tract.io is a data extraction platform that can be customized to scrape and structure web data, social media posts, PDFs, text documents, historical data, and emails into a consumable, business-ready format.
Scrapinghub is a hassle-free cloud-based data extraction tool, which helps companies fetch valuable data and store it in a robust database.
Import.io is a SaaS web data platform. It provides a web scraping solution that allows users to scrape data from websites and organize them into data sets. They can integrate the web data into analytic tools for sales and easy interaction with webforms/logins.
Being able to prepare a business for making data-backed decisions through tools for web extraction is sure to play a prominent role in its long-term success. A number of web scraping tools are available today and they work like a miracle for businesses by helping them save time, effort, and money on obtaining clean and rich data to improve their product or service. As more advanced web scraping tools enter the market, this is a good time to invest in effective web scrapers for your business.
Summary: Web scraping apps are becoming increasingly popular among seasoned business owners as well as young entrepreneurs as they provide sufficient data to help make important business decisions. A variety of businesses are relying on these tools for improved operations and better use of funds.