What is price scraping?
Price scraping consists in collecting data on products sold on a competitor’s website. It is thus possible to recover, for each product, information such as
- The price at the bottom of the shelf/promotion
- The wording
- The brand name
- The identification codes used (e.g. EAN)
- One or more images
- A description
A price scraping software behaves as a normal user would. It scans the site page by page, identifies the data concerned by the collection and proceeds to their extraction.
This data is obviously not chosen and collected at random. By resorting to price scraping, a brand seeks to obtain keys to analyze the competition, its prices and, by extension, its pricing strategy.
In doing so, it acquires a strategic knowledge of its competitive perimeter, which is the fundamental basis for its future pricing strategies.
Organize the monitoring of the competition
Price scraping is therefore by nature a formidable competitive intelligence tool.
To take advantage of it, brands rely on matching products from their catalogs with those from competing catalogs. The links created contribute directly to analyze the brand’s positioning, its price index and the development of its product catalog.
To optimize the process, the retailer must use the most relevant, complete and recent data possible.
Recurrence of collections
The emergence of pure players has had a profound impact on the frequency of price adjustments in retail. Unlike traditional retailers, e-tailers and marketplaces have few constraints and costs related to price updates. They therefore adjust their prices easily, quickly and regularly.
To keep up with these changes, it is therefore necessary to adapt the frequency of collections according to the characteristics of the sector and the aggressiveness of competitors: once a day, several times a week, three times a year, etc. Overall, the maturity or consolidation of many markets is accelerating the required frequency of collection.
Therefore, while surveys must be recurrent to guarantee the reliability of the data used in pricing strategies, they must also be reliable.
Price scraping software is expected to collect all the required data without error. Whether a catalog contains a few thousand items or several hundred thousand, the reliability of the collection depends on two factors:
- All information relevant to pricing has been captured
- All the information collected is accurate
Technically, the ability of the software used to manage large volumes of data and to integrate them into a database compatible with the brand’s pricing tool is therefore essential. The software must also be sufficiently powerful not to alter the availability of the targeted site to the detriment of its customers during collection.
An exhaustive collection contributes directly to the performance of the pricing strategy by analyzing the collected data and matching products.
Choosing a price scraping software
There is a wide variety of price scraping tools, from free web extensions to paid software. Not all of them contribute to pricing with the same efficiency.
In the choice of the sign, three parameters are crucial:
- The updating of the information (speed and fluidity of the processes);
- The completeness of the recovered data (integration of millions of data in a readable database);
- The value of the data collected through its analysis in product matching and pricing.
As with matching, price scraping can be automated. This allows teams to focus their efforts and resources on analyzing the competitive perimeter and building competitive pricing strategies.
A software integrated to the pricing tool increases the reactivity of the company to its market, facilitating the update of data and limiting the risks of errors. The quality and reliability of the information collected directly conditions the relevance and results of the brand’s pricing. A tool designed with this in mind seems to be the right choice.