In this day and age, data collection for analyzing a company and its customers has become an important part of running an e-commerce business. Some of the top retail companies worldwide have made heavy investments in data collection, storage, and analysis to improve their business operations. A recent survey by McKinsey Global Institute shows that data-driven companies are 23 times more likely to get customers than the ones still using traditional methods.
Data can truly help companies gain a competitive advantage over their competitors in terms of operations, performance, customers, and decision-making. This post will shed light on the importance of data in the E-Commerce industry, its use cases, and how data can be collected for making well-informed decisions:
Importance of Data in E-Commerce
Data equals knowledge. The more data an E-Commerce business has at its disposal, the better position it will be in to make good decisions and benefit from new opportunities. Businesses with an online retail presence can leverage the data to gain insights into customer behavior and provide a better user experience.
Essentially, data helps E-Commerce businesses and retailers understand how they are performing, carry out competitor analysis, and boost online sales. Different kinds of data are collected to perform major business operations, such as pricing, inventory, competitors’ data, deals, customer preferences, shopping behaviors, reviews, and so on.
Use Cases of Data in E-Commerce
Data is a vital part of every business that wants to go further in the industry. It helps its users make more informed and accurate decisions. Here are some important data use cases that usually require most of our focus:
Timely and accurate data obtained from different sources is important for successful price monitoring. Price intelligence or monitoring involves tracking the prices of services/products in a specific industry.
It helps businesses stay updated with their competitors’ pricing tactics and make informed pricing decisions. Furthermore, businesses, with the collected data, identify market trends and opportunities in the industry, like changes in demand or the latest product releases.
Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) is an already-decided minimum price for certain products that the authorized retailers agree not to advertise or sell below. MAP monitoring is a general practice that ensures the brand’s online prices align with its pricing policy.
Data collected from various sources help companies keep an eye on their products’ prices and ensure the competitiveness of their brand. They can track their products’ selling prices all over the online stores and set the price accordingly.
Dynamic pricing is a pricing technique used to sell the same service/product to different people at different rates at different times of the day. Collected data help companies with dynamic pricing and to observe consumer behavior, track and analyze competitors’ prices, adjust their own prices accordingly, and boost revenue.
Real-time Product Monitoring
At times, it becomes hard to find out market prices at which certain products should be sold. Businesses can rely on data about their own and competitor products, match them, and acquire useful insights. Data, in the form of trends or notifications about price changes, help companies decide the best price for their products.
Businesses can monitor their brand or competitors and use sentiment analysis to find out what they say about you or them. Data collected from various sources and channels like social media platforms help these businesses detect any problem in a competitor’s service/product, learn about customer complaints, and find out the progress of their service/product in the market.
How to Collect E-Commerce Data
A number of direct and indirect ways are used to gather E-Commerce data from the web. Direct methods involve customer sign-up forms, online reviews, surveys, and questionnaires. Many companies also track real-time customer behavior, such as user time on a website, the URLs explored, and the content shared.
When it comes to the indirect approach, cookie tracking and social media analytics are also used. Web scraping is another common method that helps collect E-commerce data with the help of a self-made scraping bot or commercial scraper like a scraper API.
One good example is Amazon scraper API from Oxylabs, a pre-made commercial scraping solution that collects product data from Amazon with its category links. Amazon scraper API helps obtain prices, shipping charges, and detailed information for a range of items regularly.
Data is the foundation of every E-Commerce business operation. With valuable data, businesses are getting a better picture of who their customers are and what they need. Data is the actual voice of the customers, and it is important that businesses listen to that voice.
Of all the available methods to collect E-Commerce data, web scraping is the most reliable approach. Today, more and more businesses realize the potential of web scraping to retrieve valuable data and get help with making informed business decisions.