Many e-commerce companies, including price leaders like Walmart, scrape Amazon data regularly to stay competitive in the online retailer space. Even if you aren’t an Amazon seller, you can also benefit from learning how to use an Amazon data scraper.
- E-commerce businesses can derive valuable information from Amazon product listings of more than 1 million third-party sellers
- You get essential information, including the price, product description, reviews, and ranking
- The benefits of Amazon data scraping include competitor analysis, customer insights, and arbitrage
- Amazon data scrapers are widely available as ready-to-use tools, but you can also build your own
- The information you get from Amazon data scrapers is raw and must be analyzed to yield actionable insights
How Does an Amazon Data Scraper Benefit Your E-Commerce Business?
- You can do competitor analysis
- You can do arbitrage
- You get better customer insights
- You get access to customer data
- You get ongoing marketing data
- You can price competitively
Amazon currently has more than 6 million third-party sellers registered on the platform, of which about 1 million are active. But the main thing about this number isn’t the quantity but the competitiveness.
Amazon makes a point of encouraging sellers to stay competitive, so most people go to the platform first to check prices, and it works. Roughly 38% of consumers do their product research on Amazon, second only to general search engines.
Given all that, the benefits of using an Amazon data scraper for your e-commerce are in staying competitive. If you know the best ― not necessarily the lowest ― prices of the most in-demand products at any one time, you have a fair shot of getting a good slice of the consumer pie. Find more details on these benefits below.
You Can Do Competitor Analysis
In most cases, you want to scrape a competing Amazon seller’s price, sales rank, and product list. Scraping prices, reviews, and product details of Amazon sellers can help you create a pricing and marketing strategy to make your e-commerce store more attractive to buyers.
You Can Do Arbitrage
Since Amazon sellers tend to have the lowest prices, you can use the information you get to sell the products at a slightly higher price on other platforms and still stay competitive. For example, if you sell on an e-commerce platform, such as WPEngine, which has Instant Store Search, you can be the star of the show.
Arbitrage is a popular strategy with e-commerce stores, and Amazon data scrapers can provide valuable information about the lowest prices for the most popular products.
You Get Better Customer Insights
Customer reviews are always an excellent way to find out what your target audience wants and doesn’t want. You can do sentiment analysis to identify factors that lead consumers to buy. Your SEO improves dramatically when many people visit your site, thanks to well-written product descriptions and competitive pricing.
You Get Access to Customer Data
Reviews can indirectly improve sales, but access to customer data can help you reach out to individual customers directly. Focus on customers with the most reviews and ask them to review your items or inform them about a product you launched.
You can also use the data to understand how people shop on Amazon and perhaps lead you to offer attractive bundles of things they commonly buy together. Additionally, customer insights indicate products that like won’t sell, and you can use your resources on those that should sell.
You Get Ongoing Market Data
Most e-commerce sellers focus on market research when they first launch their store and pretty much neglect this critical task once the business is active. That’s a mistake, but one you can correct easily. Amazon data scraping can provide you with current market data to guide your business decisions, particularly when identifying trends and profitable niches.
You Can Price Competitively
Finally, Amazon price scraping can influence your pricing strategy and be the hero for your target audience. Once they know you’re reliable in offering the best prices for the products they want, they’ll likely buy from you all the time.
How To Use an Amazon Data Scraper
- Step 1: Open an account
- Step 2: Enter the URL and configure the tool
- Step 3: Download and view the data
Web scraping tools are available in abundance, and they apply different ways of getting information from the Amazon platform. You can even build your tool using Python 3 for price monitoring. But if you would much rather leave the coding to the coders, you can use a ready-made tool to get more information.
While tools may vary in scope and process, they typically provide basic information, such as product descriptions, prices, reviews, and rankings. The tool you finally settle on depends on your needs and capacity for coding.
Amazon data scrapers come in many options. The easiest choice is to use a tool that doesn’t require any coding. One example is ProWebScraper, which lets you specify what data you want to scrape. The following steps are typical for this type of data scraper.
Step 1: Open an Account
In most cases, you can create a free account to access a tool’s features. ProWebScraper sends you to its Scraper dashboard with easy-to-follow steps to scrape Amazon data. Since it’s an online tool, you won’t need to download anything or enter credit card information. You can scrape up to 100 product listings for free.
Step 2: Enter the URL and Configure the Scraper
Enter the URL of the product page that you want to scrape. In this example, the URL is for a Black & Decker Programmable Coffee Maker. Click on “Go.” The tool loads the page, at which point you can specify what data you want. In this case, it’s the Selector tool on the upper right corner of the dashboard.
Click on the Selector tool and choose any data on the page you want to collect from. For example, if you’re going to get the product name, click on it, and it appears in the column. Rename the column to “product name.” If you want more data, keep adding columns in the upper left corner of the dashboard.
Add columns for each different data point. In the screenshot below, there are now three columns for this product.
To choose the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) number or scrape rating stars, you need to use the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) selector. Add a Column and select “Use CSS Selector” as the column type.
Type “div#cerberus-data-metrics” in the selector field and add “data-asin” in the attribute field to select an ASIN number. Click “Apply.”
Select the ASIN.
To get the rating stars information, use the CSS selector but this time use the following string for the selector: #productDetails_detailBullets_sections1 > tbody > tr > td #averageCustomerReviews > span >span. Input “title” in the attribute field. Click on “Apply.”
Once you have chosen all the data you want, click on “Save.” Type in the name of the scraper you created and disable “Is this listing page?” Click “Save and run” to extract the data.
Step 3: Download and View Data
The steps vary according to the tool used, but this is the general outline. In most cases, every tool comes with a detailed tutorial on using the service. ProWebScraper gives 100 free tries to figure it out. After that, you need to buy credits.
What Data Should You Scrape For?
The data you need depends on your purpose. If you only want to monitor prices, then that’s all you need. But if you want a detailed picture of the market, you should include the rating, product description, and reviews. For easy reference, you should also include the product name and ASIN.
Troubleshooting Issues While Using the Scraper
Data scraping is easy enough, as you can see from the steps above. The problem is Amazon, which makes a point of blocking data scraping tools from accessing its database. Another problem is that page structures may vary, causing your scraper to yield unusable data. Finally, you may encounter internet protocol (IP) and captcha blocks to prevent you from getting at the juicy details. Here are some things to do to get around these issues.
- Use different IPs and proxy servers to evade detection. Some VPN services offer this.
- Configure your scraper to activate randomly to avoid triggering a block.
- Use the primary URL of the product in this form: https://www.amazon.com/dp/BXXXXXXXXX to avoid identifiers in query parameters.
- Modify the scraper headers to mask that it’s a code and make it seem like the request is coming from a browser.
You might also run into trouble when there are many requests at one time. Use multi-threaded scrapers to make the process more efficient, but that requires more coding skills. Another option is to run scraping and store data on a cloud-based platform.
What To Do Next?
You have nothing to lose by trying ProWebScraper or other Amazon data scrapers to get potentially valuable information. You only need to pay after deciding if it’s worth it for your e-commerce business. Any data you get is in its raw form, regardless of the method of data scraping. It’s up to you to analyze the information and derive insights from the information at hand.
If you need help with turning data into insights, check our article on creating a marketing strategy for a small business. You might also derive significant benefits from using our picks of the best web analytics tools for 2023 to optimize your site independent of Amazon data scrapers.