Was bedeutet Price Scraping? Gebrauch und Strategien für Ihren E-Commerce

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Profile picture for user Ángela de la Vieja

Ángela de la Vieja

The relationship between price scraping and dynamic pricing

Like competitor monitoring in its broadest definition, price scraping is closely related to dynamic pricing. This is the star trend in the definition of digital pricing strategies. And no wonder. It must be taken into account that in the midst of the Internet maelstrom, having registered the changes that affect the products that an ecommerce sells and everything that its market entails, is more than necessary, it is essential; it is practically vital.

And what does price scraping bring to a dynamic pricing strategy? The possibility of knowing in real time the price changes that occur at any given moment. However, to understand them it will be necessary to analyse the surrounding information: changes in the total stock, increase in web traffic, correlation with other actions at the level of the ecommerce catalogue?

Price scraping is one of the elements that will allow the ecommerce dynamic pricing strategy to be configured. Thanks to the data obtained from the use of this price tracking technique, it will be possible to analyse when competitors' prices rise and fall and to what extent. Always knowing what costs are reflected in prices is essential to avoid losing profit margins when changing prices.

Price scraping tools

As with many other techniques, the simplest way to carry out price scraping is through a tool that performs the necessary tasks to obtain the data needed. Typically, solutions are used that extract competitor data through the insertion of code in a programming language, either in Javascript or in Python or LXML.

Nowadays, there are many price scraping tools available, some of which are free and others for a fee. However, not all of them have a large amount of data scaling, as they are usually adaptations of web scraping software that are reconfigured for price tracking. Many are even mere extensions that are added to the web browser.

In any case, before implementing any kind of code that could be recognised as malicious for price scraping, our recommendation is to use a price tracker that not only collects competitive data, but also helps to organise, analyse and understand it. These are the pillars of the development of a dynamic pricing strategy that parameterises price changes according to what is happening around the brand in the market.

Amazon price scraping

Amazon is today's online marketplace par excellence. And if we have already talked about how price changes on Amazon are, for many, the equivalent of the search for the holy grail. Understanding its dynamics to make prices fluctuate is the daily work of many price strategists. Its algorithm both for making these modifications and for improving sellers' positions in the results lists is practically an unknown quantity.

This paradigm that seems to surround this platform in a unique way makes Amazon's price scraping one of the most sought-after. In this case, many ecommerce opt to do the code insertion directly to extract the raw data. However, monitoring this data is the key to understanding (even if it is only a small percentage) the performance of Amazon's algorithm. This can be motivated by so many factors that it is important not to leave out any of those related to the point of connection between the marketplace and the ecommerce itself.

In this sense, it is worth asking whether the interest in price scraping on Amazon should not be focused on the analysis of the competition within the platform itself. In this way, it would be possible to obtain the price behaviour of each competitor in certain cases: dates, promotions or changes within the marketplace itself. This way, at least, the brand is positioned at the same level as the others, bringing its results closer to those of the rest.

Does price scraping have a bad reputation?

At first glance, price scraping seems like just another element in the pricing strategy conversation. So why is it that some ecommerce may not be familiar with this term? While it is true that its definition does not seem to be very far from the rest of the elements in the definition of pricing, price scraping may have some negative connotations. After all, it is practically spying on the competition to see what they are doing. But isn't this precisely what we are talking about when we monitor the competition in the market?

The fuzzy line that could theoretically separate price scraping and competitor monitoring is the fact of copying point by point the pricing strategy of other ecommerce, as well as the method used to do so. However, the fact of adopting this approach raises serious doubts. No matter how close two online shops are, each one has its own idiosyncrasies, so that the implementation of someone else's pricing strategy cannot be forced into a bobbin lace.

The key for price scraping to help shape a valid, credible and, above all, scalable pricing strategy for an ecommerce is both the veracity and the use of the information collected. In the same way that we talk about price monitoring to find out when competitors' prices are above or below in the market, when price scraping it is necessary to identify the points at which competitors' guidelines can be adopted in one's own ecommerce. Never lose sight of the brand, its identity and the values for which it is recognised.

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