While it’s always a good idea to set yourself apart from the competitors by doing something unique, introducing brand-new products and services, and finding new ways to impress your customers, when it comes to prices, you don’t want to play around.
Both you and your competitors need to keep your pricing consistent, regardless of what market niche you belong to. Otherwise, all you’ll do is turn away prospective buyers.
Of course, you need data to ensure your pricing strategy is consistent for your industry. You need to stay committed to price monitoring and comparison, and your best option is to do so with a web scraper integrated with a residential proxy network.
Do You Really Need To Commit To Price Comparisons And Monitoring?
If you’re just starting out in a new niche, price comparison and monitoring might not seem like essential processes you must commit to. Most new business owners neglect it entirely, focusing on simply creating a pricing strategy that brings in profits.
However, no matter your industry, these processes are essential if you want to future-proof your business, as they deliver an abundance of benefits.
Primarily, price comparisons and monitoring can help you improve your customer satisfaction and inspire trust in your audience. For instance, over 82% of online shoppers in the US tend to perform their own price comparisons before making a purchase. If they find your product or service pricing too high or too low compared to all your other comparisons, they’ll avoid doing business with you.
Prices that are too high might be out of your target audience’s reach, while prices that are too low could make prospective buyers question the quality of your offers.
By keeping your prices comparable to your competitors, you’ll also be able to optimize your pricing strategy and ensure that you stay competitive.
Additional benefits include developing dynamic pricing, identifying and predicting market trends, and improving your decision-making processes, as you’ll have all the data necessary right at your fingertips.
Collecting Data With Web Scrapers
Undoubtedly, you could approach the tasks of price comparison and monitoring manually. Most businesses within the e-commerce industry will display their accurate pricing right on their product pages.
However, manual data collection methods will quickly become inconsequential because you have many competitors with vast amounts of products and services. Instead, you might want to opt for web scraping.
Web scraping is the practice of deploying bots to crawl through your competitors’ websites, collecting all the publicly-available pricing information (among other data points), and extracting it to your preferred database.
Bots can collect excessive amounts of data in seconds, making all your required information readily available whenever you need it.
The problem, however, is that most websites track all traffic coming to them. They identify all users’ IP addresses and monitor what they’re doing, making it exceptionally easy for them to pick out bots among real users.
Before long, your web scrapers will encounter anti-bot technologies such as CAPTCHA tests, IP restrictions, and outright blocks. In a nutshell, that means that your price comparison and monitoring efforts will be in vain.
How Proxies Help You Overcome The Challenges Of Web Scraping
Despite the challenges, web scraping is still the best way to collect relevant information quickly and efficiently. However, if you want to avoid problems like frequent CAPTCHAs and IP blocks, you’ll need the help of a proxy.
Proxies are servers that route all traffic coming from your device.
Normally, your device would need to exchange information with the websites you visit, exposing information such as your IP address. With a proxy, however, your device exchanges data with the proxy server.
The server then communicates on your behalf with the website you want to access, in the process hiding all your device information. It conceals your IP address, assigns you a fake new one, and lets you avoid the obstacles of web scraping.
What Makes Residential Proxies Ideal For Price Comparison And Monitoring?
Depending on your needs, a traditional proxy server could be enough for your web scraping efforts. However, websites are becoming increasingly better at detecting bot activity and identifying the fake IP addresses that proxies provide.
That’s why choosing a residential proxy might be in your best interest.
Whereas traditional data center proxies give you a completely fake IP to hide behind, residential proxies deliver genuine IP addresses. All IPs in their library are authentic, provided by real internet service providers (ISPs), and connected to real devices.
That makes it virtually impossible for websites to detect your web scraper activity. Most websites will shy away from restricting traffic from genuine IP addresses for fear that it’s coming from real users. Therefore, you’ll be able to conduct your price monitoring and comparison easily without the fear of being detected and blocked. In case you’re looking for a trusted provider, take a look at Oxylabs to access reliable residential proxies from all around the world.
Web scrapers backed by residential proxies allow you to collect any publicly-available information from your competitors with the utmost ease. Whether you want to engage in price comparison and monitoring, collect user reviews, or simply gauge your competitors’ tactics and strategies, they’ll enable you to accumulate accurate data without wasting time.