- Anmol Chawla
How Web Scraping Can Optimize Online Merchandising
Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Today’s online shoppers don’t only buy products, but they also buy experiences. How quickly does the screen load, how seamless are the payment options; all these and more determine whether you have a loyal customer or not. A market which changes faster than the tides, its best to have your consumer hooked the moment they enter your retail space. And, the best way to do it is through online merchandising.
The online consumer is often at a loss. He can’t feel the fabric, can’t see the luster of the fresh produce you are offering. So immediate visual impact becomes a critical factor in determining the kind of experience a consumer is going to have. Cleverly done visual online merchandising can provide a compelling cue to the customer to buy the product.
Online merchandising works wonder by putting up the right kind of products in front of the customers. These act as a hook and let the consumer delve further into your retail space, exploring options as they like. However, to figure out which products to show to which consumer, retailers often look towards internal data. And in doing so, end up completely missing some crucial insights which external data, big data and web scrapping can offer.
Online Merchandising metrics can help boost sale
To be the best in the fierce retail sector the companies need to know whom they are going up against in the market. Having insights into your rivals merchandising plan tell you a great deal about how to make yours. By using web scrapping and various analysis tools, you can decide which are the unique products in your arsenal that differentiate you from your competitor. A well rounded online merchandising strategy is about keeping an eye on the entirety of your competitor’s catalog and monitoring which products they are adding, removing or are out of stock.
It is also essential to compare product pricing between in-house brands and private labels to figure out where you need to pay more attention and resources. You can also find out the optimal price of the new product and find out where you can increase your margins. When using web scraping tools, you also get various nudges to determine rates based on variables like competitors price, inventory levels, etc.
Design a trendy offering that sells
Before jumping on the bandwagon to the latest trend, it is essential to evaluate it. If a particular pattern is going to continue or will it just fall flat after a while? That’s where web scrapping and big data play a significant role. They help in identifying what is currently trending by monitoring its popularity and how likely is it going to succeed in the future.
Take competitive price monitoring for example. Today’s commerce revolves around the right price at the right time. Consumers browse a bunch of different websites before buying something. This means that if your prices aren’t rivaling those of your competitors, you are going to lose. In such a competitive scenario, retailers have to fight tooth and nail to stay ahead in the game. Moreover, a robust pricing strategy goes a long way in determining success. By being aware of your competitor’s pricing strategy, a retailer has a much better chance of success by countering it.
Be it product pricing strategies or a service you are offering, web scrapping allows you to stay ahead of your competition at all times. Web scrappers crawl through your competitor’s prices for every product, along with descriptions and images and get back to you with data comparing your site with your competitors. This comprehensive data analysis will allow you to make your pricing strategies in a way that counters your competition.
Get the right product in front of the consumers
Any planner worth their salt will help you plan the entirety of your inventory down to the smallest bit. It is imperative to choose a system that assists in monitoring sales data, reduces catalog gap and facilitates better decision making.
AI-powered with machine learning is a great help. They not only work more efficiently but also become smarter by learning from all the data they process. These tools are especially helpful when one is optimizing its online merchandising strategy. With the right data, it is effortless to point out the top sellers so the products can are cataloged in a way that gives maximum visibility to those.
Effectively done online merchandising using data often sees that the items are sold out faster than average. By analyzing which products are unsold or low on stock, a well-rounded inventory display is achievable. By using data, we can dig deeper and break down categories for further micro insights, which can be of great help.
Big Data and Amazon
With a market cap of $358 billion, Amazon’s position as a retail giant in absolutely unmatched. A lot of companies have come and gone by, without making a single dent in the retail market. And yet Amazon is ahead of the curve. It has got more to do with than just amazing deals and discounts that it offers. Amazon invests a lot in customer experience, customer satisfaction, efficient delivery systems, etc. But one thing that has provided Amazon with an unmatched marketing strategy is big data and web scrapping.
Amazon takes less than 2 minutes to adapt to a market change. That is 43,000 minutes faster than the rest of the industry. To be able to stay ahead of the price game, Amazon invests a lot in web scrapping, AI, and machine learning.
Amazon’s pricing strategy put machine learning and web scrapping to good use. The data that a web scraper collects is analyzed by data analysis tools that give Amazon many insights about the market. This enables them to ahead of the marketing curve by analysis of the various trends and consumer behavior and making the decisions accordingly.
Walmart and Web scrapping
One of the biggest retailers with over 20,000 stores in 28 counties, Walmart has managed to stay ahead of the curve with a right amount of investment in big data and web scrapping. Equipping themselves with the most cutting-edge technology in the world of retail, Walmart use data analytics to make market decisions and enhance customer experience.
Walmart has invested in something called a data cafe, a state of the art analytics hub, to help Walmart make sense of all the data they gather every day. It connects with more than 200 streams of internal and external data and also includes 40 petabytes of recent transactional data. This has enabled Walmart to make decisions in real-time and given it a competitive edge in the market.
Walmart has integrated itself more and more with the technology for smoother functioning. It had even deployed face recognition technology in its stores to stop happy and unhappy shoppers. Combined with big data and web scrapping, all this info is being analyzed to produce more efficient decisions and marketing strategies.
Build trust with online merchandising
To establish yourself as a trustworthy brand it is essential to create your story. Brand story consumers can connect with and feel comfortable. By sharing what’s unique about your brand story, you give consumers something tangible. At the same time, it is essential to focus on consumers need and provide them with a reason for choosing your brand.
Provide detailed product description. One thing buyers love is reading about a product before they buy it. By providing an excellent and detailed product description, you increase your credibility.
When displaying a picture of your product, always ensure that the image is of high resolution. A clear picture allows the consumer to see your product clearly and you get a chance to illustrate small details which otherwise can be easily overlooked. When a consumer can see the product clearly, it increases their confidence in the brand. Statistics show when a picture is added to facilitate a product, the checkout rates of the same increase by 24%.
Always have a space for reviews. One of Amazon’s strongest points are the reviews they display below every product listing. User-generated content, especially reviews, allow consumers to read up about the product they are buying. The positive reviews help the consumers in trusting the outcome. User-generated content is also high for consumer engagement who have already brought the product. It also serves as an excellent platform to gather feedback and consumer sentiment towards your brand. Web scrapping can collect all the user-generated content and then analyzed for further insights.
Web scrapping can give a massive boost to your online merchandising game by providing you with valuable insights on how to engage the customers. Once you have nailed the game of how to hook the consumer’s attention and make them comfortable with your brand, you have the upper hand. The market is all about selling the right kind of product to the right consumer at the right time. And, it becomes supremely easy to get your game on point when online merchandising is done in collaboration with web scrapping.
Are you looking to use web scraping to boost your business? Contact us at Datahut, your big data experts.
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