Leverage Web Scraping for your Dropshipping Business
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
It does not take a lot to set up and run a dropshipping business. But what will it take to scale and sustain it? In Web Scraping for Dropshipping Businesses, we will explore the potential of web scraping in this business area. Data, being quite repetitively quoted as the oil of the 21st century, is of immense importance to business owners. What does that mean for dropshippers? How do businesses unlock the potential of customer data and use it to scale? If you’re a dropshipper and want these questions answered, you’re at the right place.
In Start a Dropshipping Business in 4 Steps – Part 1, we saw how to get started with a dropshipping business in four simple steps. Dropshipping is ideal for newbies who want a risk-free approach to business. Yup. But once you’re done with the basics, and you’re up and running, you need to scale. What took you there won’t get you from there.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong in a Dropshipping Business?
So you have your business idea, niche, product, website, and a strategy. Yet, there could be trouble with how your business operates. A look at where things can go wrong:
Supplier Error: This happens when the supplier mismanages the dropshipping process. It can lead to a slew of customer complaints and business headaches like missing/stolen shipments, bad packaging, or unpunctual delivery. Moreover, any mismatch in the stocks file maintained by the supplier can have disastrous consequences.
Bad Marketing Tactics: You need to continually update your strategy to keep up with the constantly evolving trends in technology. Your marketing and business development strategy needs tweaking so that SEO, SEM, and SMM are taken into account.
Wrong/No Feedback: Every business needs an appropriate mechanism to collect and analyze customer feedback related to their product from competitor websites and big brands. If you’re not looking at the right places and collecting information, you could be missing out on tons of data that matters to your business.
Peer Pressure: This applies to all businesses. It is important to update prices to reflect the market and stay competitive. Make sure that you’re not charging more than peer dropshipping websites.
Web Scraping – How Vital is Data in Business?
Times have changed. Data has become the single most essential element throughout the lifetime of any business. For instance, in the beginning, you have questions like:
Where do we find sellers?
Also, which category of products sells more online?
Which sellers are reliable?
Afterward, dropshippers deal with things like:
Can I compare prices in real-time?
How to eliminate supplier error?
Ways to find out what customers want?
There is only one way to answer these: Data. What you need is data about sellers, dropshipping websites, e-commerce platforms, customer review sites, search engine algorithms, etc.
So, how do you get your hands on it?
Can Web Scraping Save your Dropshipping Business?
One of the simplest and most cost-effective means to obtain data would be web scraping. Once used only by Fortune 500 companies, web scraping for dropshipping businesses among others is an arms-race today.
Use Web Scraping to Choose a dropshipping partner
For instance, you can scrape seller information from scores of e-commerce platforms like Amazon. Web scraping gives you seller ratings and customer feedback from several different websites in a very convenient format to analyze, like an Excel sheet. Depending on the information that has been scraped, you can reach out to them and onboard your partner!
Approach each seller with separate individual agreements after evaluating risks and pluses. Discuss dropship fees, profit margins, credit time-period, and other aspects after paying attention to the extracted information.
Next comes deciding the product to dropship
With data scrapers, you can assess the best selling products and product categories according to the ever-fluctuating market conditions. Moreover, you can get your hands on which items rank as the most popular. Also, you can analyze the top sellers in each filter.
Sometimes, sellers agree to post their exclusive products on your dropship website. Normally, this happens when you’ve been working together for some time. And guess what? The seller can also offer you a higher rate of commission on these owned brands.
Solve Supplier Error with Web Scraping
I had listed supplier error as one of the many problems dropshipping businesses face. We can solve this by scraping information from the supplier website. Here’s how it works:
The scraping service provider configures a scraper on the supplier website.
A data extractor notifies about change in the information at regular intervals.
The data extractor also checks for data quality.
The extracted data is delivered in CSV format or as an API.
And hence, the supplier data stays updated and can be used reliably by the dropshipper.
Companies like Datahut that are dedicated to web scraping services use a small setup and minimal fee to scrape supplier products and place them in a .CSV file to be used by dropshippers.
Designing SEO Strategy by Web Scraping for Dropshipping Businesses
When you own a business, especially e-commerce, your strategy definitely involves SEO. Your business needs a good search engine rank.
So, how do you do it?
One way is to analyze your website regularly to track how well your page ranks. You can extract data from search engine result pages and use it to find out the keywords your business ranks for at that time. Over time, this will help you improve ranking and give information on how to do it.
Another advantage of scraping organic search results is that you can quickly determine your SEO competitors for any given search term. Besides, you can also find out which keywords and title tags are used by them.
Another practice is analyzing your competitors’ websites by data scraping. And who knows, you could get some really valuable insights about ranking that you can implement as a part of your marketing strategy.
Web Scraping for Price Comparison
To stay competitive in any business, you need to price your products on par with your competitors. If you charge way higher than others in the market for similar products, your pricing plan will backfire. Your pricing can make or break your name, so design it to be flexible and constantly update it to reflect the competition.
This is where web scraping comes in. Scraping your competitors’ websites gives you their pricing information in an easy-to-understand format. So, you can stay on top of the pricing in your market niche and get notified whenever the market price fluctuates.
Get Customer Reviews and Measure Feedback via Web Scraping
There is an immense value that you can derive from your customers and competitors- the feedback of your customers and the weak areas of your competitors. By making use of web scraping, a business can scrape data from big brands competing in the same niche to understand and analyze customer feedback on popular products.
Use web scraping tools to extract as much data as you like from dropshippers in the market. Then, use this learning to design your products and services in tune with customer reaction and reception. These measures could bring significant profits provided you don’t repeat those mistakes in your company.
Increase your Dropshipping Sales – Start with Web Scraping today
How does it work? How does a dropshipping business employ web scraping services to try and test it out?
Whether you’re keeping costs at a minimum or are looking for an expert solution, I would suggest you approach a data scraping company instead of spending time and effort to build an in-house team from scratch. Dropshipping is like other businesses, with its limitations and upsides, and web scraping services can help reduce the complexities and stabilize your venture to a significant extent.
Want to explore the potential of your dropshipping website? Reach out to us with questions at dathaut.co.