How to use web scraping for your price comparison website

Price comparison websites extract essential details such as product prices, reviews, features, and descriptions from multiple sites.

By Admin @September, 27 2020

how to use web scraping for your price comparison website

Many years ago, the easiest way to get the best shopping deals was to compare prices from different e-commerce sites before making a purchase. From time immemorial, a commodity has always had various price tags across different selling platforms, prompting smart sellers to monitor price changes among competitors by using real-time analytical technology. Even today, retailers seize every opportunity in the market to stay relevant in the competitive atmosphere and win more customers for their business. One of the trusted methods of doing this is by using price comparison websites. 

Price comparison websites extract essential details such as product prices, reviews, features, and descriptions from multiple sites.

How price comparison websites work

Price comparison websites extract essential details such as product prices, reviews, features, and descriptions from multiple sites. These details are then compiled on the price comparison website and tailored accordingly for easy access. So, when a buyer searches for a product on the website, the site quickly compares and lists similar products from a number of retailers. This process simplifies the buying decision of the buyer since they can compare factors such as price deals, shipping costs, and other features.

However, the algorithms involved depend on massive data. As expected, data extraction in real-time is not only daunting but time-consuming. As if that wasn’t enough, the dynamic pricing system employed by e-commerce websites makes it difficult to keep track of price changes. Amazon, for instance, is approximately 417 hours faster than its competitors in adapting price changes. 

So, why is it difficult to obtain data for these websites?

The reason is that the data volume involved is challenging as building a comparison technology to extract different structures of data from websites. Since web scraping became a trend in data extraction, more price comparison websites have emerged over the years, as data extraction is relatively easy.

How do you make money?

The most common way of making money from a price comparison site is to become an affiliate partner and get referral commission for each sale that originates from your website. These commission ranges from 2-10% depending on the merchant

Tips to building a successful price comparison website

1. Pick a niche

Comparison sites are no longer a secret as many people have made a successful business using this business model. Hence they are already many very good and established price comparison websites. The trick is to always start with a niche, focusing an audience to a very niche market is an excellent way of attracting a specific group. 

2. Identify all the websites that you want to aggregate products from

Make a list of all theese websites and list of all the products you would want to aggregate. Research all the individual websites to understand if they have a data feed, how often prices are updated and if they offer a commision for promoting their products

3. Identify all your data sources

This is always the hardest and most challenging part of the process. These are the options you will have

  • Direct Feed from merchants : As traffic from price comparison sites are a great source of revenue for eCommerce merchants, some big websites will agree to do partnerships with comparison sites and provide them a feed directly via an API for a premium charge. The cons of this are sometimes getting real-time data isnt possible as you are at the mercy of the merchant
  • Product feeds from third-party API : A few companies have gone through the trouble of aggregating data from different merchants and supply that feed to interested parties for a premium fee. If you have a big budget this would be the quickest way to get to market without development. A typical example of this would be an Affiliate network
  • Web Scraping: This is the cheapest and gives you most control especially if you are just starting up and money is a limitation. You can either writing custom code or using a web scraping tool or service to build a web scraper to you exact requirements. You will also have flexibilty to make changes or add/remove more data

4. Identify features and data enrichment

Now you have all you data, you have to come up with an experience that can help users shop better than just presenting all the options on a simple table. Features could include price alerts, price history, search filters or aggregated reviews

Data enrichment is another way of providing additional value to users , this could include adding calculated fields like average price, price history, price trends and scores

 

| Webscrape without writing any code with WebAutomation.io 

 

But how can WebAutomation.io help?

webautomation.io scrapers employ data extractors to obtain product data from relevant sites, and the extracted data matches your requirements. A better alternative to building your web scraper, this scraper tailors extracted data to your needs or the needs of your visitors. The price comparison website must present quality and reliable data, enforcing the need to use an up-to-date scraper which extracts data in real-time. And because managing the site itself is quite cumbersome, it makes more sense to use a webautomation.io scraper.

The process begins with deploying crawling bots to relevant sites to extract essential parameters, after which extracted data is carefully formatted into readable data and sorted accordingly. The final process involves the storage of data to make it available to visitors on the website. Fortunately, the scraper is built in such a way that it tracks price changes in real-time, helping you to update the dataset on your site regularly. 

Price comparison websites use similar methods as retailers that monitor the prices of their competitors. A win-win for customers and business owners, price comparison websites present a number of benefits. Customers will enjoy a smoother shopping experience, endless varieties of products, broader coverage on e-commerce sites, and repeated shopping deals. Meanwhile, business owners generate more leads, earn better conversion rates, and incorporate better customer service in their business.

 

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