We are surrounded by information 24/7. Whether you’re a college student or an owner of a large corporation, you need valuable data to complete your essential tasks.
While students may need data for their assignments, businesses rely on it to conduct market research, competitor analysis, and lead generation.
Data reveals that there are around 12-24 million ecommerce sites. Certainly, you need a solid scraping strategy to earn a name among millions of e-commerce website owners.
So whether you conduct Python web scraping (find more info about it) or Java, a few handy tips will help you leverage your scraping practices.
What Are the Hurdles of Web Scraping?
Because web scraping provides valuable data – information that helps you tweak your business strategies for the better – you’ll come across various challenges when undertaking your web scraping projects.
We’ll discuss a few issues you may encounter during web scraping.
When you send numerous requests from the same IP address, there is no reason why a website won’t block you. While a few sites limit your access, others block you permanently.
Some websites also block IPs via geolocation. This happens when the site owner wants to protect their data extraction attempts from certain locations.
One of the biggest data scraping challenges is this one. Not all websites give bot access. So, if you chose a reliable website to scrape the data from, you would fail to proceed if it doesn’t allow automated data collection in the first place.
A few individuals choose to contact the site owner for access, while others look for alternative websites with similar data.
CAPTCHA differentiates between a human and a bot. Many websites would ask you to enter characters or perform logical tasks to detect whether you’re a human or a bot. While humans can quickly type relevant information and gain access on the go, robots cannot.
However, numerous CAPTCHA solvers now execute bots for uninterrupted data collection. It may slow down the process, nonetheless.
3 Tips for an Efficient Ecommerce Data Scraping
Many companies are increasingly using data scraping, given its many benefits. You can also perform competitor analysis, market research, and monitor prices to keep pace with your competitors.
Below, we’ve curated some helpful tips to help you upscale your data scraping efforts.
Using Dedicated Proxies
If you perform web scraping but haven’t considered a proxy server yet, you need to reconsider your scraping habits. It is almost impossible to tackle IP blocks without investing in a reliable proxy server.
A proxy acts as an intermediary between you and the target website. Because each proxy has its IP address, the website never sees yours. As such, you avoid the blocks.
Efficient web scrapers use proxies to hide your identity and make it look like regular user traffic. You can use rotating proxies to alter the details of your requests and avoid getting banned.
Updating Data Parser
Data parsing refers to the conversion of a string of data from one format to another. For instance, when you read data in raw HTML, a data parser helps you convert it into an understandable, readable format.
Simply put, a data parser converts unstructured data into CVS, JVS, and other file formats to structure the presented information.
You need to make sure that you update your data parser to keep pace with the ever-evolving e-commerce world.
Using an outdated data parser will not provide you with appropriately structured information. As such, you’ll compromise your data quality.
Using Third-Party APIs
An API is one of the most common data extraction tools. It offers solutions to numerous web scraping challenges, from anti-bot mechanisms to IP blocks.
Consequently, an API makes web scraping easier and faster. When you connect to the data extraction software, you make requests and establish URLs you wish to target and the proxies you desire to use.
The API then sends the response in a formatted file for you to analyze. Here’s a quick overview of the unique benefits APIs offer.
- IP blocks. Most third-party APIs use rotating proxies and provide a different IP address with each request. As such, websites never detect the requests are coming from the same location.
- APIs also consistently alter the perceived details. This way, websites see different requests coming from varying visitors.
- Every business appreciates automation because it eliminates the need for slow, manual work. Integrating an efficient API during web scraping boosts your workflow significantly.
- Hassle-free integration. APIs make it easier to retrieve data from any particular website. You won’t flounder cluelessly trying to figure out how to embed content. Instead, an API delivers content smoothly by offering easy integration.
- Impeccable performance. API automatically releases the content and makes it accessible through various platforms. You can also easily display and share the content.
Web scraping has a lot in store for you, but only if you follow the right strategies and learn how to overcome the presented challenges.
Whether you want to do Python web scraping or Java, the tips shared above will make the entire process convenient for you.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.