When I was young, I thought pursuing something creative would save me from the world of buying and selling. I believed that the world of books would free me from analyzing markets. I was wrong. On my first day interning at a literary agency, I discovered that books were beholden to markets in the same way all products are. Therefore, understanding the roles of sales data is important for even the most creative of people. Whether you are an artist selling your paintings or selling cleaning products, understanding your sales is crucial to solving problems and growing in the future. While there are tons of ways to collect this data, using a web scraper helps organize and contextualize data into a useful tool for every department.
If you are familiar with the basics of sales data, use the table of contents below to jump ahead and learn how web scraping helps you learn even more about your business.
Table of Contents
What Is Sales Data?
Sales data is an umbrella term for the many metrics businesses collect regarding how products/services sell in a given market. This data can relate to a product itself, the buying process, customer engagement, distribution, and/or pipeline management. Performing sales data analysis helps you understand which parts of your business need improving and what parts are strong and should be emphasized via advertising.
How To Analyze Sales Data With Web Scraping
Web scraping is the process of extracting and organizing data from webpages. By using web scraping in addition to sales data tools, you can gather even more useful information that helps you contextualize pre-existing data. Below are different ways to use web scraping to engage in sales data analysis.
Sales trend analysis
Sales trend analysis helps you find patterns in data. Learning to distinguish between short-term and long-term trends is useful for differentiating a problem with a product versus a problem with a market as a whole. Product sales data gives you insight into a specific product, while company sales data covers the company’s entire range of products/services. Therefore, you can tell whether your product or the company environment is the problem. When you identify your best and worst selling products and services, you are enabled to make smart decisions moving forward. You can either cut poorly selling products or scrape online customer reviews to find solutions. Sales trend data is most useful for seeing whether you are meeting your sales goals. If you don’t meet your goals, scraping reviews, social media, and your process data can help you understand why. If you do meet your goals, gathering more data with web scraping helps you create new goals for the future. Web scraping enhances your understanding of basic data sets, making it the perfect companion for beating the competition.
Prescriptive analysis helps you make sure you offer the right products to the right customers. For sales reps, this information is crucial to suggesting the right products/services given the situation. Scraping social media gives you insight into what your customers need and desire, which means you can edge out the competition with the extra information scraping provides. If you sell a wide range of products, engaging in prescriptive analysis for each data set is essential to increasing lead generation and brand loyalty. This is especially useful for companies that sell subscription services for coffee, wine, makeup, clothes, or anything else that requires understanding each customer’s taste and preferences.
Collecting data is one of the best ways to understand your clients. Are they buying this product once or is it something they pick up each time they go to the store? Understanding this difference helps you find creative ways to grow your customer base. If the product is seasonal or situational, you have to make sure that customers think of your sunscreen each time they go on a beach vacation for example. If a product is recurring, like a grocery item, then you must incentivize customers to keep coming back with promotional deals or expanding one item into a line of different flavors or varieties. Web scraping social media and customer reviews reveals how customers engage with your product. Data also tells you what time of the year a product is most popular or when shelves struggle to empty. With this knowledge, you can create unique promotions for each product and adjust promotions accordingly. This will lead to brand loyalty and better advertisements as you know how to sell specific solutions.
How To Forecast Sales Using Historical Data
Understand market trends
While current data helps you understand your business, it can be hard to notice market trends without web scraping. Web scraping makes it easy to analyze competitor prices, reviews, and sales, which gives you insight into the market as a whole. However, you can understand the market with historical data sets from the past as well. By analyzing the trends of your own sales, you can begin to see larger trends whether they be seasonal or due to recessions/depressions generally. Using web scraping, you can also gather data on the highest selling products in any given period, making trends more visible and help you know what to expect. For example, recent data reveals gift cards to be more popular this holiday season due to COVID-19 and shipping delays.
It is now possible to gather data each time a customer purchases an item. You know how they found you, what they bought, and if they leave a review you know their thoughts too. All this data makes it easier to predict how those same customers, or type of customer, will engage in the future. Using pipeline data, you can understand when prospective customers drop out of the process and help create solutions to turn those leads into purchases. However, you can also determine those super likely to buy and spend more time pursuing those customers than ones that will likely drop off. Using past data is crucial to pipeline management and using your sales energy wisely.
3 Ways To Use Sales Data For Your Next Project
Custom scraping solutions for your unique data needs
While sales data sets tell you certain details, it can leave you asking for more. Scraping Robot’s modules are useful for initial data questions, but larger questions and deeper research require custom scraping solutions. With custom solutions, you can scrape by the millions (even billions!) and pay less per scrape than with the modules. Using a Scraping Robot custom scraping solution also frees you from proxy management and hiring developers because our team will be there to meet your needs and adapt. Scraping on your own can also be difficult due to the varying security laws. Thankfully, all of our custom scraping solutions are built to make sure you are never breaking rules while accessing tons of useful data. If a custom solution is a good fit for you, contact us to get started.
Create perfect price
Product data reveals at what price points your profit rises and falls. Using web scraping, you can find similar data for your competitors. You can achieve this by scraping product data on eCommerce sites of your competitors. Once you analyze what price points work for them and don’t, you have a clearer picture of the market itself. This makes you able to find a price point that edges out the competition without being too high for the market to handle. This marriage of your sales data and competitor data creates the perfect solution for you.
Understand each eCommerce distribution channel
Many sellers online today use multiple distribution channels because of eCommerce. Therefore, many products can be found on eBay, Amazon, etc. Amazon product sales data is useful for analytics because it shows you how your product stacks up against competitors on Amazon and what is trending on Amazon. Read about how to get Amazon sales data here. By making scraping part of your routine, you can learn even more about what qualities and reviews the Amazon algorithm prioritizes for product rankings. eBay is another eCommerce giant that provides similarly useful data. Our blog on scraping eBay more important data can be found here. By discovering what is trending on eBay with scraping, you can understand how your products compare. In addition to uniquely online stores, sales data provides information on products prices and information that help you understand what people buy in person and online. Since most sellers use multiple distribution channels, it is important to analyze each one individually, while also making use of the combined data. The overall data gives you product insights that appear no matter the channel, yet individual channel data can help you identify problems with a specific channel that impact sales in one spot but not another. Identifying channel vs product problems makes the solution clear and helps you decide which channels are worth investing in.
While sales data is more conclusive than ever before, it can still be hard to know what to look for. Analysis helps you identify problems with products, distribution, and more. However, using web scraping tools in addition to this data makes the information even more relevant and useful. With web scraping, you can find similar data about competitor sales and prices, which gives you an idea of the market as a whole. This comprehensive look at the market and products ensures that each part of the process is accounted for and improved accordingly.
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