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Many developers and marketers rely on manual research methods like Googling to research trends and user preferences. However, these methods are often time-consuming and exhausting, especially when you’re already up to your nose in paperwork.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to learn more about your industry — through scraping app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Scraping app stores will help you understand what makes your industry tick, what boosts conversion rates, and what your customers want.
Keep reading to learn why you might want to scrape app stores, what kind of data you can collect, and what to consider before scraping app stores. We’ll also cover how you can scrape data from app stores and how to get a scraper that fits your needs. Use the table of contents to navigate to the different sections.
What Is Scraping App Stores?
Before diving into reasons for scraping app stores, let’s define scraping app stores.
App store scraping is an efficient way to collect information from app stores into one spreadsheet or database. Instead of getting employees to collect app names, descriptions, prices, ratings, and reviews one by one, app store scrapers automatically pull information from app stores into your spreadsheet or database. This means they can collect more information in seconds than a person can in hours.
Here’s a breakdown of how app store scrapers work:
- Users program the app store scraper with parameters to narrow down the pool of apps, such as industry keywords, number of reviews, and date of publication.
- The scraping bot uses these parameters to locate apps for scraping.
- The scraper pulls relevant information from the app store pages and saves it to a database or spreadsheet.
Reasons for Scraping App Store Reviews
Companies scrape app stores for many reasons, including getting a better understanding of what their customers want and gathering data for future projects. Here are the main reasons for scraping app stores:
Get a better understanding of what your customers want
If you have an app with thousands of reviews, scraping can give you a better grasp of what users are saying about your app.
While app stores offer rating breakdowns, knowing how many users gave you a five-star rating versus a one-star rating isn’t enough. You need to know what users are saying in their reviews to understand their needs.
For instance, users may give your app a five-star rating but still complain about its user interface (UI). On the flip side, they may give you a two-star rating but praise your app for its memorable user experience (UX).
To capture and analyze all of these reviews, you need a scraping solution to extract reviews into a database or spreadsheet for further analysis. You can then use advanced data analytics techniques to derive further insights from the data.
Gather data for future apps
An app store scraper can also help you gather data for future apps.
For example, let’s say you want to create a mobile role-playing game. To get a solid understanding of what appeals to users, you can use an app store scraper to scrape Google Play and App Store’s “role-playing games” category. Depending on the parameters you loaded, your scraper can give you the following information about the hottest mobile role-playing games:
You can then use this information to come up with a good name and concept for your game. The scraped ratings, reviews, and prices will also help you identify what appeals to your target audience.
See what’s trending
Finally, you can use an app store scraper to see what’s trending in your industry. Knowing what’s popular will help you find better keywords, links, and ideas for your site and services.
To illustrate, let’s say you’re creating a new blog post for a new streaming platform. Scraping the “streaming” category on Google Play and Apple’s App Store will show you what’s trending and what users are looking for. This will help you locate keywords, links, and tags that can boost your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) results.
What to Consider Before Scraping App Store Reviews
Before you start scraping, you need to consider what you want to scrape. Specifically, you need to think about:
- The app store pages you’re targeting: What industry or niche are your chosen app store pages from? Do they fit what you’re looking for? For instance, you should scrape photography apps if you’re planning to gather trending keywords and links for photography sites and apps. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get relevant information.
- The popularity of the app store pages: If your chosen apps only have a handful of reviews, they may not be worth your time. Instead, scrape popular apps that have more than a thousand reviews. These app reviews and ratings will give you a clearer idea of what customers want and how the industry works.
You should also consider what web scraper to use. Unfortunately, not all scrapers are equal — in fact, most are pricey and lack frequent updates. Many are also difficult to use, especially for non-programmers.
That’s why you should get Scraping Robot. Sleek and powerful, Scraping Robot is a digital marketing solution that anyone can use to pull vital data from app stores. By signing up for a Scraping Robot account, you’ll automatically get 5,000 free scrapes per month. You’ll also get access to all of our features, including seven-day storage, frequent updates, and 24/7/365 customer support.
How to Get Data Using a Python App Store Scraper
Now that you know what to consider before scraping app store reviews, let’s explore how to get data from app store API via Python.
1. Get app names and IDs
The first step of app store Python scraping is to locate the names and IDs of the apps you want to scrape.
The name is located at the top of the page, while the app ID follows “id” (for Apple apps) or “id=” (for Android apps).
To illustrate, let’s take a look at the URL of the Apple app Fitbod Workout & Fitness Plans. We’ve bolded the ID:
Here’s Netflix’s Android app URL for comparison:
If you have a long line of apps to scrape, consider using a spreadsheet to organize your URLs, app names, and app IDs. Here’s an example:
|App Name||URL||App ID|
|Fitbod Workout & Fitness Plans||https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fitbod-workout-fitness-plans/id1041517543||1041517543|
|BodyFit Fitness Training Coach||https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bodyfit-fitness-training-coach/id1389506691||1389506691|
2. Install and import applicable packages
Next, open Python and use the “pip install” command to install and import everything you need. This includes:
- “App_store_scraper” packages for extracting app store reviews
- “Pandas” to scrap reviews in data frames
- “Numpy” for data transformation
3. Run the command
It’s now time to run the command. The scraper will start extracting data and saving data from the app store into a JSON format.
4. Format transformation
Convert your JSON data into pandas.DataFrame. Pandas.DataFrame is a size-mutable, two-dimensional tabular format for data that you can turn into a database or spreadsheet.
5. Save your data as CSV
Finally, save your file as a CSV file. You can then import your CSV file into a spreadsheet or database program for further analysis.
App Store Python Scraping Made Easy
Scraping app stores is a quick and effective way to learn more about your industry and customers. By scraping the most popular apps in your industry, you can:
- Get a better understanding of your clients and market
- Gather data for future projects
- See what’s trending
However, app store scraping can be complicated, particularly if you don’t know how to code. Even simple Python scrapers require you to know how to install and import packages, run commands, and transform data.
That’s where Scraping Robot comes in. Unlike other web scraping platforms, Scraping Robot doesn’t require programming skills. All you have to do is plug in the URLs you want to scrape, determine the extraction sequence, and click the “Start” button. In a few seconds, you’ll get a fully populated spreadsheet or database with all of your scraped data.
Scraping Robot also boasts leading-edge features like:
- Hassle-free scraping: With Scraping Robot, you won’t have to worry about proxy management and rotation, browser scalability, server management, or all of the other headaches that come with scraping. We’ll manage everything for you so you can focus on getting the information you need.
- Ample documentation: We offer plenty of documentation and guidance to help you get started.
What’s more, we provide a simple pricing structure with no hidden fees or subscriptions. We offer the following membership tiers:
- Free: 5,000 free scrapes with all features.
- Business: 500,000 scrapes per month at $0.0018 per scrape.
- Enterprise: Over 500,000 scrapes per month at rates as low as $0.00045 per scrape. You can also make custom API requests.
Want to learn more about how Scraping Robot? Sign up today to get 5,000 free scrapes.
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