Increasingly eCommerce is re-defining what it means to do business in the 21st century. As shoppers make more purchases online and businesses expand their web presence, competition for views and traffic is becoming intense.
According to Statista, eCommerce sales were $3.53 trillion in 2019 and are projected to grow to $6.45 trillion in 2022. Meanwhile, businesses are scrambling for ways to grab marketing share in a crowded environment.
For brands to get noticed, new tools and strategies are required to attract customers and discover what the competition is doing. Web crawling, web scraping, and using AI to analyze data can help your business revolutionize its eCommerce strategy.
What is The Importance of AI and Data-Driven Insights in Marketing?
The more information you have, the more likely you are to keep an eye on what the competition is doing and to reach your potential customers. AI or artificial intelligence allows you to obtain information more quickly, accurately, and efficiently than traditional methods. The pace of eCommerce is getting faster, and AI is the only way to stay in step.
AI means faster data analysis. This can save time and labor costs and can also help you launch new promotions more quickly. It also allows you to react promptly to trends, feedback, and initiatives made by the competition.
Machine-learning algorithms have the capability to simplify data sets and provide in-depth insights. AI delivers data on prospective customers and can help campaigns find their relevant target audience.
How Can Data Enhances Customer Experience?
Data gives valuable information on who your customers are, what they do for a living, how they like to spend their time, and what they aspire to. As your potential customers browse through your site or interact with a brand page on social media, there are many opportunities to find out more about them and find opportunities to interact with them on a more personal level.
You may discover more about your prototypical customer than you did before, and actual interaction can dispel biases that may hinder your marketing. AI can harness this data and help your company present products to customers that will provide solutions. Your marketing will stand out from the competition because you have the data to appeal to them directly and offer a unique customer experience.
So, Why is AI the Answer?
If the larger players in your space and the competition are using AI-driven marketing solutions, your brand can’t be left behind. It would be like trying to race against BMW while pedaling a bicycle.
The specific types of AI-powered methods that can make a difference in your marketing strategy include web crawling, web scraping, collecting customer-generated content like social media posts, and reviews and analyzing that data using AI tools.
As the name suggests, Web crawling involves technology that can “crawl” the web like a spider to find certain types of data and relevant web pages. Often, eCommerce crawling is the first step in the process of web scraping, which means extracting content from the websites by lifting the HTML code. The crawler is a search engine bot that gathers information on websites and accesses it. They are most often activated by search engines and provide useful links in response to search commands.
Once you have located webpages and data through a web crawler, you can obtain the data on the pages through eCommerce scraping. This involves extracting large amounts of data and saving it to a file on your computer.
AI can do this job more effectively than the traditional method, which involves cutting and pasting hours. In addition, web scraping is best done anonymously, which is the reason using a proxy is essential.
Proxies and Web Scraping
The reason people use proxies for web scraping is that they provide the anonymity and security that can prevent problems such as blocking or retaliation by the site owners. Repeated activities such as screenshots and downloads required for effective web scraping can cause you to be blocked if the site can detect a single IP dress.
Proxies provide a different IP address, so yours will not be seen. Think of stories about how AI is used to fool facial recognition tools, and you have an idea of how AI can create anonymity.
A proxy acts as a middleman between your PC and the internet. Residential proxies are associated with a single location and are made available by an Internet Service Provider. Proxies keep your identity safe and also can keep your data away from hackers.
What Kind of Data Should You Collect?
When you are set up with a proxy and a web scraping tool, you can collect many varieties of data that can inform you. Retrieving sample web pages from the competition can give you insight on design, style of content, and keywords.
Collecting customer reviews of your own products and those of your competitor can provide insight into what customers are looking for and expect. Customer satisfaction surveys also provide essential information that will help you upgrade your offerings and communication with customers through chatbots. Think of the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa. Using AI-powered customer analytics tools will help you zero in on who your customers are, what they are purchasing, and when.
Knowledge Is Power
Knowing about your customers, the market, and competition provides a significant advantage when refining your marketing tactics. AI is used by large companies like Apple as well as medium-sized and small businesses and plays a central role in providing data from the web through crawling and scraping.
Garnering information from customer reviews, surveys, and activity online will enable you to reach out and personalize your campaigns leading to more traffic and sales for your company.
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