Amazon has been at the forefront of large-scale data collection, storage, and analysis. Customer information, product information, retailer information, and general market trends are all available. Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce sites. Many analysts and businesses rely on the information gathered from it. They make the decision based on this information. The growing e-commerce industry necessitates advanced analytical tools. It is to forecast market trends, analyze client behavior, and gain a competitive advantage. You'll need high-quality, dependable data to supplement the strength of these analytical procedures. Alternative data is a type of data that can be derived from a variety of sources. Customer reviews, product information, and geography data are common sources of alternative data. Many of these data pieces can be found on e-commerce websites. For quite some time, Amazon has been at the forefront of the e-commerce sector. Retailers are fighting tooth and nail to scrape Amazon's data. But, the question is it legal to scrap amazon?
Why Would You Need Amazon Scrapping?
When it comes to sales and market capitalization, Amazon is the largest Internet-based retailer. This eCommerce platform has a lot of data that's important for online firms. We listed seven reasons why people scrape data from Amazon down below.
Gather information on competitors' products.
"Knowing yourself and your enemy helps you win every war," said Sun Tzu. He was one of the greatest ancient Chinese military strategists. This saying holds in business as well. Data about competitive items can assist a company in many ways, and they can develop effective strategies and make wise decisions.
Gather information on the products that appear first on a page.
Every businessperson's focus is always how to increase sales. The best strategy to increase sales is to have their products appear on the first page. The Amazon sellers will see a 70% increase in their sales if their product appears on the top in the results.
To do so, users must first understand the algorithm used by Amazon. Amazon algorithm determines product rankings. Amazon dealers can see characteristics that affect product ranking using data from products. They should be able to determine the weights of each ranking element, and this can only be done through careful observation and data analysis.
Collect information of top reviewers
Product reviews are vital in Amazon's ranking algorithm. But how to get more consumers to write reviews remains a mystery. A website on Amazon lists the top 10,000 customer reviewers. When a new product is released, Amazon sellers can encourage customers to write reviews for it.
But, copying and pasting for over 1,000 pages would take a long time and cost a lot of money. You can use web scraping technologies such as Octoparse to complete this task, and they can assist with the scraping of data from the internet.
Gather feedback on their products.
A company should always be aware of how its products are performing in the marketplace. Studying product feedback and doing sentiment analysis is one technique to see how well its items are performing. Some reviews are positive, neutral, and negative. Based on the data from product reviews, Amazon sellers would be able to determine what they should do to enhance their products, customer service, and so on.
Collect customer profiles
An E-commerce business, like any other business, has a target niche. Customer profiles, unlike those of other lead generation businesses, are well-protected by Amazon. Amazon sellers change tactics to collect profiles of clients who have purchased their goods. Dealers can arrange new product pairings for them based on their buying tendencies, resulting in increased sales.
Gather information from the market
Some Amazon sellers have extensive manufacturing resources. They might create new things and sell them on Amazon to make good use of them. However, it is unclear what type of product they should produce to increase sales and revenue. Amazon dealers analyze data from all across the market to see what products are the most popular. They can then put their industrial resources to good use.
Customers compare internet stores user data.
Customers frequently want to compare items and filter out the poor ones on an E-commerce site, which has a wide range of products. This procedure would be simplified if product information, such as pricing, was extracted into structured data formats like Excel, JSON, and CSV. Scraping tools like Octoparse can scrape the data needed and put it into excel sheets, which can then be studied further.
What is Amazon Product Data?
Amazon product data is information about a product that has been listed on Amazon. This information includes
- Name of the product Price
- Description of the product (short and full version)
- Ratings for product image URLs
- Seller Reviews Seller Ratings
- Size, materials, color, and so on
- Instructions for use
- Shipping information
- Questions and answers that are frequently asked
Amazon generates pricing comparisons to similar products and suggestions for additional items typically purchased with the one you're looking at, in addition to the basic product data. Product data on Amazon is incredibly beneficial for both shoppers and sellers due to its simplicity. Product data is informative of a seller's performance and provides insights into what customers want, especially those who sell many products on Amazon. Using Amazon product data to ensure you receive the greatest deals and that a product matches your criteria before adding it to your cart is a terrific way for buyers to ensure they get the best deals.
How to Scrape Amazon Product
Scrape amazon product listings
Manually extracting product data from Amazon and other online shops is possible, but it takes a lot of time, money, and effort. Web scraping, or the automated extraction of data from a web page, is a quick and inexpensive technique to gather information online. Scraping is crucial for performing market and product research on a budget for small companies that can't afford an entire data department. Scraping reduces some of workers' labor in big companies with fully staffed data departments, giving them more room and time to evaluate the data for relevant insights. As a result, adopting a web scraping tool is the most efficient approach for large and small businesses to collect internet data and progress toward a data-driven future.
Scraper for Amazon products
Although HTML web scraping technologies can be used with any URL, the scraper is not designed to arrange information from that particular website. The Amazon scraping module in Scraping Robot is designed exclusively for Amazon data. You can use an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) or a URL to get product information in an orderly format. General and Amazon-specific scraping tools can be used, but one created for Amazon already organizes the data, making it easier to evaluate once retrieved.
What are the Benefits of Scrapping Amazon?
Scraping Amazon product data has several advantages, including improved design, incorporating customer input, and finding the optimal price point.
Improve Product Design
Every product undergoes several stages of development. It's time to put the product on the market after the earliest stages of product design. However, client feedback or other concerns will eventually develop, requiring a redesign or improvement. Scraping Amazon product design data (size, material, colors, and so on) makes it easy to uncover methods to improve your product design. For example, if you discover your product isn't as durable as you imagined, exploring tougher materials is a decent place to start. Perhaps the design is fine, and the only thing that needs to be changed is the color. It's easy to spot the weak link or detail when you examine product and design details.
In addition, design trends often change across industries. Discovering which materials may be exchanged for eco-friendly alternatives gives new marketing opportunities and target groups that can fall in love with your product, especially as customers become more concerned about product longevity and sustainability.
Take customer input into account.
It's time to include customer input after you've scraped basic design features and determined what needs improvement. While consumer reviews are not the same as product data, they frequently comment on the design or the purchasing process. When modifying or upgrading designs, it's critical to consider customer feedback. Like the question and answer area on Amazon product pages, reviews frequently point out typical sources of customer confusion.
While you could read each review individually and try to conclude, scraping reviews allows you to compare and contrast them, making it easier to discover trends or frequent issues. For example, if most customers like the product but have a problem with one design feature, it's quite obvious how to proceed. On the other hand, common problems can serve as a source of inspiration for improved marketing or product instructions.
Discover the perfect deal.
While materials and style are crucial, many customers prioritize cost. Price is the first feature that differentiates all of the identical possibilities, especially when scrolling through Amazon product search results. Scraping price data for your own and competing products gives you a variety of price possibilities. Once you've defined this range, it'll be easier to determine where your company fits within it once you've included it in manufacturing and shipping costs.
Scraping price and amazon product data simultaneously makes it easy to see how different materials, sizes, and other factors affect the price. As a result, you may see that similar variants made of a less expensive material are more likely to be purchased.
With this information, your company can decide whether to use the less expensive material, lowering the product price, or design a marketing campaign that explains the specific merits of your product in comparison to the competition, explaining the higher price. You'll struggle to develop new ways to differentiate your goods in a typically oversaturated online industry like Amazon if you don't scrape the pricing of competing products.
Why is Scrapping Hard?
Before you start scraping Amazon data, you should know that the website's policies and page structure hinder scraping. Amazon has basic anti-scraping measures in place since it has a vested interest in securing its data. This may prevent your scraper from extracting all of the data you require. Aside from that, the website's layout may or may not vary depending on the product, which could cause your scraper code and logic to fail. Worse yet, you may not even be aware that this problem has arisen, and you may have network failures and unexpected replies as a result.
Additionally, captcha difficulties and IP (Internet Protocol) limitations may be a common stumbling obstacle. You'll sense the need for a database, and not having one might be a major problem! When writing the algorithm for your scraper, you'll also need to account for exceptions. This will be useful if you're seeking to avoid problems caused by complex page structures, non-ASCII characters, and other concerns such as funny URLs and large memory requirements.
Let's take a closer look at a couple of these difficulties. We'll also go over how to deal with them. Hopefully, this will assist you in successfully scraping data from Amazon.
1. Amazon can detect bots and block their IP addresses.
Amazon can easily tell if an operation is being performed by a scraper bot or a manual agent because it bans web scraping on its pages. Many of these patterns are discovered by attentively watching the browsing agent's behavior.
If, for example, your URLs are altered at regular intervals by merely a query parameter, this is strong evidence of a scraper moving across the page. Captchas and IP bans are thus used to keep bots out. While this step is required to preserve the privacy and integrity of the data, some data from the Amazon web page may still be required. We have various fixes for this as well.
Let's have a look at a few of them:
- If necessary, rotate the IPs through different proxy servers. You can also use a consumer-grade VPN service that supports IP rotation.
- To interrupt the regularity of page triggers, insert random time gaps and pauses into your scraper code.
- Remove query parameters from URLs to remove identifiers that connect requests.
- Change the scraper headers to make the queries appear from a browser rather than a script.
2. Several Amazon product pages have different page structures.
If you've ever tried to scrape Amazon product descriptions or data, you've likely met a slew of unexpected response problems and exceptions. This is because the majority of your scrapers are created and customized for a specific page structure. It's used to follow the structure of a page, extract the HTML information from it, and then collect the relevant data. If the page's structure changes, though, the scraper may fail if it isn't intended to handle exceptions.
Many Amazon items have unique pages, and the features of these pages differ from those of a conventional template. This is frequently done to cater to many products, each of which may have unique important traits and features that must be promoted. Write the code to handle exceptions to remedy these inconsistencies.
In addition, your code must be resilient. This can be accomplished by using 'try-catch phrases, which ensure that the code does not fail when a network or time-out fault occurs. Because you'll be scraping specific product properties, you can write the code so that the scraper can check for those qualities using methods like "string matching." You can do so after extracting the target page's whole HTML structure.
3. Your scraper might not be up to the task!
Have you ever had a scraper running for hours to obtain a few hundred thousand rows? This could be because you haven't paid attention to the algorithm's efficiency and speed. While creating the algorithm, you can conduct some simple math.
Let's see what you can come up with to solve this issue. You'll always have a certain quantity of products or dealers for which you need information. You may estimate how many requests per second you'll need to accomplish your data scraping task using this information. Your goal is to construct your scraper to meet this requirement once you've calculated it.
If you wish to speed things up, single-threaded, network blocking actions are quite likely to fail! Most likely, you'll want to make multi-threaded scrapers! This enables parallel processing on your CPU! Even if each request takes many seconds to complete, it will be working on one response or another. This might offer you over 100 times the speed of your previous single-threaded scraper! To crawl through Amazon, you'll need a powerful scraper because there's a lot of data there!
4. A cloud platform and other computational assistance may be required!
You'll be able to speed up the procedure using a high-performance machine! As a result, you can save your local system's resources! You might need high-capacity memory resources to scrape a website like Amazon! You'll also need high-efficiency network pipes and cores. You should be able to get these resources via a cloud-based platform!
You don't want to run out of memory. If you keep large lists or dictionaries in memory, you may be putting a strain on your computer's resources! We recommend that you move your data to a permanent storage location as soon as possible, and this will also aid in the speeding up of the process.
There are a variety of cloud services available at reasonable pricing. You can use one of these services by following a few simple steps, and it will also assist you in avoiding unwanted system breakdowns and delays.
5. Keep track of information in a database.
Scraping data from Amazon or any other retail website will result in large amounts of data being collected. We recommend keeping this data in a database because the scraping procedure consumes a lot of electricity and time.
Each product or seller record you crawl should be stored as a row in a database table. Databases can also be used to execute tasks like basic querying, exporting, and deduplication. This makes saving, analyzing, and reusing your data easier and quicker.
Is it Legal to Scrape a Website?
There has never been a definitive answer to the question of whether or not web scraping is legal. Instead, the focus is on how a crawler operates on a case-by-case basis and what they do with the data they collect.
Scraping is criminal when done maliciously, rather than concluding on its legality. It is not, however, illegal if done properly.
However, because users' privacy is so crucial, there appears to be a more stringent guideline on the scraping and usage of social network data, as expected. It all comes down to how users scrape the data, though.
The Internet & Social Media Law Blog examined the example of hiQ Labs, a data scraping firm that won a lawsuit against LinkedIn in 2019 after the latter attempted to prevent hiQ Labs from extracting publicly available LinkedIn user data.
With his Labs contending that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) only forbids illegal access, the court ruled that LinkedIn's data was publicly available and anyone scraping it did so because it was available.
Furthermore, HiQ Labs exclusively used the scraped data to give firms analytics tools, making better hiring decisions.
On the other hand, Facebook recently filed a lawsuit against Chrome extension developers who collected Facebook users' accounts without their permission.
Facebook also sued a copycat site to collect multiple Instagram users' personal information and make clones. Facebook then moved on to get a permanent court order against the perpetrator, according to the article.
These are a few examples of persons who may have engaged in illicit web scraping. The companies mentioned above gathered Facebook users' data underhandedly and without their knowledge, and as a result, it violated privacy policies.
So, while online scraping may irritate the site from which it obtains data, there is currently no general rule prohibiting people from getting what they want as long as they don't break any internet rules openly.
The Legality of Amazon Data Scraping
Web scraping is still considered a shady practice by the majority of people, and this is why it's critical to understand your legal restrictions and follow the guidelines. While online scraping isn't illegal in and of itself, there are a few activities that can land you in hot water:
Scraping without first consulting the service terms
We frequently accept a website's Terms of Service just by accessing it. If the Terms of Service ban any forms of automated data collection, it's safe to presume that scraping this website is illegal.
Obtaining personal information
While there are certain rules in place, no comprehensive law governs the collection, storage, and use of personal data. Collecting personal information, especially if it is password-protected, is still illegal.
Copying of intellectual property
Designs, articles, audio recordings, movies, and any other type of creative effort are all examples of copyrighted content. Despite this, copyright laws do not protect goods prices or other related information.
To conclude, scraping the web for publicly available, non-copyrighted content is generally acceptable, and commercial usage of scraped data is, however, restricted. Simply said, you can go to YouTube and choose your favorite music video, but you can't upload it to your channel since it's copyrighted.