What Do Competitors Usually Monitor By Parsing Sites?

Parsing is a term that describes the process of extracting the necessary data from open sources of information. And, logically, the tools used for this are called parsers”(regardless of the programming language in which the script is written). Released relatively recently, the means of automating the collection of information and searching for references on the Internet have become popular with web developers, marketers, and owners of various projects in eCommerce.

Simplest Option

You are planning to open an online store and have a contract to supply goods from a well-known brand. At the same time, the provider has a site with thousands of names but no electronic database or the ability to provide access to it. When cooperating officially, you have the right to use descriptions, photos, and videos without fear of penalties. But to copy this information manually is impractical.

It is much easier to create or buy a script that can compile the necessary database in a convenient format for transfer to your directory. Thus, you can get all the required content in a few hours. And we are talking not only about texts but also about photos, images, promotional videos, searches for mentions on the Internet.  

What Else Can They Parse?

If the information is publicly available and easy to find by searching for mentions online, you can use it on legitimate grounds.

  •  Scripts can collect prices for specific groups or individual products presented on competitors’ sites.
  • Aggregators of product offer work on a similar principle, combing hundreds of online stores searching for information about current prices for a product.
  • The obtained data can be used to monitor the activities of competitors to create more profitable offers to increase sales.
  • Parsers allow you to collect databases with contact information of potential partners or suppliers and collect relevant offers from companies willing to cooperate with retailers.
  • Another option is to search for mentions of the company’s name on the Internet in various sources, form a common understanding of consumer perception of the brand, and increase the efficiency of responding to negative feedback.

What Does An Ideal Parser Have?

The tool must have:

  • Convenient interface;
  • Flexible search settings;
  • Multitasking, scalability;
  •  Performing tasks in the background;
  • Forming parsing results in formats suitable for further work.

In addition, the developer must take care to handle the restrictions (like captcha) and the ability to continue data collection even when blocking IP by quickly switching between different addresses using proxy servers. It will significantly simplify the monitoring of competitors.

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