Businesses rely on data to make informed decisions. However, getting data can be problematic for a few reasons:
Industry insights and reports can be too expensive for small businesses.
Manually collecting data is tedious and time-consuming. It also uses up precious resources that could be put to better use.
This is where artificial intelligence can help. AI's ability to gather and process vast quantities of data is transforming businesses today. The use of AI is one of the most significant trends in marketing. Twenty-six percent of marketers report that AI is the next big trend compared to 29% of marketers who believed that personalization is going to dominate marketing. And 21.23% consider voice search to play a major role in the future of marketing.
Interestingly, all these new trends rely heavily on AI itself. In this article, I'll discuss how small businesses can use AI to gather data through web scraping.
Web scraping makes it possible to collect data from hundreds of thousands of sites. Some benefits of using AI-powered web scraping include:
High-speed data collection: An AI-powered web scraper can collect and classify data in hours that can take full-time staff weeks to manually process.
Collect more data: It's only possible to collect data from several thousand of sites by using AI. Manual work can cover only a fraction of the quantity at higher prices.
Greater accuracy: Data scraping offers a high degree of accuracy and enables businesses to get the correct information to manage their business decisions
There are clear advantages to using AI in the form of data scraping to provide you with actionable information. Let's explore how this tool can help you in greater detail.
How businesses can grow from web scraping
Business intelligence is essential for your company to survive today. However, it's a challenging activity that can a great deal of time and resources to carry out. Harnessing the power of AI means that you can drastically reduce your expenses while boosting your ability to make data-backed decisions.
To give you a clearer idea, let's look at how web scraping can be applied to different industries. Using it can support your data analytics efforts and result in the achievement of your goals.
In this section, I'll explore how e-commerce businesses and travel agencies can apply web scraping to collect data and manage it.
If you run an e-commerce business, then one of your pressure points is to offer competitive prices.
You can opt to scroll through your competitors’ websites and manually track the pricing and price changes. But you can imagine how tedious and challenging this task can be. Developing an AI web scraper instead will help you track pricing across multiple sites and gather them for analysis.
Another way that web scraping helps manufacturers is to track if distributors are selling their products at predetermined prices. Making sure that products are being sold at an acceptable rate means ensuring a business's brand image does not drop due to price competition.
Customers in the travel arena are often fickle and liable to choose offerings based on pricing. For travel and tourism businesses, it's important to know what prices their competitors are offering and the experiences they cover.
Gathering this information is much easier with web scraping. If you're in the travel industry, this will make it possible to build customer loyalty and boost revenue.
Here are a few more ways that travel businesses benefit from using AI-powered web scraping tools:
They can track new market opportunities.
Businesses can gather data about properties, such as the number of rooms, square footage and more.
You can collect and classify customer reviews to identify problems and leverage experiences that are successful.
Travel businesses have the information they need to offer competitive rates for flights, hotels, and travel packages.
A look into how travel and e-commerce sites can use web scraping highlights how small and newer businesses can compete against larger businesses. It can level the playing field while offering customers the best experience possible.
Social media monitoring
Managing your brand image on social media is an imperative activity for any online business. Here are a few social media statistics to highlight exactly why.
43% of people use social media to research what to buy.
63% of people say that messaging apps are where they feel confident talking about content.
15% of Facebook users in the United States use the platform to shop for products.
200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile each day.
81% of people using Instagram to research products and services.
There are even more statistics available to show you just how important your presence online is. Web scraping supports your social media marketing by offering you a way to monitor what people are saying about your business and your competition.
You can collect reviews, testimonials, ratings, social media posts and lots more to create an overall view of what people think. An AI tool can also perform sentiment analysis and tell you whether people are positive, negative or neutral towards your business.
This will help you manage your brand image and track how it's changing over time. You’ll also discover customer pain points and new ideas for product development.
A business needs to manage risk by verifying that all its partners and relationships are above board. When hiring personnel or getting a new supply partner, a business can manage risks by doing a thorough background check. You can use automated data scraping tools to conduct background checks.
It's true that you can probably do a basic online check on social media. However, data scraping allows you to get deeper information. You can search through multiple platforms and sources.
Use data scraping to search through news and press releases. Collect data from corporate, financial and insolvency registers. You can also use it to get information from legal and other databases.
In this way, you can protect your business by doing thorough checks and research on hires, partners and other important elements.
Good research is possible when a business, individual, or publishing company has access to data. Collecting data and coming up with new insights is a rigorous process that can be highly rewarding.
Web scraping has clear benefits to researchers in the business, academic and journalistic fields. Using data gathered from thousands of sites, it's possible to gain significant information. As a business, you can observe social media trends, content marketing shifts or narrow in on emerging keyword searches taking place online.
Use an AI web-scraping tool to support your research practices. You'll be able to stand out from the competition and even drive thought leadership in your field.
Leverage the power of AI in your business
Small businesses find it hard to compete with bigger businesses partly due to a lack of business intelligence. But the widespread development of AI today means that businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to create better products and experiences for their customers with the help of relevant data.
AI web scraping is one AI tool that any business can use to collect information from online and public sources. You can build one in-house or work with a great tool online. Use the ideas mentioned in this article to find your own way of leveraging data to grow your business.