Since the web continues to expand, the amount of data it generates and contains increases with it, introducing new opportunities for different types of organizations to improve their operations and make better choices. So, it is believed that today is the time for companies to act and incorporate such data streams into their processes to be totally prepared for tomorrow. Many businesses are already relying on web scraping to perform market research in a quick, effective manner.
This post will explain market research and its significance for businesses, as well as how web scraping can improve market research processes.
Understanding Market Research
Market research is a systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data related to target customers, competitors, and the market in general. Carrying out good market research is the ultimate way to survive in the competitive market.
As per a McKinsey study on the effect of market research, companies that use data to make decisions are more likely to generate profits and attract and retain customers than those that fail to follow this approach.
The key objective of performing market research is to understand the market and determine the viability of any service or product. The obtained data can then be used to refine the strategy for introducing the service/product to the target audience and discover market segmentation to tailor advertising.
Businesses, at varying phases of progress, use marketing research for a number of reasons. Here is why conducting market research is useful for all types of businesses:
- Determines the feasibility of a new product/service by indicating its demand in the market and the likelihood of a business success
- Improves customer satisfaction since it helps brands understand what customers want and prioritize their requirements.
- Creates positive brand image and status in the industry by helping companies determine the likes and dislikes of their target consumers and offer a product/service that fulfills their requirements.
- Reduces operational risks as it provides information on emerging industry trends, competitors’ plans, and changing customer preferences. This way, companies learn to adjust to market fluctuations and make predictions.
Use Cases of Market Research Data
Data collected as a result of market research can deliver many benefits to all modern companies. Below are some of the most common use cases of market research data:
Target Audience Analysis
The analysis of the target audience is a process of examining the demographics, interests, values and buying patterns of audiences. With the help of market research, brands can better understand who their customers are and what they need. The collected data can be used to form effective marketing campaigns and create targeted content that connects with the target audience and builds relationships.
Market research helps brands conduct competitive analysis – a strategy that includes researching main competitors to gain insights into products/services, sales, and marketing plans. This is useful in understanding the whole picture of how competition works and discovering potential opportunities where brands can outperform their competitors. Businesses can also stay informed about market trends and ensure their products repeatedly meet or exceed the standards.
Pricing analysis is basically a method of assessing the performance and impact of prices on revenue, market share, and customer satisfaction. Using market research to perform pricing analysis leads to higher profits, a better understanding of customers, and new business opportunities.
Web Scraping and Market Research
Market research is an integral part of maintaining a competitive business. It assists brands in understanding market trends and their target audience. However, given the rapid evolution of the business industry, traditional methods used to perform market research are falling short in acquiring real-time data. This is where web scraping enters the picture.
Also called web data extraction, web scraping is a process of collecting data from digital sources for storage and analysis. This technique enables researchers to quickly access large datasets, gain insights into industry trends and consumer behavior patterns, and detect market fluctuations to find new opportunities and threats in time.
Web scraping is a powerful tool for improving market research operations in the following ways:
- Companies can access huge amounts of real-time data to remain updated with industry changes. For instance, e-commerce web scraping simultaneously collects data related to products, pricing, customer reviews, etc., from several online marketplaces.
- Businesses can closely track competitors’ activities, pricing, and marketing tactics, and reviews to gain insights and adapt their strategies as needed.
- Data extraction facilitates price monitoring and optimization, realizing its significance in market research. E-commerce web scraping, for example, tracks the prices of products across multiple platforms and provides useful data to optimize pricing strategies.
- Brands can keep tabs on and analyze prominent industry trends and consumer preferences to adjust their products accordingly.
Conducting market research to collect up-to-date data is highly important, whether introducing a new product, improving a current one, or discovering the latest categories. Web scraping is revolutionizing the way market research is performed. By leveraging data extraction, companies can race ahead of others and gain a competitive edge.