57% of online stores in the UK scrape data
Due to the fast growth of ecommerce within the UK, many ecommerce companies have seen their data needs increase. Now, 57 percent of retail and ecommerce companies are scraping external public web data. External data can help their marketing and implement effective pricing strategies.
The ecommerce and retail sector in the UK have grown at an unprecedented rate. Online retail sales reached a 13-year high in 2020, with a 36 percent year-on-year increase. This was the highest rate seen since 2007. This growth will continue through 2021.
Competitive pricing strategies
With this exponential growth in the ecommerce sector, online stores are looking for ways to get ahead of the competition. External data can be useful to predict market trends. Forecasting customer demand becomes easier when you can use historical data. Implementing effective pricing strategies becomes easier when they are based on data about market trends, competitor actions, and consumer demand.
Increased use of public data
Oxylabs conducted a survey of 251 senior data decision-makers from UK-based retail and ecommerce businesses. The studies reveal that ecommerce businesses in the UK are increasingly looking at external sources of market data.
The ecommerce sector has also doubled down on its data needs in the last 12 months. Companies are want to gain more information in novel pricing strategies, shipping information, stock levels, customer reviews, and customer sentiment.
‘Data-savvy companies will jump at the opportunity to improve profits.’
Gediminas Rickevičius, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Oxylabs.io, comments: ”ecommerce has experienced explosive growth in the past few years. Any data left on publicly accessible websites becomes fair game for companies looking to gain insight into market movements, consumer sentiment, etc. Therefore, it is completely natural that data-savvy companies will jump at the opportunity to improve their profitability.”
Small majority scrapes public data
Up to 51 percent of respondents use traditional internal data sources, such as CRM, POS and supply chain systems. Less than half (38 percent) use third-party data, market research and database aggregators. Additionally, a small majority of 57 percent are currently scraping external public data.
Up to 52% will increase their data collecting budgets.
The majority of respondents are either planning to increase their data collecting budgets (52 percent) or keep the same budgets (45 percent) for the next 12 months. This shows that ecommerce companies are aware of the increasing need for data to make better business decisions.
Data management issues
The survey also highlights data management issues. It’s striking that up to 47 percent of respondents are still looking into manual data collection and cleaning. Automated processes are more cost-efficient, but it seems that businesses find such implementations challenging. There are significant opportunities for those who can implement automated data management processes.
‘Traditional data sources are slowly losing relevance.’
Andrius Palionis VP of Enterprise Solutions at Oxylabs.io, comments: “Traditional data sources are slowly losing relevance, although they will continue to be widely used. However, with external data it is now possible to plug in the gaps of knowledge left by traditional sources, allowing for greater predictive accuracy. In turn, this enables companies to significantly improve the return on investment of nearly all operations.”