Market research is the epicenter of any marketing strategy. Without it, there’s no guarantee your campaign will be successful. Web scraping using a tool like a Google Shopping API is an excellent way to gather market research related to specific products. If you want to know more about the shopping API, learn more on Smartproxy. Before we look at how web scraping benefits market research, let’s first discuss the definition and types you’ll encounter.
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What’s Market Research?
Market research is when you collect information and data on your target audience, competitors, market prices, and current trends. During this process, you analyze the data to understand what your consumers want. This research lets you know how to advertise your product or service the best and grab your target audience’s attention.
Why’s It a Vital Process?
If you try a marketing campaign while doing research, you might as well stumble around in the dark. The data will help you determine how to approach your consumers, the pricing they’ll expect, and what the target audience is for your product or service.
As such, it’s the most critical step and the building block of your strategy. Further, this process is something you continuously do, as the market is ever-changing. You must keep up and take advantage of current trends to remain relevant in the consumers’ minds.
It’s also crucial for a new business, as it helps you understand the venture’s feasibility, identify a new niche or test the demand for a product or service. It also helps boost your sales and improve the success of marketing campaigns.
The Different Types
Various types of market research are available, depending on the information you want to collect. Both types are collected differently, which we discuss below.
You collect this data first-hand, by doing the research yourself or hiring someone else to do it. It can involve handing out questionnaires, surveys, interviews, focus groups, or observations. Overall, it’s an incredibly time-consuming practice, and you’re often limited in the number of people from which you can gain information.
This limitation can mean that your research is skewed toward a specific group. If you’re thinking about opening a small store in a tiny town, then it’s perfect. However, for businesses that span across states, secondary research gives a better overview.
The secondary type is research others have done and posted as open information online in articles, reviews, papers, and more. As its public knowledge, anyone can use it, but it also means you have no control over the collection methods. However, you can also collect information from online websites to see what your competitors are doing, and it can be much faster to complete.
You can collect information from various markets, which is ideal if you’re expanding into a new market. However, the downside is that this information may be outdated, as the market changes frequently. You can use a web scraper like a Google Shopping API to collect the data in real time for better results.
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
The research you gather, whether through primary or secondary means, can be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data is all about statistics. It’s often more structured and consists of hard facts. Overall, quantitative data is excellent when looking at the average price of products or services and how many competitors you have in the market.
Meanwhile, qualitative research is more about how people feel about subjects and why they make particular choices. This information lets you better understand your consumers and what they want. As such, you can personalize promotional campaigns better or change your offerings to something consumers are more likely to purchase.
How to Complete the Research?
We’ve mentioned some ways to collect primary and secondary data but let’s explore it more in-depth below.
Often, the most common primary research sources are conducting extensive interviews, sending out consumer surveys, and creating focus groups. However, these are all quite time-consuming, and by the time you complete the process, the market will be close to changing again.
Other sources, often used with secondary research, are reports or research papers, trade-specific sources, newspaper articles, and more. However, these sources might not answer your question entirely and aren’t always accurate for the current market.
Web scraping is one of the best ways to gather secondary market research. You can do it yourself, with no extra training or tech knowledge required, and receive results the same day. Web scraping is collecting information from other online sources using an automated tool. Web scrapers gather the data related to the keyword you gave, and a data parser changes the raw HTML results into a more readable format.
Web scrapers can look at the average pricing in the market, competitor deals, and consumer reviews. This information gives you a more accurate understanding of your consumers’ wants and how to advertise your service or product. It’s also a much faster process than completing the research manually and more affordable than hiring someone to research for you.
Stay Relevant to Your Market
Market research forms your business’ backbone. Without it, you’re poking a stick in the water searching for fish. It guides your strategies and creates successful campaigns that attract new customers and keeps existing ones happy. Use web scraping or a Google Shopping API to collect relevant information that applies to the current market and start growing your business.