Finding it tough to pull product data from Amazon? This guide shows you how to scrape Amazon for competitor pricing, ASIN, and product listings.
- How to get Amazon product data.
- What’s web scraping?
- Before you scrape Amazon.
- Three ways to scrape Amazon.
- The benefits of scraping Amazon.
- The problems with web scraping Amazon.
- How rotating residential proxies can help.
How to get Amazon product data.
You can get Amazon product data by simply using their search function. However, that won’t be helpful for more extensive data collection projects that require real-time data spanning multiple sites and listings. The only way that’s possible is by automating the process with web scraping tools.
What’s web scraping?
Web scraping is simply collecting data from web pages and websites. It involves programming bots to automatically execute the tasks a human would take to extract and organize the same data.
Before you scrape Amazon.
If you have a smaller-scale scraping project, you can crawl each keyword’s category list. Then, request the product page for each one before moving on to the next.
The second option is to create a database of products you want to track. For this, you need a list of ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Then, with your web scraping tool, scrape each of these individual pages on a routine basis. This is the most common method among scrapers who track products for themselves or as a service.
But before getting into that—-let’s understand what ASIN is and why it is essential for collecting product data from Amazon.
What’s an ASIN?
ASIN is a 10-character alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies each product on Amazon. You can find the ASIN in the product listing’s Technical Details or Product Information and the product page’s URL.
Why scrape the ASIN?
ASINs from Amazon help you get data from the best-performing products, daily sales estimates, and unique products revenue. They also identify similar products or competitors using keywords and product information.
Is scraping Amazon even legal?
There isn’t a dedicated body of law that defines the limitations of web scraping. However, case law outlines plenty of judicial decisions in favor of prosecutors. Privacy laws enter the picture when you trespass onto password-protected domains. Property damage gives evidence enough to make a case against careless or uninformed scraping practices.
Learn more about web scraping case law.
Three ways to scrape Amazon.
There are countless ways to define and categorize web scraping. The three most common approaches are the copy-paste method, using open-source scraping templates, and full-service web scraping tools.
If you only need to gather a few product details off Amazon, this scraping method is self-explanatory. It requires little time or resources to execute too. [insert image] However, the more product data you need, the less efficient the copy-paste method becomes.
Suppose the sight of computer code doesn’t produce a cloud of dust as you turn and run in the opposite direction. In that case, there are thousands of free crawling, scraping, and parsing scripts available in programming languages like Python, NodeJS, Scrapy, Java, PHP, and Ruby. These alternatives share many of the same features, but Python seems to have the most extensive templates for web scraping.
Web Scraping APIs
Web scraping APIs seem to be the most expensive solution, but you must appreciate the value they bring to the table. Since they are easy to set up and use, they save you the time it takes to learn code, streamline your data collection process, and troubleshoot the problems that are prone to arise.
Scraping Amazon product data using web scraping APIs is simple because the GUI (Graphical User Interface) only requires simple actions on the user-end while automating the more tedious coding tasks below the surface.
With most web scraping tools like Octoparse and Parsehub, you just download the software and follow a quick tutorial to get going.
The benefits of scraping Amazon.
- Real-time price monitoring—By perpetually scraping Amazon you have the most up-to-date resource for competitor pricing. You can import scraped data onto a spreadsheet or save it in JSON format.
- SEO research—Listen in on consumer feedback and competitor strategies as they arise, giving you data to make intelligent changes to your SEO campaign.
- Review data—Optimize your product development, management, and customer journey by scraping product reviews for analysis.
- Trend discovery—Find items with a lot of volume that do not have enough quality products to meet the demand.
The problems with web scraping Amazon.
- One script does not rule them all—Most scrapers are preset to navigate a particular page structure. If there’s any deviation from that structure, they often run into problems. Amazon pages come in all shapes and sizes–that, in many ways, are different from standard templates. If you’re scraping with open-source scripts, you must find code that accounts for these exceptions.
- Amazon has a lot of data—Scraping and storing data on your system is fine for small projects. Still, you will eventually need high-performance processors and vast data banks to handle growing volumes. Using a cloud server prevents over-taxing your local resources and optimizes your whole data collection chain.
- Amazon monitors bot activity and instantly IP bans—Web scraping goes against Amazon policy, and they actively enforce it. As soon as they catch you sending too many requests from a single IP address–while scraping their sites–Amazon blacklists your IP. Their attitude towards bot activity makes it difficult to scrape enough data to be worth your time.
Yet, people scrape Amazon every day. Those that successfully bypass Amazon monitors use rotating proxies to do so.
How rotating residential proxies can help.
By continuously rotating IP addresses, your requests appear to come from thousands of unique visitors–instead of one scraping bot.
You can rotate your IPs manually, but that takes too much time. Automating this process with a proxy management tool like ours is much more convenient. Combine it with access to over 75 million residential proxies and you won’t have any problems scraping Amazon. Download lists of proxies from hundreds of cities worldwide and plug them into your choice of web scraping software. Or you can use our browser extension for web-based scraping tools.