57% of online stores in UK scrape data

October 25, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

Due to the fast growth of e-commerce in the UK, many e-commerce companies have seen their data needs increase. Currently, 57% of retail and e-commerce companies are scraping external public web data. External data can help their marketing and implement effective pricing strategies.

The e-commerce 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% year-on-year increase. This was the highest rate seen since 2007. This growth will continue through 2021.

Looking for external sources of market data

With this exponential growth in the e-commerce 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. E-commerce businesses in the UK are increasingly looking at external sources of market data.

The e-commerce sector has also doubled down on its data needs in the last twelve months. Companies are want to gain more information in novel pricing strategies, shipping information, stock levels, customer reviews, and customer sentiment.

An explosive growth within e-commerce

E-commerce 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, data-savvy companies jump at the opportunity to improve their profitability.

Increasing need for data to make better decisions

Up to 51% of respondents use traditional internal data sources, such as CRM, POS and supply chain systems. Less than half (38%) use third-party data, market research and database aggregators. Additionally, a small majority of 57% are currently scraping external public data.

The e-commerce companies are either planning to increase their data collecting budgets (52%) or keep the same budgets (45%) for the next twelve months. This shows that these companies are aware of the increasing need for data to make better business decisions.

Automated processes are challenging

Up to 47% 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.

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