Proxies are nothing new in the online space – but they might still sound weird for the layman. If you own a business, you probably need to tighten your belt when it comes to grabbing a larger share of your market. A proxy can help you do exactly that.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy stands between you and the internet – your request will go through the proxy before it gets to its destination, which is the website you want to connect to.
When you use a proxy to connect to the internet, it has many perks, and one of which is protecting your IP address from the prying eyes of hackers.
Once a proxy server takes a response from the web servers, it goes to the user. That helps in ensuring a higher level of anonymity because your real IP address is secured.
The truth is that businesses are leveraging the benefits of proxies to gain a competitive edge. Alternatively, how else would you explain the use of proxies when scraping data for, say, market research?
Competitiveness in different spheres of endeavor will drive companies to find a way to get to the frontlines – hence the need for market research. So that is where web scraping comes in.
Web scraping is the process of extracting data from a website by using bots. Web scraping applies to an array of online businesses. The use cases are as follows:
- The crawling of a site by search engine bot – it analyses the content and ranks it
- Auto-fetching of prices by price comparison sites using bots
- Scraping for data from social media and forums by market research companies
Why Web Scraping
Regardless of the years you have been in business, web scraping is essential for growth with web data.
Innovation at the speed of light
With the help of web scraping, businesses are creating new products and coming up with innovations. Scrapers put to good use, utilize the data they have gathered and develop products or innovate on existing ones to provide a solution for various problems.
Let’s use Kayak (a price comparison site) for example, or a job board, developed from different sources. These would not exist without the extraction of web data.
Lead Generation for Building a Sales Machine
With better access to company data, you’re invariably building an automated sales machine.
However, you would need to reach out to these companies, and there are several ways to achieve that.
Here is a list of how to go about gathering information about these companies.
You can decide to automate a LinkedIn search to find any company, based on your criteria:
- Carry out a PagesJaunes search for a small company
- A Google Maps search will also come handy to find local businesses
- Find growing and trendy companies using AngelList companies search
Scraping for Market Research
As stated earlier, web scraping plays a crucial role in business. With the extraction of relevant data, scrapers can put together the opportunities and potential customer base in a particular industry. And that is part of a market research strategy right there.
You can gather valuable insight using this data – for both direct and indirect competition. It will avail you information as to whether there’s a change in competitors’ prices or even considering the market in general.
It will, in effect, help you decide on your pricing structure based on the competitors’ promotion. It would be best if you kept up with market trends, so your products and prices are competitive. If you would like to learn more about this topic, click here to visit a great post by Oxylabs.
What are the Best Proxies for Market Research?
Proxies are always a heated subject when it comes to market research. However, what matters is using them effectively and appropriately.
So many types of proxies are in the market space, and only specific ones work perfectly well for certain situations, like market research. To this end, the best proxies for market research are:
- Datacenter proxies
- Residential proxies
When choosing the best proxies between these two types of proxies, certain factors come to play and with considerations.
The point here is the breadth and variety of websites you’re gathering information from – and that will possibly provide you with actionable insights. For sites scattered around the world, you’d need a range of localized IPs.
With residential proxies, you’ll get great flexibility by choosing any location on the global stage. On the flip side, datacenter proxies rank high when it comes to response rates even with residential proxy innovations.
So many businesses are already benefiting by using proxies for market research. However, some enterprises are ignoring what this practice brings to the table for them to reach their full potential – that is unfortunate!
By using the best proxies for your market research, your business will have the right data to improve on existing processes and procedures – even pricing and strategies.Web scraping is evolving, so are proxies. They all allow you to get ahead in your competitive space and deliver proven solutions to your customers.