Using a Walmart Data Scraper To Extract Valuable Info
To most people, Walmart has only brick-and-mortar stores specializing in retail. But, in actuality, Walmart stores are leading in both physical and online sales. In fact, over the years, Walmart has massively expanded the e-commerce aspect of their business to the point of being able to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon.
Tapping into the massive amount of online data associated with them can, therefore, offer useful insights for both personal and professional use. That is why in this article, we tell you everything you need to know about using a Walmart data scraper. We discuss what it is, some great ways to use it, how proxies fit into the picture, and much more. Read on or use the table of contents above to navigate through the article quickly.
What Is a Walmart Scraper?
A data scraper is an automated tool designed to scan through a website and collect relevant data. A Walmart data scraper is one that has been designated to scan through Walmart.com and automatically find information relevant to you. For instance, if you need a comprehensive list of prices of different breakfast cereals available on the Walmart website, a scraper can quickly and easily extract this data for you and convert it into a more useful format.
Websites typically contain massive amounts of data. E-commerce sites, specifically, with their many product pages, contain a whole lot of data that make them particularly difficult to wade through manually. As such, the process of web scraping can save you a whole lot of time and energy. Plus, the fact that it is conducted by a bot eliminates the risk of human errors.
3 Awesome Ways You Can Use a Walmart Data Scraper
On both personal and enterprise levels, there are several ways that choosing to scrape product data from Walmart can come in handy. Here are just a few examples:
1. Finding prices
If you are unapologetically frugal and love to save a dime whenever possible, scraping Walmart for pricing data is a great way to make sure that you are getting the best prices for items you have your eye on. Once you extract the relevant pricing data from Walmart.com, you can compare the prices to those of other companies and make your pick. On the enterprise level, gathering pricing information can help inform competitive pricing and put your business ahead of the competition.
2. Assessing product ratings
More than 270 million customers visit Walmart’s stores and website every week, leaving tons of product reviews and ratings for you to scan through. A Walmart data scraper can be instructed to gather these product ratings and reviews for you. This can be used on a personal level to research a particular product before buying it. It may also prove beneficial for businesses as a whole. For instance, as an online store owner, assessing how customers react to particular products on the Walmart site can give you insight into customer journeys and may inspire ideas you can apply in your own business.
3. Creating a winning marketing strategy
From enabling you to do SEO research to allowing you to quickly gather data for sentiment analysis, web scraping is an invaluable tool for building up a solid marketing strategy. As an entrepreneur looking to launch an online store, for instance, using a Walmart data scraper can help you unveil important details like what keywords the company uses to get their products in front of customers and the sentiments customers have about these products. Such information can help you find tactics to emulate. You might even uncover flaws and come up with ways to improve.
How to Scrape Walmart Product Data
While there are various ways to scrape data independently, it is not an advisable practice for several reasons. This route is often more tedious and time-consuming than manually scanning through the pages of Walmart.com. There are also free scraping services out there. And, while they might seem appealing, they are generally unreliable.
The easiest way to scrape data is to find a good provider like Scraping Robot and then purchase a web scraper from their site. Once you do, the process of using the web scraper is usually easy and straightforward. The provider will tell you how to go about installing and using the scraper. This takes away the burden of having to figure out the entire process by yourself.
Tips for Better and Faster Walmart Scraping
Because web scraping is an automatic data collection process, a lot of websites are programmed to ban devices associated with such activity. That’s not because web scraping is, in itself, wrong. It’s more because a lot of cybercrime is conducted this way with many bad actors collecting sensitive information in this manner. And since most websites are vigilant about protecting the sensitive data of their users, they are quick to issue bans. Also, retail is a highly competitive industry and companies like Walmart do not want their competitors accessing and exploiting their data. Here are a few ways to maneuver these major obstacles:
1. Program your Walmart scraper to mimic human behavior
To make your web scraper look more human-like to the websites it accesses, you can set it to send out requests every five seconds instead of at an inhuman pace like every second. You can also divide your web scraping project into smaller chunks to make them more manageable. These tips are especially useful if you are using only one IP address and want to avoid bans by all means. However, they usually will not take you far which is why the next tip is important.
2. Use a Walmart proxy
IP addresses are unique codes websites use to identify and locate devices. It is through these addresses that websites can ban a device. This is where the need for proxies comes in.
A proxy IP address serves as a barrier between websites and a device’s personal IP address. When a device’s IP address gets blocked, a proxy IP address can serve as an intermediary between the device and a website, allowing requests to be sent indirectly. This provides a solution to the problem of bans during web scraping. Since you can use multiple proxies, you can switch your IP address after bans and extract large volumes of data speedily and efficiently.
What’s more, there are lots of other benefits to using a Walmart web scraping tool with a proxy. These include access to location-restricted websites and improved security.
3. Choose the right type of Walmart proxy
Yes, proxies can increase the efficiency of web scraping but not all proxy types are good for this purpose. If you are looking to scrape large quantities of Walmart data, it is best to go with the following types of proxies:
Rotating proxies are set up to have a change in IP address after pre-determined periods of time, or automatically in the case of a ban. In light of this, they are the best for web scraping because they allow the process to continue uninterrupted.
Static rotating proxies, on the other hand, maintain a single IP address. They can either be dedicated to a single user or shared amongst a few users. But in both cases, the fact that you have access to only one IP address makes these kinds of proxies sub-optimal for web scraping. Learn more about that here.
Residential IP addresses are given out by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to homeowners when they purchase Wi-Fi sources like modems. Because of this, residential proxy IP addresses have to be gotten from actual users. As a result, they are relatively expensive. But, because they are linked to the addresses of real people, they look legitimate to websites. So when you use a residential proxy to scrape data from a website, you’ll resemble a regular everyday user. This reduces the likelihood of being detected and banned. These features make residential proxies highly suitable for web scraping.
In contrast, datacenter proxies come from data centers, and lack association with physical residences and ISPs. They are very easy to detect. In fact, some websites outrightly ban their use. So you cannot connect to such websites with a datacenter IP address. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a datacenter proxy to scrape data. For websites that permit their use, they are a cheaper option, but you will need loads of them to complete a project.
The absolute best kind of proxy for web scraping is a combination of the two stated above – a rotating residential proxy. With this kind of proxy, you have access to numerous residential IPs that are rotated regularly. Best of both worlds!
Where to Find the Best Proxies for Web Scraping Walmart
Just like there are free web scrapers out there, there are tons of free proxies out there. But these kinds of proxies are just as unreliable as free web scrapers. They are typically too slow for web scraping and expose you to the threat of data breaches.
If you are serious about web scraping Walmart, it is best to invest in a paid proxy provider. Paid provides strive to give you the best experience possible simply because it is in their best interest. But don’t just go for the first paid provider you find. There are always exceptional, reliable, and trustworthy ones that stand out from the rest. To find them, look out for features such as a guarantee of high speed, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 customer service.
Blazing SEO offers all this and so much more. We know that businesses and individuals alike have unique needs. So, we strive to provide a wide variety of proxies and protocols to meet those needs. Whether you choose to go with a residential proxy for your Walmart data scraper or you decide that datacenter proxies are a better option for you, we have what you need. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Final Words on Walmart Scraping
Whether you are scraping data to gain insights that can help you grow your business or you are trying to save some money by comparing product prices, a proxy will make the process of using a Walmart data scrape easier and faster. With a good Walmart web scraping tool and the right kinds of proxies, you can avoid bans and seamlessly scrape huge chunks of data at a go.
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