Scraping customer reviews can be a valuable source of e-commerce data extraction, yielding in-depth information that can enable detailed sentiment analysis and drive marketing decision-making.
Customer review data can be both quantitative (e.g. 5-star ratings) and qualitative (e.g. user-generated comments) and by collecting both parts, you can benefit from a database of review data that can be aggregated, compared, and filtered in complex ways
In this guide, we’ll look at why customer reviews are important, how to scrape content from customer review websites, how that review data can turbocharge your e-marketing, and what legal considerations you should keep in mind.
Why customer reviews are important
Customer reviews are important for several reasons. Obviously, they are a source of feedback for companies that supply goods and services, so you can identify any areas for improvement. But it’s not as simple as that.
For a true overview of customer sentiment, you need comprehensive data. New reviews are posted all the time, which is why you need:
- Ongoing real-time scraping of new review data
- Scraper proxies that can handle geo-blocks
- Clean and complete aggregated customer review data
Aggregated customer review data can help to create an overview of your operations as a whole. If a particular product consistently receives poor ratings, you might choose to stop stocking it or replace it with an alternative or improved version.
If a service is poorly rated, it could be an indication that you need to re-train the staff involved in delivering that service, or go back to the drawing board and redesign the processes behind the scenes.
The needs of the many
By aggregating multiple reviews, and potentially scraping multiple third-party customer review websites, you can build a database that allows you to serve your entire customer base better.
In this way, the benefits start to add up significantly. Instead of responding retroactively to negative reviews and losing revenues on refunds and store credit, you can act proactively to anticipate areas where customers are likely to leave low ratings and prevent that from happening.
Not all customer reviews are negative, of course — and by scraping customer reviews indiscriminately, you also benefit from seeing the parts of your business that are doing well. You can apply the principle of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” while highlighting best practices that you can apply elsewhere in your business.
As well as taking the most time and effort, this also yields the worst results. You may be left with incomplete data, unwanted page elements such as advertisements, and a variety of other clutter copied over from the page headers.
Review scraping tools resolve these issues, accelerating the process while also delivering better results – so what are the options?
How to scrape customer review websites
Scraping reviews is not as simple as copying and pasting content from customer review websites. You want clean and complete review data, with the necessary contextual information to understand numerical ratings and written reviews
Manual scraping of customer reviews is laborious and time-consuming. You may have to complete multiple CAPTCHA checks to access the reviews, and you could even find your IP blocked if the server detects you making an unusual number of page requests.
Review scraper tools can help to an extent, and Zyte can provide customer review data scraper tools if you want to adopt a DIY approach. Our tools in particular are designed to achieve the highest levels of success, without falling afoul of IP blocks and other common pitfalls.
For the most comprehensive data coverage, yielding a clean, complete, and well-organized database that you can filter, sort, and analyze in detail, our professional data extraction services give you everything you need with the knowledge that we will stick to high standards of ethics throughout.
Customer review data extraction has wide-ranging benefits for many types of websites, and is particularly beneficial for e-commerce operators in surprisingly different ways:
- Collect qualitative and quantitative data about your own goods and services
- Identify best-sellers in terms of sentiment, as well as areas to improve
- See what customers are saying about you on third-party review websites
- Analyze reviews of competitors to see what they are doing better (or worse)
- Discover highly rated products you can add to your e-commerce site to raise revenues
Real-time customer review monitoring is especially valuable. You can see emerging trends as they develop, to stay ahead of the market curve and stock trending products before your competitors get them first.
New customer reviews are left on websites all over the world every second of every day, making comprehensive coverage a challenge in itself. Capitalizing on customer reviews data can keep on top of what people are saying about you, your products and services, or your rivals, all in real-time. This can really help drive your product development and marketing efforts.
If you just want to aggregate customer reviews from third-party review sites, you might not think there are many legal concerns. But in fact, there are several things to think about, from compliance with personal data laws to whether you need to accept a site’s terms & conditions.
When you inquire about Zyte’s data extraction services, we will review your project and let you know if there are legal concerns. This allows us to work together proactively to make sure we design a responsible data extraction campaign for you.
Get in touch with a member of our team to find out how we can help you scrape customer reviews.