Nowadays, the amount of information we have access to is simply staggering.
Who would have thought, just a short few years ago, that we would have so many intelligent, automated systems to make our lives easier? Even better! As individuals, we are not always aware of how much of this information is recorded and analysed in order to improve your next experience.
How much time you spent on a website, what time you carried out a task, or even how long you sleep; this information can be invaluable to businesses when building customer profiles, predicting customer behaviours and understanding the markets.
Furthermore, this data is critical to businesses, their specific markets and, of course, for competitor analysis. The more information you can gather on your competitors, the better a position you will be in to satisfy your customers, continue to grow your customer base and chase the coveted position of ‘Market Leader’ in your industry.
Information is king, there’s no denying it. But, how do you gather it? Read on to learn our four successful methods of gathering business intelligence online.
Employ a Web Scraping Service
If you want to gather data on a one-off or recurring basis, find a reputable company that offers web scraping, such as Scraping Solutions, to get off to the best start possible. You can have customised software made especially for your data gathering requirements, or let the company look after everything for you.
The great thing about web scraping is it’s relatively quick, hassle-free and the results are excellent as it’s targeted to your data requirements. It will also save you valuable time which you can dedicate to your business instead of spending wasted hours online looking for information.
Analyse Website Data
Web marketers and online business owners start collecting data on their website users as soon as their website is up and running. The information they gather can be analysed and broken down to paint a picture of those that visit their website; where they are from, what pages they visited, how long they stayed, what purchases were made, cookies, search terms, etc. Using this website data, new strategies can be developed to improve the customer experience, grow the customer base and increase profits long-term.
Gathering business data online doesn’t need to be all cloaks and daggers, you can be upfront and simply ask for it. Ask your customers, suppliers, or even competitors to fill out a simple form on your website which will be used to improve the service or product you are selling.
With this method, it’s always best to keep your form short and sweet, to make it easy and straightforward for people to complete. It’s a good idea also, to sweeten the deal by offering a discount or small prize, the winner of which will be chosen from those who complete your form.
Tap Into Your Email List
If you have been building an email list over the last few weeks, months or years, now is the time to utilise it. Reach your customer’s inbox directly with a form, survey or questionnaire for them to fill in. The information you get back will be honest, trustworthy and real as it is coming directly from the customer who has made the time to complete the information with no outside influence. The rate of success proves to be quite varied from industry to industry, however, so be sure to know what to expect before starting.
Utilise Your Data
As you can see, there are many different ways to gather business intelligence online, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Using a web scraping service is the best way to get started with data gathering as it is both time and cost effective while also being a highly-successful way to gather data. Start collecting data today, get to know your customers, competitors and industry in a way you never thought possible. From there, the sky’s the limit!