You can only differentiate yourself from your competitors, develop effective strategies, and attract your target audience by devoting yourself to research. Thorough competitor analysis and market research empower you with data, enabling you to make informed decisions that can take your company forward.
However, that’s often easier said than done. Collecting accurate, timely, and relevant data takes hard work, and at times, it’s all but impossible without some help from a few select tools like residential proxies.
Learn what it takes to conduct proper competitor analysis and market research, and find out how a simple thing such as a residential proxy can help you.
Competitor analysis and market research are critical to your company’s success
Whatever industry your business belongs to, you need to have your target audience notice you. Whether you want them to simply come across your ad on social media, pop by your offices, visit your website, or convert to buying customers and invest in your products/services, you can’t simply rely on good luck to have them do so.
You need to develop plans and strategies that will help you grab their attention. And you can only know whether your plans and strategies will be effective if you understand your market and know what your competitors are doing.
Thorough market research helps you learn who your target audience is, what they want, what problems they have that you could help them with, and what influences their purchases. It enables you to identify gaps and opportunities within your market and even predict trends, making it critical to your success.
Of course, competitor analysis is the other part of the coin. After all, you need to understand who you’re up against if you want to make waves in your industry.
With comprehensive competitor analysis, you’ll understand who your strongest competitor is, what strategies they’re using, how effective they are, and why your target audience may go to them. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll get the information you need to predict their next moves and anticipate their actions.
The difficulties of collecting accurate data for analysis
The simplest, most effective way of conducting competitor analysis and market research is through web scraping.
In a nutshell, web scraping is the process of using bots to crawl through websites and collect relevant information. These bots can be programmed to extract highly specific data points, such as prices for specific items, for example, or user comments and reviews.
Once they’ve collected the information you need, they extract it to your database, making it easily accessible for later use and analysis.
However, there’s a catch. Although web scrapers can collect publicly-available information, most websites don’t particularly enjoy their presence. Sometimes, it’s because webmasters don’t want their competitors to be scraping them for data.
In others, it’s because bot traffic presents no benefits to them – it takes up resources other (real) users may need, it could impact their loading speed, cause glitches, and more.
That’s why most websites will have anti-bot technologies that could prevent you from scraping their information.
For instance, many sites will use rate limiting to minimize the number of actions a user from a single IP address can perform. They’ll use CAPTCHAs to identify bots and impose IP blocks that could temporarily restrict or permanently block traffic from your IP address.
These challenges could prevent you from collecting accurate, timely data for competitor analysis and market research.
Fortunately, all these challenges can also be overcome using a reliable residential proxy.
Streamlining processes with the help of residential proxies
As you’ve likely noticed, many anti-bot technologies websites adopt rely on IP identification. Websites constantly analyze the traffic coming from particular IP addresses, making it easy to distinguish authentic users from bots.
That’s where proxies come in handy.
Proxies are servers that intercept your connection to the websites you want to scrape. When you make a request for information from the website, they take over your request, make it on your behalf, and send you back the site’s response.
By acting as an intermediary between your device and the web, they protect your device’s identifiable information, aka its IP, and assign it with a brand new one.
In most instances, proxies will assign you a fake IP that’s not connected to any Internet Service Provider (ISP), making it quite easy for websites to catch your scraper activity and block even the proxy-provided IP.
With residential proxies, this problem is eliminated.
A residential proxy gives you access to authentic IP addresses assigned by real ISPs and connected with real devices. Since it’s a genuine address that could belong to real users, websites are significantly less likely to mark it as suspicious and impose blocks or restrictions. Therefore, you can scrape data for your competitor and market research easily and efficiently. Follow the link to discover more benefits of residential proxies.
Though residential proxies tend to be more expensive than other alternatives, they’re well worth the investment. Giving you access to genuine IP addresses, they simplify your web scraping processes, giving you access to any competitor or market data you may need.