Price comparison sites redefined the way people buy online. A price comparison sites compares prices from different e-commerce sites and recommends you the best deal. This encouraged a lot of startups to come into the market and many of them made it big. Even though a bit crowded, e-commerce still is a market growing at a reasonably high rate.
For operations, price comparison engines need product data. How do they get it?
There are primarily three ways of getting Data for a price comparison engine.
Feeds from merchants: Price comparison sites establish business relationship with the companies or sites they send traffic to. Once an agreement is there, they can get data directly from merchant feeds. Merchants set up either an API or use ftp to directly deliver data. One of the common ways of monetising a price comparison sites is by getting a referral commission.
Product feeds from third party API: There are some services who provide e-commerce data via an API. In this case, third-party services charge for the volume of data derived.
Web scraping: Web scraping is one of the reliable and efficient ways of getting product data from target sites. In most cases, options one and two might not be available. If you are using an open source technology, you can cut down costs and save yourself from proprietary technology deadlock.
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