Proxies for E-commerce: Which ones are the best? Guide

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25.08.2022 in Knowledge by Matt Brown

There’s hardly any company today that did not establish an online presence for its products and services.

From small-time players to corporate whales, every business venture is fully aware that the online environment is not the future anymore but the present as customers from all over the world can reach your website in just a few clicks.

Within this relatively recent commercial framework, most firms deployed major efforts to be present online in order to communicate with customers and promote the company’s business interests. As such, new departments and positions were set in place to respond to customers present on social media channels or arriving via search engine platforms.

But since nothing is free in life, the growing importance of establishing an online presence led to another challenge that forced all commercial ventures to comprehend that it’s great to be on the Internet, but it’s not that great when your competitors are already there.

So, how do you differentiate your business from other similar enterprises? What makes you stand unique in your own niche? How do you remain ahead of the competition when most commercial actors sell similar solutions and promote their brands in the same space?

All these questions emerged suddenly for companies looking to sell products on the Internet and many firms are still working to find that silver bullet that can push a brand’s name into the public consciousness.

Other companies understood that in order to preserve a top position specialized tools need to be secured to access and enjoy the benefits of publicly available content which can prove decisive for any e-commerce venture.

Let’s find out why proxies play an important part for e-commerce businesses that want to be successful.

Why high-quality proxies are important for e-commerce

High-quality proxies are important for companies focusing on e-commerce activities as they open doors to online sources of information.

Though it may not seem like much, especially when referring to public sources of information, we have to recall that although the data we need is out there, it doesn’t mean that it’s easily accessible.

As the number of online shops increased allowing customers to purchase products with credit cards and other online payment methods, the commercial platforms have soon become the target of malicious actors who are always keen to withdraw sensitive financial information.

As a result of these malware threats, most e-commerce companies installed several protection barriers that keep a close eye on the steps visitors take while visiting their sites.

And though these online guards are meant to keep malicious actors out, they might also act as restrictive fences against web scraping activities when low-quality proxies are used.

To solve this problem, companies looking to extract valuable content from the Internet understood that high-quality proxies from reliable providers are required to get the job done.

In addition to obtaining vital data, high-quality proxy server solutions are important as they don’t just open doors online, but they guarantee a high level of privacy for users engaged in web scraping jobs.

With a capable set of proxies at work, companies involved in e-commerce activities enjoy the following benefits:

  • Discover the newest technologies and selling techniques in the market;
  • Keep up with the latest changes in the industry;
  • Find out what customers want and how to acquire new leads;
  • Get to know direct competitors by checking on their marketing strategies;
  • Use the knowledge and content from the competition.

How proxies’ data extraction capabilities can support an e-commerce business

An e-commerce business can benefit from proxies’ data extraction capabilities to find out more about the targeted market to take advantage of all that valuable data for business development.

We have to remember that new companies - especially tech startups - many times depend on the business-related content they obtain from various online sources to enhance the line of products and services.

At the same time, all that business data can prove quite interesting when used in various campaigns, from marketing & sales to social media and SEO.

Let’s find out how proxies’ ability to extract online data can support an e-commerce business:

  • Proxies can be used to obtain market-related data by scraping various websites and online sources of information.

The data can be related to the internal conditions of the targeted markets, the established regulations, or the legal requirements that need to be respected by a company serving customers from that region.

For instance, an e-commerce startup that wants to sell products in another country - even though in the online space - still has to comply with the internal legislation from that jurisdiction.

Do you want to open an online gaming site and serve customers from another country? You better get your gaming license.

  • Proxies can be used to obtain valuable details from competitors.

As an e-commerce business, it is highly recommended to check the competition and understand what marketing strategies they use.

With proxies at work, you can scrape web data that is related to your competitors’ prices, the way they understand how to promote their products in the market, and the target audience they address via blog posts and social media channels.

All this data can be further used to improve your own solutions, prices, and marketing strategy, including your SEO plan.

  • Proxies can be used to obtain valuable data about customers.

Most companies, especially young startups, have a hard time identifying who the target audience is or should be.

At the same time, even when an e-commerce business ‘knows’ who they talk to or who purchases its products, they have difficulties attracting an even greater number of people.

With the right type of proxies, these companies can now engage in web scraping activities on social media, forums, or different websites to find out what the customers are looking for and what they expect from an e-commerce site.

In addition to finding the right customers and understanding what they actually need from your business, a company focused on e-commerce needs to find collaborators and influential individuals who can help the business access new markets.

With proxies in place, the scraping job can begin to find and contact the right type of people from your niche industry who can help your business grow even further.

Find out, how to avoid blocking with web scraping activities.

Which proxies are better for e-commerce activities?

E-commerce companies, as much as any other business enterprises, need to grow and increase revenues if they want to survive in the present commercial environment.

Though we may look at different business models, the fact that all these ventures are established and function on the Internet changes everything as they are all driven and influenced by similar market conditions.

To use a more direct approach, companies that sell online need as much information as possible from publicly-available websites to maintain and enhance their solutions and services.

Furthermore, now that we established that proxies can provide great assistance when looking to extract information about the markets of interest while discovering competitors’ strategies and customers’ needs, we still have to determine what type of proxies one should use to be successful.

Now, in order to do just that we have to understand that two main factors need to be taken into account. We have to obtain easy access to the sources of information while preserving a high level of privacy and security during our data extraction activities.

Though proxy servers are multiple, we will focus right now on the most popular solutions that can assist users in accessing the required data: rotating and static residential proxies.

So, which proxies are better at offering easy access to our data of interest?

To obtain the right answer to this question, we have to emphasize that the difficulty of the scraping job plays a major part in our final decision.

Thus, if we are engaged in an easy scraping job where we have to obtain some data from a normal website, static residential proxies should be enough for our purposes. After all, these proxies are cheaper and faster than rotating residential ones.

However, if we are talking about complicated scraping campaigns where we need vital data for our business development, we may have to appeal to the magic of rotating residential proxies that could be a bit more expensive and slower than the static ones, but they do offer the best chances of success when dealing with websites that put in place anti-scraping mechanisms and other security defenses.

How do we make sure our online privacy is secured while extracting data?

In this case, once again, we have to make our choice between rotating and static residential proxies.

And, as we already mentioned, static proxies may do the job when dealing with popular use cases, but when we refer to market intelligence that is vital for sales, marketing, and product development, the better choice remains rotating residential proxies as they are better suited to open all doors in the online space.

As for the privacy part, rotating residential proxies manage to remain the stronger candidate as they are based on home network IP addresses from all over the world.

In other words, with rotating residential proxies, the user makes sure that the real IP is hidden and replaced with another residential IP masking the online browsing activities. 

This way, the user accesses the online space with a genuine IP address that belongs to a real person living in a certain country who uses Internet services from a local Internet Service Provider.

Rotating residential proxies lend users for a period of time the appearance of normality helping them to remain under the radar while trying to obtain valuable data for business or private purposes.

In the end, we have to underline that e-commerce activities - as much as any other online ventures - require substantial business-related content that can indicate a company where it stands in the market, what are its options for development and how to find and address customers.

Proxies can assist companies in finding the desired content and placing it into a comprehensible format so that all information may be used easily by those who want to integrate it into their business development activities.

Do you have your own company? Find out more about proxies for market research.

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Shifter was founded in 2012, as one of the first residential proxy providers, since then it has become one of the leading proxy networks in the world and it's used by more than 25.000 clients including Fortune 500 Companies. Users can connect from anywhere to access local data without any restriction, while preserving a high degree of privacy and security.