Proxies for Market Research. Benefits and Top Use Cases

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29.08.2022 in Knowledge by Chris Collins

Any business enterprise that wants to be successful in the market needs to target and obtain the right type of data.

This search for valuable information applies not only to startups that look to sell a new product or service but to mature companies equally as they struggle over the years to remain relevant among so many competitors and technological changes.

And, if in a less competitive past companies could postpone market research as long as they provided a good product and had easy access to the market, nowadays the digital framework which dominates and dictates our life choices make it so much harder for companies that lack an online presence to succeed. Find out how to monitor customer reviews with proxies and boost your business

The digital developments change the business approach for companies interested in selling on the Internet as sales and marketing teams now have easier access to the world while enjoying new means of running market research analyses via proxy server solutions.

But why would a company use proxies to collect business-related data for market research?

First of all, we need to understand what market research is and why it cannot be ignored by any company that wants to remain competitive.

Market research is the process of collecting important information about market(s) of interest and potential customers who might be interested in buying your products. Most of the time, market research becomes the basis of all major business decisions which influence a company’s future development.

Market research should not be ignored by a company as its teams always require valuable data about customers’ needs and competitors’ strengths.

Now, since it is quite clear market research is helpful for a company that wants to create better solutions while keeping a constant look at the latest industry changes, we need to return to proxies to better understand how businesses can benefit from these great data collection tools.

4 Benefits Proxies Can Bring To Market Research

Benefits of Using Proxies for Market Research

1. Proxies make your market research look like normal browsing

Market research with proxies has many advantages. We already established that proxies are vital in obtaining valuable data for business decisions and drawing an improved marketing strategy, but how can we actually do a market research with proxies and withdraw the required information since we’ll find it most of the time under a protective shield raised by website administrators?

To reach the desired data, users need proxies to mask their web scraping efforts that are developed for market research purposes. With proxies at hand, the online search for data becomes a legitimate browsing activity.

And if users deal with hard-to-scrape websites that set up some online barriers, they can always choose a set of rotating residential proxies which employ IP addresses from private home networks.

Rotating residential proxies represent the best choice users can make since they appear as average people surfing online. Even more, to make sure you have the best chances out there, go for a rotating set of special residential proxies that change your IP address automatically at a predefined period of time.

2. Proxies allow access to restricted online data

We should first explain what we mean by ‘restricted online data’ as this is a twofold discussion.

Thus, when we talk about ‘restricted online data’ from a general perspective, we are simply referring to the increasing level of security raised by website admins all over the world who install anti-scraping mechanisms to keep unwanted visitors away from their websites. And this is something normal.

However, users engaged in web scraping campaigns are equally detected by the same protection mechanisms, flagged for suspicious activities and finally blocked.

Therefore, the only solution for users to overcome these barriers is to use proxies that hide the IP address and even rotate the exit IPs on a regular basis.

Now, there is a second instance where we might refer to geo-restricted content, that is data that can be accessed only by users from a particular geographical location. Related to this circumstance, we may find terms such as ‘geo-blocking’ or ‘geo-filtering’.

Once again, there is nothing wrong with geo-blocked data as many content creators and website admins impose these restrictions for several reasons. For instance, we can think about some artistic content - music or movies - that is not available in some countries for copyright reasons. Or closer to our purpose, we may have some marketing or social media information that should reach only people from a particular country or region.

No matter the reason online content is restricted, users who need to access geo-restricted content can take advantage of residential proxies to get the job done.

3. Proxies improve your web scraping activities

If you’ve been using proxies for business purposes for some time, you may be already aware of how easy it is to use these tools to acquire online content and withdraw the data into the format of your choice.

Furthermore, since proxies hide your real IP address, you can target web content from competitors and use it for your own commercial purposes.

And if your competition installed anti-scraping mechanisms or restricted the public information to a limited number of jurisdictions, proxy server solutions can be of great assistance.

Finally, taking advantage of an IP rotation system that allows you to benefit from a set of IPs in an automatic manner is a great way to collect content for business needs.

You have to remember that an IP rotation system together with special residential proxies that provide IP addresses from real users is probably the best method to go online and engage in data scraping activities.

What you can be certain of is that after using proxy server solutions from a reliable provider, it will be very difficult to go back to the traditional methods of accessing online data.

4. Proxies keep you safe in the online world

We’ve already emphasized several times the importance of using proxies to access restricted data and protect user privacy, but proxies’ relevance for business enterprises spreads without question into the sphere of online security.

Since we are fully aware that the present Internet world hides various menaces, from online criminals to malicious software targeting private information for illegal purposes, we should underline that proxies can equally serve as shields against malware, phishing, and web scams.

For instance, we have to imagine an individual looking to obtain information from a website via a scraping process. That person may not be aware that the scraping software withdrew not only the desired data but malware intended to target private details.

In this case, and especially with malicious software such as ransomware, the user’s IP address is very important as the hacker sends the malicious content to that address. Now, since the original IP address has been replaced with the one provided by the proxy, the hacker won’t be able to guess the real IP and launch the ransomware attack.

The proxies’ ability to keep users safe from ransomware is very important as such malicious software can archive and block your entire computer demanding money in exchange for the password that would bring your system back to normal.

And if for the average person this may be a temporary annoyance, for major companies with thousands of employees such an event could spell disaster, not only because the company may be blocked for several days from making money, but its image would be seriously damaged in the market.

3 Popular Proxy Use Cases for Businesses

Let’s find out how to conduct market research with proxies in different business areas.

How to Conduct Market Research with Proxies

1. Travel websites need the latest prices

We all love to travel to exciting new places all over the world and it’s just so normal nowadays to simply go online and choose one of the popular travel search engines that offer so many flight & hotel deals.

But how do they make it? How do these travel websites manage to obtain so many prices from all over the world allowing us to find the perfect hotel and cheapest flight ticket?

To obtain the latest prices related to accommodation and airline tickets, online businesses use multiple methods, but none of them is better than using proxies to obtain the required information fast and without fail.

2. Companies need a pricing overview to set their own prices

Many consider that a business needs to deliver great products to be successful, but things are not always that easy as a competitive pricing plan matters and customers need to trust that your company sets the correct prices in the market context.

And if established companies that come with some experience in the industry have an easier life in getting the right sales structure, emerging businesses that need to deal with multiple competitors can have difficulties in guessing the final price.

Therefore, in this case, companies interested in establishing a competitive pricing plan can easily use proxies to obtain the latest prices from competitors. With the market price overview in front of their eyes, a company’s sales team can have a better idea of how much they should charge for products and services.

3. Monitor your competitors’ social media presence

As we’ve seen by now, proxies are amazing tools that can keep your online identity safe and private on the internet. At the same time, proxy server solutions allow you to obtain valuable data from various web sources, an element that can sustain your business development.

Furthermore, proxies are great means of accessing your competitors’ social media presence so that you may be aware of their latest marketing campaigns and align or adapt your own market objectives.

In addition to that, proxies can be used to engage in multiple social media campaigns for your company by creating multiple accounts connected to local residential proxies from the targeted jurisdictions or territories.

With special residential proxies at hand, a social media manager can simply connect an account with a local IP address from the area of interest and engage in various activities without attracting any attention from the platform or the targeted customers.

Do you want to use proxies for market research? Check out our solutions, such as Residential Proxies.

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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.