Apart from a sales platform, Amazon also has its own cloud infrastructure (this is basically hosting) and gadget assembly lines (e-readers, SMART speakers etc.). There is even a publishing agency and a movie studio. The main business, however, still focuses on sales servicing. There is no need to manufacture anything - just provide a quality and reliable platform.
So, why parse the website of such a large trading platform like Amazon? Reasons may be numerous:
- Gathering customer data in a specific niche or from potential/direct competitors;
- Gathering the assortment-related data - in the provided niche or directly from competitors;
- Review analysis - to understand the audience activity and customer quality requirements. This also involves the analysis of products provided by the existing manufacturers (including the choice of the best products in terms of price/quality ratio) and suppliers;
- General analytics - offer completeness, price levels, demand activity, general trends, novelties, promotions etc.
Various types of such data can be used to forecast brand product demand, design a catalog, form content requirements etc. It goes without saying that the modern eCommerce market has become much more complex. The more efficient and correct approach to marketing campaigns is, the more profit and turnover one can get.
This is all called Big Data. Although Amazon parsing can also contribute to small business establishment - to quickly find a spare or evolving niche, for example.
Special software should be used for parsing - parsers or scrapers. Let’s discuss what parsing is.
Amazon Parsing Problems
Does Amazon allow web scraping? As far as the marketplace serves a huge number of customers, any parasitic load results in a waste of hosting budget. Additionally, the website works for people, not for bots. What company in the sales industry would willingly share its analytical data with other market participants? At best, this data would be superficial and difficult to conceal or this would be something that does not involve any important information that could be applied in practice.
Note that Amazon offers free access to the Product Advertising API, but it is intended for advertising and promoting the uploaded products. In other words, the service is meant for creating affiliate networks and for marketers who need to effectively manage large product catalogs. Obviously, it is impossible to obtain "third-party" data with this API.
What’s more, Amazon uses special protection systems that detect automatic requests and block them. These, however, are not all the problems associated with the process of Amazon parsing. We will explain the details below.
Different Web Page Structure
Many parsers analyze the HTML page structure to find specific patterns: similar IDs or classes, descriptions, HTML tags, and other attributes. The main task is to extract content blocks for further data parsing.
These blocks can include a product name row, a block of images, a price field etc.
The platform website is not static. Design and layout change periodically, resulting in the loss of the common block structure. Classes, IDs and other attributes can change as well.
The page structure in different catalog categories can also differ a lot. This creates certain difficulties for parser fine-tuning.
To configure the settings for a new structure, it is necessary either to update it manually (if the parser has the exception processing functionality) or to wait for the program developers to fix it for you to make it compatible with the current website version or with a specific web page type.
The most popular way to save on parsing is to launch the data collection process from your own PC/server (depending on the parser type). In this case, however, you encounter natural limitation of connections to the target website:
- If you request a simultaneous connection to a large number of web pages, this will enable the Amazon protection algorithm. It will be easy to detect parasitic load and automatic sending of bulk requests. After all, it is unlikely that a regular customer can physically open more than 10 pages at a time to switch to a new set of views within a few seconds;
- If you define a safe interval for yourself and thoroughly follow it, the time for parsing will increase in a geometric progression. For example, if you make a request for one page every three seconds, it will take 3,000 seconds (or 50 minutes) to collect data from a thousand pages. Correspondingly, it will take over 8 hours to parse 10,000 pages etc. Thus, if you need much data, it may take days or even weeks to collect it.
To parse data using parallel flows, you need special software. All Amazon parsers reviewed in our lists below can handle the process of sending and processing a large number of parallel requests.
The mechanisms of Amazon's protection system are obviously constantly changing and reviewed to make it easier to distinguish between bots carrying parasitic load from genuine users that bring profit.
Blocking by IP address, however, remains the simplest and the most effective method of protection. There are multiple nuances here, such as ban lifetime, IP address type (its owner - for example, a local internet operator, a mobile internet operator or a hosting owner), IP availability in special spam databases etc.
Anyway, a parser has to complete at least a few requests from the same IP address to enable a more complex blocking based on behavioral factors.
This is where proxy servers come in handy.
They solve several tasks at a time:
- They can parallelize concurrent requests to speed up the data collection process;
- They reduce the risk of blocking the parser program - the host (computer or server), on which the parser is running;
- They make it possible to collect data in specific regions (countries and local markets) as prices and sales conditions may differ.
However, there are nuances to consider here:
- Classic server proxies are easily and quickly detected. They almost immediately end up in a stop list (a blocking list) due to low trust levels. Additionally, their geo targeting accuracy is also low, up to the country level only. What’s more, many server IPs are frequently listed as spam. As a result, their parsing efficacy is extremely low;
- Residential proxies feature good speed and high coverage quality. However, they can quickly end up in stop lists as well. Although, they usually have limited blocking times to reduce bot interest during the connection absence. Residential Proxies: Special Features and Advantages.
- Mobile proxies are the perfect option for Amazon web scraping. They provide extensive coverage, precise targeting and they are rarely blocked due to the risk of access restriction to the resource for a large number of real customers. Their only disadvantage is high cost. How Mobile Proxies Work and How to Use Them.
- Much depends on the choice of proxy service provider - ease of connection, IP selection and geolocation accuracy, maximum number of simultaneous connections, restrictions on the types of transmitted data and connection speed, IP availability in spam lists, anonymity etc. Choose Froxy for scraping Amazon and you won't go wrong.
Amazon Parsing Tools
Stand-alone programs make up the most common parser type. This is the software that runs on your PC. Other types of tools can be used as well, including cloud parsers (ready-made web services that are managed through a personal account or API) as well as browser extensions.
Let's review the most popular utilities for Amazon parsing now.
This software product represents a successful combination of offline software and cloud implementation. There are installation packages for Windows and MacOS. The basic version is distributed absolutely for free, but you will need SaaS functionality to work with Amazon. This is because rotating IP addresses are mandatory for multi-flow scraping.
The program uses machine learning technologies and has over a hundred different templates to extract data from various websites, including eBay, Yelp, Google Maps etc.
Login/password authorization is also available here. There is a built-in tool to create parsing algorithms and conditions - Workflow Designer. Data can be stored in the cloud (including API interface to access them) or saved in various formats (TXT, CSV, HTML).
The free version of the program has a number of technical limitations: only 2 tasks can be executed at a time and up to 10 tasks can be queued here. Incremental extraction functionality, API and other cloud features are absent here as well.
Paid cloud editions remove flow restrictions and significantly increase queue limits. Additionally, you can count on professional tech support.
Subscription prices start at $75/year.
ScrapeStorm is an AI-based visual web scraping Amazon tool created by a former team of Google search engine bot developers. It runs on any desktop operating system, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
The software can independently detect various data on pages in a special intelligent mode. These include lists, tables, links, forms, phone numbers, prices etc. This is what makes the program a smart solution for various tasks, including the search and collection of contact data, Amazon price scraper completion, working with comments and reviews. The most interesting feature is, however, the simulation of user actions. You can write complex scripts and the program will execute them as a real user would do that - with mouse cursor movement, waiting mode, web page scrolling etc.
ScrapeStorm supports a large list of export formats, including tables, text, HTML, ready-made databases (both in MySQL and other formats like MongoDB, PostgreSQL as well as ready-made files for WordPress uploading).
The software can work on a local PC or server as well as in a special cloud. Local and cloud tasks can simultaneously run here, while the data will also be promptly synchronized.
The free ScrapeStorm version is limited by the number of simultaneous parsing tasks (not more than 10) and by the number of active launches on local PCs (not more than 1). Export limits are set here as well - up to 100 rows per day.
Paid subscriptions start at $39.99/month. It goes without saying that subscriptions increase all the indicated limits. There are plans that do not limit the number of local program launches.
Special business plans that make it possible to download any file types, including video and audio, start at $159.99/month.
There is a machine learning mechanism that can simplify the data collection process both for newbies and pros. The extracted data can be exported by API in Excel/CSV and JSON formats. They can also be uploaded to Google Sheets and Tableau.
The process of scraping Amazon software can be scheduled to always have an up-to-date data snapshot for analysis and comparison.
As for downsides, ParseHub does not support PDF content parsing and has poor compatibility with MacOS (for example, the current version does not support macOS Ventura yet).
The free version allows working with public projects only (anyone can download your data) and comes with a number of limitations: parsing speed constitutes 200 pages per 40 minutes, opportunity to parse no more than 200 pages per launch. Thus, you can scrape Amazon product data to further store it in a special cloud not more than 14 days.
Paid subscriptions start at $155/month, increasing the speed and page number limits per one cycle of work, while the data will be stored in private projects. It also becomes possible to upload images to the specified cloud storage, while the data can be stored for up to 30 days.
On the one hand, browser extensions are very convenient as they don't require separate program installation. Everything remains within the browser. What’s more, the end website protection system rarely works. This is because a real person - a browser user, not a robot - accesses the pages.
On the other hand, browser extensions often lack the ability to work with a large number of parallel flows. However, other technical nuances can be available here as well.
Data Miner (Data Scraper)
This is one of the most popular browser extensions for Google Chrome. It is potentially compatible with Microsoft Edge and other Chromium-based browsers. You can launch one of several tens of thousands of ready-made scanning rules in just a few clicks here. Likewise, it is possible to create your own Amazon seller scraper solution.
The extension can extract data from one or several pages, from search results etc. It can also fill out the forms with data and work with scripts. It efficiently finds contact information, Amazon products data scraper results and prices. The obtained data can further be exported in a tabular form: CSV, Excel.
The extension is distributed on a freemium model. Baseline options are provided for free. Additionally, you can parse up to 500 pages per month.
Professional plans start at $19.99/month. They differ in the level of technical support and page number limits.
Webscraper.io is a user-friendly "point and click" browser extension understandable even to newbies. It is distributed completely free of charge, without any limits on the number of web pages for Amazon scraping.
If the browser extension format won’t work for you for some reason, it is possible to switch to the cloud implementation. This allows for scheduled bulk parsing, API access, proxy rotation and other tech-related features.
Cloud work involves a subscription-based infrastructure access that starts at $40/month.
ScraperParsers is developed by the company that provides only fresh and up-to-date data for the venture investment market (funds, startups and deals). Over 1 million websites are analyzed here on a daily basis, including blogs, news and other niche resources. It goes without saying that it is impossible to collect such a large data volume without a parsing utility. This is what makes the ScraperParsers extension a successful side product.
The working scheme is uncommon for the extensions market. The plugin is used as a kind of terminal for task configuration. A user "directs" the program to the required data, while all other pages are parsed in the same way. What you need is just to download them from the brand cloud.
Considering the cloud implementation, the starting subscription that provides free access is nothing but a freemium model. The restrictions are as follows: no more than 10 parallel website requests, only one active website at a time, no more than 1000 pages that can be parsed at a time, a limited list of proxy servers.
Premium plans that increase limits and improve tech support conditions start at $19.99/month.
Amazon Data Scraper
Amazon Data Scraper is a specialized extension developed by DataSunday. The same team also creates and maintains browser extensions for various eCommerce platforms, such as eBay, JD, AliExpress etc. Specifically, this Amazon data extractor can collect any product info by brand and keywords. It extracts transaction and customer behavior (reviews) data. Prices, titles, descriptions etc. are collected as well. That is, not only ASIN parameters are parsed. Almost all significant data is extracted. The export format is Excel tables only.
Free access is provided for one day. After that, you will have to upgrade to a premium plan that costs $18.99/month. This includes access to all utilities and Amazon scraper tool selection at a time.
There are no cloud implementations, while all data is collected by your browser only.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Parsing tools differ. Some of them work as browser extensions, while others are standalone software for PC or server. There are also cloud services with a ready-made infrastructure.
Amazon parsing, however, will have its own peculiarities and nuances in each case. The blocking probability may be minimal, when a user individually works on a project. However, you won’t be able to obtain a large amount of data in this case. Therefore, if you need to parse multiple pages, you have to use rotating proxies to avoid risks of blocking by IP or by behavioral factors.
The best service for renting rotating residential and mobile proxies (which work best for Amazon parsing) is Froxy.
You get the ability to fine-tune the geolocation up to the city and internet service provider, a huge pool of addresses, over 8 million IPs and a convenient personal account with the opportunity to export proxy lists in the specified format.