You have a lot of choice when it comes to direct scraping data providers. How do you make the right one?

When it comes to choosing a direct scraping data provider, you have a lot of choices. But the reality is that many vendors sell low-quality data or provide solutions that require serious time and money to maintain.

That’s because there are two different types of direct scraping services: managed scraping and manual scraping. The vast majority of data vendors sell manual scraping services. Manual scraping services are like a car with a stick shift: they work, but they require manual maneuvering. And when you’re driving that car through traffic, there are plenty of decisions to make every moment. You constantly need to keep URLsupdated, product listings relevant, and continually check whether the pricing data delivered to you matches what's actually on your competitor’s website.

Managed scraping services, on the other hand, are like an automatic transmission in a beautiful BMW. You don’t even need to think about switching gears. Instead of managing the data quality, inventory, and URLs of competitors, a managed scraping service does it all for you. Rather than wasting time checking data matches, you can just open your pricing tool and go directly into the data.

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Manual scraping services

Unmanaged scraping services


Manually add the URLs of your products and decide which data to scrape

Connect your product feed and supply a list of competitors. The matched service takes care of the rest


URL-based matches

Several different options: base matches on URLs, GTINS, MPNs, Titles, or any combination of the above


Manually upload new product URLs, for both your products and your competitor’s listings of those products

Since it’s feed-based, the managed service will automatically detect new products in your assortment and look for matches across your competition’s websites


Completely manual maintenance. If a competitor’s URL structure changes, for example, you need to supply the new URLs to the data service. Same for if a competitor’s website layout changes — you need to reconfigure the spider to match the new layout, not the data service

Data provider monitors website changes and reconfigures data collection as needed


Can’t make distinctions between available and unavailable products

Automatically test if if you can order a product on a competitor website


Not applicable

Can make assortment suggestions and tell you which products your competitors sell that you don’t

How does HP make sure its data is up to its rigorous standards?