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Two Thirds Of Retail And E-Commerce Companies Now Scraping External Data To Make More Profitable Business Decisions

57% are now scraping external public web data to gain market insights to help them make more profitable business decisions
Additionally, nearly a quarter (24%) note that their data needs have increased significantly since 2020
51% of companies still employ data from traditional sources such as CRM, POS, and supply chain systems
38% use third-party data, market research, and statistical database aggregators, such as Nielsen and Euromonitor
Oxylabs has seen exponential growth in inquiries from businesses in the e-commerce and retail sectors, with total inquiries per month having doubled since 2020 and are continually growing
The UK’s retail and e-commerce sector has experienced an unprecedented rate of growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to early 2021
Online retail sales hit a 13-year high in 2020, with an increase of 36% year-on-year – the highest rate seen since 2007[1]
The boom in online retail and e-commerce continues as we progress through 2021, with Brits reported to spend a record £120bn online this year alone[2], resulting in UK retailers and e-commerce businesses now placing more value than ever before on new, external sources of market data and dynamic pricing information to help them make their business decisions

Retail and E-Commerce companies in the UK are increasingly relying on external real-time data to inform business decisions, with 57% now scraping external public web data to gain market insights and help them make more profitable business decisions. This is one of the key findings from the Oxylabs white paper: ‘The Growing Importance of External Data in the Retail and E-Commerce Industry*,’ *which reveals a huge rise in demand for external data scraping over the last twelve months.
251 senior data decision-makers including Directors of Engineering, CTOs, VPs of Engineering, Chief Data Officers, Heads of Business Intelligence, and Heads of Data & Analytics were questioned to gain insight into the use of external data and the challenges they face. Respondents were selected from a broad spectrum of leading UK-based retail and e-commerce businesses.

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The findings reveal that businesses in the retail and e-commerce sector have a growing need for public web data, and the interest in old school sources of information is waning. Companies are becoming more interested in novel pricing strategies, shipping information, stock levels, customer reviews, and customer sentiment.

However, traditional sources, such as internal business systems data, remain relevant and useful for the retail and e-commerce sector. Based on our data, 51% of companies still employ data from traditional sources such as CRM, POS, and supply chain systems. In addition, some 38% use third-party data, market research, and statistical database aggregators, such as Nielsen and Euromonitor.

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Andrius Palionis VP of Enterprise Solutions at, comments: “Traditional data sources are slowly losing relevance, although they will continue to be widely used. However, with external data it is now possible to plug in the gaps of knowledge left by traditional sources, allowing for greater predictive accuracy. In turn, this enables companies to significantly improve the ROI of nearly all operations.”

Online retail and e-commerce firms are now able to generate, process, and rapidly analyse data in real-time resulting in actionable business insights. Such data enables highly data-driven organisations to gain a significant proportion of growth and revenue from analytics, according to a McKinsey study[3].
Gediminas Rickevičius, Director of Strategic Partnerships at, comments:” E-commerce has experienced explosive growth in the past few years. Any data left on publicly accessible websites becomes fair game for companies looking to gain insight into market movements, consumer sentiment, etc. Therefore, it is completely natural that data-savvy companies will jump at the opportunity to improve their profitability.

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