How to Scrape E-Commerce Data With Node.js and Puppeteer

How to Scrape E-Commerce Data With Node.js and Puppeteer

This tutorial goes through the basic concepts that are required to scrape a website that is based on a front-end framework like Vue, React, or Angular.

Normalized data is the foundation for all price intelligence projects. This tutorial will cover the basics of how to scrape product information.

Web scraping is nothing new. However, the technologies that are used to build websites are constantly developing. Hence, the techniques that have to be used to scrape a website have to adapt.

Why Node.js?

A lot of websites use front-end frameworks like React, Vue.js, Angular, etc., which load the content (or parts of the content) after the initial DOM is loaded. This especially applies to performance-optimized e-commerce websites, where price and production information are loaded asynchronously.

Now, if we access a page like this with PHP, or any other classic server-side language, this content will not be part of the retrieved markup, as we require a browser window for sufficient JavaScript rendering.

This is where Puppeteer comes in. It opens a headless Chrome instance to render a page.

Getting Started – Prerequisites

Let us get started by installing Node.js on our system by initializing a new npm (Node Package Manager) instance. npm allows us to install further packages easily. To begin, run the following command:

Shell

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npm init

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// we can now install our puppeteer instance via npm

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npm install puppeteer

With this, we have initialized a new npm instance and installed our headless Chrome browser. At this point, you could also install a DOM parser library to make data extraction a little easier. However, we are going to use the JavaScript built-in querySelector() to parse retrieved HTML.

That's it. We are finished with all the prerequisites. Let's start working on our actual web scraper.

web dev node.js web scraping

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