What are BOTS? Save your Ecommerce store from BAD BOTS!
As defined on Wikipedia, BOT is a software application that runs automated tasks on the internet. They carry out simple and structurally repetitive tasks at a higher and faster rate than possible by a human.
Examples of Good Bots are Crawlers and Spiders of Search Engine. They give you higher ranking in the most used Search engines and Social Network Platforms.
Bad Bots are not at all welcome in any ways. They are a huge threat to your ecommerce store. They gain highly confidential data such as identity information, credit card details, content scraping and even can lower your SEO rankings. Hence online business has to be aggressive in protecting their store from the devastating effects on the business by Bad Bots.
As an ecommerce owner, one needs to be intensely aware of the bots. What harm they can do your business? One has to be keep track of bots more than on a competitors as they even harm your sales and affect website performance.
How can bots harm your ecommerce store & business?
According to the study done by DATADOME;
- 50% of the traffic is generated by bots.
- Half of that traffic are Bad Bots
- Ecommerce companies are the hot targets of Bad Bots to get the pricing details and proprietary content
- By blocking Bad Bots, it increases your website security, performance and infrastructure savings.
Scraping Pricing Details: They can scrap all the products details and product pricing details from your website and then supply it to your competitors. Competitors will then use it for their own products and quote the price which are competitive to your rates. Hence outbidding and outstripping you to your own targeted segment of customers & prospects.
Companies will not become aware of this till they lose their own customers. As they have scraped every information about your product, they will market their product to your customers at lower price and better descriptions.
This is not the issue with small ecommerce store owners only. Even the giants also face the problems with bots. For e.g. Amazon had made a statement that they would focus highly on eradicating the Bot traffic on their website and address the issue of price scraping.
Content Scraping: Do you know that bots visit your website every day and steal your content? Bots scrap the content from your site and repost them without giving links and credit and pass it on as their own content which is illegal. And most of the time website administrators will never know about it until they keep as protective mechanism for it or go on a search hunt for it.
Content scraping is detrimental to those business, who are looking forward to higher rankings of their ecommerce store and have used right keywords and relevant content. If the competitors places the same content, it is a hard fact that the rankings on the search engine will be affected. Which will ultimately affect sales inspite of all the hard work.
Lower the Speed: Bots will increase unnecessary traffic to your store which will ultimately lower your ecommerce website performance by slowing the loading of the webpages and its details. This will frustrate your customers or prospects and ultimately leave your site. Hence, this too will result in negative impact on attracting and keeping the customers/prospects as it leads to dissatisfaction and so ultimately affecting sales.
Theft of User’s Critical Personal Information: This is the biggest concern for the ecommerce business owners. In ecommerce, business is done online, i.e. people pay for the product on the internet. On one hand ecommerce owners works hard to build trust among the customers that their online store is highly secure to do business. Even the customer gets convinced by their assurance, but it is Bad Bot that spoil the set-up. They steal the customers’ personal information and financial details and they are used for spam or fraud campaigns harassing the customers. Eventually, the user will connect these spams to the ecommerce store, will lose trust on the business and no do any transactions further. This too will ultimately affect the reputation of the business and as well as sales.
How to save your ecommerce store from bots?
Some of the solutions are:
By using CAPTCHA: Captcha entry distinguishes between humans and computer program.
Rate limiting: If the bots are scraping details from your website, their speed are going to extremely high. So if the speed is limited on the website, then bots are going to get trapped in that speed limit.
Blocking IP list: Identify the common or famous botnet and block their IP addresses and increase the sensitivity of firewall of your site.
Honeypots: Bots are after all a computer program, they can be fooled by leading them to a dummy or a dead page and trap them. These dead or dummy pages are called honeypots.
Conclusion is that it is highly critical for the ecommerce business owners to be aware about the Bots. They should know the difference between Good Bots and Bad Bots and apply the necessary protective mechanism against the Bad Bots. The reason is that the business should not be affected and customers should not be left frustrated.