Data Scraping

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Tourist
9 0 2
Hey,

I recently opened a shopify store and found my new site (which has barely any traffic of it's own) getting many hits from the US (im in the UK) . One site (pexgle) seemed to be a common one, which when you visit their site they list my most sold product, along with site hits, other sales information and website design. The advice from shopify was as follows;

"Pexgle uses publicly-available information to build reports. This is an unfortunate side effect of the internet, and public-facing data - if it's online and accessible, anyone can scrape details automatically, or manually if desired."

Could anyone kindly explain exactly where this data is made publicly available? I worked hard on my store and it was disheartening to see my store listed as "trending" on a site which promises to get its users ahead of the curve and increase competitor store sales, by showing images of our store alongside which of our products are performing best in real time. They are a Vietnamese company i think but it is a very sick website and seems well established. I tried many other sites however i could only get info on shopify stores.

So again, If anyone knows where exactly they get the data on my sales volumes etc that would be great!

Cheers,

James
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Highlighted
Shopify Partner
104 21 24

Hi James,

 

Is the data this site is showing about your store accurate? What they show as most popular / trending are in fact your most popular products? 

 

They might just come up with some "trending" section based on other sources. Maybe is what their visitors search on their website. Maybe it's just random.

 

I don't think they can get your real data, specially sales data from anywhere without your consent.

 

Also, it looks like you can request them to ignore your domain. 

 

Have a look at this thread: https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/Can-we-block-Pexgle/td-p/610542

- Yes, we build Shopify Apps. Hit me with your idea: https://vellir.tech
- Let customers preview your products and easily add them to cart with Peek Mode
- Add free, good looking social share icons with built-in analytics to your store with Share Lab
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Highlighted
Tourist
9 0 2
Hi Vellir,

Yes it correctly ordered my products in order of most sold so its getting my sales data from somewhere. It showed as trending likely becuase i ran my first campaign and got some hits and sales.

What you say seems to contradict what shopify said on response to my previous query (see previous message - that this data is publicaly available and it is just the internet - needless to say i do not agree that this should be inevitable). Also i am not the only one who has all this detailed info listed on pexgle (which seems to have a lot of content ahowing shopify stats, which it states it can get for your competitors).

I would just like to know exactly how it's getting this data, and why shopify hasn't done something sooner to stop this. This is a project ive been working on for a while and it is not fair companies with more resources can leverage shopify sales stats and website designs in order to better market there businesses. They shoouldnt be given this opportunity to get "ahead of the curve" in there words. Enabling tools like this, whethwr accidentally or on purpose, may end up hurting small innovative businesses more than your service helps them.
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Shopify Partner
104 21 24

Aren't the products on your site ordered the same way? 

 

I don't believe that your sales details are publicly available anywhere as in who bought what and when, but the way your products are ordered/sorted on the page is.

 

I agree there should be an easy way to block these kind of actions.

- Yes, we build Shopify Apps. Hit me with your idea: https://vellir.tech
- Let customers preview your products and easily add them to cart with Peek Mode
- Add free, good looking social share icons with built-in analytics to your store with Share Lab
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Highlighted
Tourist
9 0 2

They are not. My products are named Product 001, Product 002 to order them, which doesn't correspond to the order in which they sold best, as listed on pexgle.  I recently received the below response from Shopify Support (after the dashes).  I think that shopify should work to make this data unavailable, as it is with any other professional website (I checked a few of my suppliers and received no data whatsoever from these sites).

 

It seems odd to me that support knows so much about this website (including there blocking policy), and that this website only seems to give data about Shopify. You should have blocked this site months ago... What is a .json file please?

 

I had three more hits from the US today. There is no conceivable way anyone would have found out about me from the US except perhaps from facebook add campaigns perhaps, though these should be localised to the UK. No user wants site to be used in order to allow other firms to conduct cheap market research. It is immoral and illegal/should be illegal.

 

If shopify is not willing for some reason to limit the activities of these shady websites, can I at least ask for you to block all traffic from the US to my site? My market is entirely the UK. I would advise anyone against uploading there IP to shopify at the moment until you guys have control of your clients data.

 

Thanks,

 

James

 

-----

 

Sorry for the delay in response! I already got a response from our support team. According to them, this site is just pulling publicly available information. For technical context, Pexgle can scroll through Facebook ad campaigns connected with stores in seconds, and can see store traffic and key metrics for Shopify stores via myshopify URLs. The site can even take advantage of the .json files that bots can read.

 

Looking at the website, pexgle.com, it allows it users to pay a subscription fee and gain insight into any store's trending products and performing ads while they browse with the Pexgle browser add-on.

 

A Pexgle's blurb stated, “Probably the most used feature on Pexgle, the best-selling ads feature allows you to spy on other store’s products. There are no limits to the products being sold that you can view here, as literally every item sold on a Shopify store can be viewed from this section".

There are currently no workarounds for this, as this does not imply there is anything broken/requiring fixing on the your site.

You can contact Pexgle and ask them to protect their domain. This is free, and can take up to 24 hours to take effect- support@pexgle.com

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Highlighted
Shopify Partner
104 21 24

If you simply go to https://[YOURSTOREURL]/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling you can get your whole catalog ordered by best selling products. This is publicly available.

 

It seems that your only alternative at the moment is to contact Pexgle directly and request your store to be removed as mentioned above.

- Yes, we build Shopify Apps. Hit me with your idea: https://vellir.tech
- Let customers preview your products and easily add them to cart with Peek Mode
- Add free, good looking social share icons with built-in analytics to your store with Share Lab
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Highlighted
Tourist
9 0 2
It is immoral that shopify chooses to make this kind of data available and that the gurus defend it (ive seen 3 now that explain there is nothing to be done and it's nothing to worry about. Anyone with any clue of the value of marketing data will realise this is wrong. As suggested by shopify support, i spent the time to contact them directly, they said they would add me to a blocked list (in language that oddly mirrored the shopify guru). However i have recently started getting pexgle hits again. Also i get many hits from the same place in the us, which is no doubt the same practice. If shopify care at all and limited the data available to bots, these sites world dissapear. Why won't shopify simply limit the data that a simple ping provides? What is the reason for providing sales and traffic data to any bit that visits the site? Very dodgy...
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