The Lab #22: Mastering the Art of Scraping Akamai-Protected Sites

Zalando: a bit of context

If you’re living in Europe, probably Zalando is a name you’ve already heard, even if you’re not a fashionista.

In fact, it is one of the most well-known European Fashion e-commerces, born in Germany but now it serves all the major countries of the old continent, also listed on Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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Zalando stock price

Due to its importance in the industry and its dimension as a player, it’s one of the most interesting websites to be studied by different actors.

Firstly, if you want to understand where the fast fashion, sportswear, and apparel industries are going, it could be a good litmus paper, with its 1.3 Million items available on the website, coming from 6300+ brands.

It’s also a traded company and the changes in its offering and discount levels could be a good signal about how operations are running, without the need to wait for any official update.

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For all these reasons, Zalando is a hot topic in any market research project in the apparel industry, and this means a lot of people are trying to scrape it. But this is not so easy, both for the dimension of the website and due to the fact that it is protected by Akamai anti-bot software.

In case you’re interested in getting the data without worrying about the scraping process, with no commitment and at any frequency, you can find it directly on the website, otherwise, we’re seeing now how we can bypass the Akamai bot protection.

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