Python Tutorial 27: Build a Kickstarter Bot using Selenium and BeautifulSoup to Fetch Top and Trending Crowdfunding Product Data

Innovation and creativity ahead often are driven by capital. So as an eCommerce player in your space, it’s helpful and useful to notice the capital flow or projects paid attention to by the investors. There are many crowdfunding platforms out there, and frankly, there are many future stars that you might not be able to find on Amazon. But this is something we might be more interested in, for spotting a potentially profitable project. The question is how to automate collecting intelligent insights. So this is why this piece.

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Kickstarter is not a strange term in the innovation space, particularly in cross-border eCommerce. It’s filled with new concepts of products, and the future stars that have raised huge amounts of funding accumulated many backers. So looking around on these platforms is very inspiring and can spot some hints for winning products.

So in this Python Tutorial, I would walk you through how to build a Kickstarter bot, for the purpose to help you collect the formatted insights you are looking for. Of course, it’s automatic. By the end of this Python Tutorial, you can learn what materials, and ingredients you need, and how to write the codes to build a Kickstarter bot.

Kickstarter Bot – Why do you need Kickstarter Bot

Smelling the arising trend of demand and predicting the next winning products are the daily primary job of investors and eCommerce sellers. In the eCommerce space, there are some general spots people are used to going and learning insights. They are such as global finance and economic news portals, capital flow, Amazon best-selling products, Tiktok and Instagram top ranking videos, and Google search trends.

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Please don’t forget everything business opportunity is first driven by capital. Capitalists have the guts to take an adventure for chasing higher profit, meanwhile, they have bullets and resources. Kickstarter is one of the biggest crowdfunding platforms on new physical product launches. And it also takes up the biggest traffic portion in this space. What’s more, it represents the future instead of being present. In a way, we often call it the blue sea.

There are two key points that a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter is valuable for you to deploy product and investment strategy. And the bot can create dramatic conveniences for you.

  • The Most Funded Projects Sorted by Product Category and Market

By using the Kickstarter bot, you can instantly filter the ranking of what product projects have been funded the most from a market. All the datasets can be organized in a comfortable visual format. It’s super easy for you to learn insights.

From the scraped data, you can not only observe how the backers support the product concept and prototype. In a way, it reflects the market demand. Some of the products might even be not listed on Amazon yet. But also, you can learn how active a target market is in the new product development. In a way, it reflects the momentum of capital flow and investment opportunities. For example, you will notice the amount of projects in the USA is much more than in Malaysia. Being said that, it’s not saying an absolute answer, which market you should focus on. It’s because of the egg first or the chicken first.

  • Grab Inspiring Product Ideas

There are two reasons why the brand needs crowdfunding. The first one is a mature brand that aims to create cash inflow to cover the cost in the very early stage of the product life cycle. In a way, they know the product is in demand based on their accumulated selling insights. The other reason is the concept of the product is totally new but it’s very innovative.

So no matter which party the data can show you, it is telling the future thing in a comparable convincing standing point, which means the ideas for potential growth of the future.

For more details regarding Kickstarter vs Indiegogo, please check out this article

Crowdfunding Kickstarter vs Indiegogo – Key Secrets of GTM Product Marketing to Succeed

What ingredients and tools do you need – Selenium, BeautifulSoup, and Kickstarter Elements

This script utilizes Selenium and BeautifulSoup to build the bot. As we have been talked about in our Instagram series, so I am going to deep dive and introduce here how to deploy. For more details, please check out our Instagram bot Python Tutorial collection

https://www.easy2digital.com/topics/instagram/

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys
from selenium.webdriver.support import expected_conditions as EC
from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By
from selenium.webdriver.support.wait import WebDriverWait

On the Kickstarter website, there are three main sections you can refer to and deploy to scrape based on needs.

  • Search result page
  • Single product project page
  • Brand page

Today in this Python Tutorial, we would take the search result page and single product project page for example. So we would share the objective data path and elements for you to write the custom bot.

Kickstarter Bot – Kickstarter search URL parameters and product info elements

First thing first, you need to understand the URL rules of the Kickstarter website. Here is an example of the URL that specifically searches for smart home projects in Singapore. It includes some parameters you need to notice. Term parameter represents the keyword, page means the pagination, and sort represents which type of project you prioritize to scrape. That can be most funded, most popular, and so on.

https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/advanced?term=smart+home&woe_id=1062617&sort=magic&page=1

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The second thing I like to specifically highlight is the country ID. Kickstarter implements an encrypted ID that represents a country. For example, woe_id=1062617 means Singapore. 23424977 represents the United States. Here are some country codes FYI. The definition of the country here represents not only the target crowdfunding market but also the company’s nationality. It’s because some countries have banned Kickstarter, such as China.

For more country codes, please subscribe to our newsletter for the full script of Kickstarter Bot Python Script with adding the country code needed.

Singapore: 1062617
United States: 23424977
China: 23424781
United Kingdom: 23424975
Hong Kong: 24865698
Taiwan: 23424971
Malaysia: 23424901

In the search result, there are two types of project cards. One is the ongoing project, and the other is the completed project. The displayed elements can be easily spotted in the screencap below

So when you write the Python script, I would suggest you add the try and except for avoiding the automatic scraping stopped. Here are the information path and elements for your use.

pageURL = element.find('a',{'class': 'soft-black mb3'})['href']
title = element.find('h3',{'class': 'type-18 light hover-item-text-underline mb1'}).text.strip()
location = element.find('a',{'class': 'dark-grey-500 hover-soft-black text-underline type-13 medium ml4'}).text.strip()
BrandPage = element.find('a', {'class': 'soft-black hover-text-underline medium'})['href']
BrandName = element.find('a', {'class': 'soft-black hover-text-underline medium'}).text.strip()
Pledged = element.find('div', {'class': 'type-13 mr2'}).text.strip()
Funded = element.find('div', {'class': 'type-13 mr2 dark-grey-500 medium'}).text.strip()
WhomAndBackers = element.find('div', {'class': 'soft-black text-ellipsis'}).text.strip()
image = element.find('img', {'class': 'border-grey-400 border-bottom w100p absolute t0'})['src']

Kickstarter Bot – Specific Product Perks or Pledge Plans from a Project

On the specific product project page, you can scrape more detailed information. Here I take the perk pricing for an example. It’s because eCommerce sellers usually are interested in the potential product pricing and identity profitability opportunities.

Below are the pricing element paths.

pledgePlan = element.find('h2',{'class': 'pledge__amount'})
perkPrice = pledgePlan.find('span',{'class': 'money'}).text.strip()

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Full Python Script of Kickstarter Bot

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