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What is Product Feed Management?

How can you manage your product data feeds effectively?

Product feed management is the process of administering and optimizing your product feeds in order to increase the results of your online sales efforts. 

Effective product feed management will involve improving the quality of the feed, the source of the data and ensuring that all the requirements of each sales channel are met and the feed regularly updated.
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Data feed management for multiple ecommerce sales & marketing channels

For online merchants and digital marketers, feed management tools solve a number of key issues:

They provide a single platform for them to monitor, enrich and update their product information simultaneously across any sales channel.
They allow the creation of customized product feeds adapted to specific strategies and requirements unique to certain platforms and distribution channels.
A central location to evaluate product performance, monitor sales, promotions and specific campaigns.

Providing a quality Source Feed

This refers to the product data already listed on your online store. Although just a starting point for further optimization, it's important that the initial import of your feed includes relevant categories.

This will include basic factors like titles, descriptions, prices, url, etc. If you don't have a product feed, or are missing certain information like GTINs - WakeupData provides a webcrawling service which can get hold of all the information for you. 

Crawl
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The product image also plays a key role in convincing your audience to make that purchase decision. It's important to make sure the image is the right resolution and meets the size requirements of each channel. On top of that though, Image Transformation tools can add eye-catching designs like borders, promotions, logos and pricing - to give your images an edge over your competitors.

Meeting (and beating!) the channel requirements

The first thing you do when creating and optimizing a feed for any channel is making sure you meet all the requirements.

Required fields: Create a feed according to the exact feed specifications of the channel, as described under Data Feed formats > Feed specification and make sure that all mandatory fields are included.
Optional fields: Channels usually offer a wide variety of fields that are not required, but can give a better understanding of the product, such as product type, mobile link, size or shipping info.

This is your first chance to really optimize the feed: with more data, the channel is better able to understand what you sell and is therefore better able to match your products with the search queries of its visitors; that will usually improve your conversion rate.

Custom fields: Some channels will even let you add data for which they never created a field at all. You can add a "custom field", a field of your own making, to include even more product information in your feed.
Categories: Most shopping channels have their own categorization. It reflects the main categories that you see on their website and their sub-(sub-sub-sub!)categories.

It is often mandatory to add a category. You can add the same main category for all your products – this will ensure that your feed will be accepted by the channel. You can also map your product (types) to detailed sub-categories, which will enhance your conversion rate.

Optimizing your Product Feed quality

When improving the quality of your product feed, the primary step is to ensure that it meets these individual requirements of your chosen sales channels. Once this is done though, there are plenty more ways to optimize, adding richness and value to your product data feeds. 

As an example, improving your product titles is often the first place to start. Ensuring you are removing text that isn't necessary while including important keywords and brand names at the start can make a difference.

Google Shopping will have certain feed requirements which differ from other channels. That's why we help tailor your product feed content to ensure your listings are performing as well as they possibly can - consistently delivering better Return On Investment. 

This article on product feed optimization looks at the many reasons why optimization is an important factor in any successful online campaign for PPC Managers and Digital Marketers. 

A few examples of Product Feed Optimization:

If attributes like color or size are not in your source feed as a separate field, you can often take this information from other fields, like description, and turn them into separate fields.
You can match your own detailed product types with the most appropriate sub-sub-subcategory of the channel. More detail will ensure you will get found in the right category and it improves conversion rates.
Add more detail to your titles. Titles are the second-most important part of a product ad. The more information a title contains, the better it will perform. 

Optimize the campaign quality

Optimizing the campaign performance goes hand in hand with product feed optimization and management. There are various ways to optimize your data feed in order to increase your campaign Return On Investment. 

Here are a few examples:

All-in-one solution

Product feed management tools are used to help you manage your product feed in an easy-to-use way. These platforms are designed to provide a single place where users can import feeds, optimize their data, manage and schedule their inventories and export to comparison shopping, affiliate marketing, social media or search engine advertising channels. 

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WakeupData comes in as an extended arm which can lift up their feeds and improve the marketing possibilities we have with said client. - Thomas Erlandsen, Shopalike