What is a Product Feed?

And what role do they play for successful eCommerce businesses?

In their most basic form, product feeds - also known as product data feeds or data feeds - are  files in a variety of formats (csv, txt, xml) containing any manner of different product information.

In an eCommerce context, these 'feeds' are used by product marketing channels like Amazon, Google Shopping and Facebook to take in online merchants’ product data and use it to display product listings.

 

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Why are product feeds so important to digital marketers?

Product feeds play a vital role in getting data from your online store to be listed on global marketplaces.

Each channel has specific requirements for how they want your product feed to look and how it should be structured. For example, Google specifies that each product must have an accompanying GTIN, while Miinto outlines that no brands may be included in product titles.

For digital marketers, product feeds are important as they need are the line between a successful online campaign and a waste of online spending.

For them, it's not just a matter of making sure the product feeds has all the requirements that the sales channel needs. For effective results, product feeds should be about more that just getting product data from one place to another. 

Shopping channels and marketplaces like Google, Amazon and Facebook use your product data as an indicator of your campaign quality. Some channels look at the data in your feed to draw conclusions as to whether or not to show your product for a particular search query.

Your product feed can drive the success (or failure) of your ecommerce campaigns.

Power sellers use this to their advantage through product feed optimization.

 

What are the benefits of an optimized product feed for digital marketers?

Better Quality Scores

As an online seller, the only thing you are providing to sales channels is your product feed. This means that its the only thing for their algorithms to go on when they are looking at what listings should get shown to shoppers. What’s included in your product feed makes all the difference. The more detailed, complete and high-quality your data, the better.

Accuracy of your data

When you are selling online, there are a number of factors you have to complete to ensure success:

  • Does the listings on your store match those on the channel?
  • Is your inventory up-to-date?
  • Have you included new promotions, products or sales prices? 


Having a mismatch between your online store and sales channels can lead to suspension, so product management is about getting the right information at the right time.

Flexible Product Data

When you are paying for every click, impression and sale, you want to adhere to best practices that will get you the sale. Product feeds give you flexibility over your product data, allowing you to manipulate and enhance your store’s data in order to capitalize on every impression.

 

 

What options are available to merchants wanting to start selling on multiple channels? 

1. Manual product feeds using a spreadsheet

2. Product feeds directly from your store using content API

3. Automated product feeds 

1. Manual product feeds. The clue is in the name here! It's up to you (or a costly third-party developer) to build and constantly manage product data using a spreadsheet that you update manually on Excel, Google Sheets or OpenOffice Calc, etc. Every time a change is made, you re-upload the file in csv or txt format to each channel.

This option should only be considered by sellers with very small catalogs - and a lot of time (or budget!) to spare.

2. Content API product feeds require a direct connection between your webstore host and the channel you want to sell on. Some ecommerce hosts like Shopify, Bigcommerce and 3dcart all have some version of this available directly on their respective app stores. This option offers a quick way to connect to channels.

The downside of this option is the lack of customization and optimization. Your data will go out as it exists in your store.

This option should only be considered by newer sellers who aren’t ready to make the leap into product feed optimization.

For more advanced sellers who want to create custom “optimized” titles and descriptions or map fields to custom or supplemental data, you’ll need a product feed management option with more oomph.

Enter the product feed automation solution.

3. Automated product feeds tools might be overkill for some sellers. For most others, though, an automated feed can save them tons of time, boost their productivity and make their jobs a whole lot easier. The trick to choosing a product feed automation tool is to opt for a “scalable” solution; that way you don’t overpay for features or allotments you don’t need.

 

So who benefits the most from an automated product feed? 

Merchants with multiple SKUs 

If you only have 20 products, you probably don't need to use product feed automation . The more products you have, though, the more need you’ll have for a tool that makes managing all that data simpler.

 

Merchants with Catalogs that Change or Fluctuate

As mentioned above, it's crucial to give eCommerce channels up-to-date information. Any changes to your pricing, inventory, sizes etc need to be registered and exported quickly, which is where a tool that can automate the whole process will come in handy! 

Merchants who Want to Sell on More Channels

This might be the most practical use of product feeds. The fact is, your product data is not “optimized” for Google. Or Amazon. Or any channel. It’s optimized for your store. Google, Amazon, Facebook, PriceRunner, Fruugo - each of their specs are unique to each channel.

So this is where feed management tools come in, with pre-made templates that tailor a single feed import to each and every channel - without changing your original product data from the online store. 

A product feed management tool is the best option to manage your product catalog on any number of sales channels.

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About WakeupData

WakeupData is Product Feed Management tool, which helps merchants on Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Prestashop and more to optimize their product data feeds.

We support you every step of the way to set up integrations for your Google product feed, Amazon feed, Facebook feed and hundreds of other sales channels worldwide.

We offer a user-friendly interface, intuitive design and a Customer Success Team to deliver ROI through feed management and optimization through effective Data feed management. Book your live demo and free evaluation today.

Request a demo

  

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