If you’re an ecommerce marketer looking to unlock your ad campaign’s full potential, this article, and product data cleansing, are for you.
Now more than ever, product data feeds are the fuel to online marketing strategies across the globe. Whether you’re creating a Google Shopping ad campaign, a Facebook dynamic ad campaign, or simply listing your products on Amazon marketplace, a product data feed has become a standard requirement. What you might not know, however, is that the quality of your product data feed defines the maximum threshold of your campaign or listing’s success. But why?
Simply put, if you provide a channel with a sub-par product feed, you can expect sub-par results. This is because today's online shoppers expect an easy, seamless shopping experience. A positive omnichannel experience relies on numerous factors like how well-targeted an ad is, the clickability of a title, or the strength of a product description. All of these factors require accurate, complete, and consistent product information. And with an ever increasing level of competition in the ecommerce space, there is nothing stopping shoppers from purchasing elsewhere if your product content doesn’t meet their needs.
So how can today’s ecommerce players meet consumer expectations, stay ahead of the competition, and maximize their ad campaigns and listings overall performance? Simple - through product data cleansing and optimization. But wait, what exactly is data cleansing? Maybe you’ve heard the term thrown around, but never actually had it explained. Well, that’s about to change.
This article will introduce you to the idea of product data cleansing, explain why it’s necessary, and give you tips on what to do to ensure the cleanest of clean product feeds.
What is product data cleansing?
Product data cleansing is the act of correcting, completing, and standardizing product attributes to create a full, accurate, and consistent product feed, all in an effort to provide an excellent customer experience.
While product data cleansing and optimization go hand in hand, product feeds should always be in good health before heavy optimization takes place. This means making corrections, filling in missing information, and standardizing your product data before enhancing (i.e. customizing, adding additional product attributes, etc.) it.
So now that we’ve established what product data cleansing is, let’s jump into why it’s an online product marketing must.
Why is clean product data necessary?
To put it simply, nothing good can come from an unhygienic product feed. First and foremost, today’s ecommerce channels have strict feed rules and requirements, which means a messy feed is unlikely to be accepted in the first place. In the rare case an uncleansed feed is accepted, it simply won’t perform well. Sloppy product data leaves customers confused and eliminates your chances of winning the sale.
Here are three key benefits of a clean product feed:
- __Makes your job easier__: Data feeds are much easier to manage when they’re standardized, complete, and coherent. By cleansing your product feed, you’re going to have a much easier time optimizing, A/B testing, and tailoring the feed to specific channel-requirements. Moreover, you’ll be able to more easily search and filter through your feed to analyze and make adjustments.
- __Boosts visibility, CTR, and conversions__: A product feed with good hygiene is more likely to rank under relevant searches due to its complete and accurate product information. It is also more likely to provide shoppers with enough information to make an educated buying decision.
- __Increases customer satisfaction__: Online shoppers rely on product information to make educated buying decisions. If you leverage this as an opportunity to meet their exact product expectations, you’re going to have happier customers. The last thing anyone wants is to be surprised once an online order arrives.
If you’re wanting to reap the benefits of product data cleansing, you may be wondering what a clean feed actually looks like or how you can be sure your feed is clean. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of a product feed with good hygiene.
Key characteristics of a clean product feed
Product feeds come in all shapes, sizes, formats, and conditions. Although every feed will require a different level of cleansing, there are four universal characteristics of a hygienic, healthy product feed:
After cleansing, all product attributes (e.g. brand, price, color, currency, etc.) should be uniform and in the same format. See the examples below:
Not only will standardized product data make it easier for channels to surface your ad given a relevant search, but it also makes it easier for you to sort, filter, and analyze your product data.
A hygienic product feed will not be missing any key product attributes. No matter how large the feed, each product should be complete, at an absolute minimum, with all required product attributes for a given channel. This means keeping up to date with channel requirements and any changes that may occur even after initially cleansing your feed.
If your product feed doesn’t meet a channel’s specifications, your feed, or specific products, will be rejected.
Accurate & up to date
Product data isn’t timeless. Details can change and mistakes can happen. The product attributes in a clean feed will always be current and true.
Incorrect or outdated product information is likely to confuse shoppers, which will lead them to look for the product elsewhere. Therefore, the update, removal, or addition of new products and their attributes should occur on a regular basis.
A clean product feed should directly translate into educational and easily digestible product information to help simplify shopper’s buying decisions.
Creating coherent product information could involve removing any unnecessary HTML, consecutive white spaces, or duplicate words and making adjustments for consistent capitalization, proper spelling, and grammar, or adding the brand name to the title.
Although a lot more could be said on creating a perfect product feed, its basic health is not to be ignored. If you make sure your feed is standardized, complete, accurate, up to date, and coherent, you’re well on your way boosting your campaign performance and making your job, including further optimization, easier.
Not sure where to start with product data cleansing or worried your feed is too large or complex? Have no fear, that’s (one of the many) reasons Productsup is here!
Product data cleansing made simple with Productsup
Productsup is an unparalleled software for product data optimization & syndication, stocked with everything you could possibly need to easily and quickly cleanse your feed.
With over 200 preset bulk-editing boxes, everything from removing HTML, capitalizing first letters of words, and normalizing terms and prices can be completed with only a few clicks. Want to add the brand name to your product title? Simply drag and drop it!
Not sure which areas of your product feed need a good cleanse? Our smart feed analysis will identify errors or hidden potential in your feed within seconds. Then, our fixing assistant will automatically suggest the relevant rule boxes to help you cleanse your feed.
Missing product information? Use our integrated data crawler to gather key product details straight from your shop system or create your own custom import.
With Productsup, data cleansing has never been easier. No matter how large or complex the product feed, no coding is ever required.
This updated post was originally published on October 11, 2018.