Also known as “product data feed” or simply “data feed,” a product feed is essentially a CSV, TXT, XML, or JSON file that holds the product data that marketplaces, search engines, and social commerce platforms utilize to display product listings.
In-depth product feed definition
Product feeds are the conduit for all the product or service information and data that describe the properties and attributes of a product or service listed on a website, marketplace, or any other digital space. Data feeds don’t just include apparent properties such as product images, titles, SKUs, product identifiers, marketing content, and product features, but they have all the information that the seller or provider wants to display. So, think shipping, availability, sales events, and any relevant channel-specific features (see product feed specifications for more)
Once you have imported your product data into your product-to-consumer (P2C) platform or Advertising PX solution, you will have to map all of the data onto the attributes each channel requires. Once the export product data feed is ready for export, after the product information has been cleaned and enhanced for that channel, the feed will be exported in whatever format the channel requires.
A comprehensive P2C platform will automate almost all of the labor-intensive manual tasks listed above before exporting the CSV, TXT, XML, or JSON files. It goes without saying that an Amazon product data feed or a Google product data feed will differ greatly from, say, a Facebook product data feed.
Why do I need to manage my product data feed?
The importance of creating accurate and up-to-date product feeds for ecommerce businesses must be considered. Strategic, methodical, and best-in-class product feed management will lead to better customer buying experiences, improved brand recognition, and lower return rates. Accurate and high-quality product feed data leads to more sales.
With digital complexity and commerce anarchy increasing, organizations must automate more of their manual product data feed processes in order to keep up with the rapidly changing ecommerce product data ecosystems.
The advantage of automated, smart product data feed management means much more than just increased conversions, it also means pushing ahead of your competitors utilizing big commerce product feeds who may still need help understanding why product data management is becoming so labor-intensive and complex.
What if I don’t have a strong product feed management tool in place?
Not prioritizing the integration of a comprehensive product feed management platform into your tech stack could have a whole range of consequences. Primarily, modern P2C solutions all use the latest AI innovations to automate product data feed tasks. This means that managing the complexities of the ecommerce digital space can be carried out by a small tema.
Businesses that onboard new solutions will free up time and resources to optimize and enhance their product data for the channels where they sell. This is important in the growing social commerce space where video and dynamic images are vital to maintaining brand trust and customer loyalty.
Low visibility will affect the brand and will lead to fewer conversions. Inaccurate information, on the other hand, can even lead to higher return rates and negative customer reviews.
Best practices optimizing product feeds
Once you have automatically imported and correctly mapped your product data in your feed platform, you will want to spend some time optimizing your data for the sales channels you are targeting. Feed solutions, such as Advertising PX, have multitudes of rule boxes, and other tools, like the Video and Image Designer, enable marketing teams to make bulk improvements to whole feeds and optimize tens of thousands of SKUs in a matter of seconds.
These tools can be used to write effective product descriptions or turn images into dynamic ads or videos. Rule boxes can change the language in descriptions or help organize the product information for better searchability on the platforms or marketplaces it’s displayed.
Product-to-consumer solutions providers offer services that automate the amendment to data required to quickly switch the data for feeds from one export channel to another. You only require one data import feed in order to create export feeds for, say, Amazon, Google, Instagram or Facebook. Simply move the data from one preconfigured channel template to another and then check to see if the data has to be further optimized for that channel – even if it’s just an XML product data feed for a channel you lack a template.
Your product data feed software should also offer data analysis tools, A/B testing for your marketing campaigns on sales channels. Think about how you might need to optimize an export feed for Shopify product feed requirements, recommendations and according to industry best practices.
Common challenges facing ecommerce business and how to overcome them
- It's time-consuming! Regarding ecommerce, time is a valuable resource, so we all prioritize our business objectives according to our free time. It takes time to launch a new channel, a new campaign for a new collection, or a significant product launch and time to realize what is and isn’t working. Making amends for mistakes is a good strategy, but we should strive for quick learning.
- Limited impressions and clicks lead to lower ROAS and higher CPC: The caliber of your data feeds impacts the effectiveness of your campaigns when you list your product catalog on ecommerce channels. A poor-quality feed gets fewer clicks and impressions. This happens because you’re missing some product types or attributes, not accurately describing your products, or your titles and images don’t fully support your bidding strategy.
- Stock and availability issues! Overselling and wrong orders are around the corner, ready to waste your money: Keeping orders coordinated and inventory properly managed is one of the biggest challenges for ecommerce businesses with multiple countries, channels, and warehouses in use. It frequently happens for businesses to sell items that are out of stock. Overselling impacts the entire customer experience and is difficult to manage.
- No time to test! The processes to conduct manual A/B testing on your feeds are lengthy and complicated: To increase your key performance indicators, such as clicks, impressions, CTR, and ultimately ROAD, you must A/B test your feeds. However, online stores don’t have a plan for quarterly testing because testing different product types, images, titles, descriptions, and other product information takes time and involves numerous manual steps. The advantages vs. drawbacks ratio is frequently overlooked.
- Need more control over sales channels! Your product data needs to be accurate and relevant to your customers while also meeting the requirements of each digital channel if you want to promote your catalog through those channels successfully. Building your feeds manually is a cumbersome process, and manually managed product data is challenging to organize, navigate, and understand. You’ll overlook common mistakes and inaccuracies, and your products might completely miss an opportunity to appear.
- Lack of accuracy! A critical success factor when selling online is being able to collect and manipulate data while taking action accordingly. When it comes to a product data feed, its analysis can be cumbersome, and slicing and dicing data (and feeds) can be complex. Segmenting and labeling products in your catalog can be challenging for many marketers, but it’s crucial for your campaigns.
How can Productsup help me overcome these challenges
Productsup offers a best-in-class product-to-consumer product feed management solution that can address and overcome all of the challenges listed above, and much more. Whether you are syndicated data, or using Advertising PX to simply send product data to websites, social platforms and marketplaces, Prodcutsup has tailored solutions for all industries and businesses.
Productsup uses the latest machine learning and AI tools to automate almost all of your current product data feed tasks (accuracy, specifications, validation, errors), freeing up valuable time and resources for your team to work on optimizing your product information for the channels where you are selling your products or services. Create your own platform demo video in a matter of minutes or contact our expert product feed team to find out how we can enable your organization to overcome commerce complexity and expand your business.