January 11, 2022
The management of selling and advertising on multiple online platforms can easily become too complicated and time-consuming to handle manually. Does this sound familiar to you? Instead of struggling alone, add feed management into your marketing repertoire and solve challenging problems with ease! Read on and we’ll take you through every aspect of feed management in this easy to understand article. We strongly believe that feed management is an essential asset for the future of eCommerce and we hope you’ll agree with us after reading more.
Ecommerce goals appear simple, but it’s quite a different matter actually delivering on them in highly competitive environments. Reaching your target audience, driving traffic to your online shop and making your products or services visible are just some of the challenges every online marketer is facing. Feed management is a fantastic tool to help you effectively advertise and sell, whilst building a sustained and successful online presence.
A product feed or data feed is the digital file that contains an overview of the products or items that you would like to advertise online. Product feeds are diverse and used in all sorts of industries and sectors. Information on physical products can be collected in a data feed just as easily as information about subjects such as travel offers or job vacancies. A data feed usually comes in a specific format such as XML, CSV or a text file. If you manage an online shop built on an eCommerce platform like Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce, it is straightforward to extract this data file from your system. In other cases, a custom data file is your source for feed management.
Product feeds include information on a range of product characteristics. Some examples are listed below:
When you start advertising through third parties, such as price comparison sites, marketplaces or affiliate networks, you’ll notice that they require product information in a specific format, which probably doesn’t match the format of your original data file. Exporting your product catalogue to various channels and making sure it fits a range of purposes means that you will need your product feed in various formats. Different channel requirements can become overwhelming and hard to manage. Especially if you want to advertise on multiple channels at same time. This is where a feed management tool suddenly starts to make sense.
If you want to start advertising through various channels at the same time, you will quickly notice that each channel (e.g. Google Shopping, Facebook, TikTok etc.) all have unique requirements when it comes to product feeds. This fact definitely complicates things and that is why meeting channel requirements should be your first port of call.
First you need to create your product feed and then you need to optimize it so your product information meets the exact requirements of each channel. Optimising your product feed is the key to improving your conversion rate.
There are different types of fields you can use.
A feed management tool is a SaaS solution that enables you to upload your original data file and reproduce it multiple times in different ways. The product information is modified every time depending on the requirements of your desired export channels.
The key with a feed management tool is feed optimization. The more data you provide, the better the channel can understand what you’re selling and match your products with visitors’ search queries. With a feed management tool, you can add additional data to your feed, enrich the product information and easily filter content based on a rule system. Just to make it crystal clear: synonyms describing the same functionalities are product feed management, shopping feed management or data feed management.
Most eCommerce businesses have a huge catalogue of products over multiple channels. It can be a huge challenge to bring all of this together and make things work in the most efficient and effective way possible. And without a product feed management tool you’ll have to overcome the following challenges on your own if you don’t have a dedicated in-house team. We have listed some of the issues you might face without a product feed management solution below.
A great tool like Channable will help you with your product feed every step of the way so you can meet the challenges we talked about above. Channable can help you increase the quality of your data feed, make it easier to meet the exact needs of your channels and keep your product information automatically updated, which in the end helps to facilitate accurate advertising as well as optimize your customers experience and expectations.
Specifically, Channable can help you with product feed management in the following areas:
Nailing all of these will help you reach the right customer, with the right product, at the right time. That is the perfect product feed optimisation!
Easy product categorisation
A feed management tool allows you to organise your products so you can match the categories of the various different export channels. With Channable, you can even generate these categories instantly by utilising the built-in smart categorisation functionality. Using ’smart categorisation’ can save an enormous amount of time with the set-up of a new feed, maximise your visibility on a channel and increase your reach. NOTE: right now the ’smart Categorisation’ functionality is limited to the most popular advertising platforms. For minor channels you will still need to use the ’standard categorisation’ functionality.
Powerful "if-then" rules
You usually need a developer to update your product feed. With the support of a feed management tool, some easy "if-then" rules allow you to ‘code’ yourself. When you set up these rules, they will also be automatically applied to new products that are added to your online shop later on. This way you can precisely control the flow of products to each export channel and modify all the information at the same time. A good feed management tool will provide you with instant feedback after each rule is applied to your product catalogue.
Top-quality data feeds
Exporting a high-quality, consistent data feed will increase your online visibility. In general, you need to match the ‘fields’ containing product information in your import feed to the required ‘fields’ of the desired export feed. A feed management tool knows all the feed specifications for its integrated channels and stays up-to-date with changes and updates.
Feeds & APIs
Manually ensuring that the exported product information, such as stock levels, is always accurate can take a lot of your time. That’s why some marketplaces offer API connections for your online shop. Using APIs will enable an automatic and continuous exchange of information between the marketplace and your online shop. If you’re using a ’feed’ you can schedule when you want you data to be updated. With APIs you don’t need to schedule anything - your product data will be synchronised in real-time. This will, for example, help you ensure that your stock information is always up to date. NOTE: APIs are mainly available for marketplaces.
Automation and eCommerce go hand in hand, and the automation of online marketing activities is the key to productivity. But large inventories and increasing amounts of data are no reason to get scared. Feed management tools can help you get ahead of ever changing product catalogues and sales channels.
Channable is a product feed management tool that can help you optimize your product feeds for your targeted channels – the key to improving your conversion rates. We take all the vexing issues off your hands so you can focus on doing what you do best – creating fantastic products and services for your customers. Do you want to get started with feed management or need more information about the benefits of feed management for your eCommerce business? We’re here to help. Just reach out to us to find out more or schedule a demo of our tool.
TIP: For more information about choosing the ideal feed management tool, feel free to also read our guide on: How to find the perfect feed management tool.