Shopify has without a doubt become one the most popular eCommerce platforms on the planet. With a big focus on simplicity, which is reflected in their unified platform, they assist more than one million of the world’s most successful brands to successfully sell online. With a wide variety of features such as setting up fully customized eCommerce stores, managing payments and shipments it is no wonder why Shopify has become so popular. With this blog, we deep-dive what Shopify product feed is and have you can take full control of it.
Jumping straight to the next topic. Let’s identify what a Shopify feed is and why it is relevant for businesses wanting to sell online through various channels. Starting with what, you could identify a Shopify feed as “a digital file containing a string of the informative data of multiple products”. In more simple words, you could also just describe it as a file containing various information about the products you are selling (e.g. brand, description, stock, price etc.). These types of files can come in many different formats (CSV, Sheets, TXT, JSON etc), but the most common one is still via XML. From Shopify, you have the option to withdraw a standard XML export containing all raw data of your product information.
So, this leads us directly to the next question. Why is Shopify product feeds even relevant? They are simply relevant because most marketing channels (Google Shopping, Facebook, Instagram etc.) demand a product feed to start advertising with them. Simple as that!
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Having answered the what and the why, let’s jump straight to the how. When you want to start selling or advertising your product on new channels you will have 3 different options to add your product information:
We talked a little bit about this option above, but the export option is when you choose to withdraw (export) your product data into one file (usually XML). As mentioned above, this can be done within Shopify itself and it creates a good overview of all the product data you have. However, what you need to keep in mind is, the feed export includes all your raw product data at the same time. Therefore it is not suitable or recommended to use directly with the various marketing channels.
If your eCommerce shop is built with the Shopify platform you will also have the option to connect to various marketing channels through a direct API (e.g. Google Merchant Center). What that specifically entails is, when connected, Shopify will send your product data automatically to each marketing channel in real-time. That is specifically beneficial if your stock information changes a lot.
This can obviously sound very attractive, but there are also some downsides you need to be aware of. Like feed exports, direct API connections also only allows you to send product information raw. This means that each channel will receive the exact same raw information without any customization or optimization. This is obviously not ideal or recommended. Another thing with API Connection is that it is not just plug-and-play. Setting up API Connection usually requires a bit more technical skills than just uploading a feed.
The third option is when you want to take your product feed to the very next level. Using a 3rd party solution will not only enable you to create or send a feed, but it will also enable you to optimize and enrich your feed. Not only will it give you more control and flexibility, but it will also provide you with a greater chance for success on each of your marketing channels. On the market, you have multiple providers that specialize in feed management. Channable is indeed one of them.
If you have the ambition to start selling or advertising your products through various marketing channels at the same time, then you might run into challenges along the way. One of the most common challenges is connected to the feed requirements of each marketing channel. As almost all major marketing channels each have unique requirements when it comes to product information, it is not just about uploading your Shopify XML feed or connecting (API) your general product information to the desired channel.
Best practice tells us to provide customized product feeds for each channel to ensure relevancy and the highest chance of success. Building customized feeds is not something you can do with the Shopify platform itself. Instead, you should be looking into the opportunity of adopting a feed management tool like Channable.
There are multiple benefits to gain when adopting Channable for your Shopify product feed management. Let’s take a look at some of the more obvious ones:
Looking for an easy connection with Google Merchant Center or Amazon Seller Central? Check out these two blogs:
It is tough to run an eCommerce shop. So many decisions and so many things to consider. At Channable we obviously know this. That is also why we are set out in this world to make eCommerce simpler. Shopify product feed management can definitely be complex, but it does not have to be. Try to give Channable a chance to show you just how easy it can be.