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Agency | Feed management

Flexibility in adjusting and controlling product feeds

November 17, 2017

Many brands find it challenging to optimize product feeds, even though in this age of online marketplaces, comparison sites and affiliate networks, optimization would provide extra performance and more conversions. And that’s precisely what you’ll be after as an online seller. Just ask Stefan de Jong, Product owner at Bestseller: “We ran into the problem that we were not flexible in adapting and managing our product feeds. We have more than ten brands in ten countries, so it’s essential for us to be able to manage feeds based on data.” Together with Ikwilbovenaan.nl, Bestseller sought a solution and discovered Channable...

Flexibility in adjusting and controlling product feeds

“The implementation of Channable and optimizing the feed for Google Shopping (Denmark) already resulted in a growth of impressions by over 1100%, clicks by over 650%, +800% more conversions and a 15% saving in costs per conversion in the first weeks.” – Stefan de Jong, Product Owner eCommerce at Bestseller

Starting point

Akke Pennin, partner at Ikwilbovenaan.nl, reminisced that “before, Bestseller had a product feed that was generated daily and put on an ftp location. A third party would then make changes with their development party to send it in the right format to our affiliate parties and search engines (including Google Shopping).” Like many other online stores and agencies, Ikwilbovenaan.nl and Bestseller found this process quite inconvenient. They found it difficult and time consuming to optimize feeds. “It was difficult to form and regulate rules in order to better manage the performance of the channels used.”

Ikwilbovenaan.nl had already been working with Channable and therefore advised Bestseller to use Channable. “Together with Ikwilbovenaan. nl we have opted to collaborate with Channable, as they already have very good experiences with Channable’s data feed management tool”, Stefan shared.

The migration

Setting up the Channable account for Bestseller was easy; Ikwilbovenaan.nl already had access to the data feed and the necessary Channable expertise. In addition, Channable always offers the setup of the first channel (a comparison site, affiliate or marketplace of your choice) for new customers, allowing Bestseller to quickly switch to the new structure. “In the new situation, it still works the same way: a third party is still used to deliver the feed, in this case Channable. However, it is now possible within its interface to take the role as the developer and control what is exported to the channels with ‘smart rules’, in order to send the correct data”, Akke elaborated.

Within Channable it is also possible to link your Google Analytics account and amend your product links with the right data, to track them on each channel. This makes it possible for customers, like Akke, to see which products are doing well and which channels deliver the most. “In Channable it is possible to include sales data, Google Analytics statistics and margin percentages in the optimization of data feeds”. This allows you to make targeted adjustments and get the most out of feed marketing.

Keep adjusting

Ikwilbovenaan.nl manages the feeds for Bestseller in the collaboration between the three companies. Nevertheless, Channable readily contributes to optimization possibilities, identifying potential problems and configuring complex rules.

Akke: “Channable understands the technology and helps in problem solving. This way we can really unburden the customer together.”

Ikwilbovenaan.nl has already optimized Bestseller’s feeds to an advanced level: “We have divided the products on the basis of ‘buckets’. A ‘bucket’ is classified by selling price and for each ‘bucket’ there is a maximum CPA (cost per acquisition)”. This makes it possible not only to keep the costs within the budget, but also to allow higher advertising costs for more expensive products. Particularly as it is neither logical nor profitable to have the same ad price for cheap products and more expensive items. Akke has also made use of advanced analytics rules. “We have linked Google Analytics data to exclude products with a high bounce percentage (> 70%) as standard.”

Another function within Channable that only a few customers are familiar and proficient with is the standard curve. This is a very advanced rule that enables you to exclude all products within an id group when the regular sizes are no longer in stock. Akke found this rule important as “you only want to advertise high converting impressions/clicks”. The likelihood that a consumer clicks on an ad and wants to order a standard size is simply greater. It would be a shame if 80% of customers click on the ad but don’t buy anything because their size is sold out. This will only cost money and will not yield anything.

Optimizing pays off

A useful feature within Channable is the health check. The number of errors in Bestseller’s Google Shopping feed immediately dropped by 70-80%. This is due to Channable instantly filtering out errors and enabling users to resolve issue ads with rules.

As Channable can make feed optimization a now possible task, users, like Ikwilbovenaan, are increasingly doing more with their product offerings. “After implementing Channable and setting up the right basic rules, [Bestseller’s] Google Shopping channel has been optimized with the new product feed. Compared to the same period the year before, the following figures represent the results for Bestseller’s Danish Google Shopping performance in the first few weeks of using Channable: + 1100% in the number of impressions, + 650% in clicks, + 800% in number of conversions and a 15% decrease in cost per conversion. All the more reason to continue optimizing!”

Written by Senni Whitaker
Sales & marketing international