Like cells which are the building blocks of our body, data is the foundation for business. Both need to be nourished and improved to maintain a body or a business healthy and vital. Especially when it comes to eCommerce, product data management and product data feeds become highly crucial for business’ long-term success.
When the retail takes place online, data act as the sales representative who speaks on behalf of the brand. It is the quality of data which will attract customers and generate sales for the brand or customer will abandon the store as leaving brick and mortar. Therefore product data management needs to be handled professionally with the attention to details. In case of a sole proprietorship, the entrepreneur has to invest his own time and patience in product data management to make a difference and have better results. Businesses of any size can take advantage of a platform such as a shopping cart, ERP system or a robust multichannel eCommerce management system like StoreAutomator to manage, structure and distribute all product data from a single medium to save time and resources.
Feeding data to other systems and channels with various purposes such as product listing, advertising, retargeting, sales management, comparison shopping, affiliate networks, etc. is as much important as managing and structuring the data. Data feeds so to speak are the crucial part of eCommerce business at this point.
Let’s take a look at the definition of data feed on Techopedia: A data feed can be thought of simply as a way to deliver structured data from one system to another. Applications include sending out small snippets of information or news, delivering required data, and even advertisement and marketing.
The data feed is often in the form of a file that contains information structured according to the specifications of the application receiving the data. The information is arranged in tables, with columns and rows, or with tags. The file types can vary, but formats like XML and CSV are common because of their structure, and even plain text files are supported by some because of their simplicity, which allows even non-technical individuals to easily create their own data feeds.
As it is understood from this brief definition whole eCommerce ecosystem is mostly built on data feeds. Product listing is a fundamental part of data feed flow in the eCommerce system. However, using data feeds for marketing purposes has become very important as the transaction volume and competition rise at online retail.
Using Data Feeds for Marketing Purposes
For multichannel success, you have to be active on various marketing channels to get found and increase your sales. If you can establish a multichannel marketing data feed system which can be customized to fit different customer groups then success will be inevitable. From Google Shopping to Facebook or Instagram, from Bronto to Pixlee or Nextopia whatever the medium is, keep in mind that data feed management is far beyond a technical issue it is a part of your marketing and product management strategy.
Let’s go back to data feeds for marketing and what we as StoreAutomator provide to our customers in this scope. First of all, data feeds which can be structured per channel requirement can be created using Generic Feeds feature in our system. Since we treat generic feeds as a separate channel, when forming a generic feed a new channel is created. Generic feed channel owns the same features with a marketplace channel which bring the user the ability to override product data and customize it per channel.
Available file types for generic feeds are XML, Flat and Excel.
Match Your Data with Channel Requirements
Every channel has a set of its own specifications. Sending your data without customization according to those specifications only ends with a disappointment. If you don’t correctly structure your data per channel’s required fields such as ID, title, description etc. your advertisements won’t be accepted by the channel.
By creating templates based on each channel’s requirements easily, you can match your product data with the specifications of the channel.
After you prepare your template to further enrich the data you want to feed you should work on mapping. At this stage custom fields and product, options will be mapped based on channel’s specifications. Mapping allows you to provide more enhanced product data to prospects which will have a direct effect on their purchasing decisions. As the quality and uniqueness of the product data increases, the probability of purchase also increases.
Once you create your channel for a marketing feed, create your template and configure your mapping, it is a matter of minutes to include desired products in your feed. You can select your products by using inclusion control feature of StoreAutomator.
Dive Deep into Categorization
After selecting the products to be included in your feed, you select the appropriate category in the target channel. Category mapping is very important. Unless your products are listed under the right category they will be disapproved. As an example,
there are thousands of categories on Google Shopping. You have to spend time on categorization and list your products under the right categories will have a great effect on your products’ reachability. You can map your categories easily on StoreAutomator with our drag & drop feature.
Once your feed is ready you can upload it manually, through FTP or a public URL. Most of the channels are capable of downloading the feeds from public URLs.
Feeds for Every Purpose
StoreAutomator’s feed system is not limited to advertising channels. You can use the system to create any kind of feed to any kind of medium such as your distributors or resellers. You can use this system with all channel capabilities to make periodic updates to your affiliates. To learn more about StoreAutomator’s features start your free trial today!