If you have questions about what shopping feeds are, how they work, and how to best use them, then you’ve come to the right place. At Feedonomics, product data feeds are our bread and butter; we manage billions (yes, that’s right!) of rows of product data daily.
In this blog, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about product data feeds for popular advertising channels and marketplaces, including Google Shopping, Amazon, and Facebook.
What is a shopping feed, and how important is it for SEO?
A shopping feed, sometimes called a product feed, is a data file that contains details about the products that you sell or advertise on shopping channels like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others. The shopping feed includes information like the product name, description, image URL, product URL, price, SKU, availability, and other product attributes. This information helps search engines understand and index your products, influencing where they appear in search results.
So, while shopping feeds themselves don’t directly impact traditional SEO, they do play a significant role in the search relevancy of your product ads, which can influence click-through rates and ultimately sales.
How do product feeds work?
Product feeds are used by ecommerce businesses to provide information about their products to different shopping channels like Google Shopping, Facebook, or Amazon. Once uploaded, platforms display the products in search results or sponsored posts using the data in the feed. The feed can be refreshed regularly to update listings and show changes, such as product availability or sales prices.
The process is usually as follows:
- The retailer compiles all the information about their products into a single file in a specific format (often XML or CSV).
- This file is then uploaded to the platform, where it’s processed.
- The platform uses the feed to display relevant product listings in response to user queries.
How do I create a product feed?
A well-managed and optimized product feed can dramatically enhance your product visibility, improve click-through rates, and ultimately drive more sales. It’s an essential part of successful ecommerce strategies. Here are some basic steps to create a product feed:
- Collect product data: Gather all the information for each product. This typically includes product ID, GTIN, title, description, product URL, image URL, product category, brand, condition, availability, price, etc.
- Format the feed: This is often done in an XML or CSV file. Ensure you’re following the guidelines provided by the platform you’re using (like Google Merchant Center or Amazon Seller Central).
- Validate the feed: Check for any errors or missing information.
- Upload the feed: Finally, upload the feed to the platform you want to use. Most platforms also allow you to schedule regular updates to keep the product data current.
What are the best practices for an effective Google Shopping feed?
Setting up an effective Google Shopping feed involves a few best practices:
- Familiarize yourself with Google’s requirements and policies: Make sure you provide all the required data for a listing in the correct format, and exclude products that violate Google’s policies.
- Keep your listings updated: Don’t set it and forget it. Keep your inventory, assortment, and prices accurate to ensure the best customer experience and avoid item disapprovals.
- Make your listings consistent: If your listings look professional, clean, and consistent, customers can more confidently purchase your products.
- Use high-quality data: As mentioned previously, you should use high-resolution images, optimize your product data for better search relevancy, and segment your listings in ways that make it easier to bid efficiently for each campaign. Fill in as many attributes as you can.
How do you improve your Google Shopping conversion rates?
There are a few things you should try:
- Optimize your product data: Make sure your product titles contain search relevant product nouns, are not spammy, and are structured so that shoppers know what you’re selling at a glance. Fill out as many attributes as you can in your listings.
- Improve product images: Use high-resolution images and provide multiple views of your product. Some product listings also benefit from the addition of lifestyle images.
- Competitive pricing: Price your products to stand out among competing offers, or at least match the perceived value of what you’re selling.
- Use Google merchant promotions: You can entice shoppers by offering discounts or free shipping.
- Segment your campaigns: Segment your campaigns by product type, category, or with custom labels that group your bestsellers, seasonal items, and other products. You can bid more accurately and increase the efficiency of your ad spend.
How do I build an omnichannel marketing campaign?
Omnichannel marketing and commerce require your systems, platforms, and sales channels to be integrated with each other. With effective automation, you can collect and transfer data across various touchpoints to reach more relevant customers, deepen the customer-brand relationship, and streamline your operations.
Do you know which omnichannel marketing tools you need to succeed? Where do you start? To help you answer these questions, and others, our team put together an omnichannel guide for what you should consider when designing and executing your strategy.
What is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing?
Although an omnichannel strategy involves selling products on multiple channels, this model puts more emphasis on integrating your systems to create a seamless brand experience across every touchpoint. A multichannel approach is often described as “siloed,” where the different sales channels are managed separately or not integrated.
Many companies still view their online and offline business separately, but an omnichannel approach bridges that gap by synching data between channels. It allows merchants to streamline their operations before, during, and after a purchase, and personalize each customer’s journey. Before making the switch from a multichannel to an omnichannel strategy, you should first evaluate your business capabilities.
What is the role of data management in marketing and ecommerce?
Data management plays a vital role in marketing as it helps businesses collect, analyze, store, and protect data related to customer behavior, interactions, preferences, and feedback. With proper data management, marketers can develop more targeted and personalized campaigns, improve customer segmentation, and measure the effectiveness of their strategies. Moreover, it also ensures compliance with data protection regulations.
Merchants need product data to list products or create ads on search channels like Google, social commerce sites like Facebook, and marketplaces like Amazon or Target Plus. Each channel has its own data requirements and policies for listing products, as well as best practices you should follow to maximize performance. The data in your product listings helps customers find and learn more about your products. It also makes it easier for ad channels and marketplaces to categorize what you’re selling, and imparts other crucial information, like how many units are in stock, what the prices are, and how quickly an item ships.
How do you get your products into Google Shopping results?
To get your products into Google Shopping results, you need to create a Google Merchant Center account and upload your product data there. This product data should be in the form of a product feed, which includes details about your products, such as name, price, image, and more. Once you’ve submitted your product feed, you can run advertising campaigns through Google Ads to display your products in Google Shopping results.
Google also has a free listing program that uses structured data on your website to show product pages in search results.
What is data feed management, and will it help my business?
Data feed management is the process of optimizing, organizing, and managing product data for submission to various online channels like Google Shopping, Amazon, eBay, and more. It includes tasks like updating product information, categorizing products, and resolving errors in the feeds.
Yes, it can significantly help your business. Effective data feed management ensures your product information is accurate, up-to-date, and optimized across all platforms, thereby improving product visibility, reducing bounce rates due to incorrect information, and enhancing overall conversion rates.
Read this blog to learn more about data feed management.
Simplify product feed management and scale your brand with Feedonomics
As you’ve likely experienced, listing and optimizing your product data is a time-consuming process, especially if you have to manage a large and constantly changing product catalog across multiple advertising channels and marketplaces.
Feedonomics has a powerful feed management platform and full-service team to help ecommerce merchants save time and increase listing quality and performance everywhere they sell.