Does this sound familiar?
You have physical products to sell online – B2C or B2B. You want to sell more products online. You want your products seen by as many potential buyers on the first page of searches as possible.
Perhaps you’re like many of our clients when they first came to us. They were thinking:
“How can I easily and quickly review my product data, upload the feed file, and make sure it’s correct? Then how can I possibly keep pace with changing requirements in all the channels; keep my stock inventory numbers up-to-date; make certain I have competitive pricing and quickly change it if need be; and do all this without breaking the bank or going crazy?”
That’s what we do. We’re Feed ManagerTM – one of the most knowledgeable and experienced product data feed specialists worldwide. Since 2006, our team of software, marketing and other professionals has been building, submitting and optimizing product feeds for clients in a wide variety of business sectors.
What it’s all about – the basics of how it works
What Is A Product Feed?
It’s a list of every product in your inventory with special descriptive fields that allow your products to be indexed (i.e., found and identified) by the source it’s being uploaded to. Product data feeds – done correctly – are a fast and efficient method of importing and exporting long lists of products so they can be posted to new sites and channels.
Each channel (e.g., Google Shopping, Amazon) has its own unique requirements for the descriptive data fields (e.g., product title, image). However, if your feed doesn’t precisely align with the mandatory channel requirements, you don’t get listed. In other words, potential buyers don’t see your products!
In addition, there are “recommended fields.” These aren’t mandatory but they help your products get indexed within the listing. These fields – done correctly – improve the quality of data submitted to the channels.
Better data equals better chance of receiving a higher listing and appearing in ALL relevant searches.
Feed Manager™ leads the industry for creating feeds with the highest quality of data.
What quality product feed listings make possible
- Your products are seen by more prospective buyers
- More traffic is driven to your site
- You typically enjoy higher conversion rates
What Is Product Optimization?
Each product in your data feed is made up of numerous descriptive fields. These fields are split into two types; mandatory and recommended.
The mandatory fields differ depending on which channel you choose to upload to but are typically similar (e.g. Product Title, Product Image, Price, etc). In contrast, the recommended fields can be almost anything else describing the product (e.g. Color, Weight, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) etc).
Optimizing products is the process of either changing existing fields or adding new ones (mandatory or recommended) in order to improve the visibility within a given channel to attract more clicks to your site. Our latest optimization service – known as Product Optimizer – has produced remarkable results for a large number of our clients and could do the same for you too.
Product Optimizer is a game-changing service available exclusively from Feed Manager™. It gives you a serious competitive edge. Find out more about our Product Optimizer.
Why Optimize Products?
- Your products are seen by more prospective buyers because of increased visibility
- Increased sales because more people have seen what you offer
- Satisfying the mandatory requirements (e.g. GTIN on Amazon, Brand, MPN and/or EAN on Google Shopping for electrical products), that differ from channel to channel is complicated. We haven’t encountered a company yet who can tackle this successfully on their own in a cost-effective way.
Below are just some of the channels we upload to, including the channels most often used by our clients . . .
- Google Shopping (via Google Products)
- And more channels and marketplaces available here
- Plus if there’s a channel you don’t see listed that you believe might work for your specific products, contact Feed Manager and we’ll probably be able to include it.
We also offer suggestions on which channels would be best suited for your business’ specific market to further help you experience the best returns.
Listing on Google Shopping (formerly Google Product Search) has changed in the United States. The transition began in June 2012 … and by October 17, 2012 it will no longer be free – you do pay for clicks. If you’re unfamiliar with the changes and how they might impact your ecommerce business, you’ll find blog posts on the subject in our monthly archives starting in June 2012. And of course you can call us.
To list on Google Shopping you must have the following:
- A complete, error-free feed file that is properly formatted and mapped to Google’s specifications
- A Google Merchant Center (GMC) account, through which your product feed is submitted to Google
- A Google AdWords account properly linked to your Google Merchant Center
- A properly-configured Product Listing Ad campaign running in Google AdWords, where you set bids and manage ad spend for Google Shopping
Please read more about how Feed Manager can help you with configuring and managing successful Google Shopping campaigns here.
Recent changes notwithstanding, Google Shopping is currently the single largest product listing site on the web. Any ecommerce store can get massive exposure for their products . . . IF the product feed submitted to the Google Merchant Center meets Google’s feed quality criteria.
It’s essential that your feed submission precisely meets Google’s requirements.
The challenge you face is that the requirements needed to get your Google Shopping feed approved are constantly increasing with more mandatory fields having to be included. Google initiated a significant update to its product quality criteria on September 22, 2011, and more have been set in place for the new Google Shopping.
We ensure your feed meets all the new requirements – today and with future changes by Google.
Below are just some of the e-commerce platforms Feed Manager™ supports. If yours doesn’t happen to be on the list, please contact us to see if we have it covered.
Most shopping cart platforms provide scripts so you can upload information needed for a product data feed . . . that’s not what platforms excel at. It’s a bit like expecting a commercial airline to serve gourmet food. Flying an aircraft is their primary business – not running a restaurant.
So if you used the default script from your platform to create a shopping channel product feed, and used that upload without any editing (or minimal editing) . . . then most likely your feed file is incomplete at best.
And if any mandatory fields are missing, your products will not appear in the search results.
That’s why we have custom scripts written for the bulk of the major e-commerce platforms, as well as several smaller ones. Again, if you don’t see yours on the list, just ask us about your shopping cart platform. We probably have it covered, or can add it if need be.