How to Leverage Product Feeds to Boost your E-Commerce Business
Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Do you often see product listings like these when you search for a product on Google?
As a retailer don’t you want your product to automatically pop-up in the list of suggestions for search queries? Don’t you wish to gain higher visibility across multiple channels? How gratifying
it would be to have complete control over the content displayed for your product!
A well-built product feed can accomplish the same for you. And that’s not all! From higher customer acquisition from price comparison sites to social networks, applications of an intelligently crafted product feed are endless in its scope. A great product feed can turn those
clicks into sales!
So What is Product Feed?
Today, in the era of the booming e-commerce industry, product feeds are the catalysts for driving a thriving online business. They make it easier for you to go multichannel by presenting your brand name and your products in multiple sale channels.
Product feeds are technical documents with structured data consisting of information that can be used to enrich existing product records or add new products to an assortment. It is the product information formatted in a way that Google and other search engines can understand and interpret it. XML, CSV, JSON or TXT are popular formats used for producing product feeds. In layman terms, product feeds are the key to tell Comparison Search Engines all the details about your product.
One of the prime uses of product feed is to garner visibility. Google shopping and various other shopping channels like Nextag, Price Grapper, etc. need formatted product information to enrich the consumer’s shopping experience. Consider a product feed as a gateway to reach out to your customers through multiple channels.
Additionally, merchants make use of product feeds to maintain an updated site, magnify the site’s performance and holistically augment their B2B e-commerce growth. They are also used to enrich existing product records with additional data or to add new products to an assortment.
Importance of a Well-Defined Product Feed
If you don’t exist in media, you don’t exist at all.
E-Commerce operates as a multi-channel platform. Therefore, it becomes a dire need to ensure presence and visibility across various channels, and a well-defined product feed helps you to establish that.
Homo Sapiens are information mongers to the core, especially when it comes to making a purchase. With the inception of Comparative Shop Engines i.e. a platform to directly compare prices, features etc, it has further augmented the significance of having appropriate data feeds.
Above all, the way your product showcases itself for a consumer’s search query across various platforms would decide whether the “buy ” click converts to a sale or not.
Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why Retail Winners Do Competitor Price Monitoring
Advantages of a well-defined product feed
A well-defined product feed can be the differentiating factor when a customer is browsing your product next to a competitor’s on a Product Comparison Search engine. This in-depth product information is all that you need to convince that customer to buy from you instead of from another.
While the above points elucidate the scope of product feeds in e-commerce businesses, there are various advantages of having a well-defined data feed:
1. Complete Control
Not being able to control the content of the product often results in flawed representation.
But product feed ensures that your product garners the image that you wish to allow it.
You not only gain holistic control over the product but also get an assured consistency
across multiple channels.
2. Visibility across multiple channels
As stated earlier, absolutely no potential platform can be missed in e-commerce.
Through product feeds you ensure your presence in various online marketplaces,
CSE’s, Facebook, etc. It helps you achieve the brand recognition you always aspired.
3. Easy to operate
Above all, it’s an easy and cheap marketing tool. Free Google services like “Google Base” allow you to submit feeds containing all sorts of information about your product. It serves as an efficient marketing strategy, in dual terms of efficiency and costs.
4. Real Time Information
Updating product feeds allows your customers to get hold of inventory changes. Customers can see what you have in stock. Labels like “in stock ”, “out of stock ” etc. are commonly used to display the status of inventory. It further enlightens the retailer about the future demands and the changing trends
Related Reading: How to Use E-commerce Product Enrichment To Increase Sales
The Right Product Feed Can Transform Your Sale Strategy
The scope of using a product feed is virtually limitless.
Google Shopping Product Feeds
Every search query goes through Google search engines. Google Shopping receives a whopping 150 million search inquiries every day. Google makes use of product feed to check if there’s a product that can be showcased as a consequence of search query in its product listing ads. Consequently, product feeds acts as a catalyst to tap the infinite marketing potential of Google.
Here is an example of how Google Shopping can use your product feed.
Facebook (Dynamic Product Ads)
Facebook ’Dynamic Product Ads’ targets users based on past actions/searches on the advertiser’s website or other applications. FB makes use of product feeds to form DPA which augments your sales. Its other services like FB pixels and App events further facilitate you to target people who intend to purchase your product.
Price Comparison Product Feeds
Shopping trends have evolved with 65% of online shoppers spending at least 15 minutes on price comparison websites before making a purchase. Price Grapper, Google Shopping, Nextag are some of the popular price comparison engines which provide a comparative list of different offers from online retailers for the specific product enquired.
Here is an example of a price comparison website listing products via product feeds:
Once, a customer makes a decision to buy the product he/she gets redirected to the owner’s website. Retailers need to leverage product feeds to become a part of this list.
Online Marketplaces using Product Feeds
The market for online retail has grown tremendously. The popularity of online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc. is at an all-time high. These sites make use of product feeds to display your product if they are suitable for a search inquiry. You need to make sure that the attributes of your products are written in a descriptive and attractive manner to stand out from the rest.
Below you can see how Amazon displays recommendations after searching multiple product feeds and multiple categories:
Tracking Consumer Behaviour
It so happened that last Sunday you searched for a denim top, and today you are getting various ad suggestions for the same. Google tracks your behavior and places ads at relevant platformers to tap into the potential buyer.
What Should an Ideal Product Feed Contain?
Though product information submitted for a data feed varies according to the platform it is being displayed on, there are certain standard elements to it. A typical product feed should be inclusive of the following -
1. Product Title
Your product title is the first mark you establish on customers. It includes details like the name of the product, model number, brand name, etc. Make use of descriptive keywords to clearly convey what you want to sell. One should avoid using multiple synonyms or too many acronyms.
2. Product Description
The role of product description is to further introduce the product to the customers in a more elaborate way. It includes information about the uses of the product, application, manufacturing date, etc. The length of the description should be appropriate. Above all, the language used should be easy to comprehend and should appeal to the customer.
3. Product Category
We have seen classifications like -Women’s Fashion>Clothing> Dresses, these are fundamentally the category of a product. Merchants generally have the liberty to provide one’s own classification. It can be inclusive of more than one “product type” attribute value if the product applies to more than one category.
4. Physical Attributes
It includes information about the product’s external dimensions, weight, color, etc. The accuracy of information is of utmost importance.
We are species of senses, visual being the most important of all. The image of the product is, without a doubt, the most important part of the product feed. The image needs to be attractive and must clearly depict all the details of the product. Often, a white background is used to highlight the product.
Terms like “in stock”, “out of stock”, “available for order”, “pre-order” are the standard terms a retailer can incorporate to show the availability of a product to consumers.
The key thing to note here is that there should not be any discrepancy in the price displayed across various platforms. All submitted prices must exactly match the price showcased on your website.
If the price varies across various countries then the conversion rate must be provided.
How to Set Up the Right Product Feed
You can make use of third party operators. There are plenty of software services dedicated solely
to the management and formation of feeds. Prime services include automation of data feeds management, data formatting for PLA’S, shopping engines, etc. They also provide a comparative analysis of product information.
This includes downloading catalog product information to an online distribution channel. For any change/ formatting/alteration, new files are manually uploaded. It also includes manually typing the information but that’s only possible with a short product list.
Many merchants are interested in adding integration to their e-commerce software. It enables automation in creating and updating data feeds. Often custom integration services work in the format of subscription services i.e. monthly charges are incurred.
Need help with your data management queries? Contact us at Datahut.