How to increase your product visibility and sales with product feeds

 

What is a product feed?

If you are running an online store, you will be familiar with the standard layout of an e-commerce website; where products are shown with titles and descriptions in various fonts/sizes, combined with images which visitors can interact with. Usually, product prices have a dedicated area in the layout and on sale products have a strong call to action such as the discounted price highlighted by a different colour, or enticing text such as “offer” next to it.

Different websites have different layouts, but regardless of how they are designed, all product information is stored in a database and everything can be extrapolated into files using different formats such as CSV (“comma-separated values”, similar to an Excel Sheet), JSON or XML.

Each column/field contains specific data about each product, such as the product ID and price, its colour, stock availability and more. Every single product includes also links to the various images and the URL of the product itself.

The extrapolated file is what we call a “product feed” – this is usually accessed via a URL or via FTP.  As the product feed coincides with your product file/product database, it can be quite big in terms of data storage. It is usually updated persistently – every hour, twice a day, once a day – or even in real time thanks to API services. This ensures that all the product information is automatically updated on our platform.

 

Quality over quantity

When running affiliate marketing programs, the usage of product feeds and their optimization is of undeniable importance for all verticals, but especially for Fashion, Retail, Travel and Telco. A fully optimized feed helps our network of Publishers to determine when and where to show your products, either to serve ads or to compare products.

The more relevant your product is to a user’s search the more likely our publishers will show your ads and this will increase the chance that someone will make a purchase.

Product feed optimization is needed to ensure as many data fields as possible are populated with the correct information – the more specific you are with the description of your products and their name, the better it is. Price, Description, images, URL and EAN are also vital information when we are talking about product feed optimization and despite not having a standard to follow in the industry, we are always pushing our advertisers to provide us with the most complete set of product information. By optimizing the product feed, you directly influence which products appear in which query and so at the same time increase traffic and conversion by displaying ads which are more likely to reflect the consumer’s needs.

 

Importance of real-time data

Another important aspect of product feeds is strictly connected to the speed of product updates and how fast these updates are delivered to publishers . That’s why during the last five years Tradedoubler has been using and improving an API service that helps our Publishers to always get real-time data, with products directly updated by our merchants and available for our network of publishers in real time.

As an Advertiser, the Products API programmatically pushes product data to publishers and connects with technically advanced publishers. You can let 3rd party developers create innovative content and use the product data you provide in real time via our network. This again will make sure your products can be included in more targeted offers to end consumers, influencing their purchase decision and increasing your conversion rate.

As a Publisher, the Products API allows you to access an advertiser’s product data through a REST API. As soon as you are connected to advertisers through Tradedoubler, you can access fresh product data from top European advertisers. All data is searchable and filterable, and you’ll be able to retrieve structured information about millions of products in different formats such as JSON, CSV or XML

 

 

The author:

Riccardo Favara is Product Specialist at Tradedoubler and a digital marketing expert, with a wide knowledge of the digital landscape and an in-depth experience in the affiliate channel. His area of expertise lies within tracking, with an extensive involvement in custom integrations, connecting new technology partners to advertisers and help them grow their business from a technical perspective, working side by side with all business units.

Follow Riccardo Favara on Linkedin.

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