5 Essential Feed Optimization Tricks to Make the Perfect Product Catalogue

Technology8 min read

If you are an eCommerce merchant advertising your products on Stylight or any other search platforms, or are aiming to do so, knowing and mastering the platform’s feed specifications is the key to a smooth product listing. While creating a custom feed can be challenging, feed providers such as Channable can facilitate the process for you and ensure your feed is suitable for publication.

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Here are some tips, tweaks, and best practices that will turn an average feed into a high quality one.

Two small steps that can make a big difference

To kick off, these two tips are easy to apply and offer incentives that are definitely worth a double check of your current feed information.

#1: Your feed should match the language and currency of your target market

In order to rank high in the internal search on a local site, and to make your products findable for customers, it is important to provide your product data (and therefore the important search keywords) in the respective language. English feed information does the job but language and currency localization can create an essential advantage.

#2: Pay attention to the non-mandatory fields as well

While setting up your feed, you will recognize some mandatory fields such as product availability, category, size, description, or item group ID. Without these key fields, your product feed will be rejected.
Additionally, there is some product data that counts as “nice to have” but not absolutely necessary: sales price, CPC bidding values for different devices, or voucher codes, for example. In the long run, these bits of information can improve the visibility of your product listings and help you get ahead of your competition. What some merchants are not aware of is that including voucher codes in their product feed grants them a spot on some websites’ dedicated voucher code sections such as the Stylight club site, where the merchants’ promotions place their brand even more in the spotlight.

Optimize your product catalog in 5 steps

Ultimately, you want to create your ‘perfect catalog’, consisting of only those products that will perform well and attract the right target audience. Feed optimization with a feed management tool such as Channable can offer some useful ways to dynamically perfect this catalog before you activate it. Based on if-then-rules, your imported product data feed can be enriched, optimized, and filtered to result in a product feed that matches the platform specifications and includes the items that really ‘make sense’ for you to display. The following best practices can help you to take full control of your product data and make the most out of your listings:

1. Have a safety net

Glitches can appear in every data feed. But since all rules in feed management work in sequence (every new rule applies to the set of products that is still left after the preceding one), setting up a ‘safety net’ with your very first rule won’t let these glitches affect your catalog. Within this first rule, you want to exclude items from your feed that, for example, have the value 0 in their price field or a stock below 1. Apart from that, every merchant has individual specifications and may want to generally exclude certain brands or product categories before optimizing any other product information.

2. Map your fields for a smooth integration

The names of the product data fields in your original feed may not always match the ones required by the search platform/price comparison website you are collaborating with. Often, the mandatory field “name” appears as “title” in data imports, resulting in an error message when you want to activate your feed. Instead of manually changing this information, you can systematically map the field “title” with the field “name”, effective for all products in your catalog.

3. Exclude marginal sizes

Sometimes, a product is so popular that the most demanded sizes sell out on a regular basis. We advise you to have at least 2-3 sizes available, especially when it comes to shoes, in order to avoid disappointed customers and too many clicks on your ads that won’t result in transactions. Within the process of feed optimization you have the option to exclude a product from your catalog as soon as only marginal sizes are left. When the more popular sizes are restocked, the item will automatically appear back in your listing.

4. Filter products that attract interest, but are unlikely to sell

There are several reasons why certain products just won’t sell on a specific website. For instance, you have a handful of products in your feed that exceed the usual price range, or you may want to exclude some items for a certain time or season. Based on any information given in your feed, you can set up rules that will automatically filter those products from your final catalog and improve your CPC strategy.

5. Work with your performance insights

Learning from the performance of your products on your partner’s website enables you to make smart decisions for further listings. For instance, you may want to offer promotions for items with a low conversion rate (with a CR threshold that is up to your definition) or exclude items that don’t meet your revenue goals. The integration of analytical insights, e.g. via Google Analytics, allows the use of performance based rules. In this extra set of rules, information about bounce rate, revenue, sessions or transactions can be used to define smart actions on the product level.

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    The feed management insights given in this guide are based on the functionalities of the feed management and PPC tool Channable. Any rule-based options and integrations might vary between tool providers. Channable offers an all-in-one solution for product data marketing, combining feed and order management with PPC automation and analytical insights.

    written by:

    Soline Demenois

    Lead Partner Marketing Manager

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