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If you work in eCommerce and are considering listing your products on a marketplace, price comparator, or aggregation platform, you might have heard of the term “feed manager” before (if you haven’t, check this out). Since Stylight is a search platform for fashion, design, and beauty, a product feed is the main element we ask our partners to provide us with; and as a marketing channel, we have observed that our partners normally gain several advantages by working with feed providers.
First of all, within the integration process: as most feed providers are aware of each marketing channels’ tech specifications, they are able to create product feeds in a very timely manner, which consequently speeds up the integration process overall. Secondly, feed providers are experts in the topic, which means that if there is any issue with a partner’s feed, they are able to locate and fix the issue quickly. Last but not least, the better the feed, the better the performance: feed providers usually offer solutions to manage feeds automatically, which saves costs and boosts performance.
While some of the 1,300 brands and retailers listed on our platform already work with a feed provider, some others can find it challenging to choose the right one. We asked the eCommerce automation solution and feed management expert Lengow to tell us more about the key characteristics of a good feed provider for an eCommerce brand:
A feed manager must give you the freedom to choose how you wish to import your source product catalogue into its platform: via a spreadsheet (.CSV,.XML,.TXT), URL, or through an FTP server (FTP/FTPS). You should also be able to connect your product catalogue from your e-commerce solution such as Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce, using a PIM or via APIs and/or an ERP. Faced with the challenges of a multi-channel strategy, a feed integrator must allow brands and distributors to export their catalogues to a variety of international online and offline marketing channels in order to multiply the points of contact with customers.
Feed managers also allow you to significantly enrich your product feeds on a regular basis. Your feed integrator should enable you to enrich your catalogue with features such as automatic rules, allowing you to perform a number of actions, such as enriching your product sheets, adjusting your stock, adapting your feed to the specificities of certain channels etc. For example, you should be able to exclude products that have a high return rate on a specific marketplace or to set up retargeting campaigns on specific items that are cheaper than your competitors. Even increasing your CPCs on products that generate a high margin should be a possibility.
It is essential to make all your different tools (mailing, customer reviews, price monitoring, Web-To-Store, product recommendations etc.) interact together to maximise their potential and standardise the strategy you have adopted for your business. This is where a good feed manager will make a difference. Product and order information must be shared between systems and tools. Lengow, for example, makes it easy to automate e-commerce tasks across the tools you use daily. Their automations build bridges between business tools that are not always connected, helping you to save time.
With the multiplication of marketing channels in the e-commerce market, feed managers must have the structural capacity and sufficient technical load to be able to index hundreds of billions of products each year. If you have a product catalogue with thousands or even millions of products, make sure that the feed manager is able to process your product data streams to quickly distribute them to the channels of your choice.
Of course, there are more characteristics that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a feed manager, but these should definitely be the top-4 to focus on when evaluating which feed provider best suits your e-business.