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One thing that all savvy marketers keep in mind when optimizing product data, is that each shopping channel has their own unique feed requirements, restrictions, and specifications.

For example, Google Shopping has extremely strict specifications, including a large number of essential product data fields and little room for creativity in product images. Facebook, on the other hand, is far less stringent, valuing creative, vibrant imagery and accommodating less technical product data.

That said, best practices in product data management and optimization still apply across the board. Whichever the export destination, every great product feed has five key characteristics that can be achieved via common data edit optimizations.

Now, let’s dive deeper and explore in more detail the five best practices in data feed optimization. 

Short on time? Don’t worry– hit the link below to see this article as a handy infographic.

Infographic Shortcut

Product Data Optimization – The five C’s

Current

A strong performing product feed should contain only up-to-date information for all product attributes. This means maintaining accurate stock levels,  promoting seasonal offers or discounts, and regularly updating the feed with new products.

  • Tip: Create new product attributes based on existing data. For example, all red products could be given a sale price before Valentine’s Day.

Staying current also requires keeping up with the near-constant changes in channels’ feed specs. So be sure you are monitoring changes and regularly checking for updates.

Clean

 At best, a product feed containing messy or inconsistent data will have a much lower performance than one that has persistent and organized data. At worst, a feed containing sloppy data will be rejected from the channel altogether. All product attributes should be concise and error-free. Make sure your product titles don’t contain duplicate words, have no double white spaces and there’s no broken HTML anywhere in the feed.

  • Example: Fix and decode broken HTML

Before After HTML removal

Complete

It’s vital that there are no empty product attribute fields or missing pieces of data from a feed. Not only could this lead to the feed performing poorly on a technical level, but missing information will likely lead to rejection from most channels altogether. Even if your incomplete feed does make it through, you’re going to face a massive revenue loss if even 5% of your products are missing. 

What’s more is that customers are way less likely to purchase products from your store when they can’t access all the product information. Be sure to scan your feed for empty fields and fill with relevant information. Examples include missing images, brand names, shipping costs, or material (if relevant), etc.

Customized

All product feeds have to be customized in line with the unique specifications of the export channel in question. Not only does that mean completing all the essential fields (ideally including the optional fields), but you must also ensure that formatting adheres to the specifications.

  • Example: While Google defines 16 data fields as mandatory, Facebook requires only  9 – the rest is optional. We list more differences between Google and Facebook feeds in this post.

Compelling

Ensuring your product feed adheres to all the above principles should help direct shoppers your way, but to really grab their attention, it must also be compelling. Invest time in your titles and descriptions, and deliver high-quality images. Generally, they should have a white background and clearly show the product from different angles. Some platforms, such as Facebook, allow you to get really creative. Therefore, consider adding customer ratings, or a promotional message to your product images, or go one step further and replace the image with a product video. Read more on possibilities here.

Dynamic Ads for Travel example before after

 

Implementing and maintaining the 5 C’s is key to ensuring a top quality product data feed is provided to all your export channels. Not only will your data be more powerful, but adopting these practices will increase the stability and scalability of your business.

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Productsup is the leading cloud-based solution for product data management. Import product data from multiple sources, analyze and optimize it, and distribute custom feeds to unlimited destinations - quickly and easily.