Data Feeds-Your Site’s Gateway to Generating Traffic and Exposure
In any industry, selling your products through an E-commerce storefront can become very competitive. The movement towards selling online is both rapid and cut-throat to say the least. Businesses are often searching for unique channels that reach their customer base and give them an advantage over the competition.
One method I want to share with you that I have found to work very well was the linking of our product data feeds to various comparative shopping engines such Google, Ebay and Amazon Marketplace. Rob Wood of clixGaloreTutor.com states, “A data feed is simply a file that contains all the relevant information about your individual products such as their name, price, product purchase page URL, product image URL, description, category etc.
A data feed is provided in .csv or XML format which can be easily manipulated by using MS Excel and Notepad”. Data feeds give you opportunity to reach new customers and spread brand awareness through additional marketing channels. Whether you want to promote ten products or a thousand, data feeds will help generate the site-traffic that you are seeking.
Data feeds can be developed automatically through an outside platform like SalesWarp or created manually within Magento by using specific extensions. For our client, Crafts2u we used a data feed manager extension manufactured by Wyomind. As a standard extension of the Magento platform, data feed practices are a fundamental part of the E-commerce business model that is often overlooked. They can be purchased at a relatively low cost and involve the use of moderate developer/technical skills to create.
Best practices for data feeds often relate to the marketing techniques used for increasing your site’s search engine optimization. Product identifiers, keyword relevance, tracking of information, and frequent updates are all vital elements to the success and process of your data feeds. Susan Petracco of Double Plus states, “Include major product identifiers so that your product gets grouped with the same products from other sites. This includes, if available, the manufacturer/brand, the manufacturer part number, and the UPC (or EAN or similar international codes). Google Product Feed now requires at least two of these three fields”. Keywords within your product descriptions and titles are very important because Googlebot is programmed to scan for the terms most relevant to a consumer’s search. Additionally, track each active data feed to determine which products have the highest click rates. This will allow your business to create content specific marketing campaigns in the effort of increasing site-traffic retention and sales. Furthermore, frequently update your data feeds in accordance with any inventory updates. Keeping all information up to date will help your products sustain relevant positions on a search engine listing.
What are you waiting for? Go out and serve your starving E-commerce storefront with some healthy data feeds!