Product Data Feed Management
Retailers across the United States are going on and on about how important product data feed management is to increasing sales through a variety of different channels, spanning from offline stores to digital marketplaces and mobile apps. To some degree, it may even sound ridiculous – how many resources could people possibly use before making a purchase? Utilizing a wide breadth of channels cannot possibly be that influential, can it?
Actually, engaging customers across a wide variety of sales avenues is tremendously important. One report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many as 86 percent of global customers use at least two channels regularly as a part of their shopping experience, while 25 percent utilize as many as five avenues on a regular basis. Moreover, respondents said they did not always follow the same pattern and actually bought goods through more than one channel. This is not to say online channels are for research while offline channels are for buying, customers do whatever is most convenient for them during any given moment.
Although most shoppers may only be using a few channels, the fact of the matter is that 25 percent of customers who use five-plus avenues to make purchase decisions and finalize transactions are still important targets that merchants need to hit. Here are the four steps retailers can take to generate product feeds for many channels.
Four steps to generating product data feeds for multiple channels
1. Define where you are selling
There are a lot of different places where people can sell their products, but not all of them may be relevant to a retailer’s market. Retailers cannot be everywhere, – it makes no sense for them to spend so much time trying to achieve that goal. Instead, they need to think strategically about their target audience and identify the sales avenues that are the most pertinent to their product market.
For example, Newegg is a popular marketplace that specializes in consumer electronics. However, if retailers only sell a few items that fit this niche, it may not make sense to open up shop there.
2. Understand requirements of different channels
Every retail channel has its own barrier to entry and merchants must understand what they need to do to set up shop across all of these various avenues. The most difficult part of selling products across multiple channels is creating accurate descriptions that fit the requirements of each sales avenue. For example, if retailers wanted to sell one item across Amazon, eBay and their own websites, they would have to abide by each channel’s specific requirements before the item could be listed. After defining which channels they want to sell goods through, retailers need to find out what they must do to get started on these various platforms.
3. Gather attributes and create one source of product data
Fortunately, modern eCommerce solutions make it much easier to leverage multiple channels by creating a single source of product information. Sellers can enter all pertinent product attributes, ranging from pictures to size and weight, once and in one place and then export these products to marketplaces using a template.
4. Use templates to prepare product data in the correct format
Templates will help retailers ensure that all the correct data is exported in the format required by each channel. The product data is automatically mapped to channel-specific attributes, which reduces the time it takes to manipulate different data points for each marketplace.