Looking to boost your bottom line with a shopping data feed tool, but not sure which solution is best for you? We’ve got a checklist for that.
You know by now that selling on multiple marketplaces is better than locking yourself into one. In fact, even just expanding to two online marketplaces can boost your revenue by 190%.
But is it reasonable for the regular ecommerce merchant or business owner? Managing shopping data feeds can be a hassle. The more products you have, the more you have to manage. You need to optimize each product for each marketplace. And then you need to monitor the success of each ad campaign.
And old-fashioned spreadsheet shopping feeds aren’t going to cut it.
Shopping data feed tools: The benefits of automation
When it comes down to it, creating shopping data feeds on a spreadsheet is a time suck. That’s why most merchants turn to shopping data feed tools.
For those who are new to the game, a shopping or product feed is a CSV, TXT, TSV, or XML file that contains all of your product information. If you want to be found on Amazon, Google, or any other platform, you will use a shopping data feed.
There are dozens of platforms, and most of them have slightly different optimization requirements. This means you’ll have to tailor-make each feed for each platform.
And that easily eats up your time.
Automation tools can be a game-changer. Not only will these shopping feed solutions speed up the process, but using one can provide insights to help you scale your business.
Of course, this leads sellers to another problem. Which tool to use?
In this guide, we’ll go down a checklist of what you should consider when picking the perfect shopping data feed tool.
Your shopping data feed tool checklist
Let’s be real: As a seller, you do have some constraints. Your budget, goals, product type, and time all come into play when looking at data feed tools. You might not need access to every channel out there. If you’re selling automotive parts, Pinterest may not be the platform for you. But Amazon could work pretty well.
So, should you pay more for platforms you won’t need?
In this checklist, we’ll review all the major factors you should review before picking a shopping feed tool.
First things first: What’s your budget? It’s best to have a clear view of how much you can invest in your tool beforehand, so you can go ahead and remove any that are above your price point. And prices differ widely depending on the tool. To give you an idea, the range is somewhere between $29 to $1,000 per month!
However, shopping data feed tools should also save you money. You’ll want to factor in how much your ROI might improve once you take on a tool.
That said, here are some factors that may influence price:
- Tool brand name recognition
- Your monthly sales volume
- Features available
- Number of campaigns available
- Amount of users
- Whether the tool is self-service or managed by the platform
- Levels of support
Keep in mind that some platforms offer flat monthly pricing, while others offer modular pricing. In other words, you may have the option to pay only for what you use.
Next, you want to make sure that your shopping feed tool will actually do what you want it to do. Feature charts can give you an idea, but it’s much better to try out a live demo or free trial.
Some key features and functionalities you should have are:
- Integration with your store or multi-store
- Various shopping cart feed types
- Ability to manage downloads, including merging feeds, scheduling downloads, and removing duplicates
- The ability to create feeds for individual channels. This includes automatic error correction, auto-mapping, templates, the ability to add custom or missing fields, regular expressions, order sync, images, custom feeds, copying feeds, and whatever else you need.
- The ability to easily remove unprofitable channels and products
- Channels that you want are supported
Before researching tools, you may want to make a list of what you are already doing. This will help you decide which features would be nice to have and which are truly required for your business.
How will you grow? Quality analytics are important for understanding how effective your tool is and how you can improve. You’ll want a shopping feed tool that offers insight into:
- Individual product statistics
- Cost data, such as feedback on cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-action (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Bid management
Finally, how easy is it to contact support? Do reviews suggest that the platform has a lot of problems? Ideally, your shopping feed tool should offer a number of customer service options, including:
- 24/7 monitoring
- Live support
- Email and phone support options
- Notifications for failed actions, such as downloads and uploads
You’ll also want the bare minimum for security features:
- Password protection
- Encryption for output feeds
Is there more than one tool that can do the job? Yes. But which one is right for your business?
After you’ve reviewed affordability, functionality, analytics and support capabilities, you will be in a better position to choose a tool that will work for you. Once you pick the right tool, you can begin optimizing your individual data feeds for success.
If you’re new to shopping data feeds and want an affordable option, FeedFactory is an automated product feed tool—and it’s free for a limited time. Beta testers can use FeedFactory for free and get steep discounts as we grow.
Want to start optimizing your feeds today, for free? Request to beta test FeedFactory.