Why you need an ecommerce feed manager in 2023
Ecommerce feed managers have been around for quite some time. Since the rise of shoppable media across platforms like Google and Facebook, feed managers and marketers have worked in lockstep to ensure the product data align with specifications of each platform. However, as more platforms have emerged, and shoppable media have become ingrained in the consumer journey, existing platforms have become increasingly customized and stringent in their data specifications, creating a more complex path to success. So, what’s a marketer to do?
What is an ecommerce feed manager?
An ecommerce feed manager is a third-party tool and service that acts as an intermediary between a brand’s website product data and advertising platforms to ensure all product data are ported and formatted correctly to each publisher. Popular ecommerce feed managers include Feedonomics, Channable, and GoDataFeed. With tools like these, brands are able to stand out among the rest of their competition while ensuring all product information is accurate for each platform. This has cemented the value of the ecommerce feed management tool as one of the most important tools in a brand’s tech stack.
What are the benefits of an ecommerce feed manager?
Feed managers cost money and can take several weeks or months to onboard depending on the complexity, scope, and existing setup of the product catalog. With that in mind, what are the key benefits of paying for this premium service as opposed to brands doing things manually? The benefits can be broken down into a few key areas:
- ·Scale: Many retail brands have product catalogs ranging from the tens of thousands to millions. Feed managers help organize these data by writing rules to keep product data tidy at scale.
- Accuracy: Data feed information must be accurate to ensure the best possible user experience. If information differs between the product data and the website, there’s an increased risk of losing the sale and can result in feed suspension if the issue is too rampant. Trying to manage this manually — especially for large product portfolios — is near impossible, so this is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using a feed management tool.
- Speed: Every platform in the shoppable media space has different preferences and requirements. This means that without a feed manager, a marketer must generate a custom feed for each channel individually, which can be time-consuming. Feed managers are constantly on top of data specifications for every platform, so when it’s time to expand to a new channel, the feed manager can take the base raw data and spin out a new, accurate feed for the new channel in a fraction of the time it takes to do so manually.
- Customization & best practices: Every publisher has different best practices when it comes to feed data. Social platforms are inherently more visual, while search platforms are less so and are focused heavily on keywords. Feed management platforms inherently account for factors like these.
How can brands leverage an ecommerce feed manager?
There are many ways that brands can leverage this tool. Having vast benefits, an ecommerce feed manager can propel brands toward achieving their goals.
- Increase scale: With many products within a brand, it is important to showcase the proper terms that align with and accurately describe each product. This provides a seamless experience for consumers. Take, for example, a furniture brand that sells sofas. Ensuring sectional sofa shapes like “L Shaped” and “U Shaped” are included in product titles where applicable is key, as many consumers have unique specifications. But, this cannot be applied to every sectional because not all of them are “L Shaped” or “U Shaped.” The feed manager analyzes the products and their features to ensure the correct shape is placed in the title for each individual product. Doing this at scale across multiple channels is only achievable through a feed manager.
- Increase accuracy: For brands that rely on sales and discounts or have frequent inventory fluctuation, ensuring the proper price and stock are accurate is vital. However, that requires advertisers to manually adjust the price and stock changes as they occur — an impractical task. This is where ecommerce feed managers step in. This tool can ingest real-time data from a website to ensure accurate pricing and stock status of all items on the website is being shared with advertising publishers — providing a simple solution for a complex task.
- Increase speed: The ecommerce landscape is continuously evolving. A feed manager enables brands to stay on top of the latest trends and platforms. For example, Twitter recently opened up shoppable ad units on their advertising platform. Brands using a feed manager can use their existing raw product data for other platforms to create a Twitter shopping feed that meets the product data specifications. This drastically increases the speed at which brands jump on a new opportunity.
- Customization & best practices: Product photos are no longer just simple shots of the product in question. For social channels like Meta and Pinterest, lifestyle images that are more engaging to that platform’s audience are required. However, Google’s audience still wants plain, product-focused imagery with minimal noise. With many different requests for product photos across platforms, an ecommerce feed manager can easily showcase different images on each feed. This effectively engages consumers no matter what platform they are on.
What marketers need to know
Shoppable media channels are expanding and becoming more sophisticated by the day. Having solid, foundational data in place within a feed manager allows brands and marketers to be agile and capitalize on new channel opportunities without worrying about product data quality and accuracy. And this means brands can invest their energy into delivering an exceptional customer experience within these new channels without worrying about the technical data and specifications on the back end.