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Forrester, Facebook & StrikeTru: Insights on How To Successfully Maneuver eCommerce in 2020

As concerns over COVID-19’s overnight impact on shopping behavior and eCommerce continue, investment in automation and modernized data sharing tools are more crucial than ever. On Jul 16, Productsup, a leader in eCommerce data integration, hosted a webinar with Forrester, Facebook and StrikeTru on “Insights to successfully maneuver eCommerce in 2020”. 

For merchants, particularly small and mid-sized businesses, digital transformation and scalable eCommerce continue to be significant challenges. They struggle with inflexible legacy systems, multiple disconnected sources of data, poor data quality, and manual and duplicated processes that result in time to market delays, serious breakdown in multichannel efforts, poor customer experiences, and lost sales opportunities – and these challenges are proving very costly. Tech savvy companies pivoted fast but for merchants that have been slow in the last 5 years to get onboard with digitization or are still in early stages are facing the brunt of this novel disruption – one where physical channels have practically evaporated and there’s a surge to online shopping like never before.

The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on retailers – small and medium alike – to speed up digitization efforts drastically. They need to find a way to get online fast and start selling before it’s too late. 10 years ago, there weren’t many affordable tools to make this possible – fast forward to today, platforms like PIM,  Feed Management and marketplaces like Facebook Shops are key to modernization and are available at reasonable costs.

The webinar focused on eCommerce trends for B2B and B2C merchants and on finding a solution for merchants to navigate a world of digital channels, the latest addition to social selling trend; Facebook Shops and how it can enable small merchants to sell online and best practice tips for managing data for eCommerce success. Joe Cicman (Forrester), Alon Levin (Facebook), and Vik Gundoju (StrikeTru) shared their respective insights on why it’s all about accelerating efforts to stay relevant and compete on the digital shelf.  The webinar clarified the path forward for retailers and the role of product information management (PIM) and Feed Management tools in creating a strong online presence today.

What are the future eCommerce trends for B2B and B2C merchants?

Joe Cicman from Forrester highlighted the effects of Covid19 on shopping behavior. “40% customers say they are buying more online than they normally would.” He also said there is a reluctance to get back to physical shopping adding that numbers suggest the new buying pattern is likely to prolong even post lockdown. “82% of market growth came from marketplaces.” Data quality is the secret sauce, for B2B and B2C merchants to offer seamless customer experience. He said merchants must have the right approach to product data feeds to turbo charge their ROI. Joe spoke about the benefits of a fully integrated product data feed strategy, steps to achieve this and massive consolidation in multi-tiered distribution. 

Key takeaway: To avoid losing out to digitally savvy competitors, B2B merchants should start thinking like CPG brands and adopt new competencies quickly to achieve success. Inefficiencies in distribution will be eliminated by automation, embedded services and rising pricing power. 

How can merchants leverage social selling?

Alon Levin introduced the latest offering from Facebook – a native, frictionless digital storefront across all Facebook apps that operates with a single data source product feed.  Facebook Shops is a result of analyzing customer behavior and how they engage across these social platforms. It’s a great tool for merchants to offer their customers a memorable and unified shopping experience vs. the chore of buying.  Facebook Shops can help businesses sell more by enabling customers to find and purchase their favorite products and brands easily – right from where they browse. So the path to ‘buy now’ is a seamless journey without ever getting out of Instagram or Messenger.

Key takeaway: Creating a Facebook Shop is free and customizable so sellers of all sizes can start selling online as soon as they want.

What are some best practice tips for managing data for eCommerce success?

How can eCommerce trends and evolving shopping platforms be leveraged by businesses? Vik highlighted the urgency for small businesses to accelerate their digital transformation and execute their digital commerce strategy before it’s too late. He spoke about the critical role of technology and data management as major value creators throughout the product lifecycle. “Merchants can overcome many systemic weaknesses that Covid19 sharply exposed by modernizing legacy systems, adopting new tech tools and implementing agile data management practices.” He explains what PIM and feed management can do for merchants, how they fit into an enterprise systems landscape and how product data flows from source systems to internal & external destinations. 

Key takeaway: Retailers that are struggling with scaling SKUs assortments, scaling digital channels, providing exceptional CX, and lowering operating costs have no option but to digitize and invest in modern PIM systems and feed management tools to excel on eCommerce.

Big or small businesses, if your content management is a pain and its effecting productivity and customer experience, that’s when PIM comes into play.

To watch the recording of the webinar, click here

Q&A

  • Q – (Chris) Could you give some advice on what size considerations for when you would move to a PIM – is it driven by SKUs, market place demands, or supported channels?
  • A – (Vik) Few years ago only the bigger firms were investing in PIM, because of high costs and it involved a lot of process re-engineering. Now product data and digital assets are so important, even smaller companies have started doing it. Whether big or small – when content management is a pain and as a result business productivity is affected and customer experiences – that’s when they should invest in a PIM. Typically, it’s manifested by the fact that there are tons of spreadsheets, the data is bad, inconsistent across channels and they are not able to fix it in a timely fashion.
  • Q – (Chris) How should merchants approach channel rollout, is it big bang, 80 – 20, is it easy as first? How are they looking at expanding their digital/eCommerce channels?
  • A – (Vik) Many of them want to expand their digital channels – internal challenges and resource constraints hold them back. Depending on the industry, there are variations. We’ve worked with a Distributor in Industrial Distribution segment and the first channel they wanted to sell on was Amazon or probably eBay. They don’t have resources to do active channel management – they have a lot of stock sitting in their warehouse that they want to get rid of. They start small with excess products sitting on shelf, they pick products that are already listed on Amazon so they don’t have to do the hard work of entering data and they are selling that and converting sales from there to expand into other products and channels.              

Top 7 Challenges in Product Data Management for Ecommerce

How can brands adapt to the future? What will define the consumer’s path to purchase in the post-Covid19 world? How to meet consumer demand on the digital shelf? How to accelerate time to market and drive sales? How to accelerate the shift to a new normal as customers surge to digital channels? How to overcome product data management challenges for eCommerce success?

We believe that structured product information and efficient product data management is the answer to all the questions above. It’s literally the backbone of online retail. It has become critical for retailers to ensure that they are delivering high-quality product pages with accurate, up-to-date information that convinces consumers to ‘buy it now’. Without an efficient product information management system in place, you’ll likely end up negatively impacting your customers intent to purchase, be unable to scale your digital channels or increase SKU counts, offer richer, consistent customer experiences, launch products faster; all of which will ultimately compound your inability to capture more revenue compared to your competitors.

Based on our experience supporting many eCommerce projects since 2010, we have closely followed the ever-growing number of product data challenges retailers face to get their products online. To help you overcome these challenges, we identified the top 7 potential pitfalls associated with product data management processes – and how they can be overcome.

In this article, we explore details of these challenges and learn about StrikeTru’s recommendations to address them for a smooth and profitable eCommerce project.

1. Poor customer experience

  • Customers don’t have good self-service options online to search, select, bundle, and buy products
  • Customers can’t bundle products for preferred pricing online, but they can do that in stores
  • Improving online customer experience requires the ability to easily add and manage categories and attributes (e.g. sale category, style, collection, sub-brand) – we can’t do that in our system
  • Customers are confused by similar titles (e.g. wood chairs) as we can’t add more than 2 modifiers in our system
  • A customer returned a product multiple times – the eCommerce team fixed a bad image that caused the initial return, but warehouse continued shipping the wrong product as they were still looking at the bad image on their product lookup tool
  • Data management challenges delayed strategic initiatives like mobile app launch for store reps

Recommendations

  • Setup a central and trusted repository of high-quality product data (PIM)
  • Simplify delivery of cross-channel consistency – product selection, content, pricing, etc.
  • Boost online customer search and buying experiences by leveraging granular data curated in PIM

2. Bad data costs

Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs organizations an average of $15 million per year.

  • Channel specific processes to collect product data, causing cross-channel content inconsistencies.
  • SKUs appear online with missing content. for e.g., packages go live with no prices.
  • Product images don’t show up online, and they sometimes disappear too.
  • We have manually assigned wrong brand logos, which has legal implications.
  • Instead of a part, we end up shipping the full package as our customer service rep can’t tell which box has what parts.

Recommendations

  • Centralize data management and governance processes in PIM to create/update/obsolete products consistently
  • Leverage validation and governance rules, bulk edits, and approval workflows to improve data quality
  • Make it easy to capture new categories, attributes, and images as needed to address data quality/completeness gaps

3. Product launch delays

  • Takes weeks and sometimes months to collect, on-board, and complete one SKU
  • Would be great to get a daily report of incomplete SKUs, and missing data – will help us prioritize our SKU build efforts
  • Online, we sell only 40% of the SKUs that we sell in stores
  • When we discontinue a SKU, we spend a lot of time manually discontinuing all packages that contain that SKU
  • We routinely spend nights and weekends to try and meet our product launch deadlines

Recommendations

  • Leverage supplier portal to automate supplier data collection and onboarding
  • Consider outsourcing supplier data collection to specialized data vendors
  • Simplify employee tasks – give them a modern & intuitive PIM tool, with time-saving bulk import and edit features
  • Revise SKU setup process, and maximize product data curated in PIM for efficiency
  • Integrate ERP with PIM, accelerate collaboration via workflows and notifications

4. Manual and duplicate work

  • Don’t know what data exists or how to use it. For e.g., merchants obsoleted many SKUs, the photo team report didn’t identify those, and the photo team wasted a bunch of time shooting unnecessary pictures for those SKUs.
  • Marketing CMS is unsupported, hard to use. Fixes and enhancements expensive to make.
  • Most products are variants, but we manage data at SKU level. Even simple changes require multiple SKU updates.
  • Our ERP doesn’t allow:
    • bulk edits – e.g. to assign styles and collections to products.
    • multi-value assignments – e.g. multiple colors or materials to products. This impacts product searchability online.
    • easy product data reporting for merchant decision making (they’d like to use PIM instead)
  • It is a manual and time-consuming process to:
    • setup merchandizing packages (so we don’t do it!)
    • create rich content by combining granular data – SEO friendly titles, descriptions, URL keys, image names, etc.
    • setup product relationships (e.g. related, up-sell, cross-sell) copy data from driver SKU (e.g. queen size bed) to variant SKUs (we don’t always shoot pictures for beds of all sizes)

Recommendations

  • Modernize IT stack, implement PIM to centralize product data and workflows
  • Integrate PIM with ERP, eCommerce, DAM, and other systems, eliminate re-keying
  • Implement robust data modeling, governance, and inheritance features in PIM
  • Train users extensively on search and bulk edit features
  • Increase user efficiency with powerful search & reporting, bulk edits, & validation & enrichment rules

5. Manual asset operations

  • Image tasks are labor intensive – searching, importing , optimizing, linking, publishing, etc.
  • Assets are managed on local drives and are not searchable (e.g. search assets by vendor, product class, color, etc.)
  • Image validations (names, sizes, product links, etc.) are manual (e.g. don’t assign individual image to a kit)
  • Image file sizes are huge, and this affects SEO rankings negatively No systematic way to allow users to report bad asset issues so the photo team can track and fix those assets

Recommendations

  • Centralize and organize product assets in PIM (or DAM)
  • Automate asset tasks – load, optimize (re-size, rename, change resolution, enrich, categorize), link, publish, etc.
  • Share searchable assets with sales, customer service, and other teams
  • If using DAM, automate transfer of assets to PIM, & product data to DAM. If a SKU is discontinued, auto-expire its assets.

6. Painful eCommerce site updates

  • Painful to maintain product data in our eCommerce platform, don’t want to do that anymore
  • Can’t control what product content shows online, the web sync process is unsupported
  • Web sync is slow and unreliable. If we make a mistake, we need to wait another day to fix it
  • Products don’t show up online sometimes for 1 to 2 weeks after launching in stores
  • The website routinely shows wrong prices, everyone spends a lot of time chasing those down
  • Our updates in the eCommerce platform get overwritten by the nightly sync process – frustrating!
  • Optimizing and managing our product feeds to shopping channels & marketplaces is a broken process and not scalable.
  • We’d like to list more of our products on digital platforms, and add more platforms to the mix to increase our digital presence.

Recommendations

  • Seamlessly synchronize catalog structure, content, and assets from PIM to websites
  • Use proven PIM connectors. E.g. for Magento, BigCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, InDesign, GlobalLink
  • Schedule incremental exports, and multiple syncs per daily

7. Poor product visibility on digital channels

  • Current product feeds are generated by the eCommerce platform and are heavily customized
  • Too many listing errors, only a small subset of products show up on Amazon!
  • Inability to actively manage feeds (e.g. turn off products on Amazon in stockout situations), hurts our ratings
  • Inability to setup new product feeds fast enough
  • Optimizing and managing our product feeds to shopping channels & marketplaces is broken and not scalable.
  • We need to list and sell more of our products on digital platforms and add more platforms to the mix
  • Orchestrating orders from multiple channels is a manual and painful process.

Recommendations

  • Implement a product syndication tool to simplify product feed management and increase product visibility online
  • Integrate syndication tool with PIM and ERP for high-quality and timely product content, prices, and inventory
  • Leverage syndication tool to orchestrate multi-channel order management to save costs and drive channel sales

Unsure of the next steps?

Check out StrikeTru’s smallPIM, an affordable, flexible, fast to deploy SaaS PIM solution.

Is Your Product Data Optimized For Omnichannel Commerce?

Brands and retailers often face the consequence of lost revenue thanks to bad product data. In the last decade, there has been a revolution in the way we manage product content. Today, customers look beyond product features & shipping information. They respond to 360-degree immersive narratives that include multiple brand images and video, AR generated lifestyle images and rich product copy. Today, at the heart of a successful ecommerce strategy lays product content that can make or break a sale.

The key is to evolve to meet the demands of today’s connected shoppers. How can you do that? By making the shopper feel empowered with all the information they want, when they want it & on a platform of their choice. With a modern product information management (PIM) solution this is possible. From product discovery to syndication, a PIM solution collects, cleanses, enriches, and adapts your content to meet specific channel requirements for a seamless omnichannel experience. This is even more important in the Amazon-age, with nearly 66% shoppers (2/3 of US shoppers) beginning their search for products here; brands and retailers have to ensure they have the capability of updating their product data quickly to meet the ever changing and ever increasing product content guidelines.

Let’s look at some of the typical challenges faced by ecommerce players that are still managing product information on excel files and shared drives and legacy systems:

  • Product horror story – companies that don’t have access to a centralized repository of trusted product information struggle with easily finding and publishing content in a timely manner that ultimately lead to higher return rates. Never mind poor customer satisfaction levels.
  • Manual syndication – manually managing multiple versions of product data across different departments and channels over hundreds of spreadsheets is near impossible for brands that wish to stay competitive by continuously optimizing their products to capture a larger market share. When the customer expectation is to buy anything at any time, the last thing retailers & manufacturers need is to get stuck with troublesome errors and brand and cross-channel inconsistencies that are fully visible to customers.
  • Zero scalability & delays in launching new products – the ability to list and manage tens or hundreds of thousands of new SKUs is essential to executing an endless aisle strategy to compete with Amazon and other players. Manual methods and legacy systems often fail to accomplish this, hurting a business’s agility in the marketplace.
  • Damaged brand reputation – all of the above situations negatively impact purchase decisions and lead to an irreversibly damaged brand reputation.

So how can you ensure exceptional product data quality, i.e. completeness, timeliness, conformity, consistency and accuracy in collaboration with suppliers & partners? By integrating a cloud based PIM solution in your marketing technology stack. This core solution software aggregates content (including rich selling content) from all data sources, transforms it, creates a harmonized data set, and synchronizes all content to your eCommerce website and various 3rd party digital marketing and sales channels including search engines, social media, and marketplaces. It supports content syndication both in terms of product mix and completeness and format of data, including multilingual content adaptation, needed by the various digital commerce channels.

New platforms like PIM can ensure product content directly supports the KPIs that drive success across all sales channels and has an impact on increasing conversion rates, average order value, stickiness, SEO, & profitability while decreasing return and cart abandonment rates.

Get in touch to talk to a PIM expert today. 


Agile Product Feed Management

Most Americans shop online. A majority of these online customers start their product search on search engines, market places, and retailer websites. Visibility and discovery are two of the most critical elements when it comes to competing for mindshare of potential customers online, hence companies must make the necessary investments in modern technology to ensure great product content is continuously fed to the right sales and marketing channels, at the right time. Effective product feed management involves providing complete, accurate, and timely product data that meets the individual requirements of various channels. Channel-specific data requirements keep evolving, companies continue to adopt more channels to sell through, and enterprise product data is constantly in a state of flux (i.e. new products are introduced, current ones are updated or obsoleted). Legacy operations typically used to manage product feeds involve high cost and complexity and often slow down a company’s ability to provide relevant product feeds to sales channels. Specialized product feed management tools and service providers play a key role here helping companies overcome many of those challenges resulting in a shorter path to purchase – leading to more conversions. It is also a best-practice for digital winners to leverage a modern Product Information Management (PIM) tool that helps them master and share product data efficiently with employees across the company and with feed management tools and other consumers of product data.

In this whitepaper, we discuss in detail the importance of optimized product feeds, outline common product feed management issues and review how a product feed management tool like Feedonomics helps overcome these challenges. We also review key features of a Product Information Management (PIM) tool that helps create consistently high-quality product data at scale so it can be shared with sales and marketing channels. Finally, we propose a reference solution architecture that combines PIM and Feed Management tools to maximize content and feed management related task automations as well as orchestrate multi-channel order management.


The Importance of Optimized Product Feeds

Product data feeds are an essential part of eCommerce. It is the method in which your data is sent to shopping channels and marketplaces where you want your products listed and found easily by consumers when they need it. The figure below illustrates just how many consumers look up product data on their devices even when they’re shopping in a store.

There are many crucial elements that make up a successful shopping feed. If you have 20 total products, you could of course optimize your products one by one manually, but what if you have thousands or millions of products? Therefore, a comprehensive feed management platform is the only way to truly manage and scale up your eCommerce campaigns.

Optimizing your product feeds is a critical part of succeeding on Amazon, Google Shopping, Walmart or on an auction site like eBay. Why? At the highest level, search algorithms often match the keywords users type into their search against your product attributes, giving extra weight to your title, category and description. Product feed optimization is key to a higher CTR, raising the average order value, increasing attachment rates, and ultimately getting the best performance out of your campaign.

The recipe for online product listing success:

  • An optimized feed – You want to ensure your online ads stand out with clear understandable wording that ticks all the boxes based on what the person shopping is searching for. Your ad copy must contain attributes that paint a picture of what they will be purchasing, such as color, size, material, gender, price, brand, and more.
  • SEO friendly – Whether it’s Google, Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, or eBay, all these large online shopping platforms want to give their shoppers the best possible user experience. An optimized product feed often comes with huge rewards for the advertiser such as higher impression share, a lower cost per click, and a higher conversion rate.
  • A healthy account – If you have ever encountered a Google Merchant Center disapproval or error, you will understand the frustration this can cause. Every online marketplace adheres to a strict set of rules. Amazon uses Order Defect Rate (ODR) to measure a seller’s ability to provide a good customer experience. Of course, Amazon sellers will want to avoid receiving a high ODR, which could lead to a suspension or even termination. Being able to flag, diagnose, and resolve errors quickly helps maintain a consistent revenue flow. Example – Having an account suspended over Black Friday weekend could be catastrophic for your company.

Responsive Shopping Campaigns

An ad campaign will suffer if you do not have an optimized product feed. A product feed is the cornerstone of any successful campaign. Without proper feed optimization, it’s unlikely your products will show up at all, and if they do show up, it’s often at the expense of very high bids, because your products are not seen to be as relevant.

Best Practices:

  • When you structure your product attributes similarly to the words and phrases that users are looking for on different platforms, it increases your ad’s relevancy.
  • Product title, description, and categorization are critical here. You’ll want to ensure that your product titles contain attributes like brand, name, size, and color so that your item surfaces in product searches.
  • Provide high-resolution images and make sure to use the optimal height and width for the platform where you’re advertising. A white background to make your images pop is best.
  • For some products, you’ll want to provide additional images of the item from a different angle to capture special details.
  • Ensure the product specs associated with the item are described accurately and thoroughly.
  • Categorization is key. For example, Walmart assigns products to specific categories, and within each category, there are sub-categories. Also, attributes for products are required. Make sure that product categories, sub-categories, and required attributes are set up correctly so there are no errors or unpublishing issues. Customers who browse or use filters when shopping won’t be able to find your products if you’ve miscategorized them.

Better Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

An optimized feed allows you to enhance the core component of a Shopping campaign, which is relevancy. A relevant campaign needs to meet or exceed the associated platform’s algorithm. This will influence the amount of impressions share one advertiser will receive over another, as well as the cost per click and more importantly, the number of clicks the ad will receive.

With regards to Google Shopping, if your campaign “pleases” the Google algorithm, it can lead to:

  • Higher impressions share
  • Increased click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Lower costs

Similar to Google Shopping, pleasing the algorithm on marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay require the following considerations to get the most out of your marketplace SEO:

  • Better product data for relevancy
  • Competitive price point
  • Product availability
  • Quick turnaround on order fulfillment
  • Low or free shipping
  • Customer reviews

Combining your traditional PPC optimizations with marketplace best practices, should give you the edge against your competitors.

Faster order management and fulfillment can help with the above best practices situations. How so? Product prices are updated constantly, new products will be added in, and old or seasonal products are discontinued. If you don’t revise your product feed, then you are at risk of receiving feed errors or disapprovals.


Common Product Feed Issues


Some common product feed issues include:

  • Duplicate titles
  • Titles with missing information
  • Whitespace issues
  • Rogue HTML
  • Not listing full catalog (e.g. only top sellers listed)
  • Missing alternate image angles/views
  • Poor image quality (resolution, size, etc.)
  • No associated products

When your product data is clean and optimized, there are no rogue HTML or missing values, and it is correctly mapped to the specifications of each channel.

The following is a list of common Google Merchant Center errors:

  • Automatic item disapprovals due to policy violation (e.g. “Dangerous Products” policy violation where a site sells guns, gun parts, and explosives)
  • Product pages cannot be accessed
  • Missing images
  • Invalid price data
  • Incorrect product identifiers
  • Missing GTIN
  • Missing shipping information
  • Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect availability
  • Missing required attribute: color
  • Missing required attribute: size
  • Multiple sizes for one item
  • Incorrect shipping costs
  • and so on…

Unresolved Google Merchant Center (GMC) errors and disapprovals can result in thousands of dollars of lost revenue per day. For a company that lists and sells hundreds or thousands of items, it is a daunting amount of work to monitor product listing errors and warnings on those channels on a daily basis. Furthermore, those errors due to bad data on Amazon could result in a delisting of products, fine or even suspension. Updating price, inventory, and other content for those items routinely also requires a significant amount of work. Another big challenge is the task of orchestrating orders coming in from multiple sales channels. Companies often struggle with timely entry of channel specific orders into internal systems (online store or ERP or OMS) and timely update of order status on various sales channels – these operations are typically manual and error-prone.

Even if product feeds are optimized, there are other data challenges that companies routinely deal with:

  • Incorrect data: For example, wrong price, availability, or dimensional data. These will contribute to wrong product shipments, excessive returns, customer dissatisfaction, and lower profits. Other issues include poor image quality, insufficient number of product images, etc.
  • Delayed product introductions: It’s not uncommon for companies to list only a subset of their catalog online due to data availability and setup issues. For example, inability to launch new products or promotions in time for a Black Friday leads to lost sales.
  • Inconsistent data across channels: Customer expect omni-channel consistency and will avoid or punish companies that don’t deliver it.
  • Inconsistent data across brands or categories: In the same company, titles and descriptions across brands and/or categories are often constructed differently. The availability of commonly searched product specifications and digital assets also varies widely across product categories. This makes it harder for customers to find and purchase products online.

A lack of visibility into these data issues and control over what data gets distributed to specific channels is a common issue. These challenges result in a variety of problems including lost sales, stockouts due to poor inventory and availability management, and costly operations.


Feed Management Tool to Tame Cost and Complexity


A product feed management tool like Feedonomics can address many of these problems. The tool streamlines the creation and management of optimized product feeds to help save time and money. It will also sync the latest price and availability data with all channels on a timely basis. With Feedonomics’ proprietary tool (FeedAlerts™), you can receive notifications for Google Merchant Center errors and warnings daily. Feedonomics can also help with automated order management. The platform will automatically pull orders from each marketplace channel and deliver them to your system in one dashboard. Everything is synced to your online store (or another system like ERP or OMS) so that you can efficiently manage Marketplace inventory. This will prevent oversold situations and ensure that product availability is accurate.

Many companies don’t have a centralized repository of product data. So, preparing product feeds, including via getting the data from your website, can be tricky. Feedonomics can pull product data from any feed file, shopping platform, product content platform, or custom site with any kind of schedule. It is a low-cost way to ensure your products are at the “eye-level” on the digital shelf.

  • Data Ingestion: We can pull data into our system in nearly any format – SFTP, FTP, URL, JSON, Google Sheet, or custom API if needed.
  • Data Joins and Mapping: We can join any dataset together with a common key (i.e., ‘product_id’). This allows us to merge data from disparate systems, like inventory, margin, or performance data, into the main catalog. We can then map these datasets to any field required by a channel. For example, we can create rules in the feed to map product categories that map to channel specific product categories.

FeedTelligence

FeedTelligence™ is a powerful keyword recommendation tool. It will automatically compare your Google Shopping feed to actual converted search terms and allows you to see missing words for title and description optimization on a per-SKU basis.


FeedAlerts

FeedAlerts™ is an easy way to receive notifications for both Amazon and Google Merchant Center (GMC) errors and warnings. Unresolved Amazon or GMC errors and disapprovals can result in thousands of dollars of lost revenue per day.

Feedonomics can set up FeedAlerts™ to:

  • Monitor import/export errors
  • Automatically check your Google, Amazon, and other accounts twice a day
  • Set thresholds on an overall and individual error basis
  • Send a notification when you exceed an error threshold

FeedAlerts™ is a game-changing tool that will save your company time and money – fewer errors will result in more active products and higher sales.

You’ll receive an email with a detailed report listing the errors with links. If the errors are feed-based, Feedonomics’ 24/7 support team will fix them.


Feed Optimization and Order Management helped a retail client achieve a 260% increase in revenue on Amazon and a 290% increase in revenue on eBay.” – Feedonomics


PIM, For High Quality & Consistent Product Feeds


As discussed earlier, poor quality product data is a huge problem in the digital world. Data inconsistencies across channels makes the bad data problem worse. Disparate legacy systems and spreadsheets typically used to manage product data leads to a variety of product data management challenges. Centralizing product data in a PIM system can help feed clean and complete data to sales channels. A modern PIM provides the necessary data visibility, control, and scalability to create great product feeds that can be leveraged by multi-channel shopping campaigns to deliver a better ROAS.

A PIM (Product Information Management) is an enterprise data management solution that: 

  • Centralizes product data required to support commerce operations
  • Simplifies generation of compelling, consistent, and high-quality product data
  • Synchronizes product data with internal systems, marketing and sales platforms, customers, and partners
  • Scales up data acquisition, enrichment, and publishing efforts

Noted below are some key benefits of a PIM solution:

Single source of trusted data: PIM creates a single source of trusted product data by aggregating it from multiple sources, and by cleansing, enriching, governing, and maintaining it consistently.

High-quality and consistent data: Product and variants management, data inheritance, data validations, quality checks, completeness checks, bulk edit features, rules-based auto-enrichment, approval workflows, and role-based permissions ensure you create and deliver consistently high-quality data.

Integrated digital assets: PIM helps you onboard, link, control, and share product assets with digital channels. PIM simplifies the task of associating imagery, videos, PDFs, and other digital assets with product data.

Support for product feed management: Great product feeds to search, social media, and retailer websites will ensure customers find and purchase your products. PIM holds high-quality and SEO friendly data that can then be fed easily to product feed management tools to help drive traffic and sales from multiple digital channels.

eCommerce accelerators: Manage rich product data systematically to enables navigation and exploration features critical for conversion on eCommerce sites. These features include intuitive categories and sub-categories, helpful product names, facet navigation, cross-sell compatible products, comparison, etc.

Business agility: By integrating PIM with other enterprise systems, trusted product data can also be shared efficiently with internal analytical and operational systems, thus reducing manual and redundant efforts. This will also make the enterprise more agile and responsive when it comes to implementing new digital initiatives (for e.g., launching a mobile app).


Reference Architecture for Agile Feed Management and Order Orchestration


Product feed management combines the creation of product feeds, optimizing feeds to meet channel specific requirements, syndicating feeds to multiple channels, and reporting and recovering from feed listing errors with the key goals of maximizing online leads and sales. Additional scenarios include automatically managing inventory levels across channels, aggregating orders and inputting them into an internal order management system for processing, and sending out order statuses to various digital sales platforms.

A best-practice reference solution architecture combines the power of a PIM and a feed management tool for optimal product feed management and multi-channel order orchestration tasks. Although an eCommerce platform is a convenient option to provide product feeds to a feed management tool, it is not the best option. Often times, data in an eCommerce site is wrong, incomplete, or dated. Add to that the fact that not all products may be listed on the eCommerce site for technical or data quality related issues. An eCommerce tool (and an ERP system too) is not suitable for proper data management and this means that product data issues are not fixed in a timely manner. A PIM is the right tool for product data management, and hence an integration between the PIM and a product feed management tool like Feedonomics is a better solution architecture for digital success.

Listed below is a proposed reference solution architecture for efficient product feed management and order orchestration.


This integrated solution provides many benefits:

  • delivers high-quality product feeds consistently to multiple sales channels
  • feeds latest price and inventory data sourced from ERP or other system
  • speeds up creation of product feeds that contain correct, complete, and SEO friendly data (via completeness, content automation, bulk edit, workflow, and other features)
  • provides product data intelligence (e.g. keyword suggestions, listing errors, catalog level analytics) and alerts to maximize active product listings, findability, sales, and ROAS
  • automates various manual tasks typically associated with multi-channel order management
  • provides greater visibility, control, and agility over product feeds, orders, and channel analytics

“Retailers need to be more aware and responsive than ever to when and where their potential customers are making decisions throughout their ‘always on’ shopping journey.”- KPMG


Every industry is getting disrupted, and eCommerce is here to stay. Digital winners are using technology and integration to improve their core business and break into new markets and new customers. They’re streamlining user journeys, telling better product stories, optimizing for mobile ecommerce, personalizing customer relationships, getting products to market faster, and driving operating efficiencies across business support functions. Are you going to be a digital winner?


Contact Us


The Feedonomics and StrikeTru teams have a track record of successfully implementing Product Feed Management and PIM solutions across industry verticals. For more information or to discuss how we can help, please contact Brian Roizen at brianroizen@feedonomics.com or Vik Gundoju at vik@striketru.com.