This post is written by Ben Bakhshi from adCore. adCore is an SEM automation suite that allows eCommerce shops to synchronize their datafeeds with Google AdWords and managing their bids automatically. Ben also writes for the blog eCommerce Marketing.
Image Credit: Stuck in Customs
You are marketing your eCommerce shop wrong and that is causing you to miss out on a lot of sales. If you aren’t familiar with your product datafeed, chances are that you are not reaching your site’s full marketing potential. Your eCommerce product datafeed is your business’ catalogue of merchandise that can be read by a variety of platforms. For companies with a hundred or more products, a well-designed eCommerce datafeed provides an opportunity to scale up marketing and sales and overall product manager, like offering discounts, making sweeping changes to inventory, managing suppliers, and more.. While having a feed to inject into your eCommerce platform can help your internal efficiencies, your feed can be used by search engines, shopping comparison sites, and affiliate networks to increase your sales. So let’s find out how.
Optimize Your Feed
Your datafeed should be organized in a manner that Google can understand, aka SEO (search engine optimized). Your feed should be in XML or CSV format, and hosted somewhere online via HTTP or FTP. When organizing your CSV or XML headers, use human names like: Brand, Manufacturer, Product Name, Product Description, Category, Sub-Category, etc.
Make sure you separate or use a different feed for your Brand and Category landing pages. When someone searches Nike Shoes, you want them to land on a page with all Nike shoes, not on a specific product page. The Brand and Category landing pages often convert at a higher percentage than product landing pages.
Don’t group multiple columns together. Whenever possible, keep your Brand and Product Name separated. That way when someone searches for Nike Shoes, Google will know to display your broad Nike landing page, and not Nike Dunks Women’s Size 8 just because you poorly organized your feed.
Synchronize Your Feed with Google AdWords
Consider synchronizing your feed to Google AdWords with a 3rd party AdWords tool like adCore. In 2006, Google launched the AdWords API which opened up access to developers to create software that can make changes within AdWords. With adCore you can create an AdWords campaign that adds new inventory and pauses out of stock inventory automatically. adCore and the AdWords API allow you to have up to 2 dynamic numeric fields, (often Price and Quantity-in-Stock, but could be anything), without losing historic data on your ad due to ad-copy changes. You can also push your ads to Yahoo and Bing. It is recommended that you have an experienced AdWords manager manage your AdWords account.
Link your Google Shopping account to AdWords, and run Product Listing Ads. Google does a great job of driving highly targeted traffic to your product landing pages. When you run a service like adCore in addition to Product Listing Ads, you can get 2 or more impressions on any given product search. The more impressions you get the more sales you can make.
Submit Your Feed to Shopping Comparison Engines
There are many shopping comparison engines on the net, with new ones popping up all the time. Some are free, and some charge you for incoming clicks. Here is a list of the top 10 shopping comparison engines, ranked by CPCStrategy: Amazon Product Ads, Shopzilla, Nextag, Google Shopping, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber, Pronto, Become, Bing Shopping, and TheFind.
You can save a lot of time by working with a datafeed management company to submit your feed for you and keep them synchronized. Some companies that I recommend are FeedManagerUSA, CPCStrategy, FusePump, GoDataFeed, GoMage, and Aten Software.
Give Affiliates Access to Your Feed
Allowing affiliates to participate in your sales funnel is a guaranteed way to increase your sales in the short and long run. You pay them a fixed percentage that guarantees that you earn money on every transaction; some business will decide to cut even on the affiliate transactions because they take advantage of the extra brand awareness and return customers. The more that affiliates are able to earn, the more they will work for you. Affiliates are great because they create content pointing to your site, like blogs, forums, review sites, and more.
You can push your datafeed directly to the hands of affiliates one at a time on your website. Just make sure that you apply their affiliate parameter to the URLs in the feed so that they can get credit. Alternatively you can work with affiliate networks like ShareaSale, Commission Junction, Google Affiliate Network, LinkShare, PepperJam, Avantlink, and more. There is usually a startup fee up to a few thousand dollars to join an affiliate network. This is a great investment to consider because affiliate sales can scale your sales so much.
In conclusion, utilizing your eCommerce datafeed can dramatically increase your eCommerce sales. It is the modern version of having a store catalogue, but with much more scale. Done the right way, you can have other people sell your merchandise for you, saving you a lot of time, and increasing your overall revenue and merchandise turnover.