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If you are an e-business wanting to list products on a marketplace or aggregation platform, you might wonder whether you should keep things in-house, or if you should outsource your feed management to a feed provider. While both are definitely good options, let’s focus today on the advantages of using a feed manager & an overview of the top feed providers in the industry.
In order for an e-merchant to list its products on a price comparator, aggregation platform or marketplace, it is essential to have all the information regarding each product gathered in a product feed. This file (which usually is on a XML or CSV format) contains all the necessary information that marketplaces, price comparators, and all other marketing platforms need in order to list products on their website. Necessary information can include prices, product images, product descriptions, shipping costs, product categories, stock available, etc. The information is then automatically updated and shared with each marketing channel.
As each marketing channel has different tech specifications, it can be very time consuming to create and set up a product feed for each of them. Some feeds can also be quite tricky to set up, which means that, unless you have a dedicated developer in-house or are working with an agency, you might spend a lot of time on one feed only. However, working with a feed provider will enable you to simply share your product catalog with them, and they will take it from there. As a result, you save time setting it up, which means you can also start selling your products faster via additional marketing channels.
We mentioned it above: using a feed provider can save you a lot of time, especially if you are listing your products on different e-commerce channels. Feed providers are usually aware of each marketplace/affiliate platform feed requirement, which means that they are able to quickly create product feeds for you, and all centralized on one single platform. So in addition to the (very important) time-saving aspect, a feed management system enables you to have your product catalog data centralized in one single interface, facilitating both your campaign optimization and diffusion on all your different marketing channels.
Our account managers can confirm: feed issues are quite common. From set-up mishaps, to discrepancies between the information entered in the feed and what is actually displayed on the merchants’ website, feed issues can leave you with a headache, and could even result in your feed being rejected from the marketing platforms you want to collaborate with. But the good news is that feed providers are experts in their field, which means that no matter what the issue in your feed is, they will be able to locate and fix the problem for you.
Being that feed providers are solely focused on this topic, they constantly find new innovations and tools to facilitate the experience of their clients. Most tools will enable you to optimize and adjust your product catalog with tools such as automatic rules (helping you manage your stock, adapt your prices, or even switch out your feed for each channel you work with). And since the better a feed is, the better the performance will be, these tools will ultimately boost your performance.
Another advantage of working with a feed provider lies in the fact they can manage your stocks for you. This way, you can avoid selling more products than you actually have, which might result in missed sales, negative customer evaluation, or even sanctions from your marketing channels.
Finally, using a feed provider will enable you to benefit from great advice and support when it comes to how to optimize or fix any issue in your feed. Most feed providers will guide you through their platform and will be there for you if you encounter any issue with your feed.
Of course, using a feed provider involves additional costs that may set back small businesses, but considering how time-consuming it can get to set up product feeds (especially if you work with different marketing channels), the ROI brought by such solutions can definitely be worth the spend. If you are now looking for information about how to choose your feed provider, check out our article about the 4 key aspects to look at when choosing one.