The product file is a product database – several columns and lines
which provide simple and concise information that we have for example 12 Star Wars pots at a certain price or that jodhpur boots are from a certain manufacturer and will soon be sold out because there are only last two pairs left at the warehouse, etc.
Is the product feed indeed limited to a gloomy table full of figures, names and prices? Is the xml file a single universal tool serving all promotion channels?
Well… not really
In the pre-history of the internet, which is 6 years ago [sic!],the use of one xml was justified. Today, virtual reality is more demanding. We have more e-shops and omnichannel is not an equivalent of only three channels; it is several dozens of them and each channel has developed its own communication style and its more and more demanding audience. That is why basic product information is sufficiently low for the product to be missed in Google Shopping, Facebook ads or other marketplaces.
Today, offers are not considered from the e-shop perspective, where ecommerce manager has everything pooled in a single, convenient and not very engaging (for the manager and users) product feed. Nowadays, we do not talk about a product file but at least several files. The file naturally serves the same purpose as ever – transmitting data from one database to another. However, its utility value is more important than ever. The data are used to construct a virtual shop accessiblethrough any advertising channel, which is unique. Therefore, the file content must be different for different channels.
Each line, each column is to meet customer expectations
Each file, or line needs to provide information which contributes to a complete, coherent picture satisfying customer needs. If you send an ad to Google make sure that the key and alternative product uses are mentioned, name the product shortly but so it offers a complete response to the enquiries uploaded in the browser. Make sure that the photo is different from that used by your competitors (e.g.with a background when used). The comparison sites, marketplaces, e-commerce shops can be provided with more pictures or even video footage. Make sure that URL links to pictures and footage were exported to a product feed. Do you sell delicatessen products? Punt in the fragrance, origin and even flavour in the product name.
You are the best expert in your own sector. You know the characteristics of products on offer, their advantages and the way customers look for them. Put yourself in customer’s or traditional shop seller’s shoes and answer the questions which can be really asked while making a purchase decision. Test possibilities, check which options have greater influence on customers in different channels. There is no single product file, it is a continuously changing database which should be continually updated with a view to the ever-changing customer needs.