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XML and Data Feeds
Standardisation and Implementation for Success
28 April 2009


Jason Hall
Senior Director – Search Inte...
2



                 Overview


• How does Shopzilla use product data feeds?
• Basics of good feed building
• Common erro...
3




Shopzilla as a content publisher


                    What is Shopzilla?
           How does Shopzilla use product ...
Shopzilla History

                                                     Company launches
                                 ...
5



                                          Connecting merchants and shoppers
     Efficiently connecting shoppers and ...
6



                  Shopzilla as a content publisher


• The challenge:
   – Align retail products into an intuitive ca...
7



How do we integrate product feeds?




                                      Index updated several
                  ...
8




Basics of good feed building


               Examples of what can go wrong
                 Basic product feed stru...
9



                What happens when you get it wrong?


• Example: good product offer:




• What is this product?




...
10



                   And my personal favourite




• Can you guess what it is?
        A pharaoh’s gold-plated sarcoph...
11



             Answer:




• C: light therapy device
  – Of course!




                            XML and Data Feeds...
12



How does the data flow?




            XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success   |   28 A...
13



                   Follow the publisher guidelines!


• For best results, go through the technical feed specificatio...
14




Common errors and best practices


                      Perspective
                 Product feed file format
    ...
15



                 Consider how your content is used


• Two main perspectives to consider
   1. How will the Consumer...
16



                   Search – how consumers navigate


• 80%+ activity on a comparison engine starts with a keyword
  ...
17



                   File format details




• Header row – very important to include it
    – Many publishers can man...
18



                        Common errors in feed file format


•   Proper formatting ensures that your feed can be hand...
19



                   Content: best practices


• Detailed product attributes (title, brand, description, price, etc)
 ...
20



                  Tips for good product titles


• Title should explicitly include the product name and basic
  iden...
21



                 Other tips for good content

• Make sure your description is descriptive 
   – No superlatives! (j...
22




Top tips for building product feeds


      The 8 most important tips for building product feeds
         = MORE VI...
23



                     Top tips for successful feeds

1. Ensure that all your offer titles contain all the relevant
  ...
24



                 Top tips for successful feeds


4. Include stock level information in the stock column.
5. Provide ...
25



                  Bottom line: good feeds worth the effort


• Taking the time to optimise your product feeds is wor...
26



                The Shopzilla Publisher affiliate program




• Launching FR & DE this quarter
• XML Product feed av...
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XML and Data Feeds - Standardisation and Implementation for Success (Jason Hall)

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Transcript of "XML and Data Feeds - Standardisation and Implementation for Success (Jason Hall)"

  1. 1. XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success 28 April 2009 Jason Hall Senior Director – Search Intelligence XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  2. 2. 2 Overview • How does Shopzilla use product data feeds? • Basics of good feed building • Common errors and best practices • 8 top tips for building good product feeds XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  3. 3. 3 Shopzilla as a content publisher What is Shopzilla? How does Shopzilla use product feeds? XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  4. 4. Shopzilla History Company launches Shopzilla site in United States, United Kingdom, and France and changes corporate Shopzilla solidifies name First Shopping dominant position Marketplace as #1 CSE in US Launches Company founded 2005 2006 2007 2008 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Shopzilla acquired BizRate Smiley by The E.W. Scripps Shopzilla establishes Scale launched Consumer site and Company and position as leading retail customer German site CSE in Europe satisfaction survey launched business launched XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  5. 5. 5 Connecting merchants and shoppers Efficiently connecting shoppers and merchants 6.3 million unique ~30 million products More Than 20,000 shoppers merchants Find any product sold online Product specifications – larger images and video tours Product ratings and reviews Compare prices including shipping & handling and taxes Merchant ratings and reviews Source: ComScore Media Metrix, Mar 2009 Deep links to product page on merchant site XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  6. 6. 6 Shopzilla as a content publisher • The challenge: – Align retail products into an intuitive category structure – No single standard for category structure – No single standard for product titles Example: • Skechers “Strand Skechers shoes shoes – Shopzilla Example: North Beach” lace-up • Skechers Mens Sport Strand Illustrate - Amazon • Skecher’s Strand North Beach - Schuh XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  7. 7. 7 How do we integrate product feeds? Index updated several times per day XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  8. 8. 8 Basics of good feed building Examples of what can go wrong Basic product feed structure Tip: follow the guidelines from your publishers! XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  9. 9. 9 What happens when you get it wrong? • Example: good product offer: • What is this product? XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  10. 10. 10 And my personal favourite • Can you guess what it is? A pharaoh’s gold-plated sarcophagus A. B. A light therapy device C. A 3D home design software D. A waterproof lamp for divers XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  11. 11. 11 Answer: • C: light therapy device – Of course! XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  12. 12. 12 How does the data flow? XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  13. 13. 13 Follow the publisher guidelines! • For best results, go through the technical feed specifications! • Shopping engines tend to be quite flexible – Accept a variety of formats – Can manipulate a lot of the data (but not everything) • Very important: – Once you set up a feed, keep the format consistent XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  14. 14. 14 Common errors and best practices Perspective Product feed file format Content XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  15. 15. 15 Consider how your content is used • Two main perspectives to consider 1. How will the Consumer reach & react to the content? 2. How will the Publisher use the content? • Consumers use your content to research and decide what to buy • Publishers use your content to organise and retrieve your products XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  16. 16. 16 Search – how consumers navigate • 80%+ activity on a comparison engine starts with a keyword search – Upstream via a general search engine – Product refinement on the comparison engine itself • Product retrieval - matching products with user’s keywords • Use popular keywords in your product titles and descriptions! • Stay away from industry jargon • You probably know this from your SEO and PPC already • Example: “pen drive” vs. “flash drive” vs. “compact flash” XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  17. 17. 17 File format details • Header row – very important to include it – Many publishers can manipulate some of the data (re-map it) • File types: – XML format is great – Also accept delimited files • <tab> or | delimited work the best XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  18. 18. 18 Common errors in feed file format • Proper formatting ensures that your feed can be handled by the publisher’s systems • Do: – Make sure that each line contains the exact same number of delimiters. • If leaving data for a field blank, be sure to include the delimiter as a placeholder. – Make sure that there is exactly one product on every line. – Contact your publishers before making any changes!! • Don’t: – Do not submit a file in .xls (Excel) format. – Do not choose a filename that will change over time. – Do not include any date or version related information in the filename. – Do not change the number of columns XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  19. 19. 19 Content: best practices • Detailed product attributes (title, brand, description, price, etc) – Descriptive titles are extremely important • Images – generally the bigger, the better – Don’t oversell your images either • Product URL – deep link to the product – Or suffer poor conversions if you link to categories • EAN & SKU – common retail industry standard – Invaluable in properly organising your product data XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  20. 20. 20 Tips for good product titles • Title should explicitly include the product name and basic identifiers • Example – product name: – Bad: “Newark Solid Oak” – Good: “Newark Solid Oak Nest of Tables” • Example – basic identifiers: – Bad: “Swimsuit” – Good: “Girl’s Blue or Pink Swimsuit” XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  21. 21. 21 Other tips for good content • Make sure your description is descriptive  – No superlatives! (just like AdSense copy…) • Don’t use a promotional code in the product description section – Promo codes have their own column in the product feed • While stock on hand is not mandatory, it can make or break your performance – Shopzilla assumes that <empty> stock information means NOT IN STOCK – Your products may be relevant but get pushed to the bottom • Include shipping information – Less browsers, more buyers XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  22. 22. 22 Top tips for building product feeds The 8 most important tips for building product feeds = MORE VISIBILITY + BETTER EFFICIENCY XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  23. 23. 23 Top tips for successful feeds 1. Ensure that all your offer titles contain all the relevant information. – By providing the type of product, brand, manufacturer, model number (if applicable) etc. you increase the number of possible matches between your offers and a user’s search query. 2. Consider to whom the product is marketed. – If it is for a child include “child’s” in the title. If it is a “watch for a man” include “men’s” in the title. 3. Do not include advertising/marketing text or extraneous information in offer titles. – Terms such as “Free Shipping” or “10% Discount” will just decrease the relevancy of your offers. Use the columns provided for special offers etc. XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  24. 24. 24 Top tips for successful feeds 4. Include stock level information in the stock column. 5. Provide shipping information. 6. Enter European Article Numbers (EANs) into the EAN column. 7. Provide a picture for each of your offers. 8. Descriptions should be descriptive and not just advertising copy. XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  25. 25. 25 Bottom line: good feeds worth the effort • Taking the time to optimise your product feeds is worth the effort • There IS a business to spend time on it – Generally you can apply changes to all your product feeds • Small changes can have a big impact! • Shopzilla can help: – drop me a business card and we’ll audit your product feed XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
  26. 26. 26 The Shopzilla Publisher affiliate program • Launching FR & DE this quarter • XML Product feed available • £10 sign-up bonus for A4UExpo attendees Jason Hall Email: jhall@shopzilla.com Twitter: hall_jason XML and Data Feeds Standardisation and Implementation for Success | 28 April 2009
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