Product Feed Management Series: Auditing Your Product Data in 5 Steps

Proper management of your product data and feeds is essential for e-commerce success, regardless of your business size, product category or technical background. We created this blog series to help you understand the current processes related to feed management, along with detailed and practical recommendations to help you improve them.  (Read Part I and Part II.)

In this post, we’ll help you assess your feeds and product data regardless of your technical background. The first time you follow the steps, it might be time-consuming, especially if you do not have access to everything. But if you follow the steps regularly, the process will take less time and effort.

1. Start with the basics

In order to implement the next steps, you’ll need to first assess four important aspects of basic feed management: 

  • Requirements: Create a document with all required, recommended and optional data points by each channel.
  • The actual feeds: Download your active feeds and check them against the requirements.
  • Your data sources: Assess the actual places where your data resides to better understand what it is that is missing in your live feeds and what can be covered with the data you have in your internal systems. Also, after you understand what’s missing both in the live feeds and your internal sources, you’ll need to create it.
  • Delivery strategy: In your internal systems or channel dashboards, check the frequency of your feed updates. It’s also important to understand how the data is actually delivered (e.g., through a dedicated solution, manual upload, etc.).

2. Perform a quantitative analysis of your product data

Perform a quantitative analysis for all of your products to understand, either in numbers or percentages, for each channel and data point required, how many products are disapproved because they are missing certain required data points. Also, learn how many products are missing optional or highly recommended fields?

Once you have assessed the products from the data standpoint, move to performance. In the channel’s advertising interface, filter how many products have less than a certain number of impressions. For example: How many products have less than 1000 impressions in the last 15 days? The products that have a low number of impressions are not visible, so try to understand if they are disapproved or may be missing some key data points.

Extra tip: If you are assessing the products you are sending to Google Shopping, you can even extract how many products are below a certain impression share. This way, you learn how many of your products are not covering the available impressions properly.

3. Perform a qualitative analysis of your product data

You can implement a quantitative analysis for all of your products, but it might be too time-consuming. It’s best to start with your top sellers or focus products:

  • Download a search query report for the products you selected and keep only the top converting search queries. Are these top search terms included in your titles or other data points for the search engines you are targeting?
  • Which products have a high volume of impressions but a low click-through rate (CTR)? Look at these metrics to understand why your products, even though they are visible, aren’t engaging users to click through.
  • Also, try to understand which products drive a lot of traffic but aren’t driving sales.
  • Are you sending more than two images for your social feeds?
  • Are you using custom labels? If yes, what are they based on: attributes and/or performance data? Are they helping you structure your campaigns based on goals, intent and performance?
  • And lastly, examine your categories and product types. Are they accurate? Can they be more granular?

4. Document conclusions

Document all conclusions and set clear actions and responsibilities. This will help you to prioritize and share it across the organization to the relevant stakeholders.

Split the tasks by urgency but also have a list of  “nice to have” tasks, so you do not lose sight of the important things.

Moreover, work on the non-urgent tasks before they become urgent.

5. Follow-up periodically

Follow-up is everything, so run this process regularly. If you are wondering what frequency you should run it, it’s best to look at the two main parameters: ad spend and how fast your stock changes.

This is just a guideline, but the more you spend, the more data comes your way to help you make decisions in optimizing your product data. 

This concludes our third article in the series. The next blog in our product feed management series will provide advanced strategies to take your data to the next level.

If you require further support in auditing your data or assessing your processes around feed management, contact your ChannelAdvisor representative. If you’re not a ChannelAdvisor client, fill out this quick form and one of our e-commerce consultants will be in touch soon.