Product Feed Management Series: Which Type of Feed Management Solution Fits Your Needs

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, Part II, Part III and Part IV)

The final post in this series is intended to help you with one of the hardest decisions to make when addressing a specific business problem: Should you acquire a tool and build the knowledge in-house? Should you outsource the issue to experts? Or should you take a hybrid approach?

The simple questionnaire below might help guide your thought process. 

Choose one answer for each question (if two answers could fit, please choose the one that fits the best) or use the form to automatically calculate the result based on your answer:

A

B C D
SKU count / Number of products

< 50

51-1,000 1,001-10,000 >10,000
Number of destinations/channels you need feeds for

< 5

6-20 20-100

> 100

Countries

< 3

4 – 10 11 – 20

> 20

Monthly advertising budget

< $10,000

$10,001 – $50,000 $5,0001 -$100,000

> $100,000

Product velocity/turnover

Never – Rarely

Occasionally Frequently

Very frequently

Outsourcing

We prefer to keep activities in-house mainly due to cost

We want to keep activities in-house and grow our knowledge Better control if we keep it in-house but ok with consultancy

We are open to outsource this activity to a trusted partner

Current resources allocated to managing the feeds

No dedicated team, but we have the time to invest in managing it

We have a dedicated team. We just need the right tools.  No dedicated team. Managed by people who also have other responsibilities

We have dedicated experts but we would  want to free them up to  handle other projects

How often do you add new destinations?

Never – Rarely

Occasionally Frequently

Very frequently

When launching a new destination, how much time does it take to build a new feed?

Less than a week

2-3 weeks 4 weeks

More than a month

What are the roadblocks you are facing when launching?

Typically no roadblocks

Roadblocks could be easily overcome with the right tools Limited resources (time, expertise, etc.)

Not enough resources (time, people, expertise) and the data quality

Data optimization for each channel

Easily done We optimize the data regularly, but we need  the right tool to do it  faster We rarely optimize the data as we need a tool to rely on and expertise on how to do it

We do not optimize the data regularly

How long does it take to make changes to existing feeds?

< 3 days

1 week 2-3 weeks

More than a month

Needed frequency of feed updates Weekly Daily Twice a day

As soon as a change happens (price or stock change often)

Results

Majority of A: Keep it in-house

If most of your answers were A, it looks like the support you need is minimal. We recommend keeping your feed management, creation and optimization in-house. It’s probably best to use the easiest, most direct connections to the channels (usually via FTP) and leverage the channel interface. Or you could use Excel to create rules to optimize the data. If you are looking to automate your processes, however, a self-serve platform might still be a good fit.

Regardless of what you decide, you should continue to take the time to work on optimizing your data. 

Majority of B: Search for a technology provider

Our best recommendation, based on your answers, is to search for a technology partner that can enable your team to enrich the product data, automate the delivery and send frequent updates. Search for a solution that is scalable, offers you flexibility and full control.

Majority of C: You need a technology partner that provides support and consultancy

Your current situation, based on the answers, requires a partner that can enable your internal resources to optimize the product data, automate delivery while having access to a support team and strategic consultancy.

If you’d like to talk to one of our e-commerce consultants about ChannelAdvisor’s feed management capabilities and whether we’d be a good fit for your business, fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch soon.

Majority of D: You need a technology partner that can be an extension of your team

Based on your answers, you require a partner that can act as an extension of your team and efficiently drive the feed management activities. Moreover, your partner should be able to provide a scalable technology, save a lot of time for your internal teams and understand aspects of your business beyond feed management, such as advertising, marketplaces, etc.

If you’d like to see the ChannelAdvisor platform in action, and learn about our capabilities across marketplaces, digital marketing, first-party solutions, fulfillment and more, request a demo today