When ecommerce campaigns falter, marketers know there's no time to waste. They spring into action, adjusting bids, increasing budgets, tweaking settings. But amidst this flurry of activity, how many pause to consider the product data that's fueling their campaigns?
Not many. Who has the time?
The truth is, only the most savvy, disciplined, data-driven marketers among us take the time to sift through product data when things go south. Much less when things are OK. It's a time-consuming and often complex task, requiring a deep dive into spreadsheets and analytics. It's no wonder then that the top performers in ecommerce are those who go the extra mile, investing the time and effort to understand their product data.
But what if there was a shortcut? What if there was a way to gain clear insights into your campaign's performance without having to wade through mountains of data? What if you could have a straightforward roadmap for improvement at your fingertips?
For GoDataFeed users, there is a shortcut. It's called the Feed Analysis Report, and it's a new tool in your Feed Dash featuring GoDataFeed AI. This tool is designed as an easy button for your ecommerce feed optimization strategy, providing you with actionable insights and recommendations based on your product data and the channels you sell on. For non-GoDataFeed users, there’s no shortcut but there are steps you can take to manually cover your bases.
In this post, we'll explore the often-overlooked role of data in ecommerce campaign success, the challenges of optimizing data with precision but at scale, and how performing a Feed Analysis can help you overcome poor performance and save you from the massive headaches that can arise when channels decide your data is not up to par. Now let's get started.
Why It Matters
The importance of product data can't be overstated.
You know this if you’ve ever marketed your products on comparison shopping engines like Google and Bing. Or marketplaces like Amazon or Facebook Shops. Or social commerce platforms like Meta and TikTok. Or affiliate marketing. Or… you get the picture.
There’s nothing intrinsically complicated about product data. It’s simply the details about a seller’s items. Columns and rows of information that is fundamental to the visibility and success of these products on various marketing channels. And if you got bored reading those last three sentences, you’re not alone. Product data and feeds can be as fun as watching paint dry. Which is why so many people hit the snooze button when it’s time to pore through their feeds in search of answers to questions like, Why are my products being rejected? Why am I not getting impressions or clicks? Why am I getting impressions but no clicks? Why am I getting clicks but no sales? Etc.
Unfortunately, you won’t find the answers anywhere else. The quality and optimization of these feeds directly impact how products are displayed and ranked on marketing channels. Feeds affect if channels show your products at all for any given query or cohort. Feeds affect how shoppers interact with your listings. Whether they click or swipe past.
For instance, a well-optimized product feed can lead to higher visibility (more impressions), leading to more clicks, and potentially more sales. On the flip side, a poorly optimized feed can result in your products getting limited views, being overlooked by shoppers, or even being rejected by marketing channels.
Econsultancy’s Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity report found that 94% of companies believe that delivering a relevant and engaging customer experience is critical for their success — and accurate product data plays a key role in achieving this. This industry-wide consensus highlights the importance of having accurate and optimized product data feeds. So let’s learn how to properly conduct one.
How to Perform a Product Feed Analysis
Analyzing product data feeds isn't a walk in the park. It requires a deep understanding of the products being sold, the audiences being sold to, and the specific requirements of the different channels used to sell. It's a complex task that can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially given the sheer volume of data that online retailers have to deal with.
But despite these challenges, feed data analysis is a crucial step that should not be skipped. It's the key to understanding the campaign performance, which in itself is the key to elevating your ecommerce strategy.
Product feeds are essential for product marketing campaigns. They build your listings and ads with the details and information that marketplaces need to show products to shoppers. This information typically includes product names, descriptions, images, prices, and more. It can be used by every ecommerce marketing channel, including Google Shopping, Amazon, and Facebook, to display products to potential customers.
Feeds connect your products to the customers on these marketing channels. A well-optimized product feed can significantly increase the visibility of your products, leading to higher click-through rates, more conversions, and ultimately, increased sales.
In short, product feeds are a vital part of any successful product marketing campaign. They help you reach more customers, increase your visibility, and ultimately, boost your sales. A feed analysis can help you uncover the broken bits in your data, the missing messaging, and the non-compliant content, and give you a better sense of what needs to be done to optimize for your KPIs.
What to Look for In Your Feed Analyses
So, what should you look for when performing a feed analysis? Here's a detailed breakdown:
- Product Data Quality: The first step in any feed analysis is to assess the quality of the product data. This includes checking for missing or incomplete data, inconsistencies in product descriptions or images, and errors in pricing or other key attributes.
- Compliance with Channel Requirements: Each marketing channel has its own set of requirements for product feeds. These can include specific formats for product data, required attributes, and rules for product images. Non-compliance with these requirements can lead to products being rejected or poorly displayed.
- Performance Metrics: Ecommerce managers also look at key performance metrics, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and average order value. These metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the product feed and highlight areas for improvement.
- Competitor Analysis: By comparing their product feed with those of their competitors, ecommerce managers can identify gaps in their own feed and find opportunities to improve.
Performing a Manual Feed Analysis Step-by-Step
You don’t need a fancy tool like GoDataFeed AI to perform your feed analysis. You can do so manually. But fair warning: This process can suck the joy out of your day. Even so, it’s good practice. (At worst, it will make you appreciate GoDataFeed’s Feed Analysis Report so much more.)
Here's a step-by-step guide to how it's typically done without our Feed Analysis Report’s help:
Collect the Data:
The first step is to gather all the product data into a single, manageable format. This usually involves exporting the data from the ecommerce platform into a spreadsheet. Gather:
- Primary source data
- Supplemental data
Audit the Data:
Next, the data is thoroughly audited. This involves checking for missing or incomplete data, inconsistencies, and errors. Each product attribute is examined in detail, and any issues are noted for correction. Look for:
- Missing values
- Duplicate values
- Incomplete information
Check Compliance with Channel Requirements:
The product data is then checked against the specific requirements of each marketing channel. This can involve a detailed review of the channel's feed specifications and a comparison of the product data against these specifications. Check for:
- Policy violations
- Missing required fields
- Disallowed text
- Duplicate SKUs
- Channel best practices
Analyze Performance Metrics:
Using analytics tools, the performance of the product feed is analyzed. This involves looking at key metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and average order value. Analyze:
- Conv. rate
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Cost per acquisition (CPA)
- Return of ad spend (ROAS)
- Average position
- Impression share
- Quality score
Compare with Competitors:
Finally, contents from the product feed are compared with those of competitors. This usually involves spot-checking competitor listings and comparing the quality and quantity of product data, pricing, and other key attributes. Compare:
- Quality: How good is your product information and listing content vs theirs?
- Quantity: How much more/less information are you providing?
- Pricing: This is one of the most important factors that customers consider when making a purchase, so it's important to make sure that your prices are competitive.
- Shipping costs: Shipping costs can be a major factor in a customer's decision to make a purchase. Make sure that your shipping costs are competitive and that they are clearly displayed on your product pages.
- Product images: Product images are also important for attracting customers. Make sure that your product images are high-quality and relevant to the products that you are selling.
- Product descriptions: The product description is another important factor that customers consider when making a purchase. Make sure that your product descriptions are clear, concise, and informative.
- Product title: The product title is one of the most important factors that affects how your product appears in search results. Make sure that your product title is clear, concise, and relevant to the products that you are selling.
- Product categories: The product categories that you select for your products can also affect how your products appear in search results. Make sure that you select the appropriate product categories for your products.
- Product GTINs: If your products have GTINs, you should include them in your product feed. GTINs can help to improve the visibility of your products in search results.
- Product reviews: Product reviews can be a great way to build trust with potential customers. Make sure that you have a good number of reviews for your products.
- Product availability: Product availability is another important factor that customers consider when making a purchase. Make sure that your product availability is accurate and that your products are actually in stock.
Based on the findings of the analysis, changes are made to the product feed. This can involve correcting errors, filling in missing data, optimizing product descriptions, and adjusting pricing.
As you can see, it’s a complex and time-consuming process. It requires a deep understanding of product data, marketing channels, and data analysis techniques. But despite these challenges, feed analysis is a crucial step in optimizing an ecommerce strategy.
For ecom pros who are too busy (or too tired) to manually inspect their feeds like this, there is another way.
Performing a Feed Analysis with GoDataFeed
GoDataFeed users don’t need to worry about manually sifting through product data to analyze their feeds’ compliance, performance, or potential effectiveness.
To run your Feed Analysis Report, follow these steps:
- Go into the feed you want to analyze and click Analysis Report.
That’s it. This will generate an on-demand Feed Analysis Report that consists of two key sections:
First, it presents a historical compilation and submission metric summary, offering valuable insights into the health of your feed data for the past 30 days. This helps you track performance trends over time.
Second, the report provides a comprehensive breakdown of your feed's current state, including feed validation and submission feedback. It highlights any warnings, errors, or areas for optimization. Additionally, you will receive specific recommendations to address these issues effectively and enhance the overall quality of your feed.
The Report can be read in-app, exported as a PDF, printed, or emailed to yourself or your stakeholders. More importantly, you can apply many of the changes recommended by your Feed Analysis Report using custom rules that automatically apply changes at the feed level without altering your original data.
Optimize SKUs with GoDataFeed AI
Additionally, you can click on any SKU within the Feed Analysis Report, or enter one in the Search bar, to generate a SKU analysis.
The SKU analysis powered by GoDataFeed AI, our newest AI software integration, will analyze the SKU data and generate:
- Smart titles
- Ad copy
- An SEO review
- Validation analysis
How to Use GoDataFeed AI in the Analysis Report:
Users can trigger the AI SKU analysis in two ways:
You can search any SKU directly in the Analysis Report using the Search bar in the top left-hand corner of the Report.
Or you can use the 'Report' shortcut within any Product Card page to automatically generate the Report with AI recommendations for the SKU you are viewing.
Is Feed Analysis the Missing Piece in Your Ecom Strategy?
The power of data in ecommerce is undeniable, but the true transformative potential lies in the ability to analyze and leverage that data effectively. This is where tools like GoDataFeed's Feed Analysis Report come into play, offering a comprehensive solution to the challenges of product feed management and optimization.
A feed analysis, whether performed manually or through a tool like GoDataFeed's Feed Analysis Report, provides a detailed overview of the product data feed. This includes information about product attributes, such as SKU, title, description, color, price, and more. The analysis identifies issues with the feed, such as missing or incorrect data, and provides insights into how to optimize the feed for better performance across various ecommerce channels.
The insights gained from a feed analysis can be transformative for an ecommerce strategy in several ways:
- Improved Product Visibility: A well-optimized product feed can significantly enhance product visibility across various ecommerce channels. This is because channels like Google Shopping, Amazon, and others rely heavily on product data to determine which products to display for specific search queries. By ensuring that your product data is accurate, complete, and optimized, you can increase the chances of your products appearing in relevant search results, thereby driving more traffic and potential sales.
- Enhanced Campaign Performance: The quality of your product feed directly impacts the performance of your ecommerce campaigns. A high-quality feed can lead to increased impressions, clicks, and conversion rates. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, ecommerce businesses that managed and optimized their feeds on a continuous basis saw an average increase of 79% in impressions, 109% in clicks, and 16.7% in conversion rates on their Google Ads shopping campaigns.
- Efficient Resource Utilization: Manual feed management can be a time-consuming and complex process, especially when dealing with large product catalogs and multiple ecommerce channels. By leveraging a tool like GoDataFeed's Feed Analysis Report, businesses can automate and streamline the process of feed management, freeing up valuable time and resources that can be used to focus on other important aspects of their ecommerce strategy.
- Informed Decision-Making: A feed analysis provides valuable insights into product performance across different channels. This information can be used to make informed decisions about which products to promote more heavily, which channels are delivering the best results, and where improvements can be made. This level of insight can be instrumental in shaping a successful ecommerce strategy.
- Improved Customer Experience: An accurate and well-optimized product feed can also enhance the customer experience. By providing complete and accurate product information, businesses can help customers make informed purchase decisions, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Analyzing your product data and using it to consistently calibrate your approach is the first step toward transforming your ecommerce strategy.
As marketers, we are programmed to focus our attention on things like bidding, budget, and targeting when performance drops. But digging through data? Not so much. Doing so will put you in rarified air. The cream of the crop, so to speak. But unlike those staunch data-driven marketers willing to bear the burden of a typical feed analysis, you have GoDataFeed’s Analysis Report, which provides valuable insights and offers actionable recommendations for optimization with the click of a button.