When we import your data, we look for 19 core fields that suit the product data needs of most channels.
Even though channels have different product data requirements, these base fields have you covered:
Product data with applicable values for all of those fields will work for most ecommerce channels and may even be optimal in many cases. But every now and then, optimal product listings call for a bit more data—data that you might already have on your online store or data source in the form of custom fields or metafields.
What are metafields?
Before we define metafields, consider the bigger picture that is Metadata—a general term for a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. Metafields are metadata.
Within the context of an online store, metafields (or custom fields, custom attributes, custom properties, etc.) are non-standard, extra fields that add to a more complete representation of your products. They’re not to be confused with the metadata that is meta tags, which describe a page’s content for the purposes of SEO and webmastery.
For example, the common metafield 'material' is used to designate the primary material of a product (e.g. cotton, polyester, etc.).
Typically, the addition and modification of metafields are functions available to developers through a platform’s back end, but most platforms have a means to customize metafields via apps or plugins. So whether you’re code-savvy or are utilizing an app that lets you modify your metafields through a convenient interface, metafields can add great value to your online store.
On a platform like Shopify, for example, metafields can help you extend the functionality of your online shop by giving you the ability to store additional information on products, collections, orders, blogs, and pages.
But how do metafields translate when you export your data from your store and import it into a smart catalog manager like GoDataFeed?
GoDataFeed supports up to 200 custom fields, bringing the total number of fields we support up to 219 (including the 19 core product fields).
Currently, we can seamlessly import metafields from the following platforms:
If your store’s platform is not listed, we’re likely actively working on it. In the case that metafield importing is not built into our integration with a platform, we have solutions for bringing in these custom fields. Our support team would be happy to help.
Ultimately, metafields can also always be added as supplemental data via merge file. That said, usually any fields you might want to add to your master catalog are best added to your source. Doing so can add extra SEO value to your store and can improve your overall shopping experience.
In many cases, your metafields should simply come in with your import.
Once GoDataFeed is actively pulling in your metafields, you just need to make sure they're mapped correctly—in the case of 'material,' for example, 'material' needs to be mapped to an available custom field in Products > Mapping.
To check if metafields are being handled properly, head over to Products > Catalog and download your master feed file. If your metafields show up there, you’re good to go.
Working with metafields from here on out is as easy as linking metafields to relevant channel fields, or looping them into channel feed filters or rules.
Do more with metafields
While metafields may be perceived as a secret feature, they’re not. Simply put, the possibilities are endless so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
The most direct application for metafields is to assign them to relevant channel fields.
Certain channels (especially marketplaces) have a long list of optional fields that can, in many cases, be sourced from a robust catalog’s metafields. There’s no such thing as too much information, especially if it’s organized. Submitting many, if not all possible—channel supported—optional fields can only benefit your main goal of selling more on any given channel.
But don’t stop there, the range of “endless possibilities” really opens up with feed filters and rules that utilize metafields for feed optimization.
For example, you can make feed filters that keep certain products out of a channel feed based on a metafield like ‘eBay.’ Products with ‘eBay’ value set to ‘true’ can be included, while ‘false’ ones can be omitted. You can also make feed rules to format your titles that utilize metafields like ‘material,’ ‘color,’ ‘pattern,’ etc. in a certain order around whatever your base title value may be.
Focus on building out your products and then get creative.
Making the most of your product data
We know how important metafields are.
Not only are we striving to streamline the process of pulling them from more source platforms, we’re also always looking for more ways to help our users leverage all of their product data.
If you have any questions regarding metafields or if you’re looking for more info, reach out to us!