The thought of simply creating an online store and using that product data for everything is incredibly tempting for many retailers. After all, managing multiple product feeds can be a lengthy, meticulous, intensive process that not only requires a lot of grunt work but can also be prone to errors.
Why would you want to repeat the product feed process at all, much less for every single one of the various shopping channels you plan to list your products on?
Glad you asked. Because there are many, many good reasons to do just that. Let’s go over them one-by-one.
Unique Site Requirements
For starters, you will likely have to make at least some changes. Why? Because each shopping channel has specific requirements for descriptions and other product data elements. Simply put, the product listings that you have created for your own site are unlikely to be 100% compliant with every shopping channel you want to use.
What happens if your listings do not meet the requirements of a particular marketplace or shopping channel? That depends both on the channel itself and on the element or requirement in question.
In some cases, your product listings will be refused outright. Other times, the listing may be allowed, but stray so far from what the site asks for that it essentially never shows up in search results. Alternatively, if your listing goes up but breaks a particular rule, your merchant account could be penalized, or you could be kicked off of the site altogether.
Basically, it’s just not a good idea.
Optimizing for your website is different than optimizing for Amazon and other shopping channels. Not only do these sites have their own rules about what can and can’t be included in product listings, they have internal search engines that do not necessarily look for the same things that Google does.
If you want to get listed near the top of the search results for a particular shopping channel, you need to understand what they look for individually. How to optimize for that site. And the next one. And the next one.
Search Rank Benefits
Forget about how copying your on-site product data over to shopping channels can hurt your sales on those sites. Think about the opposite side of things: how it can hurt your website.
While there’s a lot we don’t know about Google’s ever-changing search ranking algorithm, there are some things they’ve been pretty clear about. One is the fact that sites with unique content will be rewarded, while those that copy content from other places on the internet will be penalized.
If you take your product data and essentially repeat it on a bunch of other sites, it’s no longer unique. And that could impact your store’s search rank, particularly if that data appears on the other shopping channels first.
As mentioned above, Amazon, eBay, and other shopping channels each have specific rules about what they do and don’t allow in listings. For example, you can’t include “Free Shipping” in an Amazon product description.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from doing that on your own site. There’s no one who can tell you it’s not okay to suggest similar products in the middle of a listing. Or write the whole thing in all caps (though really, please don’t do that).
The point is that there are lots of things you can do to not only make your internal product listings more unique, but to stick with tactics that are working on your own site – or experiment with new tactics to see if they increase sales. All it takes is a little tweak to the listing.
In short: you want your product information specifically optimized not just for each shopping channel but also for your own site. That’s something that just isn’t possible if you use the exact same product data.
Does this take more time and effort? If you try to do it yourself, absolutely.
So don’t. At GoDataFeed, we can syndicate your product data feed to over 200 different shopping channels, using preformatted templates and rule editors that make sure it is optimized for every single one. You get to save time and effort without cutting corners and potentially hurting your sales. Who wouldn’t want that?