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  1. #1
    Join Date
    April 10th, 2008
    Merchant Data Feed Question about Categories
    Hi All,

    Newbie here with a basic question regarding the category and subcategory data values in the merchant supplied product feeds.

    Are these values from a predefined list or are they user specified?

    If predefined, where may I find a list of possible values?

    I'm looking for some detailed documentation on the structure of this feed but am having trouble. Does anyone have any suggestions?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    The structure of the feed depends on the network/merchant, is there a specific network you are referring to?

    If it's just a general question, you have stumbled across one of the major issues faced by data feed users: inconsistent categories!

    There really is no standard, and in many cases, you can pick one store as your basis for others. You have to start your harmonization somewhere, you should go with the merchant whose classifications you want to use in your own database. The challenge is to make the rest fit.

    Sub-categories are very difficult to achieve, I prefer to run broad categories, than have to deal with classification errors. But this is a personal choice.

    I believe some of the networks also generate category files, but you still have to use what the merchant provides, so I find the actual file more relevant. Not sure if this helps at all, but there really isn't consistent classfications across merchants/networks - some are just better than others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    April 10th, 2008
    Difference between..
    Thanks teezone.

    So your comment sparked another question.

    Two of the columns used in the merchant feed are:

    "Category" and "merchantCategory"

    I would assume that "Category" is populated by the merchant based off of a list of predefined values and "merchantCategory" is entirely merchant defined.

    It was my hope that if this was true, I would find a list of possible categories allowed by SAS.

    If there is no standard, then why are both "Category" and "merchantCategory" used in the feed? This doesn't make sense to me?

    Does anyone have complete documentation on the feed?


  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Category is internal Shareasale designations and are not very granular. Most merchants ignore that field, but it needs a value for Shareasale to process the feed. Always use the merchantCategory fields, and any custom fields set by the merchant.
    Deborah Carney

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