Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Products in multiple categories
    I am setting up a new feed for a new site that will have products in multiple categories. The shopping cart allows for products to be "linked" rather than actually duplicated, but I haven't tried to create the datafeed yet to see how that will show up.

    My question is, if a product is in more than one category, do you want it to be in the feed twice, or do you want it to be in the feed just once? I might need to create duplicate to give each occurance it's own product number, so want to know how affiliates want this right from the start.

    Example: Celtic art print of a Cat watercolor
    Celtic Art
    Art: Cat
    Art: Watercolor

    Suggestions appreciated!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    DE USA
    Posts
    931
    Hey Loxly,

    Just from a data point of view, and imo, a product should only exist once in a datafeed. Here is why. If there were a datafeed of all the people in the US. then people would exist in the feed multiple times.

    Take the following categories:

    Gender:Male
    Height:6'
    Locationelaware

    If I understand you correctly I would be in the datafeed three times, once for each of the categories. Which is wrong as we all know people are unique individuals.

    A person using your feed should use SQL to query your datafeed to filter the results they want. This can be done with premade queries or with user input queries. (search box)

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Doug247; April 17th, 2008 at 10:05 AM.
    Thanks,
    Doug

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    You make a good point, but from a shoppers point of view, they may need the products within the categories on the site. Currently the way to create a feed is through a product dump, which may include all occurances of the product in all categories. So I would need to create a work around.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    DE USA
    Posts
    931
    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    ...but from a shoppers point of view, they may need the products within the categories on the site.
    I'm not sure I understand...A developer should be able to build an interface with input controls to allow an end user to easily browse, search, and or select products. Using SQL the developer should be able to generate the categories based on any number of a product's data elements. Even down to words in the product name or description.


    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    ...Currently the way to create a feed is through a product dump, which may include all occurances of the product in all categories.
    On a side note, I would really love to know more about how affiliate marketing datafeeds are created. I work in IT in the financial industry and from what I see and do a product datafeed should not be that hard to create an maintain.
    Thanks,
    Doug

  5. #5
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    You are looking at this from a developers standpoint and not a shopper or seo standpoint. Not that you are incorrect But you aren't looking at this from my perspective. I don't have a developer creating a feed (yet). Category structures are not as easy to make as we want them to be.

    Affiliate datafeeds are generally created from the product catalog contained in the shopping cart that runs the merchant site. Some shopping carts make it easier than others I have a level of customizability, however I need to make it easy for the affiliate that is using the datafeed on a niche site as well as make it usable for the affiliate with an automated update system.

    For example, if I exclude products from the category:
    Art: Cats
    and leave it just in:
    Celtic Art

    the affiliate with a site that features products related to cats may not have the capability to find and display all the products we have that feature cats or appeal to cat lovers.

    One thing I should point out is that I do understand what people tend to search for in this particular niche, and what results they want to see and how sophisticated (and not) the shoppers are.

    Ideally, I would love a system to be developed down the road that will allow an affiliate to search for "cats" in the database and it creates a feed of just the "cat" products, but other than getting the datafeed into PopShops (where it will be) or other third party tools, I can't do that yet. I want the "out of the box" feed to appeal to and be usable by, the greatest range of affiliates right from day 1.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    DE USA
    Posts
    931
    Great explaination! I was under the impression that the merchant site used the datafeed. I can now see your point of view. How do products get into the shopping cart database? Manually one by one or with and import? How do the prodcut manufactures supply the product data? Hard copies or a datafile? I ask because I think development is where I am headed.
    Thanks,
    Doug

  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    12,360
    I would think listing the product in all 3 categories would be good. If a customer is looking for any of the 3 mentioned examples, they will find it. Otherwise, it can be overlooked and not shown to a relevant audience.

    If someone is creating a site about cats and the print is only included in the Celtic category, you've lost a potential customer.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 20th, 2005
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    1,219
    In a database this would be represented as a many to many relationship and would require three tables.

    Product Table - has productid + others
    Category Table - has categoryid + others
    Joining table - has only two columns - productid and categoryid. Allows for multiple relationships.

    But since Deb has to create this in flatfile format she does not have this luxury. So listing it multiple times may be the only option at this point.
    ---
    This response was masterly crafted via the fingers of Patrick Allmond who believe you should StopDoingNothing starting today.
    ---
    Focus Consulting is where I roll | Follow @patrickallmond on Twitter
    Search Engine Marketing | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media | Online Video

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    400
    I have been wrestling with the same issue for a while, and haven't found a good solution. Ideally if the affiliate networks would allow for a 'relational' data feed, rather than a static feed as is currently the norm, it would solve the problem. But that is probably not going to happen any time soon.

  10. #10
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by itsupportnotes
    Great explaination! I was under the impression that the merchant site used the datafeed. I can now see your point of view. How do products get into the shopping cart database? Manually one by one or with and import? How do the prodcut manufactures supply the product data? Hard copies or a datafile? I ask because I think development is where I am headed.
    That depends on the cart software. In my site it is all of the above, except that the manufacturers are artists that give me limited data at the moment, mostly through a spreadsheet, some in a text file.

    Testing the import functions through the weekend, to date I am adding manually to create the correct structure to be able to automate.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by buyjewelry
    I have been wrestling with the same issue for a while, and haven't found a good solution. Ideally if the affiliate networks would allow for a 'relational' data feed, rather than a static feed as is currently the norm, it would solve the problem. But that is probably not going to happen any time soon.
    Yes, you and patrick are both correct, we have to supply flat files to the network, so there are limitations. For now.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    5,303
    I've seen this done before. Usually the merchant will list every product only once in the datafeed, but the category field might be divided up into multiple categories, for example:

    Celtic Art; Art > Cat; Art > Watercolor

    That way the affiliate can choose which category to use or use all 3 if they've got the proper database setup. Most likely affiliates won't support multiple paths to a product, so it might be a good idea to have a main category field for those who can only choose one. Then possibly a second field where the alternate categories are listed.

    I don't think listing products multiple times in the feed would be worthwhile. It would just make the feed larger. The way I've got things set up I only import one product per sku so if the same sku is in there 3 times I'll end up ignoring the other 2.

    Something else to consider is a keywords field that includes all the keywords from all the categories. For those of us who do tagging these would come in handy.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    There already is a keyword field
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 9th, 2010
    Posts
    1
    My suggestion is just take it in the feed just once. just step up another link to the original one is fine.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    November 3rd, 2009
    Posts
    50
    The cleanest solution ( from the point of view of a developer who is approaching the development of a comparison shopping website/engine ) would be to put the product in the feed just once, and eventually specify multiple categories in the category field ( separating categories with # or any other character used by the network you're distributing the feed with - assuming someone has had this need before )

    Having the product multiple times would return more than a single item when searching for products with the same UPC in a comparison shopping website.

    Not to mention that duplicating the same record would go against the basic rules of relational databases, driving crazy 99% of the developers out there.

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    This is a couple year old thread, and I do have the products in the feed just once But letting it be revived to help others that might have the same question
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    I missed this thread the first time around.

    Like everyone else in the thread, I suggest just listing a product once even if it's in multiple categories.

    Like Snib, I've seen some merchants implement this by having multiple categories listed in the category field. Amazon.com is a great example.

    Another suggestion I would make (that I didn't see in the thread - although I might have missed it since I just skimmed it) would be to put the most appropriate category that a product fits in first, so that if an affiliate only wanted a single category they could use the first one listed.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  18. #18
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    12,360
    Wow what a difference 3 years makes! LOL - Not in the original issue but how differently we can perceive this issue after working with feeds.

    If there is a way to allow the product to show up in all categories but only be in the feed once, that would be the ideal. (What Michael just said above).

    Has that already been implemented in the last 3 years? If not, it should be. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  19. #19
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    In this feed yes. It is listed in one category and the other categories are in the keywords field so that an affiliate that wants to pull out certain products can. We had a script created to accomplish this with not only the original site, but with other sites built since then. Personalized gifts fit in many different categories so we had to find a way to get that info into the Shareasale feeds, and chose the keywords field to accomplish that.

    We may look into using the additional custom fields that Shareasale offers now that weren't available when the feed scripts were first written.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    12,360
    Sounds like you've got it well worked out Deb. Good thing someone has the tech know how and patience to work with data feeds as you do. Thanks!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  21. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Images in multiple categories
    By jgoddard in forum WebMerge (Fourthworld.com)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: September 13th, 2007, 10:32 AM
  2. Sub Categories/ Multiple Merchants
    By zibzer in forum GoldenCAN
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: February 5th, 2006, 02:38 PM
  3. Search and multiple sub categories
    By JoyUnltd in forum GoldenCAN
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: November 26th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  4. product with multiple categories in datafeed
    By nish in forum Programming / Datafeeds / Tools
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: November 7th, 2005, 08:27 PM
  5. Specific categories with multiple merchants
    By westgroup in forum GoldenCAN
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 23rd, 2005, 05:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •