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  1. #1
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    Datafeed newbie question
    I have been an affiliate of a few merchants for 1+ year; now I am finally going to try using datafeeds for the first time. To start (small), I will be writing a program to display the 1,100+ products of one merchant to see how things go. So, I have been doing some research, including reading many threads in these forums.

    My job as an affiliate is to show products, get site visitors to click through to the merchant site and hopefully get some of them to buy. The prospective buyer want to know how the product is going to solve whatever problem, what it looks like, how much it costs, etc.

    Neither the prospective buyer nor I care about ISBN, UPC, SKU and such. But I see a lot of discussions about these items. My noob question (please don't laugh): how/why are these things relevant/useful to me for what I want to do?

    Carlos

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    For me they are relevant for searches. If someone is searching for a particular ISBN or SKU it would be good to have it listed on your site so the SEs can suck it up. It is also good for you to know on your site so you know which product on the merchant link you are supposed to be linking to.
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  3. #3
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gato
    Neither the prospective buyer nor I care about ISBN, UPC, SKU and such. But I see a lot of discussions about these items. My noob question (please don't laugh): how/why are these things relevant/useful to me for what I want to do?
    I think the context these are usually discussed about are related to trying to match the same product between different companies feeds - so for example you can say that a product is $x at one company and $y at another.

  4. #4
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    What iolaire said. Its only with a UPC that you can be absolutely sure that two items from 2 merchants are the same item. Style numbers can be used too.

    SKU numbers are used to compare the same item from the same merchant over many datafeeds in time. This is good for price checking over time and more advanced datafeed needs.

    Either way, just because a datafeed has all this information, you don't have to use it. The way to use datafeeds is to dump all the information you want into a database and then manipulate the database anyway you see fit. Extraneous information to you doesn't have to be included in your database tables.
    Expert who says Moo

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  5. #5
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gato
    To start (small), I will be writing a program to display the 1,100+ products
    As you start playing with writing your script you will see that you need a unique identifier for each product that you show. That is where the sku comes in. I don't display the sku, but as Patrick say it could be an idea.


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    If you are going to display a unique ID or use it as a key to look something up in a database I recommend that you generate and use your own unique number. This is very easy if you are going to use a database ; the database does the work for you. Then stick all of the data in the various fields whether you need it or not. You can then design your frontend and tweak it until you are happy.
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  7. #7
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    I have only created a lifetime total of 4 threads in these ABW forums: 3 in the Spring of 2008, and this one. I don't have a lot of experience in using forums, but from what little I have seen, this community is the friendliest and most prompt to respond. So, to all of you who have replied, thank you vey much. I hope I can give back something in the near future.

    Now, back to the subject, I am beginning to see how I might have some use for all these identifiers later on.

    Oranges said what I have thought from the beginning: the fact that this info is in a datafeed does not mean you have to use it all. I normally create a table including all the data, then from that table I make a view with just the columns I think I need. Subsequently, it's very easy to add/delete columns without altering the underlying table – e.g. if next week I decide I want to display or somehow use the UPC code, I just add that column to the view and instantly have an up-to-date source to use on the website.

    I am still not too sure about using these numbers as unique identifiers because I can see potential problems. I am with Patrick: I make it a rule to add an identity column of unique IDs generated by my DB system to any table I create. I trust that more than, say, a merchant's productID.

    But I am just learning about this datafeed business, so please keep the comments and tips coming; others will benefit too. I'm sure I will be back with other subjects soon.

    Best regards to all,

    Carlos

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    It sounds like you are like me: You see everything from the perspective of a developer/database manager. I was a developer long before I knew about affiliate marketing. I think of everything in terms of my own database. I was working on shopping comparison site once and I developed my own database, and then I made the merchants information fit into MY database and MY columns. If you keep this mindset you will go far in the datafeed world. IMO
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  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep Essociate's Avatar
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    the more data points the better
    [URL]http://Essociate.com[/URL]

  10. #10
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    I was reading about datafeed for affiliates but my head hit the keyboard after 10 minutes. need to regroup and do like gato; wait 1 year before messing with it.

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