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  1. #1
    Join Date
    July 16th, 2010
    Coupon/Deal API feed question
    I've started to use Shareasale's Coupon/Deal API feed and I have a question about category field that is retuned in the feed. The content in the category feed seems to be a bit random and without structure. I would expect that Shareasale would provide advertisers with a list of categories to choose from when adding a coupon. The categories that come back lead me to believe this field a free form input for advertisers and not a predefined list to choose from. Here are some examples of category weirdness.

    These categories should all probably be 'Bags and Cases':
    Backpack Bags, Sport Backpacks
    Bags and Cases
    Bags and Cases , JanSport Bags
    Bags and Cases, Pacific Design Bags & Cases

    These categories are all similar but different and what's more probably irrelevant. You don't need to label your coupon as a coupon in the coupon feed:

    There are many more examples of this where there are multiple versions of what should be the same category. I want to use this category field to automatically categorize incoming coupons on my own website but I need the feed to have a reliable and predictable category structure to do that.

    Has anyone had an success with this or have any insider info on how the category field for the coupon/deals feed is created?
    Last edited by UberMegaHugePublisher; July 16th, 2010 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    May 2nd, 2006
    Columbus, OH

    It is a free form field. Advertisers should mark it clearly but it definitely won't be uniform across merchants.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    July 16th, 2010
    Thanks for the reply Bob. Shareasale should fix this. It really limits the usefulness the category field.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    There have been many discussion threads about the huge problems involved in properly categorizing products.

    It's a very advanced task to try to map various merchants' product categories (when they are provided at all) into your desired standardized taxonomy.

    Try searching (on ABestWeb, not Google) for "datafeed categories" to get a sampling of some of these discussion threads. (Mr. Sal has been especially vocal on this topic, as have I.)
    Last edited by markwelch; July 16th, 2010 at 06:30 PM.

  5. #5
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    The category field is actually used as a creatives category, not a product type category. You will get product categories from a Datafeed, but not from the Deals feed.

    There will be no way that Shareasale would be able to "fix this" across all the merchants that use that feed and field. I actually didn't realize that field showed for affiliates. We have some very high converting deals in the deals database, and this is the first I have heard of an affiliate using that field.
    Deborah Carney

  6. #6
    Join Date
    July 16th, 2010
    Thanks for your replies, it is always great to get feedback.

    The fields returned in Shareasales deal feed are "Deal Id|Merchant Id|Merchant|Start Date|End Date|Publish Date|Title|Image(big)|Tracking URL|Image(small)|Category|Description|Restrictions|Keywords|Coupon Code|Edit Date". Shareasale does a better job with their deal feed in some ways than other affiliate networks but the category field is not one of them. For example CJ is a little better in that if a deal is categorized they send a category name that is a member of their category tree. Linkshare so far has the best data for categories. They provide not only the category name but a category id as well.

    All the networks have some problems with their (deal/coupon/link) feeds and the latest one I am addressing is categorization. For us deals that can't be categorized automatically will have to be categorized by hand and I'm just trying to minimize that extra work by getting quality data in the coupon feeds we are consuming.

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