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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    DE USA
    OK Merchants, enlighten me.

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Why do merchants include characters and try to format data by using html in the datafeed?<LI>Why are slashes, ampersands, and quotes mixed with the data?<LI> Why do some records have blank fields or just quotes?
    <LI>Why are there duplicate ProductIDs?<LI>Why are products with broken images included?[/list]

    Data is supposed to be just data. The integrity of some of the feeds is just amazing. I can almost see how some affiliates have a hard time getting paid. If a merchant cannot keep a datafeed of 500 to 10000 products in shape it only seems natural that they would find it difficult to make sure the payment system works.

    Please help me understand why some datafeeds are so messed up. I have been around affiliate marketing and ABW for about a year or so. I have been an IT professional more than 10 years and know for a fact that data is one of the easiest things to properly maintain. A good percentage of the feeds could be maintained using just MS Excel.

    I just want to try to make some money for you and me. But sort through some of the datafeeds is making it more of hassel than it worth.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I have given up on so many datafeeds due to errors, poor spelling, poor grammar etc.

    It amazes me that those merchants ever get any decent affiliates promoting them when they just can't be bothered to make sure that their data is accurate. Why should we promote them when they are so shoddy?

    I went through one of the datafeeds doing a spell check. There were hundreds of mistakes.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Sugarloaf, CA
    Good question, Doug.

    In some cases, the datafeed is compiled from data from an older accounting system or an accounting system that was setup and configured prior to the need for a web based Affiliate datafeed.

    Problems can occur when taking data from older systems that were designed to simply take data from a terminal with a barcode scanner, for example. Then trying to add descriptions, image file references and other items that were unnecessary before establishing their Affiliate program, some merchants have trouble accomplishing such a task unless they have someone who is knowledgeable enough and has time enough to compile a clean feed.

    And in some cases, even if the one in charge is knowledgeable enough, perhaps they are stuck between a rock and hard place since they continually need to pull the data from an old not-so-flexible accounting system or inventory management system that cannot be updated or configured or replaced (yet). So they just have to live with errors and imperfection.

    I offer Affiliate tools for lease to merchants and other Affiliate Managers who need an external datafeed for Affiliates and other tools similar to Akiva. But no matter how great the tool, if the merchant cannot give us a good source file to work with to create the feed which is updated daily, we cannot always create perfection from imperfection.

    For example, as you said most feeds can be maintained in excel. But if the source data comes daily from another system or software that has never been polished up or simply can't be because of unflexability or limited resources, how do you efficiently get it to excel and then to the web each day? As an IT professional, you know as well as I do that it can be done. But if you've worked with hundreds of companies as I have, some technical projects that seem doable to you and me, can seem impossible to managers of some companies.

    I have clients that still have not decided to accept credit cards yet, even in their offline transactions! One of those clients has over 50 employees and is still run by the original owner who is in his 80's and never touches a computer. It's a wonder some of these business are even able to get started with an Affiliate Program.

    I know this doesn't offer you a solution, but I hope it does shed some light on the issue.

    Best Regards,
    Currently Managing: [url=""][/url] | [url=""][/url] | [url=""]Finon Affiliate Tools Referral Program[/url]

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