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  1. #1
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    Dear merchants (upc datafeed rant)
    Most merchants don't provide upc data in datafeeds (which is surprising considering you have to for google shopping).

    IF you do provide it in your feed, please, please don't just throw 12 0's into the column, or any other form of fake data. It's a PITA for us affiliates, and doesn't provide a good user experience since we use this data for product comparisons.

    /rant



  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I often wonder if some merchants don't "want" to be included in comparison sites. Shoppers there may be looking strictly at price points and many merchants simply don't compete.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  3. #3
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    I often wonder if some merchants don't "want" to be included in comparison sites. Shoppers there may be looking strictly at price points and many merchants simply don't compete.
    100% correct there - even had a merchant decline us last week because they said "we don't do comparison sites"...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  4. #4
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    The issue there is that we don't solely use it for comparison sites. It actually gets you more exposure in our system because we are able to showcase more similar products in our Performance Ads. Otherwise, unless you are our top performing merchant, you aren't going to show up at all.

  5. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prosperent View Post
    The issue there is that we don't solely use it for comparison sites. It actually gets you more exposure in our system because we are able to showcase more similar products in our Performance Ads. Otherwise, unless you are our top performing merchant, you aren't going to show up at all.
    Totally understand, trust me...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  7. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    100% correct there - even had a merchant decline us last week because they said "we don't do comparison sites"...
    Wouldn't that at minimum give the merchant more relevant backlinks and help their SEO efforts?

  8. #7
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Wouldn't that at minimum give the merchant more relevant backlinks and help their SEO efforts?
    NO. Affiliate links do not pass any juice. They are blocked by the network's robots.txt files...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What about the merchant name listed on the page, any advantage there?

  10. #9
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    What about the merchant name listed on the page, any advantage there?
    Brand recognition, if any. But that can go both ways. Positive and Negative. But will do NOTHING for SEO...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  11. #10
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Brand recognition, if any. But that can go both ways. Positive and Negative. But will do NOTHING for SEO...
    Likely negative - if the pricing is consistently not competitive.

    (If we had an aff program for our business checks site we would love to be in a "price showdown." )
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  13. #11
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    What about the merchant name listed on the page, any advantage there?

    I can only speak for our own tools of course, but it's mostly about exposure. If our system determines that a page is about shoes, we are likely going to show products from Zappos, Nordstrom, etc. The big brands that convert well for us. By providing UPC data, you have to opportunity of showing up for those queries which you would otherwise have zero chance at. This gives other brands a chance to convert. If they do, and the numbers are good, our algorithms will start showing their products more often.

  14. #12
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prosperent View Post
    Most merchants don't provide upc data in datafeeds (which is surprising considering you have to for google shopping).
    Ha, I've been asking for this for 6 years or more on Abestweb. I used to do yearly and bi-yearly educational posts on this topic.

    Here is a stronger argument for UPC codes. If you need to clear your inventory a sure way to do it is provide UPC codes. If you sell popular gift items, your price point won't matter. I know it is a bit of risk, but merchants who end up with hard to find gift items can charge a premium and, via UPC codes in their datafeed, clear their inventory in a snap.

    Another way a merchant can benefit from UPC codes even with higher prices is to include BOGO offers.

    Another way a merchant can benefit from UPC codes even with higher prices is free shipping followed by better conversion rates on their website. So make a trustworthy website that screams customer service and get them to click through by having free shipping.

    Putting UPC codes in your datafeeds gives you access to a fire hose of traffic year round. You absolutely will not get this amount of affiliate traffic without them.


  15. #13
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    We push merchants for UPC. The list is growing. You can see whether or not stores offer UPC via their program details once you login publisher side to AvantLink.

    If anyone reading this thread wants a list of merchants who have UPC drop me a line gmarcoccia@avantlink.com


  16. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What about UPC versus SKU? Is UPC completely unique to the product?

    As for the conversion comment on higher priced products the affiliate program conversion wouldn't suffer for price comparison affiliates, they wouldn't have gotten the sale anyway. There is something to be said for brand reputation even with distributors. Some people will by due to customer service and returns policy.

    I just tagged SKU to product links for a new AvantLink launch. Doesn't look like it hurts.

  17. #15
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    SKU's are internal to a particular merchant. They aren't standardized and comparable across multiple retailers. If one place has an ipad, with a SKU, it will likely be different than the same ipad at another retailer. A UPC on the other hand is universal across all retailers. It uniquely identifies that product no matter where it is sold.

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  19. #16
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    What about UPC versus SKU? Is UPC completely unique to the product?
    UPCs (Universal Product Codes) are unique. So an ABC Shoe from Brand X is the same for anyone selling it.

    However, there are "in-house" UPCs as well. Which muddles things up.

    SKUs should always be provided as well. Sometimes merchants use a manufacturer's/brand's SKU as their own. Many merchants don't offer SKUs for reasons similar to not providing UPCs. But SKUs are not unique to any specific product...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  20. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Great feedback!

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary-AvantLink View Post
    We push merchants for UPC. The list is growing. You can see whether or not stores offer UPC via their program details once you login publisher side to AvantLink.

    If anyone reading this thread wants a list of merchants who have UPC drop me a line gmarcoccia@avantlink.com

    Emailed you. Thanks Gary.

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