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  1. #1
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Affiliates, How Do You Want Product Options in Data Feeds?
    Working on making a clothing merchant data feed more comprehensive (yet convenient for affiliates), I wonder what affiliates prefer as far as listing product options (sizes, colors, etc).

    We are taking a ShareASale data feed here, and I am thinking of using one of the "custom" fields, having product sizes represented via/in a comma-separated string whereby there would be a UPC tied to each. So, the "size field" for product that has 4 child sizes and 4 adult sizes would look something like this:

    UPC0001 (size: child 0-2), UPC0002 (size: child 2-4), UPC0003 (size: child 4-6), UPC0004 (size: child 6-8), UPC0005 (size: adult S), UPC0006 (size: adult M), UPC0007 (size: adult L), UPC0008 (size: adult XL)

    Before we implement this, however, I wonder if you, affiliates, have a preferred way you'd like to see such product options in merchant data feeds.

    Many thanks in advance for your feedback on this one.

    Geno

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  3. #2
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    I am very much on board with the extra info and can work with it in this format. I would be very curious to hear what others think as well in regards to incorporating it into the shareasale feed with minimum hassle.

    Getting the UPC & matching sizing info is useful to me and what I am doing with datafeeds, the more info the better.

    I was actually about to post asking for some additional info on each item, but after thinking about it for a few minutes, I think it would be overkill and would likely cause more issues than it would solve.

    I am working on not over-complicating things. So far it's a 73 step process.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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  5. #3
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I think you are on the right track Geno. That's what AvantLink is trying to do as well. Its much better to have all variations in a column. I don't like it when there is a row per product variation. It feels too spammy and I filter out all but one entry.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!


  6. #4
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Thank you, both, for taking the time to comment!

    isellstuff, I agree with your row-per-product-variation sentiment. Such an approach just blows up the feed without truly reflecting the number of products affiliates will be able to sell.

    In this respect, should each variation have its own SKU or UPC, putting this data (in a comma-separated format) into a separate field may indeed make the most sense. I just wanted to make sure I'm on the right track as far as affiliate expectations go.

    popdawg, I'd still love to hear what type of "additional info on each item" you may find useful.

    Thanks again.

  7. #5
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I like the way Avantlink has it in xml format, the only problem that I run into sometimes is, some a merchant/s don't keep their tags matched up and it breaks their feed when trying to use it. So those merchant wind up without the variants.
    But you're on the right track.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

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  9. #6
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    We used to have issues with this in our PepperJam feed for the League stores - all the variants were on their own lines and it bloated the feed and made using the onboard product display tools a freaking nightmare. I like the approach you're suggesting with all of the sizes in a single field per item. Would color work the same way in your perfect world?

    We're getting ready to push our Google feed for Fanatics.com through AvantLink and I'll be curious to see how they handle the additional data.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  11. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    There is ZERO standardization in the industry (or even on any particular network) for those types of fields, so those of us who utilize those fields are usually pretty adept at handling whatever variations are thrown our way. The important thing is that once you pick a way of doing it, you remain consistent. When things change, that's when we have problems.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  12. #8
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    No one asked, but colors, I prefer all the colors listed on one line separated by commas.

    Now the problem with sizes is that the industry isn't standardized either. So a someone might fit into a size 4 for one pair or pants and one might be a 6 or 8 or 2. So the size itself is semi-meaningless. What I need/prefer is who the dress it made for, i.e. infant, toddler, young girl (size 2 - 6X), older girl (size 7-16), junior, adult (size 2-14), plus size (14+), and petite. For most merchants, if you have a seize 4 adult you'll also have 2-14 too. So breaking down for 2, 4, 6, etc isn't worth it.

    But, having all the size info on one line is the right way to go, I hate dealing with huge datafeeds. IMHO this is what is needed at a minimum in a datafeed.
    1) Color(s) should have it own field, not JUST included in name of product
    2) Description of product doesn't include additional product recommendations. i.e. it shouldn't say Pair this dress with heels and a purse. Reason, people re going to search and you don't want someone who is looking for a shoes to end up with a dress b/c the keyword was listed in the description
    3) One line per product. Include all colors and sizes in their one field. Colors and sizes should be separate fields.
    4) The lowest price listed must be the correct price. i.e. don't give me the sale price when the sale is over.
    5) Always list the manufacturer of the product, even if it is always the merchant
    6) There must be a field that uniquely identifies the product that doesn't change from datafeed to datafeed. If the price drops or raises I want to know about it.
    7) There must be an image that is of a reasonable size. It doesn't have to be small, but anything over 600x1000 can cause problems. Also only a small thumbnail is silly too.
    8) Unless all your products are for one gender, then gender must be included in the datafeed. How can I tell a men's jeans from female jeans without a gender field or listing. This is usually accomplished in the merchant category field.

    Well that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  14. #9
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Prefer size, color, UPC, SKU/Item #, etc all to have their own column.

    As for sizes, have no need for them...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  16. #10
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    IMO... Options should have a column and like Oranges mentioned and each item should have the options separated by a different delimiter then the feed.

    For Example... One product, has only one ID# or row in the datafeed. The feed would include the following option columns.

    ColumName: Size
    Data: Small~Medium~Large~XL~XXL~XXXL

    ColumName: Color
    Data: Red~Blue~Green~Gray~Black~Orange~Purple

    This would allow a second Options table to be created. The data in the Options would tied to the product ID or UPC.
    Thanks,
    Doug

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