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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    What do you think..??
    WHAT IF...
    a merchant had a directory on their site..
    The directory contained text pages with this info:::
    (No HTML or LINKS just plain text)

    Price: $229.99
    Sale Price: $199.99
    Available (117)

    each page named after the SKU of the product.. (BSC1234.txt)
    and each page would be updated daily with the new price and # available...

    Then on our product pages we could INCLUDE that small txt file with a PHP include.. where the price and availability would be...

    Our sites would always have the current price and availability..
    every single day even between datafeed updates..

    It would not take the place of updating the datafeed on the given intervals (for any new products) but it would give us an update on the info more regularly..

    Would this be something that affiliates would be interested in implementing..?


    It would have to be included using PHP so that is the ONLY drawback I see.. some people do not use PHP... any other ideas?

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I think what you describe is called XML

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Yea kind of.. but I run a lot of PHP sites that do not use XML...
    I think a lot of people run PHP MySQL sites.. that would benefit from having this without trying to learn XML.. On Top Of MySQL and PHP....

    Plus -- I have good SERPs and do not want to change to XML just to get an updated price...

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The problems I see with that are:

    Customers expect to be able to click a product listing. A list of products with no links is usually a waste of time.

    It would be hard not to end up having it super-dull looking, like an old-fashioned auto-parts store's list or some kind of wholesale list. Those lists are blaaahhh...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Leader - I think you misunderstood...

    What I am talking about is for example:::
    If you run a datafeed site.. create the site as always
    BUT in place of where you would put the price and availability
    you would "include" that text file... showing the current price and the number available.. and the text file containing the PRICE and NUMBER AVAILABLE would be updated daily by the merchant..
    That is it..

  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
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    I see what you are doing. Instead of worrying about updating your site for price and availability changes, this would end those worries. Right?


  7. #7
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    yeah but you could use XML and javascript to do that.

    Write the product name down
    put a descript
    and for the price place a javascript that calls an XML file thats updated whenever the price changes on the merchants server

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    UncleScooter - "I see what you are doing. Instead of worrying about updating your site for price and availability changes, this would end those worries. Right?"

    Yes...

    HardwareGeek - "yeah but you could use XML and javascript to do that"

    Waaay beyond my own capabilities..


    "put a descript
    and for the price place a javascript that calls an XML file thats updated whenever the price changes on the merchants server"

    _____________________

    And a lot more complicated than inserting a simple PHP Include.. I would think..

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    Leader - I think you misunderstood...

    What I am talking about is for example:::
    If you run a datafeed site.. create the site as always
    BUT in place of where you would put the price and availability
    you would "include" that text file... showing the current price and the number available.. and the text file containing the PRICE and NUMBER AVAILABLE would be updated daily by the merchant..
    That is it..
    Oh! Yeah, that would be cool!

    (for those who show the prices, that is. If someone wants to know the price of what I've got up, they have to CLICK the link to the merchant.)
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    So basically you want merchants to offer an XML service along side their flatfile datafeeds. I've got no problems with that as it may help keep sites better updated during the course of the day when the datafeeds aren't being updated. Then just have the daily flatfile updates happen at night. I'm just a little wary of the overhead this might put on the merchant servers. Most probably aren't outfitted to accept that many inquiries in a day. What you suggest where the merchant hosts this information in separate files is one idea, but they'll need to keep regenerating these XML files with every price change. It could cost them a lot of wasted space as this information is better stored in a database.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Leader - Yes same here - but I am building some new sites and wanted to actually show prices on them.. I used to show prices and I got a lot of complaints about prices NOT being correct or not being available.. One of my sites is a content site with a contact form.. I get a lot of cool inquiries.. but some complain..

    Snib - Nope no XML just a flat text file for each product... with Price and Number available.. each file would be less than 1kb so it wouldn't cost that much..
    Included in the affiliates sites with a PHP Include.. much easier for most of us to implement than XML..

    Price: $229.99
    Sale Price: $199.99
    Available (117)

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    No need to invent your own format since XML is basically the standard. Why make webmasters create a special parser for interpreting this block of text? What if they don't want the word Price in bold with a break after each line? What if they need each line to be a row in a table? It just doesn't seem like a good universal solution. XML would be the way to go if multiple webmasters are going to use it. There's also no need to create multiple 1k files as that's sloppy. Better to use a script that generates the XML based on a database query.

    This solution seems to ignore price sorts on category pages. How will you handle that?

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    I think merchant's would probably rather to XML than this.... it's much neater than thaving a few hundred thousand .txt files in your directory (if you were say... Overstock). It would be handy for those who don't know XML and how to use it, etc.

    The best thing would be if an entity like GoldenCan did this... that way you have a generic method for multiple merchants, with real-time data. It'd eat their bandwidth though.

    I like the:
    Write the product name down
    put a descript
    and for the price place a javascript that calls an XML file thats updated whenever the price changes on the merchants server

  14. #14
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    From an affiliate's standpoint it sounds like a great idea.
    From a merchant's standpoint it sounds like a lot of work. They would have to continually (manually) update their txt files with inventory count and price changes.

    Love it for us though!



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  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    A few problems with that:

    So, what if you have 40 products on one page? That would take forever to load.

    If they're only updated once a day, they can still be outdated. Some sites (like HSN and even Overstock) move products very, very quickly.

    What happens if the product is out of stock. The page will still show up, so you're missing part of the advantage of near real-time processing of data.

    What happens if the merchant's site is down? Your page will be broken. I guess it's a moot point, since you couldn't generate the sale anyway, but if your pages have multiple merchants, the timeout might cause none of them to show.
    Michael Coley
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  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager inflatemouse's Avatar
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    Would a dynamic datafeed solve your problem?

  17. #17
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Would a dynamic datafeed solve your problem?
    That's what I was thinking also...some merchants offer this, Niche Retail for one. You access their database format the info however you want it and they worry about keeping it updated...

    BUT if you want to 'edit' the descriptions in someway then....well I guess you could still do that on the fly from their server with some regex stuff that I sometimes can do and other days no can do....


    so much to learn...so little time...
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Yea - you guys are right... it would be a pain in the butt for merchants..
    it wouldn't be exactly what everyone needs or would want...

    --

    I guess I need to learn how to do it the way HardwareGeek suggested..
    Probably need to learn stuff like that anyway..


    It sounded like a good idea at the time...

    But asking what you thought about it.. brought all kinds of things I didn't consider to light..

    THANKS!!

  19. #19
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    It seems I spend half my time thinking about these same types of puzzles.

    Sometimes they pan out MOST other times I'm spinning my wheels!

    At least we can come here to see if it is somewhat worth pursueing(?)
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

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