Making the Most of CJ's Shopping Feed Format

Apr 17, 2018
Written by Will C.

A comprehensive product feed, also known as a product catalog, can enable opportunities between advertisers and publishers across all levels and verticals. Putting the best information forward is the first step to taking advantage of product catalogs in your affiliate program.

Advertisers use product feeds to present publishers with a wide array of details including product images, pricing and discount information, and product descriptions. The product catalog also has functionality built in to help advertisers protect margins on sensitive products or highlight categories of products with higher commissions.

Publishers use product feeds to find products that fit into developing editorial content, integrating product feeds into their website, finding all retailers for a specific product, and so many other different ways. For publishers, the cleaner the product feed data the better.

Must-Have's for Advertisers:

Advertisers building their product catalog can reference documentation in our Support Center to understand the full breadth and capabilities of the product catalog. However, out of the 43 available fields in the new Google Shopping feed format, what are the most important to make sure you get right?

  • Keep it Clean and Helpful!
    • SKU, Product Name, Buy URL, Product Images, Price/Retail Price/Sale Price should be as clear as possible and containing no errors.
      • Keep your SKU and Product Name clear to help people trying to find the best places to buy specific items or types of items.
      • Comprehensive pricing information makes it easier to capture shoppers attention and interest even before they land on your page.
      • Providing approved images of your products ensures that publishers showcasing your brand will have high-quality images every time.
  • Use Standardized and Universal Product Information wherever possible
    • Don't rename a product to something specific or leave a UPC field empty if it can be filled.
      • Leverage the Product Category field to ensure future Category benchmarking opportunities.
      • Any changes you make to universal information makes it harder to find your store as an option.
      • Including this information will provide in-depth analytics on a product level for your program.
      • Although some fields may not be required for the product catalog to process, they may be very useful to your publishers. Leverage these fields as an opportunity to optimize your relationships.
  • Increase Efficiency through Product Lists
    • Utilize item level commissioning functionality to automatically adjust commission rates for Product Lists within your affiliate program, complete right from the CJ Account Manager.
      • Make sure you choose the field for commissioning that is most relevant to your brand and program. The Google Shopping Feed format allows you to enjoy the automation of margin protection, and extra incentives on specified subsets of your product catalog.
Best Uses for Publishers

Whether it's browsing for a product within CJ, exporting data to build out comprehensive databases, or gain access to high-quality product images provided directly by the advertiser to build content on-site there's plenty of opportunities to be found for publishers. Whether you pull specific products directly from the CJ Account Manager or get it through an exported subscription you can improve your websites information quickly and easily!

  • Getting the data you need
    • Creating a Product Export
      • The Subscription Manager allows you to receive the most recent product catalog from any advertiser you are joined with directly to your inbox or FTP service. You can create new subscriptions from the CJ Account Manager.
      • Follow the steps to deliver to the correct email and select which advertiser you would like to receive a product catalog for. Set up as many as you can handle! We're encouraging publishers to start exporting the new Shopping Feed format as soon as advertisers begin importing. 
    • Getting Started with APIs
      • If you would like to build an API call to collect product information data, you can get started through our Developer Portal.

Advertisers and Publishers alike, take a few minutes today to take a look through product catalogs and get familiar if you aren't already. Advertisers can make sure that information is being passed correctly and that information seems clean while publishers can start learning the full capability of tools available to help them succeed! Don't forget, keep it clean, concise, and as standard as possible! The more you add unique specifics the harder it can be to show up where you want to or to capture shoppers attention.

Topics: Retail, CJ 101, Innovation,
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