Building your e-commerce client portfolio? Why automation is the key to success

As digital marketing agencies and marketers build their e-commerce client portfolios, they are seeing the need for automation solutions to manage and advertise their clients’ ever-changing list of product ads.

And with this constant, ever-changing inventory, tasks such as sales promotions and product catalogs cannot be handled manually – making management automation the key ingredient for success in growing your e-commerce client’s portfolio. What kind of automation technology is required?

First, let’s define the topic of data feed management. This is the process of optimizing and organizing a client’s product data, enabling you to take control and prepare it for advertisements on online marketplaces, affiliate networks and price comparison sites (I will later refer to these as ‘channels’). In most cases, there is one data feed connected to a client’s online shop that can be generated by their e-commerce platform or even a spreadsheet. Product data feeds can be a key component of your paid advertising strategy (PPC banner and text), but we will cover that topic later.

What are product datafeeds?

These are XML or CSV files or data files that provide a summary of products and items that you want online. Product feed management is the administration of this data. Product data feeds may include product characteristics such a title, color and size as well as EAN/GTIN numbers. This data can be easily extracted from online shops that are built on ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce.

Why is product feed management so important?

Advertisers who use third-party sites such as price comparison websites, online marketplaces, or affiliate networks will require product information in their format. To export product catalogs to other channels, you will need to provide information in a particular format from your product feed in multiple configurations. Product feed management solutions allow you to upload your original data file and then optimize it to suit each marketplace. Modifying product information is easy because you don’t have to go back to the source.

Additionally, it simplifies adding new data to the feed, supplementing current product information, and enables you to filter content based on the product data feed via a solutions ‘rules’ feature.

What should you look for in a product feed management software?

  • Ability to categorize for any channel’s requirement

  • Daily scheduling to update feeds to ensure product accuracy

  • Feed quality checks indicate where improvements can made to increase sales

  • Rules that allow you to filter and optimize data in order to meet the requirements of any channel

  • API connection to marketplaces for easy listing

  • Order synchronization is used to ensure that order data is sent directly from the shops to ensure that it is accurate at all times

Advertising with product data feeds: text or shopping ad tools

As I briefly stated in the intro, a product feed can also be used for automatic generation of thousands of campaigns, groups, ads, and ads (e.g. Keywords, search, display and shopping. Utilizing a data feed management solution, your team can generate search, display and shopping campaign templates/structures.

These ads will then automatically be updated based upon your ever-changing product information feed. Hyper-relevant ads can be created with dynamic fields that directly connect to your data feed. So when a title, price or stock update occurs, your ads are instantly updated – no manual work is necessary. Text and shopping ad tools can combine static and dynamic data from the product data feed, increasing an ad’s relevance while reducing ad spend. The product data feed can generate long-tail keywords quickly for all your ads based upon your data feed.

The perfect text and shopping ad should enable you:

  • Dynamically create ads, campaigns keywords, and ad groups

  • To optimize for the best performance, feature analytics connected to your data source shows the performance of online markets, affiliate networks, and price comparison websites.

  • Combine static text with dynamic fields in your product data feed

  • Use backup templates to avoid exceeding character limits and other restrictions

  • Make multiple ads for each ad group

  • Automated text ads, sitelinks, and price extensions

  • Based on your data source, create a campaign structure

  • Based on your product data feed, create a framework of ad group, product group and keyword structures

For digital agencies and digital marketers, automation and e-commerce go hand in glove. Automation takes away hours of manual labor each week. It allows teams to handle more inventory and more data, creating noise-busting ads that increase CTR, return on adspend, and decrease cost per action. Product feed automation is something you should explore. It can save you time and money, while making your clients happier.

Rob Van Nuenen, chief executive at Channable.