Why Your Data Feed Has Never Been More Important For Ecommerce
Data & Analytics
Oct 13 2020
In just about every realm of business, it’s known that data is the driving force behind every decision. Marketers utilize data to inform campaign performance; product teams use data to inform new product updates; sales uses data to target leads more effectively; ecommerce teams require data to make products available online, the list goes on. In the digital world, data informs pretty much everything a brand does (or chooses not to do).
When it comes to campaigns, your team relies on your data feed to show products to customers — the product details, specs, media, etc. It all goes into both getting your product available online as well as marketing it online. If your data feed isn’t managed properly, it will create inconsistencies with your brand experience and ultimately may reflect poorly on your business. But when your campaigns are managed well, your brand experience online will thrive.
How Your Data Drive Your Campaigns
A data feed is a way for your brand to disseminate current, up-to-date information. There are plenty of ways data feeds are utilized. Marketing uses data feeds from CRMs, marketing automation softwares, and more to inform their campaigns. Ecommerce teams send their data feeds to digital channels like Amazon, Google Shopping, and other online retailers to make their products available online.
Your marketing data and your ecommerce data must be married to create the best campaigns. One example is Google Shopping’s Smart Shopping. The platform will automatically place bids for Google Shopping ads optimized by your data feed to send the ads to the right customers, at the right time, and in the right place. The goal is to maximize investment returns, revenue, and expand your reach.
However, if your data is out of date or key data points are missing, Google Smart Shopping won’t be able to optimize your ad buys. Therefore, your ads will require higher bids, they may reach the wrong audiences, and you’ll miss out on the best channels. But with an optimized feed, your data will lead you to the right, most relevant customers.
Why Data Feeds Matter
The data feed is crucial if you expect to win on digital channels. Ecommerce is expected to continue to command a larger percentage of total retail sales year-over-year. In order to get in front of your customers digitally, your feed must be optimized continuously. Your product data will inform your advertising and your place in the digital store.
For example, let’s say a shopper searches Google for a green winter jacket, but your color label is “Bamboo Forest” or something equally abstract; your product may not appear on the search page. Or, if you have a SKU name starting “GR-COAT,” Google’s algorithm won’t know to send your ad to the consumer.
Your data feed must be clear, holistic, and up-to-date in order to optimize all your products online. Without a healthy data feed, your products will get lost in the endless competition of online shopping. And with an optimized data feed, Google Shopping is proven to have 30% higher conversion rates than text ads, and you’ll see your returns reach new heights.
Maintained Data Feeds Lead to Better Results
Many brands are laser-focused on a consistent brand image and experience. For years, this focus was primarily on in-store shopping — clothing brands would design the layout of their store to create a pleasant experience, customer service reps were careful to be polite, helpful, and kind on the phone, and products were curated to reflect the unique personality of a brand.
This brand experience and brand image also has to be consistent on a brand’s digital channels. The way to keep digital brand experiences optimized and consistent is through data management and personalization. A few strategies to keep your data consistent and engaging on digital channels include:
Updating your inventory continually
Sending the most current product catalog to every retail channel
Keeping your prices up-to-date
Detailed and accurate product information, such as dimensions, color, weight, and size
Engaging media like 360-degree perspective images, videos, and comparison charts
Better yet, using your data feed to personalize your ads on digital platforms is the next step for brands to create engaging online experiences. As consumers flock to digital channels, keep profile and behavioral data on your customers to see what their interests are and which products resonate the most with them. If a customer is looking for one product, advertise complementary products; if a customer looks only at one category of products, don’t send them irrelevant products they won’t purchase. There are many ways to use your data feed to personalize your ads.
Brands can even create and show dynamic ads across platforms. With many versions of your ads, your feed optimization can automatically send the most relevant ad to each customer. This will make it more likely they convert to a buying customer. By using current data feeds that showcase trends and insights, brands can even predict the future and advertise next-best-actions for their customers, such as a complementary product to the one they recently purchased or a product they looked at but never bought.
There are countless ways for your data feed to be managed, optimized, and personalized to every customer. By maintaining your feeds and keeping them the most current, healthiest version of themselves, brands can send out the best ads across every digital channel — from Google Shopping to Amazon, and beyond.