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 3 Steps to Success for Data Feeds
    By Michelle Megna, managing editor,

For e-tailers who need help with data feeds to comparison shopping engines, Brian Smith, CEO and founder of SingleFeed, has three steps to follow for success: Add more attributes to your data feed; categorize all products; and participate in ratings programs.

In regard to attributes, Smith says, though Google Product Search requires five, that's simply not enough. There are a multitude of other fields you can use. For instance, if you're selling ski boots, he says, "You're the expert on Ski Boots, Google is not. What else do consumers need to know before buying Ski Boots: Color; department; age range; liner material; tech specs; manufacturer warranty; number of buckles; etc."

Second, you need to categorize your products or they will end up in "miscellaneous," and not be found by shoppers. "Think your products are categorized properly? Think again. Zappos, Amazon, B&H Photo, HomeClick all have 100s if not 1000s of 'miscellaneous' listings on," Smith says.

The last tip from Smith when submitting data feeds to shopping sites: participate in ratings because they increase click-through and sales. For instance, he says merchants with a 4.0 or higher store rating have 34 percent higher conversion-to-sale than merchants with a store rating below 4.0. Also, people engage with offers 24.5 percent more of the time if they have ratings (either positive or negative).

Finally, Smith says, "On Yahoo, merchant rating is one of the factors that is used when ranking our search results, which means a higher merchant rating leads to higher traffic."

---Source: Oct 23, 2008. Michelle Megna is the managing editor.



















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