Feeds are templates for building specific files of product data that are submitted to or fetched by your advertising and selling channels. GoDataFeed contains 200+ channel templates. If you cannot find your desired channel in GoDataFeed, then you can either build a custom feed template or contact us for further assistance.
In the following sections of this article, we will explain how to setup your feed and submit it to your advertising or selling channels.
- Best Practices
- Feed process steps
- Triggering a feed either manually or on a schedule
- "Compile" vs. "Submit" vs. "Pull/Fetch"
- Setting up your feed
- Creating a feed rule
- Feed rule functions
- Template Settings
- Feed Settings
Use your product data
Download and refer to your imported product data while completing your feed setup
- Go to Products > Catalog > Download
- Open the zipped .csv file in your favorite spreadsheet application
Compile & review your feed data
Compile your feed often to review your setup and to ensure your mapping, filters, categories and rules correct
Fix validation errors using mapping, categories or rules
Check your feed's validation status for any validation warnings/errors or channel processing report errors (at least once a week for maintenance)
Understanding field abbreviations: [P].[ProductFields] vs. [F].[FeedFields]
You will see field abbreviations when mapping and building rules for your data feed. Below are the definitions of the field abbreviations:
[P] is for product fields - data fields populated from your imported product data, including the primary source and any merge files
[F] is for feed fields - data fields populated from the given feed mapping
Feed process steps
Whether you manually trigger a feed or it is triggered by the scheduled hour, the feed process will go through steps to map, filter, categorize, customize and validate your data from your sources to feed files. Then, the files are ready to be fetched by the channel or submitted to a channel via FTP or API.
- Process is triggered by manually selecting "compile" or "submit" in the app or by a scheduled import
- Mapping data into the template from imported product fields or static values
- (Optional) Filters & manual exclusion/inclusions remove/include SKU rows from the feed
- (Optional) Category mappings and rules apply channel taxonomy values
- (Optional) Custom rules modify and update data according to their execution sequence
- Validation analyzes product data for missing required fields, invalid format, recommended fields and any optimization
- Feed preview and validation files are written as CSV files, as well as any channel specific files like XML
- (Optional) At this point, the feed file is ready to be fetched/pulled via URL
- (Optional) Finally, when submitting the feed manually or on schedule, the system sends the feed files to the destination channel using the submission parameters
Triggering a feed either manually or on a schedule
Feeds are triggered either from the front-end of the app by clicking on buttons in the UI or by scheduled imports/submissions.
- Compiling the feed builds the output files, as well as the feed preview and validation.
- Submitting the feed both builds the output file and then sends it to the channel.
When a channel fetches the feed from the provided URL, then our system provides the last compiled feed file. Each new import will compile any feed template that has been pulled recently to prepare the feed to be pulled thereafter.
"Compile" vs. "Submit" vs. "Pull/Fetch"
Before we continue, allow us to define some terms so you may better understand different steps better.
|Product Import||Product data is first downloaded in the cloud from your source(s), then parsed and imported into our internal database for use in one or more of your feed templates. Product imports can be manually triggered, but are most often ran nightly or on a daily schedule of your choosing.|
|Product Download||When you download the imported product data from our system to your own computer, we will provide a zipped file containing all of the desired products and columns so you can review the data in a program like Microsoft Excel or Notepad++.|
|Feed Compilation||Compiling a feed runs all steps from mapping, filters, categories, custom rules, validation, and so on to produce the feed files which are kept in a feed folder along with a CSV formatted preview and validation list file. Feed compilations can be manually triggered, but are most often ran after an import completes before being submitted or pulled.|
|Feed Download||Similar to the feed download, when you download the feed folder from our system to your own computer, we will provide a zipped folder containing a preview and validation list as well as the output file(s) for the channel so you can review the data in a program like Microsoft Excel or Notepad++.|
|Feed Submission||Submitting the feed send the output file(s) to the channel using the feed settings. Feeds which are scheduled to submit on a particular hour are first queued as "submission pending import". Once the import completes, the feed compiles and then submits to the channel. API feeds will then attempt to retrieve a processing report from the channel to get the results of the feed submission.|
|Feed Pull||After every import, our system will check for feeds that have been pulled in the last 30 days and will compile those feeds so they are ready to be pulled. Feeds can be pulled by a channel from a provided URL found in the feed settings. You will want to coordinate your import schedule to allow enough time to import and compile your feeds before the channel pulls or fetches the feed.|
Setting up your feed
Once you have added the desired channel template to your store, you will need to turn it into a feed. You will need to map your product data, choose which products to send to the channel, categorize your products according to the channel's taxonomy, and then configure to when and where the feed will submit.
The system will automatically map system fields to required fields. By default, fields like Sku, Price, URL, ImageURL, Brand, Description and Title, will be populated from the source data. You can add or remove these default field mappings.
Then, you can map more of your product data by mapping a source field or static value.
There are three ways products can be excluded from a feed:
- Filter rules
- Manual exclusions
- Validation errors
Using Filters to exclude groups of products
Filter rules allow you to exclude many products based on data values or empty fields. In this example, a filter rule is created to exclude gift cards. Filters are inclusion rules which means you will need to write the conditions in a manner which correctly includes only products you want to include in the feed.
In the example below, the conditions are created to only include products which page_title does not contain "gift card" and Category does not equal to "Gift Card". If you want to create the same rule, then your conditions will be different depending on your product data.
Notes about feed filters
- An unfiltered feed includes all products from your product catalog unless you manually exclude them on the product validation page
When we compile your feed, each rule is executed and products that do not meet the rule conditions are removed from the feed
You can manually exclude or include individual skus that are affected by filters using the options in the table on the Products page
You may also filter products at the product catalog import level using import filters (requires Ultimate plan)
Each channel categorizes products differently. Most channels require you to send your products pre-categorized to their taxonomy, like Google Shopping. However, there are a few channels that do not require categories in the feed like Walmart.
We've loaded channel categories into each feed template. There are two ways to categorize products in your feed: mapping and rules.
1. Category Mapping
Category mapping makes categorizing products fast and easy. Type to find channel categories for each of you unique categories.
You can also use the Suggest feature to find suggested matches. We look at your imported categories from your store and suggest matching categories from the channel. Most categories will yield suggested matches, but some categories will return 'No Matches Found.' For these unmatched categories, you will need to create category rules.
2. Category Rules
The Category Rules section allows you to override category mapping using rule conditions.
If you map your category "Diamond Rings > Wedding Gifts > Gifts Above $500" to Google's category "Apparel & Accessories > Jewelry > Rings", maybe there are some products that are not correctly categorized on your store.
You can create a rule that says, categorize products into "Apparel & Accessories > Jewelry > Rings" if the product title or product type from your store data contains "rings".
Rules allow you to apply logic to your product data to update or modify field attributes, add third-party tracking, replace text in your data, calculate number values and generally improve product listing quality.
Creating a feed rule
- In the desired Feed, go to Rules
- Click the plus button
- Name your rule
- Under SET, select the feed field you want to change
- Under TO, enter the desired value for your selected field by either typing it or choosing from either your imported Product [P] data or Feed [F] data from the drop-down menu
- Choose whether to apply the rule to "All products" or "Some products"
- If you want to apply a rule to only some products, then write the conditions for the rule
Feed rule functions
Concatenation allows you to join fields or values together, like you would using a Excel function.
Append fields and static values to optimize titles or other feed fields
For example, you could join your brands and titles or you could append colors to the end of your titles or units of measure to shipping dimensions.
- Brand + Title = "TREK Basketball Shoes"
- Title + " - " Color = "Boys shirt - Blue"
- Shipping length + " in" = "3.5 in"
See also, Concatenate values.
Text Replacement rules allow you to replace or remove text in your feed data with a custom rule. Here are some examples of how you can use replace text functions.
Remove "Free Shipping" language
Fix duplicate values
Remove values completely
To remove a value completely, you can leave the Replace value field empty and the system will remove any references to your Replace value from that custom rule's feed field data.
See more at our article: Text replacement
Number Function rules allow you to modify numeric fields in your feed data with a custom rule.
For example, follow the formula below to add 50% to your prices:
This is how your custom rule would look in our app.
See more at our article: Calculator function
Append UTM parameters to URLS
Use concatenation to append UTM tracking parameters to product URLS.
Use Google's Campaign builder tool to brainstorm your parameters. Then, use dynamic product data or static values to build your rule.
Example custom rule using concatenation to append UTM parameters to dynamic urls.
Learn more by reading our article: Concatenate UTM parameters to product URLs
Make similar rule conditions faster by duplicating the condition and changing the one or two values that are different rather than writing the entire condition repeatedly each time. For example, we want to write the rule condition "where title contains 'red' or title contains 'blue' or title contains 'green'". Now, we can duplicate the first condition row and only change the value from red to blue and green instead of writing the entire condition row.
These are settings to modify the feed template, feed file and processing reports. These settings are locked for
common feed templates which are used by all stores in the app. If you want to customize any of the template settings or add/remove any feed fields or validation rules, then you must first clone the common feed.
Custom feed templates allow you to modify these settings because the custom feed is only available to your store or account.
Submit your feed to the channel by completing the submission parameters. This may require FTP, API, or other details from the channel. Please refer to our channel specific articles for more information. Otherwise, you can also configure the feed file settings, email alerts, submission schedule, or generate a feed pull url.
Some important actions to complete on this page include:
- Name your file using the text box on the left, if needed
- Add your email address to be informed when the feed succeeds and/or fails to submit
- Complete the channel specific submission parameters
- Add a submission time for when you want us to submit the feed (this means import your source data, compile the feed, and submit the feed to the channel)
- Generate a feed pull URL to provide in your channel's settings (i.e. Facebook)
Here are some examples of publishing your feed to different channels:
- Submitting a feed to Google Merchant Center
- Publishing a feed to Facebook
- Connecting your Facebook catalog to Instagram
- Publishing a feed to Pinterest
- Publishing a feed to Pepperjam
- Submitting a feed to Bing Shopping
- Connecting Amazon: Authorize a Developer
- Connecting Walmart: Delegated Access for Solution Providers
- Connecting eBay: granting application access
- Submitting a feed to Pricefalls
- Submitting a feed to American Outlets
- Submitting a feed to ShareASale
- Submitting a feed to Connexity
- Connecting Newegg: API Access Authorization