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Data Feed Source File Specification

Sarah Bacchus
Sarah Bacchus
  • Updated

This document describes the baseline source file format and field requirements for most advertising and selling channels. We pick up your tab- or comma-delimited product source file (.txt or .csv) via FTP or HTTP from your servers or ours. We can also import XML files generated according to either Google's XML specification or the MyDataFeed’s XML schema.


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Using a Current Shopping Feed as Your Source File

If you already have an existing feed file, such as Google Shopping product feed, then you can most likely use it as your source file. You will simply need to host the file at an HTTP link or upload it to FTP.


NOTE: Once you import your source file, DO NOT change the file name and format. You may add new fields/columns to your source file (up to 219 fields/columns in total), but you should not rename or remove existing fields unless they are not being used in any of your feeds. Renaming or removing an existing field that is being used in your feeds can cause listings to be removed from your advertising/selling channels.


Sample source files 


Comma/Tab delimited file format 

  • Source files must be provided in a UTF-8 encoded format
  • The first row must contain the field/column names separated by tabs or commas
  • Each product/SKU must be on a separate row/line within the file

You must make sure that no line-breaks are contained within the field content, only between products/SKUs. Line-breaks within product content may cause the product line/row to be parsed incorrectly and fail to import.


XML file format 

You can also import XML files generated according to Google's XML or GoDataFeed's XML schema. See below for more information about our own XML schema.


Required/Suggested Fields 

Below are the required and suggested fields/columns for creating your source file. These fields represent the most common product fields found across the most popular shopping sites. You may add more fields to your source file as needed, however our system can only import 219 fields. Please note, our sample files contain more example fields than are listed below.


NOTE: Field names do not have to be named the same as listed below.


Field Name Description Value
Unique ID

The value that uniquely identifies the product in the merchant’s system, such as product SKUs

No duplicates


The product name

Between 15 – 150 total characters, usually Brand Adjective Adjective Noun, use appropriate keywords

Description The product long description
Up to 5,000 total characters, include relevant keywords
Price The product price
Two decimal point format without $ sign preferred
Merchant Category

The category the product belongs to in the merchant’s internal system

Do not name it non-category names like: On Sale, Misc., Accessories, New Arrivals - be specific such as: Women’s Shoes > Sandals or Ergonomic Office Chairs


The URL to the product details page on your site

Must begin with http:// or https:// and contain same domain name

Image URL

L The URL to a photo of the product

Must begin with http:// or https:// and end with .jpg, .tif, .png or .gif

Manufacturer The manufacturer name of the product Required
Manufacturer Part Number Product part number from the Manufacturer Required
Brand The brand name of the product Required

Brief, relevant keywords or search terms for the product separated by commas

Up to 10 keywords

Shipping Price

The shipping price of the product

Generally shown is lowest price for ground shipping

Quantity The quantity of products in stock Suggested
Weight The shipping weight of the product Suggested

The condition of the product

New, Used, Refurbished, etc


The UPC of the product

Must be 12-14 digits

Sale Price The marked-down sale price of the product Suggested
Parent ID The value that uniquely identifies the parent product of child variations in the merchant's system, such as product SKUs. No duplicates Suggested

The value parent or child or empty/null to signify if the SKU represents a child or parent in a variation family, or a standalone product.

parent, child or empty/null



MyDataFeeds XML file format 

The MyDataFeeds XML file format is ideal for platform integrations, although it can be used for a single store import. It is also the preferred format for large product set imports for stores with tens of thousands of SKUs, since it has a built-in paging mechanism to make the import process more efficient.

There are three XML node sections to this file’s schema, Fields, Products and Paging; each is discussed below.


Fields node

The Fields node section lets our system know what product attributes to expect for your import. This node contains multiple child Field nodes (up to 219), each representing a product attribute to be imported from your system. Each Field node must contain a name attribute that contains the field name as a value.



Example Fields Node


Products node

The Products node section lets our system know what product attributes to expect for your import. This node contains multiple child Product nodes, each representing a product in your system. Each Product node must contain child nodes named according to the Fields node section, all fields from the Fields node section must be present in each Product node and the content within each product field node must be contained in <![CDATA[ ]]>  to avoid parsing errors caused by HTML tags within the content.



Example Products Node


Paging node (optional section)

The Paging node section allows our system to relay paging calls to your system, providing an efficient mechanism for large product set imports and eliminating server timeouts on large XML files.


The Paging node contains three child nodes

  • Start – This is the starting index of the first product to be returned
  • Count - The number of products to return
  • Total – The total products to be returned for this import

You must populate each of these nodes as calls are made to your system.



Example Paging Node


Our system will make calls to your system via HTTP and will pass query string parameters that indicate which product page to return.


The HTTP call will be similar to the following:


To retrieve the second page of a 1000 products file the call will be similar to the following:




If you have over 25,000 items, the ideal way to import is by FTP, keeping in mind that:

• CSV (comma delimited) or TXT (tab delimited) is better over XML

• Select our FTP location for improved connectivity

• ZIP the Source File for a faster upload time 4

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