Product feeds overview

Product feeds are a type of content feed that allows an e-commerce site to transfer its catalog to comparison shopping engines, marketplaces, and affiliate platforms. It can also be used in Litmus Personalize to power product automation and personalization.

Product feeds are used by marketing channels, for example, Google, Amazon, and Facebook shopping to take merchant product data for the purpose of displaying product listings.

Here is an example of products powered by a product feed on Google Shopping:

google shopping results window showing various dresses for sale

Feeds are essentially a catalogue containing every product a brand has and provide all the information about each individual product. A product feed typically contains a product image, title, product identifier, marketing copy, and product attributes. 

While product feeds differ in content and structure, the feed should deliver high-quality, accurate and up-to-date information to shopping channels so that shoppers can make a buying decision. A product feed should always reflect any and all data changes in store and in the inventory. 

Feeds contain at least the following information and often more: 

  • hosted image link 
  • product page URL 
  • product name 
  • product description 
  • price (was / now / sale) 
  • information on availability (stock level) 
  • date product added to the feed 
  • product category 
  • product type 
  • product color 
  • custom labels e.g. bestseller / sale / new / included in offer

csv file showing typical product feed contents with field columns for each data piece

Product feeds are typically exploded, meaning that instead of containing one version of each product, the feed contains an individual listing for each size of the product. Instead of having dress 1 and 10 in stock, the product will show dress 1 in separate sizes and the stock level information for each size.

To ensure that the information presented is accurate and up-to-date with your real inventory, updates or adjustments to your product feed are periodically required. Updates are needed as frequently as possible with the most common frequency of every 4 hours. However, in some instances, feeds update hourly or even daily. 

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