For Merchants who are keen to offer their Affiliates as much effective advertising material as possible for promoting your products and services, the provision of a product datafeed should be a high priority. This will allow your Affiliates to display your products on their websites to potential buying customers with relative ease and this typically and significantly increases your sales results. But what is a datafeed and how do you go about setting one up with clixGalore? This tutorial will take you through everything you should know about these questions.
What is a datefeed? A datafeed is simply a file that contains all the relevant information about your individual products such as their name, price, product purchase page URL, product image URL, description, category etc. A datafeed is provided in .csv or XML format which can be easily manipulated by using MS Excel and Notepad. If you already have your own formatted XML or CSV datafeed file and wish to use it, you will need to setup your XML/CSV file definition before you upload it to your Affiliate program.
Why is that important? Affiliate can take datafeeds and manipulate them to be used on their websites in any way they want to. That means that they can display every product item, or every category or every price range etc. in any manner they wish to on their own websites. The options are limitless for Affiliates and therefore many are very interested in promoting Merchants who offer datafeeds. Once you have provided a datafeed you may wish to consider automatically updating the product datafeed used in your clixGalore Merchant account using the 'schedule product auto upload' feature. It is recommended that you use this feature to keep your product datafeed fresh as some Affiliates will only use datafeeds that are refreshed monthly. For more information regarding scheduling an automatic update please refer to this article.
How do you make a datafeed? There are basically two options here. You can either type out a datafeed manually - this is fine if you only have a few products. You just need to type out the following 18 product information fields all separated by a | character. If you need to use this option then you will probably be better off using the clixGalore functionality that allows you to easily add individual products. Just login to your account and go to "Promotional Tools" > "Product Catalog Marketing / Upload Product Datafeed." There is a table on the next page called "Add Individual Product" where you can add all of the fields for each product you wish to offer in a datafeed.
You can Insert Products Indidually.
The fields are:
Product Name/Title (Max 70 Chars) REQUIRED
Product Currency e.g. US$ REQUIRED
Product Price (Max 15 chars) e.g. 10.99 REQUIRED
Product Recommended Retail Price (Max 15 chars) e.g. 10.99
Product Sale Price (Max 15 chars) e.g. 10.99
Product Delivery Cost (Max 15 Chars) e.g. 10.99
Product Brand Name (Max 50 Chars) RECOMMENDED
Product Brief Description (Max 300 Chars)
Product Description (Max 2000 Chars) RECOMMENDED
Product URL (Max 500 Chars) REQUIRED
Product Image URL (Max 500 Chars) RECOMMENDED
Product Image Thumbnail URL (Max 500 Chars) Max size 125x125 pixels
Product Category (Max 500 Chars) RECOMMENDED
Season (Max 50 Chars)
Gender e.g. M/F or leave blank
Product Availability (in days)
Sizes Available (Max 50 Chars)
Colours Available (Max 50 Chars)
Please note your product information must conform to the following rules.
1. URL's may not used in the product description. This is to prevent direct links to a product circumventing the tracking links.
2. If a sale price is present it cannot be greater than the product price.
3. If a thumbnail image is present it cannot be larger than or identical to the product image.
4. Thumbnail images cannot exceed 125x125 pixels in size.
5. All price fields if entered must be numeric.
The second option is to export the data in your existing database to a .csv file. The instructions for doing this vary between each type of database, but in general it is very straight forward if you simply explore the options when browsing your database. (There is usually some option that says something along the lines of "Export to .csv file"). If you do it this way, then you will need to manipulate the data into the same order as the above fields using the | character to separate each field. If the field does not apply to your product then you should use two || to indicate an empty field.
Each line of your code will look something like this:
So how do I upload my .csv file? The next step is obviously to put your .csv file on clixGalore so your Affiliate can get access to it. This is pretty easy.
Just login to your account and go to "Promotional Tools" > "Catalog Marketing / Upload Product Datafeed." Look for the text box called "Product File" and use the "Browse" button to navigate to where you saved your .csv file. Then you will want to select "clixGalore" as the format in the drop down menu. Then press the "Upload" button.
Upload Your .csv File.
Congratulations! You now have a datafeed uploaded to clixGalore that your Affiliates will be able to use to drive sales to your site.
As you can see on that screen there are several other options for Merchants who use Froogle or OsCommerce. We will cover these in a seperate tutorial.