London, UK, 22 February 2012 â€“ FusePump, the e-commerce marketing experts, have created a brand new set of Product Data Feed best practice guides for the Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC). The guides were written by FusePump to provide an updated general guide to feeds, plus sector-specific documents for Retail, Travel and Mobile affiliate marketers. They are free to download and are aimed primarily at advertisers to help them understand the importance of feeds and product attributes. There is also a paper entitled â€˜Why do I need a product feed?â€™ for the un-initiated. The guides are also useful for publishers and networks needing to consider factors such as database design and advertiser selection, as well as deciding to what extent their business models rely on product feeds.
A product feed is a data file (usually XML) containing information about the products listed on an e-commerce company website, including pricing, attributes and availability. They enable simple distribution of this information into online marketing channels and applications, with common examples being comparison websites, dynamic content advertising applications – such as banners and widgets, rich retargeted emails and dynamic keyword and copy generation for pay-per-click (PPC) affiliates.
â€œOne of the recurring bugbears of many affiliates is the quality â€“ or lack of quality â€“ of advertisersâ€™ product feeds,â€� comments Kevin Edwards, Best Practice Committee Lead and former Chair, AMC. â€œThese guides provide essential reading for affiliate marketers and will help anyone involved with producing and formatting product feeds to understand what uses they have. Affiliate marketing has seen rapid and substantial development since we launched the first Product Feed guide in 2010 and FusePump continues to bring clarity to the channel in terms of how to build, integrate and manage product feeds to make the process much easier and more profitable.â€�
Affiliates in the UK drove an estimated Â£5 billion in e-commerce revenue last year according to Econsultancy and A4U, while the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) valued the total online advertising market at Â£2.26bn in the first half of 2011. As technology continues to influence consumer buying habits, merchants and affiliates are finding new ways to drive online sales and revenue, with affiliates increasingly blending SEO and content marketing, price comparison and social media, with mobile being another sector tipped for major growth in 2012.
â€œIt is essential that e-commerce merchants make it as easy as possible for affiliates to access and select the product data they need. This way they will realise the full commercial potential of data feeds,â€� says Barney Larkin, Marketing Manager at FusePump. â€œThe guides we have written for the AMC look at the associated benefits and answer some basic questions around product feeds, as well as providing specific guidance on file structure and attributes in the Retail, Travel and Mobile sectors. The incremental sales and revenue derived from the use of feeds clearly relates to the extent advertisers can get their products distributed and integrated. Adopting a professional approach to managing product feeds maximises the number of marketing channels