Jacques Van Der Wilt

Optimize Data Feeds for Holiday Season : Interview with Jacques van der Wilt

Shopping season is fast approaching, and according to eMarketer, consumers are expected to spend more than ever online as this year’s holiday season kicks into gear.

If you’re an online retailer, you understand that to meet the demand, you need to equip your ecommerce solution with proper data feed optimization to make sure people can easily see your up-to-date products when searching online.

We spoke with data feed expert, Jacques van der Wilt, CEO and founder of DataFeedWatch, who collaborated with us on an ebook about automated marketing solutions to improve your company’s campaign performance.

Q: How can your company’s data feed tool help merchants this holiday season?

DataFeedWatch is a data feed optimization tool for merchants. Datafeed optimization is not something that is very technical, but its something that needs to be done. Here’s how data feed configuration works.

If a merchant is selling 10 or 100 or 10,000 or 100,000 products and would like to list those products on Google Shopping or Bing Shopping or Nextegg or Shopzilla or other affiliate networks, in order to do that he has to send a file with all his product information to those channels.

Every channel has its own requirements, which are never exactly in sync with the terminology used in your own ecommerce store, so therefore data feed tools are used to convert your data to fit with the appropriate data feed file.

For example, every product has a title in your database. The title of a product may be “501,” but “501” is not a very good title, it’s not something you want appearing in search. With data feed tools, that incomplete title can be automatically updated to include other field, making the title to appear in the search ad “Levi’s 501 Jeans” followed by the color and the size.

The odds of actually converting and buying your product are much higher with optimized titles, including a detailed description, color and size. And that’s just a simple example of optimizing data feeds to improve the performance of your campaigns, and we can do this across all products for multiple campaigns.

Another way DataFeedWatch can help this holiday season is by analyzing your product feed and calling out under performers. For example, why advertise products that are less than 10$? Combining the cost of the unit with advertising costs, you may lose money every time you sell a product. In that case, we have options and rules to exclude less valuable products, and that will help merchants create the best feed for each channel.

Q: There’s a huge demand for a data feed product like this, can you talk about how you differ from your competitors?

We were managing campaigns on Google and it was driving us nuts to set up a campaign and modify the data feed every time; we had to call the customer and get them to call their web developer. It was a hassle, and all the tools out there were too complicated and expensive. So we built a little tool to help ourselves and it really worked. We added more functionality and soon we realized it would work for others too, so we turned it into our primary business.

There are other data feed tools out there but we’ve created a data feed tool that is very intuitive, easy to use, and cost effective. Most of our competitors charge two or three times more and are much more complicated.

Q: Besides the basic data feed optimization you described earlier, what tools do you have to help your clients optimize for their campaigns after the feeds are set up and running?

With data feed analytics we provide our clients with product level performance analysis, so you can see how many sales each product has, how much revenue was generated from that product, what it cost your company and more.

You can even create and add filters so that once you see performance in analytics, you can add and remove products that aren’t generating any income for your business. For example, if we see there’s a product with more than 100 clicks but no sales, you’re wasting your budget on that item and with one click it can be removed from your feed.

What we provide with data feed watch analytics is actionable insight at the product level and with only a few minutes a week per campaign, you can really beef up your ROI, which is really important with holiday season approaching.

If you want to learn more about DataFeedWatch, check out a detailed account of how it works and watch the full interview with Jacques below.

Learn more about data feed optimization from Jacques in our free ebook, Guide to the Best Automation Solutions:


Jillian Zacchia

Jillian Zacchia

Jill is a professional writer, editor and social media procrastinator. With a degree in Literature and Communications from McGill, she started her journalism career writing about lifestyle and entertainment for teen magazines, and after dabbling with wedding and travel writing she began the transition towards content creation for start ups, marketing and tech companies.

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