Datafeeds are both valuable files and processes for transferring product information from one system to another in a predetermined form for e-commerce merchants and their affiliate partners. There is no more powerful method for retailers to distribute all of their product data across multiple channels, and no faster solution for affiliates to import that data onto their own websites or applications.
But they can also be complicated to use, cumbersome to manage and they require a certain level of technical expertise. The SEO benefits of highly integrated datafeeds can also be lost without the proper know-how, and merchants and affiliates who do not proceed with care risk not being properly attributed and, in some cases, even alienting their users.
There are, however, a number of third-party datafeed aggregators that aim to simplify the process. Below, then, are some of today's solution providers in the affiliate datafeed space:
Regarded as the most popular affiliate feed aggregator with more than 60 million products and deals in its database, PopShops is a free tool for merchants and offers some additional premium services for affiliates on top of its basic no-cost package. SEO features include server-side snippets of PHP that will render product names, descriptions and other content to users and the search engines at the most basic level, and the premium plans include keyword customization, dynamic search, custom redirects, profiles and stylesheets.
The second-leading provider in the space, GoldenCAN has SEO benefits that include a strong internal linking structure that can
dramatically influence search rankings, as well as options for optimized
code and content. Their fee structure leaves something to be desired for some affiliates, however, with two categories of merchants. The first group is the Free of 4th Click Merchants, in which affiliates pay no share of their traffic and receive 100 percent of the commissions from the merchants in that category. Affiliates share 25 percent of their traffic with GoldenCAN for the second merchant group, and for every 4th click generated GoldenCAN replaces the affiliate site ID with its own and subsequently gets that commission should the 4th click convert into a sale, order or lead.
After PopShops and GoldenCAN, the space drops off considerably, but more than 2,500 affiliates use FeedShare’s 89 available datafeeds that currently include about 1.5 million products. Merchants using the FeedShare solution include Overstock.com, and 93 percent of them continue to use the service after the free 30-day trial. The service is completely free for affiliates with no charges or percentages of commissions given to FeedShare.
This is a WordPress plugin that has become a very popular method for users to create and embed their own affiliate shops into their WordPress blogs. Datafeedr makes the store creation as easy as possible and to date has aggregated more than 104 million products from 16 affiliate networks. WordPress users can search the products by keyword or niche and promote as many products from as many merchants and networks as they want. Pricing runs from $27 per month for one store with unlimited product updates to $97 per month for unlimited stores and higher-level SEO features.