Optimising your product feed for Black Friday

By November 15, 2019 No Comments

Every retailer would love a Google Merchant Centre with 19,000 products approved!

E-commerce used to be so straightforward. Put your products online, people find them through Google Search, and they buy them.

Fast-forward to 2019, and the ecommerce landscape is complex and sprawling. With dozens of marketplaces for any given product or vertical – eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon, AliExpress, Bing, Alexa and multiple discovery options – be it Facebook Ads, Google remarketing, email marketing, or good old Google Search, the number of options for customers to find your products has grown quickly.

All of these marketplaces thrive on having as many data points about your products as they can. At the core of how they do this is through your product feed. Without this, Google, Amazon, or eBay know very little about your product other than what they can see on your website pages and, in a world of data, it just isn’t enough. Your product feed needs to be packed with all of the data that online marketplaces require.

Here’s five tips to make sure that when it comes to the busy retail period over Friday 29 November – Monday 2 December, your product feed is giving you the best chance possible:

Check your feed is up and running!

Is your feed up to date? Is it still published? Do you even know that your site has a shopping feed?

At a basic level, a product feed is a list of your products which contains their attributes such as price, description, delivery costs, etc. Different marketplaces use your feed to better understand your store’s inventory.

But there’s a lot more to your product feed than just having a list of products. In a data-driven world, the more information you can feed the search engines and marketplaces, the better they can understand your products and the more likely they are to show them to your potential customers. So, how is your product feed looking?

Are your titles unique?

If you’re a multiple-SKU retailer, you’ll be missing out on marketplace searches if your product titles all look the same. A common example of this is clothing products which come in a range of colours, but the titles look like this:

  • Midi Dress in Satin
  • Midi Dress in Satin
  • Midi Dress in Satin

These would work so much better as:

  • Brand Name Festival Black Midi Dress Satin Size 10 
  • Brand Name Festival Red Midi Dress Satin Size 12 
  • Brand Name Festival Navy Blue Midi Dress Size 10

While some ecommerce platforms offer this ‘out of the box’, many do not. Check your product feed and look for duplicate titles – online marketplaces may struggle to tell the difference between these products. When it comes to Black Friday and other busy periods in your retail calendar, you need to give yourself the best chance possible.

Are your key product details complete?

Users searching for ‘black skinny jeans size 12’ won’t find your products in Google Shopping if your products are not fully tagged with colour, size, and a quality description. Review all your products and ensure that the fields which matter most to search engines, and to the end customer are complete and simple to understand. If this is a TV, it might be the size, or the resolution. A dress might be size, material, and colour. A watch might be case size, gender, and serial number. The key here is, know your industry, how your customers discover products and make sure your products correspond.

Can Google read your shipping dates and last postage dates?

With everyone scrambling to get quick, affordable postage, don’t forget about the last step in the purchase. Ensure your products have up-to-date shipping options, and dates for last delivery. Not only will these make your products stand out to those looking for a last minute bargain, but it’ll also set you in good stead for Christmas searches, especially those looking for last-minute gifts with expedited postage.

Whether done through Google Merchant Centre, or directly in your own product feed, this information is critical to ecommerce success.

Get an expert to review your feed for free

Not sure where to start, or does the above just sound like a lot of resource that you just don’t have? If your ecommerce team is already stretched over Black Friday & Cyber Monday, then get in touch with our shopping feed optimisation experts to get a free audit of your feed.

We’ll look at the current status of your feed and can either provide recommendations on improvement, or fully manage your product feed.

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Jeff is Head of Search at Be Found Be Chosen and helps our customers get the most from their digital marketing and their websites. He's our resident food blogger, and will one day be brewing the best beer in the world. One day...

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