Today is all about Datafeeds! “Woot, Woot!”
I will be pointing out a few common mistakes (“Oops”) we see when processing files that will cause a datafeed upload to fail.
Many product based Merchants create a datafeed to be competitive and give their Affiliates the tools to further promote their site.
Let’s break this down to a few parts,
What is a datafeeed?
A datafeed is a .csv file containing information about products. In the spreadsheet, each row represents a specific product and each column represents characteristics of that product.
How do Affiliates use a datafeed?
In addition to the banners, text links, or other promotional tools that a Merchant may upload, many Affiliates use datafeeds to include information about specific products on their site which links directly to the Merchant’s site. The ability to market individual products helps the Affiliate get creative and further promote a specific program. If you have ever visited a price comparison website, for example, you have witnessed datafeeds in action. We highly recommend all of our product based Merchants add a datafeed to their account.
Now the fun begins…
How do I create my datafeed?
Specifications for creating a file can be found in the Merchant interface. Click on the “Datafeed” icon under the My Creatives menu tab. Once in the Product Management Center look for the link that reads:
“Click here to learn about the specifications for creating a datafeed file.”
You may need to connect with the website tech contact to export the product inventory.
Now for some common datafeed “Oops” details to be aware of when creating your datafeed.
1. All columns must be included in the specified order, meaning do not skip or omit any columns.
2. When a column says a Null value is allowed – Yes, the column must still be included but that column data value can be left blank and treated as a blank space.
3. When a column says Null value not allowed – This is a mandatory field that requires a data value and must be populated. (Cross section example below)
4. Verify the datafeed is in a .csv format and Zip the file before you upload.
5. Two columns that are often left blank that are required are the Category and Subcategory (column 9 & 10). Each column requires one Integer value that must correspond to the those listed at the bottom of the ShareASale datafeed specifications page. Select the number next to the the Category and Subcategory descriptions. These column data values are often inadvertently left blank in the initial upload resulting in a rejected datafeed upload.
6. SKU’s in column 1 must be unique – duplicates are removed.
7. Always send us the complete updated datafeed, each datafeed file upload will overwrite the previous.
The ShareASale tech support team is here to help! So in the event that a datafeed has errors, we are happy to assist in helping the Merchant correct the file and prevent future “Oops”.