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Custom Data Feeds

How to download all items (filtered and unfiltered) in a feed
  1. Go to Manage Feed > Advanced Settings
  2. Change the Product Filters setting to Include products matching the filters. (If it is already set to that, change it to Exclude products matching the filters instead.)
  3. Go to Manage Feed > Product Filters
  4. Add a temporary filter that matches all the items, like id does not equal 'xyz'.
  5. Go to Manage Feed
  6. Click the Refresh button.
  7. Return to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File when the task completes.
  8. Click the Download button.
  9. After downloading the file, be sure to change the Product Filters setting back to its original value, and remove the temporary filter.
How to configure filters to exclude or include products

There are many ways to exclude or include products from your data feed.

Product Filters

Product filters are analogous to email filters, and allow you to exclude items from the data feed. Your feed can also be configured to include only the items matching the filters. You can set up filters from the "Manage Feed > Product Filters" page.

You can add a filter on any field For example, you can add a filter to exclude items where 'price' < 1.00, 'title' contains "gift certificate", or 'qty' = 0.

Individual Items

To filter out an individual item, first find the item using "Product Search" or by sorting the "Product List". Then, from the "Product Detail" page, click the Exclude or Include icon. Click the Help icon there for more information.

Using your Store's Catalog

Rather than configuring filters in our system, it may be more convenient for you to control which items are excluded and included directly from your store catalog. To set that up, follow these steps:

  1. Add a custom field to your store catalog, like 'exclude-from-nextag' with values 'y' and 'n'.
  2. Add a catalog field to your feed for this custom field from the "Manage Feed > Define Fields" page, and mark it disabled.
  3. Create a filter like 'exclude-from-nextag = "y"'.

Use the Manage Feed > Analyze Source Data tool to see the values in the raw data for your boolean field. Use those values to set up the filters accordingly. For example, a 'false' may be represented by a blank value, and 'true' may be represented by a 't'.

Viewing Filtered and Unfiltered Items

After making your changes, look in the "Product List" to review the filtered and unfiltered items. Filtered items will appear with strike-through. Then, run a Submit task from "Submit a Task" to send your updated feed to its destination.

Although we do not recommend this, you can also manually remove items. Download your data feed file from the "Data Feed File" page, remove the items using a spreadsheet program, and then upload it manually. This is not recommended because you would have to repeat the manual clean-up every time.

How to download a list of filtered items
  1. Go to Manage Feed > Advanced Settings
  2. Change the Product Filters setting to Include products matching the filters. (If it is already set to that, change it to Exclude products matching the filters instead.)
  3. Go to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File
  4. Click the Refresh button.
  5. Return to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File when the task completes.
  6. Click the Download button.
  7. After downloading the file, be sure to change the Product Filters setting back to its original value.
How do I exclude duplicate products existing in multiple stores?

If you have multiple stores, you may have some items that exist in multiple stores with the same product ID. Google Shopping disallows duplicate listings; in other words, they do not allow you to submit the same product more than once.

The duplicate exclusion feature allows you to set a priority for each store. Products existing in multiple stores will only be submitted in the store with highest priority. This ensures that your feeds only submit each product once.

To use this feature, simply assign a priority to each of your data feeds from the Advanced Settings → Duplicate Priority page.

How do I hide, disable, or suppress fields from my data feed?

Follow the instructions below to prevent a field from being written out to the data feed file.

  • Go to Manage > Define Fields for your feed.
  • Click Edit for the field you want to hide.
  • Uncheck the box labeled Enabled and click Update.
  • Run another Refresh or Submit task to update your products.

You can still apply filters to disabled fields. Also, the field will still display in the product list on our site, but will be faded out.

Use Case 1

The Standard data feed templates contain fields that, in certain circumstances, you may not wish to submit to the search engine. For example, you may want to suppress optional attributes (those beginning with 'c:') from the Google feed.

The above attributes are generated and submitted as custom attributes for the purposes of keyword optimization. You may prefer to disable them if you do not want those keywords as part of your data feed, or they contain prohibited words that are causing the listings to be rejected.

Use Case 2

Suppose you have a custom field in your store such as "cpc-submit". You set it to 'Yes' when you feel the product will provide a return on investment in a CPC-based shopping engine.

In this scenario, you can add a filter to exclude the products by this field, but leave the field disabled so that it is not submitted in the data feed. Now, directly from your store catalog, you have fine-grained control over the products being submitted.

HeidiSQL Setup and Usage Instructions for Custom Feeds

If you have been provided with a MySQL database for your data feeds, please use the instructions below to get started.

First, download and install the freeware HeidiSQL software from the HeidiSQL Downloads page. Select the latest HeidiSQL Installer.

In order to set up your database connection, follow these steps.

  1. Run HeidiSQL
  2. Click the New button in the Session Manager.
  3. Enter the following on the Settings tab of the New Connection Dialog:
    • Session name: mysql.atensoftware.com
    • Network type: MySQL (TCP/IP)
    • Hostname: mysql.atensoftware.com
    • User: provided by us
    • Password: provided by us
    • Port: 3306
    • Check the Compressed client/server protocol box.
    • Leave all other settings at defaults.
  4. Click Open to connect to the database.

Conventions

Tables whose names start with edit_ are tables where you can enter information for your feed.

The fields that start with an underscore are system fields that should not be edited, and may be updated automatically.

You can edit data in any of the fields that do not start with an underscore.

Data in the edit_ tables is generally refreshed and/or incorporated into your feed each time your data feed is refreshed or submitted from our site.

Please contact us for the specifics of your setup.

Tips

Click the Data tab after selecting a table to see a spreadsheet-like view of the data. There are several buttons in the upper-right corner of the data area that will make your life much easier.

By default, only the first 1,000 records are displayed. Use the Next and Show all buttons to display more records.

Click the Columns button to show/hide columns. This is especially handy if there are many columns and you need to focus on just a few.

You can click the column headings to sort by a column. Click the Sorting button to fine-tune the sort order.

Click the Filter button to filter the data. Here are some common SQL expressions you can use - remember to use the field names specific to your table.

_code = 'abc123'
Find a record with a specific code.
_title LIKE 'abc%'
Find records with title's that start with abc.
_description LIKE '%free%'
Find records where the description contains the text free.
_price < 20
Find records where price is less then 20.

For more information on the features of HeidiSQL, check out the HeidiSQL screen shots.

Hand-picking most profitable items for inclusion in PPC sites

You can use the strategy below to optimize your pay-per-click campaigns.

If you prefer to control the items from your store catalog without having to log into our site, please see the Using your Store's Catalog section in our article on configuring filters.

Set the Filtering Mode

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Advanced Settings.
  2. Set the Product Filters to Include Products Matching the Filters.
  3. Click Update to save the settings.

Include Groups of Items

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Product Filters
  2. Add filters for groups of items you want included in the feed. Examples:
    • product_type contains "best sellers"
    • price greater than 100 (use the number data type)
    • title starts with "Armani"
    • brand equals "Coach"

Include Specific Items

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Search by Keyword.
  2. Type in a portion of the product ID or title, and click the item listing to see the Product Details.
  3. On the Product Details page, click the green plus icon to mark the product for inclusion.
  4. Repeat for each item.

Review the Results

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Product List.
  2. In the Filtering State (Items) drop-down box, select Unfiltered Only to see the items that will be submitted.
  3. Select Filtered Only to see the excluded items.
Can I downgrade a Custom feed to a Standard feed?

It is not possible to directly downgrade Custom feeds due to the possible customizations they may have. However, you can simply add a new, Standard feed for that store and shopping engine. Configure this new feed based on the Standard feed. Once you are done, you can delete the Custom feed.

Automatically Removing Duplicate SKUs from your Product Catalog

Some store platforms, allow you to enter the same SKU for multiple items. This causes problems in the feeds because the shopping engines do not allow you to submit multiple product listings with the same identifier.

If our system detects duplicate SKUs in your catalog, it will show you an error message with the SKUs that are duplicated. You will also receive an email with the error message.

The best solution is to edit your product catalog and remove the duplicate SKUs manually. If that is not possible, we have several options for automatically removing the duplicate SKUs, as listed below:

  • 'error' mode - the feeds show an error and sends you an email if duplicate SKUs are detected
  • 'kill' mode - delete duplicate SKUs entirely (you will not see duplicate SKU errors anymore, but those SKUs will be completely gone)
  • 'safe' mode - reduce duplicate SKUs to one SKU only if the all the other product data is identical (you may still get duplicate SKU errors if for some reason the product data is not identical)
  • 'sort' mode - reduce duplicate SKUs to one SKU by applying a sort and picking the first record (you won't see duplicate SKU errors anymore) You need to specify the fields to sort by.

The 'error' mode is the default mode for almost all the feeds. Please contact us if you would like us to configure a specific mode for your feed.

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