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Data Feed Files

What is a data feed file?

The data feed file is simply a text file containing your product data, in a format suitable for upload to a comparison shopping engine. A data feed file may also be referred to as a product feed, data feed, bulk upload, or file.

Where is my data feed file?

Our system automatically creates and uploads your data feed file by FTP. You never have to work with spreadsheets, or download/upload manually.

How do I download my data feed file?

You can easily download the entire data feed file generated by our system via a fixed HTTP URL. You are welcome to share the URL with third-parties.

You can create or refresh the file from your account anytime and as often as you wish. The file will be available for download for 30 days. Your latest store data will be retrieved (if necessary) before creating the file.

To download the file, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File
  2. Click the Download button

You can also view the file in your browser as plain text by clicking on the File URL link or clicking the View as Text button. If you click the View as HTML button, the file will open as web page in your web browser.

If the file does not exist, simply click the Create button to queue a task. When the task completes, click the Download Feed File link that appears.

How do I schedule my data feed file to be refreshed automatically?

This data feed file is regenerated automatically whenever your feed is submitted to a shopping engine. Therefore, no action needs to be taken. The URL of the file can be found on the "Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File" page.

Some shopping engines do not accept data feed files by FTP, or you may want to disable the FTP upload. In that case, you can configure your feed as follows:

  • Go to "Manage Feed > Advanced Settings".
  • Change the 'Upload by FTP' setting to 'No - Update data feed file only'.
  • Click 'Update' to save the settings.
Open tab-delimited TXT or CSV file in Excel or Open Office Calc

Use these "how to" instructions to open any delimited format text file as a spreadsheet. The instructions below are for tab-delimited files, but can be adapted for comma-separated or pipe-separated files easily by simply choosing the appropriate delimiter/separator.

Some feeds use comma as the 'delimiter' or 'separator'. You can find your feed's settings on the "Manage Feed > Advanced Settings" page.

Open Office Calc 3.3.0

  1. Start Open Office Calc
  2. Go to File > Open.
  3. In the Files of type: drop-down menu, choose Text CSV (*.csv; *.txt), which is in the section that begins with ODF Spreadsheet (*.ods)
  4. Select the file and click Open
  5. In the Text Import dialog, choose the following settings and click OK
    • Character set: Unicode (UTF-8)
    • Language: Default - English (USA)
    • From row: 1
    • Separator options: Separated by Tab
    • Text delimiter: " (double-quote)
    • Quoted field as text: checked
    • Detect special numbers: unchecked
  6. The settings above will be remembered by OpenOffice, so the next time you open the file, you can simply review the settings and click OK.

Excel 2002 SP3 and Excel 2007

Tip: Typical TXT and CSV files can be opened rapidly using this shortcut. Open Excel and close the blank workbook. Drag and drop the file onto the dark gray working area of Excel. Excel will automatically detect the format and load the spreadsheet instantly. If this doesn't work, use the full instructions below.

  1. Start Excel
  2. Excel 2003:
    1. Go to File > Open
    2. In the Files of type: drop-down menu, choose Text Files (*.prn; *.txt; *.csv)
    3. Select the file and click Open
  3. Excel 2007:
    1. Select the Data tab.
    2. In the Get External Data group, select From Text.
    3. Once the Import Text File dialog box appears, choose the file and click Open.
  4. In the Text Import Wizard - Step 1 of 3 dialog, choose the following settings and click Next
    • Original data type: Delimited
    • Start import at row: 1
    • File origin: 437 : OEM United States
    Note, in later versions of Excel, you may be able to choose UTF-8, which is the actual 'origin' or 'encoding' of the file.
  5. In the Text Import Wizard - Step 2 of 3 dialog, choose the following settings and click Next
    • Delimiters: Tab
    • Treat consecutive delimiters as one: checked
    • Text qualifier: " (double-quote)
  6. In the Text Import Wizard - Step 3 of 3 dialog, leave the settings as-is and click "Finish".

Row limits and field length limits

  • Starting with version 3.3, the OpenOffice Calc row limit is 1,048,576 rows. Prior versions were limited to 65,536 rows.
  • Excel 2002 is limited to 64K rows, but later versions of Excel support 1M rows.
  • Excel 2002 through 2010 have a field length limit of 32,767 characters. If you have a caption or other field that exceeds this length, the the extra data will flow to the next cells or rows, and the file will appear to be corrupt.
How do I view all the items with missing data in my feed?

To view all your items with missing or invalid values, simply download the data feed file from your account, open it in Excel, and then sort by the appropriate column.

Format of UPC Codes in Excel - Prevent Scientific Notation

This article describes how to prevent Excel from automatically converting a UPC code to scientific notation and corrupting your product catalog.

By default, when you enter a number over 12 digits in an Excel spreadsheet, it auto-corrects the number to scientific notation for brevity. For example, "879860004073" is converted to "8.7986E+11". When Excel exports the value to a CSV or Text file, it will export what you see, not the actual 12-digit value. This can wreak havoc on the UPC codes in your product database.

To prevent this, you must format the column as Text, and take some additional steps when opening a CSV file in Excel. Here are the instructions:

  1. When you open the CSV or TXT, tab or comma-delimited file, use the Excel Text Import Wizard. See the following article for instructions: Open tab-delimited TXT or CSV file in Excel or Open Office Calc
  2. Make sure to select the column type as Text for the UPC column.
  3. Once the file is open, select the column and format it as Text before you save it as CSV again.
  4. You can verify that UPC codes have not been corrupted by opening the CSV file in Notepad or Textpad.

You an use this technique for all types of unique product identifiers, known as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs).

Universal Product Code (UPC)
12 numeric digits
European Article Number (EAN)
Typically 13 numeric digits (can also be 8 or 14 numeric digits)
Japanese Article Number (JAN)
8 or 13 numeric digits
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
ISBN-10: 10 numeric digits (last digit may be "X")
ISBN-13: 13 numeric digits and usually starts with 978 or 979

References

Can I use my Google feed for another shopping engine?

We strongly recommend setting up a separate feed for each shopping engine using the template we provide.

You are welcome to use one feed for multiple shopping engines, but we would only provide technical support for one of them.

Also, at this time, the Standard feeds can only be uploaded by FTP to one destination. Other shopping engines would have to pick up the file via HTTP from the Data Feed File URL found on the Manage Feed > Data Feed File page.

We can submit your feed to multiple FTP, SFTP, or WebDAV destinations with a Custom feed if desired.

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