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Administrative Questions

Will I be charged if a task fails?

Your account will be credited automatically if a task fails.

Will I be charged if the data feed is not accepted by the recipient?

No refund will be made if the recipient does not accept your product data, unless there is a technical flaw with the data format.

Will I be charged for submission when my store has not changed?

We no longer charge for submissions at all. Your monthly feed service fee includes unlimited submissions, so you can submit as often as you wish whether your store has changed or not.

We still maintain an auto-skip feature that can be useful in some circumstances. It cancels submissions if it is sure that your store data has not changed since the last submission. It is recommended to disable auto-skip in most cases.

Are there any hidden fees?

Accounts are funded in advance, and there is a one-month minimum purchase requirement. Credit balances are forfeited after extended account inactivity. Other than that, there are no hidden fees, maintenance fees, minimum contracts, or cancellation fees. Credit balances are refundable at any time upon request. Setup fees are at your option. See our Billing Notes for details.

What support do I receive?

Included in your service is troubleshooting and technical support support by email. There is also help documentation available on the website.

What if I want to cancel my service?

You can stop your submissions at any time. If you want to close your account, we will provide a full refund of any remaining credit in your account (less free trial credit).

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit card payments, eChecks, and business checks. Payments are processed online through Paypal or Google Wallet, or may be mailed in.

How do I reset or recover a lost or forgotten password?

Please use our Password Reset page.

How do I get my confirmation code after registering my account?

The confirmation code will be automatically emailed to you upon registration. If you do not receive it, use our Resend Confirmation Code page. If that doesn't work, please re-register.

Where can I find your terms of service and policies?

Please see our Terms of Service page.

How do I submit or upload a data feed after changing feed settings?

To run a submission manually, simply go to My Account > Manage > Submit a Task and click the Submit button. A task status page will appear.

You do not have to stay on the page or keep your browser open for the task to complete. Go to Manage > View Results to view the submission history for the feed.

As a shortcut, you can also go to the Manage Feed page and click the Submit button.

How do I merge my accounts?

If you have multiple accounts with us that you would like to merge together, please contact us and provide us with the account email addresses of the account(s) you want to deactivate and account you want to keep. We will manually process your request. Feeds, alerts, and credit balances (excluding free trial credits) will be transferred, but not account credit history.

How do I pause, delete, or cancel a data feed?

Pause or Suspend a Data Feed

To pause your feed, just go to Manage Feed > Modify Settings and set the Update Frequency to Never.

Even though the feed is stopped, you will still be charged for 30 days for this feed. (This is because many shopping engines expire your listings after about 30 days.) After that, the fees stop automatically.

You can leave a data feed paused/suspended for at least one year, and usually longer. We typically delete unused feeds over one year only if the account is inactive and the specifications have gone out of date.

Suspend Billing for a Data Feed

If you wish to pause a feed and stop the billing for the feed immediately, please contact us and we can archive your feed by moving it to another account. You would contact us again to move it back into your account.

Delete or Cancel a Data Feed

To delete your feed, just go to Manage Feed > Delete Feed and click Delete. All the settings and history for this feed will not be recoverable. (We can manually restore settings from backup, but there may be a fee involved.)

When you delete the feed, the fees stop immediately. Take a screenshot of the Define Fields, Modify Settings, and other pages if you want to delete a feed temporarily, and perhaps add it back later. You would have to manually add it back. You can add/remove feeds at any time.

You must also cancel or close the merchant account associated with your data feed. Please contact the shopping engine's technical support for assistance with that.

Why am I receiving Low Credit Notice emails?

Once your credit balance goes below the notice threshold in your profile (default $7.00), our system emails you periodically to add credit to your account. Once you add credit, the notices will stop being sent.

If you would like to stop receiving reminders without adding credit, change your account status to "Inactive" from the change account status page. You can reactivate your account from the same page in the future.

Accounts are automatically deactivated after 180 days.

To change your low balance notice threshold, simply edit your profile.

Do you support automated monthly billing?

Unfortunately, at this time, we do not support automated monthly billing. By not storing your financial information, we keep our system simpler and more secure.

Instead, our system will email you Low Credit Notices once your balance becomes low. Just click the link in the email to add funds to your account. You can configure the low credit notice threshold from your profile.

You can add enough funds to cover any number of months of service. Unused credits are refundable should you choose to close your account.

FTP Password Reset Instructions for Each Shopping Engine

General Instructions

View Your Feeds

  • Go to My Account on our website. (Log in if prompted.)
  • Feeds are displayed in a table with their current update frequency and last activity date.

Reset Password for a Feed

  • Use the password reset instructions (in the section below) for the specific shopping engine.
  • Go to My Account on our website
  • Click the Manage link in the table of feeds for the feed you are working on.
  • Click the Modify Settings link.
  • Enter the new password in the FTP Password box.
  • Click the Update button.
  • Click the Test Settings for this feed link.
  • Confirm that the Checking FTP Credentials... result is Success

Instructions for each Shopping Engine

Google Shopping

Bing Shopping

  • Go to Bing Ads and log in
  • Click on Tools > Bing Merchant Center from the top menu
  • Click on your store name
  • Click the FTP Settings tab
  • Enter a new password in the Password and Confirm password boxes.
    At least one number and one symbol are required.
    Here is a random one for your convenience:
    z6gRw49-
    It is regenerated each time this page is reloaded.

PriceGrabber

  • Go to the PriceGrabber Reset Merchant Login page
  • Enter your Username (same as FTP Username) and click Continue
  • Check your email for the password reset instructions

Shopzilla / Connexity Business Services

Shopzilla does not provide a method for resetting the FTP password without contacting them. We will be contacting Shopzilla to reset the FTP passwords for all the accounts.

Shopping.com / eBay Commerce Network

  • Go to eBay Commerce Network Merchant Center and log in
  • Click the Datafeeds > Submit Data Feed link from the top menu
  • Click the Reset FTP Password button
  • Copy the password that is displayed

Amazon Product Ads

This feed is submitted securely via Amazon MWS, with the upload signed by our secret key. It is not necessary to reset your credentials.

Nextag

Nextag does not provide a method for resetting the FTP password without contacting them. We have already contacted Nextag and reset the FTP passwords on all the accounts, so there is no need to do anything.

Share-a-sale

Share-a-sale does not provide a method for resetting the FTP password without contacting them. However, they restrict uploads by IP address too, so it is safe to do nothing. The only time you may want to contact them to reset the FTP password is if you receive many notifications about unauthorized uploads.

Custom Feeds and Other Shopping Engines

Please contact us if you need assistance resetting the FTP password.

Amazon Data Feed

Do you support Amazon data feeds?

We support some data feeds to Amazon. Please be aware that Amazon has several different programs through which you may submit your item listings.

Amazon Product Ads

This program is pay-per-click advertising on Amazon, with ads generated automatically based on a product listings feed.

We provide full support for data feeds to Amazon Product Ads. It is a Standard feed that is easy to set up and get started.

Selling on Amazon (Amazon Marketplace) and WebStore

The Selling on Amazon program allows you to sell your items directly on Amazon's main website. You are listed as a third-party seller. Shoppers checkout on Amazon's site, and you pay Amazon a commission on the sale.

Amazon also offers a WebStore service. This allows you to create a full e-commerce store with your own domain name and logo.

Both the Marketplace and WebStore have the same general feed requirements.

Price/Inventory Feed

This type of feed sends Amazon the quantity in stock, product ID (UPC), and selling price only. The item must already exist in the Amazon Marketplace, and you must provide a valid UPC code. If you meet those two requirements, we can set up a Custom feed that runs automatically every day (or on the schedule you prefer).

For additional details, see here: Amazon Inventory Loader and Price and Quantity Update Feeds or contact us for a quote.

New Items Feed

This type of feed is primarily used to add items to Amazon that do not already exist in the Amazon Marketplace.

The requirements for adding new items are onerous and very complex. You should be prepared to do massive content work on your product catalog, item-by-item. At a bare minimum, Amazon requires that you specify a UPC code, product type, and item type for each item. Additional requirements vary by category. Please contact Amazon for requirements for your category.

We are currently supporting New Items feeds for Amazon on a case-by-case basis.

If you already have a working and tested spreadsheet that you upload to Amazon, we can program your rules into our system and set the feed up to run automatically. Please contact us for a quote.

Amazon Merchant Web Services (MWS)

We now support automated upload to Amazon's "Selling on Amazon" and other merchant programs via Amazon Merchant Web Services (MWS). This is a highly reliable, secure, and functional upload method provided by Amazon, and requires zero user-interaction once set up.

Amazon Inventory Loader and Price and Quantity Update Feeds

We are able to generate and submit Amazon Inventory Loader or Amazon Price and Quantity Update feeds to Amazon. We currently do not provide support for Amazon New Item Inventory feeds.

Features

  • Uploads your price, quantity, and UPC code only
  • Feed submit automatically every day (or more frequently if desired)
  • Our system maintains your SKUs in order to zero out the quantity if you delete an item from your store
  • We custom-program your business rules (pricing, filtering, etc.)
  • We can provide settings for markup rules, filters, etc. that you can modify via our website anytime
  • Feed is uploaded automatically to your Amazon account via our integration with Amazon MWS (Merchant Web Services API)
  • We do not need your Amazon account login (you just grant us the limited access to MWS that we need)

Requirements and Limitations

  • UPC codes (or ASINs) are mandatory
  • Only items that already exist in the Amazon Marketplace will be listed
  • Items that do not exist in Amazon will error out and be ignored
  • You are responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from Amazon for the items and categories you want to sell

Note that in some cases, a UPC code may match up to two different products in Amazon. We do not currently have a solution for this, but it appears to be a problem on Amazon's end, and you would have to resolve it through them. (We can make modifications to your feed if needed.)

Pricing

Please contact us for a pricing quote, which would involve a monthly fee and a setup fee.

The setup fee includes the following:

  • setting up a price/quantity/UPC feed for your store
  • obtaining access to your Amazon account via MWS
  • setting up the persistent SKU table
  • programming in your business/pricing rules/filtering rules
  • doing test submissions to Amazon
  • revising until such time that the feed is working as desired
  • scheduling the feed according to the desired frequency.
How to give us access to upload your Amazon feed via Amazon MWS

We can submit your Amazon Seller Central feeds automatically via Amazon Merchant Web Services. Follow the instructions below to give our system permission to access your Amazon Marketplace Seller or Product Ads account for the purposes of uploading the feed files.

Amazon MWS Sign-up Developer Name Account Number
United States (US)Aten Software LLC 2582-9237-6277
United Kingdom (UK)Aten Software LLC EU8879-5624-7046
  1. Go to the Amazon MWS Sign-Up link above and register for an account or sign in. You must have a valid Seller account in order to be able to register or sign in.
  2. On the registration page, click the button for:
    I want to give a developer access to my Amazon seller account with MWS
  3. Enter the Developer Name from the above table
  4. Enter the Developer Account Number from the above table
  5. Click Next and then accept the terms and conditions
  6. Enter the Marketplace ID, Seller ID, and MWS Authorization Token into the Manage Feed > Modify Feed Settings page, or send them to us by email or via our contact form.
  7. You should also make note of the identifiers for your own reference.

Reference: I am an Amazon seller and I want to give a third-party developer MWS access to my Amazon seller account. What should I do?

How do I set up Amazon Product Ads?
  1. Open a new browser window and log into Amazon Seller Central
  2. Click on Settings > Account Info on the top-right of your Amazon Seller Central Dashboard.
  3. Under the Selling Plan section at the top, verify that you are registered for Amazon Product Ads. If you do not see that listed, then you may need to log into a different Amazon account, or click here to sign up for Amazon Product Ads. Note: if you have an Amazon Marketplace Seller account already, then Amazon requires you to create a separate account for Amazon Product Ads.
  4. Follow the instructions at this link: Instructions for obtaining an MWS Merchant ID and Marketplace ID
  5. Go back to your Amazon Seller Central account.
  6. Go to Inventory > Add Products via Upload
  7. Verify that Yahoo! Store Sync is deactivated by following these steps:
    • In the Upload inventory files drop-down, select Sync Your Yahoo! Store.
    • If the Yahoo! Catalog.xml URL setting is blank and there is an Activate Sync button, then it is deactivated, and you can go to the next numbered step in these instructions.
    • Otherwise, if the URL is filled in and the setting is Active, then select Inactive and click Update.
  8. Go to My Account > Add Feed on our site
  9. Enter the store name, select the Amazon Product Ads Template, and click Create Feed
  10. Continue to the Modify Feed Settings page
  11. Enter the MWS Merchant ID and Marketplace ID on the Modify Feed Settings page as instructed on the page.
  12. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields.
  13. Add a Public Catalog Field named Recommended Browse Node. Set the Default Value to an appropriate category number found on the Manage Feed > Taxonomy Search page.
  14. Run a Submission task from our site

You can find the status of recent data feed uploads in your Amazon Seller Account under the Inventory > Add Products via Upload tab. There will be a section called Inventory file upload status, from where you can download the reports and view them in notepad to see any errors.

If you need information about or assistance with Amazon Product Ads, please contact Amazon Seller Support (login required) for 24/7 support via email and click to call.

How to set up a custom sub-domain for Amazon S3 hosted images

If you have images or other content hosted on Amazon S3, then the default domain will be s3.amazonaws.com, resulting in URLs like the following:
 
http://bucketname.s3.amazonaws.com/image.jpg
or
http://s3.amazonaws.com/bucketname/image.jpg

If you want the URL to contain your own domain name, then there is an easy way to achieve that. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Log into your domain registrar's website, e.g. GoDaddy, NameCheap, Network Solutions, Yahoo! Domains, etc.
  2. Navigate to the management area for your domain name.
  3. Add a new sub-domain that matches the name of the bucket, for example, image.mydomain.com.
  4. Navigate to the custom DNS settings for the new sub-domain
  5. Add a CNAME entry that maps your new sub-domain name to Amazon's domain name, like this:
     
    image.mydomain.com => image.mydomain.com.s3.amazonaws.com
     
    In this example, image.mydomain.com is the name of the custom sub-domain and also the name of the bucket.

  6. Allow about 24 hours for the changes to propagate through the Internet.
  7. Contact us to update your feed settings with the new domain name.
How to grant access to a specific Amazon S3 bucket

Use these instructions to give us full read/write/list access to a single Amazon S3 bucket in your Amazon Web Services (AWS) account.

  1. Sign into your Amazon AWS S3 Management Console
  2. Click the Create Bucket button.
  3. Enter a bucket name, like atensoftware.YOURDOMAIN.com
  4. Select the US Standard region. (Do not set up Logging.)
  5. Click the Create button.
  6. Go to the Amazon AWS IAM Management Console
  7. Click Users on the side-bar.
  8. Click the Create New Users button.
  9. Enter atensoftware in box 1.
  10. Check the box to Generate an access key for each user.
  11. Click the Create button.
  12. Click the Show User Security Credentials link and leave the browser window/tab open.
  13. Go to our Secure Login and Password Form in a new browser window/tab.
  14. Select NOT APPLICABLE as the Shopping Engine.
  15. Copy the Access Key ID and Secret Access Key from the Amazon IAM User Security Credentials to our Secure Login and Password form, placing them in the Login and Password boxes, respectively.
  16. Enter the bucket name, e.g. atensoftware.YOURDOMAIN.com, in the Additional Notes box.
  17. Click the Submit button.
  18. Return to the Amazon IAM tab where you created the IAM user and click the Close button twice.
  19. Click on Groups in the side-bar.
  20. Click the Create New Group button.
  21. Enter atensoftware_group as the Group Name, and click Next Step.
  22. On the Attach Policy page, simply click the Next Step button to skip the step.
  23. On the Review page, click the Create Group button.
  24. Click the atensoftware_group group.
  25. Click the Add Users to Group button.
  26. Select the atensoftware user and click Add Users
    (At this point, the user and group have been created, but no permissions have been assigned.)
  27. Expand the Inline Policies section and click the click here link to create an inline policy.
  28. Select Policy Generator and click the Select button.
  29. Enter the following details:
    Effect: Allow
    AWS Service: Amazon S3
    Actions: All Actions
    Amazon Resource Name (ARN):
        arn:aws:s3:::atensoftware.YOURDOMAIN.com/*
        (Replace the bold part of the ARN with the name of your bucket)
    Do not Add Conditions
  30. Click the Add Statement button.
  31. Click the Next Step button.
  32. Click the Apply Policy button.

If later you decide to revoke the permissions, simply delete the user and the group that you created.

Become Data Feed

How do I setup my Become.com Merchant account?
  1. Login to your Become.com Merchant Account and go to the Product Listings tab.
  2. Select Option1 : Feed upload.
  3. Leave the IP address blank.
  4. Click the Save Change button at the bottom.
  5. Note the FTP username and password.
  1. Login to our site and add a feed using the Become.com template.
  2. Copy the FTP username/password into the settings.
  3. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields page.
  4. Click Edit for the Category field.
  5. Enter the appropriate category for your products from the Become.com CPC Rate Card as the Default Value and click Update.
  6. Define any other fields as needed.
  7. Submit your feed.

Bigcommerce Shopping Feeds

Bing Shopping Feed Bigcommerce

Option 1: Express Setup Request

We recommend that you have us set up and optimize the data feed for you with our Express Setup and Optimization Service. There is a one-time fee associated with this service.

To purchase this service, paste the password you created, API Token, API Path, and any special instructions into the 'Additional Comments' field of our Express Setup Request Form, and click Submit Request.

Option 2: Do-it-yourself Setup

Use our Bing Shopping Data Feed Setup Guide to complete the setup of your Bigcommerce Bing Shopping Feed.

Advantages of our feed vs. the one provided by Bigcommerce
  • We specialize in data feeds, so we have the expertise to get your products listed correctly and in an optimal way.
  • We provide free phone/email support for your feeds, which is especially useful when there are feed errors and when the feed specifications change.
  • With our free Google Shopping Monitoring Service, we email you whenever there is a problem with your listings.
  • You can filter out items with errors to prevent your feed from being disapproved by Google.
  • We offer Google Shopping Categorization Service for an additional fee.
  • We support all the major shopping engines - including Bing Shopping, Facebook Product Ads, and Amazon Product Ads.
  • We offer international feeds with automatic currency conversion.
  • Our feeds are pre-configured with URL tracking codes for Google Analytics.
  • Our system gives you the ability to customize the feed.
  • You can use our Google Validation Report to quickly view and identify item errors/warnings.
  • We keep track of the results of each feed submission.
How to Add Custom Fields to a Bigcommerce Store

Unfortunately, Bigcommerce does not allow adding custom attributes to the product catalog. The custom attributes it does support are displayed on the product page, which is not always desirable.

As a workaround, you can stuff the data in unused fields.

Here are some suggestions:

Other Details
Bin Picking Number, Warranty Information, Search Keywords
Accounting Settings
Asset Account Code, Income Account Code, Expense/COS Account Code
Peachtree Fields
General Ledger Account
Google Shopping
Color, Size, Material, Pattern

We can map any of the above fields to any attribute in your feed. For example:

Bigcommerce  => Google Feed Attribute
Color        => custom_label_0
Material     => custom_label_1
Pattern      => custom_label_2

There are some other options where you can provide a CSV file and it can be integrated into the feed. Please contact us for more information.

Bigcommerce to Google Feed Setup Checklist

In order for us to set up and optimize your Google Shopping feed from Bigcommerce, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Create or sign-in to your Google Merchant Account
  • Verify and claim your Website URL under General Settings
  • Add tax and shipping settings for each country where you intend to sell under Tax and Shipping
  • In your Bigcommerce Store Control Panel, enable API access for us by following the instructions here: Bigcommerce Feed Setup - Step 1 of 3
  • Submit an Express Setup Request, and provide us the following information: Website URL, WebDAV password / access key, and Google Merchant account login and password (If you already submitted a request and/or payment, please resubmit the form with complete information and skip the payment step)
Customize the BigCommerce Product Export for Performance

Below is a list of fields you can uncheck to improve the performance of the BigCommerce product export. To access this list, click the Products tab when editing the export template in your BigCommerce store control panel.

The fields listed below are rarely, if ever, used for generating data feeds for the shopping channels. However, to maintain maximum flexibility for the future, you should only uncheck these if you are having problems with your feed.

Retail Price
Cost Price
Calculated Price
Low Stock Level
Product Inventoried
Sort Order
Product Not Visible
Product Availability
Minimum Purchase Quantity
Maximum Purchase Quantity
Free Shipping
Fixed Shipping Price
Brand + Name
Warranty
Bin Picking Number
Show Product Condition
Product Tax Class
Avalara Product Tax Code
Redirect Old URL
Option Set   (keep for variant feeds)
Option Set Align
Stop Processing Rules
Product Custom Fields  (keep if enabled for your feed)
Product Images > Product Image ID
Product Images > Product Image File
Product Images > Product Image Path
Product Images > Product Image Description
Product Images > Product Image Index
  (Note: For Product Images, only URL and Is Thumbnail are needed)
Product Files
Shipping Groups
Origin Locations
Dimensional Rules
Event Date Required
Event Date Name
Event Date Is Limited
Event Date Start Date
Event Date End Date
MYOB Asset Acct
MYOB Income Acct
MYOB Expense Acct
Date Added
Date Modified

Unchecking the above fields may greatly increase the speed of the export, and reduce the file size.

How to give us access to the BigCommerce API (OAuth Token)

For some Variant/Custom feeds, we may need access to the BigCommerce API to fetch additional information that is not part of the CSV Product Export. Here are the instructions to do that:

  1. Log into your BigCommerce store admin as the owner
  2. Go to Advanced Settings > API Accounts
  3. Select Create API Account
  4. In the Name field, enter Aten Software
  5. In the OAuth Scopes section, select read-only for both Products and Information
  6. Select Save
  7. Copy the Client ID, Client Secret, and Access Token to your clipboard
  8. Go to the Secure Login and Password Form
  9. Paste the Client ID, Client Secret, and Access Token into the Additional Information section of the form and click Submit (No need to enter anything else on the form)

Reference: Obtaining OAuth Tokens - Authenticating with OAuth - BigCommerce API Docs

Bigcommerce Shopping Feeds Setup Guide

Bigcommerce Feed Setup - Step 1 of 3

Our system fetches the product data from your Bigcommerce store via a user account that you set up using the instructions below. Make a note of the WebDAV Password, which will need to be entered into the feed settings on our system. These instructions apply to all shopping channels, including Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, etc.

  1. Log into your Bigcommerce Store Control Panel as a store owner or admin.
  2. Go to Settings > Account Settings > Users
  3. Click the Create a User Account button.
  4. Enter the following information:
    • Email: support email address
    • Status: Active
    • Permissions
      • User Role: Custom
      • Sales Staff Permissions: Unselect All
      • Sales Manager Permissions: Select All
      • System Admin Permissions: Unselect All
      • Single Click Apps: leave blank
    • Enable WebDAV?: Yes, allow this user to use WedDAV
  5. Note the WebDAV Password, which you will need to put into your feed settings.
  6. Click Save

NOTE: If you had added an API user using our old instructions, go to Setup & Tools > Legacy API Accounts, and delete the atensoftware API account. At present, the Legacy API Account is only required for multiplied feeds.

Bigcommerce Feed Setup - Step 2 of 3

Our system uses a product export in your Bigcommerce store to quickly and efficiently retrieve your product data. Use the instructions below to set up the export.

  1. Log into your Bigcommerce Store Control Panel as a store owner or admin.
  2. Select Settings > Advanced Settings > Export Templates.
  3. Click Create an Export Template.
  4. In the Template Name box, enter "aten" without quotes.
  5. Under Export Options, uncheck all the boxes except Enable Products Exporting?.
  6. Under Product Export Options, check the box for Include Product Options?.
  7. Leave all other settings at defaults and then click Save & Exit.

If you have a very large store (over 100,000 products or over 2 GB export file size), you can improve performance of the feeds greatly by customizing the BigCommerce product export.

Bigcommerce Feed Setup - Step 3 of 3

Please return to the Google Shopping Data Feed Setup Guide to complete your feed setup.

We recommend our feed optimization service for the best results. You can Submit an Optimization Request and receive a customized optimization report.

If you would like us to fully set up and optimize the feed, you can purchase our Setup and Optimization Service. There is a one-time fee associated with this service.

To purchase the setup service, include the WebDAV password in the 'Additional Comments' field of our Express Setup Request Form, and click Submit Request.

Bing Product Ads (Bing Shopping)

How do I set up a feed for Bing Product Ads (Bing Shopping)?

Use the instructions below to set up a Bing Product Ads (Bing Shopping Campaign) feed for your store. If you have multiple stores, you can manage them all from within one Bing Ads account. (Bing Ads was previously known as Microsoft Adcenter. Bing Rich Captions appear to be no longer supported.)

  1. Sign up for Bing Ads at Bing Ads.
    • Bing Shopping Merchant Portal is a sub-account of Microsoft Bing Ads
    • You will be required to enter a credit card, but you will not be charged anything unless you set up pay-per-click ad campaigns.
  2. Log in to Bing Ads
  3. A payment method must be registered under Accounts and Billing.
  4. Go to Tools > Bing Merchant Center
  5. Click the Create Store button.
  6. Enter your Store Name, Destination URL, and Store Description. Check the boxes to enable Product ads and/or Rich captions. (Do not check the Block aggregators checkbox.) Click the Save button.
  7. Click on the Catalog Management tab
  8. Click the Create Catalog button and enter the following settings:
    • Catalog name: Enter your store name
    • Enable Publishing: Checked
    • Enable API Management: Unchecked
      Note: Do not check this box or else the feed will not work.
    • Location: United States
    • How to submit catalog file: Upload file using FTP
    • File name: bingshopping
    • Offer Count: None
    • Click the Save button
  9. On the FTP Settings tab, enter an FTP login and password and click "Save".
    • You must define your own FTP login and password. We suggest that you use your store name as the login. The password must contain at least one number and one symbol, e.g. password1$
    • Make a note of the login/password, because you will need to enter that into the feed settings on our site.
    • The FTP login will not work until Bing approves your account.
  10. Log into our site and click My Account > Add Feed.
  11. Enter your Store Name, select the Bing Rich Captions/PLA Template, and click Create Feed.
  12. Continue to Modify Settings, and configure the Source parameters.
  13. Enter the FTP Username and FTP Password from the FTP Settings tab in your Bing Merchant account. Set the submission frequency to Daily. Click Update to save the settings.
  14. Run a submission task to perform your first upload.

How long does it take to get listed?

Prior to publication through Bing Ads all initial feeds must undergo and pass an editorial review. This process may take up to three weeks. Accurate MPN/UPC data may speed up the process.

You will receive an email from Bing Ads once they activate your account. You will need to set up a Bing Shopping Campaign with a daily budget and bid.

Contacting Bing Ads Support

Please use the Bing Ads Support Form if you have any questions about the status of your listings.

Bing Product Categories - What are they and how do I set them?
  1. Go to My Account > Manage Feed > Taxonomy Search on our site.
  2. Look up an appropriate category for your products.
  3. Go to My Account > Manage Feed > Define Fields on our site.
  4. Click Edit next to the product_category field.
  5. Enter the category into the Default Value box.
  6. Click Update to save the settings.
  7. Resubmit the feed from the Tasks > Submit a Task menu item.

Alternatively, you can add a custom field to your store catalog called "bing-product-category", and fill in the appropriate category there. You can also subscribe to our Categorization Service.

Checking the status of a Bing Shopping data feed

Use the following steps to check the status of your Bing Shopping data feed listings.

Verifying Feed Submissions

  1. Log in to Bing Ads.
  2. Go to Tools > Bing Merchant Center.
  3. Click on your Store Name.
  4. Click on the Store Summary tab.
  5. The Product Overview graph will show you approved/disapproved listings. Look at the Store info > Status for any error messages. It should say Approved.
  6. Look at the Store reports section for any downloadable reports. (For example, a report will be generated if the uploaded file name does not match the catalog file name.)
  7. Click the FTP Settings tab.
  8. Verify that the FTP account status is Active.
  9. Click on the Catalog Management tab.
  10. Next to your Catalog Name, the Status column should the list number of items inserted successfully.
  11. Click on your Catalog Name.
  12. In the Recent files section, look for daily uploads with a status of Product catalog received and OK.
  13. In the Product offers section, you will see the number of offers published and not published, or a message like Feed processing will be completed shortly.
  14. If there are rejected offers, click the Download details link next to the rejected item count to get a spreadsheet of item errors. You can get additional information by downloading the other reports.

Viewing your Items in Bing Search Results

  1. Go to Bing Search and search by one of your product titles.
  2. If Product Ads are working, you will see your ads in the display ad areas of the search results. Note that your Product ads campaign must be active, account funded, bid sufficiently high, daily budget not exhausted, etc., in order for the ads to display.

Contacting Bing Shopping

Currently, Bing only offers chat and phone support, both of which are accessible via the Bing Ads website.

Bing Shopping FTP Error "User cannot log in" or "Password required"

You may sporadically receive one of the following emails from our system:

Error logging in to FTP server 'feeds.adcenter.microsoft.com:21'. Check your credentials. E_WARNING: ftp_login(): User cannot log in.
Error logging in to FTP server 'feeds.adcenter.microsoft.com:21'. Check your credentials. E_WARNING: ftp_login(): Password required for username.

If your Bing feed had been working fine previously, then this problem is caused by Bing's FTP server.

To resolve the issue, please send the following email to freeshop@microsoft.com.

My Adcenter Account ID is X0999999. I am receiving sporadic FTP errors for my FTP uploads using Aten Software's data feed system. It is a one-time error that states either "Password required for username" or "User cannot log in". Please investigate.

You can find your Adcenter Account ID by logging into Bing Ads and looking in the Account drop-down, as shown below.

Where To Find your Microsoft Bing Ads Account ID

Your data feed will continue running daily and the error should go away on the next submission. By sending the email above, you will notify Bing that there is a problem and assist us with obtaining a permanent resolution.

If you have never set up your Bing Ads account, please refer to our Bing Setup Instructions.

What are the advantages of Bing Shopping?

Online retailers can get excited about the new Bing Shopping program by Microsoft. It is free to submit your product listings to them.

Bing Shopping has gone through numerous incarnations, including Jellyfish, MSN Live ProductUpload, and Bing Cashback. It should become a major shopping venue as Microsoft aggressively promotes it.

What are the links for Bing Shopping?

Bing has created a new Merchant Self-Service Portal.

Difference between Bing Rich Captions and Product Listing Ads

Bing Rich Captions and Bing Product Listing Ads are two different programs.

Bing Rich Captions are free. By submitting a feed, Bing will display your product price, stock status, etc. next to your organic search results.

Bing Product Listing Ads (PLA) are pay-per-click ads that appear to the side of the organic results as advertisements. The ads will display your product image, price, description, etc.

The feeds we submit to Bing work for either program. At this time, Bing PLA are in beta, and you may not be able to sign up until the program opens to the public. Check with Bing Ads regarding that.

Both programs are opt-in only. You opt-in by checking a checkbox in your Bing Merchant Account when you set up your account.

How to give another user access to your Bing Ads account
  1. Log into Bing Ads
  2. Click your user name in the top-right, and select Accounts & Billing.
  3. Click the Users tab.
  4. Click the Invite User button.
  5. Enter the following information:
    • First Name: Aten
    • Last Name: Software
    • Email: email address
    • Product Language: English - United States
    • Account Role: Standard User
    • Click Allow access to all current and future accounts
  6. Click the Send button.

Catalog-on-Demand® Data Feed

How do I set up a Catalog-on-Demand data feed?

On our Site

  1. Go to My Account on our site
  2. Click Add Feed
  3. Select your store platform, the Catalog-on-Demand Template, and then click Create Feed
  4. Continue to Modify Settings
  5. Enter the Source settings, leave the FTP Settings blank, and click Update. Note: This feed is not uploaded by FTP.
  6. Go to Manage Feed > Submit a Task and click Refresh
  7. Go to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File and copy the File URL setting to your clipboard for use in a later step.

On the Catalog-on-Demand Site

  1. Sign up with Catalog-on-Demand - Registration is free
  2. Send a message via their help desk and they will manually activate your 6-month free trial (if available)
  3. Click on Account
  4. In the Automated Data Import Setup section, select the following:
    • Import type: Catalog-on-Demand data file
    • Data file/archive URL: Paste the data feed File URL from our system that you copied in a previous step
    • Encoding: UTF-8, 8-bit UCS Transformation Format (default)
    • Auto Start Time of Day: 8:00
    • Auto Start Days of Week: Check all the boxes
  5. Click the Create Data Import Setup button, then click OK when prompted
  6. Click the Import Now button.
  7. Click the History button
  8. Wait 2-5 minutes and click Refresh until the status of the Data File Import changes from in progress to completed

Designing your PDF Catalog

  1. Click on Choose Design. It is best to start with the simplest brochure — Ironwood Brochure A. Then, read the help icons on each of the configuration pages.
  2. We recommend running lots of test jobs. It is best to make test jobs very short, say 5 products or so. That gives you a faster turnaround time. Also, small jobs are easier to troubleshoot. You can choose products to include in your catalog via the Catalog-on-demand website.
  3. For additional assistance, go to the Catalog-on-Demand Support page. From there, you will find manuals and a link to the Ask for Help contact form.
What are the benefits of PDF catalogs and flyers for my online store?

A PDF catalog, brochure, or single-product flyer is specifically formatted for print, making it an invaluable aid for your customers while they make their buying decision.

Printed flyers help your customer's compare products more easily, share product pictures and information with others, and they are often more convenient than a computer.

The PDF contains QR-codes so that visitors can access your store with a simple scan from their smart phone. The QR-codes will take the visitor directly to the product page, saving them navigation, and you will be able to track the hits.

Printed catalogs promote your brand and increase your credibility, which can help you increase market share and build relationships with your customers.

ClixGalore Data Feed

ClixGalore Auto-Upload Settings

Use the instructions below to set up auto-upload of your ClixGalore data feed.

  1. Log into your ClixGalore account.
  2. Go to "Promotional Tools" > "Product Catalog Marketing / Upload Product Datafeed".
  3. Click on the "schedule an auto upload" link.
  4. Enter the following settings:
    File Source HTTP
    Format: clixGalore
    FTP Server / URL: Look for this URL on the "Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File" page in our site. Add &format=.csv to the end of the URL.
    Ftp Username: leave blank
    Ftp Password: leave blank
    Ftp Directory: leave blank
    Ftp Filename: leave blank
    Load File At: 2 PM (GMT)
    Every: 3 days
    Starting From: 24/07/2017
  5. Click Save Details.
  6. Go to Manage Feed > Advanced Settings on our site, and set the Upload by FTP setting to No - Update feed file only.
  7. Under "Manage Feed > Modify Settings" on our site, enter the following settings:
    FTP Username: leave blank
    FTP Password: leave blank
    FTP Server: leave blank
    File Name: clixgalore.csv
    Update Frequency: Daily
    Auto-Skip: Enabled

Commission Junction cj.com Data Feed

How do I set up a Commission Junction (CJ.com) data feed?
  1. To set up your Commission Junction feed, you will first need to gather the following three numeric identifiers from your Commission Junction publisher account.
    CID - Account number (ID - CID) with Commission Junction
    In the top-right corner of your CJ account, in parenthesis next to your account name.
    SUBID - Subscription ID for transfer
    Go to the Account > Subscriptions page of your CJ account. Under the Imports tab, look for the subscription of type Product Catalog, and find the ID number in the Id column.
    AID - Product Catalog Ad ID number
    Go to the Links > Manage in your CJ account. Check the Link Type > Product Catalog checkbox on the left Refine Search sidebar. Look for the Link ID next to the Product Catalog link.
  2. You also have to contact CJ Client Support via your CJ Account to set up an Import Data Transfer Subscription with a transfer method of CJ FTP. They will send you an FTP username and password.
  3. On our website, go to My Account > Add Feed
  4. Enter your store name, select the Commission Junction Template, and click Create Feed
  5. Continue to Manage Feed > Modify Settings
  6. Enter your store export URLs and the CJ FTP username and password.
  7. Click "Update" to save your settings.
  8. Go to "Manage Feed > Advanced Settings"
  9. In the "Extra Header" box, replace the three "12345" numbers with the actual identifiers from your Commission Junction account. Do not change anything else in the header.
  10. Click "Update" to save your settings.
  11. Click the Submit button from Manage Feed > Submit a Task
  12. Check your e-mail in 1-6 hours to see if cj.com processed all the items.

Connexity Data Feed

How do I set up a Connexity (Shopzilla/Pricegrabber) data feed?

The Connexity is the parent company of Shopzilla, Bizrate, PriceGrabber, and Become.com. A single Connexity feed will list your products in all of those websites, as well as Yahoo Shopping and Ask.com.

  1. Log into your Connexity Merchant Account
  2. Go to Manage Listings > Submit Inventory
  3. Click the blue Submit My Feed button
    1. Select Create a Connexity FTP location for me
    2. Set Filename to shopzilla_feed.zip
    3. Set Unzipped Filename to shopzilla_feed.txt
    4. Click the blue Next button
  4. You will be given an FTP Username and Password. Leave this browser window open for future use.
  5. On our site, go to My Account > Add Feed
  6. Choose the Connexity template and click Create Feed
  7. Continue on to the Modify Settings page.
  8. Copy the Username and Password from your Connexity Merchant Account into the FTP Username and FTP Password settings on the Manage Feed > Modify Settings page in our site.
  9. Select Daily as the Update Frequency.
  10. Click Update to save the settings.
  11. From the Manage Feed page, click Submit.
  12. Wait for the task to finish processing.
  13. Return to the Connexity Merchant Account, and click the Validate button.
  14. You should see a message saying, "SUCCESS! Your Product Data Feed has been updated." Click the link titled Contact your account manager and create a support ticket for Connexity to review your feed submission.
How do I set the Shopzilla Category ID?
  1. Log into your Shopzilla Merchant Account.
  2. Open the "Shopzilla Shopping Categories" under "Manage Listings > Specifications & Guidelines"
  3. Note the Category ID that applies to your products.
  4. Log into our system and go to "My Account"
  5. Go to "Manage > Define Fields"
  6. Click "Edit" next to the "Category ID" field.
  7. Enter your Category ID in the "Default Value" box, and click "Update".
  8. Run a submission and check your Shopzilla account.

To set up product-specific category IDs, look for instructions on adding custom fields in our online help.

Do I need your service to upload my Yahoo Store to Shopzilla?

No, Shopzilla has an option to import your the XML Export of your Yahoo Store automatically, but you may obtain better results by using our system.

Our system submits in Shopzilla's Standard Submission format. Shopzilla recommends this format for the following reasons:

  • "You can update & resubmit your listings through FTP as regularly as you like."
  • "You can specify the precise category on Shopzilla's site where you want your listings to appear, thus ensuring that your listings are properly categorized."

Furthermore, our system will allow you to correctly map the Manufacturer and UPC fields to your respective catalog fields. Regarding UPC codes, Shopzilla says, "Providing your product's UPC number is one of the single most effective techniques to ensure an optimal display of your product listings in our search results."

Custom Data Feeds

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 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 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.

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.

Data Feed Optimization for Google Shopping

How can I get higher ranking in the search results?

Google has been giving higher ranking to more optimized item listings. In order to maintain and enhance ranking, merchants need to be proactive with their data feeds, and follow Google's Improving your Data Quality guidelines.

We offer a one-time data feed optimization service for a flat fee. We would go through and add relevant attributes to your feed, and then offer you tailored suggestions for additional improvement. In some cases, it can make a big improvement in your ranking, although this is not guaranteed. See our Data Feed Optimization page for details, or submit an optimization request.

You also have the option of optimizing the feed on your own by following our Data Feed Optimization Tips for Google Shopping.

If you have a legacy store, you can add attribute data to your product captions. Our Custom feeds have the capability to extract that information and submit the attributes to Google. See our instructions for legacy stores for more information.

How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?

Google requires at least two of the following three attributes for almost every product.

  • Brand - brand name or manufacturer of the item
  • MPN - manufacturer part number
  • GTIN - global trade item number (UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN)

Tips

Leave GTIN blank if it is not available.
Not all items have a GTIN. For those items, leave the GTIN field blank and provide the brand and manufacturer part number (MPN) instead.
GTIN is required for certain designated brands.
For certain designated brands, you must provide a valid GTIN when the item condition is new.
Specify MPN and Brand for items with no GTIN
If the products are white-label, vintage, custom-made, or manufactured by you, then just set brand to your company name and map MPN to your internal product code or SKU field.
Specify UPC codes as 12 digits
To avoid an invalid identifier warning, always specify UPC codes as 12 digits. There should not be any hyphens/dashes or spaces in the UPC code, and remember to include any leading zeros.
Use the complete Manufacturer Part Numbers
Two or more character MPN values are now allowed. A single character MPN will result in an error.
Use only one Manufacturer Part Number
If the MPN has multiple variations of hyphenation, spacing, or capitalization, only specify the official or most common one.
Use real, accurate information
It is not useful to insert dummy, made-up, or generic values for these fields. You should only put information in these fields if it is real and accurate, otherwise, Google may suspend your items.
Request exceptions for disallowed items
If identifiers are not available for your products and Google disapproves the listings, then contact Google via your Merchant Center account to find out your options.

Looking up Identifiers

There are several ways to obtain the above information for your products.

  • Search for the item in Amazon and look in the Product Information section.
  • Contact or check the website of the item manufacturer or your supplier
  • Read it off the product packaging

Multiple UPC codes

If you have multiple UPC codes for a single item, specify each one separated by a comma and space.

If you have products with size/color variations, each with a different UPC code, you have numerous options with varying complexity.

  1. Create a catalog field called 'upc' in your store catalog, and specify each UPC code separated by a comma and space.
  2. Create catalog fields called 'upc' and 'upc-multiple' in your store catalog, and specify just one of the UPC codes in 'upc', and all the UPC codes separated by commas in 'upc-multiple'. Google can accept comma-separated UPC codes, and for other shopping engines, you can use the single UPC code.
  3. With a Custom feed and some special programming, we can multiply your listings by each size/color option.
Factors that affect ranking in Google Shopping

There are many factors that affect ranking, performance, or clicks that you get from Google Shopping. Listed below is not meant to be an exhaustive or accurate list. Google's algorithms are secret, and below is simply our best guess based on Google's recommendations and other Internet chatter.

Factors That You Control

  • Product titles and descriptions
  • The amount of your bid, daily budget, and other Adwords settings
  • Submitting all other, relevant product data
  • Submission frequency (daily is best)
  • Site uptime and load time
  • Completeness and accuracy of the product data
  • Following Google content policies
  • Following Google quality guidelines
  • Following Google editorial guidelines

Factors Out of Your Control

  • Competition from other merchants
  • Google's ranking algorithm, which is constantly being changed
  • Customer demand for your products
  • Customer demand for Google and Google Shopping
  • How much Google promotes Product Search
Do you offer search engine optimization for Google Shopping?

We offer one-on-one consulting to optimize your data feed. While we can help you optimize your feed, we do not offer content optimization services at this time. However, we have collected the best advice we can find below, and can assist you in following that advice. By simply following these tips, you can dramatically increase your ranking in Google Shopping.

Daily update frequency is recommended for all data feeds

The recommended feed update/submission frequency is Daily for all feeds. Submissions and updates are free, so there is no additional cost to make this change.

If you have a Yahoo Store, then the free, Daily Plus option is recommended.

Auto-skip is a legacy setting and can be Disabled for all feeds.

Google's high-quality data requirements ask that you provide up-to-date pricing and availability information in order to provide the best experience for shoppers and improve your ranking. This is recommended even if your listings do not change often.

Many other shopping engines also encourage frequent submissions to keep your listings fresh. For example, eBay Commerce Network (Shopping.com) also has the capability to accept frequent data feed submissions. Therefore, to get the best results from all shopping engines, we recommend Daily submission of your feed.

To change the setting, go to My Account. Then, go to the Manage Feed > Modify Settings page. Set the Update Frequency, the Auto-Skip setting to Disabled, and then save the settings.

Please contact us if you require custom scheduling or more frequent submissions.

Tax and Shipping settings for Google Shopping

Starting June 3, 2011, tax and shipping settings are required for all Google product feeds targeting the United States. You can enter these settings at the item-level or account-level. It is easier to enter the settings at the account level.

Account-level tax and shipping rules

Item-level tax and shipping rules

Your Google feed may be pre-configured to read Google shipping/tax information from relevant fields in your store catalog. If you need to supply item-level tax and shipping values, then please add columns for those in your store catalog, and refer to the instructions below.

Google Product Category and Product Type attributes

Summary

  • google_product_category - one official Google Category is required
  • product_type - any merchant-supplied category is allowed

Product Category

Use the instructions below to add a default Google product category value for your data feed.

  1. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields page.
  2. Click Edit for the google_product_category field.
  3. Look up the appropriate category by going to Manage Feed > Taxonomy Search (The official list is here: Google Product Taxonomy)
  4. page.
  5. Enter the category in the Default Value box without double-quotes, and click the Update button. You can only choose one category.
  6. Resubmit your data feed.

Your feed is pre-configured to submit from the google-product-category field in your store catalog, if such a field exists. If you want to submit item-specific categories, follow the steps below:

  1. Add a custom field in your store catalog called google-product-category.
  2. Populate the values for the field.

To verify that your feed is using the google-product-category field from your store catalog, or to configure a different field name, following these steps:

  1. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields page.
  2. Click Edit for the google_product_category field.
  3. Enter the field name from your store catalog in the Field Name setting, and click the Update button.
  4. Resubmit your data feed.

Google Product Category Tips

The quotation marks around the category are optional, and we recommend leaving them out for clarity.

Google may accept categories with altered spacing, but our system is more strict and expects the spacing to be exactly like it is in Google's official taxonomy.

Incorrect Spacing:

Electronics>GPS >  Sport GPS

Correct Spacing:

Electronics > GPS > Sport GPS

Google changes the taxonomy from time to time, and you need to update your categories when they do that.

If you have missing or invalid categories, you can find out in the Google Validation report in your account.

If you have a large number of items, start out by specifying a top-level category, like Electronics or Home & Garden, just so the items can be listed. Later, you can go back and put in more detailed categories for better results.

Product Type

product_type is a recommended field and you can provide your own, merchant-specific category in this field. The feeds are pre-configured to put in your merchant category or path in this field.

You have the option of overriding this pre-configured value with the value from any of the fields in your store catalog. You can also set a Default Value that will be used for any items without any other product type. You can configure this field by going to Manage Feed > Define Fields > Edit product_type.

How to configure Google Shopping Availability attribute

Your data feed submits the ‘in stock’ value in this attribute by default, so there is generally no need to do anything further. Note that your data feed generally filters out items with a zero price and items that are not orderable.

To specify availability information for specific items, follow these steps.

  1. Add a custom field to your store called google-availability.
  2. Populate one of the values listed below for each item. Google only accepts these values for the availability attribute.
    • 'in stock' - you are accepting orders and fulfilling the purchase
    • 'out of stock' - you are not currently taking orders
    • 'preorder' - you are taking orders for an unreleased product

Your data feed's availability attribute should already be configured to read from the google-availability field. If you need to change the field name, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Manage Feed > Define Fields” page.
  2. Click “Edit” for the availability field.
  3. Enter the field name from your products table in the Field Name setting, and click the 'Update' button.
  4. Resubmit your data feed.
What are the ways to submit custom attributes in my Google feed?

If you have more fields in your store catalog, you can output them to your data feed by adding Catalog Fields from the Manage Feed > Define Fields page. Refer to Defining your Custom Attributes for details on how to name the attributes in the feed.

The values in the above field types are passed through directly without any changes. If you need special handling, consider upgrading to a Custom data feed. We have customizable field types that can do things such as remove HTML tags, remove boilerplate text, and re-categorize products.

How do I optimize my keywords for Google Shopping?

Quick Tip: Optimize the first 70 characters of the title, and the first 140 character of the description for best results. Describe the item accurately and concisely within that limit with all relevant keywords for the item.

Because Google’s search algorithms are secret, there is no guaranteed way to improve your visibility and ranking in the search results. Furthermore, as the algorithms change over time, your visibility and ranking will also change over time. The following are only general techniques to improve your search engine ranking for Google Shopping.

The closer your product descriptions and titles match the keywords that people are typing into the search box, the higher the resulting listing. Keyword order and spelling are important. Matches in titles rank higher than matches in descriptions. On your site’s product pages, text size, placement, and contrast affect the importance of the keywords. (Hidden text in meta tags is generally ignored.) These guidelines are not absolute.

Example

Target Keywords
nike air max 360 mens
Title
Nike Air Max 360 Mens Size 7 Sneakers
Description
Nike Air Max 360 Mens Size 7 Sneakers BB low basketball shoes. The Mens Nike Air Max 360 BB is designed for the athlete...

Strategies

  • Keywords are the first words in the title and description.
  • Keyword spelling matches exactly, including punctuation and plurality (case does not matter).
  • Keyword order matches exactly.
  • Keywords are repeated in the description multiple times, with variations.
  • Use the suggestions that pop-up when you search in Google to determine the correct keywords to target. The most popular keyword phrases appear higher.
  • Longer keyword phrases (i.e. the most specific ones) have the highest conversion rates.
Will Checkout badges improve my ranking in Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is an unbiased product search engine, and therefore, usage of Google Checkout or Adwords does not affect your ranking. However, your store will be more prominently featured by having the Checkout badge next to your items. This is one avenue you may wish to investigate further. We currently do not offer any services in this regard.

How do I enable Google Checkout Badges on my product listings?

We currently do not have specific instructions on enabling Google Checkout Badges for your items submitted to Google Merchant Center. However, you may find the following links helpful.

Title Length for SEO: Importance of the 70 character limit for Google

According to Google's Product Feed Specifications, the 'title' attribute has a suggested maximum length of 70 characters. Therefore, products with long titles will still be listed in search results.

However, since Google search results only display about 70 characters of the title, and products with long titles are not as user-friendly, it stands to reason that products with longer titles may be demoted in the ranking. Furthermore, the words after 70 characters may not be considered as relevant. Some SEO experts also recommend keeping page titles under 70 chars. Therefore, our opinion is that while an appropriate title length is important, it is not strictly necessary for every product. Similar reasoning applies to page titles for Google's organic search ranking.

Note that we have no direct knowledge of Google's algorithms, so the above suggestions represent an opinion only.

If your product titles are excessively long, we can program your (Custom) feed so that all the titles are limited to a 70 character title length by truncating long titles at a word boundary. However, we generally do not recommend this. The loss of visibility penalty due to the lack of important title keywords is typically greater than the minor ranking penalty due to having more than 70 characters. Keywords in the title are very critical to getting your products to show up for particular searches.

Strategy for the transition to Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

Your existing Google Merchant Account data feed is used to create a new Adwords Campaign for the Product Listing Ads. Here are the steps to take to make the most of the transition from free listings to pay-per-click listings with Google Shopping.

Enable Product Listing Ads

Go to Google Merchant Center: Adwords Settings and follow the steps in the wizard to set up a default campaign. You can set your daily budget to $1.00 and default bid to $0.01 while you learn how it works.

Starting Out Small

We recommend you set your maximum bid to $0.01 per click and set your maximum daily spend to $1.00. This will cap your spending to $30/month, and deliver you up to 100 clicks per day. Customers searching for hard-to-find items, or those sorting by price or other factors may still find your items and click on them. This is a good way to get started without a huge investment of time or money.

Refining the Campaign

For strategies on optimizing your your product listing ads campaign, please see our article: How to optimize your Product Listing Ads Campaign

How to Optimize a Google Shopping Campaign

Campaign Tracking

Set up Google Analytics Tracking URLs and track your conversions in Google Analytics.

Negative Keywords

To prevent paying for irrelevant clicks, you can configure negative keywords in your Adwords campaign. In your campaign settings, on the Dimensions tab, select search terms to see the keywords that are coming in. Then, you can start adding the negative keywords on the keywords tab, in the negative keywords section.

Weekly Bid/Budget Adjustment

On a weekly basis, you should review and adjust your bid and daily budget. Small changes in the bid can result in big changes in traffic and conversions. It needs to be maintained at least once per week because the competition is changing all the time.

Scheduling Ads

With Shopping Campaigns, your daily budget could be exhausted before the end of the day. Please contact Adwords and ask them about showing the ads evenly over the day, or scheduling the ads to only appear at certain times of the day.

Bidding by Price Range

We can help you set up your feed so you can set your bids based on the price of the product. This allows you to bid more on higher-priced items, and less on lower-priced items. To learn more, see: Google Shopping Bidding by Price Break.

Product Groups

On the Product Groups tab of your Shopping Campaign Ad Group, you can click the plus icon next to All Products to set up different bids for different groups of products. You will want to bid higher for high price/margin items, and lower for low price/margin items. You can set up a target by the following fields:

  • Category
  • Brand
  • Item ID
  • Condition
  • Product Type
  • Custom Label 0
  • Custom Label 1
  • Custom Label 2
  • Custom Label 3
  • Custom Label 4

Filtering

If there are items you do not want listed, you can filter these from your feed. You can filter items individually, or by attributes such as price, category, markup, or any other product attribute. For instructions, see our Filtering Techniques and Instructions.

Titles and Descriptions

The first 70 characters of the title and the first 140 characters of the description play a key role in determining the ranking of your items in Google Shopping. Include words that accurately describe the item. Irrelevant information here will lower your ranking. Do not include boilerplate text, shipping terms, availability information, calls to action, block capitals, etc. See our keyword optimization page for more details.

Additional Resources

Google Shopping Best Practices Guide - free
This official Google guide covers optimizing your feed, setting up product targets, bidding strategy, and analytics.
The Google Shopping Guide for Business Owners - free
This guide covers bidding strategy with product targets, and includes examples of how to best use the information from Google Analytics.
Using price breaks to increase your Google Shopping ROI

Overview

Are you bidding the same price for clicks on your $10.00 items as your $200.00 items? If you bid too high, it may be too costly to sell the $10.00 item, and if you bid too low, you may miss sales opportunities on the $200.00 item.

This easy optimization will let you customize your bid by the price range of your products, allowing you to submit your whole catalog of products to Google Shopping. This can significantly lower your conversion cost and improve your return on investment in Google Adwords Shopping Campaigns (previously known as Product Listing Ads (PLA)).

Full Service Option

Let us do the setup for you:

Request Google Shopping Price Breaks Setup

Or, you can use the do-it-yourself instructions below.

Instructions

Our Google Shopping feeds include a free feature to define price breaks, also known as 'ranges', 'brackets', or 'buckets'. The price break values will be placed in one of the custom_label_X fields. You can use this setting to set up product groups that target different price ranges. In this way, you can set lower bids for lower priced items, and higher bids for higher priced items.

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields for your Google Shopping feed
  3. Click Edit for the custom_label_3 field (If that field is in use already, you could select any other custom_label_X field.)
  4. Enter your price breaks in the Price Breaks input box. Separate each one with a comma (and optional spaces).
    For example, if you enter 50,200,9999, this will set up three price breaks of 50.00 for products priced between $0.01 and $50.00, 200.00 for products priced between $50.01 and $200.00 and 9999.00 for products priced between $200.01 and $9999.00. NOTE: Any settings for Default Value and Catalog Field will be ignored. Refer to the instructions on the Add or Modify Field page for details.
  5. Make sure your highest price break is greater than your highest priced item. Open the Request Price Breaks Setup Form to see the price range for each of your feeds.
  6. Go to the Manage Feed page and click the Submit button. (Allow an hour or two for processing.)
  7. Log into your Google Adwords account
  8. Under your Google Shopping campaign in the left side-bar, select the ad group that you want to customize.
  9. Click on the Product groups tab
  10. Next to the All products product group, click the plus icon or pencil icon
  11. In the gray drop-down box, select the Custom label 3 field
  12. Click the bulk add values manually link
  13. Enter each price break value, e.g. 50.00, on a separate line. The price break value must have two decimal places, and must not have any double quotes or commas.
  14. Click the Add values button
  15. Click the Save button.
  16. The new product groups will appear in the list. Click the Max. CPC box next to each group, and enter your maximum cost-per-click bid for the price range.
  17. If you follow the example above, you will have three new product groups as follows:
    • 50.00
    • 200.00
    • 9999.00
  18. Make sure to set an appropriate bid for the Everything else in 'All Products' product group. For example, you can set the bid to $0.01 (or anything less than or equal to the bid on your lowest product group). This is a catch-all rule that ensures all your items remain listed, in case you ever add items with prices outside the ranges that you set up.

eBay Commerce Network Data Feed

Can I submit a Yahoo Store directly to eBay Commerce Network?

eBay Commerce Network (Shopping.com) can read your product listings directly from your Yahoo Store. However, there may be advantages to using our feed service rather than the automatic feed.

  • You can exclude low-margin products from submission to save on unwanted clicks.
  • Our system can properly map your Yahoo Store catalog data to Shopping.com's extensive attribute list. Properly submitting the recommended data may result in improved ranking.
  • Use our Custom feeds to customize the output from your Yahoo Store.
  • You can rely on our technical support in case of any problems.
How do I set up my eBay Commerce Network merchant account?
  1. Open a merchant account at eBay Commerce Network (previously known as Shopping.com).
  2. Navigate to Datafeeds > Submit Datafeed.
  3. Select Upload your datafeed to the eBay Commerce Network via FTP (Recommended)
  4. In the Enter your datafeed file name box, enter shopping.zip
  5. Copy the FTP username and password into the Manage Feed > Modify Feed Settings in your Aten Software account.
  6. From your Aten Software account, run a Submit task to upload your feed
  7. Return to the eBay Commerce Network account and click Continue.
  8. On the Map datafeed page, select Custom for the Format attribute, and then click Continue
  9. On the Enter Info. page, define your shipping rates and tax rates as needed. Select Other feed provider and click Continue.
  10. Navigate to Datafeeds > Your Products after some time to see the status of the listings.
  11. We also recommend that you subscribe to the optimization report under Datafeeds > Subscribe to Optimization Report.
How do I optimize my Shopping.com data feed?

Make sure your products are properly categorized by following our instructions on setting the Category ID (in this topic).

To keep CPC costs low, you can use product filters to filter out non-performing items, or items under a certain price. As an example, you can filter out a product if it does not yield any sales within 50 clicks.

Review the Shopping.com data feed specifications, and submit any additional attributes as recommended by them.

Shopping.com Recommended Attributes
Recommended Attributes for Optimization, Source: Shopping.com

How do I set the Category ID for my Shopping.com data feed?

For Shopping.com categorization, we recommend that you add a field to your store catalog called shopping-category-id. Then, populate it with the appropriate category from the Shopping.com Taxonomy. You should select the single Category ID of the most specific category that applies to the product. For example, you would enter "419" for a telephone, which would place it in the "Electronics > Communications > Phones" sub-category.

Our shopping.com template is already configured to map this field from your store catalog, otherwise, you can change the field name by going to Manage > Define Fields. The automatic/manual categorization provided in your Shopping.com merchant account is usually not as reliable as this method.

Why don't my prices or shipping costs display correctly on Shopping.com?

Shopping.com displays prices based on the location that is entered by the user browsing the site (signed-in or not). In some states, the price may include sales tax, and shipping may be calculated based on the user's location.

How to I remap my feed in Shopping.com?

After adding or removing fields in you Shopping.com data feed, you must remap the columns in your Shopping.com Merchant Account in order for them to recognize the changes. This is very simple to do. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below.

  1. Log into our system and resubmit your feed.
  2. Log into your Shopping.com Merchant Account
  3. Click on the Products tab
  4. Click on the Submit Datafeed sub-tab
  5. Click on the Almost there! Map datafeed columns button at the bottom of the page
  6. On the field mapping page, scroll down to the Format field and select Custom from the drop-down box.
  7. All other fields should be pre-configured, so just click the Continue button on the bottom of the page
  8. You should see a message saying Your changes have been saved. This completes the procedure.

Reference: How do I upload my product feed file? in Shopping.com Merchant Support.

Ebay Data Feed

Can you submit my eBay Store listings to Google Shopping?

Google Shopping no longer accepts eBay product listings directly from individual eBay sellers. You must rely on the automatic data feed provided by eBay, which you can sign up for with the eBay export listings program.

eBay is considered a marketplace. This means that sellers items are listed under the stores.ebay.com domain. For example, Acme Store's eBay Store might have a website URL like stores.ebay.com/AcmeStore.

Google Shopping requires that marketplace listings be submitted by the marketplace itself, and not by the individual sellers in the marketplace. This is described in Google Shopping policies: Marketplaces, Marketplace sellers and Aggregators.

Please contact eBay directly regarding your listings in Google Shopping.

Can you upload my items to eBay?

We do not support bulk listing uploads to eBay due to its complex nature.

However, there is software out there that can upload a CSV (tab-delimited or comma-delimited text) file containing product information into eBay - please search in Google.

If you can provide us a working, sample CSV file for whatever eBay software you choose, we can give you a quote to implement a feed that generates that CSV file automatically from your product data. You can then use the software you chose to actually manage the eBay listings.

Facebook Product Ads Feed

Facebook Product Ads Campaign Setup

I. Log into your Facebook Business Manager Account

  1. Go to https://business.facebook.com - Facebook Business Manager
  2. If you do not have an account, click Get Started to sign up.

II. Create a Product Catalog

  1. In the left side-bar, click Product Catalogs. (It will be under the Business Settings heading if you have the pull-down menu activated.)
  2. Click the Add New Product Catalog button.
  3. Select Create new catalog and click Next.
  4. Enter your store name as the product catalog name, and click the Create Product Catalog button.
  5. Click Skip in the Add People dialog.
  6. Click OK in the Product Catalog Created dialog.

III. Assign a Partner to your Product Catalog

  1. If you are setting up the Product Feed on your own, refer to our Setup Instructions. Otherwise, assign us as a Partner as described next.
  2. Log into your Facebook Business Manager account.
  3. Navigate to Business Manager Settings.
  4. In the side-bar along the left side of the screen, click the icon for Product Catalogs. (It will be under the Business Settings heading if you have the pull-down menu activated.)
  5. Click the Assign Partner button for your store's Product Catalog.
  6. Click the Connect your product catalog using your partner’s business ID instead. Close link
  7. Select Product Catalog Admin in the Role drop-down.
  8. Enter our Business ID 1122558261092024 and click Connect.
  9. Contact us and let us know you have given us access.

IV. Create a Campaign and Ad Set

ATTENTION: At this time, you must use the Google Chrome web browser and Facebook Power Editor in order to set up a Dynamic Product Ads campaign. You will not find any option to add the campaign otherwise.

See here for the complete instructions:
How do I create a dynamic product ad in Power Editor?

Facebook Product Ads Feed Setup Instructions

We support Facebook for Business product feeds. You can use this feed to upload your product catalog to Facebook Product Ads.

  1. Add and configure a new feed in your account, selecting the Facebook Product Ads template.
  2. Refresh the feed to make sure the data feed file is generated.
  3. Create a Business Manager account on Facebook for Business.
  4. Log into your Facebook for Business account.
  5. Click menu arrow in the top-right of the page, and then click the Manage Business link to get to your Business Manager account.
  6. Click on the Settings tab.
  7. Click the Product Catalogs link in the side-bar.
  8. Click Add New Product Catalog and follow the steps.
  9. Go back to your Business Manager Home and click on the new Product Catalog
  10. Click Add Product Feed.
  11. Enter your store name as the Feed Name.
  12. Select Auto upload through URL (Recommended).
  13. Enter the Feed URL, which can be found in our site, on the My Account > Manage > Download Data Feed File page.
  14. Choose the following settings:
    Encoding: UTF-8
    Delimiter: Tab
    Use quoted fields: unchecked
    Credentials Username: leave blank
    Credentials Password: leave blank
    Upload Date: leave at default
    Upload Time: 8:00 AM
    (Feeds will be refreshed by 8:00 AM or earlier in any continental US time zone.)

    Upload Frequency: Daily
  15. Click the Schedule Upload button.
Facebook Product Ads Optimization Strategy

Because visitors to Facebook do not have an explicit shopping intent (compared to someone who searches for a product in a search engine), advertising in Facebook takes a different mindset. According to the experts, Facebook Product Ads may be the most effective for branding, and using it for retargeting may the best place to start. Read on for more information about this new advertising program and how to set it up.

Facebook Shoptab Data Feed

Shoptab Categories and Facebook Shoptab Data Feed Setup

Our system can generate a Facebook Shoptab data feed from your online store. Follow the instructions below on how to set up your feed using our pre-configured template.

  1. Log into our site and go to My Account > Add Feed, and choose the Shoptab Feed Template
  2. Go to Manage Feed > Modify Settings and configure the store source settings using the Store Source Settings Setup Instructions. FTP settings should be left blank
  3. Go to Manage Feed > Submit a Task and click Refresh
  4. Go to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File and copy the File URL.
  5. Log into Facebook Shoptab Admin and click on the Data Feed tab.
  6. Paste the File URL into the Url of file box under the Scheduled Updates section.
  7. Add ?f=s.csv to the end of the URL. The final URL will look something like this:
    http://www.atensoftware.com/p400_12345.php?f=s.csv
  8. Select daily as the Frequency and click the Schedule button.

At this point, you can either do a manual upload of the feed file downloaded from our site, or wait until Shoptab picks up the feed according to their schedule. Check your Shoptab Admin account My Products page to see if your products are listed.

Shoptab Categories Setup

By default, our system will use the merchant-category field from your store catalog as the Shoptab category. If you want to use a different field, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields for your Shoptab feed
  2. Click Edit for the category field
  3. Enter the name of another catalog field, e.g. shoptab-category, into the Field Name box, and click Update
  4. Go to Manage Feed > Submit a Task and click the Refresh button to refresh the feed.

Notes and Tips

For best results, we recommend short category names (less than ~20 characters) for your products, because the ShopTab will display the categories in a narrow, vertical menu bar. If you do not have an existing field with suitable categories, we suggest creating a custom field in your store catalog named shoptab-category.

Products in the feed will be sorted by ID and this is not configurable as of yet.

Image hosting is required for Facebook, and we provide this service free of charge. The hosted image URLs take about half an hour to become active. Image hosting will rewrite the URLs so that they all end in JPG. The URLs will be on ih.atensoftware.com, and will redirect to the actual images on your site. That will be sufficient for ShopTab.

The Facebook Shoptab feed is similar to, but not exactly the same as the Google Data Feeds. Shoptab may have issues if you try to submit a Google feed directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does your service do?

Our web-based software allows you to submit product listings from your online store to shopping search engines like Google, Bing, etc. Your monthly service fee pays us to ensure your feeds are running as scheduled, update your feeds when specifications change, and provide technical support.

What services are not included?

While we are responsible to submit your product data feed, unfortunately, we do not offer bid management for cost-per-click advertising campaigns at this time. We suggest that merchant's manage their campaigns directly, or hire a company that specializes in that type of service.

What do you charge?

We charge a flat fee of $23.70/month for your first data feed, and $7.80/month for each additional data feed.

A data feed is one store/shopping engine combination, and includes unlimited products and submissions. (Custom data feeds are $12.90 extra per month.) We offer a variety of data feed optimization services for an additional charge.

How long does it take to get my products listed?

You can register an account right now and submit your first data feed immediately. Most shopping engines (including Google) will start displaying your product listings in search results within a day or two.

How long have you been in business?

We have been submitting daily data feeds to Google for over 12 years, since May 2004. We currently submit over 5,000,000 unique product listings to over 20+ shopping engines.

Do you have any references?

Please contact us if you would like contact information for our references.

How do I get started?
  1. Register an account - sign-up is free; no credit card needed
  2. Create a merchant account for the shopping engine - sign-up links
  3. Add the data feed - refer to our setup instructions
  4. Submit the feed from your Aten Software account
  5. Check your merchant account to see the status
  6. Schedule your feed to run automatically
How do I pay for your service?

Your account starts with a $23.70 free trial credit. Monthly service fees are deducted each day in a small amount. When the balance gets low, you will receive low balance emails with a link to purchase credit. Follow the link to complete your payment.

We accept Google Wallet and Paypal. To simply pay by credit card, select Paypal and then click the link, Don't have a Paypal account?.

We do not store credit card information or do automatic billing.

General Information for Online Merchants

How to use Microsoft Access as a front-end for a MySQL Database

To connect Microsoft Access (MS Acess) to the edit tables in a MySQL database, you will need to download and install the MySQL ODBC Connector. Look for the Connector/ODBC 5.1.11 MSI Download for your platform.

Then, use these instructions for the setup: 21.1.5.4.3. Using Microsoft Access as a Front-end to MySQL

Use the instructions here to set up the data source: 21.1.4.3. Configuring a Connector/ODBC DSN on Windows

Here is the information you need to set up the data source:

  • Data Source Name: Edit Tables on Aten
  • Description: (leave blank)
  • Server: mysql.atensoftware.com
  • User: (provided by email)
  • Password: (provided by email)
  • Database: (provided by email)

Microsoft Access crashes when linking tables if the name of the MySQL table is too long. We will set up your tables with short names (less than ~15 characters) to avoid this. Each table also needs to have a primary key defined.

PPC/CPC Google Shopping Campaign Management Companies

We do not offer PPC/CPC campaign management, keyword optimization, or general SEO services. The companies listed below can manage your pay-per-click shopping advertising campaigns with Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, etc.

Note: Listing here is not an endorsement. It is provided for reference only.

Batch Download Images using Wget

If you are comfortable with Access, SQL queries, or Excel, you can easily set up a batch file to download a large number of images from a website automatically with the wget.exe command line tool.

In your database or spreadsheet, just create a new field that generates output like this:

wget.exe -N -q -O widget-acme.jpg http://yimg.com/image11212
wget.exe -N -q -O foo-product.jpg http://yimg.com/image34324
wget.exe -N -q -O bar-product.jpg http://yimg.com/image56575

The above command downloads the URL and saves it with the specified file name in quiet mode. The -N switch tells it to skip the download if the file has already been downloaded and is up-to-date (based on time-stamping).

Next, copy and paste that column into notepad and save it with a .bat file extension.

Download wget.exe and put it in the same folder as the batch file.

Double-click the batch file to run it and wait for the images to download.

You can press Ctrl+C to cancel execution. Just double-click the batch file again to resume the downloads, and it will pick up where it left off.

If you run the batch file again after several weeks, only the images that have changed on the website since the last download will be re-downloaded, saving time.

See the following article for an an example: Can I backup, download, or export all my Yahoo store images?.

Duplicate content and DMCA takedown notices for copyright violations.

If another website is copying your product images, product descriptions, or other content, it is a good idea to take action. If you do not, Google and other search engines may penalize your site for containing duplicate content, even if your site was the original source.

Most of the time, simply contacting the individual by email or letter requesting that they remove the content is sufficient. You may have spent hundreds of hours painstakingly developing your content, and it is usually worthwhile to spend a few hours identifying violators and writing them notices.

If you have limited time, there are DMCA takedown services that can perform this service for you, often for a fixed fee and guaranteed results. Just search in Google for DMCA Takedown Service to find a company that provides this service.

Google Shopping

How will I benefit from being listed in Google Shopping?

Google Shopping allows people shopping for items to find your items via the Google search engine. It helps you reach buyers when they are actively searching for items to buy. Google Shopping lets your control product listings, allowing you to provide highly relevant and fresh results to shoppers.

Listings in Google Shopping are enabled via Product Listing Ads, which lets you control the pay-per-click bid (as little as $0.01 per click) and daily budget. Along with advanced targeting options, this allows you to optimize your advertising campaign for the best results.

How long does it take for my products to be listed?

Our service allows you to submit your products immediately. Google will process the submission within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The steps are are listed below:

  • Submission - Our server uploads your data feed file to Google's server (via FTP file transfer)
  • Pick-up - "Data Feeds" tab shows "Processing..." and time of upload.
  • Processing complete - "Data Feeds" tab shows number of items inserted or an error message
  • Items Inactive - Items will listed in the "Inactive Items" tab as "Published... searchable soon"
  • Items Active - Items will be listed in the "Active Items" tab as "Published and searchable"
  • Statistics and Quality - Available in "Data Quality" and "Performance" tabs (always delayed one to two days)
  • Image Thumbnails - thumbnail images will appear as image not available until Google’s server fetches them
How does this service categorize my products?

By default, our feeds leave the product categories exactly as they are defined in your store.

For shopping engines that have their own, official category list or taxonomy, you can define a default category that applies to all your items via your settings.

We also offer categorization services for data feeds, where we can categorize your items on an ongoing basis.

Will my images be submitted to Google and other shopping engines?

Yes, our system reads the image URLs from your product data catalog. Our software correctly determines the image links, and submits them in the data feed.

Some of our feeds can also be configured to submit additional image URLs besides the main image of the product. Doing so may improve your ranking in the shopping engines.

How often can I submit my feed?

You can schedule your feed to submit daily, weekly, bi-weekly, tri-weekly, monthly, or never. The submissions are executed in the early morning hours. Please contact us if you require multiple submissions per day.

How are item options submitted?

Product options are automatically recognized and submitted. They are added as a custom attribute for Google Base feeds in a readable format, e.g. "Smily Face T-Shirt - Options: Size: S, M, L - Color: White, Black". More keywords in the description help your search result rankings for longer, multi-term queries. Longer queries tend to have higher conversion rates.

Is additional information for books, music, or videos submitted?

Yes, you can add the information as attributes of your data feed./

Is there support for extended information, such as availability, shipping cost, or quantity pricing?

Yes, you can add any number of attributes to your data feeds.

Data Feed Currency Conversion

We support currency conversion on all feeds, included as part of our Standard feed service. We use Yahoo! Finance to obtain up-to-date conversion rates at the time your feed is generated. We can convert between all major international currencies.

Please note that many US-based shopping search engines require a US presence. Please contact the shopping engine's merchant support to confirm.

Supported Currencies


Albanian Lek - ALL
Algerian Dinar - DZD
Aluminium Ounces - XAL
Argentine Peso - ARS
Aruba Florin - AWG
Australian Dollar - AUD
Bahamian Dollar - BSD
Bahraini Dinar - BHD
Bangladesh Taka - BDT
Barbados Dollar - BBD
Belarus Ruble - BYR
Belize Dollar - BZD
Bermuda Dollar - BMD
Bhutan Ngultrum - BTN
Bolivian Boliviano - BOB
Botswana Pula - BWP
Brazilian Real - BRL
British Pound - GBP
Brunei Dollar - BND
Bulgarian Lev - BGN
Burundi Franc - BIF
CFA Franc (BCEAO) - XOF
CFA Franc (BEAC) - XAF
Cambodia Riel - KHR
Canadian Dollar - CAD
Cape Verde Escudo - CVE
Cayman Islands Dollar - KYD
Chilean Peso - CLP
Chinese Yuan - CNY
Colombian Peso - COP
Comoros Franc - KMF
Copper Pounds - XCP
Costa Rica Colon - CRC
Croatian Kuna - HRK
Cuban Peso - CUP
Czech Koruna - CZK
Danish Krone - DKK
Dijibouti Franc - DJF
Dominican Peso - DOP
East Caribbean Dollar - XCD
Ecuador Sucre - ECS
Egyptian Pound - EGP
El Salvador Colon - SVC
Eritrea Nakfa - ERN
Estonian Kroon - EEK
Ethiopian Birr - ETB
Euro - EUR
Falkland Islands Pound - FKP
Fiji Dollar - FJD
Gambian Dalasi - GMD
Ghanian Cedi - GHC
Gibraltar Pound - GIP
Gold Ounces - XAU
Guatemala Quetzal - GTQ
Guinea Franc - GNF
Guyana Dollar - GYD
Haiti Gourde - HTG
Honduras Lempira - HNL
Hong Kong Dollar - HKD
Hungarian Forint - HUF
Iceland Krona - ISK
Indian Rupee - INR
Indonesian Rupiah - IDR
Iran Rial - IRR
Iraqi Dinar - IQD
Israeli Shekel - ILS
Jamaican Dollar - JMD
Japanese Yen - JPY
Jordanian Dinar - JOD
Kazakhstan Tenge - KZT
Kenyan Shilling - KES
Kuwaiti Dinar - KWD
Lao Kip - LAK
Latvian Lat - LVL
Lebanese Pound - LBP
Lesotho Loti - LSL
Liberian Dollar - LRD
Libyan Dinar - LYD
Lithuanian Lita - LTL
Macau Pataca - MOP
Macedonian Denar - MKD
Malawi Kwacha - MWK
Malaysian Ringgit - MYR
Maldives Rufiyaa - MVR
Maltese Lira - MTL
Mauritania Ougulya - MRO
Mauritius Rupee - MUR
Mexican Peso - MXN
Moldovan Leu - MDL
Mongolian Tugrik - MNT
Moroccan Dirham - MAD
Myanmar Kyat - MMK
Namibian Dollar - NAD
Nepalese Rupee - NPR
Neth Antilles Guilder - ANG
New Zealand Dollar - NZD
Nicaragua Cordoba - NIO
Nigerian Naira - NGN
North Korean Won - KPW
Norwegian Krone - NOK
Omani Rial - OMR
Pacific Franc - XPF
Pakistani Rupee - PKR
Palladium Ounces - XPD
Panama Balboa - PAB
Papua New Guinea Kina - PGK
Paraguayan Guarani - PYG
Peruvian Nuevo Sol - PEN
Philippine Peso - PHP
Platinum Ounces - XPT
Polish Zloty - PLN
Qatar Rial - QAR
Romanian New Leu - RON
Russian Rouble - RUB
Rwanda Franc - RWF
Samoa Tala - WST
Sao Tome Dobra - STD
Saudi Arabian Riyal - SAR
Seychelles Rupee - SCR
Sierra Leone Leone - SLL
Silver Ounces - XAG
Singapore Dollar - SGD
Slovak Koruna - SKK
Slovenian Tolar - SIT
Solomon Islands Dollar - SBD
Somali Shilling - SOS
South African Rand - ZAR
South Korean Won - KRW
Sri Lanka Rupee - LKR
St Helena Pound - SHP
Sudanese Pound - SDG
Swaziland Lilageni - SZL
Swedish Krona - SEK
Swiss Franc - CHF
Syrian Pound - SYP
Taiwan Dollar - TWD
Tanzanian Shilling - TZS
Thai Baht - THB
Tonga Pa'ang - TOP
Trinidad & Tobago Dollar - TTD
Tunisian Dinar - TND
Turkish Lira - TRY
UAE Dirham - AED
Ugandan Shilling - UGX
Ukraine Hryvnia - UAH
United States Dollar - USD
Uruguayan New Peso - UYU
Vanuatu Vatu - VUV
Venezuelan Bolivar Fuerte - VEF
Vietnam Dong - VND
Yemen Riyal - YER
Zambian Kwacha - ZMK
Zimbabwe dollar - ZWD

Why don't product sections, products with zero price, or items marked non-orderable show up in the product list?

The following types of listings are filtered out automatically by our feed system, and will not appear in the product list.

  • Product listings with zero price or no price
  • Product listings where Orderable is 'No'
  • Section or category pages

Google, and most other shopping engines, require item listings to have a purchasable product on them with a minimum price of $0.01.

How much additional traffic (or clickthroughs, leads, sales) will my store attract if it is listed in Google?

You may or may not receive additional traffic. It depends on many factors including your product mix, pricing, Google's search algorithms, and buyer tastes. This service only manages data submission, and does not guarantee that your products will be accepted by Google, or that you will see a traffic increase. Please see the Terms of Service for details.

I have multiple stores, can I set up multiple feeds?

Yes, you can set up any number of stores of any type from within one account on our system.

We recommend maintaining one account to save on fees and to simplify administration. You are welcome to open multiple accounts if, for example, you must keep the billing separate.

For Google Shopping, you can manage all your stores from within one Google Merchant Account. All you have to do is submit the form to request a multi-client account.

Bing Shopping also allows you to manage multiple stores from within one account. Other shopping channels generally require you to have a separate account for each store. Please check with them to confirm.

I run multiple Yahoo! stores, but some products appear in more than one store. Is this a problem?

No. Our service offers an exclusive automatic duplicate exclusion feature. You can set a priority for each store, and then products in multiple stores will only be submitted in the highest priority store. This ensures that all your products are submitted, and each is only submitted once.

What should be my data feed settings in Google Merchant Center?

When you create your data feed, select 'Products' as the type, 'googlebase' as the format, and enter a file name ending in '.txt'. The default settings will work with our system, but if you need to verify them, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to your Google Merchant Center > Data Feeds tab
  2. Under the Upload column, make sure that it says Create schedule or Paused schedule
  3. If there is an active schedule, click on it, and then click the Pause Schedule button
  4. Click Settings under the data feed file name
  5. Verify the settings below:
    • Filename: anything ending in .zip or .txt (by default, googlebase.zip)
    • Encoding: UTF-8 (Autodetect is not reliable)
    • Delimiter: Tab
    • Use quoted fields: No
    • Click Save changes
  1. Log into your Aten Software account
  2. Go to My Account > Manage Feed > Advanced Settings.
  3. Set the the "File Enclosure" setting to "None" and click 'Update'

Notes

Disabling quoted fields is the default and recommended setting.

Note that attributes that consist of multiple sub-attributes, such as 'tax' and 'shipping', do not work if enclosed in quotations. Therefore, we recommend to set Use quoted fields to "No".

Setting "Encoding" to "Autodetect" usually works fine, but if you add any special characters to your titles or descriptions, then there is a chance that Google will not detect the encoding and then they would reject those listings. Google's auto-detect logic is not perfect (it may only look at the top 100 lines of the data feed file). Therefore, it is safer to set "Encoding" to "UTF-8".

What is the difference between Google Base, Merchant Center, and Product Search?

Google Shopping (previously known as Google Product Search) is Google's shopping search engine for end-users.

Google Merchant Center is the site for merchants to upload their product listings.

Google Base is the site for uploading other types of listings to Google, such as real estate and job postings. (Previously, product listings were uploaded here too.)

Is it possible to change my product descriptions before they are sent to Google Shopping?

This is not possible. Our system passes your product descriptions as-is to Google Shopping. The only changes made are to comply with their requirements. For example, the feed automatically strips HTML tags. It truncates the description (on a word boundary) if it is too long. It also substitutes the product title if the description is blank.

Google Shopping requires that the description submitted match the description displayed on your site. Therefore, in order to make changes, you must edit the product descriptions in your store. This is also better because your content has a single source, so you only need to edit it in one place.

My product listings now appear in Google Shopping, but not all of my images.

Images thumbnails are shown after the products are listed. It can take days for their system to process all your product images into thumbnails.

How I can optimize my data feed to create more traffic to my website and boost sales?

Look through our support articles to find numerous optimization strategies. We offer a variety of optimization services, which you can read about here: Services for Data Feeds.

How do I get my store reviews or ratings to appear in Google Shopping?

Unfortunately, there is currently no way to control any aspect of your seller reviews or ratings in Google Shopping via data feeds.

Google provides some advice regarding seller ratings in the links below. Basically, the domain registered on the third-party review site must match the domain registered in your Google Merchant Account, and there must be at least 30 reviews. Meeting these requirements is not a guarantee that the reviews will be listed.

Changes are coming soon though. They are now accepting reviews from Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews, if you subscribe to their paid review services. Google also hopes to add additional partners, as well as a self-submission model.

How do I configure free shipping for Google Shopping?

If all your products have free shipping, then you can configure this via your Google Merchant Account Tax and Shipping Settings. Simply create a flat-rate shipping rule, and set the price to zero.

Otherwise, if only certain items have free shipping, then configure your default shipping costs in the Google Merchant Account, and then override the shipping cost for individual items using the instructions below.

  1. Add the following custom field to your store catalog: google-shipping
  2. Edit the 'Shipping' field on the Define Fields page of your Bing Shopping feed, and set the Field Name to 'google-shipping'. (Bing supports the same shipping cost format as Google.)
  3. In your store catalog, set the values for 'google-shipping' to 'US:::0.00' (without quotes) on the items that qualify for free shipping.
  4. Leave the field blank for all other items. For these items, the shipping cost will be based on the rules you set up in your Google Merchant Account.
  5. Ensure that the 'shipping' field on the Define Fields page of the Google feed has the Field Name set to 'google-shipping'.
  6. To set other shipping values for Google, please see the Google Shopping shipping attribute instructions. The Google shipping attribute is composed of country, region, service, and price. You can specify multiple shipping rules for a single product by separating each by commas.
  7. Resubmit from our site after making all the changes.

Important Tips

  • We recommend setting ship-weight to the actual ship weight of the items, as opposed to setting it to zero to trigger free shipping.
  • One other thing you will need to do is log into your Google Merchant center account, and ensure that "Use Quoted Fields" setting is set to "No". Instructions for doing so are here: Google Feed Settings.
How do I set my store name in Google Shopping?

To change the way your store name is displayed in Google Shopping results, you must set it in your Google Merchant Center dashboard on the General Settings page

For other shopping engines, the store name is also set via the merchant account of the shopping engine. The Store Name setting in our system on the Manage > Modify Setting page is only for internal use, and does not affect anything in any search engine.

Why doesn't Google Shopping show all my results?

When you search in Google Shopping by your store name, you may or may not see all your products in the search results.

To do an accurate search, you should search by Account ID rather than store name. Your Account ID can be found in your Google Merchant Account Dashboard on the top-left of the page. (Account ID may also be known as accountid, sellerid, authorid, seller ID, or author ID.) Enter the URL as follows into your browser:

http://www.google.com/products?authorid=1234567

You can also use this form to run an AuthorID search in Google Shopping:

Google Account ID (e.g. 1234567)

It is no longer possible to see the approximate number of matching items or navigate to the last page of results to get a count of the listings (unless there are less than about 100 results).

Note that the search results may vary by your geographical location and may vary over time as Google's search index is distributed and updated over time.

The only correct way to see your searchable items is to log into your Google Merchant Account Dashboard, go to the Products tab, and select the "Status" as "Searchable". Note that the item count here is also an estimate, and you can only see accurate item counts on the "Data Feeds" tab.

Configuring Sale Price for Google Shopping

By default, our Google feeds submit the sale-price as the price, and this works for almost all customers since they generally do not use sale-price for specials, but rather for the ordinary, day-to-day pricing. If you are interested in submitting true, advertised sale pricing, please read below.

When using the Google's sale_price attribute, Google has the following requirements:

If you use the sale-price for true, advertised specials, then you can configure your feed to submit the sale-price as described below. Note that this Google attribute is experimental, and it is not yet clear how exactly it is to be used and how it affects your listings in Google. Please use the instructions below only as a guideline.

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields
  2. Click Edit next to the price field.
  3. Enter regular (without quotes) as the Price Source and click Update.
  4. Click Edit next to the sale_price field.
  5. Enter sale (without quotes) as the Price Source and click Update.
  6. Click Edit next to the sale_price_effective_date field.
  7. Enter the name of a catalog field that contains this information, and click Update.
  8. Resubmit the feed from Tasks > Submit a Task
Configuring the 'condition' attribute for Google feeds.

By default, our feed sets all items to have the 'new' 'condition' value. If the 'condition' of your items varies, then follow these instructions.

  1. Add a custom field to your store catalog called 'google-condition' with a default value of 'new'.
  2. Set any items as 'refurbished' or 'used' as needed.
  3. On our site, go to Manage Feed > Define Fields > Edit 'condition'.
  4. Enter google-condition in the Field Name box, and then save the settings.
  5. Run a Refresh task, and then you can review the changes in the product list before running a submission.

Google only accepts 'refurbished', 'used', and 'new' as the condition. Your catalog must only contain these values. For an explanation of what these values mean, refer to the Google Product Feed Specifications.

Items disapproved due to shipping terms in the product description

Google Shopping prohibits items with words like "free shipping" or "free ground shipping" anywhere in the product listing, including titles and descriptions. These items will be disapproved or disallowed by Google.

Google's content policy states, "Text relating to shopping or store policies should not be included in your feed."

To see all your disallowed items, click on the "Products" tab in your Google Merchant Center Dashboard. In the "Status" drop-down box, select "Inactive". Click an item title to see the product details.

  • The best way to resolve this is to remove the policy text from your product descriptions/captions, titles, and other fields. We recommend moving policy text to fields such as 'availability', 'headline', and 'promo-text'.

    If you decide to move the policy text to another field, then you may have to modify your RTML page template to display that text. You could also move the policy text to an image, a custom field, or another store field.

  • If there are not that many items, you can ignore the error or filter those items out with a product filter.
  • If you need a quicker solution, you can upgrade to a Custom feed and we can customize your data feed to remove the policy text. We may charge a small programming fee to set up the filtering rules specific to your store.

Restricted Items

Another common reason for disallowed items is keywords that indicate restricted items, such as human body parts and weapons. For more information, please see our article titled: Can you help if my feed was disapproved by Google?

Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)

In Google's Product Taxonomy, the Apparel and Accessories category includes Shoes, Clothing, and Jewelry. You can assign the category of each item via the google_product_category attribute.

Any items assigned a category (or any subcategory) of Apparel and Accessories will require the information listed below.

  • gender - 'male', 'female', or 'unisex' are the only allowed values
  • age_group - 'adult', 'kids', 'newborn', 'infant', and 'toddler' are the only allowed values
  • color - must be the dominant color of the pictured item
  • size - required for Clothing and Shoes; accepted size values
  • material - if applicable
  • pattern - if applicable
  • image_link - the image must be of the specific color, material, and pattern (the specific size is recommended too)
  • brand - required unless item is custom-made
  • google_product_category - required (providing only the top-level category is okay, as long as you differentiate between Shoes and Clothing at a minimum)

See the following Google support articles for more information:

In order to meet these requirements, you have a couple options:

A. Submit Only One Variant for Each Product

You will need to add values to your store catalog for color, size, material, pattern, gender, and age_group. If a value is the same for all items, e.g. 'gender=female', then you can define a default value on the Manage Feed > Define Fields page.

For some store, you can also submit the first color and/or size option value. In that case, just make sure the main product image coincides with the first size/color option.

B. Submit All Variants of the Product

We have the capability to submit all variations of your items based on supplemental data you provide to us. This service requires a Custom feed and there is a setup fee. For more information, please refer to our Product Feed Multiplication Service.

Please consider our Data Feed Optimization Service. This one-time, flat-rate service, includes a review of your store data, configuration of your data feed, and a customized optimization report that includes a strategy for meeting the new requirements.

Options for Submitting Color Values in Data Feeds

There are several options when it comes to dealing with 'color'.

  1. Set a default value that applies to all items, e.g. "Black".
  2. Use the contents of a custom attribute or meta field, e.g. "google_color". You have to populate that manually in your catalog.
  3. Any combination of 1 and 2 is possible with our Standard feeds, and can be configured on the Manage Feed > Define Fields page.
  4. Custom programming to extract the actual product colors and split the item by each color (size, etc.). We have a service called Product Feed Multiplication to do this. This requires a Custom feed.

The above information also applies to other apparel attributes, such as 'age_group', 'gender', and 'size'.

Exclude or Filter Out Items That Do Not Meet Google Requirements

Our system has the capability to validate your Google feed and exclude items that do not meet Google requirements. This feature is currently only supported for Google feeds.

Set up a filter to exclude the items with errors by following these instructions:

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Product Filters
  2. Select the item_errors field, select does not equal, click String, and leave the text box empty.
  3. Click Add
  4. Refresh or Submit the feed

As you correct the errors in your store, the items will automatically be included and submitted in the feed.

For a summary of all item errors and warnings, go to Manage Feed > Validation Report.

Adding the validation fields

All Google feeds should contain two special fields, 'item_errors' and 'item_warnings'. If you have a Custom feed and these fields do not exist, follow these instructions to add them:

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields
  2. From the Add Field form at the top, select Template - Placeholder and click Add
  3. Uncheck the Enabled checkbox, enter item_errors as the Name, and then click Add
  4. Repeat the above for the item_warnings field.
Why doesn't my item appear when I search in Google Shopping?

In order to determine why an item is not appearing in the search results, please follow the procedure listed here.

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Click Manage Feed for your Google feed
  3. Click Search by Keyword
  4. Type in the item ID/SKU or title. You can enter partial IDs and titles.
  5. If the item does not appear in the results box, please contact us.
  6. Click on the item in the results box to go to the Product Details page.
  7. If the product details have a strike-through effect, then the item is filtered out. Look at the top of the page to see matching filters.
  8. For example, a common filter is item_errors != ''.
  9. Look down in the product details for the item_errors or other field, to see the contents of the field. The item_errors field will contain all the errors that apply to the item.
  10. If the item has item_errors, go to Manage Feed > Google Validation Report to see a summary of the errors, with Help links explaining how to correct the errors.
  11. If the item is not filtered out, then log into your Google Merchant Account
  12. Click on the Products tab
  13. Type in the full item ID in the search box, and click Lookup
  14. If the item does not appear, please contact us.
  15. If the item has a green check mark, then it is actively searchable in Google Shopping. If it has a yellow icon, it is not searchable and is under review. If it has a red icon, it is disapproved.
  16. If the item is disapproved, click the item title to view the item details. A message indicating why the item is disapproved will be visible.
  17. If the message is vague or generic, you must contact Google using their disapproved items contact form
  18. If the item has a yellow icon, wait a day or two for the review to be completed. If the yellow icon stays longer than that, please contact Google.
  19. If the item has a green icon, it is searchable in Google.
  20. Search for the full, exact item title in Google, and you should see the item.
  21. If you are searching by other keywords, check if the exact search terms you are searching for appear in the product details, especially the first 70 characters of the title, and the first 140 characters of the description.
  22. If the search keywords do not appear in the product details, then Google's ranking algorithm has little reason to display your listing. Try adding the keywords to your title/description.
  23. If the search keywords do appear in the product details, then Google's ranking algorithm has decided not list your item for unknown reasons. You will have to try changing various product details until the item starts appearing again.
How To Remove or Delete Listings from Google Shopping

Use the instructions below if you need to immediately remove some or all of your Google Shopping product listing ads.

Remove All Listings from Google Shopping

  1. Go to the Data Feeds tab in your Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Check the box next to the data feed file name.
  3. Click the Delete selected button

Items can be restored by adding the data feed file back and resubmitting a feed.

Removing Individual Listings from Google Shopping

  1. Go to the Products tab in your Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Look up items by id using the search box, or page to the desired items
  3. Check the boxes next to the items you wish to delete.
  4. Click the Delete button

Items can be restored by resubmitting a feed containing the listings.

Removing Items Permanently from your Feed

Note that items may be re-uploaded with the next automated feed submission. If you need items to be removed from the feed permanently, please see these support articles:

The best practice for filtering items is to add a include-in-google custom attribute to your store catalog as a boolean yes/no field. Then, add a filter to exclude the items where include-in-google is false. This is described in detail in the Using your Store's Catalog section of the feed filtering instructions.

International Google Shopping Feeds to the UK and Other Countries

Google Shopping requires you to submit a separate product feed for each country that you want to target. The feed content must be in the local language and currency.

If you have English-content, then we can set up Google Shopping feeds for the following, English-speaking countries:

United Kingdom (GBP - British Pound)
Switzerland (CHF - Swiss Franc)
Australia (AUD - Australian Dollar)
Canada (CAD - Canadian Dollar)

The feed will convert your US Dollar prices to the local currency automatically.

For all other countries, Google requires translated product listings. We do not provide translation services, but if you have content in the local language, we can submit your feed. (Our feeds are encoded as Unicode/UTF-8.)

Requirements

You will need to make some modifications to your website to comply with the Google Shopping requirements for international product listings.

Google requires that the product price be displayed in the local currency on your product page.

It is not sufficient to select the currency based on the IP address of the visitor. The page must show the price in the local currency regardless of the visitor's location.

The ideal solution is to set up a URL parameter, like "currency=USD", that we can appended to each URL via your feed settings. Your store's product pages should be programmed to display the currency based on the URL parameter. Your store should remember the selected currency via a cookie, and have a drop-down box in the header to switch between currencies.

If you have a Yahoo Store, you can add the Currency Convertor Add-on for Yahoo Stores to your website.

At this time, it appears to be sufficient to provide a link or button to a currency convertor on your product pages, but this may not hold for much longer.

We recommend adding a widget or pop-up to your product pages, rather than linking to an external site, so you can keep visitors on your page.

Oanda provides a Free Currency Convertor Widget, as well as a subscription service specifically for merchants. Many other providers also provide free widgets. Just search Google for free currency converter widget.

We provide free currency conversion with our Standard feed service. Your product price in USD will be converted to another currency using the conversion rate (as provided by Yahoo! Finance) at the time the feed is generated.

Setup

There is no need to set up a separate Google Merchant Account or Adwords account. You can simply add the feeds into the same Merchant Account. You may need to add some additional shipping rules.

In your account on our site, we will create a copy of the feed with a different file name like googlebase-uk.txt, and add the currency conversion settings.

Example of Requirements for UK

  • Products must be listed in English.
  • Product landing pages must be in English.
  • Product prices must be listed in pounds sterling (GBP), including all applicable taxes [e.g. VAT tax] and charges except shipping.
  • Products must be shippable throughout the mainland UK. If you ship from outside the UK, your shop must cover all custom charges.

Google Shopping Canada

Please be aware that Product Listing Ads for Canada only appear on google.ca, because there is currently no equivalent to Google Shopping in Canada.

A feed with the same name already exists. Please choose a different filename.

If you have a multi-client Google Merchant Center account, data feed file names must be unique across each sub-account. Otherwise, when you try to create the feed, you will see the error message: A feed with the same filename already exists. Please choose a different filename.

To solve this problem, simply make up a different file name for each sub-account when you create the feeds. For example, you can set up file names like googlebase.zip, googlebase1.zip, googlebase2.zip, etc. Then, in our system, update the File Name setting under Manage Feed > Modify Feed Settings for each Google data feed. Now, each feed will be uploaded with the correct file name.

File names are case-sensitive, so be sure they match exactly. If the file name that is uploaded does not exactly match the registered file name, you will get an email from Google similar to the one below:

Subject: Google Merchant Center problem with data feed file: "GoogleBase.txt"
On February 12, 2012 1:01:01 AM PST you uploaded to Google Merchant Center via FTP a file named "GoogleBase.txt", but you don't have a data feed registered with this name. Please verify that you provided the correct file name, including correct capitalization.
Google Product Ads Disapproved in Google Merchant Center

If you have item listings that are disapproved for Product Ads, it only affects the ad campaigns in Google Adwords that are based on the your item listings. If you are not advertising with Adwords this way, then these disapproval messages are irrelevant and do not affect your listings in Google Shopping.

Product Ads may appear as disapproved in your Google Merchant Center Dashboard. If you have disapproved items, a red line will appear in the Products Overview > Product Ads Chart. When you hover your mouse over the line, the number of disapproved items will appear.

Reasons for Disapproved Product Ads

  • Google may not yet have reviewed the Product Ads for compliance with Adwords policies
  • There is no Adwords campaign with a product target matching the listings
  • Product Ads may have failed the review, especially due to violations of strict rules for trademarked terms

To find out the cause of the disapproval, you generally need to contact Google using the Google Merchants - Contact Form for Disapproved Feeds. Note that they generally reply with a canned response at first, but if you reply back, they should clarify the issue.

How to set up Google Trusted Stores

Google Trusted Stores is a new program for merchants that allows you to submit your on-time shipping and service metrics to Google in exchange for special "trusted store" badge in search results. The program is now open to all merchants.

There are significant restrictions to the program, such as the requirement to have more than 100 orders on a rolling 28-day basis. Refer to the Performance Standards for details.

We do not currently support the shipping and cancellation data feeds that are required for this program, and we do not have a time-frame from when we might offer something. According to Google, they are working on direct, simplified integration with major e-commerce platforms. We do not have any knowledge of when this may happen.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

Google product limit; how to increase maximum products per file

By default, Google Merchant Center limits the number of items you can submit per file and per account. The limit varies between 50,000 and 200,000 and can be as low as 1,500 during busy holiday shopping times.

If you need to submit more items to Google Shopping, you can use this special form to contact Google to request a increase in the maximum product count.

We can submit all the items in one feed, or we can split your feed into parts, with each file limited to 100k items. The maximum products per file is configurable, so that limit can be modified. This is part of our Standard feed service, so there is no additional charge. Please contact us if you need this set up.

Automatic item updates with schema.org microdata

Google Merchant Center recently added a feature called "Automatic item updates". This feature relies on schema.org microdata on your product pages to obtain up-to-date price and availability information about your products.

If you do not have schema.org microdata embedded in your product pages, you can not and should not enable this feature. If you do, then you will see errors in your account like, "Automatic item updates: Incorrect microdata price information" and "Missing schema.org microdata availability information". You can simply disable "Automatic Item Updates" to fix those errors.

Microdata is a short snippet of HTML that contains your product information. It has to be formatted a certain way. Here is a condensed example:

<body>
  <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
    <meta itemprop="sku" content="abc123" />
    <div itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
      <span itemprop="price">229.95</span>
    </div>
  </div>
</body>

The main advantage of this feature is that reduces the chances of a temporary item disapproval due to mismatched price or availability. However, you can achieve the same results by re-submitting your product feed whenever your price/availability changes substantially. Here are our recommendations:

  • Ensure your feed is set to Daily submission frequency from the Manage Feed > Modify Feed Settings page.
  • If available for your store platform, set your feed to Daily Plus submission frequency. This will automatically run a submission at least once per day and also within about an hour after you publish your store.
  • After significant changes to your catalog, run a Submit task on-demand by going to the Manage Feed page and clicking the Submit button. (There is no need to Refresh before submitting, because the Submit task also refreshes your product data.)

Remember, we do not charge any per-submission fees, so resubmitting/refreshing your feeds is always free. Also, our system fetches the latest product data from your store every time a feed is refreshed or submitted.

Invalid or Missing microdata for condition

You may see a Missing microdata for condition notification in your Google Merchant Account. This message can be found under Diagnostics > Current Issues > Items, and likely affects all or most of your items.

To resolve this issue, first check to make sure Automatic item updates are disabled. In your Google Merchant Account, go to Settings > Automatic Item Updates and make sure to disable the settings if they are not already disabled.

If the setting is already disabled, then it is safe to ignore the message, because it is just a notice and does not affect your listings.

This issue appears to be a glitch on Google's part, because they should not be checking microdata on your website if you have disabled automatic item updates. Most likely, Google will correct the issue and the notice will disappear.

If you are still concerned, you can contact Google by phone, chat, or by using their contact form for item errors.

Of course, if you are one of the few merchants who has added microdata tags in your product pages, then you should leave the automatic item updates setting enabled, and verify that your microdata tags are there in the correct format. For more background information, see Automatic item updates with schema.org microdata.

How to migrate a Google Products feed

If have an existing Google Shopping feed and are switching to a feed uploaded by our system, here is the recommended procedure to migrate your feed.

First, you do not need to change your Adwords campaign.

In your Google Merchant Center (GMC) account, add a new feed called googlebase.zip and configure it as per instructions in our Google Feed Setup Guide.

Do not delete any existing feeds from your GMC account. Once the new feed is uploaded and processed, you can check for errors and resubmit if needed. You will see a warning that items are being uploaded through multiple feeds.

Once the googlebase.zip feed is processing well, you can delete the old feed from your Google Merchant Center Account and resubmit the feed from our system to get rid of that warning.

At this point, you may need to update Adwords campaign settings if any content changed between the feeds.

The feed uploaded by our system automatically removes and updates listings uploaded via any other feeds. However, if your listings were previously being uploaded via the API (rather than manually or by FTP), then the feed from our system will not remove those old listings. As long as the API updates have been turned off, those listings will expire automatically after 30 days. If those listings need to be removed sooner, please contact us and we can help you with that.

How to give us access to your Google Merchant Center account

On February 24, 2017, Google made it much drastically easier to grant limited access to a Google Merchant Center account to another Google user. Access to your account is NOT required for your feed service. It can be helpful for troubleshooting though. Please follow the steps below to grant us access:

  1. Sign in to your Google Merchant Center account
  2. Click the 3-dot icon dropdown in the upper right hand corner
  3. Select Users
  4. Click the Plus button
  5. Enter support email address as the email address to invite
  6. Select Standard as the role
  7. Click Save

To revoke access, refer to the full instructions provided by Google here: User access for Merchant Center.

Optional - Grant Access to Adwords Account

You can also give access to your Adwords account by following these instructions.

  1. Follow the Giving account access instructions at the following link to send an invitation to the new account: How to grant or remove access to your AdWords account
  2. Log out of your main account
  3. Log into Gmail as the new user
  4. Open the Adwords invitation email and click the link to accept.
  5. When prompted to Create Google Account, select I have an email address and password I already use.
  6. Select I'd like to use my existing Google account to log into AdWords.
  7. When prompted, enter the password again to confirm.
  8. Log out of the new account
  9. Log back into Adwords using your main account.
  10. Go to the Users settings and confirm the invitation.

Alternate Option 1 - Screen shots

For quick troubleshooting, you can email us screen shots of relevant pages in your account using a free tool like Jing.

Alternate Option 2 - Send your Google account login/password

We never require your Google account login/password, and there is no longer any need to provide it for any reason. Please do not send us your Google account login/password.

NOTE: Never send any account login/password by email, because email is inherently insecure. If you have sent it by email already, be sure to change your password. Instead, if necessary, you can use our Secure Login and Password Form to send us your non-Google credentials securely.

For increased security, we store merchant account logins provided to us off-site in an encrypted password manager.

Automatic image resizing

Google requires images to be a minimum size of 100x100 pixels (250x250 for apparel products). Here is what the specifications state:

For apparel products, images must be at least 250 x 250 pixels and can't be larger than 64 megapixels. For all other products, images must be at least 100 x 100 pixels and can't be larger than 64 megapixels.
Do not scale up images or submit thumbnails. We recommend the product to take no less than 75%, but not more than 90%, of the full image

You may see the following errors in your Google Merchant Center Diagnostics:

  • Image too small, resolve by September 1, 2016
  • Images too small

We can set up hosted image URLs in your Google Shopping feed that automatically resize your images to meet the new requirements. Our smart resizing algorithm automatically adds white-space, centers the image, and/or scales as necessary to create the perfect, proportional product image with the least amount of scaling.

This service can keep your products listed while you work on permanent improvements to your catalog. Please contact us for a quote.

NOTE: This service can also be used in Facebook Product Ads Feeds, to provide a perfectly-squared, distortion-free, 600x600 product image.

If you just have a few problematic images, you can use our free online image resizing tool for Google and Facebook

Google Shopping Setup Guide

Step 1: Register a Data Feed in your Google Merchant Center Account
  1. Go to Google Merchant Center and sign up for an account, or sign into an existing account.
  2. If you have multiple stores, request a multi-client account so you can manage them all from a single Google account.
  3. On the Business information page, enter the website URL of your store in the Website section. If it does not say "Claimed", please see our Website Url Verification Tutorial for further instructions.
  4. On the Tax and Shipping pages, add your tax and shipping rules. You can add estimated shipping if none of the options exactly matches your shipping policies.
  5. Click the vertical dots icon and select SFTP / FTP / GCS. Click the FTP Settings section and create a user name and password. Make sure to note the password somewhere, as it will only be displayed once. You can reset it easily if you lose it.
  6. On the Products > Feeds page, click the plus icon.
  7. Enter the following on the Register a new feed form and then click Continue:
    • Mode: Standard
    • Type: Products
    • Target country: United States
    • Language: English
    • Currency: US Dollar
    • Feed name: googlebase.zip
  8. Select Upload on the Input method step and then click Continue.
  9. Enter the following on the Feed setup step and then click Save:
    • File name: googlebase.zip
    • Advanced Settings > Enable this feed for: Check the Shopping box
    • Manually upload a file now: Leave unchecked
  10. (Click the following if you see the error: A feed with the same filename already exists. Please choose a different filename)
  11. The googlebase.zip feed will appear in the list of feeds. Click the googlebase.zip link in the Name column.
  12. Click on the Settings tab for the data feed.
  13. Click the Edit button.
  14. Enter the settings below and then click the Save button:
    • Encoding: UTF-8
    • Delimiter: Tab
    • Use quoted fields: Unchecked
    • Enable this feed for: Check the box for Shopping
  15. (Do not do anything on the Schedule or Feed Rules tabs of the feed settings.)

Upon completion of these steps, you will have a data feed file registered in your Google Merchant Account ready to for the FTP upload of a product listings file. To start seeing your products in Google Shopping, you still need to set up the feed in our site, and set up an Adwords Shopping campaign.

Step 2: Set up your Store Source Settings

Follow the instructions below for your store platform.

Bigcommerce

Follow the Bigcommerce API Setup Instructions to allow our system to access your store data.

Yahoo Store

  1. Log in to your Yahoo Store Manager, and click the Search Engines link.
  2. Scroll down to the Enable Store Contents Export section, and select "Enabled" (or "Enable, but do not syndicate") for both objinfo.xml and catalog.xml export formats. Note the URLs labeled "Download:". These end in catalog.xml and objinfo.xml (not .dtd).
  3. If your exports were disabled, then republish your store.

Magento Community and Enterprise, all versions

Refer to the Magento Shopping Feeds Setup Guide.

Magento Go

  1. Add an API user according to the API User Setup Instructions.
  2. On the Manage Feed > Modify Settings page, enter the API URL as follows into the Product Catalog URL setting:
    http://username:password@www.yourdomain.com/api/?wsdl
  3. Make sure to replace the bold parts in the above URL with the API username and password that you set up, and the domain of your store.

Shopify

To give our system access to your store, just follow the instructions to add a feed in Step 3.

Volusion

Refer to the Volusion Data Feed Setup Instructions.

AspDotNetStorefront

Follow the AspDotNetStorefront Store Export Installation Instructions to install the export script on your site.

Step 3: Add a Data Feed for Google Shopping
  1. From My Account, click the Add Feed link.
  2. Enter a store name, select your shopping cart, and create a new Standard feed using the Google Shopping template.
  3. After the feed is created, continue on to the Modify Feed Settings page.
  4. Enter the Source Settings for your store as instructed on the page. Click the question mark icons for instructions.
  5. Enter the FTP settings you configured in Step 1.
  6. Enter the feed file name, which is typically 'googlebase.txt'.
  7. Click Update.
Step 4: Test your Google Feed Settings
  1. Go to My Account > Manage for your Google feed.
  2. Click the Test button to test your store URL and FTP settings.
    NOTE: It takes about 15 minutes before Google's FTP server recognizes a new FTP username/password.
  3. Go back to My Account > Manage.
  4. Click the Refresh button. Wait for the process to complete. (Closing your browser will not interrupt the process.)
  5. Go back to My Account > Manage.
  6. Go to the Product List, and review some product details to ensure that everything imported correctly.
Step 5: Submit your Google Feed
  1. Go to My Account > Manage for your Google feed.
  2. Click the Submit button. Wait for the process to complete. (Closing your browser will not interrupt the process.)
  3. Log into Google Merchant Center and check the status of the data feed.
  4. Google typically processes your file within minutes, but it may take longer. It then takes about 24 hours for the items to become searchable in Google Shopping. There may be additional lag time before image thumbnails appear.
Step 6: Schedule your Google Feed
  1. Go to My Account > Manage for your Google feed.
  2. Click the Modify Settings link.
  3. Select the Daily update frequency, and click Update.
  4. Add funds to your account from the Purchase Credit page to ensure continuous service.
Step 7: Optimize your Google Feed

The default feed settings work for most feeds, but several optimization steps may be needed for best results.

  1. Configure a filter to exclude items with errors
  2. Configure a default google_product_category
  3. Configure the identifier fields, MPN, Brand, and GTIN/UPC
  4. Go to My Account > Manage > Google Validation Report. If there are any errors listed, click the View and Help links to resolve the error.

We strongly recommend our Google Shopping Optimization Service. For a one-time fee, we will optimize your feed for you and send you a customized optimization report. Click here to Request Data Feed Optimization

Image Hosting Service

What is the image hosting service for Yahoo Stores?

Our image hosting service solves the problem of missing images caused by out-of-date image URLs. As you may know, Yahoo Stores change the image URL every time your store is published. With daily feed updates, this is generally not a problem.

For those who publish very frequently or have other special feed requirements, image hosting provides a stable, unchanging image URL for each product. This URL redirects to the latest, up-to-date image on your Yahoo Store.

Copies of your images are not stored on our servers. For this reason, our image hosting service can not function as a backup service. However, by using redirects, our service leverages Yahoo's high-availability, load-balanced, unlimited bandwidth image servers. The refresh rate is also faster because the images are never copied to our servers. Best of all, since we do not have to maintain image hosting resources, we can offer this service for no extra charge.

How does image hosting work?

The system maintains static image URLs for each product with the following format:

http://ih.atensoftware.com/FeedId/OfferId.jpg

Our system actually ignores the file extension, so ending the URL with .gif, .png, etc will still redirect to the same image hosted at Yahoo. Image hosting data is refreshed every half an hour, ensuring that your new images will be accessible at the static URLs within half an hour after you republish your store.

What effect does image hosting have on ranking in Google?

If you publish your site frequently (more than once per day), then enabling image hosting may have a positive effect on your ranking in Google. Google appears to penalize listings when the image is not found. Since Google updates images throughout the day, some images would not be found between the time when you publish your site and the next, nightly data feed update. By enabling image hosting, image URLs will be static, and there will only be about half an hour of downtime should you re-publish your store.

The first time you enable image hosting, you may notice a temporary negative effect on your ranking, but that should clear up within two to four days as Google re-indexes your items. Note that Google's ranking algorithms are secret and change all the time, so the above statements regarding Google's ranking methodology are educated guesses.

How do I enable image hosting for my data feed?

Image hosting can be enabled from "Manage Feed > Advanced Settings", and is independent of update frequency. It may take up to half an hour for the hosted image URLs to become active. You can enable or disable image hosting on a per-feed basis.

How much does image hosting cost?

Image hosting services are provided for no extra charge.

iOffer Item Listing Bulk Upload Feed

iOffer Feed Setup Instructions

Setup Instructions

Setup instructions are not available at this time. Please contact us if you are interested in setting up a feed to iOffer.

Upload Instructions

We do not support automated uploads to iOffer at this time, nor do they support an automated fetch. To upload the feed file manually, please follow these instructions.

  • Log into your account on our site.
  • Go to the Manage Feed page for your feed.
  • Click the Download button.
  • Save the feed file to your computer.
  • Log into iOffer.
  • Go to Selling > Bulk Upload.
  • Click the Upload your File button.
  • Click Browse button and select the feed file.
  • Check the box that says Make Items immediately available?
  • Click the Submit button.
  • Leave the browser window open until the upload finishes.

Note: As long as your feed is set to Daily update frequency, the latest file will always be available for download from our site.

Magento Shopping Feeds Setup Guide

Magento Extension Installation

We recommend installing our exporter script, but you can also install our Magento Extension via Magento Connect.

OPTION 1 (PREFERRED) - Script Installation

Upload our exporter script to your website using the Magento Product Export Script Setup Instructions.

OPTION 2 - Automated Installation (via Magento Connect)

  1. Log into your Magento Admin Panel
  2. Go to System > Magento Connect > Magento Connect Manager.
  3. Log in again to MagentoConnect Manager
  4. If you see a message saying Warning: Your Magento folder does not have sufficient write permissions., please configure the FTP Connection from the MagentoConnect Manager Settings page.
  5. Next, go to Aten Software Product Export for Data Feeds and click Install Now to obtain the Extension Key. (You can choose either Magento Connect 1.0 or Magento Connect 2.0 format.)
  6. Go back to the MagentoConnect Manager page, and enter the extension key into the box labeled: Paste extension key to install:
  7. Click Install
  8. Click Return to Admin
  9. Go to System > Configuration in the main menu
  10. Select Advanced > Advanced in the left side-bar
  11. Expand the Disable Modules Output section. If you see AtenSoftware_ProductExport with a setting of Enable, then the extension has been correctly installed.
  12. Continue with Add Magento API User and Role.

OPTION 3 - Manual Extension Installation

  1. Visit Aten Software Product Export for Data Feeds, and install the extension into your Magento Admin.
    1. Use these steps for a manual installation:
    2. Download the AtenSoftware_ProductExport-14.3.13.0.tgz package.
    3. Unzip it to a temporary folder
    4. Copy the AtenSoftware folder into ./app/code/community/
    5. Copy the modules/AtenSoftware_ProductExport.xml file into ./app/etc/ folder so its final path is: ./app/etc/modules/AtenSoftware_ProductExport.xml
    6. .
  2. The extension key is:   AtenSoftware_ProductExport
  3. To verify that the package is installed correctly, go to System > Configuration > Advanced and expand the Disable Modules Output section. If you see AtenSoftware_ProductExport with a setting of Enable, then the extension has been correctly installed.
Add Magento API User and Role for Magento Connect Extension

These instructions apply to the Magento Connect extension.

  1. Go to System > Web Services > (SOAP/XML-RPC) Roles in your Magento Admin.
  2. Click Add New Role
  3. Enter atensoftware as the Role Name
  4. Click the Role Resources tab
  5. Check the Aten Software > Get Product Export checkbox
  6. Check the Core checkbox
  7. Click the Save Role button
  8. Go to System > Web Services > (SOAP/XML-RPC) Users in your Magento Admin.
  9. Click Add New User
  10. Enter the following:
    User Name: atensoftware
    First Name: Aten
    Last Name: Software
    Email: support email address
    API Key: Make up a a password here. Here is a random one for your convenience: fb4ct5m0
    API Key Confirmation: Re-enter the password
    This account is: Active
  11. Click the User Role tab
  12. Click the radio button for the atensoftware role
  13. Click Save User
  14. Continue with Configure Feed Source Settings for Magento Connect Extension.
Configure Feed Source Settings for Magento Connect Extension
  1. Go to System > Manage Stores in your Magento Admin.
  2. Hover your mouse over the Store View Name of the store you want to use, and note the ID number. It is typically 1, but could be anywhere from 1 to 10 or more. If you do not see it as a tooltip, look at the URL of the link to find the store_id parameter.
  3. In our site, go to Manage Feed > Modify Settings for your Magento feed (assuming you have added it already).
  4. Enter the API URL as follows into the Product Catalog URL setting:
    http://atensoftware:password@www.yourdomain.com/api/?wsdl&storeId=1
    Make sure to replace the bold parts in the above URL with the API username, API password, domain, and ID number of your store.
  5. To determine the correct API URL for your store site, you can look at the Base URL setting under System > Configuration in the main menu, in the General > Web > Unsecure section. The URL will be that with /api at the end.
  6. To test the API connection, go to Manage Feed > Test Settings after saving the settings. You will see the results of a test connection with detailed error message.

Technical Settings

The settings below are technical in nature and are generally not required. Please contact us if you see internal system errors or products are missing, and we can assist you with the settings.

includeDisabled
Default value is "0"
Set to "1" to include disabled items in the export, "0" otherwise.
Set this if you are missing a lot of products.
itemsPerRequest
Default value is 5000
Number of items to fetch per request.
Set lower to lower server memory requirements.
excludeOutOfStock
Set to "1" to exclude out of stock items in the export, "0" otherwise.
Default value is "0"
Use this setting if you have a large number of out of stock items in your export that is slowing the export down.

Add the settings at the end of the URL in the following format. The setting names are case-sensitive:

&includeDisabled=1&itemsPerRequest=100&excludeOutOfStock=1

If you leave out any setting, the default value will be used for that setting.

Note: There is a known bug where if the itemsPerRequest is set too low, some items may fail to export. If that happens, set includeDisabled to "1" to ensure all the products are exported. The disabled items can be filtered out of the feed using product filters instead.

Resolving the error: SOAP extension is not loaded

You may receive the error "SOAP extension is not loaded" when setting up a Magento Connect data feed.

Our Magento Connect extension connects to your Magento Store API via SOAP requests, and it requires the PHP SOAP extension to be installed on your website.

You can verify if PHP SOAP is installed on your website by accessing this page:
http://www.mystore.com/shop/api/v2_soap
(Remember to change www.mystore.com/shop to your Magento shop URL.)

Usually, you can simply ask the web hosting company that hosts your website to install PHP SOAP for you. Note that it can not be installed via the Magento admin login. It has to be installed by the web hosting company, or by someone with root access to the web server.

Please see the Api Error - 0 SOAP extension is not loaded for other potential fixes.

Magento Visibility and Status Constants

In the Magento catalog, the 'visibility' field could have the following possible values:

VISIBILITY_BOTH = 4
VISIBILITY_IN_CATALOG = 2
VISIBILITY_IN_SEARCH = 3
VISIBILITY_NOT_VISIBLE = 1
Mage_Catalog_Model_Product_Visibility

For Shopping Feeds, it is generally advisable to exclude items where 'visibility' != 4.

If you have are using the Magento API-based export method, then visibility values will be 'Catalog, Search', 'Catalog', 'Search', and 'Not Visible Individually'. In that case, the filter should be set up as 'visibility' != 'Not Visible Individually'.

In the Magento product catalog, the 'status' field could have the following possible values:

STATUS_DISABLED = 2
STATUS_ENABLED = 1
Mage_Catalog_Model_Product_Status

By default, our exporter extension excludes items where 'status' = 2, so no special filters are typically required.

Export All Products via Magento API

Instead of using our exporter script or extension, our system can connect directly to the Magento API to export product data. We recommend using this method only if there are technical issues with the exporter script/extension, because exporting via the API is very slow.

Examples of When to Use API-based Export

  • url_key or url_path not getting exported
  • category information not exported or missing
  • category/product flat tables are disabled in your Magento settings
  • other problems getting the extension or exporter script to work

Set up Magento API Role and User for Product Export

  1. Go to System > Configuration > Services > Magento Core API in your Magento Admin.
  2. Set the General Settings > Enable WSDL Cache setting to Yes, and click the Save Config button.
  3. Go to System > Web Services > (SOAP/XML-RPC) Roles in your Magento Admin.
  4. Click Add New Role
  5. Enter atensoftware as the Role Name
  6. Click the Role Resources tab
  7. Check the Core checkbox
  8. Check the Catalog checkbox
  9. Check the Catalog Inventory checkbox
  10. (Our system only needs read access. For additional security, you can uncheck all the write permissions under the Catalog and Catalog Inventory trees. These include the following: Update, Assign, Delete, Remove, Add, Create, Rename, and Move)
  11. Click the Save Role button
  12. Go to System > Web Services > (SOAP/XML-RPC) Users in your Magento Admin.
  13. Click Add New User
  14. Enter the following:
    User Name: atensoftware
    First Name: Aten
    Last Name: Software
    Email: support email address
    API Key: Make up a a password here. Here is a random one for your convenience: avjc4by3
    API Key Confirmation: Re-enter the password
    This account is: Active
  15. Click the User Role tab
  16. Click the radio button for the atensoftware role
  17. Click Save User

Configure your Feed to Export Products via the Magento API

Go to Manage Feed > Modify Settings, and set the Product Catalog URL to the following:

http://atensoftware:password@www.yourdomain.com/api/?wsdl

Enable Flat Product and Category Tables in Magento

To enable flat table support in Magento, go to System > Configuration > Catalog > Frontend in your administration dashboard.

Change the Use Flat Catalog Category and Use Flat Catalog Product settings to Yes and click the Save button.

In Magento 2+, edit vendor\magento\module-catalog\etc\config.xml to set flat_catalog_category system value.

After enabling the settings, go to System > Index Management and update the flat data indexes.

Magento Exporter Troubleshooting

Inconsistent Product Counts or Insufficient Products Exported

Problem

The number of products exported varies significantly each time the exporter runs, even though you made no changes to your product catalog. Also, all the products are not exported.

Expected

The number of products exported should be consistent every time the exporter runs, as long as no products have been added/removed/modified. Also, all the products should be exported.

Solution

This usually happens if an execution timeout is implemented in the web site or PHP configuration. You can confirm this by noticing that the download time is almost identical every time, and that the last line of the export file is incomplete. The download time will typically be a round number around 1 to 2 minutes, typically 60 seconds or 100 seconds.

The exporter script overrides PHP's max_execution_time setting to 4 hours, but there are other timeouts that could affect how long the script is allowed to run. Check the configurations of PHP, the web server (e.g. Apache), and any web server protection software (e.g. Suhosin).

Monitoring Service for Google Shopping

What is the Monitoring Service for Google Shopping?

Have confidence that your Google Shopping listings are active with our new, exclusive feed monitoring service!

Our service will count the number of items actually listed in Google Shopping every day, and send you a detailed email report whenever the number drops below a minimum that you specify.

You may be unaware that hundreds of your items are unlisted because the standard Google Merchant Center notifications do not tell you about disapproved items. Google disapproves items at whim and often without notice, according to their ever-changing policies and enforcement decisions. Be prepared with our monitoring service, which will notify you of disapproved products. See below for a complete feature comparison:

Feature Google Merchant Center
Notifications
Aten Software
Monitoring Service
Email Frequency Only when feed updated Daily
Email Options Every time or only on error When active listings drop below a minimum you specify
Raw item count No Yes
Filtered item count No Yes
Inserted item count Yes Yes
Processed item count Yes Yes
Disapproved item count No Yes
History No Yes
Download disapproved items No Yes

In addition to notifying you about disapproved items, our monitoring service records all key product counts to enable you to know about and quickly find the source of any listing issues with your feed. You may lose sales when your item listings are not appearing in the search results, so our service can help you reduce lost sales.

Setup is simple. All you need to do is click a button to give us access your Google Merchant Account, and then set the minimum listing count.

Feed monitoring services are only available for feeds submitted via our system.

Feed monitoring settings are entirely separate from Feed Safeguard settings.

How do I set up monitoring for Google Shopping?
  1. Go to My Account on our website.
  2. Go to Manage Feed > Monitoring Settings for your Google Shopping feed.
  3. Click the Enable button.
  4. Complete the prompts to sign in to your Google and grant us access to your Merchant Account.
  5. Once you are back on the Monitoring Settings page, enter the minimum listings you expect to have active in Google Shopping, and click Update.
  6. If your feed is not set to Daily or Daily Plus, click the Modify Feed Settings link to update that settings.
  7. If you would like to run a status check immediately, click the Submit a Task link and click the Check Status button.
  8. You can return to this Manage Feed > Monitoring Settings page anytime to view detailed monitoring reports and history.
Can I download the monitoring results or history?

Our system tracks the history of the product counts. This allows you to see an independent count of how many items were listed in Google Shopping over time.

You can download the product counts going back at least three years in comma-separated values (CSV) format.

Nextag Data Feed

How do I set up my NexTag merchant account?
  1. Login to your NexTag Merchant Account.
  2. Click on the Manage Account tab.
  3. Make sure all applicable information is filled out in the links under Account Management.
  4. Under Product Listings, click on Select How to Add Products. If that link is not available, click on Set Listing Options.
  5. Click the Advanced tab.
  6. Select NexTag as the file format.
  7. Select I will FTP my file to Nextag.
  8. Open a new browser window or tab and go to the Manage Feed > Modify Settings page on our site.
  9. Copy the FTP Username and FTP Password from Nextag. Leave the FTP Server as upload.nextag.com and click Update.
  10. Go to Manage Feed > Submit a Task and click Submit.
  11. Return to the Nextag site and click Upload Products to save the settings.
  12. Click on Product Listings > Format Your Product File
  13. Make sure each Nextag Column Name matches the Product File Header below it, and then click Save Changes.
  14. Click Account Summary in the top-right of the page after saving the changes.
  15. Check the Product Listings > Product File Quality page for the upload status in 24 to 48 hours.

If you get permission denied errors, then you may need to enter the FTP Initial Directory, usually like /private/clientid, in the Manage Feed > Advanced Settings page.

Setting up your Nextag Data Feed

  1. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields page for your feed in our system.
  2. Click Edit next to the Category: NexTag Numeric ID field.
  3. Look up the appropriate category code from Nextag: Category IDs.
  4. Enter the category code, e.g. 300222, in the Default Value box. Click Update to save the settings.
  5. Run a Refresh task and then review the product list to make sure the product data looks correct. Then run a Submit task to submit the products to Nextag.

Viewing your Nextag Listings

To view your live listings in Nextag, enter your Nextag Merchant ID below and press Enter.

Nextag Merchant ID:

PriceGrabber Setup Guide

Step 1: Add a PriceGrabber Data Feed

NOTE: Pricegrabber was purchased by Connexity recently. Refer to the Connexity Setup Guide for those setup instructions.

The instructions below explain how to set up a PriceGrabber data feed in our system.

  1. In our system, click My Account > Add Feed and select the PriceGrabber template.
  2. On the Modify Feed page, configure the store source settings.
  3. On the Modify Feed page, enter the FTP Username/Password, which is the same as your PriceGrabber registration username and password. You can leave the FTP Server and File Name the same.
Step 2: Configure and Optimize a PriceGrabber Data Feed

Pricegrabber requires that you specify the category to a minimum of three levels for every item, otherwise your feed will not be accepted.

Examples

Appliances > Laundry > Dryers                  GOOD
Health & Beauty > Makeup > Eyes > Eyeliners    GOOD
Furniture > Bedroom Furniture                  INVALID

Find PriceGrabber Categories

  1. In our system, go to the Manage Feed > Taxonomy Search page for your PriceGrabber feed.
  2. Find an appropriate category for your products, click on it, and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard.

For additional instructions, please see the PriceGrabber General Feed Requirements or PriceGrabber category list and rate card. Once you have found the categories for your products, you can configure your feed as described below.

Add a Field for the PriceGrabber Categories

  1. In our system, go to the Manage > Define Fields page for your PriceGrabber feed.
  2. Click 'Edit' next to the 'Categorization' field.
  3. Set Field Name to pg-category and enter the default category in the Default Value box.
  4. If you want to specify item-specific categories, add a custom field to your store catalog called 'pg-category' and populate it with the values.
Step 3: Set up a PriceGrabber Merchant Account
  1. Log into your PriceGrabber merchant account.
  2. Go to Your Account > Feed Format and make the following selections:
  3. Do you have a product feed - Yes
  4. Is the feed visible from a website / URL - No
  5. Would you like PriceGrabber to pull the feed from your FTP? - No
  6. Is your complete feed larger than 8Mb - Yes/Maybe
  7. Enter the file name as it is set up on the Modify Feed page.
  8. Click Save Changes
  9. Submit the feed from our site.
  10. Contact your PriceGrabber account representative to let them know you have modified your feed settings.
Troubleshooting a PriceGrabber Data Feed

If PriceGrabber is not listing your products, please try the following steps.

  1. In our site, go to My Account > Manage Feed > View Results, and check if the feed is being submitted successfully. If you see "success", then our system is successfully uploading the feed file to PriceGrabber's FTP server. They may still have problems processing the feed.
  2. Check if your PriceGrabber merchant account is set up according to these instructions: How do I set up my PriceGrabber merchant account?
  3. Contact your PriceGrabber representative and ask them if they are processing the file you are uploading by FTP, and not any files received from other sources. Also ask them if there are any issues with the file.

Pricewatch Data Feed

How do I set up a Pricewatch data feed?
  1. Visit Pricewatch.com and apply for a dealer account.
  2. Wait for Pricewatch to approve your account.
  1. Login to our site and add a feed using the Pricewatch template.
  2. Enter the objinfo.xml URL and optionally, the catalog.xml URL.
  3. Click 'Update' to save the settings.
  4. You may need to configure your fields to correctly submit manufacturer and manufacturer part number information. You can do that on the "Manage Feed > Define Fields" page.
  5. Go to "Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File".
  6. Select the "File URL" setting and copy it for later use.
  7. Use the link to generate a data feed file if it does not exist.
  8. Login to your Pricewatch Dealer/Merchant account and click the "Fileimport" button in the top menu bar.
  9. Paste the File URL in the "Enter file location here (URL) " box, check the box labeled "Enable file retrieval and price updating ", and then click "Submit File URL". Do not check the box labeled, "Delete all Price Watch ads not found in file."
  1. Contact Pricewatch to make sure the listings are being received correctly.

Promotions and Offers

Bigcommerce vs Yahoo Store vs Magento vs Volusion Comparison

This article provides a high-level comparison of the following shopping carts: Bigcommerce, Yahoo Store/Merchant Solutions, Magento Commerce, Volusion, and AspDotNetStorefront

We often get asked by merchants who are interested in switching e-commerce platforms about what platform we recommend. This is a difficult question to answer, because each platform has several hundred features, and the needs of a merchant vary. While we do not provide consulting on this, here are some opinions to consider as you research the platforms.

Besides platform choice, you have to consider disruption to your SEO ranking and business, which can be very costly. Please see Yahoo Small Business Spinning Off; Re-platforming Advice for an excellent discussion.

We do not endorse or recommend any specific vendor. The information on this page may be out-of-date and only represents an opinion for informational purposes. Please verify all information directly with the vendor.

Bigcommerce

  • Flat, monthly pricing based on # of products and storage used (unlimited bandwidth)
  • Good API support, but still under development
  • Good technical support
  • Simple customization via templates
  • We have full Bigcommerce data feed support
  • We are a Bigcommerce Partner - Sign up here

Yahoo Store

  • Monthly fee plus 1.5% to 0.75% sales commission
  • Auto-scaling and high performance hosting platform (unlimited bandwidth and storage)
  • Free phone support
  • Customize site using proprietary RTML, which has no documentation
  • Expensive to hire developers, but developers are generally excellent
  • Limited API support
  • Out-of-date platform from an SEO standpoint, but it can be updated by customization. New platform coming soon.
  • They do not allow you to accept Google Wallet payments
  • We specialize in data feeds for Yahoo Store

Magento

  • Free software; you only pay for hosting
  • We recommend Nexcess.net Magento Hosting because this software is demanding
  • Server/hosting plan administration knowledge may be required
  • Supported, Enterprise edition starts at over $1,000/month.
  • Excellent API support
  • Open-source code base; Hire your own PHP developer; Although PHP is widespread, it may be difficult to find a good developer.
  • Extensive set of add-ons and fully customizable
  • We fully support data feeds for Magento

Volusion

  • Flat monthly pricing based on number of products and bandwidth; Beware of costly overage ($7/GB/month bandwidth and $2/100MB/month disk/database space)
  • Excellent API support
  • Support may not be up to par
  • We have full support for Volusion data feeds

Shopify

  • Monthly pricing plus transaction fees based on number of products and storage; unlimited bandwidth; no transaction fee on unlimited plan.
  • Excellent API support
  • We fully support data feeds for Shopify

AspDotNetStorefront

  • You pay a one-time fee ($1000-$2000) for the software license, then buy your own hosting plan
  • Server/hosting plan administration knowledge may be required
  • Performance may be slow without adequate hosting
  • Easy to customize by modifying templates or hiring an ASP.Net developer
  • Excellent API support
  • We fully support data feeds for AspDotNetStorefront

Rakuten (Buy.com) Data Feed

Buy.com/Rakuten Marketplace Feeds Setup Instructions

If you meet the requirements below, then we can set up a Buy.com Marketplace Inventory Feed. This type of feed tells Buy.com which items you sell, the item condition, the qty you have available, shipping costs, and the price.

  1. Each product must have a UPC code
  2. Each product must already exist in the Buy.com Marketplace

Buy.com now supports automated upload of data feed files via FTP from our server.

Please contact us for a quote to set up a Buy.com Inventory Listings feed.

Buy.com may require you to list a certain minimum number of unique SKUs with a New SKU feed (described below) before allowing you to set up an Inventory feed.

New SKU Feeds

If your items are not in the Buy.com Marketplace already, then you need to submit a Buy.com New SKU Feed. This feed tells Buy.com all the product details for your items, like title, description, image, UPC, manufacturer, manufacturer-part-number, price, and qty on hand.

The following attributes are mandatory at the item level:

  1. Buy.com category ID
  2. GTIN (i.e. UPC, EAN, ISBN, etc.)
  3. manufacturer (or brand)
  4. manufacturer part number
  5. image - minimum 500x500px, white background, no additional text

Some categories have mandatory category-specific attributes as well. For example, for vacuum cleaners, there is a 'vacuum_cleaner_type' attribute. It is required, and you must specify one of their predefined values like 'upright', 'canister', 'portable', etc.

Refer to the Category Attributes documentation for your category. The attributes listed in square brackets are mandatory. For each attribute, you must provide one of the values listed in the Attributes section of the document.

For example, in the Sports category, the Ice Hockey > Goalie Skates sub-category has a Buy.com category ID of 14988. One of the mandatory attributes for this sub-category is Gender. The Gender attribute only accepts values of Female or Male.

Please contact us for a quote to set up a Buy.com New SKU Feed.

Resolving Google Merchant Center Errors

How do I contact Google Merchant Center?

You must use the online forms to contact Google Merchant Center, or reply to an existing support email. Be sure to search for answers online before contacting them, as their response time can be slow.

  1. Contact Policy - links to contact forms
  2. Support - help articles and documentation
I submitted my feed through your system, now what?

Check the status in your Google Base account. If it says "success", then they have successfully processed the feed.

I submitted my feed, but the status doesn't appear in Google Merchant Center.

It can take 24-72 hours for processing status to appear in Google Merchant Center. Click here for more information.

Google Merchant Center status says 'invalid file name', how do I fix this?

Set the filename property in your feed settings, and make sure this exactly matches the filename configured in your Google Merchant Center account.

I emailed Google Shopping Support, but have not heard from them.

Google Shopping technical support always replies, but it can take up to two weeks to receive a reply.

How do I view the status of my data feed in Google Merchant Center?

There are three places in your Google merchant account where you can find errors and warnings for your data feed.

Log In to Google Merchant Account

  1. Log in to Google Merchant Center
  2. If you have a multi-client account, click on the Display Name of your store from the Accounts tab.

Products overview

On the Dashboard tab, look at the graph labelled Shopping products overview. Hover your mouse over the green line and you will see your active item count. If the count seems too low, you may have item errors. If you see a line in red, that means you have disapproved items. A yellow line means item are awaiting review. See below for more information.

Item Errors and Warnings

To view the latest item level errors/warnings for your feed, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Products > Feeds page
  2. Click the file name of your active feed, e.g. googlebase.zip
  3. Click on the Status tab
  4. Scroll to the bottom to view Item Errors, Warnings, and Notices for the feed. Click each message to see sample items. If there are no messages, you will see a No processing errors message on the top-right.

Item errors and warnings are updated typically within a few minutes of running a submission to upload the data feed file. You can identify and resolve most item errors by going to Manage Feed > Validation Report in our system.

Diagnostics

Click on the Products > Diagnostics page to see all account, feed, and item-level issues related to your account. This analysis is automatically updated by Google once every 24 hours or so. Check the Latest date to see when it was last updated.

Click in the graph to see historical item counts and issues.

Click on the Account, Feeds, or Items boxes below the graph to see details on specific errors or warnings, as well as lists of affected items.

Disapproved Items

  1. Click on the Products > List page (it may be slow to load).
  2. Select Inactive from the Status drop-down to see any disapproved items. These items will have a red icon (circle with a slash) to indicate that they are disapproved.
  3. Click on the Title of an item to see the item details. A reason for disapproval may be displayed as well, but usually, it will just have a generic message saying, "Disapproved or invalid".

When there is no specific error message for a disapproved item, you must contact Google using the Disapproved accounts, feeds, or items contact form to identify and resolve disapproved items. We are unable to provide support for disapproved items.

Disapproval status is typically updated within a few hours of running a submission.

How do I resolve an "Error: Missing Attributes" message from Google Base?

You may see one of the following errors from Google Base, which may cause some or all of your products to not be processed.

  • The item is missing a required attribute.
  • We were unable to match the attributes in this dsv (delimiter separated values) data feed line to the corresponding attributes in the header (first) row.
  • You must enter an item title. *Title* is a required attribute.
  • Product name missing
  • We didn't understand the header (first) row of your file. Please make sure you're using valid attribute names.

To resolve these errors, please check the settings in your Google Base account as described in this support question.

How do I configure the shipping 'weight' attribute?
  1. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields page for the feed.
  2. Click 'Edit' next to the 'weight' field.
  3. Enter a Default Value, which will apply to all products. Leave blank if not applicable.
  4. Enter the name of the shipping weight field in your store catalog in the Field Name box. It may be named weight, ship-weight, or objinfo_Weight, for example.
  5. Save the settings and run a Submit task to update your listings. You can also review the Product List of the feed to make sure the weights are being retrieved properly.
What do I do if there is no status (or 'None') in Google Merchant Center?

You may encounter a problem where our system shows a successful submission, but you do not see any items uploaded in your Google Merchant Center account. It may say "None" under the "Last upload date & status" column in your Google Merchant Center account. If you see "Success" on our site, it only means that our system successfully uploaded the data feed file to them, not that they have processed the file.

To resolve this, check that the file name is exactly the same in both our site and in Google. The file name must end in .txt and it is case-sensitive. Also, remember that Google may take 24-72 hours to display the status of a recently uploaded file. If more than that time period elapses, you can contact Google.

What do I do if there I get an email saying "Data feed upload failure"?

You may occasionally receive an email from Google Base with subject, Google Base data feed file status on "file.txt": Data feed upload failure. You receive it even though you have not changed any feed settings and your feed has been working correctly. In your Google Base dashboard, you will see the following status message:

Outcome: Data feed upload failed. No items are live.   help
Number of items processed:              0
Number of inserted items:               0
Uploaded at:  Oct 19, 2008 1:40 am PDT
Processed at: Oct 19, 2008 10:11 am PDT

There would be no further details on the error message, and our system would show 'success' in the task history. This problem is usually due to a system error at Google Base. To resolve the issue, you simply have to resubmit your feed from your account.

For further information, you can view the following post in the 'Google Groups - Submitting Data Forum': Data Feed Upload Failure.

What do I do if I can't find my products in my Google Merchant Center account?

Please check the status of your data feed in your Google Merchant Center account first. It would be most helpful if you can send us a screen shot or the detailed, line-by-line error messages.

How do I resolve "No items inserted" or "Internal error" emails?

Google may send you an email saying "No Items Inserted" or "Internal error, feed was not fully processed" for your data feed. This error is usually spurious and can be ignored. You have several options:

You can also check the Google Merchant Center Forum to see if others are experiencing the same problem. If you continue to receive the same error email multiple times, contact us and we can check on your feed.

----- Sample Message ---- From: googlebase-noreply@google.com To: info@store.com Sent: Thu, November 10, 2009 8:02:31 AM Subject: Google Merchant Center data feed file status on "googlebase.txt": 0 of 1999 items inserted or Internal error, feed not fully processed or No items inserted 0 of 1999 items inserted or Internal error, feed not fully processed or No items inserted Uploaded at: November 10, 2009 2:28:42 AM PST Processed at: November 10, 2009 3:52:36 AM PST For more details on the status of your data feed, go to http://www.google.com/merchants/showfeedsummary?fid=111111 This is a computer-generated email. Please do not reply. You can change your notification settings at http://www.google.com/merchants/basicsettings
Recreate or rename your data feed file in Google Merchant Center.

Below is the procedure to recreate your data feed file in your Google Merchant Center account. You may need to do this if you are experiencing strange errors in your Google account, especially if your data feed file was registered a long time ago. This does not resolve all issues, and it is best to contact Google regarding the error in addition to attempting this procedure.

  1. Go to the Data Feeds tab in your Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Click the "New Data Feed" button. Leave the default settings, enter a different file name ending in ".txt", and click "Save Changes".
  3. Log into our site and go to "Manage > Modify Settings" for your feed.
  4. Update the file name to the new file name, then click "Update".
  5. Click on "Manage > Submit a Task".
  6. Click the Submit button to submit the feed manually.
  7. After the submission completes, refresh the Data Feeds tab in your Google account. It should show a status of 'processing...' within an hour or so.
  8. Once you see the items processed successfully, then check the box next to old data feed file, then click the "Delete selected" button.
Problem: Submission is successful, but Google doesn't recognize feed

You can view your task results on the "Manage Feed > View Results" page for each data feed. If the task shows a successful submission, that means our server was able to upload the file via FTP to Google's FTP server. It does not mean Google has processed, or will ever process, the file.

If your Google Merchant Center Data Feeds page does not show that the feed is processing within an hour or so, check the following settings:

  1. Check that the file name you have specified on the "Manage Feed > Modify Settings" page exactly matches the file name on the Google Merchant Center Data Feeds page. The file name is case-sensitive.
  2. Check that the FTP Username and Password you have specified on the "Manage Feed > Modify Settings" page exactly matches what you have set on the Google Merchant Center FTP Settings page. Both username and password are also case-sensitive.
  3. Make sure you are logged into the correct Google account. Also, if you have a multi-client account with Google, make sure you are checking the settings for the correct sub-account.
  4. Check if Google is having any known feed processing issues on their Announcements and Known Issues forum.
Can you help if my feed was disapproved by Google?

Google has recently disapproved feeds of many of our clients due to stricter enforcement of Restricted Products. Even a single restricted item can result in disapproval of all your items!

Please beware that although you may be selling an item that is allowed, it may still contain keywords that make it appear to be a restricted item in Google's view. This may result in disapproval of your entire feed.

Thankfully, Google has also published an extensive set of restricted keywords in their documentation of Restricted Products. Please review those rules carefully, as well as the Google Shopping Program Policies.

To resolve the issue, you have to email Google until they tell you which item or items are causing the disapproval, a process which may take a week or two of emailing back and forth. You can start the process by contacting them using these forms:

Common Reasons for Disapproval

  • Submitting out of stock or discontinued items as being "in stock"
  • Submitting used or refurbished items as "new"
  • Submitting items in or related to any Restricted Product category, particularly supplements and weapons

Additional Tips and Advice

For a great overview of why Google disapproves feeds and how to get approved again, please refer to Celebird's Product Search Disapproval Checklist.

For many issues, you may find assistance or advice in the Google Merchants Help Forum.

We have a separate article that explains how to solve the issue when your items are disapproved due to shipping terms in the product descriptions.

A common cause of disapproval is non-compliance with the policy regarding Affiliates, cataloged drop-shipping programs, and multi-level marketing. See the program policies for more details.

If your items do not have unique identifiers, but Google has disapproved them, then you can contact Google to request an exemption or exception from the unique identifier requirement.

If your entire feed is disapproved and Google is not responding, unfortunately, we can not provide any support. This issue is between the merchant and Google, and there is nothing we can do about it. We do not have any knowledge of, and can not advise on a workaround. We do not have an 'inside' contact at Google. Creating a new Google account and resubmitting does not work, and is not recommended.

Google Shopping Products Awaiting Review Status Meaning

Occasionally, your products may be flagged for review by Google Merchant Center. When this happens, they will be removed from Google Shopping for up to two business days.

In your Google Merchant Account Dashboard, items awaiting review will appear as a yellow line in the Product Overview Graph. You can also find the status of the items in the Products Tab.

If your products have been Awaiting Review for an extended period of time, you can contact Google using their Data Feed Processing Contact Form. Google Merchant Center does not provide a phone number. You can expect 1-2 business days response time via the contact form. You can also contact Adwords phone technical support for free, but our clients have reported that they are generally not very helpful for this type of issue.

Reasons for products to be flagged for review are listed below.

  • recently registered feed
  • content changes by the merchant
  • Google's enforcement or implementation of new policies
  • data feed changes that affect the content

For more information, refer to Google's support article: What is the status of my products?

Missing Shipping Information Warning in Google Merchant Center

You may receive the following warning on the Data Feed Status page of your Google Merchant Center account:

Missing Shipping Information
 
Please specify at least one active shipping method for each targeted country, either in the 'shipping' attribute or in your account settings. Make sure that the shipping method is applicable to this item. For example, carrier-calculated rates have a limit on weight and are not applicable to heavy items. Note: Allow 15 minutes for account settings to take effect before uploading a new feed.

Potential Solutions

  • Create a shipping method for each targeted country in your Shipping Settings.
  • If you already have a carrier-calculated rate set up, then some of your items may be overweight. In this case, add another shipping method for the items that are overweight.
  • You can add item-specific shipping rates to your catalog, and then those can be submitted in the feed. This requires more work, but is also much more accurate.

Sears Marketplace Data Feed

Sears Marketplace Data Feed

Unfortunately, we do not fully support the Sears Marketplace data feed at this time.

While we have the capability to set up the feed format itself, we would require you to provide us with the exact specifications. Sears Marketplace feeds can be complex, and we do not have the resources to research the specifications for you at this time. There are over 80 attributes just in the general items feed format; most are optional and can be left blank.

You would need to manually prepare a working, tested data feed file with a few sample items that matches the Sears feed specifications. You would have to look up the Sears feed specifications, determine which feed format to use, and rely on their feed support for technical assistance. You can prepare the sample file in spreadsheet software.

Once your sample feed passes their validation checks and is 100% accepted by their system without errors, you would send us the tested file, and then we would set up the mapping in our system so the feed file can be generated automatically for all your products.

Shareasale Data Feed

How do I set up a Share-A-Sale data feed?
  1. From My Account > Add Feed, create a Share-A-Sale feed for your store and configure the settings. Leave the FTP Username, Password, and Server at their default values for now.
  2. From Manage > Define Fields, edit the Merchant ID field and enter your ShareASale Merchant ID in the Value box. You can obtain your Merchant ID by logging into your ShareASale account and looking in the header of the page.
  3. From Manage > Define Fields, edit the Category and Sub-category fields (not Merchant Category). Look up the appropriate number from the ShareASale data feed file format specification, and enter it in the Default Value box. You must supply both the category number and sub-category number.
    For example:
    Category: DefaultValue = 6, CatalogField = blank
    Subcategory: DefaultValue = 47, CatalogField = blank
  4. If you have multiple categories of products, add a custom field to your store catalog and populate it with the category numbers. Enter the name of this custom field in the Catalog Field box.
How do I set up my Share-A-Sale merchant account?
  1. Once you have configured your data feed in our system, generate the data feed file from the "Manage > Download Data Feed File" page.
  2. Download the file and upload it manually via your ShareASale account under My Creatives > Datafeed > Upload a New Datafeed. (You only have to do this the first time.)
  3. Once that is done, you need to email ShareASale the following message:
    I have uploaded my first data feed file for your review. I would like to receive instructions on uploading the file via FTP upload. The server from which the file will be uploaded has an IP address of 216.92.2.10.
  4. You will receive an email with an FTP Username and Password. Enter those and set an update frequency in the "Manage > Modify Settings" page of our site. ShareASale now support up to Daily submissions.
  5. Go to "Manage > Advanced Settings" and set the FTP Initial Directory to the directory emailed to you by ShareASale. (If available, Image Hosting will be enabled, and is highly recommended for ShareASale data feeds.)
  6. Run a Submission to test that the settings are working correctly.

System Questions

How reliable is this service?

Our submission technology has been running continuously since early 2003, just after Froogle's inception in late 2002. We process millions of listings each day. Submissions run every morning and throughout the day as product information changes. Our system is available 24/7 to process data feed submissions on-demand. Our secure, dedicated hosting is provided by Pair Networks.

Custom Import and Google Feed Conversion

Our software can import data from your product catalog in almost any format. We can set up a Custom feed that can import from the data sources listed below. Your feed will include all of the features of our data feed service.

Request a Free Custom Feed Programming Quote
(Please include links to your product catalog and/or inventory files.)

  • Flat file format
    • Tab-delimited text file (.txt)
    • Comma-separated text file (.csv)
    • Pipe-delimited text file (.txt)
    • Fixed-width text file (.txt)
    • CSV or TXT feed files for other shopping engines
    • Any delimiter, enclosure, or escape character
  • XML Format
    • Google Atom XML files
    • Generic inventory or catalog XML files
  • Excel Format
    • Excel 2003 XML format (.xml)
    • Excel 2007 .xlsx file format (Office 2003)
    • Excel 5 (BIFF) .xls file format (Office 95)
    • Symbolic LinK (SYLK) .slk file format
    • OpenOffice Calc .ods file format
  • PC/UNIX/Mac file formats
  • UTF-8, ANSI, and other character sets
  • Automatic duplicate record handling

Please refer to our Integration Guide for best practices on how to develop an export routine for your website or store platform.

What shopping price comparison engines does your system submit to?

We now support a multitude of engines and can easily support more. Please see Data Feeds For Shopping Channels for a list of supported engines.

I received a Data Feed Error Notice but my FTP settings are correct.

If your FTP settings were previously working, then you can generally ignore the emailed notice about the failed FTP attempt. The FTP servers are relatively unreliable, and often will fail to accept a login even though a correct user name and password are supplied. Our automated system makes multiple attempts when it encounters an FTP error. Our system will email you if all the attempts fail. This is a relatively common occurrence with all the shopping engines.

To view the historical results of processing tasks, just go to "Manage Feed > View Results". You can quickly spot one-time errors there. To test your FTP settings, simply click the "Manage Feed > Test Feed Settings" link. If you see "success", then the error was a temporary one and can be ignored.

Generally, you can ignore the error and simply let the system retry on the next scheduled submission. However, if you want to refresh your product listings immediately, just resubmit your data feed manually.

What FTP settings can be configured?

You can configure your data feed to upload to any FTP server. On the Modify Settings page, configure the FTP server, username, and password. Use the Advanced Settings page to configure the port, initial directory, and mode (port/passive).

How do I change the display URL of my products?

Our feeds include a product URL for each item. You can customize these URLs by changing the Display URL setting in your data feed. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to customize the product links:

  • Add tracking codes for Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics, etc.
  • Use the product URL from a custom field in your store catalog
  • Change the domain name of the URLs
  • Convert a non-www domain to a www domain
  • Add your own, custom tracking codes
  • Convert a file name to a full URL with domain name

To change the setting, please follow the steps below and contact us if you need assistance:

  1. From the Manage Feed > Define Fields page, look for the appropriate Product URL or link field, which will have a Display URL parameter.
  2. Click Edit for the field and follow the instructions on the page.
How do I set up feeds to the shopping engines?

Below is an overview of the steps required to set up data feeds to the various shopping engines.

  1. Check our Supported Feeds page to see if we support the shopping engine.
  2. Click the 'Merchants' link there, and sign up for a merchant account with the shopping engine. (Please contact us if we do not support a particular site.)
  3. You may have to make a minimum purchase or meet other requirements of the shopping engine.
  4. Once your merchant account is approved, check our Support page for feed setup instructions for the engine, if available.
  5. Add the feed to your Aten account from 'My Account > Add Feed', configure any fields as needed, and then run your first submission.
  6. Contact the shopping engine or check your merchant account dashboard to see if the feed was processed correctly.

If you get stuck on any step, feel free to contact us. If you would like optimization/set-up assistance, you can submit an Express Setup Request, and we take care of the feed setup. You would still be responsible for obtaining the merchant account, configuring your merchant account, managing bids, etc.

What is the static IP address of the server?

The static IP address of our server is:

216.92.2.10

This is the origin IP from which data feed files are uploaded. A few shopping engines, such as ShareASale, require this IP address for restricting access to upload to their FTP server. If you have IP restrictions on your website or firewall, you can white-list this IP.

How is quantity pricing or minimum order quantity handled?
Products sold in bulk:
Submit the price for the minimum number of products that you require a user to purchase.

Source: Product data specfication : price: Definition

Based on the above, it follows that:

  • You can not submit the discounted price for a bulk quantity.
  • You can not submit the price for a single item if a minimum purchase greater than one is required.

Google provides no mechanism to submit bulk quantity pricing discounts, so you must submit the price for the lowest purchasable quantity.

Our system always submits the lowest of the regular price or sale price. If this price corresponds to the total price for the minimum purchase quantity, then there is no issue.

However, if the price is for a single item, and there is a minimum purchase requirement, then we can program the feed to multiply the price times the minimum purchase quantity in your catalog.

Why do I see the message, "Store information no longer available"?

Sometimes, you may see the message, 'Store information no longer available', for one or more tasks in the "View Tasks" page. You will see this message when you have recently deleted a feed from your account. Deleting the feed deletes all the feed settings and results, but the task history will be preserved in your account. The tasks and messages will drop off the page after seven days.

How to update the ASPDNSF product export code.
  1. Go to Free Product Data Exporter for AspDotNetStoreFront
  2. Enter your password (This can be found in the "URL of CSV Data" setting on the "Manage Feed > Modify Settings" page.)
  3. Check the box to accept license agreement
  4. Download code file 1 of 2
  5. Download code file 2 of 2
  6. Replace the current files in your server's web root folder with the new files
  7. Ensure that the permissions are set correctly on the files
Resolving character encoding issues in your data feed.

In Google Merchant Center, you may see an error that says:

Encoding problem in attribute: description - Some of the characters in your items seem to be invalid. Please verify all the characters in your feed are valid for your selected encoding.

To resolve this, take the following steps.

  1. Verify that your data feed's "Encoding" setting in Google Merchant Center is set to "UTF-8".
  2. In your product descriptions and titles, replace the Windows characters listed below with the corresponding HTML entities.
    If you see this in your store then, replace it with this
    &#8226;
    &#8221;
    &#8220;
    &#8217;
    &#8216;
    &trade;
    ® &reg;
    ° &deg;

Discussion

Microsoft uses a proprietary encoding (called CP-1252) for the bullet symbol and some other special characters, whereas most websites and data feeds use UTF-8. When you copy-paste from a Microsoft product into a website, some characters may appear as junk. Our system generates data feeds in the UTF-8 character encoding, which many shopping engines now require.

How to integrate your shopping cart with our data feed engine

Our data feed engine can integrate with your shopping cart if it provides a source data feed file that meets the following technical requirements and specifications.

  • What to Include: Any and all item data should be exported (except sensitive information like cost, supplier name, etc.). See below for details.
  • Format: product data export file in flat-file format (e.g. tab-delimited, pipe-delimited, comma-separated; XML is also supported)
  • Preferred Format: Excel-compatible CSV preferred - comma-separated, double-quotes enclosure, and double-quote escape character, CR/LF or LF as line separator.
  • Header: The first line must be a header that describes the column names.
  • Column names can be anything, in any order. They can be renamed or rearranged at any time. There is no restriction.
  • Location: on a fixed/unchanging HTTP or FTP URL
  • Unbuffered: start sending data immediately without long delays
  • Headers: include an accurate, last-modified HTTP header. This is optional and not important
  • Submit one line for each variant, if applicable.
  • There is no size limit
  • Export must deliver the data as fast as possible (finish within 30 minutes)
  • Compress the file for improved performance and reliability. You can use any common compression format, like zip, gzip, etc. The archive file and contents can be named anything. All the files in the archive will be decompressed and merged verbatim into a single file.

Once you have prepared the above, all you would provide us is the link to the file and then we would set up your data feeds. We can also provide you with an FTP location where you can upload the file. Please contact us for a quote. Example URLs:

http://www.store.com/data-export.csv
ftp://user:password@ftp.store.com/data-export.csv

Content Guidelines

  • The product must be purchasable online from your website.
  • The following product information is recommended:
    • unique identifier (SKU, product ID, product code, etc.)
    • non-zero price
    • image URL, link, file name, or path
    • product URL, link, file name, or path
    • product name or title
    • product description or caption
    • product condition (new, used, or refurbished)
    • product availability (in stock, out of stock, etc.)
    • UPC (universal product code), EAN, or ISBN (if available)
    • manufacturer part number (MPN)
    • brand (or manufacturer)
Set Up Instructions for Oodle Data Feed (Backfill Program)

These are the instructions to add a feed for Oodle's free backfill data feed program. The backfill program is limited to 15,000 items, and has numerous other restrictions.

Add Data Feed

  1. Go to the My Account > Add Feed.
  2. Select the Oodle Template and click Add.
  3. Enter your store source information and click Update. Leave FTP settings blank.
  4. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields.
  5. Edit the 'category', 'address', 'city', 'state', and 'zip_code' fields and enter an appropriate Default Value for each.
  6. Go to Tasks > Submit a Task and click Refresh.
  7. Go to Manage Feed > Product List and note the item count.
  8. Go to Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File and copy the File URL.

Set up Oodle Account

  1. Go to the Oodle Submit Feed page.
  2. Select Stuff as the Feed Category.
  3. Enter the Number of Listings in Your Feed that you noted above.
  4. Select Delimited Text as the File Format.
  5. Select CSV as the File Delimiter.
  6. Select Via URL as the Transfer Mechanism.
  7. Paste the File URL that you copied above into the Full URL of the feed box, and hen click Test Feed. You should see a message "Feed looks good. Please enter contact information below and click Submit. All fields are required. " at the top of the page.
  8. Fill in the remaining information in Step 2: Contact Information and Step 3: Your Website Information and then click Submit.
  9. The feed setup is complete. You should see a message saying "Thank you for submitting your feed request. You should receive an automated e-mail response shortly and then our Feed Management team will follow-up with your request.".
  10. Oodle will not provide technical support for the backfill program. But if you have questions, you can contact them via the Oodle Classifieds - Help Contact Form.
Can non-US merchants or sellers list products in the shopping engines?

In general, the US-based shopping engines only allow merchants based in the US.

Please contact the shopping search engine or refer to their terms and conditions to determine if they allow non-US based sellers.

We act as an intermediary, so merchant policies would still apply to you. While we can set up feeds for your store, you are ultimately responsible for determining if your listings are acceptable to the shopping website.

Item Error and Warning Help
id missing
'id' is a required attribute and should be set to the unique identifier, SKU, or product ID of the product.
title missing
'title' is a required attribute and should be set to the product name.
description missing
'description' is a required attribute and should be set to the product description.
image_link missing
'image_link' is a required attribute and should be set to the main product image URL.
invalid image_link
'image_link' must be a valid image URL starting with 'http'
yahoo error image detected
Yahoo store error-img.gif was detected
Related: Error images (all red square images) in Yahoo Store feeds
magento no_selection image detected
Magento product/no_selection image was detected, which is not a valid image URL.
volusion nophoto.gif image detected
Volusion nophoto.gif image was detected, which is not a valid image URL.
link missing
'link' is a required attribute and should be set to the product URL.
invalid link
'link' must be a valid product URL starting with 'http'
price missing
'price' is a required attribute and should be set to the product selling price.
Related: Why don't product sections, products with zero price, or items marked non-orderable show up in the product list?
price is zero
Items with zero price are not allowed.
Related: Why don't product sections, products with zero price, or items marked non-orderable show up in the product list?
zero sale price detected
Items with zero sale price are not allowed.
Related: Why don't product sections, products with zero price, or items marked non-orderable show up in the product list?
invalid condition
'condition' must be one of the following values: 'new', 'used', or 'refurbished'
Related: Configuring the 'condition' attribute for Google feeds.
invalid availability
'availability' must be one of the following values: 'in stock', 'out of stock', 'available for order', or 'preorder'
Related: How to configure Google Shopping Availability attribute
invalid online_only
'online_only' must be one of the following values: 'y', 'n', or ''
invalid age_group
'age_group' must be one of the following values: 'adult', 'kids', 'toddler', 'infant', 'newborn' or ''
Related: Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)
invalid gender
'gender' must be one of the following values: 'male', 'female', 'unisex', or ''
Related: Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)
2 of 3 of brand/MPN/GTIN are required
A minimum of two of the three identifier fields (brand, MPN, and GTIN) must be filled in with properly formatted and factually correct data.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
invalid UPC
UPC must always be 12 numeric digits. Use leading zeros if needed.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
invalid GTIN
GTIN must be a valid UPC, JAN, EAN, or ISBN.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
invalid JAN
JAN must be 8 or 13 numeric digits.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
invalid EAN
EAN must be 8, 13, or 14 numeric digits.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
invalid ISBN
ISBN must be 10 or 13 numeric digits, or 9 numeric digits followed by an 'X'.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
invalid MPN
MPN must be at three or more characters.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
prohibited text '{x}' found in {x}
The specified keyword is not allowed in any field and will cause the item to be disapproved.
Related: Items disapproved due to shipping terms in the product description
10000 character limit exceeded in {x}
Each attribute may only have up to 10,000 characters.
age_group required for apparel items
Age_group must be set to one of the following values for apparel items: 'adult', 'kids', 'toddler', 'infant', or 'newborn'.
Related: Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)
gender required for apparel items
Gender must be set to one of the following values for apparel items: 'male', 'female', or 'unisex'.
Related: Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)
invalid google_product_category
'google_product_category' must be one of the official categories from the Google taxonomy. Only one category can be specified. Spacing is important, but capitalization is not. You must use the 'Text' format, either with or without double-quotes.
Related: Google Product Category and Product Type attributes
id too long
'id' must be 50 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
link too long
'link' must be 2000 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
mobile_link too long
'mobile_link' must be 2000 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
image_link too long
'image_link' must be 2000 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
additional_image_link too long
'additional_image_link' must be 2000 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
brand too long
'brand' must be 70 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
mpn too long
'mpn' must be 70 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
gtin too long
'gtin' must be 50 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
item_group_id too long
'item_group_id' must be 50 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
custom_label_0 too long
'custom_label_0' must be 100 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
custom_label_1 too long
'custom_label_1' must be 100 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
custom_label_2 too long
'custom_label_2' must be 100 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
custom_label_3 too long
'custom_label_3' must be 100 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
custom_label_4 too long
'custom_label_4' must be 100 characters or less.
Related: Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id
description less than 15 characters
The description is recommended to be at least 15 characters long.
title over 70 characters
The title is recommended to be less than 70 characters long.
Related: Title Length for SEO: Importance of the 70 character limit for Google
missing google_product_category
Google_product_category is a strongly recommended field.
Related: Google Product Category and Product Type attributes
outdated google_product_category
The google_product_category is outdated. Please use a category from the latest official taxonomy.
Related: Google Product Category and Product Type attributes
missing product_type
Product type is a recommended field. It is not required. Set a Default Value if desired by going to Manage Feed > Define Fields and editing the field.
Related: Google Product Category and Product Type attributes
color required for apparel items
A 'color' value is required for all items in Apparel & Accessories. The color must be the dominant color of the pictured item.
Related: Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)
invalid identifier_exists
'identifier_exists' must be one of the following values: 'true', 'false', 'yes', 'no', or ''
identifier_exists false but identifiers provided
When a minimum of two of the three identifier fields (brand, MPN, and GTIN) are provided, 'identifier_exists' may not be 'false'.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
size required for clothing and shoes
A 'size' value is required for items in Apparel & Accessories > Clothing and Apparel & Accessories > Shoes. Specify the size of the pictured item, or the most common size of the item.
Related: Google Required Attributes for Apparel Items (US-sellers)
GTIN missing for designated brand
The brand is designated to require a GTIN.
Related: How should I configure the brand, MPN, and GTIN/UPC fields?
Submitting duplicate copy of store to shopping engines is not allowed

All of the major comparison shopping engines have policies that prohibit merchants from submitting the same product listing multiple times via different stores under the same ownership. If they were to allow it, then the shopping engines would be full of spam and this would create a poor experience for shoppers.

Google Shopping enforces this policy by disapproving your listings without notice or explanation. Your account could be suspended in its entirety.

Google doesn't allow items to be submitted more than once. (Landing Page Quality - Duplicate and Borrowed Content)

Bing Shopping enforces this policy during the merchant review period when you first add your store to their merchant account. Your account will never be activated.

We have no control over feed disapproval by shopping engines, and provide no refunds of any kind due to feed disapproval due to policy violations, whether the reason for the disapproval is known or not.

We do not advise of and strongly discourage any workarounds for submitting listings multiple times via different stores or merchant accounts.

The only workaround we support is via product filtering and duplicate exclusion techniques. We can submit unique subsets of your products from each store, thereby ensuring that each product is only listed once.

For example, suppose Store A and Store B contain the same 200 items. We can submit 100 in the feed for Store A, and the other 100 in the feed for Store B. This will send some traffic to each store, and comply with Google policies.

BigCartel to Google Shopping Data Feed

We support BigCartel data feeds to the shopping search engines.

Use your JSON store export URL in the feed settings. It will look like this: http://api.bigcartel.com/storename/products.json

Please note that the BigCartel product export does not contain UPC, Google Product Category, or Manufacturer Part Number fields. If you need that information submitted in your feed, you will have to embed that information in the product description. We recommend embedding it using microdata format. You can copy/paste the HTML code below:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product"
    style="display:none;">
<span itemprop="googleProductCategory">
  Electronics > Communications > Telephony</span>
<span itemprop="model">ME305LL/A</span>
<span itemprop="gtin13">0885909727445</span>
<div itemprop="brand" itemscope
     itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
  <span itemprop="name">Apple</span>
</div>
</div>

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like a BigCartel feed set up for you.

osCommerce to Google Shopping Data Feed

We support osCommerce data feeds to the shopping search engines. We support most versions of osCommerce, including osCommerce 2.2, osCommerce 2.3.x, and CRE Loaded.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like a osCommerce feed set up for you.

How to set minimum required listings for the Feed Safeguard feature

The Feed Safeguard feature allows you to set a minimum number of listings required for the feed to be generated or submitted. This can help prevent temporary error conditions from causing listings to be inadvertently deleted.

You will get an email notice whenever the feed is not generated or submitted due to insufficient listings, allowing you to take necessary action.

This feature available for all data feeds, and is disabled by default. To enable (or disable) the feature, follow these steps:

  1. Go to My Account.
  2. Click Manage for the desired feed.
  3. Make a note of the unfiltered listing count.
  4. Click Advanced Feed Settings.
  5. To enable the Feed Safeguard feature, enter a number in the Minimum Listing Requirement setting that is somewhat less than the unfiltered listing count. You will want to set it low enough such that normal changes to your store do not trigger the safeguard.
  6. If you want to disable the Feed Safeguard feature instead, enter zero in the Minimum Listing Requirement setting.
  7. Click the Update button to save the settings.

Whenever the feed would contain less listings than the number you entered, the submission/refresh task will be cancelled, and you will be sent an email Feed Safeguard notice.

If you receive a Feed Safeguard notice, you can follow the link in the email to check the Manage Feed page for the status of the feed. If everything is normal, then you can lower the number in the Minimum Listing Requirement setting using the instructions above.

Feed Safeguard settings are entirely separate from Feed Monitoring for Google Shopping settings.

11 Main Product Data Feed

We now offer product data feeds to 11 Main.

Our 11 Main product data feed follows the latest 11 Main template and feed specifications, and includes all your product images. We refresh the feed with your latest product catalog on a daily basis, with automatic adding, updating, and deleting of items. We can also submit your product variations of size and color, with proper formatting of parent and child rows.

The 11 Main product data feeds are currently in beta and require a Custom feed, so please contact us for information on setting one up.

WooCommerce Wordpress Shop Data Feeds

We support data feeds for WooCommerce/Wordpress shops at this time if you purchase and install the Google Product Feed extension into your Wordpress website.

We can submit your feed to all major shopping engines. Please contact us if you do not find a template for your shopping channel.

WooCommerce is a freely available eCommerce plugin that enables shop facilities on your WordPress website.

After installing the plugin, please submit an Express Setup Request and include a login to your Wordpress Admin.

How do I add fields or attributes to my data feed?

These instructions describe how to add fields or attributes to your data feed.

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields.
  2. Select Public | Catalog Field in the Add Field drop-down box, and click Add to go to the Add or Modify Field page.
  3. Enter the name of the field as you want it to appear in the feed in the Name box.
  4. If you have a Custom feed, select where you want the new field to be located in the Position drop-down box. The position defaults to the end of the feed. You can always move the field later from the Define Fields page.
  5. Leave the Default Value box blank. You can enter a value if you want something filled in automatically by our system when the value for the field in your catalog is blank.
  6. In the Field Name box, enter the name of the field from your catalog. You can also select it from the Available Fields drop-down box to auto-fill it.
  7. Select Enabled. If you select Disabled, the field will not be in the feed output file, but you can still view the data in our system and add filters on the field.
  8. Click Add to finish adding the field.
  9. Refresh the feed or resubmit the feed from the Manage Feed > Submit a Task page to generate a new feed file.

You can go to the Manage Feed > View Random Product to see a sample item listing and verify that the field showed up.

If you need HTML removed from the values, then select the Public | Catalog Field (HTML-stripped) field type.

Express Feed Setup Prerequisites Checklist

Platform-specific instructions

To give our system access to your store data, please refer to the Set up your Store Export Instructions.

Google Shopping Setup Prerequisites

Bing Ads Setup Prerequisites

  • Create a BingAds Account
  • Add a payment method in the Accounts & Billing
  • Under Tools > Bing Merchant Center, click Create a store and follow the instructions
  • Make sure your website URL is verified in Bing Webmaster Tools
Pricefalls Setup Guide

Please complete the steps below to set up your feed for Pricefalls.

  1. Add a feed a Pricefalls feed for your platform from the Add Feed page in your account.
  2. Make sure to select the Pricefalls template. If you do not see it in the list, please let us know your store platform and we will add it.
  3. Configure the store source settings on the Modify Settings page for the feed by using the Store Source Setup instructions.
  4. Contact your Pricefalls account representative, and ask them to set up an FTP account for uploading your feed.
  5. Enter the FTP username and password onto the Modify Settings page for the feed.
Shopping Cart Migration Services

We do not offer migration services to move your store templates, product data, and images from one e-commerce platform to another.

We recommend Cart2Cart Shopping Cart Migration Services, which specializes in this type of service for a reasonable cost.

You can also check with your e-commerce platform, as they may have special offers to migrate your store.

3dcart Product Data Feed to Google Shopping and More

We support 3dcart data feeds to shopping engines.

You must set up a product export from your 3dcart store of all product data, scheduled to run daily.

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Products > Export/Import
  3. Click the Schedule button for the Products export.
  4. Select the settings listed below:
    • Enabled - checked
    • File Name - products.csv
    • Schedule - every 24 h at 1:00:00
    • Action - Save File (Folder: assets/exports/)
  5. Click the Save Changes button.
  6. Repeat the above steps for Product Options, and set the file name to productoptions.csv.

After you set up the product export, you can set up the feed in your account using these instructions:

  1. Go to My Account > Add Feed
  2. Select the appropriate template and add the feed.
  3. Go to Manage Feed > Modify Settings
  4. Replace YOURDOMAINHERE with your store's domain. The URL will look like this: http://www.YOURDOMAINHERE.com/assets/exports/products.csv
  5. Go to the Manage Feed > Define Fields
  6. Click Edit for link and image_link fields, and replace YOURDOMAINHERE with the domain of your store.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like a 3dcart feed set up for you.

Shopbot.ca Data Feed Setup Guide

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like a Shopbot.ca feed set up for you.

How to set up infrequent feeds to save money

If your store changes very infrequently — less than once per month — then you can just run the feed when the feed changes to save money.

You can download the feed file and upload it to your store, and then set up Bing and Google to fetch the feed from your store daily instead of receive it by FTP from our system. Most shopping channels can be configured this way.

The feed billing stops after 30 days automatically, so you would only pay for the months you use the feed, rather than all 12. Please contact us if you need assistance with setting this up.

Tracking Code for Google Analytics and YWA

Can I add tracking codes to my product URLs?

Our feeds are pre-configured with tracking codes for Google Analytics. These codes are also compatible with Yahoo Web Analytics and other web analytics software.

Our Google feeds are further pre-configured with settings for the adwords_redirect and adwords_queryparam feed attributes. This allows you to separately track traffic from free Google Shopping listings, paid Product Listing Ads, and paid Product Extension Ads. You can also separate traffic by product target.

Here is a sample product URL with and without tracking codes:

WITHOUT tracking codes:
http://www.wonka.com/fizzy-lifting-drink.html
WITH tracking codes:
http://www.wonka.com/fizzy-lifting-drink.html?utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=cse

You can customize or remove the tracking codes easily by simply editing the Display URL setting on the Manage Feed > Define Fields page. You do not need to change anything in your store catalog.

References

How to view campaign traffic in Google Analytics

No special setup is needed for campaigns in Google Analytics. Google will track whatever is defined in the source/campaign parameters of the URL.

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click on Traffic Sources > All Traffic in the side-bar.
  3. Select the Source as googleshopping to see free traffic
  4. Select the Source / Medium as googlepepla / pla to see traffic from Product Listing Ads
  5. Select the Source / Medium as googlepepla / pe to see traffic from Product Extension Ads

For other shopping engines, refer to our analytics tracking code reference.

How to set up campaigns in Yahoo Web Analytics

You can use the pre-configured tracking codes on your feeds for Yahoo Web Analytics by following these setup instructions.

  1. Log into your Yahoo Web Analytics Account.
  2. Go to Settings > Campaigns & Ad Channel > Manage Campaigns
  3. Choose the Paid Search campaign type from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the Add New Campaign button.
  5. Enter a Campaign Name
  6. Enter Campaign Properties and Categorization if desired.
  7. Under Campaign Settings, select Landing Page URL Contains.
  8. Enter the tracking code from our analytics tracking code reference list.
  9. Click the Add button.
  10. You will now be able to view reports under Reports > Marketing > Campaigns.

We do not provide technical support for Yahoo Web Analytics, and further instructions are beyond the scope of this article. Please refer to Yahoo's campaign set-up instructions for additional assistance.

Analytics Tracking Code Reference

The list below shows the tracking codes that are pre-configured by our data feed system.

Google Shopping Tracking Codes

Google Shopping Free
utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=cse
Google Product Listing Ads
utm_source=googlepepla&utm_medium=adwords&utm_content=pla
Google Product Extension Ads
utm_source=googlepepla&utm_medium=adwords&utm_content=pe

Other Comparison Shopping Engine Tracking Codes

Amazon Product Ads
utm_source=amazonproductads&utm_medium=ppc
Become.com
utm_source=become&utm_medium=ppc
Bing Ads
utm_source=bing&utm_medium=ppc
Connexity/Shopzilla
utm_source=shopzilla&utm_medium=ppc
eBay Commerce Network
utm_source=shoppingdotcom&utm_medium=ppc
Facebook Product Ads
utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=ppc
NexTag
utm_source=nextag&utm_medium=ppc
Onewayshopping
utm_source=onewayshopping&utm_medium=ppm
Oodle
utm_source=oodle&utm_medium=ppm
PriceGrabber
utm_source=pricegrabber&utm_medium=ppc
Pricewatch
utm_source=pricewatch&utm_medium=ppc
Pronto
utm_source=pronto&utm_medium=ppc
Shopbot.ca
utm_source=shopbotca&utm_medium=ppc
ShopMania
utm_source=shopmania&utm_medium=ppc
ShopTab for Facebook
utm_source=shoptab&utm_medium=ppm
Sortprice
utm_source=sortprice&utm_medium=ppm
TheFind
utm_source=thefind&utm_medium=cse
Wholesale Central
utm_source=wholesalecentral&utm_medium=ppm

Feeds Without Tracking Codes

The following shopping engine feeds are not pre-configured with tracking codes.

11 Main
adCore
Buy.com Marketplace
BuySafe
Catalog-on-Demand
ClixGalore
Commission Junction
Custom Feed
Goshopping
Houzz
iOffer
Monitus Web Analytics
Pepperjam
PowerReviews
Pricefalls
ShareASale
Wishabi

Volusion Shopping Feeds Setup Guide

Volusion Data Feed Setup Instructions

We support fully automated Volusion data feeds. In order to give our system access to your store, you will need to add a user to your Volusion administration area with permissions to export products. Please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into your Volusion Administration Dashboard
  2. Go to Customers > Accounts
  3. Click the Add button
  4. Enter the E-mail Address as support email address
  5. Enter an appropriate Password
  6. For the Access Key, select Administrator
  7. Click the Save button
  8. Click the Edit Cust#XXX Access Rules link
  9. Check the following checkboxes: Products and Export
  10. Click the Save button

Our system will log in as this user each time the data feed runs, to generate and download the product data export XML file.

When adding the feed on our site, you will need the domain of your store and the username/password of the Volusion admin user that you created.

(Note, do not use saved exports. The saved export files are incomplete.)

Volusion Deal of the Day Pricing Export

If you use the Deal of the Day marketing feature in Volusion, you will need to do some additional configuration so our system can obtain accurate pricing for your products.

  1. Log into your Volusion Store Administration
  2. Go to Inventory > Import/Export
  3. Select Saved Exports
  4. Click Add New Query
  5. Enter the following data:
    • QB Customer ID: 0
    • QB Access List: Select the user who will run the export and click the right arrow to move it to the Selected box
    • QB Table: DB_EXPORT
    • QB Title: DealsOfTheDay
    • QB Query:
      SELECT Products.ProductCode, DealsOfTheDay.*
      FROM DealsOfTheDay
      INNER JOIN Products ON
      Products.ProductID = DealsOfTheDay.ProductID
    • QB Export File Type: CSV
  6. Click the Save button
  7. Contact us to enable the DealOfTheDay pricing integration on your feed.

The user must have the following permissions: Products, Export, LoginAsCustomer, LiveEdit

Website Url Verification Tutorial

Introduction to Google Url Verification

Verification has two steps, verification and claiming. Verification proves that you have control over the URL, and claiming lets Google know in which Google account you want to use the URL. You can only claim the URL in one Google account, but you can verify it in many of them.

Verification must be done first via Google Webmaster Tools. Claiming is done on the Google Merchant Center Basic Settings Page. Both steps must be completed in order for your product listings to be accepted by Google.

We recommend that you verify and claim the root or parent domain of your website, without any prefixes. For instance, use "walmart.com" rather than "www.walmart.com". Verifying the former automatically verifies the latter, as well as any other sub-domains.

Step 1: Log into Google Webmaster Tools

This topic covers how to claim and verify your Yahoo Store Website Url for use with Google Merchant Center. Google requires you to verify and claim your Website URL by May 18, 2010, otherwise, your listing will be disapproved. There are a lot of steps, but the process is very simple and should only take 5-10 minutes.

First, go to Google Webmaster Tools and log in with your Google Login.

Google Webmaster Tools Login

After you log in, your screen will appear something like below. If your domain already appears as verified on this screen, then skip down to Step 7.

Add a site to webmaster tools

Step 2: Add your Site to Webmaster Tools

Click the "Add a Site" button, and enter your website domain name beginning with 'http' and, if applicable, without the 'www.' prefix.

You can specify either 'https' or 'http', but we advise 'http' to avoid SSL issues.

Leaving off the 'www.' prefix is advisable because then you will also be claiming all sub-domains of your domain.

Add a site to webmaster tools
Step 3: Verify Ownership of your Url in Google Webmaster Tools

After you add your site, you will be redirected to the 'Verify Ownership' page. On this page, select 'Upload an HTML file' as the 'Verification method'.

Copy the file name that you see to your clipboard, e.g. google99b9d12cd333da44.html

Verify Site Ownership
Step 4: Specify Sitemap Verification File in your Yahoo Store
  1. Open a new browser window.
  2. Log into your Yahoo Store Manager
  3. Go to the 'Search Engines' page, under the 'Promotion' section.
  4. In the box labeled "Google Sitemap Verification File", paste the file name that you copied from the Verify Your Site page.
  5. Click 'Done' to save the settings.
  6. Publish your Order Settings.

Google Sitemaps Verification File setting in Yahoo Store Manager

Reference: Verifying Site Ownership with Google

Step 5: Confirm Upload of Verification File

Go back to the 'Verify Ownership' page in Google Webmaster tools.

Verify Site Ownership

Click the link in step 3, where it says to 'Confirm successful upload by visiting ...'. A new window or tab should open, and it should look something like the screen shot below. If this doesn't happen, check again that you followed the prior instructions.

google-site-verification html file
Step 6: Click Verify Ownership Button

From the 'Verify Ownership' page in Google Webmaster tools, simply click the 'Verify' button.

Verify Site Ownership

If it is successful, you will be redirected to the Dashboard and your domain will be shown on the top left corner of the page, as shown below.

Google webmaster tools Dashboard
Step 7: Log into your Google Merchant Center Account

Go to Google Merchant Center and log in with your Google Login.

Google Merchant Center Login

Step 8: Add Website Url to Google Merchant Center
  1. Click the 'Settings > General' tab from the left column.
  2. In the Website URL input box, enter the Website URL you entered before. If it is already entered, skip down to #5.
  3. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.

Add Website Url in Google Merchant Center

  1. If you receive an error like 'Internal Error' after clicking 'Save Changes', then please try again later.
  2. After the changes are saved, scroll down to the Website Url setting again and click the 'Claim this URL' link.

Claim Website URL in Google Merchant Center

  1. Your website URL should now be verified and claimed. This completes the tutorial.

Website URL Claimed and Verified in Google Merchant Center

Alternate: Google Sitemap Verification via META tags for Yahoo Store

If you enter the Google Sitemaps Verification File in your Yahoo Store, but it appears blank when you view it in your browser, you can try the META tag method instead.

  1. Select the META tag Verification Method in Google Webmaster Central.
  2. Copy the META tag code to your clipboard.
  3. Log into your Yahoo Store and open Store Editor.
  4. Go to 'Variables > Page Properties > Head-tags'.
  5. Copy the META tag code into the box, click the Update button, and then publish your store. The meta tag code should look something like:
    <meta name="google-site-verification" content="L5xRoKd-x3q321bcTz5l2LJjLqJvtcKIqmH0BGlIEO" />
  6. After your store is published, go back to Google Webmaster Central and click the Verify button.

WholesaleCentral Data Feed

How do I set up a WholesaleCentral.com data feed?

We offer a WholesaleCentral.com data feed for your store. We recommend that you configure this feed to be uploaded daily to WholesaleCentral. Currently, WholesaleCentral requires you to log into their site and click a button for the feed to be processed. You will have to do this periodically, so we recommend that you bookmark the Submit Feed Page.

  1. Sign into your WholesaleCentral Seller Account.
  2. Click on the EZFeed link.
  3. Click on "Register your store", select "Use non-Wholesalecentral.com store", and enter your store details.
  4. Go back to the EZFeed page, click "FTP Account", and create an FTP username/password.
  5. After you submit your first feed from our system, go to the EZFeed page again, click the Submit New Data Feed link, and click the "SUBMIT DATA FEED" button.
  1. In our site, add a feed using the WholesaleCentral.com template.
  2. Enter the necessary settings, including the FTP settings you defined above.
  3. Run a submission from our site.
  4. Check your Wholesalecentral account's 'Submit New Data Feed' page for the status of the submissions.
  5. You must click the "SUBMIT DATA FEED" button on that page for the listings to go live.

Yahoo Store Help

Does your system support legacy Yahoo stores?

Yes, we fully support legacy stores. Just supply the objinfo.xml URL and leave the catalog.xml field blank when you set up your feed. Our system even supports a workaround so that you can create custom attributes for your legacy store.

Why do my product titles contain the category name prefixed to the title?

You need to turn off the compound-name variable in your Yahoo Store's Store Properties.

  1. Log into your Yahoo Store Manager and go to Store Editor
  2. Click Contents in the tool bar
  3. Click Variables in the tool bar
  4. Expand the Store Properties section
  5. Set Compound-name to No
  6. Click the Update button and then publish your store
How do I bulk delete items via the Yahoo Store Catalog Manager?

If you do not have that many items to delete, you can delete them from Catalog Manager directly. See How do I delete an item in Catalog Manager?.

Otherwise, download your catalog CSV file from Yahoo, then change the Path of the items you want to delete to a path like 'TODELETE'. Then, upload the file and commit. Now, you can just navigate to the 'TODELETE' section in the Store Editor, and delete it. All the items in that section will also be deleted. See Uploading and Downloading Items via Catalog Manager for more information.

See this page for more information on deleting sections and all the items in them: Deleting a Page in the Store Editor.

For additional support on this topic, please contact Yahoo Store Merchant Support directly.

Aabaco (Yahoo) Store Design and RTML Programming Companies

We specialize in data feeds, so we do not offer Aabaco Store design services or RTML template development.

We have had clients who have worked with the companies listed below. We do not endorse any of these companies, but provide this list for your reference only.

  • FastPivot - a high-end Yahoo Store design company
  • 1Choice4YourStore - a medium-budget Yahoo Store developer
  • YTimes - advanced RTML development for Yahoo Store
  • Nakamoa - Yahoo Store RTML and add-ons

You can also consult the Aabaco Merchant Solutions Developer Network website, which has a listing of many design companies.

Product Data Entry and Amazon Listing Service Providers

If you need help adding product listings or product data to your website or onto Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc., then consider the following providers:

Wrong number of fields detected (x instead y)

Your Yahoo Store might give you a message that says, "WARNING: Wrong number of fields detected(6 instead 7)" when you upload a CSV file from Excel into your Yahoo Store Editor or Catalog Manager via Database Upload.

This is an Excel problem. Sometimes, Excel does not put trailing commas if the last few fields in a row are blank. In that case, Yahoo thinks the field is missing. As a workaround, just rearrange the columns so that a column with full data is the right-most column. For example, you can just move the 'id' column to the end.

An example is below.

Tue May 1 10:40:10 2011
Database upload	default-table Uploaded
Field names=(:ID :MANUFACTURER-PART-NUMBER :BRAND :GOOGLE-PRODUCT-TYPE
:UPC :NAME :MANUFACTURER)
600 records are loaded for add.

Warnings and Errors
Record	Detail
16 [Show]	WARNING: Wrong number of fields detected(6 instead 7)
17 [Show]	WARNING: Wrong number of fields detected(6 instead 7)
18 [Show]	WARNING: Wrong number of fields detected(6 instead 7)
19 [Show]	WARNING: Wrong number of fields detected(6 instead 7)
20 [Show]	WARNING: Wrong number of fields detected(6 instead 7)
"Enabled, but do not syndicate" option in Yahoo Store

Under Promote > Search Engines in your Yahoo Store Manager, you will find links to two store export files, objinfo.xml and objinfo.xml, that contain all the data in your store catalog. (Legacy stores only have objinfo.xml.) Each store export file has three settings, Enabled, Enabled, but do not syndicate, and Disabled. This article explains the definition of each option.

Disabled
This means the store export files will not be available for download from your store. If someone tries to access the URLs, the server will return an error.
Enabled
This means the store export files will be available for download by anyone from your Yahoo Store. Furthermore, Yahoo will submit an automatic data feed to their partner search engine, PriceGrabber. (You would still need a paid PriceGrabber account to actually receive clicks.) We are not aware of them submitting to any other search engine automatically.
Enabled, but do not syndicate
This also means the store export files will be available for download by anyone from your Yahoo Store. However, Yahoo will not automatically submit the files to PriceGrabber.

We recommend our customers to use the Enabled, but do not syndicate setting because the automatic feed from Yahoo to Pricegrabber interferes with the PriceGrabber data feed submitted from our system. Yahoo's automatic feed to Pricegrabber is generally not reliable or customizable, so many merchants prefer to use our data feed service to submit to them.

How do I add custom fields to my Yahoo Store?

You can easily add custom fields to your Yahoo Store catalog in order populate item-specific values. Check out the excellent video by 1choice4yourstore, Yahoo Store Database Uploads Video Tutorial, for a helpful overview. You can also refer to the Adding, editing, and removing attributes from tables instructions and contact Yahoo Store technical support for further assistance.

How to Add a Custom Attribute

  1. Log into your Yahoo Store Manager
  2. Go to Catalog Manager > Products tab > Manage Tables
  3. Select your product table using the Manage table drop-down menu.
  4. Click the Add New Attributes link to the far right of the the Custom Attributes heading.
  5. In the Add New Attribute dialog box, enter the following:
    • Attribute Name: my-custom-field
    • Format: text
    • Leave the Required checkbox unchecked.
    • Leave the Default Value field blank.
    • Leave the Description field blank.
  6. Click Add
  7. If you get an error like, 2000 : Invalid attribute name. 'upc' is a reserved attribute name, then click the Add New Attributes link to the far right of the the Shopping Attributes heading instead. You will be able to check the fields you want to add. Generally, do not make them required and do not enter any default value.

Suggested Fields to Add

The fields below can be added as 'Shopping Fields' to the table in Yahoo Store Catalog Manager. The fields in bold are pre-configured in our Google feeds.

  • product-url
  • manufacturer
  • yshopping-category
  • merchant-category
  • brand
  • upc
  • manufacturer-part-number
  • condition
  • ypath
  • color
  • yahoo-shopping-category
  • ean
  • promo-text
  • classification
  • in-yshopping
  • model-number
  • gender
  • age-range
  • age-group
  • size
  • style-number
  • msrp
  • medium
  • isbn
  • style

We recommend adding the following custom fields in the 'Custom Fields' section of the table, when applicable:

  • google-product-category
  • google-shipping
  • google-tax
  • google-online-only
  • google-condition

Populating the Fields

After adding the custom fields, use the Yahoo links below for instructions on how populate the data using Excel or OpenOffice Calc.

Power Tips for Yahoo Store Merchants

Videos on how to use Catalog Manager

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so certainly, a video could be worth 10,000. Our friends over at 1Choice4YourStore have put together some awesome Yahoo Store Help Videos on how to make the most of the Database Upload feature of the Yahoo Store Catalog Manager. Spend a couple hours watching these videos and it could save you days of tedious work in the Store Editor!

iMacros Add-on for Firefox

You can automate your busy-work with the iMacros Add-on for Firefox. After installing it, press F8 to see sample macros and play/record buttons in a side-bar. Then, click Record to record your actions. When you're done recording, click the Play button to play back your actions. It will save you a lot of time on some repetitious tasks!. For example, you can set up automatic addition of property fields to Yahoo Legacy store items.

Tip: To work with the Yahoo Store Editor, switch the mode from 'html tag' to 'x/y' before recording. After recording your actions, delete the GOTO URL line and then replace the form and attr lines with the '*' symbol. You may have to create multiple macros depending on the position of the buttons on various types of pages, e.g. pages with multiple products per page vs. pages with a single item.

iMacros Sample Scripts to Automate Yahoo Store Property Addition

Add properties to page with multiple product per page:


VERSION BUILD=7400919 RECORDER=FX
TAB T=1
CLICK X=449 Y=29
CLICK X=223 Y=94
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=brand
CLICK X=191 Y=173
CLICK X=319 Y=30
CLICK X=274 Y=95
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=mpn
CLICK X=192 Y=168
CLICK X=282 Y=31
CLICK X=275 Y=89
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=google-product-category
CLICK X=185 Y=162
CLICK X=300 Y=27
CLICK X=249 Y=93
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=size
CLICK X=178 Y=167
CLICK X=311 Y=28
CLICK X=247 Y=86
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=color
CLICK X=200 Y=167
CLICK X=304 Y=30
CLICK X=212 Y=89
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=upc
CLICK X=186 Y=163
CLICK X=279 Y=30
CLICK X=255 Y=94
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=gender
CLICK X=192 Y=162
CLICK X=295 Y=28
CLICK X=250 Y=92
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=age-group
CLICK X=196 Y=164

Add properties to item with single product per page:

VERSION BUILD=7400919 RECORDER=FX
TAB T=1
CLICK X=291 Y=23
CLICK X=265 Y=96
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=brand
CLICK X=181 Y=161
CLICK X=300 Y=29
CLICK X=251 Y=87
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=mpn
CLICK X=183 Y=159
CLICK X=287 Y=26
CLICK X=261 Y=89
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=google-product-category
CLICK X=214 Y=158
CLICK X=309 Y=32
CLICK X=222 Y=97
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=size
CLICK X=199 Y=165
CLICK X=283 Y=24
CLICK X=235 Y=87
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=color
CLICK X=205 Y=163
CLICK X=293 Y=29
CLICK X=297 Y=98
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=upc
CLICK X=196 Y=162
CLICK X=282 Y=32
CLICK X=202 Y=93
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=gender
CLICK X=195 Y=166
CLICK X=296 Y=31
CLICK X=221 Y=95
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:* ATTR=NAME:* CONTENT=age-group
CLICK X=195 Y=159
 

Thanks to Cary (Racing Gear by Wesco Performance) for the iMacros tips and sample code!

Legacy Yahoo Store RTML Template to Export Custom Attributes as CSV

To support legacy stores, we can now install a special template in your Yahoo Store that can export your custom item attributes or properties, such as UPC, brand/manufacturer, and manufacturer part number (MPN). The template exports the data in CSV/Excel format, which is picked up by our system whenever a data feed is generated. The data can be mapped to any data feed attributes with a Custom Feed. The template installation costs $99. Please follow the instructions below to get started.

  1. Log into your Yahoo Store Manager, and click the Access link under the Site Settings section, (found on the right-most column of the page.)
  2. Give Store Editor access to support email address.
  3. Submit a request using this link: Request Legacy Store RTML Template Install - $99.00
  4. Send us an email with the names of the custom attributes that you want exported.

Attributes

The attributes to add are listed below. If you do not use an attribute or the value is always the same, then there is no need to add it.

brand (required)
mpn (required)
upc (required - leave blank if not available)
google-product-category (if other than default value defined in feed)
google-condition (can be 'new', 'used', or 'refurbished' only)
google-availability
size, color, gender, age-group (see apparel requirements)
uc-category (optional, for Unbound Commerce)
pg-category (optional, for Pricegrabber)

Objects and Types in Yahoo Store Editor

When you create an item, it is assigned a "type" by the Yahoo Store. The "type" defines the properties of the item, such as name, caption, UPC, brand, etc.

The Yahoo Store comes with a number of built-in types with standard properties. You are not able to add properties to the built-in types, so it is better to create a custom type based on the built-in type. If you have not already, we recommend that you copy the "item." type to create a new custom type called "c-item".

On the "c-item" type, you can add properties, and these will be applied to all items based on that type. If your items are based on the default "item." type, then to add properties, you must add them to each item individually. You can do that quickly by using the iMacros add-on for Firefox, or use an automatic Yahoo Store property addition service.

You can not delete or rename properties added to a custom type, so add these carefully. It is not possible to change the 'type' of an item after it has been added. The item must be saved offline, deleted, and then added back.

In the "Config" section of your Store Editor, you can set the default "type" for new items to the "c-item" type that you created.

Set up your "c-item" type with the properties required by the search engines, like "upc", "mpn", "brand", "google-condition", etc. Refer to the list of suggested fields to add for a complete list.

Our template will be able to export the properties assigned to your items, whether they were added via a property override or via the "type", as long as they are named consistently in each item.

Workaround

If the data you are adding to your store does not appear in your data feed, then you may need to use this workaround. Use the Yahoo Store Editor 'Find' button to look for the 'aten-software-feed' item, click 'Edit' for it, and then click 'Update'. Once you do that, you can publish as usual. This will ensure that the Yahoo Store updates that page, and that our system is able to retrieve all the latest data.

How do I add custom fields to a legacy Yahoo store?

Please see here for a new, easier alternative to the method described below: Legacy Yahoo Store RTML Template to Export Custom Attributes as CSV or Excel

Legacy Yahoo stores do not support the catalog.xml Store Export file that would contain extended product attributes. We can map 'manufacturer-part-number' (MPN) to your Yahoo Product ID or Code field if that works. For 'brand', we can set the default value equal to your store name if it applies to all your products. Otherwise, you can embed product-specific values for these attributes in your product captions or descriptions as follows:


<!--
<brand>Performance Golf</brand>
<upc>012345678912</upc>
<mpn>100XYZ</mpn>
<gpcategory>Sporting Goods &gt; Indoor Games 
     &gt; Bowling &gt; Bowling Gloves</gpcategory>
--> 

The fields shown above are the recommended minimum, but you can add or remove fields as needed. For example, if your MPNs are in your Code field, brand is your store name, and product type is the same for all products, then you can add the UPC as follows:


<!--  <upc>012345678912</upc>  --> 

For any products with no tags, or with missing values in the tags, our system will just leave the value blank in the feed. Therefore, you can add data over time and it will be automatically picked up in the feed as it is made available.

The information in the made-up HTML tags is commented out and will not be visible in your actual product pages, but you could use style sheets and display the information too. After you populate the data in your descriptions, you must contact us and we can set up your feed to extract the data.

Your feed will have to be upgraded to a Custom feed to support this technique.

For best results, we recommend adding a category field for each shopping engine. We can configure each feed to use the appropriate data. For the other fields like <manufacturer> and <mpn>, we can use the same data for every feed, so you do not need to make a different one for each shopping engine.

Not all the items need to have the embedded attribute values. We can define default values for those items with a value missing.

If product attributes are already in your descriptions in a consistent, standardized format, we can usually write custom fields to extract the existing attribute values.

Click the following link for more information on configuring brand, MPN, and UPC.

Below is a more extensive example of the attributes you can provide using this technique. The tags are listed in order by our estimation of importance to Google.


<!--
<brand>Performance Golf</brand>
<upc>0123456789</upc>
<mpn>100XYZ</mpn>

<gpcategory>Sporting Goods &gt; Indoor Games 
     &gt; Bowling &gt; Bowling Gloves</gpcategory>

<pgcategory>Sporting Goods &gt; Bowling &gt; Gloves &amp; Accessories</pgcategory>
<bingcategory>Sports & Outdoors &gt; Bowling &gt; Gloves</bingcategory>

<googleshipping>US:::0.00</googleshipping>
<googletax>US:CA:8.25:y</googletax>

<agegroup>adult</agegroup>
<gender>unisex</gender>
<color>white</color>
<size>Small</size>
<material>leather</material>
<pattern>solid</pattern>
--> 
Yahoo Store Corrupt Caption in objinfo.xml Store Export

Yahoo Store has an known bug where the 'caption' field in the objinfo.xml store export file is occasionally corrupted. The captions are truncated and mismatched after a certain point in the file, resulting in wrong product descriptions for most of the products.

Our system uses the captions from the catalog.xml, if available, which are not corrupted. Unfortunately, for legacy stores, our system relies on the captions in the objinfo.xml, and this therefore causes data feed corruption. The corruption occurs rather infrequently.

We have been contacting Yahoo regarding this for many months with no resolution. We have implemented retry logic to attempt to detect the corruption, but it is not 100% reliable.

We have an open support ticket Yahoo tech support and they say they are working on a fix.

How do I find an item by ID in my Yahoo Store?
  1. Log into your Yahoo Store.
  2. Go to the Store Editor.
  3. Click red arrow on the far right on the Store Editor Toolbar to switch it to Advanced mode.
  4. Click the Controls button in the Store Editor Toolbar.
  5. Under Store Editor Setting, change the Show Find Button setting to Yes.
  6. Click Update.

You will now have a Find button on your Store Editor Toolbar that will let you find items by typing in their product ID. This is helpful for quickly finding specific items, such as discontinued items or items with missing information.

Other Yahoo Store Editor Search Methods

You can also find the item by looking through the Contents, but this can be time-consuming.

On the Controls page, there is also a Search function that allows you to search your entire store by Code, Name, Caption, Abstract, Contents, Headline, or Ship-weight. The search option can be 'exact match', 'is empty', 'is non-empty', or 'contains'. For details, refer to the Yahoo Store Editor Variables Guide.

Error images (all red square images) in Yahoo Store feeds

Occasionally, you may find some of the images in our feeds look like a small, all-red square, with image URL http://store1.yimg.com/Img/error-img.gif. The Yahoo Store error image is displayed below:

Yahoo Store Error Image - Red Square

This occurs for unknown reasons, but it is due to an issue with the main product image in your Yahoo Store.

To resolve the issue, re-upload the image for the item into your Yahoo Store via the Yahoo Store Editor, and re-publish.

Go to Manage Feed > Validation Report to find all the error images in your feed.

Alternatively, download your feed file and open it in Excel. Then sort by the image URL column and look for any images with the above error-img.gif URL.

Can I include external inventory data into my data feed?

Some Yahoo Stores track their inventory or stock status in an external database, which stores the product code/ID and inventory count for each product. For these stores, we have the capability to read that data and include it in your data feed. This allows you to set the quantity attribute with accurate data, or set the availability attribute to out of stock. Typically, we just add a filter to remove the out of stock items from the feed, i.e. where quantity on hand is zero or less.

We can integrate with the following inventory tracking systems:

This feature requires a Custom data feed. Please let us know where your inventory database is located, and we can give you a quote for the setup.

The inventory is fetched every time your feed is refreshed or resubmitted, ensuring accurate stock data. We can set up your feed to run more frequently than once per day if desired, or to a customized schedule.

Note: Non-orderable and zero-priced items are not imported into our system, so there is no need to filter those items.

Do you have code/specifications to create the Yahoo Store Export file?

Use the information below to generate a Yahoo Store export file in XML format from your product database. This XML file can be plugged directly into our system.

Here are some sample store export files:

Here is an important note from the objinfo.xml files:

"Note that although the native encoding of this store's content is iso-8859-1, all the text in this XML export format has been converted to UTF-8"

We suggest sticking to UTF-8; our system uses that too.

You should set the published date in the XML tag:
<Published timestamp="1228928138"/>
and also in the 'Last-Modified' header of the HTTP request. (Our system uses the latter for caching purposes.) If it is not easy to calculate the timestamp, just set it to the current time. All the other elements in the settings section are not needed for our system.

Here is the high-level documentation on the Yahoo Store Export format.

Here are the links to the XML Document Type Definitions (DTD):

You do not need to implement every possible field. Our system will work even if just the main ones are implemented, like title, url, image, price, and description. Path is a bit tricky, and can be left out. The catalog.xml file is entirely optional, but should be implemented in order to get all the attributes into Google and maintain ranking.

Sample code to add the 'Last Modified' HTTP header is below.

$lastModified = time();
// OR SOMETHING LIKE $lastModified = "SELECT MAX(DateModified) FROM Product";

$gmdate_mod = gmdate('D, d M Y H:i:s', $lastModified) . ' GMT';
$expiresDate = gmdate('D, d M Y H:i:s', time() + 3600) . ' GMT';
header("Expires: $expiresDate");
header("Last-Modified: $gmdate_mod");
header("Cache-Control: max-age=3600, private");

Note that in the objinfo.xml file, 'Description' is actually the title, and 'Caption' is actually the long description.

We recommend to flush output as it is generated. Our system has a built-in timeout if a page does not respond for a long time, so the script might not work for a larger store unless it sends the data continuously rather than buffering it before sending it. Your script might also run into memory limits if it is being buffered.

What is the 'Daily Plus' Update Frequency option?

The ‘Daily Plus’ Update Frequency option is a feed setting that automatically uploads your latest product listings to the shopping engine within a short time (about 1 hr) of your Yahoo Store being published. It submits your feed a minimum of once per day, even if you do not publish your store.

This free feature enables you to meet Google's new high-quality data requirements and provide an excellent shopping experience to your shoppers. Shopping.com also recently announced a capability to accept more frequent data feed submissions.

Instructions

  1. Log into My Account
  2. Click Manage for your Google feed
  3. Click Modify Settings
  4. Select the Daily Plus Update Frequency
  5. Click the Update button to save your settings

Additional Information

Your feed will be submitted a minimum of once per day even if you do not make any changes in your Yahoo Store.

This option is currently only available for Yahoo Stores. It is also restricted to shopping engines that prefer/allow multiple updates per day, namely, Google Shopping and Shopping.com. Feeds will not be submitted if you have no credit balance, or if there are outstanding tasks for the feed.

Your feed will be automatically resubmitted (within about 1 hr) after you change field definitions on the Define Fields page for your feed. If you are testing changes, make sure to set your feed's update frequency to Never to temporarily pause the submissions.

We recommend enabling this option for all feeds, unless your product listings change independently of your Yahoo Store Publish function. For instance, this may occur if you have an external inventory status database. Contact us if you need scheduled submissions more often than Daily, e.g. every four hours.

As per our terms of service, submissions are made on a best effort basis, and no guarantee or warranty is made as to timeliness of submissions.

Catalog Field Instructions for Yahoo Store Options

Catalog fields can output the first option value or all option values (comma-separated) into the feed. This is supported for Yahoo Stores only at this time.

First Option Value

Example Field Name:

{option-first-value:Color}

To output the first value from a specified option, enter the value displayed above into the Field Name setting. Replace the word Color with the exact name of the desired option. The name is case-sensitive. In this example, if you have an option named "Color" with values "Red", "Green", and "Blue", the value "Red" would be returned.

All Option Values for a Single Option

Example Field Name:

{option-single:Size}

To output all the values of the specified option, enter the value displayed above into the Field Name setting. Replace the word Size with the exact name of the desired option. The name is case-sensitive.

Values will be comma-separated. For Google feeds and Custom feeds, commas will be stripped if there are more than 10 values.

Can I backup, download, or export all my Yahoo store images?

Please use the following instructions to download, backup, or export all your Yahoo Store images to your computer.

First, configure one of your data feeds, preferably your Google Shopping feed.

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Click Manage for your Google Shopping feed to get to the Manage Feed page.
  3. Click Advanced Settings
  4. Set Image Hosting to Enabled.
  5. Wait about 10-15 minutes for your image hosting data to be loaded.

Next, prepare a folder and download the images.

  1. Create a new folder on your computer, e.g. images.
  2. Open the URL –
    http://ih.atensoftware.com/12345/download-images.bat
    – in your web browser. Replace 12345 with your FeedId, which can be found in your browser's address bar when you click on the Manage Feed page.
  3. Use your browser's File > Save As function to save the file to your images folder.
  4. Download wget.exe and save this file also in the images folder. This program is a free download tool for Windows.
  5. Double-click the download-images.bat file, and the images will begin downloading.
  6. If you receive a security warning, just click Run.
  7. When you are done downloading the images, go back to Manage Feed > Advanced Settings, and set Image Hosting to Disabled.

Caveats and Notes

  • This will only download the primary image for items that are marked orderable and have a non-zero price.
  • If you add or remove products, you have to download and run the latest version of the download-images.bat batch file.
  • You must be using a computer with the Windows operating system.
  • The batch file and wget.exe must be in the same directory. You can also copy wget.exe to your c:\windows\command folder, to make it globally available on your computer.
  • You can stop and restart the batch file, and it will pick up where it left off. It will not re-download images if they already exist and they are up to date.
How do I define categories for Unbound Commerce feeds?

To set up your categories for UnboundCommerce mobile commerce data feeds, please use the examples below.

DESCRIPTION                     :   SAMPLE CATEGORY
Top-Level Category              :   Nike Shoes
Category and Sub-category       :   Shoes > Nike
Category and Sub-categories     :   Shoes > Nike > Slip-on
Multiple Categories             :   Nike Shoes|Running Shoes
Multiple Categories (example 2) :   Brands > Nike|Types > Running

Tips

  • Use the '>' greater-than character to separate category levels.
  • Use the '|' pipe character to separate multiple categories.
  • Keep category names short to conserve space on the mobile screen.

Legacy Stores

If you have a legacy store, you can embed the category information in an HTML comment inside the Caption field of each product. Add the code shown below to the bottom of every Caption, and change the category as appropriate.

<!--
<uc-category>Brands &gt; Nike|Types &gt; Running</uc-category>
-->

Remember to replace the '>' greater-than character with '&gt;' to ensure that the HTML code remains valid. For more information, see How do I add custom attributes to a legacy Yahoo store?

Google Feed Warning: Value too long in attribute: id

Google limits the 'id' attribute to 50 characters. This took effect on September 30th, 2014.

Under Manage Feed > Google Validation Report, you will see an error for the items with 'id' over fifty characters.

This problem primarily affects Yahoo Stores. Here are various options for resolving this issue.

The best option is for us to convert your long IDs to a short, unique, hash code in your feed. We can enable this option upon request.

One option is to simply filter the items with errors out of the feed.

Firstly, truncating the IDs does not work, because it could result in duplicate IDs.

For Yahoo Stores, another solution is to use the 'code' field as the ID instead of the product ID. You can use the Manage Feed > Analyze Source Data to view an analysis of your 'code' field. If it contains no duplicates or values over 50 characters, then it can be simply configured as the field name on the Manage Feed > Define Fields > Edit 'id' page. For other store platforms, you could select another suitable field with unique, short value, like 'entity_id' or 'productcode'.

A hybrid option might be to truncate the ID and append a unique code, but then this derived ID might change over time, and that may cause problems for reporting. We do not offer this option.

A final option may be for you to change the ID of the item in your store. We may offer one or more of the other options as a temporary fix, or if you have too many items to fix.

How to Change a Yahoo Store Product ID

Yahoo provides no mechanism to allow you to change the ID of an item.

You must create a new item with the new ID, copy over the product data and images from the old item to the new item manually, and then delete the old item. At the same time, you should create 301 redirects from the old product URLs to the new product URLs. This ensures that inbound links do not get broken and you do not lose any organic ranking in search engines.

You may be able to change the IDs in a batch. First, download a CSV file of your products with long IDs from Catalog Manager. Then, change the IDs and upload the file back to create the new items. Next, download the images for the old items and save them with the ID of the new item. You can use multiple image upload to upload the images into the new item. We do not provide support for Yahoo Store, so please contact Yahoo Support for more information. You can also use the links below as a starting point:

Currency Conversion Add-on for Yahoo Stores

Are you interested in selling your products in Google Shopping for Canada*, the UK, Switzerland, or Australia? If so, then you need the currency conversion add-on for your Yahoo Store.

The currency conversion add-on upgrades your existing Yahoo Store so it can display the product price in a foreign currency, as required by Google Shopping.

The countries listed above can accept your product listings in English, so no content translation is required! As long as you can ship the products to those countries, You can use your product catalog as-is.

To get started, follow these steps:

Y-Times is a Yahoo Store Developer who will configure your templates to support the currency conversion on your website. We will set up a product feed to the requested country.

The Y-Times currency conversion add-on dynamically sets the price on the product page to the local currency when a visitor arrives. It sets a cookie in the visitor's browser so your store continues to show the local currency as they browse your site.

Our feed calculates and submits the pricing in local currency to Google Shopping. It also updates the conversion rate on your website, thereby keeping the pricing in-sync between your website and the feed. Our system uses the latest currency conversion rate from Yahoo Finance.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Note, if you are concerned about fraudulent international orders, consider using a fraud prevention service like Threat Metrix to screen out fraudulent orders.

*Note: Product Listing Ads for Canada only appear on google.ca, because there is currently no equivalent to Google Shopping in Canada.

Yahoo Small Business Spinning Off; Re-platforming Advice

The information below is posted with permission from Istvan Siposs, long-time Yahoo Store Developer. It was send in a February 23, 2015 YTimes email newsletter.

Lately, a lot of things have been happening around Yahoo! Small Business, and by now most, if not all of you have probably heard at least some of it. I've been getting emails and phone calls from worried merchants who, understandably, are worried and uncertain about what the future holds for their online stores. While an official communication from Yahoo is still forthcoming, I thought I'd go ahead and share with you what has been made public, what I know, and my take regarding the situation.

Starting with Yahoo! Stores (or "Yahoo Store 2.0"), you may or may not have heard that about a year ago Yahoo started building a brand new e-commerce platform. I was part of a select number of developers who worked with the new platform from the beginning, and helped develop the "themes" new Yahoo Stores customers can choose from when signing up with the new platform. This new platform has been available to the general public for some time (maybe a couple of months or so?). The new system is very different from, and not compatible with the editor-based system your store is on. Although available to the general public, the new system still has a lot of features planned but not yet done, and admittedly in its current form it is aimed at small scale stores rather than larger enterprises most of you are running.

Then, very recently came the announcement that Yahoo! Small Business is going to be spun off Yahoo! as a completely separate, independent company. This development had to do with the fact that Yahoo! is a major shareholder of Alibaba, and because of the Alibaba IPO they were going to be slapped with a big (huge) tax bill unless they could somehow get rid of a bunch of Alibaba shares. The immediate flip-side of this is that this new (yet to be named) company will be the most well funded "startup" in History. I put "startup" in quotes, because of course it is far from being a startup. The "new" company will come with a seasoned team of professionals, plus the technical background of the Yahoo! e-commerce platform. Not being part of a huge corporation such as Yahoo! may actually be an advantage in that the new company will be free to concentrate on what they know best: e-commerce. By the way, as you can imagine, the formation of the new company will not take place in a matter of days or weeks; it is going to be a process lasting most likely several months.

So where do all these developments leave you and your current Yahoo! Store? Here are the facts I know:

  • The new platform is moving forward, but is not yet up to par with the current system. - The current system is not going to be shut down.
  • No current Yahoo! Store will be forced to switch to the new system. Since the viability of the company depends in no small part on the existing merchants, it really means that you can continue running your business as usual, investing in new development and all, knowing that the platform you are on will not be pulled from under your business. However, I know that some of you are entertaining the idea of moving to a different platform, and others will be courted by different platforms to switch and take your business elsewhere. If you are considering re-platforming, you should keep the following in mind:
  • Replatforming is expensive. Contrary to what you may hear, unless you have a cookie-cutter online store, moving it to a totally different platform will probably involve a new design (an existing "skin" can never be transferred from one platform to a different one), a brand new implementation, plus migrating your data (which, granted, some of the other platforms make it easy for you.)
  • Since the new Yahoo system is not compatible with the current Yahoo store system, switching from the current (RTML-based) system to the new 2.0 system is the same as re-platforming (to a third party system.)
  • It's very nearly impossible to replatform and expect your SEO to remain exactly the same.
  • If your main reason to replatform is because "the other guys" said your SEO will immediately be better, it is not true. One platform is not inherently better for SEO than another. Your web site's SEO is only as good as your content.
  • ... and along the same line, when you hear someone say that Yahoo Store is bad for SEO, that's not true either. This platform has more Internet Retailer Top 500 businesses than any other.
  • If you want to replatform because the other platform is mobile-friendly out of the box, that's probably not entirely true either (and as a matter a fact, it is not entirely true with the new Yahoo! 2.0 platform either.) You can have a mobile-friendly "canned" template, but it will not be unique to your business. If you want a custom designed web site, there is work going into making it mobile-friendly.
  • And, related to this last point, the current Yahoo! Store platform does allow mobile-friendly web sites. Email me for examples if you are interested.
  • Lastly, as tempting as it may seem to cure any number of perceived ills you are experiencing by jumping to another platform, you will still be faced with needing some level of custom design, custom development and consulting services, preferably from a trusted, experienced e-commerce solutions provider, a role that Y-Times continues to fulfill.

This may be a lot to absorb especially if you haven't been up to speed on the recent Yahoo! Small business developments. Feel free to email me or call, or contact your Yahoo! account representative if you need more information.

Istvan Siposs
Y-Times Publications, LLC.
www.ytimes.com
February 23, 2015 Email Newsletter