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Data Feed Files

What is a data feed file?

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

Where is my data feed file?

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

How do I download my data feed file?

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

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

To download the file, follow these steps:

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

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

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

How do I set my data feed file to be refreshed only and not uploaded?

If you wish to disable the FTP/SFTP submit/upload feature of the feed and use the Feed URL only for HTTPS fetch, follow these steps:

  • Go to Manage Feed > Advanced Settings.
  • Change the Upload by FTP setting to No - Update data feed file only.
  • Click the Update button to save the settings.

Background Information

All feeds have a Feed URL which you can use for any purpose to directly download the data feed file.

The Feed URL can be found on the Manage Feed page. Additional details like file size, date created, and expiration date are on the Manage Feed > Download Data Feed File page.

Feeds to destinations (like Google and Bing) that support FTP/SFTP upload are configured by default to submit via FTP/SFTP. If the FTP/SFTP settings are invalid, the feed will auto-disable and notify you after a series of errors.

To avoid this, you can use the setting above to disable the FTP/SFTP upload. Then, you can provide the Feed URL to your ad agency, an alternate destination, or use it for any other purpose.


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 extra data will flow to the next cells or rows, and the file will appear to be corrupt.

Excel and UTF-8 Encoding

Our system produces feeds with UTF-8 character encoding. If the file contains any high value UTF-8 characters, then Excel may have problems opening the file. You may see fewer lines than expected.

You can check your text file for UTF-8 characters by using the Count Character Occurrences Tool. High value characters are those with a decimal code value of 128 or higher. Some non-printable characters under 32 may also cause issues.

To solve the problem, you can force Excel to open the file with UTF-8 encoding.

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


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.

Why are feed updates by FTP/SFTP upload preferred to fetch via HTTPS?

Better tracking, control, and coordination are the reasons why we prefer to configure all feeds to upload by FTP/SFTP whenever possible.

1. Tracking

We record the date/time, bytes uploaded, and success/failure of each upload by FTP/SFTP. This upload history is available on the Manage Feed > View Results page in your account.

By contrast, when a feed is fetched from the HTTPS URL, there is no way for us to definitively identify who fetched the feed, and the access attempts are not visible in your account.

Destination channels usually provide information on when the feed was updated, regardless of the method of upload. However, this history is limited and not readily available to us as your feed provider for troubleshooting purposes.

2. Control

With FTP/SFTP uploads, we can control exactly when the feed is submitted, and allow you to submit the feed on demand.

With scheduled fetch by HTTPS, you must rely on the destination channel's fetch schedule. Although there are few channels that allow you to request an immediate fetch, but there are more steps to request the update.

3. Coordination

With scheduled fetch by HTTPS, the time when the feed is refreshed on our end will not match the time when destination fetches the feed. This results in a lag in the update. For a daily update, the lag could be up to 24 hours.

For these reasons, if the destination channel provides the FTP/SFTP upload option, we strongly recommend to use it, and can help you set it up if needed.