With a staggering 211 million downloads and 6.5 million active sites, WooCommerce is surely a CMS behemoth that rules the eCommerce world.
WooCommerce has all the tools you will need to run an online store. Moreover, it supports a plethora of third-party plugins that can enhance your store’s usability and presence.
However, WooCommerce can’t promise you sales. You will need to apply effective and sustainable marketing strategies to grab the attention of your target customers and grow revenue.
One mighty effective yet underrated or almost unknown to many methods is product feed marketing. You can reach millions if not billions, of customers from multiple channels and grow your WooCommerce business with minimum effort using product feed marketing.
And the greatest part is that you can do it right from your WooCommerce admin panel.
In this article, we will discuss what a product catalog feed for WooCommerce is and walk you through how to create one from your WordPress back panel.
Let’s get started.
What is a product catalog feed?
A product catalog feed is a structured file that contains essential information about your products, such as titles, descriptions, prices, images, availability, etc. It’s like a digital brochure that provides detailed product data to various platforms and channels.
This feed acts as a bridge between your WooCommerce store and other platforms like Google Shopping, Facebook, or comparison shopping engines. It lets you synchronize and update your product information across multiple channels in real-time.
It generally comes in a CSV, XML, TXT, etc., file format. Advertising platforms like Google Shopping, Bing smart shopping, etc., require you to submit product catalog feed files to run ads on their platforms.
By creating and submitting a product catalog feed, you can reach a wider audience, increase visibility, and drive more traffic to your online store. It simplifies the process of showcasing your products to potential customers, ensuring accurate and consistent product data across different platforms.
Simply put, you can list and promote your WooCommerce products in multiple channels, including Amazon, eBay, Target, Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, Idealo, Walmart, etc., and reach those giant marketplace’s audiences using a product catalog feed for WooCommerce. As a result, you can reach millions of potential customers and grow your online business.
How to create a product catalog feed for WooCommerce
Every channel supporting a product feed has guidelines and attribute requirements. Your first task is to learn the guidelines and attributes.
What are attributes in a product catalog feed?
Attributes in a product catalog feed are specific pieces of information that describe your products in detail. They provide essential details about each product to help platforms and channels accurately understand and display your offerings.
In simple words, attributes are column headers in a CSV product feed file. Under these attributes, you need to insert your WooCommerce product data.
Common attributes in a product catalog feed include:
- Title: The name or title of the product.
- Description: A concise and informative description of the product.
- SKU: A unique identifier or stock-keeping unit for each product.
- Price: The cost of the product.
- Image URL: The web address of the product image.
- Category: The product’s category or classification.
- Brand: The brand or manufacturer of the product.
- Availability: Indicates whether the product is in stock or out of stock.
- Variant Attributes: For products with variations, attributes like size, color, material, or any other distinguishing characteristics.
- Additional Attributes: Any additional information relevant to the product, such as weight, dimensions, warranty details, or special features.
These attributes help platforms correctly categorize and display your products, allowing customers to search, filter, and compare products effectively. Providing accurate and detailed attribute information in your product catalog feed ensures a seamless shopping experience for potential buyers.
In addition to setting up a product catalog feed, if you’re looking to hire full-stack developers, there are various avenues to find skilled professionals. You can explore platforms, job portals, and freelancing websites that specialize in connecting businesses with full-stack developers.
How to manually create a product catalog feed for WooCommerce
After you find the attributes of a certain channel, you need to insert them in a CSV or XML file. We all know that Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets supports spreadsheet file formats such as CSV.
Let’s say we want to create a product catalog feed for Bol.com. Here are the necessary attributes Bol.com asks from you –
- EAN – European article number or ISBN (International standard book number).
- Condition of product – Product condition (new, good, fair, or poor). To filter only for new products, type “new.” Type “as new” if you’re submitting gently used secondhand goods in pristine condition.
- Product description – The description and specifications of the product.
- Product image – URL link of the cover image.
- Product count in stock – Quantity of available products. Whenever a single unit is sold, the count is decreased by one. The item will be removed from shelves once the quantity reaches zero.
- Price – No currency symbol, just the full, decimal value. In the event of a sale, all prices must include applicable taxes and shipping costs.
- Delivery method – The vendor or the bol.com logistics service can make these arrangements.
- Delivery time – The expected delivery timeframe of the item.
Now add all these attributes in a spreadsheet file and copy and paste your WooCommerce product information underneath them. When you are done, you can upload the file to Bol.com.
However, this is a completely manual process with several problems. Let’s discover why manually creating a product catalog feed for WooCommerce isn’t the best idea.
Problems/Challenges of creating a product catalog for WooCommerce manually
Different channels require some attributes that WooCommerce doesn’t have built in on its system. For example, Bol.com asks for the EAN of a product for which the WooCommerce product page doesn’t have a field.
You will need to install a custom field plugin or do some coding to add these additional custom attributes to your Woo site. That requires some technical skills that most WooCommerce owners don’t have.
Another problem is copying and pasting a large amount of data and updating them. Let’s say you have 50-100 products in your WooCommerce store.
You add new products or make changes to your existing ones regularly. Copy-pasting that amount of data is already challenging, and updating them will be a nightmare for you.
Every time you make any changes to your products, you must update all your product feed files for different channels and re-upload them to the channels.
Overall, manually generating a product catalog feed for WooCommerce undermines its sole purpose: automating the product listing process.
Your best option is to use a product catalog feed plugin. One of the best plugins for the job is CTX Feed.
Using a plugin to generate product catalog feed for WooCommerce
A plugin like CTX Feed can save you from all the hassles mentioned above and automate the entire product catalog feed generation process. You wouldn’t need to worry about WooCommerce product catalog optimization or update either.
CTX Feed is a freemium plugin that can help you create product catalog feeds for 130+ channels with little to no effort. You can also create a complete custom product feed using this plugin.
But what about the guidelines and attribute requirements?
You don’t need to worry about them anymore. The plugin has pre-made templates for all the channels. These templates have all the attributes and guidelines integrated inside them.
Just select a channel template, and the plugin will do the rest for you.
The greatest features of this product feed management plugin are its update and connection features. CTX Feed updates all your product changes after set intervals automatically.
The plugin supports URL/FTP/SFTP/HTTP connecting methods. You only have to copy and paste the feed URL through any of these methods, and the plugin and channel will communicate automatically through that URL.
When you make any changes to your Woo products, the plugin will automatically update that change in your feed file, and the channel will fetch that change from the feed URL and update its listing.
Thus you can display your accurate WooCommerce product data across multiple channels and grow your conversions.
The plugin also allows you to add custom fields which we will check out in the next section.
How to generate a product catalog feed for WooCommerce using a plugin
Let’s go back to creating that Bol.com product catalog feed for WooCommerce. First, install the plugin’s free version from the WordPress repository.
After you install and activate the plugin, you will notice a new menu for CTX Feed.
Click on Make Feed to get started. This is what the new window looks like.
From the Template dropdown, select your channel.
Give your file a name and select your file type.
The moment you select the channel, the plugin will automatically populate all the necessary attributes in the second part of the window.
All you have to do now is click the Update And Generate Feed button. The plugin will automatically collect your WooCommerce product information and generate a product catalog file for the channel.
If you want to exclude certain categories or products, remove out-of-stock products, or apply different conditions, you can use the plugin’s filter options.
After you create the file, go to Manage Feeds. There you will find all your feed files.
You can also enable the auto-update feature and set an interval for the plugin to fetch all your changes and update the feed files.
From different settings, you can edit, regenerate, view, delete, download, and copy the URL of the feed file. Bol.com will automatically update your product listings with the most recent information from your feed URL once you connect to the marketplace through the URL.
How to add custom fields using CTX Feed
CTX Feed already knows what custom field different channel asks for. It has integrated all of the possible custom fields in its settings.
Moreover, it has additional custom fields you can use if you need any.
Go to CTX Feed>>Setting and click on Custom Fields to find the available custom field settings.
For example, we need EAN for the Bol.com product catalog feed. Toggle to turn that on.
Now go to one of your product pages and scroll down to the Product Data section.
Click on Inventory, and there you will find the custom field you just enabled.
When you enter a value here, the plugin automatically includes that in the feed.
Benefits of using a product catalog feed for WooCommerce
Using a product catalog feed for WooCommerce can bring about a range of valuable benefits that can positively impact your eCommerce business:
By utilizing a product catalog feed, you can significantly enhance the visibility of your products. The feed ensures that search engines, comparison shopping engines, and various online platforms easily discover your product listings.
This expanded visibility exposes your products to a broader audience. As a result, it increases the chances of attracting potential customers and boosting your online presence.
Implementing a product catalog feed automates the process of updating and managing your product information. Instead of manually entering and updating data, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors, a feed enables you to synchronize your product data across multiple channels efficiently.
This time-saving advantage allows you to focus on other critical tasks related to your business’s growth and development.
Maintaining consistency across different platforms and channels is vital for your brand image and customer trust. A catalog feed ensures that your product information remains consistent across various online channels.
This consistency makes it less likely that customers will see information about a wrong or outdated product. This improves the overall customer experience and makes things less confusing.
One of the significant advantages of using a product catalog feed for WooCommerce is the ability to expand your reach to different online marketplaces and advertising platforms. By distributing your product data through the feed, you can tap into new audiences and target customers who frequent these platforms.
This broader reach can increase exposure and potential sales opportunities for your products.
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in driving organic traffic to your website. A product catalog feed can help optimize your product listings for search engines by providing structured data, relevant keywords, and accurate descriptions.
This optimized content helps search engines understand your products better. It can improve your website’s visibility and organic rankings.
With a catalog feed, any changes or updates made to your product catalog are instantly reflected across all platforms where the feed is distributed. Whether it’s a price adjustment, stock availability change, or new product addition, the feed ensures that the information is promptly updated.
This real-time synchronization makes sure that your customers get the most accurate and up-to-date information about your products. This reduces the chance that they will buy something that is out of date or no longer available.
Catalog feeds provide valuable insights into the performance of your products across different platforms. By analyzing the data obtained from the feed, you can gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences, trends, and sales patterns.
These insights empower you to make data-driven decisions. You can optimize your sales strategies, marketing campaigns, and product offerings accordingly, ultimately maximizing your business’s potential for success.
Streamlined inventory management
Integrating a catalog feed with your inventory management system allows for streamlined inventory management. The feed ensures that accurate stock levels, product availability, and other inventory-related information are consistently updated across various channels.
This integration lessens the possibility of overselling or underselling, eliminates customer frustration over unavailable products, and creates a more streamlined purchasing experience.
Better customer experience
A well-organized and comprehensive product catalog, powered by a catalog feed, greatly contributes to a positive customer experience. By providing accurate and detailed product information, such as descriptions, specifications, images, and pricing, you enable customers to make informed purchasing decisions.
This transparency and clarity foster trust, satisfaction, and the likelihood of repeat purchases, creating loyal and happy customers.
Implementing a product catalog feed can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. By automating the distribution of your product data, you eliminate the need for manual intervention and reduce the time and effort required for data entry and maintenance.
This cost-efficient approach optimizes your operational processes, allowing you to allocate resources more effectively and invest in other business areas requiring attention and resources.
How to optimize WooCommerce product catalog feed
For WooCommerce product catalog optimization, follow these steps:
Ensure accurate and complete product information
Provide detailed and accurate descriptions, titles, and attributes for your products. Include relevant keywords that customers might use in their searches.
Optimize product images
Use high-quality images that showcase your products clearly. Compress the images to reduce file size for faster loading times. Use descriptive file names and alt tags to improve search engine visibility.
Categorize your products effectively
Organize your products into relevant categories and subcategories. Use logical and intuitive naming conventions to make it easier for customers to navigate your catalog.
Use unique and compelling product descriptions
Write unique and engaging descriptions for each product. Highlight key features, benefits, and any unique selling points. Avoid duplicate content.
Implement structured data markup
Use schema markup or JSON-LD to provide structured data to search engines. This helps search engines understand and display product information accurately in search results.
Optimize product URLs
Ensure that your product URLs are clean, concise, and include relevant keywords. Avoid using generic or auto-generated URLs.
Optimize for mobile devices
Make sure your product catalog feed is mobile-friendly and displays properly on different screen sizes. Optimize page loading speed and responsiveness for a better user experience.
Enable reviews and ratings
Encourage customers to leave reviews and ratings for your products. Positive reviews can enhance trust and credibility, leading to better conversions.
Implement SEO best practices
Optimize your product catalog feed for relevant keywords. Use meta titles and descriptions that accurately describe your products. Incorporate internal and external links strategically.
Regularly update and maintain your product catalog
Keep your product information up to date, remove any discontinued items, and add new products as they become available. Regularly review and refine your optimization strategies based on performance data and customer feedback.
By following these steps, you can optimize your WooCommerce product catalog feed, enhance its visibility, and improve your chances of attracting potential customers and driving sales.
A product catalog feed for WooCommerce is your pathway to reaching a vast audience. By harnessing the potential of a product catalog feed, you can amplify your online presence, increase brand visibility, and attract a flood of eager customers.
From seamless integration with popular platforms to optimizing your marketing strategies, we have delved into the benefits that await you in this article.
Hope this was of help to you. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions.