If you run an online store, you have come to the right place. I will recommend several practical Shopify applications for product feed management, which will save you time and reduce the risk of misconfiguration. Both free and paid applications with different levels of sophistication and functionality will appear in the list.
Product feed management applications
Without a correct product file configuration (feed) it is difficult to talk about sales and profits. It is necessary to appear at the appropriate queries, to facilitate the optimization and management of products, and thus – to earn money. Moreover, an incorrect feed configuration may result in the file being rejected by Google Merchant Center or cost you valuable clicks.
Shopify offers over 70 free and paid product feed management applications. Here are some of them, most preferably installed, which will allow you to easily integrate your product range with Google and Facebook services.
1. Google Channel – manage your feed and run campaigns
The free application allows you to generate a feed, manage it and run Google Smart Shopping campaigns from the Shopify level.
In addition, from 2020, retailers can display products on the Google Shopping tab free of charge – right next to sponsored offers. This will allow small businesses to increase sales without the need to run Google Ads campaigns, while those already using product ads from retailers will be able to supplement paid ads with free offers. Currently, this option is only available to retailers in the USA, but it is planned to be available worldwide this year.
2. Feed For Google Shopping – advanced automation
Paid application, especially appreciated for its support and developed features. The possibilities it offers include:
- Instant and automatic synchronization of Shopify Store with Merchant Center,
- Update the feed, without having to wait for Google to download the channel,
- Advanced filtering and collective feed editing functions,
- Using SEO titles and/or descriptions as product titles and descriptions respectively,
- Using additional product images,
- Support for the Facebook directory.
All this allows for efficient management and optimization of the product feed – in particular, working on the basis of several thousand products. The application is certainly recommended for “bigger players”.
3. Flexify: Facebook Product Feed – effective sales in social media
The application is free on a basic level – advanced features are available according to the price list. Simple interface should not make it difficult for even beginners to configure the feed. Moreover, Flexify allows you to set up dynamic product campaigns in social media – Facebook, Instagram. It is a fully automated tool and, as the manufacturer himself says: True set & forget advertising!
However, larger stores and more technically advanced retailers or agencies will certainly not stop at the free version. Paid options provide more optimization possibilities and more features. However, this is an excellent solution for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Advantages of advanced feed management
Is it worth gambling on paid product management applications and investing in additional features, or can it stay with standard options? Let’s summarize the most important advantages of advanced feed creation and what’s behind it.
The most important advantages:
- Number of products you can manage in the feed
Many free applications or free versions limit this number (e.g. to 1 thousand products). For some, it is a lot, for others just a third of the store’s range. It is worth taking this into account, especially if we plan to expand our offer with more products.
- Frequency of product updates
Not all free applications offer frequent cyclical feed optimization (e.g. every hour). Some of them provide only one update per day, which in the case of large stores and frequent warehouse changes is associated with a high misunderstanding in contact: an unavailable product – an interested user.
- Instant synchronization with Google
This definitely improves the work with the product feed. Many (often paid) applications offer instant synchronization with Google without the need to send the URL of the channel, specify the download frequency or other settings. The powerful tools do this within minutes of updating.
- Advanced filtering and aggregate editing functions for products
Advanced filters enable e.g. assigning promotions to specific products. This option is also effective for feed optimization.
- Custom labels/ product values
This allows you to manage product values accurately, add status information or assign other customized labels.
How exactly can these applications help us? Let’s analyze some examples.
- You run a small online store and have no more than 100 products in your assortment. You want to advertise your products on Facebook and Instagram..
With such a small number of products, the free application to generate a feed will work to meet your expectations. You will have full control over the file update and you will easily catch errors on individual products. A simple application interface will not cause you any problems.
- You already have more than one thousand products in your store’s assortment and you are constantly expanding your offer, prices and availability of some of them are changing dynamically.
If you want to group feed into product categories, assign them collectively defined values and update the product file every hour – choose an application that meets all these requirements. These types of tools are already more automated. However, they will not always be paid applications, so good research and the right strategy is the key to success.
Your company is a large e-commerce company, which offers several thousand products from different categories.
To control such a range of products requires a fully developed tool that not only saves your time, but also allows you to filter products according to even the most detailed guidelines. This is also true if you don’t want to promote all products, but only the high-margin ones – appropriate budget optimization in this case can result in high return on investment.
There are many applications to test, along with their functionality. It is worth taking advantage of the possibilities offered by Shopify to check which option works best in our store. Advanced options will certainly support our work on product files – however, everything depends on the specific store and assortment. It is also certain that there is a lot to choose from and each seller will find the most convenient application among over 70 available tools.
More applications I refer to can be found on the official Shopify list: