How To Choose the Right Data Feed & Optimize for High-Performance

By Dawn Paul, Content Marketing Manager, Adtaxi

Data plays a key role in ecommerce. Product data feeds provide all the essential information about your business’s online product offerings. There are many places to send this data, but the struggle is real for many ecommerce marketers who don’t know how to tell if Amazon or Google is the best data feed. While both are great options, it’s important to understand their pros and cons to decide which data feed is right for your ecommerce business. But getting the perfect data feed is only half of what marketers need to do. It’s important to tap into tactics for optimal product feed management in order to get high-performing ecommerce campaigns that are tailored just right.

Where do Amazon and Google stand in their respective industries?

With over $500 billion in global sales, the king of ecommerce is Amazon, accounting for over 40% of the U.S. ecommerce market. Amazon’s CPC ad types include sponsored products, sponsored brands, and sponsored displays. As of June 2021, the average CPC for Amazon ads was $1.20. If you advertise on Amazon utilizing their managed-service option (display ads, video ads, and ads that are run through the Amazon DSP) expect to spend a minimum of $50,000.

Google dominates the search engine market, maintaining a 92.47% market share (as of June 2021). Google’s product data feed is created in the Google Merchant Center, where this information connects to Google Shopping ads, and it costs nothing to register for a Google Merchant Center account. This search engine giant’s functionality, speed, and sophisticated algorithm make it extremely beneficial for storing product data and creating ads to increase your brand’s visibility. Google Ads’ CPC rate stands at $0.67 for search and $2.32 for display.

Amazon and Google are both popular and powerful platforms for online business, but they each have their own advantages and drawbacks.

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Let’s look at Amazon.

Pro: Easily test and sell to the global market. As DataFeedWatch notes, “[Amazon has] you covered for every aspect including international order fulfillment and localized customer support. It takes the heavy lifting off your shoulders since you don’t have the hassle of figuring out local payment systems, logistics, and operations.”

Pro: Amazon Ads appear directly on product pages, which means even if a customer isn’t viewing your specific product, your ad can still appear on a competitor’s product page.

Con: Extremely competitive marketplace. Although the competition is much lower for Amazon Ads compared to Google Ads, competition is fierce on the product side. There’s also less opportunity for seller branding, so even if your item sells, it’s possible the buyer assumes they bought “from Amazon.”

Con: Selling fees and other costs. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, but Amazon fees can be steep. First, you’ll choose between two types of business accounts that require either a paid subscription or a fee per item sold. Second, Amazon takes a commission on any sales driven by ads, and the commission can fluctuate.

Con: No built-in shopping cart integration. Unless you’re entering every product detail manually, you’ll need a reliable third-party tool to properly integrate and track inventory across platforms.

What about Google?

Pro: Broader advertising reach than Amazon. Google has tremendous reach: Shopping ads appear in 90 countries, whereas Amazon ads appear in 15.

Pro: Directs people to your site. Google Shopping directs users to your ecommerce site (although Google is trying to make Buy with Google happen), creating opportunities for people to browse through or purchase other items, as well as providing first-party data for future marketing efforts.

Pro: Branding consistency. Google gives sellers and advertisers more control in displaying brand-specific design, which goes hand-in-hand with your data feed. Your data feed fuels your digital campaigns, making it an extension of company branding.

Con: Limited control over which of your ads display in Google Shopping. Unlike traditional Google search ads, Google Shopping ads “aren’t targeted by keywords”; Google Shopping instead uses your feed data and algorithms to decide when to display products.

Con: Google’s struggle to become a booming retailer. From the New York Times: “Google has nothing as alluring as the $295 billion that passed through Amazon’s third-party marketplace in 2020. The amount of goods people buy on Google is “very small” by comparison — probably around $1 billion, said Juozas Kaziukenas, the founder of Marketplace Pulse, a research company.”In addition to looking at the pros and cons of Amazon and Google, here are other factors to consider when it comes to the data feed decision.

  • If you don’t have many SKUs to manage, Amazon’s data feed might be ideal. Ecommerce sites with large product assortments are better off using Google unless they already use a third-party shopping cart integration tool.
  • Evaluate if your business can afford a professional listing on Amazon in addition to the CPC costs.
  • Determine if brand recognition or sales is more important at this stage in your company’s growth. Sales are important in every business, but Google displays business names more prominently in product listings — a must for younger companies.
  • Despite Google’s best efforts, Amazon is still where people go to buy items. Having your product feed originate there, then, would put you more in line with bottom-funnel customers whose intent to purchase is high.
  • Amazon can be unpredictable while Google clearly documents, outlines, and announces changes affecting advertisers and sellers. The easier a data feed is to manage and update, the easier it is to optimize.

After choosing the perfect data feed for your campaign, now what?

Without an optimized data feed, running any kind of successful business can be difficult or even impossible – but with high-performing campaign optimization, you’ll have winning strategies at hand.

Apply conversational search terms: The trend of asking digital assistants for food and entertainment recommendations, showtimes, and nearby gas stations shows no signs of slowing down. With voice search projected to be a $40 billion channel in 2022, brands should take advantage of this technology to be where customers are.

Leverage dynamic feeds: Dynamic product feeds allow you to update your inventory and pricing quickly without needing any creative asset updates. This is an efficient method that will help keep your data feed accurate, while also providing a great experience for users.

Boost product titles and descriptions: Knowing your target demographic’s shopping habits is essential in helping you streamline this process. Make sure you’re including your brand, color, and size in product titles to take advantage of low-funnel searches from users who are most likely prepared to purchase.

The data feed decision can be tough and needs careful consideration. You should start by weighing the pros against your priorities to figure out what’s best for you to reach those goals as quickly as possible for an optimized ecommerce experience. After choosing the best data feed, don’t let your campaigns fall behind. To drive conversions and make sure your campaigns are at their peak, take advantage of effective product feed management.

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