Product Feed Management Series: The Maturity Model

February 25, 2020

Digital Marketing Bradley Hearn By Izabela Catiru

Proper management of your product data and feeds is essential for e-commerce success, regardless of your business size, product category or technical background. We created this blog series to help you understand the current processes related to feed management, along with detailed and practical recommendations to help you improve them. 

Investment in product advertising by brands and retailers is at an all-time high. And digital ad share continues to grow, in particular, for leading ad destinations like Google and Facebook. 

For brands and retailers looking to get their products in front of more consumers, campaign setup and management is an extremely important aspect of driving performance. But it’s just one side of the coin. On the other side is product data, and all the processes associated with it, which has an equally big impact on the effectiveness of your advertising.

In this post, we want to help you assess your current feeds, feed management processes and data quality using a simplified version of the model we leverage when assessing the status of our clients and prospects. 

The product feed maturity model below provides a guideline of where advertisers are at each level (Basic, Advanced, Best in Class). 

While you might be at various points in your maturity across the different capabilities, there are a few critical areas where you need to be Best in Class right now to succeed in e-commerce: optimization capabilities, delivery strategy, new feed generation and feed failure discovery. 

To further assess where you are for these key items, answer the questions below.

Optimization capabilities (enhancing product data to improve discoverability, using existing data to create new fields, A/B testing titles and images, etc.):

  • Do you currently automate your optimization activities? 
  • Do you have QA processes in place to ensure the optimization is implemented correctly? 
  • Is your optimization based on performance data?

Delivery strategy: 

  • What is the frequency of your updates for each channel? Are you able to influence it and set a frequency that meets how often you need it to happen?
  • How quickly are changes picked up by your various channels? Does it take a full day or less than an hour?

Generating a new feed: 

  • How fast are you able to launch a new channel? 
  • What’s holding you back? Is it product data, resources or processes?

Feed failure discovery: 

  • Is your existing setup enabling you to be proactive rather than reactive to errors?
  • Are you able to easily discover errors or does it take you more than a day to discover them?

Everyone understands how important high-quality product data is to showing up on leading channels like Google, Facebook and Amazon. But unfortunately, that’s no longer enough. The ever-evolving, fragmented nature of the e-commerce landscape requires agility on the part of advertisers. How well you’re able to manage your product data feeds on a daily basis — including the optimization, mapping and delivery to those leading channels and other custom destinations — will ultimately determine your long-term success. 


If you require further support in assessing your current setup and processes around feed management, contact your ChannelAdvisor representative. If you’re not a ChannelAdvisor client, fill out this quick form and one of our e-commerce consultants will be in touch soon. 

Up next in the Product Feed Series: common feed management pitfalls.

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