In its simplest form, a data feed is mechanism for users to receive updated data from a data source. Many people are familiar with RSS news feeds which makes dissemination of blogs easy. Product data feeds are playing an increasingly important role in e-commerce, Internet marketing, back-end business systems, and catalog generation.
When utilized properly these data feeds can have a huge positive impact on your business. If you're selling a product and you're not receiving a data feed please ask for this from the manufacturer and/or wholesaler. If you need help implementing or processing the data feeds Lunar Developers can help you.
Product Data Feed
While every product data feed can be different, most contain the following information. This type of data feed is usually updated monthly or quarterly.
There are also numerous "flags" that may be included for each product:
Inventory Data Feed
If you're drop-shipping a product this file is a must-have. it will show how much of an item is in any given warehouse at a given point of time. This type of data feed is usually updated anywhere from every 1 hour to every 24 hours.
Pricing Data Feed
This is a very under-utilized data feed. Many industries have organizations who poll competitors' pricing records and consolidate them into a database that you can subscribe to.
If your business is selling office supplies, how great would it be to have a data feed that shows how much retail chains like Staples, OfficeMax, OfficeDepot, and others are selling the same products for? With a little tweaking your system (e-Commerce, back-end business) could automatically query this information and perform a calculation that lowers your selling price by a percentage to insure you're always the lowest priced seller. This type of data feed is usually updated anywhere from every 1 hour to every 24 hours.
Data Feed Formats
There are a variety of different data feed formats utilized. The most common are the following and Lunar Developers can help you with each of these.
designers, developers, attorneys, accountants, consultants, non-profits, universities, PR firms, grocery stores, retailers, funeral homes, manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers.