Why Get Your Product Data Feeds From Datafeedr
I have been a member of the Datafeedr community since roughly early Oct 2010 so even though it has been a short time I've had ample opportunity to check out and compare its features VS those of Popshops and Goldencan both of which I have used extensively in the past.
This review is a bit extended so please feel free to scan around the points that interest you and if you feel any of them useful then consider giving it a thumbs up or sharing it with others.
Indeed I am using an affiliate link when linking to datafeedr. It doesn't cost you anything to use it since Datafeedr will refund you if in 30 days you find their service doesn't suit you. It also helps feed my Starbuck cards when I need to stay up late at night writing hubs like these.
Summary For The Impatient Affiliate
What can I say except that I wasted precious time looking for good reviews of Datafeedr VS the incumbents and couldn't find any. If you're already familiar with working with product datafeeds using other services or rolling your own and also if you're using Wordpress then the easiest way to understand whether Datafeedr offers anything that you can use to improve conversions is to :
Trial it for $27 for 30 days on your favorite wordpress site.
yes, it will work with Thesis, Revolution,Frugal and other premium themes.
Just get it and log into your account and go through the plugin install and other videos, believe me its strengths and weaknesses will become super clear.
For instance, I quickly found out that I was not able to edit each product category page individually in the datafeedr factory and also could not prevent hundreds of products from showing up in a major category when all I needed for that particular category was some Introductory text and for a listing of its subcategories.
Of course this was a deal killer for me because my major product category pages in my niche needed some introduction to its subcategories instead of a whole Schlock of un-specific products that ran on for hundreds of product pages.Thankfully version 3 of the plugin and factory due within the next few weeks will solve this issue.
So The easiest way for me to explain my experience with datafeedr is through comparing it to the other two major datafeed handling services that I have used extensively in the past. The comparisons are not about basic setup and configuration which you can easily find out for yourself but more about my nitty gritty experiences.
Also understand that as of this writing Datafeedr only works with Wordpress so if you're wanting to use it with Xsite Pro, Drupal, or some other content tool then you best find some other Datafeed Aggregator Service to use like Goldencan.
Popshops VS Datafeedr
Popshops has been around since 2007 and up till recently has been the easiest way for affiliate marketers with little programming ability to use a datafeed in their websites. What’s nice about popshops is that it can integrate with blogger, typepad, to some extent Squidoo as well as Wordpress.
It allows you to create an Estore in the Popshops interface and then “pop” it into your website as a php page. There are some customization functions that allow you to change font etc but to create something like a price comparison site you’ll have to be proficient in coding with their API . Datafeedr on the other hand will have price comparison functionality out of the box with Version 3 of their plugin due out in beta in November.
Some of the major differences with working with Popshops as opposed to Datafeedr is the fact that none of the product pages that you build in popshops is hosted on your site. So if Popshops goes down, so do your php pages with all its products that you painstakingly put together.
Datafeedr on the other hand uses a plugin that syncs with their Estore builder which they call the factory. The plugin has all your store data as it exists across your store pages whether a category page, product page, custom page or drip post so if Datafeedr goes down your store remains as is and you will not lose sales although you lose the ability to update your store in the factory.
You also have total control over the permalinks of your store pages so you can go ahead and change the permalink that Datafeedr assigns to say a category page to something that is more optimised and then build backlinks to that page without fear that those pages will be lost when you next update your store products since you have the option to either add to or overwrite your category and product pages if you so choose with Datafeedr.
A major time suck with handling an affiliate data feed with services like Popshops and Datafeedr is not being able to quickly assemble your store because of poor search functionality. One disadvantage of Popshops is the inability to use sophisticated search queries to narrow your group of products down to what you want without having to do a lot of deleting or adding products one by one.
Datafeedr on the contrary has a useful search function in the factory that will accomodate Boolean searches and searches with negative keywords so that if you’re putting together a product category for say women’s bras you can add keywords that you would like to exclude from the search that would commonly show up like panties, teddies, push ups,etc.
Apart from the smoother functioning of the Datafeedr factory and its integration with Wordpress vs Popshops, the huge difference would have to be service and support. Of course Popshops does offer a free option although of limited functionality and its paid services are slightly less in price compared to Datafeedr.com for a similar number of stores. However from my experience with the Datafeedr private forum compared to Popshops, troubleshooting questions are always answered the same day and usually within 2 hours of being posted.
Eric is the one that usually provides solutions to technical problems with extensive investigations into alternative solutions where he will provide workarounds if the problem cannot be tackled head on whether its a simple problem with the way your Wordpress theme integrates with the plugin or something more complicated like conducting Boolean product searches in the factory area. Also, the solutions provided are up to date. For instance, there was a problem with the way the datafeedr plugin integrated with the latest Thesis wordpress theme version 1.8 and the solution was already posted in the forum and it worked without a hitch.
Of course I can’t speak for Popshops since I’m actually not signed up for their service any more but from what I can see, you still have to submit a ticket and wait for an automated response from Popshops and then respond to their automated response saying that you haven’t been able to find a solution in their FAQs and other resources and would like a human to look at their problem.
With Datafeedr you just submit your query to the appropriate area in the forum and you will usually get a response from Eric within an hour.
Datafeedr VS Goldencan
Goldencan has less customizability than either popshops or datafeedr. However it is quite flexible in terms of where you can install your store.
Whereas Datafeedr is expressly configured to be used with Wordpress via the proprietary plugin that syncs with the “factory”, what you get from GoldenCAN is a copy and paste code that pulls your store, categories, products etc from your goldencan account. Your page will be instantly populated with all the above as well as navigation and search functions.
The page that you insert this code into as instructed by Goldencan is essentially a framework around the store and so you can configure your template the way you want to for header, sidebars, footer, etc whether you’re using a static website created with a tool like Dreamweaver or whether you use a dynamic content management tool like Wordpress or Drupal.
The pricing structure for Goldencan is different in that they take a portion of your clicks rather then charge a fixed price for their service. Depending on how successful you are you could end up paying a sizable chunk for the service.
Every 4th click belongs to Goldencan for many of the merchants. If that 4th click on your store results in a sale then the commission goes to goldencan (depending on the merchant) and this is how they get paid for their services.
Datafeedr is a straight $27 p/month for one store, $47 p/month for 5 stores and so on.
Of course, because your store is essentially hosted on Goldencan, if their servers go down then so does your store as opposed to Datafeedr which sets up your store in wordpress through the data contained in the plugin that is synced from the factory where your store and its categories and products were created.
Although Popshops and Goldencan store examples seem reasonably snappy in terms of load time, there is some lag on the loading of product images.
With both these services you are limited to the speed of the servers that they use. With datafeedr on the other hand, because all your store’s data is stored on your wordpress install in a plugin, you can always upgrade your hosting service or use a content delivery network service like Rackspace or Amazon S3.
These services will cache your wordpress pages on their servers around the world and speed delivery of your pages to viewers and creating the impression that you are truly a scaled up operation with the snappy response of your online store.
Now the major difference between Datafeedr and a service like Goldencan is the way in which categories of products are created.
This goes back to the premise that as marketers that make money online our primary interest in any sort of automated or semi automated affiliate store setup is in the conversions.
What good is a service that will allow us to throw up an affiliate store with thousands of products in five minutes if our store even if it does get traffic does not convert to the degree that it ought to based upon the effort that we put into getting the store traffic.
And so we come to an inherent weakness in an affiliate marketing approach that is hell bent on using every automated this and automated that type of tool in the noble quest of saving time and effort. The key weakness sometimes with this approach is that we tend to forget that in most cases a conversion depends on a tightly niched or themed store with carefully defined categories and products that will appeal to a specific target audience. What you're trying to do is create a very targeted selection of products that off the bat will appeal to the targeted searcher as soon as they land on your store and see the kind of categories and products you're presenting.
This is where the sophisticated search functionality available in the datafeedr factory allows for the speedy creation of precisely defined store categories populated with “relevant “ products.
Instead of a general category like say "diamond rings" you would be able to quickly populate a category like "yellow diamond right hand rings" using the boolean and negative keyword search function in the datafeedr factory.
Although you may end up with only say 15 products in the category, a lot of the power of niche marketing is having the ability to throw up only those specific products that are totally relevant to the searcher that you’ve specifically targeted through SEO or PPC traffic generation.
I hope I have been able to make it easy for you to decide whether to give datafeedr a go with one of your wordpress sites that gets even a little bit of Traffic.
I feel Datafeedr will work great in helping you monetize the following.
- Personal Blog Relating To Products That Already Have Some KWs Ranked
- New Niche Market Blogs With A List of Keywords To Target
- News Blogs That Relate To Products
- Blogs That You've Configured To Look Like A Store
Some Things You Need to Remember
-If you are new to monetizing with datafeeds and have never used any datafeed services like Popshops or Goldencan then please be aware that targeting a viable niche, setting up your store products and categories, targeting your keywords, understanding your stats and ultimately testing and tweaking for conversions takes dedication and patience.This is hard work, its not like going to Auntie's for tea.
-Please do not expect this product to allow you to make money by simply putting together a wordpress store on your blog.
-Software can be buggy and data feeds from merchants are not perfect. Some datafeeds may be missing images but any datafeed aggregator will tell you that they are not responsible for screwed up datafeeds submitted by the merchant.
- Make sure your merchants are available in Datafeedr and that you are signed up with them. In the current version of the plugin there is nothing that will warn you that you are not signed up for a particular merchant that you have selected. Eric and Stefan are quite accommodating when it comes to requests for specific merchants to be included in the factory that are not currently available.
Some Of The Benefits of Datafeedr To Help You Achieve Conversions
- No Store Down Time because of Datafeedr Server Downtime.
- Ability to create Customized pages in the Store to Highlight and display Specifically tagged Groups of store products using product modules and html modules.
- Ability To Customize Category Pages in Version 3 due in Nov 2010
- The Drip function allows for products in your store to be posted in your Wordpress posts at intervals of your choice and then you can add more content to customize the post.
- Great SEO functionality out of the box with the Ability to totally customize all store permalinks in Version 3.
- Automatic Affiliate Links Tracking and Cloaking.
- Amazon is not part of the available networks but Amazon Products can still be manually added to the store in whatever category you wish.
- Fast and I mean Fast response times from Customer Service by owner Eric who appears to be a PHP programming Demon who knows exactly how his product functions with not just Wordpress but also various WP Themes.
- Great case studies with conversion stats and dollars earned available in the forum for newbies who are clueless on how to generate traffic and test for conversions.
- Let's see, I'm probably missing a bunch of other handy dandy functions but your best best now is to simply....
Trial it for $27 for 30 days on your favorite wordpress site.
And See For Yourself
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