SingleFeed's Data Synchronization feature was designed to make importing and optimizing your product information as easy as possible. You can also think of it as a field "lock". We would like all merchants to submit a feed that adheres perfectly to the SingleFeed specification, but we realize this isn't always possible. Many merchants are limited by the file format that their e-commerce platform can export and they don't have the technical means to build a custom feed for SingleFeed. If the file you are going to be delivering to SingleFeed doesn't contain all of the required fields, or if some of your data isn't optimized for the comparison shopping engines, the Data Sync feature can help.
How it Works
The Data Sync feature allows you to maintain any fields that are currently present within your SingleFeed account and not overwrite them when you upload a new file with potentially conflicting, or missing, information. This is helpful when you have made a one-time, manual addition or customization to a field that won't be present in the file you will be delivering to SingleFeed on an ongoing basis. The feature is called Data "Synchronization" because our system looks at the Unique Internal Code (UIC) of all the products you have in SingleFeed and compares those to the UICs in the new file you upload. Once that is done, the data you have chosen to import can be assigned to the appropriate products. For this reason, your UIC is an extremely important field and it is critical that it does not change. Below are two use cases to help you better understand how Data Sync can be used.
- Missing Required Field(s)
The best, most complete file that Client X can generate for SingleFeed is missing 'Product Type', which is one of our required fields. There is no way for Client X to add this field into their backend database or into the file they will be uploading to SingleFeed. This client should open their data file in Excel (or whatever editing program they are comfortable with) and manually add in the Product Type field. This may take extra time upfront, but SingleFeed required fields are critical to success on the shopping engines. Once complete, Client X can upload the customized feed into their account. They would then use the Data Sync settings to "save" or "remember" the Product Type field. From that point forward Client X can upload their regular feed (even though it doesn't have a Product Type field) and SingleFeed will maintain all of their Product Type data while still importing and updating other fields like price, stock status, etc...
- Optimizing Your Product Data
Client Y is exporting all of their product data from the backend of their e-commerce store and delivering this product information to SingleFeed. The problem is that their product titles and descriptions were designed for use on their website and are not the best, most optimized copy for the comparison shopping engines. Client Y can open their data file in Excel (or whatever editing program they are comfortable with) and manually change any or all of their product titles and descriptions so that they will perform better on the CSEs. Once complete, Client Y can upload the customized feed into their account. They would then use the Data Sync settings to "save" or "remember" the product title and description fields. From that point forward Client Y can upload their regular feed (even though it has the old titles and descriptions from their website) and SingleFeed will maintain all of their customized title and descriptions while still importing and updating other fields like price, stock status, etc...
How to Use
You can access the settings for the Data Sync feature by going to the Products tab within your SingleFeed account, clicking on Upload Product Feed and then on the orange Data Sync Settings button. The Data Sync Settings button will only be visible once you have made your FIRST upload to SingleFeed, as there would be no data to save prior to that!
- Obtain a copy of the file you will be uploading to SingleFeed.
- Open the file in MS Excel (or other editing program) and add or modify any of the fields that you need to.
- Upload the file to your SingleFeed account.
- On the Products tab, click on Upload Product Feed and then Data Sync Settings.
- Place a checkmark next to any of the fields that you manually added or customized and that you want to maintain throughout future uploads.
- Click on Save Changes.
- You are done. The next time you upload, whether manually via My Computer or automatically via HTTP/FTP, the selected fields will not be overwritten or changed at all.
If at any time in the future you want to make more manual modifications to your file:
- Go to the Products tab and select Download my SingleFeed.
- Download your singlefeed file and make any desired changes.
- Go to the Data Sync Settings page and deselect all of the fields that you just modified and that you now want to import.
- Upload the modified file. Your changes will be imported.
- Go back to the Data Sync Settings page and re-select all of the fields that you want to save.
- You are done. Future uploads will not overwrite your customized data.
* When a field is selected on the Data Sync Settings page, that entire field will be ignored during future uploads... even if only select products were customized.
* If an upload contains new products (a UIC that is not in your current product set) all fields will be imported for those products regardless of Data Sync Settings. If those new products need to be customized, you will need to follow the steps for the second scenario above.
* Even if a product is removed from your feed, SingleFeed maintains historical data for that product so that any fields selected in the Data Sync Settings will be remembered if that product is reuploaded to SingleFeed.
* Instead of editing your file in Excel, or another offline program, SingleFeed has an online product editing tool you can use. At this point, however, the tool will only allow you to edit products one by one.