Your SearchSpring Integration will be driven by the product data you provide. Whether you're building your own custom feed, or are relying on one of our E-Commerce Connectors to generate the data, this guide provides our best practices and recommendations to ensure your product feed is optimized for success.
Supported Feed Types
When building your own custom product feed, SearchSpring supports the following feed types:
- Columns may be delimited by Tab, Comma, Pipe, or Semi-Colon
- Column entries are to be wrapped in double-quotes to contain the data within; all double-quotes within that data entry must then be escaped
- There must be a consistent Record Element node used throughout, ex:
- Each Record must contain a Unique Key node that identifies that product, ex:
- All nested nodes will be flattened, only accounting for the name of the lowest level node
- Each Product object representation must exist in a new line of its own
- Multiple levels within the Product object will be flattened, only accounting for the keys at the lowest level
For a custom feed, you must provide a Hosted URL to your feed file, hosted over FTP, HTTP, or HTTPS. For HTTP/S files, you may add Basic Authentication to the file location. If your server where the feed file is located is IP-restricted, the SearchSpring IP Addresses must be whitelisted.
Base Feed Requirements
The following data fields are required in order for us to successfully validate and index your feed:
The unique identifier for the product. This value must truly be unique for every product, and any product with a blank Unique ID will be skipped during the indexing of your data.
This SKU assignment will be used as part of our IntelliSuggest Tracking scripts.
The Product Name used within your Product Listing item display.
The URL which links to your Product Display Page.
The final selling Price of the product. If the product is actively on sale, this is to be assigned the Sale Price and not the Base Price.
The image to be shown within your Product Listing item display. The dimensions of the provided Thumbnail URL should match the same image dimensions used in the item display.
Your Product Feed must also contain at a minimum 10 products in order to index into the SearchSpring system.
Common Data Fields
Beyond the Required Fields above, there are several other commonly-needed data attributes you'll want to consider having in your feed:
Any data you wish to use as a Filter Option within the SearchSpring Results: Color, Size, Shape, Material, Occasion, Brand, etc ...
Including Categories in your feed is highly recommended for both Faceting and Searchable data. These assignments are also required for SearchSpring Category Navigation. It is recommended to provide both Category IDs and Category Names in the feed, though using a full Hierarchy Path to those Category assignments:
Accessories>Jewelry>Necklaces|New Arrivals|Gifts For Her>Necklaces
Any non-Faceted data which you wish to be Searchable within the SearchSpring Results: Search Keywords, Child SKUs, Product Descriptions.
If your Product Listing items ever show multiple Prices as part of your item display logic, then each of those pricing data points must exist in the feed: Retail Price, Quantity-Based Pricing, Promotional Discounts
An indicator of available inventory is required in your feed to accomplish different rules on In Stock vs Out of Stock products: De-Boost Out of Stock products, Show a Low Inventory Badge, Boost High-Inventory products
Sort By Newest is a very common request - to accomplish this, a creation date assignment must exist in your feed, following a "YYYY-MM-DD" format. SearchSpring can then leverage this same assignment for a dynamic "New" Badge, created within the last 30 days, for example.
For any Badges that show in your Product Listing item display, those data triggers must exist in your feed: Best Seller, Customer Favorite, Has Video. Note that certain Badges can be accomplished dynamically through other data assignments, and do not require a separate indicator in the feed: Sold Out using Inventory Levels; New using Date Created; On Sale using Price Rules
If you leverage Product Ratings in either the Product Listing item display, as a Facet, or as a Sort Option, both the Rating Average and Total Count must be included in your feed. SearchSpring does have the tools to pull in Rating data from a few different Third Party Reviews providers. See our FAQ Section for the list of providers we currently support.
Sort By Best Selling is a very common request - SearchSpring has a connector with Google Analytics to pull in this Sales data for you. However, if you do not use Google Analytics, or would rather provide your own sales rank metrics, this Total Sold data must exist in your feed.
SearchSpring can add rules onto the index to exclude certain products from showing in your Search Results - indicators must exist in your feed for any products you wish to exclude.
Any other Thumbnail URLs that need to be used in your Product Listing item display: On-Hover Image, Variant Images
If your Product Listing item display shows swatches below the main Thumbnail, where clicking each swatch shows a different Thumbnail URL, these swatches must exist in your feed, recommended to be included as a JSON object. See Dynamic Imaging for a complete data sample.
For attribute fields with multiple assignments, any one of the following Multi-Value Delimiters may be used: , (Comma), ; (Semi-Colon), | (Pipe), @ (at Symbol), # (Hash), $ (Dollar Sign), > (Right Arrow), ~ (Tilde), or = (Equals)
Frequently Asked Questions
SearchSpring will pull updates from your data feed file at daily intervals, with the scheduling set from our Data Feed Settings in the SearchSpring Management Console. You may manually trigger a re-indexing of your product data at any time, and you can request us to increase the frequency of our automated indexings. See Indexing 101 for more information.
For initial data audits, we will offer to temporarily host your feed file on our servers. However, for your production data feed, you must host the file yourself, providing SearchSpring with a URL of where to access the feed. When making updates to your product data, both the file name and location of your feed file must remain unchanging.
No, SearchSpring does not have any data-processing tools on our end to group together your child items. If your Product Listing listed child items grouped together as a single result, then that is how the products must be listed in your data feed. To achieve this, add a single record for the Parent item. Then, merge together and attach those Child Attributes onto the Parent record in the feed - it's commonly recommended to include Child SKUs, Prices, and Filter Options onto that Parent record. The Data Feeds linked above contain examples of this Parent/Child roll-up.
We will be showing your Filter Options the same way those data values exist in your feed. Any typos, misspellings, or mismatches in capitalization will need to be cleaned up directly in your data. For any individual Filter Options you wish to hide, those should be excluded directly from your feed.
As long as your combined attribute field follows a consistent pattern, yes, we can expand this assignment into multiple fields for Faceting. See Extract Attributes for more information.
For Customer-Based Pricing, we often bypass any assignments from the feed by implementing a Live Pricing script into the load of the Product Listing display. See Live Pricing for more information.
Far more often than not, Google Shopping Feeds do not contain enough data to meet the requirements of your Product Listing display. Because Google Shopping only requires a minimal number of attributes, we often find these feeds lacking in richer data such as Facet Attributes, Badges, Category Assignments, etc. Consider all of the other Feed Requirements listed above when determining if your Google Shopping Feed is enough to meet your functionality needs.
To retrieve the Product Rating data for you, SearchSpring currently supports the following Third Party Reviews providers: BazaarVoice, PowerReviews, RateVoice, Shopper Approved, Yotpo. If your provider is not in this list, and you require Ratings to either be shown in the item display or enabled as a Facet or Sort Option, then you will either need to provide us your Ratings data directly in your product feed or consider providing a Supplemental Feed.