Whether you realize it or not, your e-commerce store has global reach simply by being online. Global shoppers can find your online store when searching for specific items or categories if your website is optimized correctly. The question is, when an item from your e-commerce website comes up in a Google shopping search or on a social media ad, will cross-border shoppers click on your link? Do the listed products on these platforms communicate localized information that entice cross-border shoppers to browse?
Advertising on Google Shopping, Facebook and Instagram requires data files called product feeds to be generated and submitted to these platforms. The product information contained in these feeds is displayed in product listings to consumers when they browse or search specific items on these platforms. For example, a consumer conducts a Google search for “men’s jeans.” On the search results’ right-hand side, the shopper sees a cascading list of thumbnail images of men’s jeans from various brands.
Example: “men’s jeans” Google search Dec 2020
Notice some of the information displayed, such as pricing and shipping information along with images and product title and other details. This information will entice consumers to click and visit your site. On a basic level, product feeds are required for submitting this type of product data to shopping channels like Google and social platforms. Simply put, without these feeds, your ads won't be displayed to consumers on these platforms.
Why are product feeds important for cross-border e-commerce? For merchants selling cross-border, these searches help drive international sales. If you are new to a global market and looking to acquire new shoppers in a specific region, having your ads show up in front of your target audience is extremely important. You want your item to appear often, and more importantly you want potential customers to click on those ads. This is the first step towards driving customers in that market directly to your e-commerce site.
Cross-border e-commerce merchants should make sure that their product feeds contain localized information for the different markets in which they are displaying ads. This would include listing prices in the local currency, showing accurate shipping cost and delivery times, and other useful and descriptive product details. Providing the most updated information in a product feed is important. This will ensure that the information in the ads matches what's on the website. If your product data is old or inaccurate, ad platforms may prevent your shopping ads from being displayed. Additionally, customers will feel misled when they land on a product page with different information than what they saw on the ad.
Localizing product feeds is not without its challenges. Many digital marketers and e-commerce professionals find it difficult to generate localized feeds to power their digital shopping ads around the world on platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram. They often invest significant time, effort, and resource into creating and managing these localized feeds for each market. Especially now, digital marketing is more important than ever to e-commerce businesses because it helps increase traffic, boost customer acquisition and drive global sales. But generating and managing these feeds is highly manual. This becomes a bigger problem especially when entering a new market or trying to maintain product feeds in several markets. Brands might choose not to launch shopping ads in multiple markets because the level of effort is too high, making this marketing activity impossible to execute efficiently.
Leveraging a technology platform, like Flow, eases the pains of localizing your product feeds and removes the challenges of managing these for multiple global markets. It is important to partner with a solution that can generate and update product feeds for over 200 countries across key ad platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram. By automatically creating localized ads and updating the required product data in minutes, the process no longer becomes a heavy lift for online marketers. Eliminating the manual work and ongoing management of localizing these ads alleviates the burden on e-commerce teams and internal investment in campaign management. More importantly, e-commerce businesses can shorten their lead times for launching critical digital ad campaigns across multiple ad channels in multiple countries. If you haven't already, consider looking into a solution like Flow that can provide these benefits so that you can focus your efforts on campaign optimization without any of the operational headaches.