How to Avoid Losing Feed Relevancy When Transferring Carts

By Tinuiti Team

One of the many pain points of transferring ecommerce solution providers is the potential for losing traffic due to dropping feed relevancy. When I say “feed relevancy,” I’m referring to a product data feed’s history with an advertising program like Google Shopping. Relevancy is a huge factor in determining ad ranking and thus, ad performance.

The last scenario you want to happen is for your success on Google PLAs to be cut short because when you transferred shopping carts, your product IDs changed. Let’s fire some questions at our resident PLA expert and Director of Account Management, Jeff Coleman.

If a retailer sends manufacturer part numbers (MPNs) in their feed to Google, they should be able to transfer the old product IDs to the new feed, right?

Jeff-colemanYup. A product’s history on Google is tied to it’s product ID, so if the product ID changes, Google sees it as a brand new product with no history or relevancy. If you want to minimize relevancy loss you’ll have to make sure you map over the old product IDs into the new feed. If the product SKUs up (a.k.a. shows up on the comparison page), then there’s less of a worry about a drop in relevancy because at the very least, you’ll be on the same comparison page as long as you send the correct MPN.

But if you lose a product’s history, it might stop showing up in the PLA box. So theoretically, if you keep the product ID the same you should be able to maintain your rankings in the PLA boxes.

Is there any way to map old product IDs to a new feed on the other CSEs? Which feed column is relevancy attached to on the engines?

Jeff-colemanYou should basically follow the same steps you do on Google – a product’s history/relevancy is tied to it’s part number. Some CSEs don’t need multiple part numbers so you might just be sending the MPN currently. If that’s the case, you don’t really need to change anything because you were only sending the MPN to begin with. However, if you were sending the “product SKU,” “unique product ID,” or something similar in addition to an MPN, you’ll need to make sure you’re sending the old IDs in the new feed.

Similar to Google, if the product SKUs up, there’s less of a chance that relevancy will drop since you’ll be on the comparison page. But it’s still a good practice to make sure we’re sending all the old ID numbers.

Can we expect an estimated percentage of dropoff if we do not transfer IDs when the new URLs in the feed go live?

Jeff-colemanIt’s tough to estimate what percent dropoff to expect if you don’t keep the IDs the same. Eventually, yes, you’ll be able to get back 100% of any relevancy lost. Time heals all wounds :).

If you have the ability to maintain the old product IDs, do it. If you’ll be sending the same MPNs as before, then you probably won’t have to do anything extra on your end.

Transfer Carts with Confidence! Check out the Ecommerce Platform Migration Guide before your big decision.

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