Data released by Pricesearcher reveals some interesting insights as to how good online retailer’s product feed data is. Having examined data on half a million listings they have published their findings and there are some clear pointers as to how you could improve your product listings to win more sales.
Pricesearcher have indexed almost a billion SKUs for their product search engine and decided to share their learnings and data insights about product feeds with the wider ecommerce community. The main findings are UK centric and these are based on a sample of over 10 million SKUs from thousands of retailers.
The average Product Title string length is 48 characters (including spaces) – about eight words. Somewhat surprisingly, the main brand term is missing from 47% of all product titles indexed. This is rather surprising as keywords are the essential building block for most retailers when constructing titles.
Pricesearcher discovered that the average product description contains around 550 characters which is approximately 90 words.
There is no right or wrong answer to how long a product description would be but what is important is that, whether selling on your website, a marketplace or providing a feed to a shopping engine, your description should only contain product related information. Including any selling terms and conditions will not only appear incongruent on many platforms, but may also result in you including marketplace specific information on your website or vice versa.
To be published on PriceSearcher, a pre-requisite is to have at least one image so they existed for 100% of listings. Whilst on marketplaces we still see the occasional listings without images this should be the undesirable exception rather than the rule.
We also don’t know how many listings had multiple images, but much of the Internet offers strong visual presentations and with the increasing adoption of image search it makes sense to include multiple pictures
66.9% of all products sampled by Pricesearcher have a GTIN barcode number in the product feed as a unique identifier. GS1 are the not-for-profit organisation who issue bar codes Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) across 150 countries with GS1 UK responsible for issuing bar codes here in the UK and they are increasingly being required by marketplaces and search engines.
Additional Product Information
Additional Product information was not provided in 40.2% of product feeds. Additional product information could include data attributes such as colour or size for clothing and footware, or memory and processor speed for electronic goods.
Whilst it isn’t possible to see if the additional product information is habitually included in product descriptions, we know that search engines from the likes of eBay, Amazon and Google all love structured data so pulling out product attributes into separate fields makes a lot of sense.
“Product feeds are at the heart of a successful ecommerce strategy. The more effort you put into your feed the better ROI you will get. You should ensure it’s full of rich product data that will perform better in search engines for product discovery.”
– Thomas J Vosper – Head of Retail, Pricesearcher
It’s clear from Pricesearcher’s findings that many retailers could improve their product listings in particular with the inclusion of brand terms as title keywords, the addition of GTINs to give visibility on search engines that require them and adding additional product information as structured data.