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Product Feeds explained
Product Feeds explained

This article explains what a product feed is, what's required, and how to upload one to Shopper Approved.

Colton Gallegos avatar
Written by Colton Gallegos
Updated over a week ago

What is a product feed?

In order to collect product reviews with Shopper Approved, we need a file that contains a list of every product you sell, this is called a product feed. Product feeds should contain strong identifiers for all items sold on your site including the product name, product ID, brand, MPN (manufacturer part number) and/or GTIN (global trade item number), product description, product URL, and product image URL. 

Important: The product feed is the single most important piece needed in order to collect product reviews. If the product feed has incorrect data, the service can be crippled or completely fail altogether. The product feed allows the Shopper Approved system to understand what items a customer purchased and allows us to request a product review from your customers.

If you're paying for product listing ads (PLAs) in Google. It's very important to ensure the strong identifiers on your product feed match what Google has inside your Google Merchant Center account. Verifying that all the data points match Google will ensure proper product review syndication to receive stars in your PLAs. It's best to compare your Google Shopping Feed to your product feed to ensure all the data points match up. Here's an article from Google that explains how to locate your Google Shopping Feed inside the Google Merchant Center.

See here for the differences between the Google Shopping Feed and Product Feed.

Strong identifiers required for the Shopper Approved product feed

Because we are an approved Google review aggregator, our system is closely modeled on Google. This means that if you are already compiling and sending a feed through Google Merchant Center, in many cases we can use your Google Shopping Feed, or a variant of that feed if it contains all the products sold on your website. If you're unfamiliar with the format and standards required by Google for their feeds, you can reference the following article. Please note that the URL may change, and if it does you can find their specifications by Googling “Google Product Data Specification.” It is very important that you follow the guidelines found in these specifications, as failure to do so can lead to service instability and diminished function.

Shopper Approved does not require all the strong identifiers that Google does to collect product reviews. Below is a full list of the strong identifiers required on the Shopper Approved product feed to ensure proper syndication to Google.

  • Product ID

  • Title

  • Brand/Manufacturer (required if no GTIN, must also have MPN)

  • Product URL

  • Product Image URL

  • MPN (required if no GTIN, must also have Brand)

  • GTIN (required if no Brand and MPN)


  • Item Group ID/Parent ID

  • Description

Here's a helpful article from Google that explains strong identifiers and why they're required. The most important strong identifiers include the product ID, GTIN or brand, and MPN.

Helpful hints regarding product IDs

  • All products in the feed must be on the child variant level. You can use the code property to bind different children product’s reviews together. Product Code is sometimes referred to as the “parent item ID."

  • There should never be a time that the parent ID matches a Child ID. This would cause review mismatch errors.

  • You need to make sure that the ID that your cart uses, the ID that Google Merchant Center uses, and the ID in the feed to Shopper Approved all match.

  • If your cart uses completely different IDs than what you use for Google Merchant Center, then you will need to include two different columns, Cart ID (for the cart’s product ID) and Extra Key 1 (For the Cart’s Parent Code or Parent ID) for each product. It is recommended to work closely with Shopper Approved if this is the case.

  • IDs that use dashes cannot have the dash be the only unique part. For all intents and purposes, 123-4 is the same as 12-34 in the Shopper Approved system

If product pages have multiple variations of products...

Your product feed should be set up on a child product level, with a column for the parent ID. This allows for the reviews to be collected on the child level following Google’s requirements, and our system can aggregate the reviews based on the parent ID so that they all display on the product page.

For example: if you sell multiple sizes or colors of a product we will collect the reviews based on the product ID for the specific color and size purchased, but if you provide a parent ID that is the same for all variants of this product we will use this parent id to combine all reviews on your product pages and widgets. This way your customers will see all reviews for every size and color variant, but we are still able to provide reviews to Google at the child level as Google requires.

Accepted product feed files

Shopper Approved accepts two different types of product feed files.

  • One-time delimited files such as tab, semi-colon, comma, and pipe delimited. We also accept XML files as a one-time upload. The most common we see are CSV (comma-separated value) files. These files would be a one-time feed upload.

  • Dynamic URL that is hosted somewhere else and generates a publicly accessible URL that can be entered into Shopper Approved.

Please see here for a product feed template

One-time feed upload:

Please ensure the file contains a full catalog of products to collect reviews on everything sold on your website including products you have PLAs for in Google (if applicable).

Please keep in mind that uploading a feed file is a one-time import. If your products change or you discontinue and add new products, you will want to update your product feed with Shopper Approved by uploading a new file. Once uploaded, please contact our dedicated support team at [email protected] and let us know you have uploaded a new product feed. Our support team will ensure the new feed is mapped and read in successfully.

Dynamic URL (recommended)

URL files are nice if you don’t want to update your product feed with Shopper Approved each time changes are made to your products. Typically, clients that use a URL file change their products often throughout the year. If you change your product lines often or have seasonal changes, a publicly-hosted URL is the way to go. Our system will automatically read the URL weekly for updates.

GoDataFeed and Feedonomics are some of the most common companies that specialize in dynamic URL product feeds.

How to upload a product feed to Shopper Approved

In the Shopper Approved dashboard, click into the "All Services" menu in the top left corner and select "Product Integration" under the "Integrate" section. The integration screen is where you will find the area to upload your product feed. Alternatively, our integration team is available to help you upload your feed to your dashboard.

From your Shopper Approved dashboard go to (top-left menu > Setup > Product Integration). Here, under the "Enter your Product Feed URL" section you'll be able to submit your product feed URL or upload a one-time file.

Note: If you need assistance, please contact our dedicated support team at [email protected]. If you're currently in onboarding, please contact your dedicated onboarding specialist for further assistance.

Next Steps

Once you have uploaded your product feed please contact our dedicated support team at [email protected] and let us know. Our dedicated support team will ensure the feed is mapped and read into our system successfully.

If you're a new client who's currently in onboarding, please send your product feed to your dedicated onboarding specialist for further assistance.

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