A Datafeed is just a line by line listing of your products. That’s it. Think of it like an Excel spreadsheet of your inventory, with columns for things like price, an image, where to find it on your site, etc. Having a datafeed is important because it gives your affiliates access to several tools that your affiliates will utilize.
When affiliates are on the hunt for their next partnership, they head to our Merchant Search page. From here, we offer a variety of filters to help them narrow in on the perfect partner. One of the filters offered is merchants who provide a datafeed. For some affiliates, access to a datafeed dictates their interest in the program.
On the Merchant Search page, affiliates are also able to search by product. All product search results are pulled directly from the available datafeeds, so if we don’t have one uploaded to your account, your products won’t show up. For example, if an affiliate wanted to find new merchants to promote, and they specifically wanted to find winter jackets, they would see the following in their search results.
Datafeeds account for a full 5-10% of all conversions tracked on ShareASale… which means that if you aren’t providing your Affiliates a detail-rich datafeed with which to work, you are leaving sales on the table. So let’s take a look at how to create one!
You can download an example file by following the link here. This file will contain a fake example product in the second row, which can be removed. You can leave the header row in place so you have a reference for what goes in each column.
ShareASale’s datafeed specification requires a specific column order for successful processing. There are 6 mandatory fields that are required in every datafeed file and data must be filled in for each cell of each product listed. The six required fields are:
SKU (column A) - must be unique, duplicate SKU's will be removed
URL to Product (column C)
Price (column D)
Category (column I) - must correspond to the ShareASale numeric options listed below the datafeed specifications table
Subcategory (column J) - must correspond to the ShareASale numeric options listed below the datafeed specifications table
Your Merchant ID (column N)
The Category (column I) and Subcategory (column J) require ONLY a number value. The options can be found on this page in the table under lines 9 and 10.
Even if you don’t use any of the other columns, keep them in the spreadsheet, but leave them blank. The column order matters, so even if you don’t enter a Name in column B, you should leave this blank and enter the URL to the product in column C. Although we only require the 6 columns above. There is still a lot more data that would be helpful to enter. For example, you can enter URLs to the images for your products, descriptions, and much more!
Once you’ve finished entering all the data, make sure to save the spreadsheet as a .csv file. Do not save as a .xlsx or .numbers file, as ShareASale is not able to process these file types. In Excel, for example, you can go to Save As and choose CSV from the dropdown menu.
Next, Zip your file before uploading. A .zip is a folder that makes the files inside smaller. This is usually done so uploading/downloading files takes less time. Any file or folder can be sent to a .zip (or .gz) file. To zip a file, right-click it, point to Send to, and then click Compressed (zipped) folder. A new compressed folder is created in the same location.
You can now upload the file to your account by visiting Creatives > Datafeed. If you get stuck, just shoot us a message by submitting a ticket from within your account, or by emailing email@example.com. You may also find an answer in the FAQ below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the difference between Price and RetailPrice?
A: The Price (column D) is the amount that you are selling the item for, while the optional column Retail Price (column E) is used to display what the item typically retails for outside of your store if applicable.
Q: My products don’t fit any of your Categories and/or Sub Categories. What do I enter?
A: Just choose whatever matches the closest. These are mostly for ShareASale’s back end, and your affiliates most often will not use these. If you would like to categorize your products for your affiliates, you can use column V MerchantCategory. In this column, you are able to enter whatever you would like as the category. This doesn’t have to be a number, and the affiliates will be able to browse your products by what you’ve entered here.
Q: I entered a Commission into column H, but this commission wasn’t awarded when the sale tracked.
A: This column DOES NOT control the actual, calculated commission for this product. This column is meant to give your affiliates a quick reference for how much they can expect to receive when a sale tracks based on your program’s Default Commission Rate. If you would like to set up Product-Level Commissions, please reach out to our support team.
Q: How do I get the URLs for my products' images?
A: Find the image online, right-click it and go to Copy Image Address. You can then paste this into the spreadsheet. You can use the same image for both the Full Size Image and for the Thumbnail Image if you choose to do so.
Q: My SKUs can vary depending on the options a customer chooses. Does that mean I need to make a row for every possible combination?
A: No. You can just enter the base SKU, if applicable. The datafeed is meant to build links to the product, so you should enter the SKU and URL for the product’s starting point.
Q: What do I do if my products don’t have SKUs?
A: You can enter any value in column A, if that’s the case. Just make sure each row has something unique and distinct from the others, e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc.
Q: I sell my products in many different currencies. Where should I enter these?
A: ShareASale operates in USD, so you should enter this amount in the Price column. You can use any of the Custom columns to enter additional information for your affiliates to use.