We Always Have Answers

At MerchantAdvantage, servicing our clients is priority one. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from prospects and clients. If your question isn’t listed below, please contact us!

Does your software run on my Apple hardware (Mac, iOS, etc.)?

Yes, we have a fully functioning web-based interface that can be used on any Apple device.  As long as you have a web browser, you can set up, configure and make changes to any of your marketing channels.

Do you charge for technical support?

There is no charge for any of our support. Professional licenses even have first line phone support included at no charge. Lite licenses are limited to email and online trouble tickets for first line support.

When working with a shopping site/marketplace, does MerchantAdvantage open that account and fund it or do I have to do that?

MerchantAdvantage is a marketing software platform with a self-service tool. This means that our merchants are responsible for creating accounts with the marketing channels, funding them, and managing them. In the event that you are looking for full management, we have a full list of Agency Partners that utilize our tool and manage all aspects of your marketing. 

What is required of me to ensure that my product feed is accepted by the marketing channels I am advertising on?

You should regularly log in to your marketing channel accounts to make sure accounts are funded and that the feed you are sending has no errors. Your Account Manager can help with this process.

What is a CSE?

A CSE refers to Comparison Shopping Engine. Also known as a shopping comparison site or price engine, these allow individuals to shop for products on the internet and identify the retailers carrying the products they are searching for. These sites do not sell products directly but source products from retailers who market their inventory to these specific types of websites. Examples include:

  • Google Product Search
  • Bing
  • Ciao
  • PriceGrabber
  • Pronto
  • Shopzilla
  • MerchantAdvantage works with 200+ Global CSEs.
What is a product feed?

A product feed is a file containing your product information. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • product name
  • product code
  • product url
  • image url
  • cost
  • price
  • sale price
  • description
  • category

and any number of other definitive pieces of information which better allow for your products to be found and better listed on various marketing channels.

Why should merchants and agencies work with MerchantAdvantage?

Here are a few reasons:

We’ve been doing this the longest – 10 years and counting!

You can work with 100s of shopping destination sites, specialized comparison shopping engines, and marketplaces from one dashboard of aggregated data.

You can customize, optimize, submit, adjust, monitor, and analyze product data feeds to any third-party partner.

You have access to senior managers at the leading marketing channels and have your own account manager who is available to you live to help co-manage your channel marketing efforts.

You only pay a flat-fee based on usage with no revenue share, no set up fees, no transaction fees, or no listing fees from MerchantAdvantage.

You increase ROI with a scalable, marketing platform that supports unlimited SKUs and storefronts.

 Internet Retailer 500 companies trust and use MerchantAdvantage solutions for their marketing data feed needs, and so should you.

Do you have header requirement information from the major shopping comparison sites?

MerchantAdvantage has 100s of the major channels pre-configured within our system; therefore, there is no work necessary for you. In the event you find a new channel or you want to feed back to yourself, you can map anything you want in our system – you have full flexibility.

My product file changes frequently. How will I benefit from Channel Management ?

Importing products into Channel Management is typically automated, so all product information would be updated as often as you schedule the imports. If the structure of the files changes often, your account manager works with you to re-map/update fields within the Channel Management application.

I’m new at eCommerce retail. Can I use Channel Management ?

Yes! Channel Management was created to use as a tool to help make managing marketing for an online store easier. Call us – we are more than happy to explore new opportunities with you. 

How many feeds can I have?

With a Pro license, a merchant can have an unlimited number of feeds to an unlimited number of marketing channels. There is no extra cost related to the number of feeds sent or supported marketing channels. Our Lite License supports 3 non-marketplace marketing feeds.

What if I find new feeds and channels I want to send to?

You can always add new feeds, and there is no limit to the number of channels to which you can feed instantly using Channel Management . MerchantAdvantage supports 200+ global marketing channels and does not believe clients should be limited to where they can send their products and potentially increase their revenues. Some MerchantAdvantage clients feed to 50+ marketing channels worldwide! 

I have complicated feeds, how can Channel Management help?

With Channel Management, feeds are customized and updated on the fly. This allows you to customize the products you feed and conversions of any content can be adjusted easily pertaining specifically to that marketing channel or across multiple marketing channels. Thus, the content and product selection for each channel can be unique and pre-programmed into automated business rules within the Channel Management system. 

Can I view and edit my product information in Channel Management?

Yes you can. Channel Management comes with all of the tools necessary for viewing and updating product data. However, the Channel Management application is not generally used as a data entry tool; most content conversion is created using the provided automation tools. 

Can Channel Management be installed on multiple computers?

Yes, and at no extra cost. 

How do I get my data into Channel Management?

There are a number of ways to import your product data into the database. Channel Management accepts most data file types including:

  • comma separated
  • tab-delimited
  • excel spreadsheets
  • xml
  • (.csv, .xls, .txt or .xml)

With some storefront providers, MerchantAdvantage accesses data using a provided API. Your account manager is available to work with you every step of the way.

As a hosted solution, what kind of up-time should be expected, and what are the ramifications of any MerchantAdvantage system downtime?

MerchantAdvantage servers are hosted at a hurricane Class 5 rated data center, with multiple fiber loops, and over 8 backbone carriers connecting us to the internet. Other than system maintenance, users should expect 99.99% uptime. 

How long does it take for my products to appear on the CSE sites?

That would depend on which site, if this is the merchant’s first feed, and how clean and the cleanliness of your product information. As a ballpark answer, it is typical to see your products within 24-48 hours, even on a first upload. But it has taken as long as 4-5 days in some isolated cases. Also note that on some CSE sites, the sign up and ftp process requires the merchant to go through many phases. So, our quoted timelines would assume that all phases are completed with those CSEs.

Where does the product file, which is to be imported into Channel Management, normally come from?

Typically, the catalog file comes from the merchant’s shopping cart. Some shopping carts have a great deal more features relating to product exporting than others, and the merchant should refer to their shopping cart capabilities for further details – and if you don’t know, we most likely do and can tell you what’s possible and needed for best performance. However, Channel Management can import from a great variety of formats, and it is completely configurable. It is not uncommon for Channel Management to import from spreadsheets, XML files and csv exports. In many cases, Channel Management will actually communicate directly with your shopping cart in an automated fashion, requiring only the initial configuration to be done by the merchant.

Will there be any downtime when switching over to Channel Management if our company is already using comparison engines?

The installation of Channel Management can be set up so there is no down time. For the installation, with your company’s assistance, you should verify your products are correctly imported and then the feeds being exported to the comparison engines are configured to replicate your current feed format (which may be different than the default format issued by the comparison engine). This can be done very quickly. It all depends on your data and channels being used. However, once the system is set up and verified, you could switch off your current feeding method and switch to Channel Management to attain zero downtime. 

How much does Channel Management cost?

The Lite License of Channel Management is $295 per month with no commitment. Channel Management Professional starts at a $695 monthly charge for usage and maintenance, which includes Chanalytics. Final pricing is based on data usage. You only pay a fee based on data usage with no revenue share, no set up fees, no transaction fees and no listing fees from MerchantAdvantage. You increase ROI with a scalable, marketing platform that supports unlimited SKUs, storefronts and marketing channels. This also includes your own account manager, who works with you live. Call 305.895.9466 for more information.

Is there some way in which Channel Management can help increase sales in addition to saving money?

Yes. Channel Management can automatically feed selected products up to many marketing-based sites such as Amazon, Buy.com, Google, Bing, and Shopzilla to name just a few, which helps increase sales. All clients have their own account manager who is available to help.  

Does Channel Management support more than one online Storefront?

Absolutely! The Professional License of Channel Management supports an unlimited number of online storefronts, even if each storefront is on a different platform. All of your storefronts can be managed from one account. The Lite license supports one (1) storefront.