Your Product Feed Questions, Answered
Written by Josh Hutter
FMTC’s Product Feed allows users to tap into structured monetized product data. Create a powerful product discovery on your site with the ability to search by merchant, brand, or category. Below are frequently asked questions regarding our Product Feed.
What is the difference between a GTIN and an SKU?
Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN, is an international identifier that remains the same from manufacturer to distributor. GTINs are typically 12-14 digits displayed below the barcodes on product packaging. They are unique to a specific product and the manufacturer of that product. If the merchant does not provide a GTIN, FMTC will create a unique identifier for the product based on the ID field within the Product Feed, the FMTC Merchant ID, and the network provided.
Stock Keeping Unit, or SKU, is an identifying series of numbers and letters assigned by the business rather than the manufacturer. SKUs are typically used for simpler inventory management and may include abbreviated details about the product, including the brand, size, or color. SKUs vary from business to business.
What is the relationship between the FMTC Deal Feed and the FMTC Product Feed?
A merchant must be integrated into the Deal Feed to be included in the Product Feed. There is no other relationship between the merchant in each of the feeds. Each feed is completely separate from the other, and calling one of the API endpoints will not affect the other in any way.
Why does the Deal Feed have more merchants than the Product Feed?
To be included in FMTC’s Product Feed, merchants must enable the Product Feed within the network. Because some merchants do not enable or utilize the Product Feed in the network, there are more merchants in FMTC’s Deal Feed than in FMTC’s Product Feed. A Product Feed also contains more data than a deal feed and therefore is added on demand. If you do not see a merchant within the Product Feed, reach out and ask for the merchant to be integrated by submitting a Product Feed Merchant Request through the FMTC Portal. There are two separate getMerchants calls, one for the Deal Feed and one for the Product Feed, to ensure you only receive the merchants associated with the appropriate data feed.
Why don’t all products in FMTC’s Product Feed have a direct link?
Not all networks or merchants provide a direct link for products. Since the availability of a direct link is not consistent across networks, we only provide the direct link when it is provided to FMTC through the network. If a network does allow for direct links and the merchant provides that direct link, it will be available in the “Other” field within the Product Feed.
Does FMTC’s Product Feed include inventory status?
The field “Available” indicates whether the product is currently available for purchase or out of stock. This value can be updated in the network by the merchant. FMTC updates the Product Feed daily to ensure that all fields are current.
What are the API call limits?
There is no limit to the number of calls to the Product Feed due to the pagination of the feed. Pagination requires multiple calls to get to the end of the feed, so our traffic is normalized, and we can provide it limit-free. The only limit comes in the form of page size, which is limited to a maximum of 2,000 products per page. For more information on how to use our pagination, see our API documentation.
Are multiple images supplied?
For consistency, FMTC standardizes the way you receive images. The field “ProductImage” indicates if the merchant has uploaded an image for the product. There is also a query parameter named “primary-image,” which, if set to 1, will only return products with a value for the “ProductImage” field. For additional images, if any other image fields are provided by the network and are filled out by the merchant, they will be in the “Other” field with the name they have within the network.
How do I append a SubID to the Product Feed?
The current version of the Product Feed does not support SubIDs.
Do all your current supported networks support the Product Feed? Which networks have product feeds on FMTC?
Not all networks supported in the Deal Feed are supported in the Product Feed. FMTC currently supports eight networks:
- Ascend (Pepperjam)
- Commission Factory
What is the best practice for pulling data from hundreds of merchants across many pages using pagination?
The best practice will come down to the merchants you select. Merchants update their product feed at different times — daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or possibly monthly. If you have a merchant that updates daily, you should also pull your feed daily. It is best to do a full pull with getProducts rather than trying to pull in from one merchant at a time. For more information, see the getProduct API Tech Corner.
What logic are you using to consolidate UPC/EAN/MPN/ISBN/GTIN values?
UPC, EAN, and ISBN are all under the umbrella of GTIN, as they are all assigned by GS1. The difference is based on the product itself. MPN is from the manufacturer and, while not globally unique, can be used to identify a product if a GTIN is not present.
How often is the Product Feed updated? What happens if a product hasn’t been updated?
FMTC updates its Product Feed daily to ensure we have the most up-to-date product information; however, merchants update the product feeds at different rates at their discretion. If a product is not updated after two weeks, it will drop out of the merchant’s product feed as it has become stale. If the product gets updated again, the product will automatically show back up in the feed. If a merchant does not update its Product Feed file in six weeks, the merchant itself will fall out of the Product Feed, and it will need to update its feed within the network to show back up in FMTC.
As always, our team is ready to help you! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact your account manager or email us at [email protected]. Curious about other FMTC technologies? Find more information on FMTC’s tools in Tech Corner:
- FMTC Tech Corner: getDeals Deep Dive
- FMTC Tech Corner: getMerchants Deep Dive
- FMTC Tech Corner: Get Deals and Get Merchants
- FMTC Tech Corner: Deal Types and the getTypes API
- FMTC Tech Corner: getNetworks
- FMTC Tech Corner: getLogos
- FMTC Tech Corner: The Product Feed
- FMTC Tech Corner: Pushed Deals
- FMTC Tech Corner: Program Directory
- FMTC Tech Corner: Full vs Incremental
- FMTC Tech Corner: Technical Achievements
- FMTC Tech Corner: Targeting Content
- FMTC Tech Corner: Restricted Deals
- FMTC Tech Corner: SubIDs
- FMTC Tech Corner: FMTCURL
- FMTC Tech Corner: getProducts