One of the biggest challenges organizations face when connecting their ecommerce stores to integrated marketing channels is taking an honest assessment of the resources they have, determining whether to try and manage the campaigns themselves or if they should partner with an agency. Should you acquire a tools and build the knowledge in-house? Should you outsource the issue to experts? Or should you take a hybrid approach?

The simple table below might help guide your thought process.

Choose one answer for each question (if two answers could fit, please choose the one that fits the best) or use the form to automatically calculate the result based on your answer:

SKU count / Number of products < 50 51-1,000 1,001-10,000 >10,000
Number of destinations/channels you need feeds for < 5 6-20 20-100 > 100
Countries < 3 4 – 10 11 – 20 > 20
Monthly advertising budget < $10,000 $10,001 – $50,000 $5,0001 -$100,000 > $100,000
Product velocity/turnover Never – Rarely Occasionally Frequently Very frequently
Outsourcing We prefer to keep activities in-house mainly due to cost We want to keep activities in-house and grow our knowledge Better control if we keep it in-house but ok with consultancy We are open to outsource this activity to a trusted partner
Current resources allocated to managing the feeds No dedicated team, but we have the time to invest in managing it We have a dedicated team. We just need the right tools. No dedicated team. Managed by people who also have other responsibilities We have dedicated experts but we would  want to free them up to  handle other projects
Current resources to managing product content quality We have a team, we create our own images and content/ copy for products. Most products have multiple images. We have a team, we use manufactuer descriptions and edit them. Some products have multiple images. We have limited resources, we use what the manufacturer brands provide only. Only the top products get these detailed descriptions applied. We have limited resources for product merchandising. Less than 25% of our products have > 1000 words, multiple images, videos, faqs. Most products are
How often do you add new destinations? Never – Rarely Occasionally Frequently Very frequently
When launching a new destination, how much time does it take to build a new feed? Less than a week 2-3 weeks 4 weeks More than a month
What are the roadblocks you are facing when launching? Typically no roadblocks Roadblocks could be easily overcome with the right tools Limited resources (time, expertise, etc.) Not enough resources (time, people, expertise) and the data quality
Data optimization for each channel Easily done We optimize the data regularly, but we need  the right tool to do it  faster We rarely optimize the data as we need a tool to rely on and expertise on how to do it We do not optimize the data regularly
How long does it take to make changes to existing feeds? < 3 days 1 week 2-3 weeks More than a month
Needed frequency of feed updates Weekly Daily Twice a day As soon as a change happens (price or stock change often)


Majority of A: Keep it in-house

If most of your answers were A, it looks like the support you need is minimal. We recommend keeping your feed management, creation and optimization in-house. It’s probably best to use the easiest, most direct connections to the channels (usually via FTP) and leverage the channel interface. Or you could use Excel to create rules to optimize the data. If you are looking to automate your processes, however, a self-serve platform might still be a good fit.

Regardless of what you decide, you should continue to take the time to work on optimizing your data.

Majority of B: Search for a technology provider

Our best recommendation, based on your answers, is to search for a technology partner that can enable your team to enrich the product data, automate the delivery and send frequent updates. Search for a solution that is scalable, offers you flexibility and full control.

Majority of C: You need a technology partner that provides support and consultancy

Your current situation, based on the answers, requires a partner that can enable your internal resources to optimize the product data, automate delivery while having access to a support team and strategic consultancy.

If you’d like to talk to one of our e-commerce consultants about ChannelAdvisor’s feed management capabilities and whether we’d be a good fit for your business, fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch soon.

Majority of D: You need a technology partner that can be an extension of your team

Based on your answers, you require a partner that can act as an extension of your team and efficiently drive the feed management activities. Moreover, your partner should be able to provide a scalable technology, save a lot of time for your internal teams and understand aspects of your business beyond feed management, such as advertising, marketplaces, etc.