With google beginning to charge for their google shopping feed inclusion, I was interested to hear recently about Microsoft Bing (along with Yahoo shopping) offering their Bing Shopping feed as a free place to list your products. It’s been out there a while, but we weren’t that interested until uncle google pulled this stunt. So for our paintball product brand (if you know me, you know who I’m talking about) I decided to give this a try.
So last night I dug into the spec required for creating a feed file. I was hoping I could send our google feed file directly to them and they’d crunch it, but no such luck. After signing up and reading the spec, they apparently want the feed format in… tab delimited flat file. So microsoft, who basically invented xml, is apparently going old-school on this.
I exported the google feed file and dumped it in a spreadsheet to attempt to map over all the data (My intention is to do this just once for now, until our ecommerce software gets a bing feed plugin implemented). The mapping wasnt too difficult, just rename some fields, change some number formats etc. But when I attempted to upload the file, I got a bunch of errors about unicode characters, html encoding, etc etc. Thus began a circle of hunt down the error source, fix it, resubmit and pray it works this time. I’m actually not going to admit how much time I wasted doing this, before it finally accepted the file (still with a warning about one price being suspiciously low, but hey it’s a 20 cent sticker, so I can’t “fix” that.)
Went to bed with a small feeling of accomplishment, only to be greeted this morning with a rejection notice from bing shopping.
Keep in mind, this paintball company is a well known brand in the industry, over 10 years old, and is doing nothing outside the terms of service that should get it rejected. What the heck is the reason for this?
Well, I’ll just click “chat” and we’ll figure this out. Nope, they’re busy and can’t chat (of course!), but please fill out this form and we’ll get back with you.
So, this is my first experience with bing shopping… Not a good one so far. I could possibly understand a rejection if we were some flimsy amazon reseller shop etc, but this is a very legit, established, reputable, and old company trying to apply (did I forget any adjectives?).