• Pamela Froman


E-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds and it's only becoming more and more popular. Retailers from mom and pop shops to the big guns like Walmart and Amazon are turning to the internet to grow their businesses.

One of the best ways to sell online is via optimization. That's where Feedonomics comes in. Feedonomics is a company that works with retailers – or anyone who sells products online. They take product data – which is made up of product titles, categories, images, prices, and descriptions – from their clients and transform it into a feed.

What is a feed? “A good way of thinking about it is as an excel spreadsheet, that encompasses all of your product data,” says Feedonomics Chief Architect and Cofounder Brian Roizen. “We then optimize that information.”

What optimization means is that Feedonomics tries to insert any missing words in the product's title, such as color or brand, so that when a potential customer does a search, their client's item pops up. For instance if you are a retailer selling a pair of Nike shoes, you want as refined a product title as possible to garner as many customers as possible. If the product title consists of just the words Air Jordans, it doesn't focus on the brand, it doesn't have the color or size of the shoes and it might not even have the noun, the word shoes! “The way people search for products on Google on Amazon is the way you want to structure your product,” says Brian. “We insert the right words to make sure it's as close as possible to the way users are actually searching for products on websites.”

In other words, when someone searches for a specific product they are far more likely to see products from retailers that are optimized through Feedonomics. Here's how it works:

First Feedonomics gets the data from the actual merchant. Then they optimize the products for channels like eBay. They have a team of 40 data feed analysts who do everything in terms of onboarding a client, getting their data into their system, and then the actual leg work, which is the optimization of that data. The last step is sending that data to Amazon, to Google, to all these different places where they – the client – wants to sell.

“When you only have hundreds of products, it sounds simple, but when you have thousands or millions, it's very difficult to go product by product and say this title doesn't have the word shoe in it, so what we built is an automated system that allows you to create rules,” says Brian. “Our team has a powerful platform that identifies missed opportunities and important words.”

Feedonomics was the brainchild of brothers Brain and Robert Roizen. The future owners started out in advertising working with e-commerce clients. Along the way they used a few different feed platforms in which they took products off each website, optimized them in the middle and then sent the finished products to all the different advertising channels.

“We realized that the existing software on the market was very limited. It didn't do the kinds of optimizations that we wanted. But also, especially for the larger clients with millions of items, it was really slow to distribute products and optimize them in all these different places,” says Brian. “Being engineers, my brother and I realized we could create something that was better – and that was the starting point.”

Brian and Robert had help creating the Feedonomics dream. One of their contacts in the advertising world was Shawn Lipman, a former professional rugby player – now the company's CEO. Through his vast experience in building companies he helped get the fledgling company off the ground. As well, he inspired the company culture: You are never too big to get the small things done. Brian and Robert's dad Igor Roizen, a pioneering computer scientist and one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence, was also incredibly helpful from a consultant standpoint.

Feedonomics partners with over 200 advertising channels – all the places where you might see ads and sell products. And it's advantages like these that show that online commerce is where it's at!

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