Data Feeds


A data feed is an ongoing stream of structured data that provides users with updates of current information from one or more sources. A data feed may stream continuously or be delivered on demand. Data feeds make it possible to have new content or updates delivered to a computer or mobile device as soon as it is published. The same technologies are also used to supply data to other software.
At Rakuten, we provide several options for you to use data feeds with Product Catalog.


There are many types of data feeds, including products, news, weather, and sports updates, content publication feeds, and social media timelines. In a security context, threat intelligence feeds provide organizations with constantly updated information about potential or current attacks that could pose a risk to their business.

Delivery Formats

Data feeds are often described in terms of their methods of delivery. RSS feeds, for example, use an XML-based file format to deliver content from multiple sources to users. An RSS aggregator or RSS reader allows the user to see summaries of all their feeds in one place. Atom, an alternative, open-source specification, provides similar functionality.

Product Feeds

A product feed or product data feed is a file made up of a list of products and attributes of those products organized so that each product can be displayed, advertised, or compared in a unique way. A product feed typically contains a product image, title, product identifier, marketing copy, and product attributes.

Product Feed Benefits

Product feeds supply the content that is presented on many kinds of e-commerce websites such as search engines, price comparison websites, affiliate networks, and other similar aggregators of e-commerce information. Product data feeds are generated by manufacturers or online retailers. In some cases, product information is extracted using web scraping or web harvesting from the online shops' website.

Applications for Product Feeds

While product feeds differ in content and structure, the goal remains the same: to deliver high-quality information that is fresh, relevant, accurate, and comprehensive so that shoppers can make a buying decision.

Product data feeds are often delivered between manufacturers and retailers and are also used within a variety of online marketing channels that help shoppers locate the product they wish to purchase and drive the traffic to the retailers' website. These marketing channels include:

  1. Price comparison websites: Feeds are the product-descriptive content needed to run sites that compare pricing, attributes, and availability. Attribute comparison typically pertains to vertical search portals.
  2. Paid search affiliates: Paid search campaigns use APIs that receive a range of attributes within product feeds to determine campaign keywords and bidding.
  3. Affiliate networks: Affiliate networks funnel products through their platforms from merchants to affiliates.
  4. Marketplaces: Online marketplaces receive product feeds from their merchants.
  5. Social Networks: Certain platforms can accept product feeds from merchants to list products.

Learn more about our Product Catalog data feed.

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