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Best Practices to Integrate Your Product Catalog System

To take advantage of Dynamic Ads products, businesses need to maintain one or more catalogs hosted in the Facebook ads platform under their business accounts.

The content of these catalogs are expected to be a complete set of products that are synchronized from the inventory database of the business. To facilitate that, we provide a set of related APIs for developers to achieve these integrations.

We've basically divided the product catalog system integration process into these steps:

Step 1: In Facebook Business Manager, create a product catalog and then configure its name.

Step 2: Under the product catalog, create and configure the product feed settings. These settings contain the feed file upload schedule, update mode, feed file location, and so on.

Step 3: Upload the feed file that's generated from the inventory database of the business by one of these methods:

  • Wait for the Facebook backend scheduler to trigger the upload
  • Manually trigger the upload
  • Directly upload a feed file

Learn more about the set of APIs you can use to manage catalogs.

Keep Your Product Catalog Current

We highly recommend that you update and maintain the product catalog, such that its content is always kept current with the content in the inventory database. If you don't keep your catalog current and updated, you can experience these issues:

  • Suboptimal customer experience — Facebook may show ads that contains items that are already sold out. For example, potential customers may see an item that they're interested in and click it, but eventually find out that the item is no longer available after they're directed to the landing page of product details.
  • Wasted ads budget — Some de facto sold-out items are shown to a potential customer, but don't result in any conversions of that item.
  • Mislead our ads recommender system — Our ads system think that the above items are unpopular ones because there are only clicks and ViewContent events for them, but no AddToCart nor Purchase events.

Key Challenges

  • Feed file size is large — Maintaining a catalog that contains millions of items is difficult because the feed file size is larger and takes a longer time to upload.
  • Data freshness maintenance — Keeping the item information and inventory database updated and current, especially for prices and availability.
  • Feed file formatting — Make sure the feed file format is correct; otherwise, it can be difficult to maintain as the file size increases.

Partition Your Data Feed into Smaller Files

A product catalog can have multiple data feeds; thus, a large catalog can be spliced into smaller chunks and then managed and updated by multiple product feeds.

Note: The product id (retailer id field in the feed file) must only exist in one of the feed files. If a product id is found in more than one product feed file, our system would reject it and only accept the update for the item in the product feed file where the product id first appears.

Detect Feed File Problems Early

Try to check the feed file format before you upload your file. See how to set up your feed.

Use this feed debugger to understand more about the upload error messages.

Monitor Upload Problems

Monitor upload problems by reading the upload errors API. You can retrieve product feed upload errors from the edge. You can also set up a monitoring script to regularly check this edge, and alerts can be sent to developers or feed maintainers if there's an unexpected amount of errors.

If you need to monitor more than one product catalog, it's possible to retrieve the errors for all product catalogs under a business in one single call:


Fix Feed File Problems

If you find uncaught errors in Detect Feed File Problems Early, try to update the format checking rules or remove the items that are causing the errors or somehow causing wrong parsing of the feed file.

Directly Upload When Too Many Errors Are Detected

Retrying the uploads using direct upload if too many errors are detected in Monitor Upload Problems.

Learn how a direct upload can be triggered.

Use the Catalog Batch API

  1. Use the Catalog Batch API together with a product feed upload.
  2. Configure product feed files upload of files containing the inventory database snapshot once every week, and use the Catalog Batch API to make updates for price and availability of products that have been changed in between the product feed file uploads.

Learn more about:

Proactively Track and Resolve Issues About Events and Quality

For other APIs that are useful for optimum performance in product catalog, we recommend to proactively track and resolve issues related to events and quality.

Learn more about receiving insights into any pixel and app events associated with a catalog.

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