Data feeds are used for uploading and promoting products and services. A merchant uses data feeds, and many merchants allow affiliates to use data feeds to promote their products and services too.
In some cases you need to download the data feed and clean up the code, then upload it to your own shopping cart or website using a plug-in like Datafeedr.com for WordPress. Some merchants, in addition to shopping carts offer code that you can slip into your site to automate the process so that you don't have to mess with any code.
Drop shippers offer automated data feeds, as does ClickBank and other online affiliate marketing sites and shopping carts. There are pros and cons of automatic data feeds. For a merchant it's good to offer automated data feeds for your affiliates to use because then they won't be altering your product descriptions or information. For affiliates, automatic feeds are great because they don't have to mess with spreadsheets, data files and code.
Automated data feeds also run less risk of coming into compliance problems with banking regulations. Plus, if a merchant wants to change some information on the products in the data feed, the code will still work on the affiliate's website without another update from the affiliate. This makes for easy marketing opportunities for affiliates and pays off for the merchant that offers this service, because their products will always be represented appropriately and uniformly in all their affiliates' stores and promotions.
Automatic data feeds are a great way for affiliates to promote your products and services. They include their affiliate ID so that they get credit automatically for sales from their particular feed, regardless of where they've put it on the net. Technically they could take one data feed and put it on multiple websites, comparison sites, and their own site to increase the possibility of making a sale. An affiliate can pick one category of products or services and build specific websites around that data feed.
An affiliate can start a niche site super fast using a self-hosted WordPress.org, Datafeedr.com plug-in, and an automated product data feed code from their favorite merchant. The automation of the data feed will make it so that the affiliate doesn't need to mess with the code of the data feed or clean up anything since the merchant has already done that for them by offering an automated data feed.
Now all the affiliate marketer has to do is blog about the products, place pay-per-click ads, and promote their website. An affiliate can create a data feed driven niche site within an hour using these tools.
There are some drawbacks to automated data feeds. Sometimes merchants give products lousy descriptions, or pair images with the wrong links, and without editing the code the affiliate is stuck with the poor code through automation. But overall, data feed automation is the power affiliate's best friend.