Data feed file integration price comparison shopping script

Documentation Wiki - - Online merchant datafeed integration for affiliates : DFFprorductsExplanation

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Since DFF provides price comparison shopping functionality via web services and simple Javascript include scripts or Dynamic Scripting Language remote include calls, having a good database of product is one of our key strength. DFF product database has been developed and maintained since 2005 when the original founders started with a price comparison start-up project called,

As with any good price comparison shopping web site, there need to be a consistent way to identify UNIQUE PRODUCT (DFF Product SKU), which will allow routine matching against merchant products from merchants data feed files. These uniquely identified products database maintained internally by DFF staffs are internally managed at this time. In the future we may allow affiliates / publishers to help improve this product via a wiki like platform. Anything product from merchants that DFF servers are not able to match against any other unique products are called Individual Merchant Products or also known as just Merchant Products. These products may not be consistent as merchant may remove and/or change the merchant SKU of these products at any time.

What does DFF do routinely with Data Feed Files from merchants

Everyday (about every 24 - 48 hours) DFF servers goes the cycle of downloading data feed files from all direct feed merchants, affiliate networks data feeds and deals (coupon code, rebate, deal) database. There are now several thousand files DFF download everyday. All downloaded data feed files will be imported into our database. During this import process we will analyze, match and normalize the data preparing each product to create a database designed for proper price comparison functionality.

Type of Products

There are just 2 (two) types of DFF products:
  1. DFF Product SKU (corenum or core products)
    DFF Product SKU products are products which have been identified as a single unique product. SKUed products have consistent SKU # and comparable against multiple merchants / stores prices. See section below about DFF Product SKU for more info.
  2. Individual Merchant Products
    Merchant products are products where during the import process was not able to be matched against any SKUed products. Meaning it is not a price comparable product. Therefore DFF does NOT assign a SKU #. Merchant products may change as merchant may remove or change product info.

DFF Product SKU (DFF_product_sku / corenum) also known as coreprdt

DFF Product SKU database is a large database of uniquely identified products which usually have UPC, ISBN or EAN associated with each product. DFF Product SKUs are price comparable meaning there are more than 1 seller (merchant products) matched against each DFF Product SKU.
- Read more about DFF Product SKU here.
- Product SKU data feed download.

Individual Merchant Products (identified by mernum + mersku or merchant prdtid)

When DFF fails to match a merchant product against DFF Product SKU database, the merchant will still be included in the DFF product database as an Individual Merchant Product. Individual Merchant Product is not comparable against multiple sellers. Individual Merchant Products are uniquely identified via merchant number (mernum) + mersku (merchant's own SKU).
- Read more about DFF Individual Merchant Products

How does DFF Product Matching Work?

Each merchant product will be compared and attempt to be matched against DFF Product SKU database based on the following rules (ordered by priority):
  1. Compare against UPC, EAN, ISBN, etc...
  2. Compare against Manufacturer Name + Manufacturer Part Number / model number.
  3. Compare against Product title / Short Description.
DFF do use a little bit of tolerance via Fuzzy string matching when attempting to match against Manufacturer Product Information (mfgname + partno) and Product Title. If none of the above match any DFF Product SKU database, then the product is considered an Individual Merchant Product (but still included in DFF's searchable database used by PSE).

Search Results Data difference between DFF Product SKU vs. Merchant Product

When using JSON / XML search results are returned in raw data format (either XML structure / JSON format converted to native array).
The output always contain a statistic section, merchantlist, categorylist, pricelist and most importantly the productlist.
All of the sections are self explanatory except for productlist, where there you must understand the logic behind DFF's product database organization.
Basically, DFF product database have 2 kind of product: (1) DFF SKU products also known as corenum, (2) Merchant Product also known as prdtid.

DFF SKU (aka corenum) is a unique number assigned for a particular uniquely identified product. We assign a unique number starting from 100 and greater. DFF will not reuse SKU #. Each SKU # always represent a unique product. DFF SKU# assigned for particular product will always be assigned to that product (will not ever change). Most of the time once a SKU # has been assigned, there are usually more than 1 merchant selling that particular product, therefore it is a comparable product amongst multiple merchants. When displaying PSE search results, you should check if corenum > 0, if it is >0 means it is a valid SKUed product and therefore it will have min - max price, sellercount (how many merchant you have selected sells that product) and list of merchants numbers (mernum) selling that product. Once you have identified a particular search result as a SKUed product the click-through from that one row / listing should be directed to DFF's PPC (product price comparison) where a list of merchants along with their prices, availability, rating, etc will be shown.

If DFF SKU (corenum) is NOT >0 (is not greater than zero) then it is not a valid SKUed product. Instead of relying on DFF SKU / corenum you should focus on prdtid. Prdtid is a unique identifier for a single unique merchant product. Unlike DFF SKU / corenum, prdtid will change every 24 - 48 hours as we re-import / refresh data from merchants data feed. Therefore you should NOT rely on the min - max price, sellercount, nor will it have a list of merchants. When corenum is NOT > 0 it means the product is a single merchant product. It is not comparable against multiple stores and click-through from this search result should NOT be directed to PPC (product price comparison) script. Instead the shopper should be sent directly to the Store's web site via DFF product click script. A DFF product click script will need at least two required parameters which are prdtid and affid. Here is an example of a DFF product click URL:

Note: the above link may not work (only shown as syntax example) because prdtid will change between data feed imports.

To see dff_prdtclick.php in action simple examine the click-through URL when hovering over the Buy Now or More Info button on the PPC page:

There may be other parameters passed behind the URL above, but affid and prdtid are the basic requirement. DFF product click will redirect traffic from your site to DFF, then to the affiliate network, then to the merchant's web site. This script will also perform the 4th click shared commission∞ affiliate ID substitution.

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