XML Products

Catalog API: Introducing JSON & JSONP

Hey Publishers,

At the request of several of your fellow JS-loving publishers, it is now possible to query our Catalog API and return a response in JSON or JSONP. While XML is a wonderful thing, JSON and JSONP should open new opportunities to those of you creating widgets, banners, and other snappy ad content.

While the default response format is XML, you are able to specifically request the response format using the below parameters in your query:

XML: <format>=xml
JSON: <format>=json&callback=callback
JSONP: <format>=js&callback=callback

Release: June 2011
API Versions:
Bizrate, Beso

The release of these new fields should not impact you unless you have developed a means of auto-generating your XML handling code based on the XML schema document for any individual service.  If you have done this, you will need to update your schema.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for snappy release notifications!  Upon release, you will be able to see an example result set returned with this new value through our Catalog API Interactive Documentation.  In order to access this documentation, you will need to log in with your Catalog API Key & Publisher ID.  Once you are in there, view any of the individual service resource sections.  At the very bottom of any section, you will see a link "[ + ] show test form".  This will allow you to test out queries, viewing sample responses. 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Catalog API: New Fancy Offer Filters

With the good eatin' this holiday season, how about lightening the load Q1 with a few new filters? In our ongoing mission to provide you with the same features we ourselves enjoy integrating within our Shopzilla, Inc. properties, we have expanded the filtration options within the Catalog API Product Service.

  • Filter by Price Markdown
    Description: Filter offer results based on minimum price markdown.
    Example: Display only offers marked down at least 99% from original price. FREE? No.
    ON SALE? Yes!
    Filter: minMarkdown

  • Filter by Free Shipping
    Description: Filter offer results based on availability of free shipping.
    Example: Display only offers with free shipping. FREE!
    Filter: freeShipping

  • Filter by Offer Age
    Description: Filter offer results based on the notion of "new".
    Example: Display this week's freshest offers!
    Filter: maxAge

  • Filter by Image Availability
    Description: Filter offer results based on availability of an image.
    Example: Hate offers without images on your slick ad unit? Get rid of the pesky things!
    Filter: imageOnly

Release: Thursday, December 9th
API Versions: Bizrate, Beso

You will be able to see example result sets returned with these new filters through our Catalog API Interactive Documentation.  In order to access this documentation, you will need to log in with your Catalog API Key & Publisher ID.  Once you are in there, view the Product Service Resource section.  At the very bottom of this section, you will see a link "[ + ] show test form".  This will allow you to test out queries, viewing sample XML. 

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

  

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

 

Catalog API: Display Offer Markdown Information

Hey Publishers,

 

At the request of several of your fellow publishers, we will be adding the ability to display offer markdown information within the Catalog API Product Service.

 

Currently, we offer actual price information tagged as <price> within the <Offer> element. Soon, we will additionally provide the original price and related markdown percentage to allow for display of markdown information for each offer. In the event an offer is not on sale, the response will return a markdown percentage of "0.00".

 

Sample XML:

  <price integral="16900">$169.00</price>
  <originalPrice integral="16900">$169.00</originalPrice>
   <markdownPercent integral>0.00</markdownPercent>

 

Release: Monday, September 27th

API Versions: Bizrate, Beso

 

The release of these new fields should not impact you unless you have developed a means of auto-generating your XML handling code based on the XML schema document for the Product Service.  If you have done this, you will need to update your schema.

 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for snappy release notifications!  Upon release, you will be able to see an example result set returned with this new value through our Catalog API Interactive Documentation.  In order to access this documentation, you will need to log in with your Catalog API Key & Publisher ID.  Once you are in there, view the Product Service Resource section.  At the very bottom of this section, you will see a link "[ + ] show test form".  This will allow you to test out queries, viewing sample XML. 

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

 

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Catalog API: Introducing Beso!

Hey Publishers,

 

As many of you know, Shopzilla, Inc. manages a growing family of properties. As a publisher, you are likely familiar with Bizrate.com, our primary shopping search engine intended to help shoppers find what they are looking for at the best value. Through the Shopzilla Publisher Program Catalog API, advanced publishers have had dynamic access to the comprehensive inventory allowing this experience on Bizrate.

 

We are now excited to announce a version of our Catalog API offering access to content specific to one of our newest properties, Beso.com.  Beso is a lifestyle website providing users the ability to shop all of their favorite stores and brands, all in one place. Beso features a limited taxonomy, and curated set of stores and brands.

 

Beso

 

 

Why would you want to take advantage of this?

You would want to take advantage of the Beso version of the Catalog API if you are looking to provide your users with a style-based experience focused in soft goods categories. Because we carefully curate our Beso experience, the search results will differ from those you would retrieve from the Bizrate version of the Catalog API. For instance, a search on Beso for "black leather jacket" returns very different results than the same search on Bizrate. You would want to stick with the Bizrate version of the Catalog API if you would prefer to provide a general or comparison shopping experience, or one focused in hard goods categories.

 

How do you take advantage of this?

To get started, access our Catalog API Interactive Documentation. In order to access this documentation, you will need to log in with your Catalog API Key & Publisher ID.  Once logged in, you'll be able to access documentation specific to the Beso version of the Catalog API through the "US Beso API" link in the upper righthand corner. 

 

For those unfamiliar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to our inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website’s shopping content needs. Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized shopping content is returned within an XML response, JSON response available April 2011. Not an advanced publisher? Check out Beso Widgets!

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

  

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

 

How Many Offers Does it Take? 64-bits Worth!

Hey Publishers,

As our offer inventory continues to grow, so do the unique identifiers we assign to each product and offer. 

Users of our Catalog API and FTP Data Feed should be sure that their processes will be able to handle a 64-bit signed integer datatype as we approach unique identifier 2147483648. This will apply to both our productID ("PID") and offerID ("OID") integers.

Why 2147483648? 

The number 2,147,483,647 is the maximum value for a 32-bit signed integer. For more on the wonderful world of prime numbers, see what Wikipedia has to say!

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Shopzilla Publisher Program Speaking at Affiliate Summit East 2010

 

Hey Publishers,

Just a reminder for those of you planning to attend Affiliate Summit East 2010, the Shopzilla Publisher Program will be hosting a roundtable discussion during the Ask the Experts networking and education session.

Can't make it to Affiliate Summit East 2010? In the New York area? Be sure to contact us to catch up with Julia Barrett / Director, Affiliate Marketing and Bryan Byrne / Senior Account Coordinator while they're in town.

Catalog API: Join us on ProgrammableWeb

Hey Publishers,

For those of you who have integrated with our Catalog API, or are contemplating it, we invite you to join us on ProgrammableWeb.  ProgrammableWeb hosts a directory of APIs, regularly updated with useful information encompassing open and vendor APIs, mashups created using these APIs, and general news related to service-oriented web development.  It's a great resource for both website owners and developers.

You are able to register for a user account which will allow you to follow API profiles, alerting you to any changes within those that you choose to follow.  In addition to our blog updates, we will be maintaining our ProgrammableWeb API profile to keep Catalog API users in the loop on new development.  Many of our publishers have already listed their mashups on ProgrammableWeb- get in there!

For those of you who are not familiar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to Bizrate's inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website's shopping content needs.  Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized Bizrate shopping content is returned within an XML response.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. 

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Catalog API: How to Track Impressions

Hey Publishers,

If you are one of our Catalog API users interested in tracking impressions and improving your traffic, we're here to help! Creating a small, transparent pixel will let you know every time someone views your page with Bizrate sponsored shopping content. With that information available, you can determine how effective your assets are by calculating the click-thru rate. Each time your page is loaded a small, traceable, 1x1 pixel will also load.  Comparing the amount of views to the amount of clicks will demonstrate how receptive your audience is to your assets.  You can change your assets accordingly allowing you to better support your viewers and not to mention better your compensation!

Creating the tracking pixel is fairly simple.  Our advice to you is to place the tracking pixel URL towards the bottom of the page before the close of the <body> tag. For example:

<img src="http://adserve.shopzilla.com/img/publisherID-[YOUR PUBLISHER ID]/assetID-6/placementID-1/" />

</body>

Just simply update this with your unique Publisher ID, and change the Placement ID if desired!  Remember, you must always include your Publisher ID and a Placement ID for proper tracking. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about tracking impressions.

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Catalog API: Migration Period Ending September 15th

Hey Publishers,

July 1, 2009 we retired our old Catalog API, ending support of this platform.  The old Catalog API platform will NO LONGER be accessible beyond 11:59pm PST September 14, 2009

To incorporate sponsored shopping content through the Shopzilla Publisher Program Catalog API beyond September 15th, you must utilize our new Catalog API platform.

The majority of our Catalog API users have completed migration to the new Catalog API platform.  We've made efforts to reach out to each of your individually, and have received much feedback through the course of the migration, implementing several of the features requested.  For tips to help complete your migration, and news on future developments, please tune into the Catalog API section of our blog.

For those of you who are not familiar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to Bizrate's inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website's shopping content needs.  Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized Bizrate shopping content is returned within an XML response.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, particularly as it relates to your migration to the new Catalog API. 

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Catalog API: Query the Product Service by Offer

Hey Publishers,

 

At the request of several of your fellow publishers, we will be adding the ability to query the Catalog API Product Service by an offer's unique identifier ("offerId", or "OID") to return data related to a specific offer. 

 

In conjunction with the productId parameter, you will be able to set parameter productIdType to value "SZOID". Once you have entered a valid OID within the productId parameter, you will be able to return results for the related offer. Note that if you submit an invalid OID, no data for that OID will be returned in your result set.

 

Released: Thursday, August 6th

 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for snappy release notifications!  Upon release, you will be able to see an example result set returned with this new value through our Catalog API Interactive Documentation.  In order to access this documentation, you will need to log in with your Catalog API Key & Publisher ID.  Once you are in there, view the Product Service Resource section.  At the very bottom of this section, you will see a link "[ + ] show test form".  This will allow you to test out queries, viewing sample XML. 

 

For those of you who are not familiar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to Bizrate’s inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website’s shopping content needs. Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized Bizrate shopping content is returned within an XML response.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

 

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

 

Catalog API: Interactive Documentation

Hey Publishers,

Integrating any API can be a daunting task, and let's face it...no one wants to spend time navigating through hefty documentation. To make this process a little easier technically, we've created interactive documentation, providing a quick overview of each of the services included within the Catalog API, and a test form allowing you to explore parameters, testing queries before you develop. 

This interactive documentation is easy to use, even if you are not sure what you would like to do quite yet. You are able to enter desired parameters into a simple test form, and sample XML is returned for review.  Below, you can see the test form for our Merchant Service, which provides merchant data.

Shopzilla Publisher Program Catalog API

This interactive documentation is updated with any Catalog API production release, so it is always current and provides a good means of testing new parameters to determine whether or not you would like to make use of them within your website.

To access this interactive documentation, simply log in here using your unique API Key and Publisher ID: http://catalog.bizrate.com/services/catalog/v1/.  The test form is located at the bottom of the Methods section for each of our services.  

For those unfamiliar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to our wide inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website’s shopping content needs. Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized shopping content is returned within an XML response. Because we offer both Bizrate and Beso content through the Catalog API, you are able to toggle between documentation specific to each by way of a link in the upper righthand corner.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. Stay tuned into the blog for news on the latest Catalog API developments going forward!

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Catalog API: Introducing New Element detailUrl

Hey Publishers,

 

At the request of several of your fellow publishers, we've added a new element within the Catalog API Product Service.  This new element appears within the <Offer> element of this service, and contains a link to the Bizrate offer page for a specific offer.  This new element is called <detailUrl>.

 

The release of this new element should not impact you unless you have developed a means of auto-generating your XML handling code based on the XML schema document for the Product Service.  If you have done this, you will need to update your schema. 

 

To see an example of this new element, try out our Catalog API Interactive Documentation.  In order to access this documentation, you will need to log in with your Catalog API Key & Publisher ID.  Once you are in there, view the Product Service Resource section.  At the very bottom of this section, you will see a link "[ + ] show test form".  This will allow you to test out queries, viewing sample XML. 

 

For those of you who are not familiar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to Bizrate’s inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website’s shopping content needs. Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized Bizrate shopping content is returned within an XML response.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

 

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

 

Catalog API Migration: Happy July!

Hey Publishers,

It's July 1st, our deadline for having migrated from the old Catalog API platform to the new Catalog API platform.

We know many of you are still testing, finishing up your migration process.  The old Catalog API platform should remain relatively accessible, though we will NOT be supporting it and NOT able to guarantee its availability beyond 11:59pm PST July 1, 2009.

We've received much feedback through the course of this migration, and have tried to implement as many of the features requested as were able to in this short time.  Monday, July 6th, we will be releasing an updated 'API & Data Feeds' page within the Publisher Portal with access to our most current documentation- both static and interactive.  Stay tuned into the blog for news on the latest Catalog API developments going forward!

For those of you who are not familiar with our Catalog API, this product provides advanced publishers with intuitive access to Bizrate’s inventory of cataloged products and merchant offers through a query-based web service accepting various parameters, allowing publishers to filter based on their website’s shopping content needs. Based on these publisher-supplied parameters, customized Bizrate shopping content is returned within an XML response.  Your comrades who are already using the Catalog API have been hustling to migrate from our old platform to our new, more scalable platform.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, particularly as it relates to your migration to the new Catalog API.

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

Publisher outages expected during the next two weeks

Through the next two weeks, the Shopzilla Publisher Program anticipates intermittent outages as a result of enterprise-wide environmental maintenance.  This will affect the Publisher Portal, Dynamic Assets, Catalog API, and FTP Data Feeds.

At times Publishers may not be able to access the Publisher Portal and Dynamic Assets may show default content, or produce errors. The Catalog API will experience sporadic outages. The FTP Data Feeds will experience a lag between updates. 

Fortunately, this event is temporary, and the end results will be great…but the Shopzilla Publisher Program will be impacted various times and durations over the next two weeks.  Please be aware that this does not affect Shopzilla’s capacity to track Publisher redirects and reporting data will be safely stored in our systems.  We will be monitoring all systems, to ensure maximum uptime.  We want you live! 

We truly apologize for the inconvenience that this might cause.  Note that the Shopzilla Publisher Program cannot compensate Publishers for any experienced downtime or latency. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Catalog API: New Version Released

We are pleased to announce that the Shopzilla Publisher Program has released a new version of our Catalog API!  The new Catalog API has improved functionality, added features, and is built upon a faster, more scalable infrastructure. 

The existing Catalog API will remain supported through July 1st, but we are encouraging Publishers to migrate to the new Catalog API platform as soon as possible as the old Catalog API platform will be retired July 1st.

Please
contact us for the latest documentation, or should you have any questions about your Catalog API migration.

If you are not a current Catalog API user, you may apply for API access

The Shopzilla Publisher Team

ProBargainHunter's Shopzilla WordPress Plugin

For API users, Yan Bezugliy of ProBargainHunter.com has created a really useful, free WordPress plugin that simply takes a Shopzilla Product ID as input, and spits out the comparison results into a nice table as shown in the screenshot below:

Wordpressplugin

As users of the Catalog API know, having a plugin like this really saves a lot of time and lets you focus more on your content, not your advertisements.  To download this free plugin, please head over to ProBargainHunter and follow the installation instructions.

I was able to catch up with the plugin's creator, Yan Bezugliy, and ask him a few questions about his experiences with the Shopzilla Publisher Program and WordPress.

Chris:  Yan, thanks for creating this great WordPress plugin!  What compelled you to make this contribution to the blogging community?

Yan:  It is really a combination of several things that made it happen. First I am a blogger. Since I started in late 2006 I have incorporated more than a couple dozen WordPress plugin's into my blog and I am very grateful to the people who spend time contributing to the community. Second, I run a shopping deals site which uses the Shopzilla API to do product price comparison, and I have had very positive experience with it. Third, I am a software and web developer, so it was a fairly natural decision for me to port the code I use on WiredDeals.com into a WordPress plugin for everyone else's benefit.

Chris:  Have you made any other WordPress plugins?

Yan:  While I have done a lot of other web development work, this has been my first experience with WordPress plugins.

Chris:  I can assure you that this plugin will get a lot of use from Publishers.  What do you like most about the Shopzilla Publisher Program?

Yan:  Again, it is a couple of things. One, I was able to find a key feature in Shopzilla's API that made it possible to integrate the functionality into my site. I refer to the search result relevancy index. Second, I am an entrepreneur myself and I like the feeling of a small company I get when I exchange emails with the team at Shopzilla, the kind of "personal touch" absent with the big guys. Lastly, I just think Shopzilla team is trying very hard to do their best job at it, and I really appreciate that.

Chris:  Thanks for the kind words - our team is working hard to ensure a quality experience for our Publishers.  That being said, do you have any feature requests that you'd like to see implemented in the future?

Yan:  I am not sure if this is a common thing, but I would like to be able to track the level of conversion for my leads so I can tune up my advertisements campaigns. The better the conversion rate is the happier my customers are and the higher the customer retention rate I eventually get. Alternatively, if I see low conversions I will know I need to change something. This also opens a possibility for me to switch from CPC to affiliates commissions as I see fit, which might not sound like a good thing for Shopzilla, but in a long run I believe you would benefit from this kind of transparency, especially if this is not something your competitors normally offer.

Chris:  Yan, traffic quality is our top concern due to our close relationship with merchants paying for placement, and it is very important that affiliate partners send traffic that converts well.  High converting traffic benefits not only the paying merchant, but also signals that the ad campaigns on affiliate sites are not a distraction to users, but an addition of useful content.  While I can’t guarantee that we’ll implement this feature, we will definitely review it and possibly consider it down the line.  Do you have any other comments?

Yan:  Thanks for having me on your blog! You are doing a great job and I wish you guys success with your affiliate program.

Chris:  Thanks, Yan.  We appreciate the feedback as well as the work you put into making a tool that many Publishers benefit from.

To download Yan's Wordpress plugin for use with the Shopzilla Publisher Program Catalog API, please visit the ProBargainHunter site.

Shopzilla Publisher Program Launches Commercial API

We're excited to announce that affiliates of the Shopzilla Publisher Program may now access BizRate's comprehensive product catalog and inventory of merchant product offers through a Catalog API.

Publishers may make Catalog API requests using the following filters to return XML responses:

  • Keywords
  • Categories
  • Brands and related attributes
  • Price Ranges
  • Product IDs

Commercial access to the Catalog API offers website publishers the deepest level of integration to ensure the most contextually relevant display of monetized shopping content.

If you are already an affiliate of the Shopzilla Publisher Program, you must apply for access to the Catalog API.

If you are interested in accessing our Catalog API and are not an affiliate of Shopzilla, please apply for an account.