Would you include product images in your RSS Feed for E-Commerce store?


I have developed a RSS feed for my products in my store. I was wondering, if it would be a good idea to include product images in the feed or if I should only include product titles?

Including images would mean that the customers dont have to visit the site, which could potentially mean losing cross sell traffic as well as lower traffic for the site. Not including them means, less convenience for the customer.

Suggestions welcome.

Yes, that sounds like a great solution. You may try tweaking this at a later time to see what combination works best for you. For example, if the description is long, you may display only a starting part of it, and place a link like “Read more…”

Thanks for some really great advice. This is what I have decided for now:

I will include a thumbnail of the image along with product desc. and a “Add to Cart” button, so if someone is interested, they can come on the website to view a larger image. I think this will give them enough of a reason to subscribe and at the same time, ensure that they visit the website.

good idea. too many pictures can be overwhelming, but thumbnails are usually a safe bet, and will entice shoppers to click to your web site. nice work!

I agree with CS-Cart. I’d say the more images the better. A good description, a discount code for your subscribers and a Buy button next to it can help too.

I get all the images in my RSS reader (Google reader). I’m pretty sure he is safe.

Asking random people on a forum isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Do both and test the results.

Since RSS feeds are designed for delivering plain text, most such programs will end up displaying the source code of your image tag if you somehow manage to get it included in the feed.

I don’t think that seeing images will prevent people from visiting your site - on the contrary, this will attract more interest and attention to your listing. Moreover, a small image/thumbnail often attracts to make a click in search of a larger image.

I recommend to use image links for Twitter and images or links in RSS.

Also, Twitter is much more powerful tool than simple RSS feeds, so don’t forget about broadcasting.

You can add direct links to the images, so that your customer will be able to view it on your site in one click.

Also, you can broadcast your RSS feed to Twitter feed, you can use some free service, e.g. http://twitterfeed.com/

yeah I think that would be much more attractive.

I think <image> tag has been part of RSS 2 and available since 2002-2003. Atom standard also has support for images and has been around for 4-5 years. Feedburner/Google Reader handle them nicely. Many popular blogs use images through and through :slight_smile: Take Mashable’s feed as an example…

I’d think pretty much any modern feed reader will support images in the feeds. Those I’ve used in the last few years including the ones on mobile devices did show images alright.