What’s the Best Definition of a “Channel” in E-Commerce?

Julie Stewart • February 20, 2020


“Channel” is a popular term in business. But what exactly is the definition of a “channel” as used in the world of e-commerce?

At Shoppingfeed, a channel is any platform that receives a customers’ product feeds. It can be a marketplace, a shopping comparison engine, a browser ad listing, an affiliate site or a retargeting platform.

Your storefront is not a Channel; it is the Source Feed. Store owners or e-commerce managers are the ones keeping product inventory updated and your orders synced.






Marketplaces sell your product from their website, and will either charge you commission on the sale, or a listing fee for each product listed. Marketplaces are the best return on investment. Users that visit marketplaces like Amazon or eBay have a much higher purchase intent and are shopping more confidently. They can expect a better experience and have marketplace policy and support as a safety net in case of any problems.

Here are the U.S. marketplaces that we support.




Product Ads


If you have ever searched the web for a product, and clicked on a result at the very top of your search engine, you have clicked on a product ad. Through a campaign, you can place bids on these places and the position of your ad using a CPC rate, or cost per click. This is the money you will pay if your ad is clicked on, terminating on your site. While this doesn’t guarantee a sale, the intent of the user is very high, and will hopefully be followed by a sale. The higher the CPC rate, the more chance you have at being seen.

Go here to see the Product Ads we support.




Shopping Engines


Shopping Engines, otherwise known as ShopBots, are the product search aggregators. Their purpose is to compare and contrast products for sale from sellers found within their searches. Shopping Engines help sellers to grow their reach. For unique items, Shopping Engines are especially good for helping users find your products. Shopping Engines are run by a campaign, and will mostly be CPC (cost per click). Check out the Shopping Engines we support.






Retargeting platforms use cookies to store information about your products in the user’s browser. Based on those cookies, retargeters feed your product listing ads to your past visitors during their normal browsing. Retargeting is great for re-engaging users that come to your storefront and don’t make a selection, or abandon their cart without making a purpose. For this reason, we recommend retargeting to users who are seeing a significant amount of site traffic but lower conversion rates (10% or worse).

Try adding a Shopping Engine or Product Ads channel first to help get user traffic. We also recommend highlighting your highest-converting products. Check out the retargeting platforms we support.

Request a demo and a free 14-day trial of our powerful automation tools.


Julie Stewart

My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.

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