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A product data feed is a heirarchical list of your products and the information about them. The information is in a specific order, so that the server it is sent to can parse that information. See diagram below of a simple data feed structure:
Shopping Feed fetches data from the app or module that you installed on your storefront, and updates itself regularly using this data. This special feed, also known as the Source Feed, refreshes itself with the most up to date product and inventory data.
Data syncs to Shopping Feed through updates to the source feed. Our app connected to your store is gathering that information and sending it back to our platform. That information is organized into stacked tree of containers, all in a specific order. We call those containers Fields, and they are mapped to default configuration found in the Field Mapping tab
When you sell the same product in different colors, sizes, quantities, etc, you are using variations. You can train Shopping Feed to look into specific fields for those variation names using the Manage Product Variants tool.