This article introduces how Nosto collects data from the site and how fast product updates are reflected in Nosto’s features such as on-site recommendations. It also explains why in some cases product details might be outdated for a few minutes and how you can speed up and enhance the update process.
Nosto’s tagging approach requires pages to be loaded by visitors, which executes the product creation update process. This can also be initiated by a back-end API call, which speeds up the process and adds support for bulk product updates and product creation. Due to tagging update mechanism, product details indexed by Nosto can lag a bit behind in case multiple products are updated simultaneously e.g. during a flash-sales campaign. In case a product has never been viewed, it’s not been indexed by Nosto as it doesn’t have any relevancy until being viewed at least once.
In general, there is [almost] never need to manually update product details. The process is automated because product details, such as price, picture, or features change in an e-commerce platform all the time.
Tagging Based Update Process
When a page is loaded by a user it sends a view event to Nosto including the details of the product that a user is viewing. If a product is entirely new by productID, a product is being created, but otherwise the process is similar to updates.
If Nosto receives conflicting details as a part of tagging, for example after product details have been changed by shop’s manager and when product is viewed the very first time after the changes, an automatic crawler initiates verifying from the server that the data sent by a browser is valid. If the crawler’s review finds the same details for the product which a browser sent a few seconds before, details are updated automatically to all Nosto’s recommendations. In addition, if a product is entirely new, this creates the product in Nosto’s index.
Since page load is required for Nosto to receive updated details, products that are not often viewed might have outdated details longer. On most common platforms the update process is in real-time. Read API update at the bottom of this page how to enhance the process.
Since the default method for validation is based on a bot which doesn’t execute scripts, Nosto’s product tagging needs to be present in the Html structure and can’t be dynamically loaded e.g. using tag managers or scripting. Read more about tag managers here.
In general if a bot reads a page or is directed to a (404) page where product tagging doesn’t exist, a product is automatically treated as removed and thus is removed from Nosto’s index. Consequently this means that if tagging is not created on the server e.g. scripting, tag manager, bot can’t verify any product details and treats all products as unavailable. Effectively this means that the implementation is fatally erroneous.
Manually launched re-indexing is a maintenance tool for changes in implementation to take affect by re-indexing the entire product database. Note that re-indexing generates a lot of queries to an online store and depending on the size of the product catalogue, an overall re-index might take hours. After the re-indexation is finished, a user who initiated the process receives a notification email. To avoid full re-index especially if only a small amount of products require an update, please update individual products under browse products and recrawl only individual products.
Individual products can also be reindexed by enabling the debug-mode and clicking Send Product Update Request. Read debug-mode and how to interpret product page tagging for more details and how to enable debug-mode.
Note that if a product image is updated, but the image url is unchanged, manual reindexing of an image is required. See Browse products for details.
API Based Update Process
If shop-wide changes happen on a regular basis or when store has a extremely big product catalogue, we suggest to implement API functionality which extends support for bulk updates and to create a full replica of product database instantly.
Nosto API supports sending product updates and creating new products automatically, which essentially speeds up the update process dramatically as the technical approach is similar to real-time product feed, but done via integration relying on Nosto’s API. Creation and update process based on API effectively updates the product information to Nosto immediately when product details are changed in the site’s own product management or alternatively when new products are added to selection.
Implementation based on an API principle is a customised setup and requires development resources so it is not recommended for shops with limited or non-existent internal technical resources. Please consult Nosto’s support for further details and API documentation.
All our official platform connectors leverage APIs to ensure that changes in the product metadata are reflected instantaneously.