About this article
This article describes the categorization process on ChannelEngine, how to categorize your products, and more.
Table of contents
Categorization is the process of 'translating' your categories to the specific categories (a.k.a. product types) of each marketplace. In some cases your own categories can be matched directly, but sometimes the level of detail does not match. E.g.: your categories are too specific in relation to the marketplace's product type, not specific enough, written in a different language, etc.
Categorization is mandatory on certain marketplaces, such as eBay and Spartoo – and it can be used to create or update product information on other marketplaces, such as Amazon and bol.
The first level of categorization is often based on the product type, and not on the detailed subcategory you see on the marketplace itself. Amazon and bol are examples of this practice.
First you match your own category with the relevant product type and, based on that, either Amazon's recommended browse node or bol's type of product become available later in the content mapping.
You may first match your 'shoulder bag' category with the generic 'bags' on the marketplace side, but in the content mapping stage you can match it with a more specific type – such as 'shoulder bag' or 'backpack'.
If your products already have categories, you can start matching them. The principle is the same for most marketplaces, with the exception of Channel API-based marketplaces (a.k.a. self-integrations) – as well as custom and affiliate channels, which in most cases do not have a categorization option.
To start categorizing your products, go to the marketplace you want to start mapping on ChannelEngine. Then go to the Categorization page.
- On the left-hand side of the One-to-one tab, you see your own categories. Next to these categories, you see numbers indicating how many products have this same category. If your products do not have categories, this list is empty – but you can still use Rules for categorization.
- On the right-hand side of the One-to-one tab, you see empty fields that must be filled out with the marketplace's categories. The goal is to match your own categories to the categories of the marketplace. Start typing a keyword related to your own category in the empty field beside it and you see a dropdown menu with marketplace categories that contain that keyword. To limit the number of results, they are loaded and displayed as soon as the third character is entered.
- You can also see an overview of all categories available on the marketplace. Click Browse at the bottom of the screen to access this overview. Note that most marketplaces have a long list of categories, so the search field comes in handy.
- Alternatively, it is possible to click the Map automatically button at the bottom of the page to let ChannelEngine find matching marketplace categories based on yours. Keep in mind that this is a suggestion, so it is important to check if the right category has been mapped. This feature only works for categories in English or in Dutch.
- To filter out categories that have already been matched or are currently empty, click the Filters button and toggle the related option.
- To copy a category path provided by the marketplace, click the Copy button by it.
If your category is not specific enough and you need to split it, you can do so by creating a rule. Rules allow for the subdivision of categories, such as transforming 'bags' into 'shoulder bags' and 'backpacks.' To view all existing rules, go to the Rules tab. If your category already has an active rule, a Rule label is visible by it.
On the Rules tab, you can generate one or more rules for categorization using if-then statements. E.g.: if the product Name contains 'dress,' then it should be categorized under 'gowns.' To replicate an existing rule, click Duplicate a rule set on the right-hand side. If you have created multiple categorization rules, you can search through them using the search bar.
To apply a rule to a specific category, find the category you want to split on the One-to-one tab and hover the mouse cursor over it until the option Add rule appears. Click it to see the rule with the category pre-listed. Make sure to apply your rule based on one or more attributes, so all complying products are included.
It is also possible to create a rule by clicking Add rule above the category tree. However, unlike the previous approach, this does not include the desired category in the rule. Note that if two or more of your rules overlap, the one closest to the top of the list takes precedence.
E.g.: if the title of the product states it is a shoulder bag, you can create a rule such as IF [name] CONTAINS [shoulder bag] USE [category shoulder bag].
To export a marketplace's complete list of categories, click Browse at the bottom of the Categorization page and then click Export categories. The available formats are CSV and CSV for Excel.