ChannelEngine: content mappings
About this article
This article describes the content mapping process on ChannelEngine.
Table of contents
To export product content to a marketplace, relevant product information must be available. The requirements and complexity involved differ per marketplace, but the parameters below should be available to facilitate the mapping.
It is possible to create product content without categories and/or relevant product information, but it requires several rules and plenty of manual input for each marketplace – therefore it is not recommended, unless used incidentally.
Content mapping basics
- Categories should be as specific as possible. E.g.: 'bag' or 'luggage' is not enough; 'luggage, bags, shoulder bags' is preferable.
- Certain attributes are required for all marketplaces. E.g.: description, EAN, main product image, SKU, product title, etc.
- Other attributes are often required. E.g.: color, material, short description, size, etc.
- Content must be generic. Most marketplaces on ChannelEngine reject data that contains links (e.g.: using the HTML tag a), references to your company's services (e.g.: customer service), the use of terms such as 'free' and 'gratis', etc. The exceptions to this rule are channels where offers are directly related to the content, like eBay and Wish.
Before you can map attributes for specific product types, you need to categorize your products. The only exceptions to this are API, custom, and affiliate channels, which do not require direct categorization. In those cases, attributes can be mapped under All products.
To start mapping content, go to Mappings, Content mappings. At the top you see All products, and below you see all the categories that you have used under the Categorization tab.
- # products - the number of products mapped to this marketplace category.
- Required - the number of attributes required for the category, how many are already mapped, and how many have to be mapped. This field is green when the required attributes have been mapped and yellow if there are still attributes that have to be mapped. The counter checks if a marketplace attribute is mapped with a specific ChannelEngine attribute, but this does not guarantee that every product in the category has a value for that attribute.
- Optional - the number of attributes that are not required but can be mapped. Without these attributes, your product is still pushed to the marketplace, but the more you have mapped the greater the visibility of the product on the marketplace. This, in turn, tends to lead to a higher conversion rate.
Select the name of a category with missing attributes so you can map them. In the example below, All products is used. These are the attributes that are global (i.e.: required for every category), such as the Description, EAN, Main product image, SKU, and Product title.
To map an attribute, select the dropdown directly below the attribute you want to map. It presents you with high-level options to map the attribute:
- Not mapped - if mapping the attribute is not mandatory, you can select the option Not mapped. Bear in mind that the more content you map, the more visible your product can be.
- Advanced rule - select this option if you do not have structured data for a mandatory attribute, but the information can be taken from a different attribute. Color, for instance, is often mentioned in the product title. You can extract it and use it as an attribute by using an Advanced rule. E.g.: if the title contains 'red', use 'red' as the color attribute; if the brand is equal to 'Nitro', use 'Nitro' as the brand.
- Fixed value - useful if you want to apply the same attribute value to all products, but you do not have an attribute with this information. Each product gets this value for the chosen attribute. A common example for this is Season, for fashion products. While not every merchant has an attribute in their product information for Season, this can be solved by using Never out of stock as a fixed value.
- ChannelEngine field - select this option to access the default ChannelEngine attributes under the bottom dropdown, such as Name, Brand, Merchant product number, etc.
- Custom field - select this option to access your custom fields under the bottom dropdown.
Once a high-level option is chosen, a new dropdown menu appears below it to provide you with options specific to your selection.
Certain marketplaces require attributes to be converted to a specific set of values. These values are presented as a dropdown menu from which you can select predefined values.
If you map ChannelEngine field or Custom field to such an attribute and then select your desired ChannelEngine or custom attribute (e.g.: Color), the Edit option mapping button appears. Click it to see a list of your own attribute values and a field in which you can search for a predefined value from the marketplace. This works in a similar way as the categorization process.
To hide all values that have already been mapped, toggle the Show unmapped only setting at the top right corner of the pop-up.
In some cases, you might want to use the combined output of several attributes or extract a distinct part from an attribute. To accomplish this, you can use replacement tags as a fixed value or in advanced rules.
Once everything is categorized and mapped, new product information is automatically exported to the marketplace. This is done by the Export product data to channel task on ChannelEngine. This task is automatically scheduled once a marketplace is activated.
The wildcard search feature in the attribute mapping allows you to quickly find the attribute you are looking for. This feature works for both custom attributes and default ChannelEngine attributes.
To use the wildcard search feature, go to a page with a dropdown related to attributes, such as the Mappings or Advanced rules pages. Click a dropdown menu and enter the wildcard character (%), preceded and/or followed by the characters from the attribute you seek. The (%) character replaces zero or more characters of any kind. E.g.: to search for all attributes that have the letters 'e' and 't', such as Height and Length, enter 'e%t' in the search bar.