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Guidelines

The data feed is one of the main parts of the eSales Fashion integration. The quality of the data feed will have a great impact on available features as well as the quality and performance of eSales Fashion. Here are some guidelines regarding the data feed content and how to produce a great feed, as well as some details on how it affects eSales Fashion.

Integration time improvement

A lot of integration time can be saved if the retailer is able provide required data in a structured manner.

Retailers are recommended to read through this section and think about what type of data that is available and how integrators can access it.

Natural key mapping

The keys of the product groups, products, and variants should have a natural mapping to something comprehensible on the retailer side. Ideally something like an article number, SKU number, or codes that are both used internally and externally as identifiers for the different entities. The keys provided in the feed must match the keys provided in the order notifications.

Feature

If a visitor search exactly matches a key the visitor will be directed to the corresponding product page.

Images

Consistent image ratio

All images provided should ideally have the exact same ratio. The height of the rendered product cards will be the same to avoid alignment issues, meaning that inconsistent image ratios will lead to clipping.

Appropriate image resolution

Two types of resolutions are supported, card and thumbnail. Using both resolutions optimally will improve the page load speed and allow visitors to have a good experience with minimal data to load.

The card resolution is used as the images shown in the product listings, for example when searching or listings on category pages. The thumbnail is used for the smaller images that can be seen on hover when displaying other styles or colours of a garment. Imagery in each resolution should be as large as they have to be in order to render nicely for its purpose, but not larger than necessary. The card resolution will be used for thumbnail images if no thumbnail resolution is provided. For best effect and to minimise bandwidth use, both resolutions should be provided for all images.

Clean imagery

Keep the images clean and separate from functionality and information that belongs elsewhere. Avoid overlays, badges, padding, etc. built into the images.

Multiple images

Multiple model images and cutout images can be provided in the feed. A model image is an image of a model with a product. A cutout image is an isolated image of the product, typically with a single colour background. Provide multiple images in a consistent manner. For example the first image is always a front image, the second from the right side, the third a detail, etc.

Feature

Providing multiple images enables product card features in the Experience app such as alternate images on hover and showing image galleries.

New images

When taking new images of a product, save information of what is the front, back, etc. of the product.

Separated cutout images

Cutout images refers to images where only the product is represented, e.g. without a model or other additional products. If this type of imagery is available ensure it is kept separated from others in a consistent manner, easily accessible, and distinguishable for the integrator.

If there are multiple cutout images to choose from select the ones that best adheres to the recommendations below. These recommendations are also to be considered when taking new pictures of products.

  • Portraits the entire product as accurately as possible.
  • Avoid sharp edges in the background.
  • Avoid shadows on the products.
  • Homogeneous background colours for all products. Images are however not required to all have the same background colour.

Feature

Product colours are automatically extracted and allows eSales to retrieve a very complex view of the colours, with detailed nuances as well as the colour distribution. This in turn enables very powerful colour search, colour filtering, and precise colour swatches.

If no cutouts are available for a product, ensure that a colour is provided for that product to ensure a decent experience.

Providing colours manually

Metallic properties can not be found through image analysis and must be tagged manually. This applies to the "colours" Gold and Silver. Colours can also be manually set if the automatic colour analysis should happen to be unsatisfactory for specific products.

It is recommended that all products have a cutout image for automatic colour analysis to avoid the need for tagging, and should primarily be used when ever possible.

Manually set colour values must be provided as exactly Gold, Silver, or a valid RGB hex code. The entire RGB space is understood and a retailer should always strive to provide as detailed nuances as possible. As colour names may differ wildly between vendors and contain custom formulations, colour names such as red or blue are not accepted. Manually set colours will be considered as evenly distributed regardless of the actual colour distribution of the product.

Features

  • Correct presentation of items with metallic properties.
  • Fallback for supporting colour search, colour filtering, and colour swatches. Quality will depend on input data.
  • Supports multiple colour values for a product, see color_override and color_default in the Format specification.

Missing images

If an image is missing, do not provide an actual image of something indicating a missing image. Images that are actually missing, will be handled by the image analysis, and custom images for indication of missing images should be handled through theming.

Text attributes

Product titles

Do not include the brand (or other redundant information) in the product title. The brand name is presented separately in the product card.

Product titles should be kept short in order to fit the product card. Long titles may be clipped, especially for mobile visitors.

Displaying the colour of a product in the product title is often not necessary as it is displayed in the image. One exception where it is useful is if the retailer has a set of specialized custom colours that are well known among the visitors. In this case, place the colour name at the end of the title. Placing the colour in another position will result in that the title flickers when the visitor hovers over the different colours.

  • Clara T-shirt - spirit green
  • Clara T-shirt - dreamy pink
  • Clara T-shirt - real teal

Custom attributes

Custom attributes are used to enhance search, to provide filter options for both search and navigation, and as a basis for creating product selections.

  • Use structured data. "A short summer party dress" is a lot more useful if sent as separate attributes rather than single description, e.g.

    category: dress

    dress_length: short

    occasion: party

    season: summer

  • The more searchable structured data available, the better search experience.

  • Any non-standard values that should be used as a facet must be added as a custom attribute. Standard attributes include department, price, size, colour, and brand.
  • Normalize values. Avoid having "Long dress", "long dress", and "Long dresses" in different products, when describing the same property.
  • Use custom attribute values that are not often changed for product selections.
  • Supply display names in the data feed for custom attribute values where identifiers aren't human friendly. The following illustrates the syntax of the category Jackets with an extenal id 361: <category name="Jackets">361</category>.

Examples of useful custom attributes include season, style, material, product_shape, category, buttoning, neck_type, sleeve_lenght, etc. Basically anything that is considered useful for search, filters, or product selections.

Product selections and stable values

A product selection is a defined set of products. Product selections are used in promotions, demotions, and navigation items and are often rule-based. The rules consists of including or excluding products where an attribute has a specific value. The attribute values are treated as identifiers, meaning that only products with those attribute values are included in the selection. If the attribute values on the products change, the products will no longer be part of the selection.

Keep track of changes

It is important to keep in mind what fields are used in a product selection and when/if they are changed. It is important that these values are stable and not changed often.

Category attributes

The products listed on an esales-navigation-page as well as the navigational content in the esales-category-navigation and esales-navigation-assistant component, are driven by product selections that are configured in the navigation editor. It is therefore important that attributes that can be used as a basis for this are available in the product feed.

  • Include attributes that represents the current categorisation of the site.
  • Provide as high granularity as possible. Supply both Pants and Capri pants or Leggings as opposed to only Pants. High granularity facilitates the creation of future categories for a retailer while limiting the need for modifications of existing categories.
  • Ensure attribute values are stable and don't change often.
  • If available: Include attributes that represents the shape of the garment, such as boot cut or a-line.
  • Supply display names in the data feed for category attributes if the identifiers aren't human friendly. The following illustrates the syntax of the category Jackets with an extenal id 361: <category name="Jackets">361</category>.

Departments

Make sure department values in products are stable and not changed often. Common department values for fashion are Women, Men, and Kids. For a single department retailer, all products should have the same department value.

Feature

Product recommendations are by default restricted to products within the same product department. This restriction can be changed by using the taxonomy editor.

Release date

Release dates of products indicates how new a product is considered to be. The release date should correspond to when the product is made available for purchase.

Provide release dates of products easily accessible to the integrators.

Features

  • Newness of a product is considered when ranking products.
  • The NEW product badge can be used when a release date is provided
  • Products can be sorted by newness.
  • Dynamic product selections can be created based on newness.

Provide content links for vital content pages of high client interest. Typical pages recommended to include are: Returns, Shipping, Delivery, Contact, and Stores. Use the Search phrase report in the Experience App to keep track of popular search phrases.

Data feed checklist

The following checklist can be used when creating the data feed.

  • Natural key mapping of product groups, products, and variants.
  • Consistent image ratios are used for all images.
  • Card and Thumbnail resolutions are provided for all images.
  • Card and Thumbnail resolutions are chosen appropriately.
  • Images are clean and separate from additional information.
  • Cutout images are easily accessible and distinguishable for the integrator.
  • Provide at least two images to enable the image hover feature.
  • No actual image is used for indicating a missing image.
  • Manually provided colours are Gold, Silver, or a valid RGB hex code.
  • Product titles are kept short and does not include the brand name.
  • Custom attributes used for product selections are structured and stable.
  • Category values are a product type indicator on as low level as possible.
  • Category values are structured, stable, and not changed often.
  • Department values are structured, stable, and not changed often.
  • Provide release dates of products.
  • High demand content links are provided.
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