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Characteristics and properties

Some items stand out from the crowd. Be it a watch that is water resistant or a loudspeaker that has Bluetooth technology.

In plentymarkets, such distinguishing features are called characteristics and properties. The difference is that properties define specific variations whereas characteristics define entire items.

With the help of characteristics and properties, for example, you can:

Other ways to characterise products

Do you want to simultaneously characterise your products and create saleable variations, e.g. a t-shirt in the colour red and the size S? This can be done with the help of attributes!

1. Characteristics

Characteristics are passive features of an item. That means they are not linked to stock. With characteristics, you can highlight features of items, for example technical details such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, etc. Such details can also be turned into the filters that customers use to narrow down their search results in the online store.

filter

With the help of so-called order characteristics, you can also sell personalised items. For example, services for an additional fee or special requests when placing an order.

What’s the difference between characteristics and properties?

Characteristics are linked to items. As such, they apply to all variations of the item. Characteristics are out of date and will gradually be replaced by properties. Properties are linked to variations. As such, they are much more flexible.

1.1. Creating characteristic groups

There are two typical applications for characteristic groups. On the one hand, if you have lots of characteristics, then you can group them together so that it’s easier to keep track of them in your plentymarkets back end.

On the other hand, characteristic groups help you sell personalised items in your online store. You can use characteristic groups to sort the additional options and services that you offer under one heading.

Example: Group various trimmings

Imagine you sell wedding rings. Your customers can choose an optional gold or diamond trim for an additional fee. You can create a characteristic group called “Trim” to clearly display these options. Within this group, customers can choose the options “Gold trim” or “Diamond trim”.

Creating a new characteristic group:

  1. Go to Setup » Item » Characteristics.

  2. Click on the New characteristic group tab.

  3. Carry out the settings. Note Table 1.

  4. Save () the settings.

Table 1. Creating a new characteristic group
Setting Explanation

Name (internal)

Enter an internal name for the characteristic group. This name is only visible in the plentymarkets back end:

Language

Is your store available in multiple languages? Then choose a language version from the drop-down list.

Name

Enter a name for the characteristic group in the selected language. The name will be visible to customers in the online store.

Description

Enter a description for the characteristic group in the selected language.

Surcharges

Do you plan on offering extra services or options for an additional fee? If so, then decide whether the surcharge should be treated as a percentage or as a fixed price, e.g. 5% or 5 EUR.

Grouping of order characteristics (type: "none")

How many additional options or services should customers be able to choose from the group?

  • Single selection = Customers will see a drop-down list. They will be able to select one option only.

  • Multiple selection = Customers will see check boxes. They will be able to select multiple options.

Note: This option only applies to order characteristics of the type No.

OTTO characteristic group

If needed, link a characteristic group to OTTO. All of the characteristics in this group will be transferred to OTTO. All of the characteristics will be grouped into a SellingPoint .

  • None = No link to OTTO.

  • SellingPoint with group names = Link to OTTO. The name of the group will be transferred.

  • SellingPoint without group names = Link to OTTO. The name of the group will not be transferred.

1.2. Creating characteristics

Characteristics allow you to highlight a product’s features. For example, you might want to specify technical details like Bluetooth or WLAN. Or you might want to offer extra services and options for an additional fee.

Creating a new characteristic:

  1. Go to Setup » Item » Characteristics.

  2. Click on the New characteristic tab.

  3. Carry out the settings. Note Table 2.

  4. Save () the settings.

Table 2. Creating a new characteristic
Setting Explanation

Name (internal)

Enter an internal name for the characteristic. This name is only visible in the plentymarkets back end:

Webshop

Language

Is your store available in multiple languages? Then choose a language version from the drop-down list.

Name

Enter a name for the characteristic in the selected language. The name will be visible to customers in the online store.

Description

Enter a description for the characteristic in the selected language. The description will be displayed if you place the cursor on the characteristic.

Unit

Is the characteristic something like a weight or a length, e.g. HDMI cables that are longer than 10m? If so, then choose the appropriate unit.

Characteristic group

Should this characteristic be sorted into a specific group? If so, then select the group here.

Note: This drop-down list only includes characteristic groups that were already created.

Characteristic type

What sort of characteristic do you want to create? Choose this characteristic type from the drop-down list.

Note: Once you’ve linked the characteristic to an item, you’ll no longer be able to change the type.

Type What is the type useful for?

No

Customers will only see the name of the characteristic in your online store.

Whole number

Makes it possible to enter a whole number between -2,147,483,648 and 2,147,483,647.

  • Appropriate e.g. for specifying a weight or a length. For example, HDMI cables that are longer than 10m.

Decimal number

Makes it possible to enter a number with decimal places.

  • Appropriate e.g. for displaying measurements in the online store.

Text

As an order characteristic: allows customers, e.g. to enter a personal text that should be printed on a t-shirt.

Selection

As an order characteristic: allows customers, e.g. to choose whether their personal text should be printed in red, blue or black font.

Further options appear when you choose this type.

  1. Enter a name and description for the first possible choice, e.g. red font.

  2. Save () the characteristic.

  3. Scroll down in the window and enter a name and description for the second possible choice, e.g. blue font.

  4. Repeat the procedure until you’ve finished creating all of the different options.

File

As an order characteristic: allows customers, e.g. to upload an image that should be printed on a t-shirt.

Surcharge

Do you want to offer this characteristic for an additional fee? For example, surcharges can be used for:

  • Additional options and services that customers can choose while placing orders.

  • Deposits on glass bottles

Enter a value here if a surcharge is to be added for the characteristic. Surcharges will automatically be added to the item price in the detailed view of an item and in the order process. The value 0.00 is set by default, i.e. no surcharge will be calculated.

Display as additional costs

Select this option () if VAT should not be calculated for the surcharge that was entered.

One possible application is e.g. displaying bottle deposits, which are added to the item price without VAT. Characteristics that have this option selected will be displayed as separate items on invoices etc. These items will be displayed with the ID -2.

Position

Which characteristic should be displayed first, second, third, etc? Enter a position number into this field. If an item has multiple characteristics, then the characteristics will be displayed in the store in ascending order according to their position number.

Searchable

This option relates to the old Shopware connector. It is no longer relevant in most cases. Choose this option () if the characteristic should be found through the old Shopware connector.

Show

Where should the characteristic be displayed? Choose the areas () where your customers should see the characteristic and its surcharge (assuming one exists).

Order characteristic

Select this option () if customers should be allowed to personalise their orders. For example:

  • by entering a personal text that should be engraved.

  • by choosing optional services for an additional fee.

How exactly customers can personalise their orders depends on which type of characteristic you chose.

Note

Enter a note, for example to display specific information about the characteristic.

Characteristic links for markets and price comparison portals

Select the marketplace characteristic from the drop-down list. This links the characteristic with a characteristic on a marketplace like Amazon.

1.3. Linking characteristics to items

Have you finished creating your characteristics and sorting them into groups? Then you’re ready to link your characteristics to items.

For example, if you created a characteristic called “Bluetooth”, then next you would specify which of your products are equipped with Bluetooth.

Linking a characteristic with an item:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Search for and open the item.

  3. Click on the Characteristics tab. The screen is divided into two areas:

    • Characteristics that have already been linked to the item are displayed in the upper area called Characteristics,

    • Characteristics that have not yet been linked are displayed in the lower area called Activate further characteristics. Here, the characteristics are sorted into their groups.

  4. Expand the characteristic group in the lower area if needed () and select the characteristic ().

  5. Save () the settings.
    → The characteristic is now linked to the item and displayed in the upper area.

Linking a characteristic with multiple items

Use the item group function if you want to link several items at once.

Saving additional information

Depending on the scenario, it might be necessary to save additional information. For example, if the characteristic is something like a weight or a length, then it will be necessary to enter a numeric value.

  1. Carry out additional settings in the Characteristics tab. Note Table 3.

  2. Save () the settings.

Modifying the additional information for multiple items

Use the group function in the menu Setup » Item » Characteristics » Tab: Group function if you want to edit this information for several items at once.

  1. Select the characteristic’s language.

  2. Property selection: Choose the characteristic that you want to edit.

  3. Value to be changed: Enter the old value for the characteristic.

  4. New value: Enter the new value for the characteristic.

  5. When you save the settings, the characteristic value will be changed for all of the items that have this value.

2. Properties

Properties help you highlight items, contacts or storage locations. For example, you can use properties to:

  • highlight a variation’s technical features such as Bluetooth or WLAN

  • specify which storage locations are appropriate for items requiring refrigeration

  • display text fields that customers can write additional requests in

Properties are created centrally in the menu Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration and then they are linked to variations, contacts or storage locations.

Properties that are assigned to the Item section are linked to variations. These properties differ from characteristics, which are linked to items. You can create up to 500 variation properties and link them to variations.

Unlike attributes, properties are passive. As such, properties cannot be used to create variations. Properties are not linked to stock and also cannot be selected in the detailed view of an item in the online store.

You can also use properties to link your variations with the properties used on markets like Amazon. Furthermore, your customers can search for properties in the online store and find variations linked to this property.

Practical example: Storing items in the right spot

Do you have items that need to be stored in a specific place? For example, some food items should only be stored in refrigerators or freezers. Characterise your storage locations and make sure your items always end up in the right spot.

What you’ll need to do:

2.1. Creating a property

Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration to create properties. These properties are used for characterising your items. Proceed as described below to create a property.

Creating a property:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration.
    → The overview of the properties opens.

  2. Click on Add property.

  3. In the drop-down list Section, select the option Items.

  4. Carry out the additional settings. Note Table 4.

  5. Save () the settings.
    → The property is created and opened for editing.

Table 4. Creating properties
Setting Explanation

Area

Select a section from the drop-down list where the property should be used.

  • Items = Property will be used for items.

  • Contact = Property will be used for contacts.

  • Storage location = Property will be used for storage locations.

Property type

Select the property type from the drop-down list.

  • None = No property type

  • Whole number = Makes it possible to enter a whole number between -2,147,483,648 and 2,147,483,647.

  • Decimal number = Makes it possible to enter a number with decimal places.

  • Selection = Makes it possible to select multiple options. You can enter up to 65,535 characters for each option and value.

  • Short text = Makes it possible to enter a text that is not formatted and is a maximum of 65,535 characters.

  • Text = Makes it possible to enter and format a text with up to 65,535 characters.

  • Date = Makes it possible to enter a date.

  • File = Allows to upload a file.

Name

Enter a name for the property. This name will for example be displayed in the order process.
Note: The name of the system language is displayed by default. After the property has been created, you can save the name in English. Further languages are planned.

Description

Enter the description of the property.
Note: The description of the system language is displayed by default. After the property has been created, you can save the description in English. Further languages are planned.

Group

Select a property group from the drop-down list to assign the property to this group. This is optional.
Tip: Click on Add property group to create a group.

Position

Enter the position number for the property. Properties are sorted by the position number in ascending order.
Tip: Count by tens when creating position numbers. This will allow you to easily add new properties in between.

2.2. Editing a property

You can find all properties in the Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration menu. You can modify the settings described in Table 4.

Editing a property:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration.

  2. Click on Search to see all properties.
    Tip: Select filters to limit the search results.

  3. Click on the property.
    → The General tab opens.

  4. Edit the settings. Note Table 5.

  5. Save () the settings.

Table 5. Editing properties
Setting Explanation

View General

Position

Enter the new position to change the order of the properties.

Units

This setting is currently without function.

Order property

Activate this option to make sure that the property is displayed in the order process.

Display as additional costs

Activate to show the surcharge as additional costs.

Name;
Description

For multilingualism, enter name and description for other languages.

View Visibility

Client (store)

Select one or more clients (stores) that the property should be activated for.

Visibility

Select one or more types that the property should be visible for.

Values

Only visible for property type Selection

Enter the values that should be displayed in the drop-down list.
Click on Add value to create a value.

  • Name = Enter a name for the property value.

2.3. Searching for a property

You can manage properties centrally in the Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration menu. After opening the menu, start the search to display the properties. In order to search for specific properties, enter a search term in the search fields. The drop-down lists will help you to search for properties that share specific criteria. You can combine as many search filters as you like.

Searching for a property:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration.

  2. In the Filter view, enter the search term in the search field or set the filter options in the drop-down lists. Note Table 6.

  3. Click on Search.
    → The properties that correspond to the search criteria entered are displayed.

  4. Click in the line of the property.
    → The detail view of the property opens.

Table 6. Filters for the properties
Setting Explanation

Search

Click on Search without selecting any filter settings. This will display all properties.
Or: Limit the search results by using filters and click on Search.
→ The properties found are listed in the overview.

Reset

Resets the selected filter criteria.

ID

Each property automatically receives a consecutive and unique ID.

Name

Enter the name to search for the property with this name. It is also possible to search only for parts of the name.

Language

Select a language to only display properties for which a name has been saved in this language.

Group

Select the group to only display properties that are assigned to this group.

  • Select Not grouped to only display properties that are not assigned to a group.

  • Select Grouped to only display properties that are assigned to a group.

Area

Select an area to only display properties that are used in this area.

Property type

Select a property type to only display properties of this type.

2.4. Deleting a property

You can delete one or more properties at the same time.

2.4.1. Deleting one property

Proceed as described below to irreversibly delete a property if it is no longer needed.

Deleting one property:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration.

  2. Optional: Select filters to limit the search results.

  3. Start the search.

  4. Click on the property.
    → The property opens.

  5. Click on Delete property.
    → A window appears and you need to confirm your decision.

  6. Click on Delete.
    → The property is deleted and removed from the overview.

2.4.2. Deleting multiple properties

Proceed as described below to irreversibly delete multiple properties if they are no longer needed.

Deleting multiple properties:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration.

  2. Optional: Select filters to limit the search results.

  3. Start the search.

  4. Activate the properties that you want to delete.

  5. Click on Delete.
    → A window appears and you need to confirm your decision.

  6. Click on Delete.
    → The selected properties are deleted and removed from the overview.

2.5. Grouping properties

Create property groups to summarise multiple properties. Proceed as described below to create a property group.

Creating a property group:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Groups.

  2. Click on Add property group.

  3. Carry out the settings. Note Table 7.

  4. Save () the settings.
    → The property group is created.

Table 7. Creating a new property group
Setting Explanation

Name

Enter the name for the property group.
Note: The name of the system language is displayed by default. After the property group has been created, you can save the name in English. Further languages are planned.

Description

Enter the description for the property group.
Note: The description of the system language is displayed by default. After the property group has been created, you can save the description in English. Further languages are planned.

Position

Enter the position number for the property group. Properties are sorted by the position number in ascending order.
Tip: Count by tens when creating position numbers. This will allow you to easily add new property groups in between.

Group type

Select the group type from the drop-down list. This option determines how properties of the type Empty are displayed in the order process.

  • None = Properties will not be grouped by default.

  • Select = One of the grouped properties can be selected from the drop-down list.

  • Multiselect = Multiple properties can be selected. Note: This option only applies for properties of the type None for which the Order process option has been activated.

Surcharge type

Select the type of surcharge from the drop-down list.

  • Flat = The surcharge will be entered as flat amount.

  • Percent = The surcharge is entered as percentage.

2.5.1. Assigning properties to a group

Proceed as described below to assign one or more properties to a property group.

Assigning properties to a group:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Configuration.

  2. Optional: Select filters to limit the search results.

  3. Start the search.

  4. Activate the properties that you want to assign to the group.

  5. Click on Assign property group.
    → A drop-down list of property groups opens.

  6. Select the property group from the drop-down list.

  7. Click on Group function.
    → The selected properties are assigned to the property group.

2.5.2. Deleting property groups

You can delete one or more property groups at the same time. Properties that are assigned to groups will remain unaffected when deleting property groups.

Deleting a property group

Proceed as described below to irreversibly delete a property group if it is no longer needed.

Deleting one property group:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Groups.

  2. Optional: Select filters to limit the search results.

  3. Start the search.

  4. Click on the property group.
    → The detail view of the property group opens.

  5. Click on Delete group.
    → A window appears and you need to confirm your decision.

  6. Click on Delete.
    → The property group is deleted and removed from the overview.
    Note: When you delete a property group, the properties that are assigned to the group are not deleted.

Deleting multiple property groups

Proceed as described below to irreversibly delete multiple property groups if they are no longer needed.

Deleting multiple property groups:

  1. Go to Setup » Settings » Properties » Groups.

  2. Optional: Select filters to limit the search results.

  3. Start the search.

  4. Activate the property groups that you want to delete.

  5. Click on Delete.
    → A window appears and you need to confirm your decision.

  6. Click on Delete.
    → The selected property groups are deleted and removed from the overview.
    Note: When you delete a property group, the properties that are assigned to the group are not deleted.

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