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Setting up a catalogue of items

Have you already set up countries of delivery and divided them into regions, set up the shipping profile and defined shipping costs? Not yet? Return to setting up shipping options.

Now you can add your products to plentymarkets.

1. Getting prepared

plentymarkets manages some item information centrally and links it to variations. So before you can create variations, you have to save this information in the system. The following item information must exist in the system before you can create items and variations:

  • Categories

  • Attributes

  • Sales prices

Now you will learn how to save this information in plentymarkets.

1.1. Creating categories

You can use categories of the type item to structure your product portfolio and organise the items in your online store. Each item must be assigned to at least one category.

The Ceres online store can have either 2 or up to 4 category levels:

  • 1 main category + 1 subcategory

    • The default navigation bar displays a maximum of one other category level below the main categories.

  • 1 main category \+ up to 3 subcategories

    • The mega menu displays up to three more levels below the main category.

Planning the category structure

Think about which categories and subcategories make sense for your products. How should you sort your items so that customers can easily find their way around your store? Before you get started, compile this information. You can use a tree diagram to make finding appropriate product groups easier.

To create a main category, proceed as described below.

Creating a main category:

  1. Go to Item » Category.

  2. From the drop-down list, select the client you want to create the category for.
    Tip: The default client is preselected by default.

  3. Click on New category in the bottom left corner.
    → The Create new category window opens.

  4. Enter a name.
    Tip: Main category is selected by default.

  5. Click on Create.
    → The category is created.
    → The Settings tab of the category opens.

  6. Enter a position. The position determines in which order the categories will be displayed in the online store. Every new category has a default position of 0.
    Tip: Count by tens when creating position numbers. This will allow you to easily add new categories in between.

  7. Activate the Client (store) checkbox to display that category for the respective client.

  8. Enter a Meta title.
    Tip: The meta title will appear in the browser tab.

  9. Save the settings.
    → The category is created.
    Note: The category will only appear in the online store if at least one of the items linked to the category is visible for that client.

Now create a subcategory for your new main category.

Creating a subcategory:

  1. Go to Item » Category.

  2. Click on New category in the bottom left corner.
    → The Create new category window opens.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Select Subcategory.

  5. Select the main category you want to create the subcategory for.
    Tip: If you want to create a subcategory on the third or fourth level, click on the folder icon to open the main category. Open the subcategory folders the same way until you reach the category you want to create a new subcategory for.

  6. Click on Create.
    → The category is created.
    → The Settings tab of the category opens.

  7. Enter a position. The position determines in which order the categories will be displayed in the online store. Every new category has a default position of 0.
    Tip: Count by tens when creating position numbers. This will allow you to easily add new categories in between.

  8. Activate the Client (store) checkbox to display that category for the respective client.

  9. Enter a Meta title.
    Tip: The meta title will appear in the browser tab.

  10. Save the settings.
    → The category is created.
    Note: The category will only appear in the online store if at least one of the items linked to the category is visible for that client.

New categories not showing up in the online store?

If your categories do not appear in the online store, have a look at our [artikel/best-practices/best-practices_kategorien]check list for category visibility>> (only available in German).

1.2. Creating attributes

Attributes are used to create variations. Variations are different models of the same item. They are all similar, but differ in one or multiple properties. Some typical attributes are e.g. colours and sizes. To prevent you from having to create a separate item for each of your products, plentymarkets creates attributes for these properties and assigns them to an item. To give you an example, we will describe how to create a colour attribute below.

Example

You want to sell an item in 3 colours. Customers should be able to choose one of the 3 colours when buying the item. Instead of creating 3 items, we will create one item with three variations. We will use attribute values to create these variations.

Creating the "Colour" attribute:

  1. Go to Setup » Item » Attributes.

  2. Click on New attribute.
    → The New attribute window opens.

  3. Enter a Name (internal), e.g. Colour.
    Tip: The internal name will not be visible in the online store.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The attribute is created.
    → The Basic settings tab of the attribute opens.

  5. Click on the Name tab.

  6. Enter a name for the attribute for each language you will use in your online store.
    → This name is shown in the online store.

  7. Save the settings.

Now you can create attribute values for the attribute. As an example, we will create the value “Green”.

Creating the value “Green” for the “Colour” attribute:

  1. Click on the Values tab.

  2. Click on New value.
    → The New value window opens.

  3. Enter a Name (internal), e.g. Green.
    Tip: The internal name will not be visible in the online store.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The value is created.
    → The value is displayed in the list.

  5. Enter a name for the value in the Name column.
    Tip: The internal name is used by default.
    → This name is shown in the online store.

  6. Optional: If you offer your products in multiple languages, select the other languages from the Show language drop-down list.

  7. Optional: Enter the name of the value in this language in the Name column.
    → This name will be shown in the online store later on.

  8. Save the settings.

1.3. Adjusting the sales price

Define conditions for item prices and special reduced prices. For example, do you want to sell items at a lower price in your online store than on Amazon? No problem! In this step, you can specify the conditions for individual marketplaces, customer classes, countries of delivery, etc.

Open the Setup menu and search for the Sales prices assistant. Once you’ve completed the assistant, you can link your new sales prices with all of the relevant variations and enter the actual prices.

2. Understanding the item structure

By now you have entered the following information required to create your products in plentymarkets:

  • Categories

  • Attributes

  • Sales price

Before you start entering item data into the system, take a look at the item overview and the item structure. We will explain how the item overview works and introduce you to the example items preconfigured in your new system.

2.1. Understanding the item overview

Go to Item » Edit item. This is where you can access all items and variations. In this item overview you can search for items and variations, edit them and create new items.

There are filters in the column on the left. Use them to search for specific subsets of items. When you’re first getting started, the most important filter is the Active filter. This filter specifies whether you only want to see the items and variations that are currently visible in your online store. This filter is set to Yes by default. Once you have many items and variations, this filter will help you edit your items quicker. However, it can also cause some confusion in the beginning because inactive items will not be displayed when you click on Search, unless you have set the filter to No or ALL.

2.2. Understanding the example items

Your plentymarkets system contains some example items and variations. They will help you understand the structure of items and variations before entering your own data.

We will give you a brief overview of the item structure using these examples.

2.2.1. Displaying example items

Displaying example items:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Click on Search in the top left corner.
    → The item overview displays the example items.

  3. Open the following items:

    • The single item “Lounge chair Floating Water” (item ID 123)

    • The variation item “Two-seater Paradise Now” (item ID 132)

  4. Click through the tabs of both the items and the variations to familiarise yourself with the settings.
    Table 1 compares both items.

  5. Test the inheritance functionality:

    1. Link the variation 1065 of item 132 to another category in the Categories tab.
      → The previously inherited variation category is saved directly.
      → The inheritance is deactivated.

    2. Click on Activate inheritance.
      → The category you linked is removed.
      → The category of the main variation is applied.

Table 1. Single and variation items
Single item Variation item

Item ID

123

132

Name 1

Lounge chair Floating Water

Two-seater Paradise Now

Main variation ID

1021

1030

Main variation purchasable

Yes
Tip: For single items, the product should match the main variation.

No
Tip: For variation items, the main variation should not be a purchasable product. In this case, the main variation only exists to supply the variations of the item with data through inheritance.

Variation ID

 — 

1065 - red
1066 - white

Manufacturer

A & C Design

Exclusive Leather

Sales price

Price
RRP

Price
RRP
Tip: Variations do not inherit prices from the main variation.

Category

Living room » Armchairs & Stools

Living room » Sofas
Tip: Variations inherit the category from the main variation.

Attribute value combination
(Attribute:Attribute value)

---

1065 - Couch color:red
1066 - Couch color:white
Tip: The main variation is not linked to any attribute.

Client (store)

Standard Shop

Standard Shop
Tip: Variations inherit the client from the main variation.

2.3. Deleting the example items

Now that you have examined the example items, they have served their purpose and you can delete them. This way, you can ensure that you start off with a clean system that does not contain any unnecessary data. The fastest way to delete the example items is to use the group function.

Deleting the example items using the group function:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Set the Active filter to ALL.

  3. Click on Search.
    → All items saved in the system are displayed.

  4. Click on the checkbox in the top left corner to select all of the displayed items.

  5. Click on Item group function.
    → The Item group function window opens.

  6. Select Delete item.

  7. Click on Execute.
    → All items are deleted from the system.

3. Creating items and variations

It is finally time: You get to enter your very own items in plentymarkets. Depending on how many items you want to start with and how you have managed your item data so far, you have two ways of entering the data into the system:

  • Create items manually
    Tip: Once you have created your first item, you can work faster by copying this item and modifying the copy.

  • Import item data from a CSV file
    Tip: Even if you import your items, you should create at least one item manually to become familiar with the item structure. Remember to delete that example item before importing your data.

We will describe both ways below.

Changes not visible immediately

New variations and changes to variation data are not available in the online store and exports immediately. For more information on how to check if the variation data is up to date, see the manual page Checking status of item data.

3.1. Creating items manually

Now you will create your first item and make it ready for sale. To help you get started as quickly as possible, we will only describe the most necessary settings here to ensure that you can sell the item in your online store.

Creating items manually:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Click on New.
    → The New item tab opens.
    Tip: The Standard item type is preselected by default.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Enter a number for the content.

  5. Select a unit for this content from the drop-down list.

  6. Click on the category.
    → This will become the default category for the item’s main variation.

  7. Enter a Price.

  8. Save the settings.
    → The item is created.
    → A main variation is created.
    → The item’s Global tab opens.

  9. Adjust the other settings as necessary. Pay attention to the information given in Table 2.
    Tip: The settings described in Table 2 refer to the various tabs within the item’s editing window. The tab is displayed as a subheading in the table.

  10. Save the settings.
    Note: New items and changes to item data are not available in the online store and exports immediately.
    Tip: View of a preview of the item:

    1. Click on the preview icon in the save bar of the item.
      → The Client (store) window is displayed.

    2. Use the drop-down list to specify which Plugin Set you want to see a preview of.

    3. Use the drop-down list to specify which Client (store) you want to see a preview of.
      Tip: These settings are preselected next time you click on the preview icon.

    4. Click on Execute.
      → A preview of the item is shown.

Table 2. Item settings
Setting Explanation

ID

plentymarkets can automatically assign a consecutive number (recommended).
Alternatively, you can enter a custom item ID when creating an item. The ID may only contain numbers. IDs must be unique, i.e. they may only be used once per system.

Tab: Global

Shipping profiles

Activate the DHL shipping profile. No shipping profile is selected by default.
Note: Activate at least one shipping profile per item. Otherwise the shipping costs will not be calculated correctly.

Tab: Variation ID » Settings

Active

Activate the item. Items will only be displayed in the online store when they are active.

Availability

Select the availability level.
Tip: You are legally obligated to inform consumers about your products’ delivery periods. Go to Setup » Item » Availability to find default texts for 5 availability levels. Modify these texts if necessary.

Show in online store:
Available automatically if net stock is positive; Not available automatically if net stock is 0 or negative

Activate both options. This way, the variation will be available and purchasable if net stock is positive and not purchasable otherwise.

Sales price

Add Price sales price and enter a price.

Barcode

Add a barcode and enter a code.

ASIN/ePID

Add ASIN/ePID and enter the ASIN or ePID.

Gross weight;
Net weight

Enter the weight in grams or kilograms.
Note: This information is necessary if you want to calculate shipping costs based on weight.

VAT

Select the product’s VAT rate.
Tip: To maintain the VAT rates, go to Setup » Client » Select client » Location » Select location » Accounting.

Tab: Variation ID » Availability

Client (store): Available

Select all clients (stores) where the variation should be available.

Tab: Texts

Name 1

Enter the item name.
Tip: This name is shown in the online store. The name applies for all variations of this item.

Item text

Enter the item text. The item text is a detailed product description. It is displayed in the online store.

3.2. Creating variations manually

Great! Now you have created your first item. You probably noticed than when creating a new item, you always create a main variation. If you only want to sell single items, the main variation is the same as your product. If you want to group your products as variations of the same item, you should create more variations next.

Inheritance

Any time you create a variation, this variation inherits the following settings from the main variation:

  • Availability settings

  • Sales price and price

  • Category

  • Supplier

  • Warehouse

  • Client availability

Because of this, when creating an item with multiple variations, we recommend that you treat the main variation as a virtual instance and only use it to pass on data to the variations. If you do not want a variation to inherit one or multiple settings, you can disable inheritance for this variation and enter separate data for it.

Creating one or multiple variations:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Click on the Variations tab.

  4. Click on New.
    → The Create new variations window opens.

  5. Enter a number for the content.

  6. Select a unit for this content from the drop-down list.

  7. Select one or multiple attributes.
    → The Combinations information displays how many variations will be created.

  8. Click on Create variations.
    → The variations are created.
    → The variation overview displays the variations.
    Tip: The variations inherit all inheritable settings from the main variation.
    Note: New variations and changes to variation data are not available in the online store and exports immediately.
    Tip: View a preview of the variation:

    1. Click on the preview icon in the save bar of the variation.
      → The Client (store) window is displayed.

    2. Use the drop-down list to specify which Plugin Set you want to see a preview of.

    3. Use the drop-down list to specify which Client (Store) you want to see a preview of.

    4. Click on Execute.
      → A preview of the variation is shown.

Copying an item

If you want to sell multiple similar items, you can save time during item creation by copying an item and adjusting it. Click on the Copy symbol in the top bar of the item.

3.3. Importing items and variations

Of course it is not a problem if you want to import a large number of items all at once. To import items and variations, you need to have this data saved in a CSV file on your computer.

Create an example item before the import

Even if you import your items, you should create at least one item manually to become familiar with the item structure. Remember to delete that example item before importing your data.

3.3.1. Understanding the concept

To make importing your items easier, we have prepared an example CSV file which contains all data fields required to important sellable items.

The CSV file contains a single item and a variation item with one virtual main variation and 3 more variations.

Download the sample CSV file and familiarise yourself with the file structure.

Column titles

We’ve given the column titles the exact same names as the fields you enter as targets during mapping in ElasticSync.

3.3.2. Creating your own import file

Now you can prepare the CSV file containing your item data. Open the Setup menu and search for the Item import assistant. It creates an import template for item data that is tailored to your needs. Once you’ve completed the assistant, you’ll download the import template and fill your own item data into the file.

Have you finished all of the prep work?

Before you start importing data, make sure you’ve saved all of the information that you want to link with items and variations. In order to create items in plentymarkets, you need the following information at minimum:

  • Categories

  • Attributes

  • Sales prices

3.3.3. Uploading your file

Are you ready to upload your item data in plentymarkets? Open the Setup menu and search for the Upload data assistant.

Looking for more comprehensive import options?

Do you have a specific job in mind and you can’t complete it with assistants? Or are you looking for more comprehensive import options than are included in the assistants? ElasticSync is the right tool for complex and comprehensive data imports!

4. Saving item images

When you imported your items, you were able to save a URL for images that are available online. If your item images are not available online, you can save the images manually as described below.

If you have already imported your item images during the item import, you can directly go to the check list.

4.1. Uploading item images

You can save images in the item’s Images tab and then link these images to item variations. You can upload up to 25 images per item. These images can be in JPG/JPEG or PNG format.

Using the FTP upload

You should transfer larger quantities of images to the server via FTP upload. Note that the image files are named correctly, so that the images can be assigned to the correct items and variations during upload.

Saving images for an item:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Click on the Images tab of the item.

  4. Drag and drop new images in the Insert new image section.
    Or: Click on Select files.

  5. Use the Availability drop-down list to select the clients and/or referrers for which you want do use the image.

  6. Save the settings.

4.2. Linking item images with variations

Now link the images saved for the item to one or more of its variations. Proceed as described below.

Linking item images to variations:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Click on the Images tab of the item.
    → A preview of all images saved for the item is displayed.

  4. Select the images you want to link to one or multiple variations.

  5. Click on Variation link at the bottom of the page.
    → The Variation link window opens.

  6. Select the variations you want to link the selected images to.

  7. Click on Link.
    → The images are linked to the selected variations.

5. Check list item catalogue

Work through the check list in order to review your settings for the item catalogue.

  • [ ] Did you create appropriate categories for your items?

  • [ ] Did you create description texts for all items?

  • [ ] Did you set the correct item availability levels?

  • [ ] Did you select the availability of all items you want to offer in your online store?

  • [ ] Did you check that all prices are displayed correctly in the online store?

6. More about setting up a catalogue of items

6.2. Managing items

Using cross-selling

You want to draw attention to other products of interest directly from an item? Set up cross-selling.

6.3. Managing item images

6.4. Importing data

Continue with Booking stock.
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