Parent / child relationships

Another important thing to consider before starting to sell products via marketplaces is multiple variants of the same product. For example a t-shirt: this comes in several sizes and in some cases also in multiple colors.

In order to get several sizes connected and variations (children) connected to the same product (the parent) the children need to include the parents unique identifier numbers. For an example, see the XML-file below:

<Products>
    <Product>
        <Id>25320</Id>
        <MerchantProductNo>001201-blue</MerchantProductNo>
        <Name>T-shirt with short sleeves BASIC</Name>
        <Description>
        <br><br> Basic t-shirt with short sleeves. The model has a tight fit and is available in 2 colors.
        <br><br>Material:</br> 92% cotton 8% elastane.
        </Description>
        <Price>15.00</Price>
        <MSRP>24.99</MSRP>
        <PurchasePrice>10.00</PurchasePrice>
        <Stock>0</Stock>
        <ShippingCost>3.95</ShippingCost>
        <ShippingTime>
        Ordered on working days before 17:00, delivered the next day.
        </ShippingTime>
        <Brand>MyBrand</Brand>
        <Url>http://www.myshop.com/shirt-basic-blue</Url>
        <ParentMerchantProductNo/>
        <ParentId/>
        <ImageUrl>http://feeds.channelengine.net/shirt-basic-blue.jpg</ImageUrl>
        <Category>Women > Tops > T-shirts > Shortsleeve > Basic</Category>
        <VendorProductNo>120675B</VendorProductNo>
        <Color>Blue</Color>
        <Size/>
        <EAN/>
        <Type>parent</Type>
    </Product>
    <Product>
        <Id>25321</Id>
        <MerchantProductNo>001201-blue-S</MerchantProductNo>
        <Name>T-shirt with short sleeves BASIC Blue: S</Name>
        <Description>
        <br><br> Basic t-shirt with short sleeve. The model has a tight fit and is available in 2 colors.
        <br><br>Material:</br> 92% cotton 8% elastane.
        </Description>
        <Price>15.00</Price>
        <MSRP>24.99</MSRP>
        <PurchasePrice>10.00</PurchasePrice>
        <Stock>0</Stock>
        <ShippingCost>3.95</ShippingCost>
        <ShippingTime>This product is currently out of stock</ShippingTime>
        <Brand>MyBrand</Brand>
        <Url>http://www.myshop.com/shirt-basic-blue</Url>
        <ParentMerchantProductNo>001201</ParentMerchantProductNo>
        <ParentId>25320</ParentId>
        <ImageUrl>http://feeds.channelengine.net/shirt-basic-blue.jpg</ImageUrl>
        <Category>Women > Tops > T-shirts > Shortsleeve > Basic</Category>
        <VendorProductNo>120675BS</VendorProductNo>
        <Color>Blue</Color>
        <Size>S</Size>
        <EAN>8719351029609</EAN>
        <Type>child</Type>
    </Product>
    <Product>
        <Id>25322</Id>
        <MerchantProductNo>001201-blue-M</MerchantProductNo>
        <Name>T-shirt with short sleeves BASIC Blue: M</Name>
        <Description>
        <br><br> Basic t-shirt with short sleeve. The model has a tight fit and is available in 2 colors.
        <br><br>Material:</br> 92% cotton 8% elastane.
        </Description>
        <Price>15.00</Price>
        <MSRP>24.99</MSRP>
        <PurchasePrice>10.00</PurchasePrice>
        <Stock>3</Stock>
        <ShippingCost>3.95</ShippingCost>
        <ShippingTime>Ordered on working days before 17:00, delivered the next day.</ShippingTime>
        <Brand>MyBrand</Brand>
        <Url>http://www.myshop.com/shirt-basic-blue</Url>
        <ParentMerchantProductNo>001201</ParentMerchantProductNo>
        <ParentId>25320</ParentId>
        <ImageUrl>http://feeds.channelengine.net/shirt-basic-blue.jpg</ImageUrl>
        <Category>Women > Tops > T-shirts > Shortsleeve > Basic</Category>
        <VendorProductNo>120675BM</VendorProductNo>
        <Color>Blue</Color>
        <Size>M</Size>
        <EAN>8719351029610</EAN>
        <Type>child</Type>
    </Product>
    <Product>
        <Id>25323</Id>
        <MerchantProductNo>001201-blue-L</MerchantProductNo>
        <Name>T-shirt with short sleeves BASIC Blue: L</Name>
        <Description>
        <br><br> Basic t-shirt with short sleeve. The model has a tight fit and is available in 2 colors.
        <br><br>Material:</br> 92% cotton 8% elastane.
        </Description>
        <Price>15.00</Price>
        <MSRP>24.99</MSRP>
        <PurchasePrice>10.00</PurchasePrice>
        <Stock>11</Stock>
        <ShippingCost>3.95</ShippingCost>
        <ShippingTime>Ordered on working days before 17:00, delivered the next day.</ShippingTime>
        <Brand>MyBrand</Brand>
        <Url>http://www.myshop.com/shirt-basic-blue</Url>
        <ParentMerchantProductNo>001201</ParentMerchantProductNo>
        <ParentId>25320</ParentId>
        <ImageUrl>http://feeds.channelengine.net/shirt-basic-blue.jpg</ImageUrl>
        <Category>Women > Tops > T-shirts > Shortsleeve > Basic</Category>
        <VendorProductNo>120675BL</VendorProductNo>
        <Color>Blue</Color>
        <Size>L</Size>
        <EAN>8719351029611</EAN>
        <Type>child</Type>
    </Product>
</Products>

The XML-file contains 1 parent (SKU 25320) and 3 children in 3 different sizes. If there for example is also a yellow variant of the same color, a similar tree could be created with something like 001201-blue being the parent.

Note: it is important that every child has its own price, stock, MerchantProductNo and EAN. If you for example only use 1 EAN for multiple sizes, most marketplaces will reject this. “Parents” are generally speaking unsaleable products, but are necessary to forward to ChannelEngine in order to correctly set parent-child relations for marketplaces that support this.

While some CMS, PIM or ERP systems allow sizes or colors to be an ‘option’ of a parent product and this works fine for your own webshop(s), this will make it very hard or impossible to sell these individual products (children) on marketplaces.

In some cases a ‘grandparent’ can also exist (but not every marketplace supports this). This would the common parent of a particular type and could also be applied to the previous XML example. This would result in:

<MerchantProductNo>001201</MerchantProductNo>
 <MerchantProductNo>001201-yellow</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-yellow-S</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-yellow-M</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-yellow-L</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-blue</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-blue-S</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-blue-M</MerchantProductNo>
<MerchantProductNo>001201-blue-L</MerchantProductNo>

This grandparent is optional and usually only relevant in case of fashion products.