Product feeds: using Google Sheets

About this document

This document describes how to use Google Sheets to create a product feed.

Table of contents

Introduction

Creating a file

Publishing to the Web

Setting up the feed on ChannelEngine

Introduction

When creating or updating products on channels, a large amount of information is required. While this product information may be in one of your systems (e.g.: CMS, ERP, webshop, etc.), some required attributes may still be lacking. If there is no way to add that information to your system, a good alternative is to add product information to ChannelEngine via Google Sheets.

Creating a file

This guide does not include steps on how to create a Google account, but if you do not have one you can follow these steps.

  1. If you have already created a file to use as a feed, skip this step. If not, create a new spreadsheet file.
  2. Create a blank spreadsheet on Google Sheets

  3. Add at least one column for your Merchant product number/SKU. Note that the values here must be identical to the values under Merchant product number on ChannelEngine, as this is what connects the data. Add columns to represent whatever attributes you want to update from this file.
  4. Product feed: merchant product number

  5. If you are unsure of the correct identifier used as the Merchant product number, look up the product on ChannelEngine.
  6. ChannelEngine back-end: product details

  7. When you are done setting up the columns and rows, save the document as a CSV file so it can be read as a feed. Make sure that every attribute has its own column in the sheet.

Publishing to the Web

  1. To create a public file that can be read by ChannelEngine, go to File > Publish to the web.
  2. Google Sheets: publish to the web

  3. The relevant options available are listed below:
  4. Google Sheets: comma-separated values (.csv)

    • Link - select Entire document or a specific Tab, as long as this tab contains the required product information.
    • Embed - choose Comma-separated values (.csv) or Tab-separated values (.tsv). If you select any other file extension, ChannelEngine is unable to parse the data and change product information accordingly.
    • NB: make sure not to enable Require viewers to sign in with their [COMPANY] account under the Published content and settings section. If you do so, external access remains disabled and ChannelEngine is unable to parse the feed.
  5. Once everything is set up correctly, select Publish. You get a confirmation prompt, which you need to agree with.
  6. Copy the link you are presented with. This is the feed to add to ChannelEngine in the next step. Make sure that the link includes the suffix pub?output=csv or pub?output=tsv, according to the file extension you chose.

    Google Sheets: feed link

Setting up the feed on ChannelEngine

For a complete guide on setting up a product feed on ChannelEngine, check out the ChannelEngine: product feeds article. Below are a few steps on how to set this up by using the previous example feed. The exact steps and complexity may vary depending on your setup.

  1. Go to Products > Product feeds, and add a new feed by selecting + Add feed.
  2. Paste the feed link from step 4 in the Publishing to the Web (CSV) section.
  3. Select the correct delimiter and press Continue. If you selected CSV, the delimiter is a comma. If you selected TSV, it is a tab.
  4. ChannelEngine back-end: select the delimiter

  5. Enable the Additional? setting for this feed, under Settings.
  6. If you used column names that reflect or resemble the names used by ChannelEngine, the expected attributes may already be pre-selected. You can identify them by the green highlight and the light bulb icon. If not, select the correct attributes from the Google Sheet feed. Once again, it is very important to select the correct Merchant product number attribute, as it connects the feed data with the existing product on the channel. Set all the attributes that are not in the feed to Not mapped - Keep value.
  7. ChannelEngine back-end: mappings

  8. Once everything is mapped correctly, select Save to store the new feed and its mappings. An import must be performed before the new data is reflected on ChannelEngine.
NB: if you use a Google Sheet file for an attribute's leading content, it is highly recommended to unmap it in other feeds or sources of data input. E.g.: if there is a leading feed where the Name is also mapped, though with a value such as 'oven', the feed overwrites the correct title whenever it is imported again.
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