ChannelEngine: content mappings

About this document

This document describes the content mapping process on ChannelEngine.

Table of contents


Mapping attributes


To export product content to a channel, relevant product information must be available. The requirements and complexity involved differ per channel, but the parameters below should be available to facilitate the mapping.

It is possible to create product content without categories and/or relevant product information, but it requires several rules and plenty of manual input for each channel – therefore it is not recommended, unless used incidentally.

Content mapping basics

  • Categories should be as specific as possible. E.g.: 'bag' or 'luggage' is not enough deep enough, luggage > bags > shoulder bags is preferable.
  • Certain attributes are required for all marketplaces. E.g.: description, EAN, main product image, SKU, product title, etc.
  • Other attributes are often required. E.g.: color, material, short description, size, etc.

Mapping attributes

Before you can map attributes for specific product types, you need to categorize products. The only exceptions to this are API, custom, and affiliate channels, which do not require direct categorization. In this case, attributes can be mapped under All products.

To start mapping content, go to Mappings > Content mappings. At the top you see All products, and below you see all the categories that you have used under the Categorization tab. 

NB: if none or not all products are visible in the content mapping overview, there is no product selection or it might not be stored correctly. Try saving it again. Also, if some products are not categorized and this is mandatory for the channel, they are not listed in the content mapping screen.

ChannelEngine back-end: content mappings

  • # products - the number of products mapped to this channel category.
  • Required - the number of attributes required for the category, how many are already mapped, and how many have to be mapped. This field is green when the required attributes have been mapped and yellow if there are still attributes that have to be mapped. The counter checks if a channel attribute is mapped with a specific ChannelEngine attribute, but this it does not guarantee that every product in the category has a value for that attribute. 
  • Optional - the number of attributes that are not required but can be mapped. Without these attributes your product is still pushed to the marketplace, but the more you have mapped the greater the visibility of the product on the marketplace. This, in turn, tends to lead to a higher conversion rate.

Select the name of a category with missing attributes so you can map them. In the example below, All products is used. These are the attributes that are global (i.e.: required for every category), such as the Description, EAN, Main product image, SKU, and Product title.

ChannelEngine back-end: content mappings

To map an attribute, select the dropdown directly below the attribute you want to map. It presents you with five high-level options to map the attribute:

  • Not mapped - if mapping the attribute is not mandatory, you can select the option Not mapped. Bear in mind that the more content you map, the more visible your product can be.
  • Advanced rule - select this option if you do not have structured data for a mandatory attribute, but the information can be taken from a different attribute. Color, for instance, is often mentioned in the product title. You can extract it and use it as an attribute by using an Advanced rule. E.g.: if the title contains 'red', then use 'red' as the color attribute.
  • Fixed value - useful if you want to apply the same attribute value to all products, but you do not have an attribute with this information. Each product gets this value for the chosen attribute. A common example for this is Season, for fashion products. While not every merchant has an attribute in their product information for Season, this can be solved by using Never out of stock as a fixed value.
  • ChannelEngine field - select this option to access the default ChannelEngine attributes under the bottom dropdown, such as Name, Brand, Merchant product number, etc.
  • Custom field - select this option to access your custom fields under the bottom dropdown.
  • Price rule output - select this option to access an existing price rule.

Once a high-level option is chosen, a new dropdown menu appears below it to provide you with options specific to your selection.

There are two additional things to note when mapping content attributes:

  • Optional mappings

ChannelEngine back-end: edit option mapping

    Certain channels require attributes to be translated or converted to specific values. In this case, the attribute displays the button Edit advanced rule. Select it to see a list of your own attribute values and a field in which you can search a corresponding value from the channel. This works in a similar way as the categorization.

  • Replacement tags
  • In some cases, you might want to use the combined output of several attributes or extract a distinct part from an attribute. To accomplish this you can use replacement tags as a fixed value or in advanced rules.

Once everything is categorized and mapped, new product information is automatically exported to the channel. This is done by the Export product data to channel task on ChannelEngine. This task is automatically scheduled once a channel is activated.

NB: only products with all the required attributes filled are exported to the channel.
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