Channels: Content mapping

Necessities for content mapping

In order to be able to forward product content to a channel/marketplace, relevant product information should be available. What is needed and how difficult it is to create the content is different for each channel, but the things below should be available to make mapping easy. Note: it is possible to create content without products having categories and or relevant product information, but you would be forced to use lot's of rules and manual input (for each channel) - therefore it is strongly unadvised unless used incidentally.

Recommend available input:

  • Categories (preferably as deep as possible - so 'Bag' or 'Luggage' is not very deep. 'Luggage > Bags > Shoulderbags' is)
  • Attributes that are required for all marketplaces (description, EAN, main product image, SKU, product name or title)
  • Attributes that are often required (colour, material, short description, size)

Attribute mapping

Before you can map attributes for specific product types, you will always need to categorise products first. The only exception to this are channels (API, custom and affiliate) which don't require any direct categorisation. In that case attributes can be mapped on 'All products'.

To start with content mapping, go to ' Mappings' > 'Content mappings'. At the top you will first see a label ‘All products’ and underneath that you’ll see all the categories that you’ve categorised in the 'Categorisation'-tab. 

Please note: If no or not all products are visible in the content mapping overview, there is no product selection / listing or it might not be stored correctly (try saving it again). Also, if (some) products are not categorised and it is mandatory for the channels, those will also not be listed in the content mapping screen.
Figure 3: Overview of the content mapping screen.
  • In the ‘# products’ column you see how many products there are currently assigned (mapped) to this channel category.
  • In the ‘Required’ column you see how many attributes are required for the category and how many are already mapped and still have to be mapped. This field is green when the required attributes have been mapped and yellow if there are still some attributes that have to be mapped. A word of warning: the counter will check if channel attribute is mapped with a specific ChannelEngine attribute, but is no check or guarantee that every product in the category actually has an actual value for that attribute. 
  • In the ‘Optional’ column you see how many attributes, that aren’t required, you can map. Without these attributes your product will be pushed to the marketplace but the more attributes you’ve mapped the greater the visibility of the product on the marketplace (which generally leads to higher sales).

Click on the name of a category (with missing attributes) so you can map them. In the below example ‘All products’ is used. These are the attributes that are global (so required for every category), for example the description, EAN, main product image, SKU and product name.

Figure 4: Overview of the attribute mapping screen for a category (all products).


If you want to map an attribute, select the drop down below the attribute you want to map. There are 4 ways to map an attribute:

  • Map your own attribute
    If you have an attribute that contains exactly the same information as the attribute of the marketplace (for example EAN or Description) open the drop down menu and select your attribute.
  • The same value for all products (fixed value)
    Sometimes you want to give all attributes the same value because it is the same for every product, but you don't have an attribute with this information. In that case you can select ‘Fixed value’ in the drop-down list. A field appears, if you fill this in, each product gets this value for the chosen attribute. An common example for this is 'season' for fashion related products. While not every user has an attribute in their product information for this season, this can be solved by filling in 'Never out of stock' as a fixed value.
  • Add a rule
    Sometimes you don’t have a suitable attribute for a mandatory attribute, but the information can be taken from another attribute. For example colour, if you don’t have your own attribute for this, but you do have it mentioned in the title - you can extract it via an advanced rule. To do this, you can use the option ‘Advanced rule’. Here you can set, for example, if the title contains “Red” then use “Red”.
  • Add the value by hand
    If you don’t have the information for a required attribute or you miss the information for a few products, you can fill in the information by hand. Search for the product (you can search for a product in the search bar on the top left) and just fill in the field. Please note that this will act as a forced overwrite, so should the product in question do gave a filled attribute in the future the information will not be changed / updated if it is different from the manual value.

There are 2 additional things to note when mapping (content) attributes:

  • Option mappings
    Some channels require attributes to be translated / converted to specific values they will accept. If this is the case, the attribute will display a button label 'Edit option mapping'. By selecting it you will see a list of your own attribute values and a field in which you can look up a corresponding value from the channel. This works in a similar way as the 'categorisation'.
  • Replacement tags
    In some cases you might want to use the combined output of several attributes or extract a distinct part from an attribute. In that case you can use ' replacement tags'. You can either use them as a fixed value or in advanced rules.

Once everything is categorised and mapped, new product information will automatically by exported to the channel / marketplace / in the product feed. This done by the 'Export product data' to channel task in ChannelEngine. This task will automatically be scheduled as soon as a channel is activated. 

The only current exception to this is bol.com: because the content connection is separate from the regular API-connection for offers and requires different credential, the task for exporting content will have to be enabled manually by ChannelEngine. If you have successfully requested a bol content FTPS account and mapped all the required categories and attributes, you can have have the content connection enabled by sending a mail to support@channelengine.com.

Please note: Only products with all the required attributes filled will actually be exported to the channel / marketplace.