The guidelines below will help you format your product catalog according to the Emarsys standards, which will help us validate its content and provide actionable feedback on errors.

However, if you are using Google Product Feed, you can also use your existing product catalog without changing the format, as long as the field contents described below are included in your feed. Just inform Emarsys Support so that they can check your feed and then set the catalog format to Google Product Feed on the Catalog page. For more information, see the GPF Catalogs page.

Note: The field values entered for each item in the catalog will be available in the response object when displaying website or email recommender widgets in Predict.

Contents

And before you start… Remember to use our Validator tool!

Catalog content

Your product catalog should be a simple .csv table, each row containing all the information relating to a specific item, such as the item ID, the URL of the product page, a link to a thumbnail image, etc. (see the example catalog below).

If you are not using Google Product Feed, your product catalog must conform to our CSV Guidelines.

Standard catalog fields

Field Required Type Example Description
item Yes String BOOK0012 A unique ID used in your system to identify the given product.
title Yes String The Hitchhiker’s guide The name of the product.
link Yes URL http://www.buy.me/hitch/ The URL of the item’s product page.
image No URL http://www.buy.me/hitch_thumb.jpg The URL of the item image see Product Image format.
zoom_image No URL http://www.buy.me/hitch_fullres.jpg The URL of the high resolution product image.
category Yes See format description Fiction > Sci-Fi The list of category paths to which the given item belongs.
available No Boolean true This indicates whether the item is available in the store.
description No String Douglas Adam’s seminal work of fiction. A brief description of the item.
price No Float 13.99 The current price of the product.
msrp No Float 17.99 The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (i.e. price before discounts).
album No String1 The best of Douglas Adams The title of the album(s) on which the item appeared.
actor No String1 Brad Pitt The actor(s) associated with item.
artist No String1 Janis Joplin The artist(s) associated with item.
author No String1 Douglas Adams The author(s) associated with item.
brand No String1 Nike The brand(s) associated with item.
year No Integer 1984 The publication year.

1: These fields may have multiple values.

About product IDs

Product IDs present in the catalog are used by Web Extend data-collection scripts. In the case of product options (e.g. size, packaging) it is important to note that Web Extend product catalog only deals with main products (also known as parent or configurable products, or styles), not SKUs. SKU-level product variations should not be included in the product catalog. The rule of thumb for deciding what should be considered as a unique item is that an item should have a unique URL.

Product image constraints

The image field should be a thumbnail image for rendering the product in the recommender widgets. Please make sure not to use images larger than 1 MB or 1280×1280 pixels here as they may not render properly, or may not be shown at all, in the email widgets. For high-resolution product images, use our zoom_image field.

Product availability

The catalog should contain all the items that have ever been offered on your website. This will improve the analysis of historical data and enable recommendation of available alternatives for items that are no longer for sale. Items currently unavailable for purchase should simply be marked as false in their available field.
Items marked as unavailable will not be recommended.

Localization

If you use Predict and have a website offering multiple languages, it may be necessary to have localized versions of some standard catalog fields. If you use Web Extend on its own, you do not need to include the localized fields. The name of a localized field is FIELD_LOCALE, that is, the standard category field name is followed by the locale name, using the underscore character as the separator between the two. For example, a bookstore with both an American and an Italian customer base may have the following product catalog:

item, title, title_it, link, link_it
BOOK0012, "The Hitchhiker's guide", "La Guida galattica", http://buy.me/hitch/, http://buy.it/hitch/

Here the “default locale”, represented by the non-localized fields, is English.

All standard catalog fields can be localized except for item. Content of localized fields is validated according to the same rules as those applied to their non-localized counterparts. For a more in-depth discussion of localization, see: Localized Websites.

Note that locale may not necessarily mean a country or language, it can also be used to specify different values of certain fields for products sold through different channels. For example, if a merchant operates two web stores, it can price the same products differently for them, or indicate which product is available in them (with the help of available).

Custom fields

Besides the standard catalog fields and their localized versions, you may pass further data in the catalog for display purposes. Custom fields are not validated and – by default – have no impact on the analysis process. Names of custom fields should start with the c_ prefix (e.g. c_color or c_size).

Be sure not to choose names for custom fields which contain standard field names. An example custom field name to avoid would be c_available_colors as available is a standard field.

Empty fields

When the field does not make sense for the item or it is not applicable in the context, its place can be left empty (not all items have authors or actors); do not use “-” or other markers.

How product data is displayed

The following example shows how a customers of an online shop see the product data included in the product catalog .csv file.

web-extend-catalog-fields

Disambiguation

Since categories, authors and actors could be used in building statistical models, it is important to refer them canonically. That is, the author Gárdonyi Géza, should always be spelled the exact same way (e.g. G. Gárdonyi). When several authors or actors share legitimately the same name, they should be disambiguated ubiquitously, for example J. Doe and J. Doe(2).

Compression

Please note that product catalog upload supports gzip compression by default, so if your shop has a very large catalog (e.g. several hundred MB in size) then you may want to consider compressing it.

Note: This is only applicable for .csv catalog files and not for Google Product Feed catalogs.

Catalog Examples

item,link,title,image,category,price,msrp,available,brand,description,zoom_image
103,http://www.lifestylelabels.com/steven-by-steve-madden-pryme-pump.html,"elegant red pump",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/210x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/t/steven-by-steve-madden-pryme-pump.jpg,"Shoes > Pump",299,0,true,"Steve Madden","Nothing will turn his head faster than you wearing the sexy Pryme pump from Steven by Steve Madden. This daring pump has a pretty patent leather upper with light shirring, a double stitch detail surrounding the collar, and a vampy almond shaped toe.",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/s/t/steven-by-steve-madden-pryme-pump.jpg
108,http://www.lifestylelabels.com/nine-west-women-s-lucero-pump.html,"glittering red pump",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/210x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/n/i/nine-west-women-s-lucero-pump.jpg,"Shoes > Pump",289.99,0,true,"Nine West","The Lucero pump from Nine West may just leave him at a loss for words. This flirty pump has a leather upper, a pretty almond-shaped toe with a slight V-cut vamp, leather linings, and a cushioned insole for long-wearing comfort.",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/n/i/nine-west-women-s-lucero-pump.jpg
112,http://www.lifestylelabels.com/womens-golf-shoes.html,"womens golf shoes",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/e/c/ecco-womens-golf-flexor-golf-shoe.jpg,"For Women > Shoes > Golf",159,0,false,"Ecco","Sporting with style, this is a durable and super-comfortable golf shoe built for performance.",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/e/c/ecco-womens-golf-flexor-golf-shoe.jpg

With minimal white spaces, the above file is:

item,link,title,image,category,price,msrp,available,brand,description,zoom_image
103,http://www.lifestylelabels.com/steven-by-steve-madden-pryme-pump.html,"elegant red pump",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/210x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/t/steven-by-steve-madden-pryme-pump.jpg,"Shoes>Pump",299,0,true,"Steve Madden","Nothing will turn his head faster than you wearing the sexy Pryme pump from Steven by Steve Madden. This daring pump has a pretty patent leather upper with light shirring, a double stitch detail surrounding the collar, and a vampy almond shaped toe.",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/s/t/steven-by-steve-madden-pryme-pump.jpg
108,http://www.lifestylelabels.com/nine-west-women-s-lucero-pump.html,"glittering red pump",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/210x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/n/i/nine-west-women-s-lucero-pump.jpg,"Shoes>Pump",289.99,0,true,"Nine West","The Lucero pump from Nine West may just leave him at a loss for words. This flirty pump has a leather upper, a pretty almond-shaped toe with a slight V-cut vamp, leather linings, and a cushioned insole for long-wearing comfort.",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/n/i/nine-west-women-s-lucero-pump.jpg
112,http://www.lifestylelabels.com/womens-golf-shoes.html,"womens golf shoes",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/e/c/ecco-womens-golf-flexor-golf-shoe.jpg,"For Women>Shoes>Golf",159,0,false,"Ecco","Sporting with style, this is a durable and super-comfortable golf shoe built for performance.",http://www.lifestylelabels.com/media/catalog/product/e/c/ecco-womens-golf-flexor-golf-shoe.jpg

Note that both files will result exactly in the same outcome; redundant white spaces and redundant quoting are ignored. Also note that quoting in, for example, "Foo, Bar" is compulsory since the title contains a comma.