How To

Automatically Mapping Products to eBay Catalog Listings

Mapping your inventory to eBay's catalog is a vital step in optimizing your eBay listings. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Using the eBay Catalog enhances your presentation on the eBay listing page
  • Includes additional information about your product in the listing automatically
  • Presents your listing in a more buyer-friendly format
  • Presents your listings with those of competitors selling the same item, which can make pricing choices more delicate
  • Your listings will be present to buyers that utilize the catalog to select from available sellers.

ChannelAdvisor offers a solution to allow you to automatically map your inventory to the correct catalog listing using a unique product identifier. Sellers that have products in standard media categories (books, movies, music, video games) and other categories with a strong catalog can have over 90% of items automatically mapped without any manual work.  This can save countless hours when managing a large array of products and decreases the cost involved with listing each item.  No longer do searches of each item have to be manually run -- many items are processed automatically and an efficient tool is present to resolve those that have multiple potential options. 

Prerequisites


The following topics should be reviewed before completing this task.


Tasks to Complete


Complete the following tasks related to this topic:

Include a Product Identifier on your Inventory Items

A product Identifier is a unique code associated to the product.  For eBay, this identifier can be one of the following:

  • UPC
  • MPN
  • ISBN
  • EAN
  • Other unique identifier that can be used to search the eBay catalog and find the product details for the item.  

 

Add the Template Tag of your Identifier to the Posting Template

For each posting template follow these steps:

  1. Locate the eBay Product Information section on the  posting template .
     
  2. In the Catalog Search Term field insert the appropriate product identifier tag, such as {{ITEMUPC}} or {{ITEMMPN}}.  
    • This will pick up the information from the inventory item and use it to search the eBay catalog for possible matching products.  
    • The search process is automatic and will happen the next time the item is submitted for a listing.  
    • Results of the catalog product search will be available in the eBay Catalog Mapping view.  
    • If you would like to use the stock photo or stock description with eBay catalog listings, just select to have those included or excluded in the Features section. 
    • It is best to use a unique identifier instead of something like a title or brand to give the automatic lookup the best chance to find the specific item automatically and avoid further work to select from the multiple items returned from the lookup.  
    • If there is no suitable identifier or you would like to review each match before using them in a listing, see the section on  individual catalog item lookup 
  3. In the Product Identifier field select your identifier and insert the corresponding template tag.
    •  The product identifier field can be used even when no catalog is available at eBay.  
    • While these values can also be used to identify items in the eBay catalog, they are more important to submit specific product identifier information to eBay.  
    • That information is used when eBay listings are submitted to Google Product Search and other locations to better identify the items and drive more buyers to purchase your product.  
    • You do not need to submit all of the product fields -- just submit the ones that you have in your inventory.  
    • If your products have these values but they are not configured in your inventory items you will want to add them to your inventory so they can be used on eBay and Google Product Search. 
  4. Choose to incldue a Stock Photo
    • If you choose to use the Stock Photo, it will only be used if no user image is provided.  
    • If you provide your own image with the listing, your image will always be used.  
    • The stock photo will only be used as a default when no user image is provided.  
  5. Choose to include a Stock Description
    • The Stock Description can either be included or excluded and has no impact on your own description.  

 

Select the Appropriate SKU Mapping Setting

Upon submission of your items to the eBay catalog, there are a number of results that may occur:

  • An exact match is found in the eBay catalog and the listing will be submitted to eBay as expected.
  • An exact match is not found and the listing is submitted, but without the additional catalog information.
  • An exact match is not found and the listing is not submitted at all.
  • If the category does not support catalog-based listings, then there will be no lookup and the item will be posted without catalog information.

You have the ability to determine how you would like ChannelAdvisor to process your listings if an exact match is not found in the catalog via the SKU Mapping Setting in our software. Follow these steps to enable this setting: 

  1. Navigate to your Marketplaces > eBay > Product Mapping > eBay Catalog Mapping view.
  2. Select the SKU Mapping Settings link.
  3. The first option, when selected will log any items that are not matched in the  Errored Listings view. 
  4. The second option, when selected will allow the item to be submitted to eBay without catalog information and will be displayed in the Open Listings view. 

If you are listing items into a category with a detailed and comprehensive catalog, the first option is likely the best to use so that items not found in the catalog can be manually reconciled and resubmitted or moved to a posting template that does not use catalog mapping.  If the eBay product catalog does not detail many of the products available, then the second option is better to use to prevent a large number of errors for the items that do not exist in the eBay catalog.

Review your Catalog Mapping Results

The catalog items for all inventory can be shown on the eBay Catalog Mapping view.  The default filter is to show only those items that need to be mapped. However, changing the filter to View All , will show all inventory items in the account and their associated eBay Catalog items.  A link is available to go to eBay and see the detailed information eBay has on the product in their catalog.

  • If you would like to change the catalog mapping, click on the link for the Ad to edit it and use the process to configure the  Catalog Item Information tab within each ad .  Click the Remove link to remove the current mapped catalog item and use the search fields to select a new item from the eBay Catalog.
     
  • Check the eBay Catalog Mapping view to resolve any items that had two or more catalog items respond from eBay.  These items can then be resubmitted from the Errored Listings view and will become new eBay listings with the appropriate catalog information included.  Because of the financial incentive in several categories to list items with catalog information, it is best to keep the setting to error if no catalog information is found.  If you have items that do not exist in the eBay catalog and you want to list them anyway, change the setting to the " Post the item without catalog item information " option, submit all of those listings, and then change the setting back to the " Display a Posting Error " option.  You will not get the preferred rate for catalog listings for these items, which may be a substantially higher charge in eBay fees.
     
  • Once you have configured the posting template for automatic lookup, submitted the identifiers with your inventory, and are monitoring the eBay Catalog Mapping view, the next step is to monitor the sales of your items and pricing against your competitors.  Because you have listed with the catalog item, you are listed with all other sellers of that item on the product page using the Best Match algorithm.  Focus on improving your standing in Best Match to make sure you are at or near the top of the list for buyers shopping for that item. 

Mapping your inventory to eBay's catalog is a vital step in optimizing your eBay listings. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Using the eBay Catalog enhances your presentation on the eBay listing page
  • Includes additional information about your product in the listing automatically
  • Presents your listing in a more buyer-friendly format
  • Presents your listings with those of competitors selling the same item, which can make pricing choices more delicate
  • Your listings will be present to buyers that utilize the catalog to select from available sellers.

ChannelAdvisor offers a solution to allow you to automatically map your inventory to the correct catalog listing using a unique product identifier. Sellers that have products in standard media categories (books, movies, music, video games) and other categories with a strong catalog can have over 90% of items automatically mapped without any manual work.  This can save countless hours when managing a large array of products and decreases the cost involved with listing each item.  No longer do searches of each item have to be manually run -- many items are processed automatically and an efficient tool is present to resolve those that have multiple potential options. 

Prerequisites


The following topics should be reviewed before completing this task.


Tasks to Complete


Complete the following tasks related to this topic:

Include a Product Identifier on your Inventory Items

A product Identifier is a unique code associated to the product.  For eBay, this identifier can be one of the following:

  • UPC
  • MPN
  • ISBN
  • EAN
  • Other unique identifier that can be used to search the eBay catalog and find the product details for the item.  

 

Add the Template Tag of your Identifier to the Posting Template

For each posting template follow these steps:

  1. Locate the eBay Product Information section on the  posting template .
     
  2. In the Catalog Search Term field insert the appropriate product identifier tag, such as {{ITEMUPC}} or {{ITEMMPN}}.  
    • This will pick up the information from the inventory item and use it to search the eBay catalog for possible matching products.  
    • The search process is automatic and will happen the next time the item is submitted for a listing.  
    • Results of the catalog product search will be available in the eBay Catalog Mapping view.  
    • If you would like to use the stock photo or stock description with eBay catalog listings, just select to have those included or excluded in the Features section. 
    • It is best to use a unique identifier instead of something like a title or brand to give the automatic lookup the best chance to find the specific item automatically and avoid further work to select from the multiple items returned from the lookup.  
    • If there is no suitable identifier or you would like to review each match before using them in a listing, see the section on  individual catalog item lookup 
  3. In the Product Identifier field select your identifier and insert the corresponding template tag.
    •  The product identifier field can be used even when no catalog is available at eBay.  
    • While these values can also be used to identify items in the eBay catalog, they are more important to submit specific product identifier information to eBay.  
    • That information is used when eBay listings are submitted to Google Product Search and other locations to better identify the items and drive more buyers to purchase your product.  
    • You do not need to submit all of the product fields -- just submit the ones that you have in your inventory.  
    • If your products have these values but they are not configured in your inventory items you will want to add them to your inventory so they can be used on eBay and Google Product Search. 
  4. Choose to incldue a Stock Photo
    • If you choose to use the Stock Photo, it will only be used if no user image is provided.  
    • If you provide your own image with the listing, your image will always be used.  
    • The stock photo will only be used as a default when no user image is provided.  
  5. Choose to include a Stock Description
    • The Stock Description can either be included or excluded and has no impact on your own description.  

 

Select the Appropriate SKU Mapping Setting

Upon submission of your items to the eBay catalog, there are a number of results that may occur:

  • An exact match is found in the eBay catalog and the listing will be submitted to eBay as expected.
  • An exact match is not found and the listing is submitted, but without the additional catalog information.
  • An exact match is not found and the listing is not submitted at all.
  • If the category does not support catalog-based listings, then there will be no lookup and the item will be posted without catalog information.

You have the ability to determine how you would like ChannelAdvisor to process your listings if an exact match is not found in the catalog via the SKU Mapping Setting in our software. Follow these steps to enable this setting: 

  1. Navigate to your Marketplaces > eBay > Product Mapping > eBay Catalog Mapping view.
  2. Select the SKU Mapping Settings link.
  3. The first option, when selected will log any items that are not matched in the  Errored Listings view. 
  4. The second option, when selected will allow the item to be submitted to eBay without catalog information and will be displayed in the Open Listings view. 

If you are listing items into a category with a detailed and comprehensive catalog, the first option is likely the best to use so that items not found in the catalog can be manually reconciled and resubmitted or moved to a posting template that does not use catalog mapping.  If the eBay product catalog does not detail many of the products available, then the second option is better to use to prevent a large number of errors for the items that do not exist in the eBay catalog.

Review your Catalog Mapping Results

The catalog items for all inventory can be shown on the eBay Catalog Mapping view.  The default filter is to show only those items that need to be mapped. However, changing the filter to View All , will show all inventory items in the account and their associated eBay Catalog items.  A link is available to go to eBay and see the detailed information eBay has on the product in their catalog.

  • If you would like to change the catalog mapping, click on the link for the Ad to edit it and use the process to configure the  Catalog Item Information tab within each ad .  Click the Remove link to remove the current mapped catalog item and use the search fields to select a new item from the eBay Catalog.
     
  • Check the eBay Catalog Mapping view to resolve any items that had two or more catalog items respond from eBay.  These items can then be resubmitted from the Errored Listings view and will become new eBay listings with the appropriate catalog information included.  Because of the financial incentive in several categories to list items with catalog information, it is best to keep the setting to error if no catalog information is found.  If you have items that do not exist in the eBay catalog and you want to list them anyway, change the setting to the " Post the item without catalog item information " option, submit all of those listings, and then change the setting back to the " Display a Posting Error " option.  You will not get the preferred rate for catalog listings for these items, which may be a substantially higher charge in eBay fees.
     
  • Once you have configured the posting template for automatic lookup, submitted the identifiers with your inventory, and are monitoring the eBay Catalog Mapping view, the next step is to monitor the sales of your items and pricing against your competitors.  Because you have listed with the catalog item, you are listed with all other sellers of that item on the product page using the Best Match algorithm.  Focus on improving your standing in Best Match to make sure you are at or near the top of the list for buyers shopping for that item. 
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