How To

Using Automatic Matching for eBay Item Specifics

Automatic matching allows the seller to send item specific information for their listings without having to create a posting template for each category they plan to list to. This feature allows you to create a generic posting template for each posting format (e.g. one Fixed Price template and one Auction template) and essentially apply all of your listings to this one posting template format. With careful configuration of your item attributes, our system will automatically send the appropriate default Item Specific data of the category you're listing to for your items.   

If you are using Business Policies , you can take advantage of the new templates which allow for all item specifics to be configured on a single template as well as use Business Rules and other features. If you are still using Legacy Fields, there may be cases where you still want to manage the item specifics details in a category, and for those you can create a category-specific posting template with explicit mapping rules yet leave the majority of your items on a generic posting template with automatic matching.

Click below to download the eBook:

 

Prerequisites


The following topics should be reviewed before completing this task:

 

Video


Using the eBay Item Specific Automatic Matching Feature – In this video you will learn how to configure your ChannelAdvisor account to utilize the eBay Item Specific Automatic Matching Feature. View Transcript

 

Tasks to Complete


Configuring your account to utilize the Automatic Matching feature can be done by completing the following tasks:

  1. Enable the Account Setting
  2. Create a Posting Template
  3. Configure Attributes to match eBay's Item Specifics
  4. Create the Ad and Assign the Category
  5. Auto Match Reference Information

 

Enable the Account Setting

  1. Navigate to your Marketplaces > eBay > Settings > eBay Settings > Item Specifics configuration page.
  2. In the Item Specifics Automatic Matching section, select the option to enable automatic matching.

Once enabled, it will automatically apply to all listings in your account as specified below.

 

Create a Posting Template

For a new user getting started, the easiest way to configure the options is to create a single posting template for eBay fixed price listings without a category assigned. Below are a few considerations to keep in mind

  • Automatic matching will only take effect when no Item Specific mapping has been made on a posting template.
  • If you have created posting templates with item specifics information already configured, those values will always be used.
  • You can have a posting template assigned to a category for use with Automatic Matching if you require. However, the Item Specifics area of the posting template must be blank. If any of those fields are populated, we will send those Item Specifics and the Automatic Matching feature will not function for that category.

 

Configure your Attributes to Match the Item Specific Names of your eBay Category

Automatic matching requires the name of the inventory attribute to match the eBay category default Item Specific name exactly. For example, if the category you are listing to has a default Item Specific name of Operating System, but your attribute name is OS, Automatic matching will not function and that Item Specific value will not be sent.

For an example, an item with inventory attributes of Size, Color, Supplier, Country of Origin and Store Brand. This item is submitting to a category on eBay with item specifics of Color, Size, Width, Material and Brand. When the listing is submitted, the following information will be processed: 

 

Item Specific Sent to eBay eBay Item Specifics field
Inventory Attribute Field Used
Reason
 Color ColorColor matches exactly between the eBay field name and the Inventory attribute field name.
 Size SizeSize matches exactly between the eBay field name and the Inventory attribute field name.

X

 Width --There is no match for Width in the inventory attribute fields.

X

 Material --There is no match for Material in the inventory attribute fields.

X

BrandStore BrandBecause these do not match exactly, we will not send this Item Specific. 


Based on this information, this item would be submitted with Color and Size but no other fields. If the inventory item was then changed to add a Material attribute then that value would be used automatically the next time this item was submitted to eBay. You will also note that the inventory attribute fields of Supplier and Country of Origin were not used. These did not match any of the eBay item specifics fields for this category and are not submitted to eBay.

 

Create the Ad and Assign it to a Category

Because you will no longer be assigning the eBay category to the posting template, you will need to assign the category for the listing to the Description Template instead. When the listing is submitted, ChannelAdvisor will determine what default Item Specifics are related to that category you specify and search your item for attribute names that match those Item Specifics.

 

Reference


Below is some additional information regarding the use of Automatic Matching.

 

Converting to Automatic Matching from Category Specific Posting Templates 

Users with many Item Specifics already configured may be able to still utilize them and enable automatic matching. Also, users that don't want to spend the extra time to manually map all of the elements between inventory and the eBay item specific fields for each category may just want to enable automatic matching and let the items submit with the values that can be linked directly from the inventory items. For users that already have some category-specific posting templates configured and working but would like to convert to automatic matching, the best way to do that is by following these steps:

  1. Enable automatic matching in your account.
  2. Set up new items using the automatic matching process.
  3. Validate that the items are being submitted with the fields and information you expect.
  4. Convert existing items to use the automatic matching posting template.
  5. Validate the new listings for existing items to ensure proper information is submitted for each of them.
    • If you find that some are not processing the way you want, you can always revert them to the category-specific posting template.
  6. Delete old category-specific posting templates that are no longer used.

This step-by-step process allows you to ensure that your new items are processing correctly before making any changes to any of your existing items. You may also choose to leave existing items as they are already configured and only submit new items through the automatic matching process.

 

Using Automatic Matching with Variation-Style Listings

Create all of your inventory items with all of the details including the variation information if appropriate for your items. If you would like to know the values that should be included with your items, you can look in the categories at eBay to see the most common fields used when items are listed. Across the entire eBay site, the top 15 fields are:

  • Brand
  • Material
  • Type
  • Original/Reproduction
  • Metal
  • Metal Purity
  • Main Stone
  • Color (in the US, Colour in the UK)
  • Ages
  • Size (note that in many clothing categories there is a very specific "Size" element for that category)
  • Format
  • Style
  • Main Color (in the US, Main Colour in the UK)
  • Shade (used with the Main Color option to define an exact color)
  • Theme

You will notice from the list above that both Color and Age are duplicated with slightly different values. This is because eBay has one value in some categories and the other value in other categories. In order to be sure of the exact values for your products, you will need to check the category at eBay to be sure of the default Item Specifics for that category, but keep in mind that they can change at any time. To make listing variations easier, we have added functionality to automatically create new item specifics for variation items when the eBay fields are insufficient. After you create description templates , those items are submitted to eBay, and the automatic matching rules will fill in all of the appropriate default Item Specifics fields and submit the listing to eBay.

 

Limitations

Prior to configuring your account to utilize Automatic Matching, please read the limitations below to ensure this feature will fit your selling needs.

  • Automatic matching currently only works for the standard item specifics elements. It does not work for pre-filled item specifics (catalog).
  • Automatic matching requires the name of the inventory attribute to match the eBay Category default Item Specific field exactly. If the field name does not match, then the value will not be submitted to eBay. There is a special exception for variation information, which is detailed on the Using Automatic Item Specifics Creation for eBay Variation Listings page. Other fields that do not match will not be automatically submitted to eBay. If you would like these to be submitted for an item, you may either rename your inventory attribute to match the eBay name for the field or use a category-specific posting template so you can configure explicit mappings for the values that should be used.
  • ChannelAdvisor default attributes will require some additional work to be used for automatic matching. Default attributes such as 'Brand', 'MPN', 'Weight' appear on the database differently as {{ITEMBRAND}}, {{ITEMMPN}}, and {{ITEMWEIGHT}}. Thus, they won't automatically match on their own to item specifics such as Brand, MPN, or Weight.
    You can resolve this by either (1) creating new custom attributes called 'Brand', 'MPN' or 'Weight', or (2) creating a global template tag . For more help, contact Support.
  • eBay controls the default Item Specifics options that are available in each category and may change those at any time. The automatic matching process will use the information that is current at the time of posting though that could change after the item is listed. Each time an item is submitted to eBay it will be compared against the available fields and those that match the eBay fields will be submitted. Any others on the inventory item will be skipped.
  • The automatic matching process does not affect description HTML, pricing, titles, or any other elements on the eBay listing. Only the item specifics for the category are controlled by this process. All other elements of the eBay listing are defined by the options selected on the posting template, description template or schedule.

Automatic matching allows the seller to send item specific information for their listings without having to create a posting template for each category they plan to list to. This feature allows you to create a generic posting template for each posting format (e.g. one Fixed Price template and one Auction template) and essentially apply all of your listings to this one posting template format. With careful configuration of your item attributes, our system will automatically send the appropriate default Item Specific data of the category you're listing to for your items.   

If you are using Business Policies , you can take advantage of the new templates which allow for all item specifics to be configured on a single template as well as use Business Rules and other features. If you are still using Legacy Fields, there may be cases where you still want to manage the item specifics details in a category, and for those you can create a category-specific posting template with explicit mapping rules yet leave the majority of your items on a generic posting template with automatic matching.

Click below to download the eBook:

 

Prerequisites


The following topics should be reviewed before completing this task:

 

Video


Using the eBay Item Specific Automatic Matching Feature – In this video you will learn how to configure your ChannelAdvisor account to utilize the eBay Item Specific Automatic Matching Feature. View Transcript

 

Tasks to Complete


Configuring your account to utilize the Automatic Matching feature can be done by completing the following tasks:

  1. Enable the Account Setting
  2. Create a Posting Template
  3. Configure Attributes to match eBay's Item Specifics
  4. Create the Ad and Assign the Category
  5. Auto Match Reference Information

 

Enable the Account Setting

  1. Navigate to your Marketplaces > eBay > Settings > eBay Settings > Item Specifics configuration page.
  2. In the Item Specifics Automatic Matching section, select the option to enable automatic matching.

Once enabled, it will automatically apply to all listings in your account as specified below.

 

Create a Posting Template

For a new user getting started, the easiest way to configure the options is to create a single posting template for eBay fixed price listings without a category assigned. Below are a few considerations to keep in mind

  • Automatic matching will only take effect when no Item Specific mapping has been made on a posting template.
  • If you have created posting templates with item specifics information already configured, those values will always be used.
  • You can have a posting template assigned to a category for use with Automatic Matching if you require. However, the Item Specifics area of the posting template must be blank. If any of those fields are populated, we will send those Item Specifics and the Automatic Matching feature will not function for that category.

 

Configure your Attributes to Match the Item Specific Names of your eBay Category

Automatic matching requires the name of the inventory attribute to match the eBay category default Item Specific name exactly. For example, if the category you are listing to has a default Item Specific name of Operating System, but your attribute name is OS, Automatic matching will not function and that Item Specific value will not be sent.

For an example, an item with inventory attributes of Size, Color, Supplier, Country of Origin and Store Brand. This item is submitting to a category on eBay with item specifics of Color, Size, Width, Material and Brand. When the listing is submitted, the following information will be processed: 

 

Item Specific Sent to eBay eBay Item Specifics field
Inventory Attribute Field Used
Reason
 Color ColorColor matches exactly between the eBay field name and the Inventory attribute field name.
 Size SizeSize matches exactly between the eBay field name and the Inventory attribute field name.

X

 Width --There is no match for Width in the inventory attribute fields.

X

 Material --There is no match for Material in the inventory attribute fields.

X

BrandStore BrandBecause these do not match exactly, we will not send this Item Specific. 


Based on this information, this item would be submitted with Color and Size but no other fields. If the inventory item was then changed to add a Material attribute then that value would be used automatically the next time this item was submitted to eBay. You will also note that the inventory attribute fields of Supplier and Country of Origin were not used. These did not match any of the eBay item specifics fields for this category and are not submitted to eBay.

 

Create the Ad and Assign it to a Category

Because you will no longer be assigning the eBay category to the posting template, you will need to assign the category for the listing to the Description Template instead. When the listing is submitted, ChannelAdvisor will determine what default Item Specifics are related to that category you specify and search your item for attribute names that match those Item Specifics.

 

Reference


Below is some additional information regarding the use of Automatic Matching.

 

Converting to Automatic Matching from Category Specific Posting Templates 

Users with many Item Specifics already configured may be able to still utilize them and enable automatic matching. Also, users that don't want to spend the extra time to manually map all of the elements between inventory and the eBay item specific fields for each category may just want to enable automatic matching and let the items submit with the values that can be linked directly from the inventory items. For users that already have some category-specific posting templates configured and working but would like to convert to automatic matching, the best way to do that is by following these steps:

  1. Enable automatic matching in your account.
  2. Set up new items using the automatic matching process.
  3. Validate that the items are being submitted with the fields and information you expect.
  4. Convert existing items to use the automatic matching posting template.
  5. Validate the new listings for existing items to ensure proper information is submitted for each of them.
    • If you find that some are not processing the way you want, you can always revert them to the category-specific posting template.
  6. Delete old category-specific posting templates that are no longer used.

This step-by-step process allows you to ensure that your new items are processing correctly before making any changes to any of your existing items. You may also choose to leave existing items as they are already configured and only submit new items through the automatic matching process.

 

Using Automatic Matching with Variation-Style Listings

Create all of your inventory items with all of the details including the variation information if appropriate for your items. If you would like to know the values that should be included with your items, you can look in the categories at eBay to see the most common fields used when items are listed. Across the entire eBay site, the top 15 fields are:

  • Brand
  • Material
  • Type
  • Original/Reproduction
  • Metal
  • Metal Purity
  • Main Stone
  • Color (in the US, Colour in the UK)
  • Ages
  • Size (note that in many clothing categories there is a very specific "Size" element for that category)
  • Format
  • Style
  • Main Color (in the US, Main Colour in the UK)
  • Shade (used with the Main Color option to define an exact color)
  • Theme

You will notice from the list above that both Color and Age are duplicated with slightly different values. This is because eBay has one value in some categories and the other value in other categories. In order to be sure of the exact values for your products, you will need to check the category at eBay to be sure of the default Item Specifics for that category, but keep in mind that they can change at any time. To make listing variations easier, we have added functionality to automatically create new item specifics for variation items when the eBay fields are insufficient. After you create description templates , those items are submitted to eBay, and the automatic matching rules will fill in all of the appropriate default Item Specifics fields and submit the listing to eBay.

 

Limitations

Prior to configuring your account to utilize Automatic Matching, please read the limitations below to ensure this feature will fit your selling needs.

  • Automatic matching currently only works for the standard item specifics elements. It does not work for pre-filled item specifics (catalog).
  • Automatic matching requires the name of the inventory attribute to match the eBay Category default Item Specific field exactly. If the field name does not match, then the value will not be submitted to eBay. There is a special exception for variation information, which is detailed on the Using Automatic Item Specifics Creation for eBay Variation Listings page. Other fields that do not match will not be automatically submitted to eBay. If you would like these to be submitted for an item, you may either rename your inventory attribute to match the eBay name for the field or use a category-specific posting template so you can configure explicit mappings for the values that should be used.
  • ChannelAdvisor default attributes will require some additional work to be used for automatic matching. Default attributes such as 'Brand', 'MPN', 'Weight' appear on the database differently as {{ITEMBRAND}}, {{ITEMMPN}}, and {{ITEMWEIGHT}}. Thus, they won't automatically match on their own to item specifics such as Brand, MPN, or Weight.
    You can resolve this by either (1) creating new custom attributes called 'Brand', 'MPN' or 'Weight', or (2) creating a global template tag . For more help, contact Support.
  • eBay controls the default Item Specifics options that are available in each category and may change those at any time. The automatic matching process will use the information that is current at the time of posting though that could change after the item is listed. Each time an item is submitted to eBay it will be compared against the available fields and those that match the eBay fields will be submitted. Any others on the inventory item will be skipped.
  • The automatic matching process does not affect description HTML, pricing, titles, or any other elements on the eBay listing. Only the item specifics for the category are controlled by this process. All other elements of the eBay listing are defined by the options selected on the posting template, description template or schedule.
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Previous Comments


Outdated

The video is very outdated and doesn't look anything like the current CA software. It would be good if this was updated so as not to confuse people.

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 17:40 - Lee Hopper - 44124