How To

Using Business Rules to Filter Data

Business Rule Filters allow you to remove or filter items from a feed that meet a certain criteria. They are a powerful way to customize which products are sent to each site especially since performance for your products will vary widely between the sites. While you can always remove individual products once they do not perform well, it is also a good idea to customize your feeds via filters.

 

Prerequisites


You should be familiar with the following topics:

 

Creating a Business Rule to Filter Data


Follow the steps below to create a business rule to filter data

 

What are Filter Expressions?


The expression is the part of a Business Rule that does the work. For Filters, expressions will yield a True or a False value. Note: This does NOT mean that the rule outputs the text "True" or "False." For example, below is an example of an invalid filter:

Invalid Example = IF($currentprice<5,"True","False")

Instead, you should just use this:

Correct Example = $currentprice<5

When a Filter expression is entered, ChannelAdvisor queries the products in your source data file to see whether they meet the criteria (for a True result) or they don't meet the criteria (for a False result). True results indicate that a product should be filtered from a feed. False results indicate that a product should stay in the feed. The example above would therefore remove all products of less than 5 (USD, GBP) once this filter is applied to a template.

When creating a filter you are building an expression statement that can be answered yes or no. Below are several sample filter statements:

  • Filter items with DVD in the title: CONTAINS ($title,"DVD")
  • Filter items made by Acme: $manufacturer = "Acme"

Filters are commonly used to filter items by their price. See the next section for details.

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Price Filters


Price Filters are filters where the expression is evaluating the price of an item to determine whether it should appear in a feed. Price Filters are one of the most popular types of filters and are easily set up within your ChannelAdvisor Complete account.

Before you are ready to create a Price Filter you will want to determine the price threshold that products need to be at in order for them to be viable for success on Comparison Shopping Engines. This will likely depend on your profit margins for your products and on your marketing strategy with Comparison Shopping as well as the performance of a certain Shopping Engine. Once you have determined the price threshold that items must meet in order to be sent to Comparison Shopping Engines, then you are ready to create your Price Filter.

Price filter expressions are written using the following operators:

Operator Description
<Less Than
<=Less Than or Equal To
>Greater Than
>=Greater Than or Equal To



The most common is the "Less Than" operator, as most products filtered from shopping feeds are done so because the low price of the item does not contain enough margin to support a profit. Here are several examples of price filter expressions for a data feed where $currentprice is the field for the price of an item:

  • Filter items less than $25.00: $currentprice < 25
  • Filter items less than $100.00: $currentprice < 100

Return to Top

 

Stock Filters


Another way to filter products from your feeds is by the stock status and level. ChannelAdvisor standard feeds automatically filter products which are labeled as out of stock in your feed to ChannelAdvisor. You may also, for example, filter all drop ship products from your feeds. You can then use one of the custom column in the feed and add text such as “Drop Ship” to these columns and create a filter to remove these from the feeds:

  • CONTAINS($custom1,”Drop Ship”)

If you have actual stock level you can use this column to overcome the delay Comparison Shopping Engines experience in updating the listings on their sites. If Site A tends to take 48 hours to update, you want to have a filter similar to

  • $StockLevel<10

While Engine B which takes less time to update listings will only need a filter of

  • $StockLevel<5

You can then be sure that products with low stock which are at risk of being out of stock by the time the listing is updated on the Comparison Shopping Site are not included in your feeds depending on the speed and frequency of updates of the Comparison Shopping Site.

Return to Top

 

Filter for only Top Performers


At certain times of the year or on certain engines, you may find that performance of your campaigns deteriorates despite regular product removal. In these cases, you can reduce your feed to only the products which do know will perform well on this channel/engine. You will want to pull historic SKU level data from the ChannelAdvisor software and filter for only the products which meet your cost of sale targets. You can then write a business rule of

NOT(ISINLIST(“Good Performers”,$model))
(given that you have uploaded all models of the good performers in a lookup list called Good Performers)

And add this filter to the feed.

The drawback of these filters is that they will also exclude new products which are added to your feed to ChannelAdvisor so you may want to review the criteria every once in awhile.

Return to Top

Business Rule Filters allow you to remove or filter items from a feed that meet a certain criteria. They are a powerful way to customize which products are sent to each site especially since performance for your products will vary widely between the sites. While you can always remove individual products once they do not perform well, it is also a good idea to customize your feeds via filters.

 

Prerequisites


You should be familiar with the following topics:

 

Creating a Business Rule to Filter Data


Follow the steps below to create a business rule to filter data

 

What are Filter Expressions?


The expression is the part of a Business Rule that does the work. For Filters, expressions will yield a True or a False value. Note: This does NOT mean that the rule outputs the text "True" or "False." For example, below is an example of an invalid filter:

Invalid Example = IF($currentprice<5,"True","False")

Instead, you should just use this:

Correct Example = $currentprice<5

When a Filter expression is entered, ChannelAdvisor queries the products in your source data file to see whether they meet the criteria (for a True result) or they don't meet the criteria (for a False result). True results indicate that a product should be filtered from a feed. False results indicate that a product should stay in the feed. The example above would therefore remove all products of less than 5 (USD, GBP) once this filter is applied to a template.

When creating a filter you are building an expression statement that can be answered yes or no. Below are several sample filter statements:

  • Filter items with DVD in the title: CONTAINS ($title,"DVD")
  • Filter items made by Acme: $manufacturer = "Acme"

Filters are commonly used to filter items by their price. See the next section for details.

Return to Top

 

Price Filters


Price Filters are filters where the expression is evaluating the price of an item to determine whether it should appear in a feed. Price Filters are one of the most popular types of filters and are easily set up within your ChannelAdvisor Complete account.

Before you are ready to create a Price Filter you will want to determine the price threshold that products need to be at in order for them to be viable for success on Comparison Shopping Engines. This will likely depend on your profit margins for your products and on your marketing strategy with Comparison Shopping as well as the performance of a certain Shopping Engine. Once you have determined the price threshold that items must meet in order to be sent to Comparison Shopping Engines, then you are ready to create your Price Filter.

Price filter expressions are written using the following operators:

Operator Description
<Less Than
<=Less Than or Equal To
>Greater Than
>=Greater Than or Equal To



The most common is the "Less Than" operator, as most products filtered from shopping feeds are done so because the low price of the item does not contain enough margin to support a profit. Here are several examples of price filter expressions for a data feed where $currentprice is the field for the price of an item:

  • Filter items less than $25.00: $currentprice < 25
  • Filter items less than $100.00: $currentprice < 100

Return to Top

 

Stock Filters


Another way to filter products from your feeds is by the stock status and level. ChannelAdvisor standard feeds automatically filter products which are labeled as out of stock in your feed to ChannelAdvisor. You may also, for example, filter all drop ship products from your feeds. You can then use one of the custom column in the feed and add text such as “Drop Ship” to these columns and create a filter to remove these from the feeds:

  • CONTAINS($custom1,”Drop Ship”)

If you have actual stock level you can use this column to overcome the delay Comparison Shopping Engines experience in updating the listings on their sites. If Site A tends to take 48 hours to update, you want to have a filter similar to

  • $StockLevel<10

While Engine B which takes less time to update listings will only need a filter of

  • $StockLevel<5

You can then be sure that products with low stock which are at risk of being out of stock by the time the listing is updated on the Comparison Shopping Site are not included in your feeds depending on the speed and frequency of updates of the Comparison Shopping Site.

Return to Top

 

Filter for only Top Performers


At certain times of the year or on certain engines, you may find that performance of your campaigns deteriorates despite regular product removal. In these cases, you can reduce your feed to only the products which do know will perform well on this channel/engine. You will want to pull historic SKU level data from the ChannelAdvisor software and filter for only the products which meet your cost of sale targets. You can then write a business rule of

NOT(ISINLIST(“Good Performers”,$model))
(given that you have uploaded all models of the good performers in a lookup list called Good Performers)

And add this filter to the feed.

The drawback of these filters is that they will also exclude new products which are added to your feed to ChannelAdvisor so you may want to review the criteria every once in awhile.

Return to Top

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