Mass product synchronization

The Product Synchronization tool allows you to automate the way Connectif reviews your eCommerce product catalog and updates it in your Connectif Store. Through its interface, you can choose the option for mass synchronization, either through Web Scraping or via the Product Feed, and configure this process.

 

How to access

You can access the mass product synchronization functionality through the path "Ecommerce > Catalog" by clicking on   Product Synchronization.

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Interface

The main interface of the Product Synchronization is composed of 3 blocks:

1. Tabs: to navigate through one of the two synchronization options and review the synchronization log:

  • Web Scraping: to automate synchronization by having Connectif query the eCommerce catalog.
  • Product Feed: to automate synchronization by having Connectif query a previously published product feed.
 

Only one synchronization option can be activated. To see how to configure each type of mass product synchronization, review the point Operation

  • Synchronization log: to review the latest synchronization processes and their details.

2. Main panel: where the options of each tab are located.

3. Return to the integrations list: to return to the Catalog once the integration is configured.

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Operation

You can activate mass synchronizations of the products in your Connectif catalog with their status in your eCommerce. To do this, you have two methods that work differently:

  • Web Scraping, which makes individual requests to your web server to update its information.
  • Product Feed, which makes a single request to download the feed file and process the status of your products.

 

1. Activate synchronization via Web Scraping

  

Web Scraping involves Connectif reviewing the URLs of product pages found in your Connectif catalog. When this is activated, at the specified time and manner, Connectif visits those URLs one by one, searching for the visited product tag, present in your eCommerce, to update the status of the products in Connectif and synchronize it with the information it finds at that moment on your website. If these products do not exist in your eCommerce catalog, Connectif will not visit them. 

In Tabs (1), go to Web Scraping and click on Configure.

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In the Main panel (2), configure the Synchronization Frequency, that is, how often you want Connectif to access your eCommerce and visit, one by one, the pages of the different products to create, update, or discontinue the various products in the Connectif catalog, depending on their status on your website.

You can choose the options "1 day", "2 days", "3 days", and "1 week".

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Choose the Time at which you want each of the synchronization processes to take place.

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Within Advanced Settings, you can determine two aspects that will help optimize the performance of the catalog update based on the performance of your page.

  • In the Waiting time between products dropdown, you can choose whether you want Connectif to wait between different product visits and, if so, how long it should wait. Depending on the size of your catalog, you can increase or decrease the time to avoid overloading the page.

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  • In the Include discontinued products selector, you can choose whether you want Connectif not to visit products marked as discontinued during the synchronization process. This option reduces the load on the website and increases the performance of the synchronization process via Web Scraping.
  

The "Discontinued" status is assigned by Connectif to the product if it is not found on the website. Products are discontinued after 10 days without appearing. This check is performed daily. 

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Once the synchronization configuration is determined, click on Activate to schedule the synchronization, or Activate and synchronize immediately to execute a synchronization and schedule the next one within the established period.

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2. Activate synchronization via Product Feed

  

Mass synchronization via Product Feed is much faster and reduces the load on your web server, as it makes a single request to download your eCommerce file, instead of making a request for each product.
Only one Product Feed can be added, so it must be complete. 

 

This request is made at the configured period and time. Connectif saves a copy of the original Feed at the specified time, so if any changes are made to the Feed after a synchronization is carried out or during an ongoing synchronization, they will not be reflected in Connectif until the next synchronization operation.

  

As with Web Scraping, the "Discontinued" status is assigned by Connectif to the product if it is not found on the website. Products are discontinued after 10 days without appearing in the feed. This check is performed daily. 

In Tabs (1), go to Product Feed and click on Configure.

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In the Main panel (2), in the Add product feed area, add the URL of the product feed from which Connectif will extract the information for your catalog.

  

The product feed is an XML file that must be publicly accessible, meaning the feed URL must be public, without htaccess. This document contains a series of objects with the properties of a product in the form of tags and values. 

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Specifications on the Product Feed:

 

At the end of this article (or by clicking this link), you will find a sample Product Feed document.

You will also find a downloadable file with the schema used to describe the structure and constraints of the contents of the Product Feed XML documents (or by clicking this link).

  • When Connectif attempts to read the feed at a URL, it uses the 'User-Agent' header: 'Connectif'. This can be useful if you need to allow access to the resource for only certain applications.
  • You can use the feed model specified by Google. If using another format, only the "Product" element is allowed at the second level, meaning the feed can contain a maximum of three levels: the one containing the product list, the item itself, and the product properties.
  • Google fields that Connectif automatically converts:
    • G:AUTO_PRICING_MIN_PRICE, G:SALE_PRICE, G:PRICE: are formatted to remove the currency and treat them as numbers.
    • G:AVAILABILITY: the values accepted by Google 'in_stock', 'in stock' are transformed into our valid value "instock".
    • G:GOOGLE_PRODUCT_CATEGORY, G:PRODUCT_TYPE: the characters required by Google ">" for category separation are replaced by Connectif's allowed "/".
  • The feed encoding must be UTF-8.
  • Fields not mapped in the feed are preserved and not overwritten.
  • Products created through mechanisms other than the feed are not discontinued.
  • If not using Google's format, price-related data must be in number format.
  • Multiple tags with the same name can be used.
  • When manually mapping an undetected field, the path to the field is the names of each label level up to the value separated by an ">"
  • All fields that are of type "array" in a mapping, if they appear multiple times in the Feed, Connectif will collect all values in that field.

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Configure the Synchronization Frequency, that is, how often you want Connectif to access your Product Feed to extract the information. You can choose the options "1 day", "2 days", "3 days", and "1 week".

Choose the Time at which you want each of the synchronization processes to take place.

Click Next .

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In the Main Panel (2), you must select the detected values from the Product Feed and link them with the fields in the Connectif product profile.

 

The field mapped as "Product URL" is validated with the allowed domains.

To do this, click on each field in the Automatically detected product fields column and drag them to the central column so that they match the fields in the Connectif product profile (right column).

  

The selection of fields to map is obtained from the unique fields of a sample of products from your Feed.

If there is a field in your product Feed that you want to link and it does not appear in the selection of values, you should select the value "Field path", link it to the corresponding field, and manually enter the path and each of its levels in the same format as the other fields in Connectif.

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Copy the path and its different levels, as shown in the example.

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Enter them into Connectif with the corresponding format. Each level of the path you enter should be separated by the ">" symbol.

 

If you change the name of any mapped fields in your Product Feed, you must update it in Connectif in the same way.

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In our example, the "product_tags" field was created, extracted from the path in the previous image. In this case, the full path would be RSS>CHANNEL>ITEM>G:PRODUCT_TAGS.

Once the synchronization configuration is determined, click Activate to schedule the synchronization, or Activate and synchronize immediately to execute a synchronization and schedule the next one within the established period.

 

3. Deactivate one type of synchronization to activate another 

It is not possible to have both synchronization processes active at the same time, so if one is active, it must be deactivated before configuring the other.

To do this, go to the Tab (1) of the active synchronization type and, in the Main Panel (2), click Deactivate.

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4. Review the Synchronization Log

In Tabs (1), go to Synchronization Log

In the Main Panel (2), you can review the execution dates of past synchronization processes, as well as the possible state changes of each synchronization.

 

Regardless of the execution time marked for the synchronization process, the product discontinuation process will be executed daily, so more processes will appear in the list than those indicated in the configuration.

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Congratulations!
You have reached the end of the lesson.

 


Keep learning!

To take full advantage of your Connectif account, we recommend continuing with the following articles:

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