Manual for Personalized Interface File and Catalog

Alexandr Kravtsov
By
October 5, 2016

Via the Icecat website and login area, a user can generate personalized or customized CSV or Excel files that only contain product data for products that are relevant for your company or process.
It helps to simplify your implementation process. The personalized files that are generated by Icecat in CSV or Excel format contain both the basic information and rich media assets of the Icecat product data-sheets matching your catalog.
To obtain personalized files, you first need to upload your catalog or price file via the User Login area.

Our Global Mission

Icecat’s global mission is to provide e-commerce partners with high-quality product information that helps their buyers make better purchase decisions, in any world language, in any country and on any device or media.

Open Icecat Fair Use Policy

The user of Open Icecat product data (in a free Open Icecat subscription or as part of the Full Icecat data) is required to respect the Open Icecat Fair Use Policy.

Explicitly relevant for website development is:

  • to mention explicitly the “Specs: Icecat” on all product datasheets, with a link to the Icecat.biz web site
  • to include explicitly an “AS IS” disclaimer, an example of which can be found at http://www.icecat.biz/menu/disclaimer/index.htm (available in several languages).

Advantages of upgrading to Full Icecat

The CSV interface may be accessed by all Icecat Data (XML) users – free or paid. Open Icecat users can access the data of the sponsoring brands.
Full Icecat users can access the data of all brands in the Icecat database.

However attractive the free Open Icecat database is, the Full-Icecat database still contains many, many more brands: 10,000s (see http://icecat.biz/menu/vendors/index.htm). If you are interested in subscribing to the Full Icecat database, please contact us via the website. If you want specific brands to be included into free Open Icecat, please, recommend Icecat to your manufacturer contacts.

What are the main advantages of Full Icecat over free Open Icecat?

  • All product data of all 10,000s of brands (see http://www.icecat.biz/menu/vendors/index.htm) are available. If you don’t see the brand logo, the brand’s product data is only available in Full Icecat.
  • Icecat can also provide service levels, like coverage guarantees for your portfolio, support missing brands and help defining new categories.

If you want to upgrade to Full Icecat, please contact us via the contact form, or click on the “request Full Icecat access” link after the User Login.

1. CSV conventions used

The following CSV conventions are followed in Icecat’s CSV output files:

Column separator: , (comma)
Line break: \n
Quote symbol:
Escape symbol:
Optional quotation: N

Value separators:

  • Links separator – pipe (|)
  • ReasonsToBuy – contains a headline (text), picture link (URL) and the RTBs (Reasons-To-Buy) itself. An RTB is text that is separated by a pipe (|) symbol. Different RTBs are separated by line breaks.
  • GTIN (EAN/UPC) – links to image galleries and other multimedia objects, comma-separated.
  • Specifications – colon + space

2. Main requirements to your product feed

To generate unique personalized CSV files, the Icecat system requires a product feed (a product catalog or price file) from a user. It could be a CSV, XML or Excel (XLS or XLSX) file, with at least the main product identifiers for matching purposes:

  • Brand/manufacturer part code (alphanumerical value)
  • Brand name (alphanumerical value)

and/or

  • GTIN (EAN/UPC/JAN) code (numerical value)

The quality of your product feed is one of the main factors that determines the quality of the Icecat match.

NOTE: uploading XML product feeds might require support from Icecat. CSV or Excel product feeds hardly ever require support.

Here, you can read more about relevant product feed file formats and structures:
CSV: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma-separated_values
Excel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Excel_file_format#File_formats

Based on the product identifiers described above, the Icecat system is performing a match between your product feed and the Icecat database. Icecat automatically adds product information to your matching data and generates customized files that can be downloaded from the «My Icecat» page in CSV or XLS and can be used for your e-business purposes. The download can be manual or fully automated.

3. Types of personalized CSV output files

Icecat generates the following types of personalized CSV output files:

  • Personalized Index File (PIF)
  • Personalized Catalog File (PCF)
  • My catalog’s rich media assets

Personalized Index File (PIF)

Using the PIF might simplify your implementation process by outsourcing the matching process to the Icecat platform.

The PIF is a customized index file that contains basic information about matched product data-sheets like product identifiers such as internal product ID, part code, and GTIN (EAN/UPC), and paths to Icecat Data or URL links, based on your subscription. The PIF can be used for accessing data-sheets in any data format, such as Icecat CSV,  Icecat XML, Icecat JSON or Icecat Live.

PIF content:

Column title Description
prod_id unique manufacturer product code
supplier_name name of a product’s brand or manufacturer
ean_upc column that contains GTIN (EAN/UPC) numerical product code(s)
Path link to product data-sheet

Optional is a field for “internal product identifier”. Its presence in the PIF might in some cases simplify the process of data processing for you. It allows you to match an Icecat data-sheet by your company’s own internal product ID.

The last column Path contains a link to product data-sheet that the Icecat system generates based on the subscription type (e.g., URL links or XML Data) associated to your Icecat account, and the associated authorization for certain local repositories.

Personalized Catalog File (PCF)

The PCF is a customized file with detailed information per matched product. This type of file is available only to users with an Icecat Data subscription. Icecat supports two different options of this file:
– PCF without spec names as column headers (default option)

Spec 1 Spec 2 Spec 3 Spec 4
Colour of product: Black Auto focus: Yes Display resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels Sensor type: CMOS
Colour of product: Grey Auto focus: No Display resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels Sensor type: CCD
Colour of product: Silver Auto focus: Yes Display resolution: 1136 x 640 pixels Sensor type: CMOS
Colour of product: White Auto focus: No Display resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels Sensor type: CCD

– PCF with spec names as column headers (default option)

Colour of product Auto focus Display resolution Sensor type
Black Yes 3840 x 2160 pixels CMOS
Grey No 2560 x 1440 pixels CCD
Silver Yes 1136 x 640 pixels CMOS
White No 1080 x 1920 pixels CCD

If you are interested in getting second option, please click on notebook icon icon near “Personal catalog file (CSV)” block title. System will save your decision, so next time your PCF will have exactly the same structure as you have chosen.

You can also read more about additional functions available in user panel below in 4. User Interface

PCF content:

Column title Description
Requested_prod_id Manufacturer’s product identifier used from your product feed
Requested_GTIN(EAN/UPC) Requested numerical GTIN (EAN/UPC) code from your product feed
Requested_Icecat_id Requested numerical internal Icecat identifier from your product feed

The first three columns contains the information for your information that allows you to understand on what basis Icecat system found a matching between an item from your file and product from Icecat database.

Column title Description
ErrorMessage Contains a textual explanation (not an error code!) why the system did not provide information on requested identifiers
Supplier Product’s supplier name
Prod_id Manufacturer part number
Icecat_id Internal numerical product identifier used in Icecat Database
GTIN(EAN/UPC) GTIN (EAN/UPC) codes that corresponds to a product
Category Category name
CatId Numerical identifier of a product’s category
ProductFamily Product family name
ProductSeries Product series number
Model Product or model name
Updated The date of the most recent change of the product data-sheet in Icecat
Quality Data-sheet quality indicator
On_Market On market indicator
Product_Views Numerical value that shows number of data-sheet views in Icecat
HighPic Link to high resolution version of main product image
LowPic Link to low resolution version of the main product image
Pic500x500 Link to medium (500px) resolution version of the main product image
ThumbPic Link to main product image thumbnail
Folder_PDF Link to the PDF leaflet
Folder_Manual_PDF Link to the PDF manual
ProductTitle The product title
ShortDesc Short editorial description of a product
ShortSummaryDescription Automatically generated short summary description based on general data and key specs
LongSummaryDescription Automatically generated Long summary description based on general data and key specs
LongDesc Marketing text
ProductGallery Gallery of product images
ProductGallery Resolution Resolution of the product gallery images (separated by | symbol, if several)
360 Content type regarding a 360 degree (or so called 3D) product view
EU Energy Label EU Energy Label
EU Product Fiche EU Product Fiche (PDF or html data-sheet)
PDF PDF files
Video/mp4 Product videos
Other multimedia Other multimedia content types
ReasonsToBuy Reasons to buy (feature or bullet descriptions)
Spec Column contains feature name, feature value and measure unit (if present)

My catalog’s rich media assets

The rich media assets (CSV) refer to a customized CSV file with links to media assets per Icecat product data-sheet that was matching your feed. This type of file is available only to users with a Data (or XML) subscription.

Rich media file content:

Column title Explanation
Requested_prod_id Manufacturer’s product code used in your product feed
Requested_GTIN(EAN/UPC) Requested numerical GTIN (EAN/UPC) code from your product feed
Requested_Icecat_id Requested numerical internal Icecat identifier from your product feed
ErrorMessage Contains a textual explanation (not an error code!) why the system did not provide information on requested identifiers
Supplier Product’s brand or manufacturer name
Prod_id Manufacturer part code
Icecat_id Internal numerical product identifier used in the Icecat database
GTIN(EAN/UPC) GTIN(EAN/UPC) codes that uniquely identifies a product data-sheet
HighPic Link to the high resolution version of the main product image
ProductGallery Links to gallery images separated by comma
ProductGallery Resolution Resolution of product gallery images (separated by | symbol, if multiple)
360 Content type of a 360 degree (or so called 3D) product view
EU Energy Label EU Energy Label
EU Product Fiche EU Product Fiche (PDF or html data-sheet)
PDF PDF files
Video/mp4 Product videos
Other multimedia Other multimedia content types
ReasonsToBuy Reasons to buy (feature and bullet descriptions)

4. User interface description

This paragraph provides description of CSV-related interface that located in “My Icecat” panel. Every Icecat user have access to that panel where Icecat hosts many useful features and functionalities.

To get to “My Icecat” user panel please open our website and click “Login” at the upper right corner. Please enter your login name and password or click Register as new new user (free) to register. User panel contains a tab that visible to every Icecat user – “My downloads”. For XML users this tab separated on two parts.

Icecat CSV

The left area called “XML content” and contains a general information of your XML subscription:

  • Indication of subscription level
  • Paths to assigned repositories
  • Resources: links to documents

The right area called “CSV personalized content” and consist of following information:

  • Introductory text
  • Link to personal index file (PIF) in CSV format including indication of import and file generation progress
  • Link(s) to personal catalog file (PCF) including timestamp and size indication, also XLS icon. Click on that icon will generate an XLS file from previously generated CSV file. In addition to that, we propose two functions that may improve your user experience:
    photo_small – ability to download product images. By clicking on the icon you’ll be able to set up filters (like quality and locales) and request .zip archive with product shots.
    notebook icon – this icon as a kind of switch that allows you to generate PCF with / without spec names as headers. You can read more about this in Personalized Catalog File (PCF);
  • Link(s) to personal catalog with rich media assets including timestamp and size indication, also XLS icon. Click on that icon will generate an XLS file from previously generated CSV file
  • “Inform me about updates” function, please activate it if you want to receive a notification as soon as personalized files were generated
  • Button “Regular updates”. If you want to receive updates regularly, please push that button.

5 How to create personalized CSV files

This section provides a step-by-step guide to get personal CSV files.

  1. Please, login to your user panel
  2. Choose “My pricelist” and upload your price list (or product feed) in “Matching Your Price list” tab from your PC or a web URL
  3. Click the “Preview” button
  4. When preview is ready, please assign the columns of your product feed to Icecat attributes. See the example below. Thus, Icecat can automatically parse and import your product feed and start the generation of personalized CSV files.

Icecat CSV

Please, also assign the column with your internal unique product identifier in your product feed, if applicable.

If the preview is not visible to you, please check if the file format of your product feed is correct or contact us for support.

Next steps:

  1. Click on the “Save” button when you are finished with column assignments
  2. Next, check the status of file processing in the “Import status” tab
  3. As soon as the import results are ready and visible in “Import status”, please, open the “My downloads” tab to check if the personalized CSV files are ready. Please, be aware, that generating such files may take some time. In case that your CSV output file is not yet ready yet, you will see a status message.
  4. In order to access or download your PIF without login in the User Panel, please use the deeplink format below: https://icecat.biz/index.cgi?login_form=user_import_report;type=match;layout=csv;login=XXXXX;password=XXXXX where XXXXX should be a the login name and password of your Icecat account. Using this deeplink, helps you to automate and simplify the process of data import from Icecat.
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