You can integrate Optimizely Product Information Management (PIM) with Optimizely Configured Commerce to manage all aspects of your e-commerce data. There are some common patterns and best practices that can help you with this integration, but you can customize to fit your needs.
The basic process involves:
- Designing, configuring, and loading data.
- Publishing data to a sandbox site prior to your launch.
- Maintaining the catalog and publishing changes after your site is live.
To view how your PIM implementation fits in with your overall Configured Commerce implementation, see the Implementation Timeline.
Recommended Implementation Flow
Review the steps below and complete them in the listed order, as there are dependencies and impacts on subsequent steps. As a best practice, configure your property groups and properties, product templates and categories before loading product data.
Step 1: Design your data
Start with designing your data. Think about how you want your Product Detail pages to look on your Configured Commerce website. What information should show for each product? How do you want customers to browse or search for products? What product images or other assets do you want to include?
Planning saves time and effort during your implementation.
Step 2: Configure the integration
Next, configure both systems to work together.
- Organize your team – Understand the PIM's roles and permissions, then configure your workflow and the property for assignments. Finally, add team members and assign them to the appropriate products and roles.
- Configure properties and property groups – The PIM and Configured Commerce use properties to structure and define the product data model in the catalog and storefront. Properties include data elements that define your products for internal purposes, like shipping weight, or external purposes, like attributes visible to a customer on your site. You should create property groups then pull those groups into product templates.
- Create product templates – After you have defined your properties and property groups, create templates that match your product lines. Product templates define the properties used by similar products together in the PIM, such as shoes, shirts, and clothing accessories. Templates also enforce data governance and support auditing for incomplete products using properties designated as required or recommended.
- Define your taxonomy – Create categories for your customers to browse.
- Configure Settings – Finally, configure system settings to customize your experience in the PIM. For example, you can configure image sizes before loading assets.
Step 3: Load and publish your data
You can create product records in the PIM by importing data from your ERP, suppliers, or other data sources and feeds. You should organize and import digital assets like product images, manuals, regulatory disclosures, and other documents that customers may need. You should also import any translations, related products, and product category assignments.
Once everything is imported into the PIM, you can begin publishing products into Configured Commerce.
Step 4: Maintain your data
After you have integrated the PIM and Configured Commerce, you should continue to maintain your product information, assets, and assignments.
- Maintain your product information – You should keep your product information updated in the PIM. You can search and filter for products you have been assigned to find products to update, edit multiple products directly in the results grid, or select a product to edit in the product detail view. When your product data is 100% complete, you can approve and publish them to your Configured Commerce websites.
- Use collections and workspaces to identify information gaps, fix product data issues, and locate what products to work on now.
- Create product variants – Product variants allow you to group variations of a product, such as different sizes or colors. Product variants require a separate product for each variation (the child product) and group them together under a parent product.
- Use the dashboard and reports – The PIM dashboard provides an overview of your product data. You can use the product dashboard to view an overview of your product data, with links pinned collections and products by status.
Step 5: Publish changes
Continue to update and publish your product information as needed. Your publishing process follows the workflow for review and approval you established during configuration.