Spend time thinking about these considerations when designing and organizing your product data before you start your Optimizely PIM configuration. This will save you time and simplify the implementation process.
- Define your PIM team - Who are the key members who will help you get your data in place? Be sure you have these members identified early in the process, so they can begin collecting any data or assets you might need.
- Keep data clean - Clean data is very important to the integrity of your products. As much as you can before you import your product data, look for inconsistencies like misspelled words, irregular capitalization, abbreviations that not everyone might understand, and so on. You can edit your product information in PIM, but you may have an easier time handling the clean up in your current system or via spreadsheets.
Property Groups and Properties
Setting up your property groups and properties is essential to having a successful experience with your PIM. There are a few governance rules you should keep in mind before you get too far into defining your properties:
- Give specific names to properties - Property names must be specific and unique, but the display names can be shared. For faucet finish, your property could be Faucet_Finish with a display name of Finish. You could have another property for Countertop_Finish that also has a display name of Finish.
- Create property groups by product family - If you have properties that run across multiple products (that is color, finish, and so on), you should create separate property groups by product family and then add their respective properties specific to each. For example, create separate property groups for Faucets and one for Countertops, then add Faucet_Finish and Countertop_Finish to the respective group.
- Create specific properties for easier attribute filtering - For example, you likely have multiple products with the property of Finish. However, for faucets, that finish might be chrome or nickel, while for counter tops, it might be matte or glossy. You would not want your customers to try to filter your faucets by "glossy" because they will receive no results. Instead, you will want to have separate property groups for Faucet and one for Countertops, each with a property for Faucet_Finish and Countertop_Finish with their respective options.
- Think about your site pages - Consider where properties that are attributes land on the Product Detail Page on your B2B Commerce site.
- Keep product templates in mind - Think about when your users are editing what makes sense within the context of that product type (that is faucets).
You pull the Property Groups with Properties you created into Product Templates.
- Think about your product families - Design product templates by product family. For example, a merchandiser may create a Faucet product template that contains essential data elements for that type of product (such as finish, handle type, and so on).
- Adjust properties by template - You can create separate templates for Bathroom Faucets and Kitchen Faucets, but if you have a shared Faucet property group, you can include this on both templates and then adjust required and recommended properties within the Faucet property group for each template.
Category Trees and Categories
Category Trees and categories are the overall taxonomies for a site and your site navigation.
- Think about how your customers navigate - Categories are the product groupings that drive your website navigation. Categories can be parent categories, used to house other (child) categories, or regular product categories. Parent categories display a category list page, while product categories display a product list page.
- Avoid too much depth - Too many levels of categories can cause navigational issues on your site. We recommend going up to three levels deep with your category structure. Also think about how many levels looks when navigating using the header of your website.
Organize asset folders before you load any assets.
- Be specific with folder names - When planning how to organize your digital assets, avoid creating a traditional file structure with folders called vaguely Images or Specifications.
- Follow a structure - Think about your product categories, brands or the type of product documents you maintain.
- Use subfolders - Use subfolders to further organize assets.
- Consider auto-assigning - If you want to auto-assign assets to products, your asset name must include the product number.
- Create import templates - If you are getting data from specific suppliers in a consistent format, creating import templates will save you time.
- Spreadsheet format does not have to be consistent - You are creating your own templates, so as long as your column headers (source fields) map to target properties in PIM, you do not have to modify the spreadsheets before importing.
- Data does not have to be perfect - If some data does not map properly and there are import errors, you can resolve them after the import, no re-import necessary. Products without errors will import and the system will isolate the products with errors.