8 Tips for Successful Integration of Icecat Product Content

Avatar for Emre Tan

Based on the experience of thousands of Icecat and PIM implementations, I distilled the ten most critical tips for a successful implementation of rich product content in your e-commerce environments. Of course, this advice is about the full integration of Icecat product content, not the lighter Icecat LIVE. To sum up, you will find below the 8 tips for the successful integration of Icecat product content.

1. Use Index Files for Matching a Big Catalog

Index files are designed for you to match large portfolios daily with the Icecat database and optimally download product content. Besides standard Files Index (for initial import) and Daily Index (for daily updates), you can also easily generate a Personalized Index (PIF) by uploading your feed in the user panel. Furthermore, you can directly download product XMLs with the given path from any index file.

TIP: in the case of small portfolios, use the real-time call of a data sheet based on Brand+Part code or GTIN

2. Match Your Products by Brand Name + Part Code or GTIN

All product datasheets in the Icecat catalog have a Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) and about 70% have also at least one GTIN barcode (EAN, UPC). To ensure the best coverage of your portfolio it is key to include all these identifiers in your matching process. All the identifiers, including brand mappings and part code mappings, are published in the Index files to optimize your coverage.


3. Upload Your Product Feed to Monitor Coverage

By uploading your product feed in Icecat you can automatically generate your Personalized Index File (PIF), which is a customized index for your product list. Icecat is doing the match for you, simplifying your interface and ensuring a more efficient download process.

Furthermore, uploading frequently updated feeds enables the Icecat Data Production Teams to track your new products and ensure high coverage and provide you with a coverage service level.

4. Utilize reference data structures

The most optimal way to maintain your data-structure mapping with Icecat is by making use of reference structures. All category, feature group, feature value lists are available. And daily, there is an update. Use these files to build your data structure and only import product-specific content from product XMLs.


5. Use Local Value to populate product features

Icecat publishes multiple feature values for each feature in the product XMLs: Value (International), Local Value, and Presentation Value. Local Value is the newest and most fitting value type to populate your product features as it`s fully standardized and automized to be easily used in your PIM/PDM system and adapted to your local language and standards (units).

TIP: use Local Value and not the International Value or Presentation Value

We strongly advise NOT to use the International (INT) Value, unless you build a global PIM. Furthermore, we only advise the pre-formatted and textual Presentation Value in the case of low-end e-commerce environments with rudimentary data transformation capabilities.

local value

6. Apply rich content

Multimedia assets help to increase conversion on product pages and Icecat also syndicates all available assets from brands. This includes multiple images, 360-degree product tours, feature logos, reasons to buy, multilingual PDF leaflets, manuals, energy labels, images, and enhanced marketing texts for product XMLs as well as CSV/JSON data to download. Also, Product Stories are a new type of rich media that can help increase the conversion rate on your product pages. It is easy to implement and gives online shoppers the feeling of holding a product in their hands.

TIP: prepare your interface and PIM from the start for rich media

7. You can also directly integrate (rich) media content by using Icecat Live

As your legacy systems may not be ready yet for rich media, it’s a pragmatic model that has a dual interface. To explain, basic data via the XML and other data interfaces, the easy Live interface for rich media.

By adding a simple JavaScript code to your product page you can integrate complete Icecat Live specific rich media assets and Product Stories. In addition, you can integrate only digital assets via a simple JavaScript call in your website.

8. Spread the word to get better product content for free

Inform your brands about Free Vendor Central or Open Icecat and its benefits for you if they improve their product data, and provide it for free to you. The Icecat team is happy to talk to your brand contacts to explain how it all works.

Do you need help with the integration of Icecat product content? Don’t hesitate to contact your local account manager or contact us directly.

Avatar for Emre Tan

Managing Director of Icecat, MSc. in International Finance, investor via E-nvest., ex- IBM, PwC, McKinsey

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