Icecat Release Notes March 27, 2020: allowing Open Icecat images in Google Manufacturer Center

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HP: added support of Ukrainian, and product families OMEN and Sprout Pro

The integration with HP’s PIM systems has been upgraded. Now, also the locale Ukrainian for Ukraine (UA) is added to increase the support of local content for Ukrainian HP partners.
Further, two additional HP product families are added to Icecat: OMEN by HP used for gaming laptops and desktops, and Sprout Pro by HP for immersive learning and other applications in which 3D capabilities are critical. The relevant new HP products are assigned to these product families by our editorial team within the Icecat database so that these can be used in search filters in e-commerce environments.

Finally, a small editorial fix is that in the local Disclaimer texts, after a bold title, indicated by the html code for bold <b>…</b>, automatically a new line break is added so that the bold text clearly stands out as a header.

Cleansing obsolete specs from our taxonomy

The Icecat taxonomy team raised a question regarding insight in which old and unused specs to remove. As a first step, we created a custom report regarding all specs: how many products have a certain spec and how many spec values are entered per category, and which ones are in use for active products, etc. The next step is that the taxonomy team marks specs for removal to eliminate obsolete specs that currently make our taxonomy unnecessary complex.

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Debugging Philips by Signify and showing AVENT videos and 3D

After the divestment of the lightning division Signify from Philips, we moved all the lightning products from the brand Philips to the new brand Philips by Signify. Recently, we detected a bug, namely that we still imported information for lightning products from Philips, which were next created again as Philips branded products. We updated the import logic and added Brand Product Code validation to prevent overlapping Philips vs Philips by Signify products. Further, we ensured that lightning products from the Philips import are always pushed to the Philips by Signify brand.

Regarding Philips, we resolved another issue. For the sub-brand Philips AVENT, used for baby care products, we lifted restrictions on viewing rich content for all Icecat users, whether they are logged in or not. So, Philips AVENT videos and 3D tours are now visible to any website visitor.

Classifying Icecat Users according to Business Type

In the Icecat user profile, a new attribute is added: Business Type. For Open Icecat brand reports it’s requested by brands to report a brand’s content usage based on this Business Type. The pre-defined values in this dropdown are Etailer (B2C), Reseller (B2B), ASP (Application Service Provider), Comparison (sites for price and product comparison), Business partner (e.g., System Integrator), Distributor (or wholesaler), and Marketplace. Here is how it looks like now in our PIM backoffice: 

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Possibility to assign verticals to Open Icecat users

From now on it is possible to assign verticals not only to Full Icecat users but also to Open Icecat ones. Verticals is another attribute that is used in brand usage reports. Further, we are working on functionality to allow the users to select the correct vertical during registration to simplify management.

Allowing Google to access images

In the past, we have restricted the search engine indexing of product images displayed on our website by adding a disallow line to our robots.txt file, which is used by search engines to determine what content to index and what not.
As this rule became obsolete as these are nowadays only the images of sponsoring Open Icecat brands accessible on our website and Google Manufacturer Center needs to upload these Icecat images, we removed this restriction from robots.txt. Tests with Iceshop – managing the upload of brand data to Google Manufacturer Center – showed that Google can now in deed index and upload the allowed images of sponsoring brands. The improved indexing of product imaging in Google search is also likely to generate more SEO traffic for Icecat.

Upgrade of product search page for editorial process automation

In our editorial PIM, we have added a column with new functionalities on the product search page called “Status”. Status means the editorial status of a product used for managing editorial workflow purposes. Editors and their supervisors can “book” a product without being the editorial “owner” of the product, add some editorial remarks or specify the reason why the product cannot be described, add any other comments or map the product to a correct brand product code. Booked means that the respective employee temporarily grasps or reserves the product till done with certain corrections.
In the PIM backoffice search, it is now also possible to filter products on this new attribute.

Deduplicating client requests

Sending exactly the same user request or message – for example, requests for adding additional languages, higher service levels, new verticals or messages from the contact form – more then once per day by the specific user is not possible any more via the Icecat websites. This to prevent duplicate requests in our CRM. Below is the image of the warning message we show in such cases:

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Further, we started to send clear notifications in the form of confirmation emails to the users once they make a request via the Icecat website for additional services to preempt the need for making double requests.

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No third party scripting for social sharing

To remove third party scripting, which is better for security and site performance, we removed the AddThis plugin and replaced it with our own social media links and logos. It was one of the observed potential vulnerabilities during a pentest and vulnerability scan performed last December.

We now only support the three most used social sharing applications: facebook, twitter and linkedin.

The icons for sharing the Icecat content are thus:

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Performed Fixes

  • Some brands were missing from the frontoffice brands page.
  • Removed the Personal Catalog File column limit in XLSX, which was 300 columns.
  • The registration and login pages were not mirroring for Arabic and Hebrew
  • The tooltip was corrupted in the product page Embed Block for the link “Download the free Open Icecat catalog”
  • Removed the unnecessary page reload for icecat.biz, which better for the user experience and SEO.

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