Manual for Personalized Interface File and Catalog

Alexandr Kravtsov
By
open-personalized-csv-optimized

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 https://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 https://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 https://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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma-separated_values
Excel: https://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 titleDescription
prod_idunique manufacturer product code
supplier_namename of a product’s brand or manufacturer
ean_upccolumn that contains GTIN (EAN/UPC) numerical product code(s)
Pathlink 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 1Spec 2Spec 3Spec 4
Colour of product: BlackAuto focus: YesDisplay resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixelsSensor type: CMOS
Colour of product: GreyAuto focus: NoDisplay resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixelsSensor type: CCD
Colour of product: SilverAuto focus: YesDisplay resolution: 1136 x 640 pixelsSensor type: CMOS
Colour of product: WhiteAuto focus: NoDisplay resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixelsSensor type: CCD

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

Colour of productAuto focusDisplay resolutionSensor type
BlackYes3840 x 2160 pixelsCMOS
GreyNo2560 x 1440 pixelsCCD
SilverYes1136 x 640 pixelsCMOS
WhiteNo1080 x 1920 pixelsCCD

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 titleDescription
Requested_prod_idManufacturer’s product identifier used from your product feed
Requested_GTIN(EAN/UPC)Requested numerical GTIN (EAN/UPC) code from your product feed
Requested_Icecat_idRequested 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 titleDescription
ErrorMessageContains a textual explanation (not an error code!) why the system did not provide information on requested identifiers
SupplierProduct’s supplier name
Prod_idManufacturer part number
Icecat_idInternal numerical product identifier used in Icecat Database
GTIN(EAN/UPC)GTIN (EAN/UPC) codes that corresponds to a product
CategoryCategory name
CatIdNumerical identifier of a product’s category
ProductFamilyProduct family name
ProductSeriesProduct series number
ModelProduct or model name
UpdatedThe date of the most recent change of the product data-sheet in Icecat
QualityData-sheet quality indicator
On_MarketOn market indicator
Product_ViewsNumerical value that shows number of data-sheet views in Icecat
HighPicLink to high resolution version of main product image
LowPicLink to low resolution version of the main product image
Pic500x500Link to medium (500px) resolution version of the main product image
ThumbPicLink to main product image thumbnail
Folder_PDFLink to the PDF leaflet
Folder_Manual_PDFLink to the PDF manual
ProductTitleThe product title
ShortDescShort editorial description of a product
ShortSummaryDescriptionAutomatically generated short summary description based on general data and key specs
LongSummaryDescriptionAutomatically generated Long summary description based on general data and key specs
LongDescMarketing text
ProductGalleryGallery of product images
ProductGallery ResolutionResolution of the product gallery images (separated by | symbol, if several)
360Content type regarding a 360 degree (or so called 3D) product view
EU Energy LabelEU Energy Label
EU Product FicheEU Product Fiche (PDF or html data-sheet)
PDFPDF files
Video/mp4Product videos
Other multimediaOther multimedia content types
ReasonsToBuyReasons to buy (feature or bullet descriptions)
SpecColumn 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 titleExplanation
Requested_prod_idManufacturer’s product code used in your product feed
Requested_GTIN(EAN/UPC)Requested numerical GTIN (EAN/UPC) code from your product feed
Requested_Icecat_idRequested numerical internal Icecat identifier from your product feed
ErrorMessageContains a textual explanation (not an error code!) why the system did not provide information on requested identifiers
SupplierProduct’s brand or manufacturer name
Prod_idManufacturer part code
Icecat_idInternal numerical product identifier used in the Icecat database
GTIN(EAN/UPC)GTIN(EAN/UPC) codes that uniquely identifies a product data-sheet
HighPicLink to the high resolution version of the main product image
ProductGalleryLinks to gallery images separated by comma
ProductGallery ResolutionResolution of product gallery images (separated by | symbol, if multiple)
360Content type of a 360 degree (or so called 3D) product view
EU Energy LabelEU Energy Label
EU Product FicheEU Product Fiche (PDF or html data-sheet)
PDFPDF files
Video/mp4Product videos
Other multimediaOther multimedia content types
ReasonsToBuyReasons 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.
Likethumbsup(5)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)

  • commented on April 7, 2017 by Miler

    Hi,

    Does you service allow me to do an EAN lookup by product name?

    I have a XML/CSV file with a couple of thousand product names & brands which I need to lookup/match the correct existing EAN. Preferably by bulk uploading CSV.

    Is it possible with your system? Do i need to register for a full Icecat for that?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.
    Miler

    Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
    • commented on April 10, 2017 by Martijn Hoogeveen

      Yes it does. We reply to you separately.

      Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
  • commented on April 19, 2017 by Joaquin

    I'm trying to create csv with icecat, the truth is not clear when I ask that suva file from my pc I do not understand if it should be empty or full of products ando super lost if someone could show video or pass me a sample csv.

    Thank you

    Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
    • commented on June 1, 2017 by Gloria Serafini

      Dear Joaquin, thanks for your comment. We should better understand your path. Please contact us and we will support you. Kind Regards, Gloria

      Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
  • commented on June 29, 2017 by julie

    We also have so many laptop batteries and adapters for selling, but really I do not find the correct way to upload,how to upload the price list and product detail.
    I think it must has a templet there,where is it?

    Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
  • commented on July 3, 2017 by J. Hofmann

    In section 2 you describe that a dedicated list of product codes and/or EAN is necessary for individual download. Is there also a possibility to get all products by e.g. brand name?

    Thanks in advance

    Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
    • commented on August 16, 2017 by Martijn Hoogeveen

      Yes, use a "batch" interface
      https://iceclog.com/manual-how-to-import-product-content-into-your-webshop-via-icecat/
      from the index you can select the brands that you want. Probably, handy to limit to market as well.

      Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
  • commented on July 11, 2017 by Gloria Serafini

    Hi Julie, thanks for your message! You can actually follow step-by-step this guide, namely at point #5. If you have questions on how to go ahead with uploading your price list, please contact us

    Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
  • commented on June 28, 2018 by Remi

    Is there a possibility to force PIF creation after uploading new price list, not via the icecat interface, but via an API call / URL request?

    Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)
    • commented on June 28, 2018 by Martijn Hoogeveen

      Hi Remi, yes there is. Please, contact your account manager.

      Likethumbsup(0)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

World map

Iceclog Launch and Improved Icecat LIVE Documentation

“Iceclog” (Icecat content-log) is our new blog, where you will find...
 August 26, 2016
open-live-optimized

Manual for Icecat Live: Real-Time Product Data in Your App

Icecat Live is a (free) service that enables you to insert real-time product content from some 300 m...
 June 1, 2016
http url

Manual for Icecat URL: Links to Product Data-sheets and Images

Version: 1.20, October 4, 2016.The purpose of this post is to explain the Icecat URL method to ...
 October 4, 2015
open-csv-optimized

Manual for Icecat CSV Interface

This document describes the CSV (Comma-Separated Values) variant of Icecat's Open Catalog Interface...
 September 28, 2016
wall-writer-in-action

Iceclog Editor Guidelines: Writing Compelling Posts

The Iceclog Editor Guidelines are a quick guide for contributors to the Iceclog blog or "cl...
 August 17, 2016
open-personalized-csv-optimized

Manual for Personalized Interface File and Catalog

Via the Icecat website and login area, a user can generate personalized or customized CSV or Excel f...
 October 5, 2016
apple_watch_series1

Apple Watch: a Useful Tool or a Smart Toy?

After six months spent with my Apple Watch, I am still not sure if I consider it a useful tool or "j...
 September 30, 2016

Manual for Open Icecat JSON Product Requests

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is an increasingly popular means of transferring to data, comparab...
 February 17, 2017

Manual for Testseek Product Reviews Integration via Icecat

Icecat provides aggregated expert reviews from our partner Testseek, as an add-on service for both O...
 October 19, 2015

Icecat Add-ons for Magento, PrestaShop and other Popular Solutions

Icecat has a huge list of integration partners, that make it easy for clients and free users, to mak...
 October 4, 2017