Editorial Rules Around the Production of Icecat Product Data-Sheets

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Icecat editors are involved in the large-scale production of standardized and localized product data-sheets (PDSs) in behalf of brands participating in Open Icecat.

How do we define and explain the logic of each content element in an Icecat PDS, differentiating between what is included in a standard PDS versus what is usually added as an extra brand service and should be predefined in SLAs before the editorial team starts production?

Some basic definitions before we start:

“Regular production” – activities that are related only to the general description process.

“On-demand production” – activities that have a wider list of requirements and are not covered by regular production.

Content element definitions

Product name –  a description by which a product is designated and distinguished from other products. Usually, product name fits within the broader branding philosophy, telling its own «unique story» to consumers. In the IT sector, product model number is typically used as the product name.

Icecat editors provide two types of product names: International (regular) and Local (on-demand) ones.

Local product title –  the concatenation of: brand name + product family + product series (optional) + international product name + key specifications (defined per category) + category name (optional).

If the local product name is manually filled by an editor, the local product title consists of brand name + product family + product series (optional) + local product name + category name (optional). So specifications are not included in the manual variant.

Titles are generated automatically.

Bullet points –  short phrases that summarize the main properties and key benefits of a product. Preferable there are at least three bullet points per PDS and not more than ten; ideal is around seven (the average capacity of the human short term memory).

two local bullet points are included in regular production, n+2 – on-demand production. Bullet points that are generated out of technical specifications – on-demand production.

Long Product name – an assortment of key features, selected by editors to show key technical benefits of a product and distinguish it from other products. Icecat editors provide local long product names.

two local product names are included in regular production, n+2 – on-demand production.

Marketing text –  original text, supplied by the manufacturer. Editors copy-paste text from official sources, doing basic text formatting according to icecat rules. 

two local marketing texts are included in regular production, n+2 – on-demand production.

Warranty note –  original warranty information from manufacturer.

Warranty notes are included in regular production.

Short summary description – a concatenation of key spec values, generated automatically, based on certain logic that is defined per category. Maximum number of features: 6.

Long summary description –  extended version, a concatenation of key specs and values, generated automatically, based on certain logic that is defined per category. Maximum number of features: 15.

Titles are generated automatically.

Product image gallery – consists of the main image and additional images. Recommended image requirements:  resolution 1000×1000 pixels; formats Jpeg, PNG; color modes RGB and sRGB; ppi 72, size up to 2 MB; front view and white background is a must for the main image. Images shouldn’t be cropped, contain advertising, watermarks, multiple views of the same product on a single picture. Preferably have at least 3 to 5 pictures per product. 

Adding images is included in regular production.* *Clipping/formatting activities are done on-demand.

Feature logos – graphics content elements that represent certain (proprietary) technology. Logos are assigned automatically per product based on pre-filled specifications. The general description of the technology is added to each logo. 

Feature logos are added automatically based on product specifications.

RTBs – Reasons to buy enhance traditional product description by adding rich content to heighten the shopping experience of customers. Reasons to Buy in Icecat consist of a:

1) Title – a short name or slogan by which the RTB is designated and distinguished from others. It should be concise, understandable and informative.

2) Short description – a short explanation of the product’s key benefit. It should be easy to read, focused on a unique product feature or benefit. 

3) Product picture – added to the RTB description, the image should effectively illustrate product features or benefits.

RTBs are added on demand.

VideosOfficial video content supplied by the manufacturer. Can be either uploaded on icecat platform in mp4 format or linked to Youtube (only official channels).

Videos are added on demand.

PDF leaflets –  Official PDF brochure, supplied by the manufacturer.

two local product PDF leaflets are included in regular production, n+2 – on-demand production.

PDF manual –  Official PDF manual of the product, supplied by the manufacturer.

two local product manuals are included in regular production, n+2 – on-demand production.

Other PDFs –  Some extra useful information in PDF format, supplied by the manufacturer.

Other PDFs are added on-demand.

Energy efficiency – Energy class, PDF/Jpeg energy label and PDF product fiche.

Energy class and energy labels are included in regular production, product fiches are added on-demand.

Recommended and similar products:

  • recommended – products from other categories that can be used with the respective products.
  • similar – products from the same category, that may become a good alternative to the respective product. 

Relations are added on demand.

3d tour360 view of the product, preferred requirements: at least 30 image views, 1000×1000 pixels (2000×2000 pixels for zoom capabilities), JPG, PNG image formats.

3d tours are added on demand.


Searchable specs are mandatory specs with a coverage guarantee (>95%). This means that these specs are not only the most important for a product but also provided by all manufacturers which results in a high-level coverage.

Mandatory specs define the most important characteristics of a product. However, mandatory specs can only be entered when manufacturers supply such values. Normally, coverage levels for mandatory specs are over 80%.

Ordinary specs define essential and integral characteristics of a product. These specs might be filled in or might be blank. Icecat doesn’t guarantee any coverage level on these.

“Grey” specs added to Icecat via automated manufacturer feeds. These specs are not in use by editors and may contain non-standardized data.

Spec value types: Icecat supports 13 value types for specs:

  • # — numerical, supports only integer or floating numbers;
  • # – # — range, supports a range of integers or floating numbers;
  • #/# — ratio, supports a relation between integers or floating numbers;
  • #:# — contrast ratio, supports a relation between integers, added specifically for display/graphics needs;
  • # x # —  2-dimensional (2D) spec with integers or floating numbers;
  • # x # x # — a 3-dimensional (3D) spec with integers or floating numbers;
  • Y/N — a boolean;
  • Alphanumerical — a type that supports a mix of integer numbers and letters [0-9a-zA-Z];
  • Date (YYYY-MM-DD) — a spec type that specifically supports date values;
  • Dropdown — allows selecting only one value out of a pre-defined list of values, which can be textual, numerical or mixed;
  • Multi-feature — a list, which allows selecting multiple predefined spec values, which can be textual, numerical or mixed;
  • Text line — supports any kind of values, including words, word-combinations, and sentences. Specs of this type are non-standardized and local (not INT) and values can be separated with dots or commas;
  • Text area — supports any kind of values, including words, word-combinations, and sentences. Specs of this type are non-standardized and local (not INT). Values can be separated with dots, commas or new line breaks.

Most of the aforesaid spec types are standardized, thus applicable for filtering/searching except for the last two.

Adding product specs is included in regular production

Product story – rich content page, that has multimedia content in it. The page consist of blocks, that have pre-defined types: marketing text, a carousel of images, hotspot images, videos, etc. Two types of HTML stories are supported:

  • Standard – these have basic content elements, products from different series have the same layout of content blocks. Requirements are quite similar across brands.
  • Hero – these contain sophisticated types of content blocks with animation and js scripts embedded. These are unique, and they can be standardized only by cutting off exclusive elements.

Product stories are added on demand.

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