This appendix includes a topic on product families, custom product attributes, and instructions for downloading examples of a product feed and PIE interaction feeds.

Product families

With Product families, you can establish relationships between products that let you display UGC for one product on the display pages of other products in the same family. For any product that is included within a particular family, you can display reviews, questions, and answers from other products in the same family.

Product families are useful for addressing the following use cases:

  • If the UGC that is submitted for a product of a particular color applies equally to all of the color variants, you can create a family that displays the relevant UGC for all product colors. For example, reviews of a red MP3 player can be displayed on the Product page of a blue MP3 player of the same make and model, provided the color of the MP3 player does not factor into the reviews.
  • Some products are actually bundles of closely related products, like a bundle that consists of a digital camera and a memory stick. For such bundles, the UGC that is associated with an individual product can be displayed on the Product page for the bundled products. In these use cases, the Product pages of the individual products can continue to exclusively display their own UGC.

    Product pages for bundled products must be represented by a product ID in your data feed even if they are not otherwise treated as actual products, like the individual products that comprise the bundle.

Product families allow you to specify the direction in which UGC is shared. With product bundles, for example, you can display UGC for an iPod on the Product page of a bundled product – such as the iPod bundled with an armband holder – without being forced to display UGC for the bundled product on the Product pages of the related iPod or armband holder. The following image provides an example.

You can declare families in the XML Product data feed by adding an Attributes section with a family identifier to each product entry that you want to include in the family. Specific families are declared within a separate Attribute element whose children elements contain the appropriate external identifier as well as the value that identifies the family.

You can also use the Family Management tool in the Bazaarvoice client portal to declare product families. To avoid any unintended modifications or deletions, product families that are defined through one method cannot be edited or deleted through the other method.

Make sure that you devise a strategy for using product families with the business owner so that you can determine whether you need to declare product families in the feed. The business owner might indicate that product families need to be declared in the client portal, which is an acceptable strategy.

The process of implementing product families consists of the following tasks:

  1. Contacting your Bazaarvoice Community Representative with details about your product families implementation.
  2. Declaring the families that you will use to associate products with each other.
  3. Identifying the products on whose pages you want to display content from other products in the family.

The following sections describe these tasks in more detail.

Contacting your Bazaarvoice client representative

Provide your Bazaarvoice Client Representative with the following information:

  • A request to enable product families attribution for your website
  • The date on which you expect to have a test feed with product families ready for Bazaarvoice to test

Declaring product families

Each Product Family must be given a unique identifier that does not contain any spaces. The following types of characters are allowed:

  • Alphanumeric
  • Asterisk(*)
  • Hyphen(-)
  • Period(.)
  • Underscore(_)

In the XML Product data feed, add the following section to each product entry that you want to include within a Product Family.

<Attributes>
    <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
        <Value>{FamilyName}</Value>
    </Attribute>
</Attributes>

where {FamilyName} represents the name of the family to which you want the product to belong.

For example, the following code adds a product named Green iPod Nano to a family named iPod_Nanos.

<Product>
    <ExternalId>...</ExternalId>
    <Name>Green iPod Nano</Name>
    <Description>...</Description>
    <BrandExternalId>...</BrandExternalId>
    <CategoryExternalId>...</CategoryExternalId>
    <ProductPageUrl>...</ProductPageUrl>
    <ImageUrl>...</ImageUrl>
    <Attributes>
        <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
            <Value>iPod_Nanos</Value>
        </Attribute>
    </Attributes>
</Product>

After you declare the appropriate product family in the Product feed, specify the products on whose product pages you want family content to appear. Product families that are declared through the product feed cannot be edited through the client portal.

Family-related content that is declared through an XML Product feed does not appear on the corresponding Product pages by default. Instead, you must add specific XML elements to the Attributes section of each product entry for which you want to display family content.

If a product belongs to multiple families, content from all of the products in a specified family is displayed on the corresponding Product page because the option is family-specific.

In the XML Product data feed, add the following elements to the Attributes section of each product entry that you want to display family-related content.

<Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
    <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:{FamilyName}</Value>
</Attribute>

where {FamilyName} represents the name of the family to which you want the product to belong.

For example, the following code displays all of the content that is related to the family BV_FE_FAMILY on the display page of the product named Green iPod Nano.

<Product>
    <ExternalId>...</ExternalId>
    <Name>Green iPod Nano</Name>
    <Description>...</Description>
    <BrandExternalId>...</BrandExternalId>
    <CategoryExternalId>...</CategoryExternalId>
    <ProductPageUrl>...</ProductPageUrl>
    <ImageUrl>...</ImageUrl>
    <Attributes>
        <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
            <Value>iPod_Nanos</Value>
        </Attribute>
        <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
            <Value>iPod</Value>
        </Attribute>
        <Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
            <!-- the following attribute indicates that only products in the
                iPod_Nanos family are shown on this page -->
            <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:iPod_Nanos</Value>
        </Attribute>
    </Attributes>
</Product>

Display settings that are specified through the Product feed cannot be edited through the client portal.

Custom product attributes

Custom product attributes provide a way to group or add information to products in addition to using categories or brands. These attributes can be useful for:

  • Grouping products to match an internal product category structure that is different than the product categories defined in your product feed.
  • Propagating additional information about your products, such as pricing or materials.
  • Associating keywords with products. User-generated content that includes the keywords is boosted on product and service display pages. Boosting the content can also provide improved SEO value.

The attributes will be present when the product data is exported to other systems, which might leverage the information for reporting. Bazaarvoice can also use the attributes to set up custom product filters in the Manage Content tools and Intelligence. The BV_SEO_KEYWORDS attribute is used to improve content sorting on your product or service display page so that our proprietary sorting algorithm aligns with your SEO strategy.

<Product>
    <ExternalId>...</ExternalId>
    <Name>...</Name>
    <Description>...</Description>
    <BrandExternalId>...</BrandExternalId>
    <CategoryExternalId>...</CategoryExternalId>
    <ProductPageUrl>...</ProductPageUrl>
    <ImageUrl>...</ImageUrl>
    <Attributes>
        <Attribute id="ProductManagementGroupId">
            <Value>Group12345</Value>
        </Attribute>
        <Attribute id="Price">
            <Value>35.99</Value>
        </Attribute>
        <!-- 
            BV_SEO_KEYWORDS accepts a comma separated list of keywords.
        -->
        <Attribute id="BV_SEO_KEYWORDS">
            <Value>electronics, accessory, mobile phone case</Value>
        </Attribute>
    </Attributes>
</Product>

Example feeds

To assist with your implementation, Bazaarvoice provides example feeds on GitHub for the following feed types and formats:

  • Product feed (XML)
  • PIE feeds (XML and tab-delimited)

Browse and download examples at https://github.com/bazaarvoice/HostedUIResources