Implement > Collection > Product catalog

Product catalog

To get the most out of the Bazaarvoice platform, you must provide data about your product catalog to Bazaarvoice. This includes data about the brands, product categories, and products that you offer. Providing a complete view of your product catalog is critical for success.

Think of the product catalog as a translator between retailers and brands. Retailers and brands often use different identifiers and metadata to describe the same product. To match product reviews between a brand and retailer, Bazaarvoice needs to correlate the identifiers and metadata describing the product. The product catalog requires identifiers that facilitate matching between brands and retailers.

Why is the product catalog important?

Why is the product catalog so important? Consider the following features that are powered by the product catalog:

  • Syndication. A complete and accurate product catalog enables Bazaarvoice to match products offered by brands and retailers, and then share or "syndicate" consumer-generated content (CGC) based on product matches. In particular, brand names, UPCs, EANs, and MPNs are key to enabling automatic syndication.
  • Content in post-interaction email (PIE) messages, in social-media alerts and notifications, and on Bazaarvoice-hosted elements on your website, such as review submission pages. Data elements such as the IDs, names, and URLs of brands, categories, and products help power this content.
  • Workbench and reporting dashboards. Product catalog data is displayed in the Bazaarvoice Workbench and as options (filters) when you view reporting dashboards in the Workbench.
  • Integration with other Bazaarvoice products. Key elements must be defined in your product catalog to support integration with Conversations, Connections, Curations, Advertising, and Sampling. For example, suppliers who subscribe to Connections rely on brand names and vendor IDs in product catalogs.

Provide your product catalog data

Bazaarvoice supports the following ways to provide your product catalog data:

  • Single feed file—Provide a single feed file that includes all of your catalog data. Bazaarvoice recommends providing all catalog data using a single XML feed source. This is the most reliable approach, and it provides the benefits of using XML, which includes support for localization, rich category hierarchy configuration, and other features. See Create an XML product catalog feed for details.
  • Multiple feed files—Provide multiple catalog feeds when your catalog data is sourced in different systems or if combining multiple feeds into a single feed is too difficult. See Use multiple catalog sources for more information. Contact Bazaarvoice Client Care before attempting to provide product catalog data using multiple files.

You can upload catalog data using the following formats:

  • XML file—Provide product data in a structured feed. This method is a Bazaarvoice best practice.
  • Text file—If creating an XML feed is too difficult, provide your catalog data in the form of a separator-delimited text file. The text file format is recommended for use in providing supplemental data in multiple file scenarios. Using the text file format to provide primary catalog data is not recommended because of limitations of the format.

Create an XML product catalog feed

If you choose to provide your catalog to Bazaarvoice in an XML feed, which is the recommended method, a well-formed product feed is critical for success. The following example shows the general structure of a simplified XML product feed:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 
<Feed>
    <Brands>
        <Brand>...</Brand>
        ...
    </Brands>
    <Categories>
        <Category>...</Category>
        ...
    </Categories>
    <Products>
        <Product>...</Product>
        ...
    </Products>
</Feed>

Complete the steps in this section to create an XML feed and upload it to Bazaarvoice.

Note: If you want to provide catalog data to Bazaarvoice using multiple sources, it is recommended to provide the majority of catalog data using an XML feed, and then use a text feed to provide supplemental data.

Step 1: Create an XML feed file

How you generate a feed depends on your system and processes. Regardless of your situation, every feed must be an XML file and follow the same structure.

Get started structuring your product feed by referring to the following:

  • Product Feed Generator , which provides a starting point for creating your product feed
  • Product feed XML schema , which defines the structure and contents of the feed.

    Note: Version 14.3+ of the schema does not enforce length or numerical constraints on UPCs. Any string in this field is treated as valid by the product schema. Values are validated during the catalog import process, however, and only valid values are stored.

Bazaarvoice recommends the following best practices when you create a product feed:

  • Ensure that the first line of your feed adheres to the following format:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  • The standard character-encoding scheme, such as UTF-8 or Windows-1252, must match the scheme that you use for any special characters in the feed.
  • If you do not have a value for a particular field, omit the field from your feed. Do not include the field with a blank value.

Refer to the example below to see an XML feed that includes multiple products.

Step 2: Check the elements and attributes

You must use the appropriate elements and attributes to describe the feed, brand, category, and product information. Refer to the following tables for child elements and attributes for the <Feed>, <Brands>, <Categories>, and <Products> elements.

Note: If an element is not required but you maintain it for your products, include it in the feed.

Feed element

This element is required. The following table identifies required attributes for the <Feed> element.

Attribute Description
name The short version of your Bazaarvoice client name.
extractDate A timestamp that should be populated automatically in the XML DateTime format .
incremental Whether the feed includes all catalog data. If you are uploading a data feed that contains your entire product catalog, set this value to false.
supplemental Whether the feed contains supplemental catalog data. This feed type should be used only when providing multiple catalog sources.
xmlns Schema reference. Set this value to http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7.

Brands element

You can declare all product brands in the <Brands> element using these child elements:

Element Value
Brand

Represents a a product brand in your feed and must contain the following <ExternalId> and <Name> or <Names> child elements.

You can include the removed="true" attribute in the <Brand> element to mark the brand inactive.

ExternalId Unique brand ID that can contain only alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). If a brand ID contains an invalid character, replace it with an alternate character, such as an underscore. This format is used in the data feed only and does not affect end users. The ID is case insensitive, so you cannot use IDs that match except for case.

Ensure the ID is a stable ID that will not change for the same logical brand, even if the name of the brand changes.

Name or Names Name of the brand, which is visible to end users.

If specifying localized brand names in a multilingual implementation, include a <Name> element for each locale in a parent <Names> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <Name> child element.

Then, when defining products in the <Products> element, you can use the <BrandExternalId> element to reference a brand's ID in the <Brands> element.

Note: Another way to declare brands in your catalog is to use the <Brand> child element in the <Product> element. You can use this method instead of using the <Brands> element as described here.

Categories element

The <Categories> element defines each category that is represented by products in your feed using the following child elements. It can also be used to define a category hierarchy. This element is required.

Element Value Required
Category

Represents a product category in your feed and may include other elements listed in this table.

You can include the removed="true" attribute in the <Category> element to mark the category inactive.

Yes
ExternalId

Unique category or subcategory ID that can contain only alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). If a category ID contains an invalid character, replace it with an alternate character, such as an underscore. This format is used in the data feed only and does not affect end users. The ID is case insensitive, so you cannot use IDs that match except for case.

Ensure that the category ID is stable and will not change, even if the name of the category changes.

Yes
ParentExternalId Parent category's ID of the subcategory in question. No
Name or Names

Name of the category or subcategory, which is visible to end users.

If specifying localized categories in a multilingual implementation, include a <Name> element for each locale in a parent <Names> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <Name> child element.

Yes
CategoryPageUrl or CategoryPageUrls

Unique URL for the category or subcategory. When specifying a URL, be aware of the following:

  • Do not include extraneous query string parameters that you might use for tracking and partnership codes.
  • If the URL contains a reserved (special) character, you must URL-encode the character. For example, use &amp for an ampersand, use %20 for a space, or use %5B and %5D for square brackets ([ ]).
  • If specifying localized categories in a multilingual implementation, include a <CategoryPageUrl> element for each locale in a parent <CategoryPageUrls> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <CategoryPageUrl> child element.
Only if collecting Questions and Answers content at the Category level
ImageUrl or ImageUrls

Unique URL for the category or subcategory image, which is usually hosted on your website or a content delivery network. When specifying a URL, be aware of the following:

  • If the URL contains a reserved (special) character, you must URL-encode the character. For example, use &amp for an ampersand, use %20 for a space, or use %5B and %5D for square brackets ([ ]).
  • If specifying localized categories in a multilingual implementation, include an <ImageUrl> element for each locale in a parent <ImageUrls> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <ImageUrl> child element.
Note: If Conversations is deployed on an HTTPS site, you must provide image URLs at an HTTPS location in your product catalog. If you do not, your customers will see a mixed content warning.
Only if collecting Questions and Answers content at the Category level

Products element

The <Products> element defines each product in your feed using these common child elements. This element is required. Refer to the product feed schema for a complete list of available elements.

Element Value Required
Product

Represents a product in your feed and may include other elements listed in this table.

You can include the removed="true" attribute in the <Product> element to mark the product inactive.  If the product does not exist in the database and is marked inactive, it is not added to the database.

Yes
ExternalId

Unique product ID that can contain only alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). If the external product ID contains an invalid character, replace it with an alternate character, such as an underscore. The ID is case insensitive, so you cannot use IDs that match except for case.

This format is used in the data feed only and is not visible to end users.

Yes, one per product
Name or Names

Name or names of the product, which is visible to end users.

If specifying localized product names in a multilingual implementation, include a <Name> element for each locale in a parent <Names> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <Name> child element.

Yes, one per locale
Description or Descriptions

Description of the product. Bazaarvoice recommends that product descriptions be at least three sentences or 300 characters long.

If specifying localized product descriptions in a multilingual implementation, include a <Description> element for each locale in a parent <Descriptions> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <Description> child element.

Yes, one per locale
Brand The name of the brand to which the product belongs. You must include a <Name> child element, to specify the brand name.
Note: Specify either <Brand> or <BrandExternalId> in the <Product> element, but do not specify both.
Yes, one per product, if <BrandExternalId> is not provided
BrandExternalId

ID of the brand to which the product belongs. Specify this element if a brand is declared as a separate element in the <Brands> block. The value of <BrandExternalId> must match a brand ID defined in the <Brands> block. If the <Brands> block is not defined in the product feed, use <Brand> (above) instead.

Note: Specify either <BrandExternalId> or <Brand> in the <Product> element, but do not specify both.
Yes, one per product, if <Brand> is not provided
CategoryExternalId

Category or subcategory ID for the product. Specify this element if a category is declared as a separate element in the <Categories> block. The value of <CategoryExternalId> must match a category ID defined in the <Categories> block. If the <Categories> block is not defined in the product feed, use <CategoryPath> (below) instead.

Note: Specify either <CategoryExternalId> or <CategoryPath> in the <Product> element, but you cannot specify both.
Yes, one per product
CategoryPath

A list of categories ordered by hierarchy. Each category must be specified in a <CategoryName> child element. You can specify multiple <CategoryName> child elements, each for a subcategory of the <CategoryName> immediately above it.

Note: Specify either <CategoryPath> or <CategoryExternalId> in the <Product> element, but you cannot specify both.
Recommended, one per product
ProductPageUrl or ProductPageUrls

Unique, uncorrupted URL for a product page. Do not include extraneous query string parameters that you might use for tracking and partnership codes. When specifying a URL, be aware of the following:

  • If the URL contains a reserved (special) character, you must URL-encode the character. For example, use &amp for an ampersand, use %20 for a space, or use %5B and %5D for square brackets ([ ]).
  • If specifying localized URLs in a multilingual implementation, include a <ProductPageUrl> element for each locale in a parent <ProductPageUrls> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <ProductPageUrl> child element.
Yes, one per locale
ImageUrl or ImageUrls

Unique URL for the product image. The optimal but slightly flexible display size is 600 x 600 pixels. When specifying a URL, be aware of the following:

  • If the URL contains a reserved (special) character, you must URL-encode the character. For example, use &amp for an ampersand, use %20 for a space, or use %5B and %5D for square brackets ([ ]).
  • If specifying localized images in a multilingual implementation, include an <ImageUrl> element for each locale in a parent <ImageUrls> element, and then specify the locale attribute (of type String) for each <ImageUrl> child element.
Note: If Conversations is deployed on an HTTPS site, you must provide image URLs at an HTTPS location in your product catalog. If you do not, your customers will see a mixed content warning.
Yes, one per locale
ModelNumbers Unique referencing code that businesses use to identify a part that a particular industry uses. Specify a <ModelNumber> child element for each model number you want to define. Each model number can contain letters, numerals, and other characters. No; if included, one per product
ManufacturerPartNumbers Manufacturer-specific part number. Specify a <ManufacturerPartNumber> child element for each part number you want to define. Part numbers can contain letters, numerals, and characters. Yes; you can specify an unlimited number of child elements
EANs

European Article Numbers (EANs), which are used worldwide for marking retail goods. Specify an <EAN> child element for each EAN you want to define, which must be a string of eight numerals or 13 numerals (no letters or other characters are allowed). Remove spaces and hyphens because they disrupt syndication matching.

Note: Version 14.3+ of the schema does not enforce length or numerical constraints on EANs. Any string in this field is treated as valid by the product schema. Values are validated during the catalog import process, however, and only valid values are stored.

Either EANs, UPCs, or ISBNs is required.

If included, you can specify an unlimited number of child elements. Syndication matching improves if you specify multiple values.

UPCs

Universal Product Code (UPC), which is a 6- or 12-digit bar code used for standard retail packaging in the United States. Specify a <UPC> child element for each UPC you want to define, which can contain numerals only, with no letters or other characters. Remove spaces and hyphens because they disrupt syndication matching.

Note: Version 14.3+ of the schema does not enforce length or numerical constraints on UPCs. Any string in this field is treated as valid by the product schema. Values are validated during the catalog import process, however, and only valid values are stored.

Either EANs, UPCs, or ISBNs is required.

If included, you can specify an unlimited number of child elements. Syndication matching improves if you specify multiple values.

ISBNs International Standard Book Number (ISBN), which is a 10- or 13-character value used predominantly for media products such as books, music, and videos. Specify an <ISBN> child element for each ISBN you want to define. The last character provides a checksum that helps validate the product identifier. Most ISBNs are composed only of digits, except for some 10-character ISBN values that use an X for the checksum.

Either EANs, UPCs, or ISBNs is required.

If included, you can specify an unlimited number of child elements. Syndication matching improves if you specify multiple values.

Attributes Custom attributes that enable you to define additional product-specific information, to report on product-specific information or to support product families. Specify an <Attribute> child element for each product attribute you want to define. Be sure to include the name of the product attribute using the id attribute of the <Attribute> element; spaces are not permitted in the attribute ID. No; if included, you can specify an unlimited number of child elements

Step 3: Validate the feed

Your feed needs well-formed XML that works with the Bazaarvoice XML schema . Validate your feed against the schema before uploading it to Bazaarvoice. You can use a local or online third-party tool to validate your feed.

For example, you could use an online validator like the one provided by CoreFiling . To use the CoreFiling XML validator, complete the following steps:

  1. Save the Bazaarvoice XML schema as an XML file.

  2. Choose the Bazaarvoice Schema XML file for the XML schema.

  3. Choose your XML file for the XML Instance.

  4. Click Validate.

Step 4: Upload the feed

Bazaarvoice recommends that you upload an updated product feed whenever changes are made to your product catalog as reflected by your website. It is imperative that you provide Bazaarvoice with matching updates as your product catalog change on your live site.

You can add another level of security to your data by supplying a public Secure Socket Shell (SSH) key using SSH passwordless entry. This process relies on a private key that resides with you, paired with a public key used by a Bazaarvoice SFTP server. If you want to set up this key-based authentication method, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care for information and assistance.

Upload the XML feed file to the /import-inbox directory of the SFTP server:

  • If your data is hosted in the US, use the following URLs:
    • Staging server—sftp-stg.bazaarvoice.com
    • Production server—sftp.bazaarvoice.com
  • If your data is hosted in Europe, use the following URLs:
    • Staging server—sftp7-stg.bazaarvoice.com
    • Production server—sftp7.bazaarvoice.com

Be sure to connect to SFTP using port 22. If you do not know your SFTP credentials or where your data is hosted, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care.

After you upload a product feed to an SFTP server, Bazaarvoice automatically begins importing the feed at 2 AM Central Time (CST: UTC-6 or CDT: UTC-5), although Bazaarvoice may not finish importing your feed until later the same day due to the import process.

If you uploaded the feed to a staging server, you can trigger an import manually. (You cannot manually trigger an import to the production server.) Complete the following steps to manually import the feed:

  1. From the Bazaarvoice Workbench of the staging server , select Settings » Validate Product Feed.
  2. Click Schedule one-time import to manually import the feed.

Step 5: Check the feed status

After uploading a feed to the staging or production SFTP server, you can view the import summary and error or warning count of the feed. Checking the import summary enables you to correct errors before the next import, so you can ensure you provide a valid feed for the next import.

View the import summary in the staging Workbench or production Workbench by selecting Settings » Validate Product Feed. If your feed returns an error or warning, click it to get detailed information.

Note: Validate the feed as described in step 3 before uploading it and using the feed validation tool in the Workbench. You should upload only well-formed feeds to the server and use the feed validation tool to catch errors your primary validation tool may have missed.

Example XML feed

Although the following example product feed is probably smaller and less complex than your product feed, you can review it to learn about the basic feed structure required by Bazaarvoice.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7" name="ExampleClient" incremental="false" extractDate="2011-10-18T12:00:00.000000">
 
   <!-- Brands -->
   <Brands>
      <Brand>
         <ExternalId>AAA</ExternalId>
         <Name>First Brand</Name>
      </Brand>
      <Brand>
         <ExternalId>BBB</ExternalId>
         <!-- Default brand name -->
         <Name>Second Brand</Name>
         <!-- Localized brand names -->
         <Names> 
            <Name locale="en_US">Second Brand US</Name>
            <Name locale="en_CA">Second Brand CA</Name>
            <Name locale="fr_CA">Deuxième marque CA</Name>
         </Names>
      </Brand>
   </Brands>
 
   <!-- Categories -->
   <Categories>
      <Category>
         <ExternalId>1010</ExternalId>
         <!-- Default category name -->
         <Name>First Category</Name>
         <!-- Localized category names -->
         <Names> 
            <Name locale="en_US">First Category US</Name>
            <Name locale="en_CA">First Category CA</Name>
            <Name locale="fr_CA">Première catégorie CA</Name>
         </Names>
         <!-- Default category page URL -->
         <CategoryPageUrl>http://www.example.com/category.htm?cat=1010</CategoryPageUrl>
         <!-- Localized category page URLs -->
         <CategoryPageUrls>
            <CategoryPageUrl locale="en_US">http://www.example.com/en_us/category.htm?cat=1010</CategoryPageUrl>
            <CategoryPageUrl locale="en_CA">http://www.example.com/en_ca/category.htm?cat=1010</CategoryPageUrl>
            <CategoryPageUrl locale="fr_CA">http://www.example.com/fr_ca/category.htm?prod=1010</CategoryPageUrl>
         </CategoryPageUrls>
         <!-- Default category image URL -->
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/catimages/1010.gif</ImageUrl>
         <!-- Localized category image URLs -->
         <ImageUrls>
            <ImageUrl locale="en_US">http://images.example.com/en_us/catimages/1010.gif</ImageUrl>
            <ImageUrl locale="en_CA">http://images.example.com/en_ca/catimages/1010.gif</ImageUrl>
            <ImageUrl locale="fr_CA">http://images.example.com/fr_ca/catimages/1010.gif</ImageUrl>
         </ImageUrls>
      </Category>
      <Category>
         <ExternalId>1020</ExternalId>
         <Name>Second Category</Name>
         <CategoryPageUrl>http://www.example.com/category.htm?cat=1020</CategoryPageUrl>
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/catimages/1020.gif</ImageUrl>
      </Category>
      <Category>
         <ExternalId>1021</ExternalId>
         <ParentExternalId>1020</ParentExternalId>
         <Name>Sub Category</Name>
         <CategoryPageUrl>http://www.example.com/category.htm?cat=1021</CategoryPageUrl>
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/catimages/1021.gif</ImageUrl>
      </Category>
   </Categories>
 
   <!-- Products -->
   <Products>
      <Product>
         <ExternalId>11111111111abc</ExternalId>
         <Name>First Product Round with Green</Name>
         <Description>First Product Description Text</Description>
         <BrandExternalId>AAA</BrandExternalId>
         <CategoryExternalId>1010</CategoryExternalId>
         <ProductPageUrl>http://www.example.com/product.htm?prod=2000001</ProductPageUrl>
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/prodimages/2000001.gif</ImageUrl>
         <!-- Product details needed for syndication -->
         <ManufacturerPartNumbers>
            <ManufacturerPartNumber>26-12345-8Z</ManufacturerPartNumber>
         </ManufacturerPartNumbers>
         <EANs>
            <EAN>0213354752286</EAN>
            <EAN>0188173724031</EAN>
            <EAN>1833474920123</EAN>
         </EANs>
         <UPCs>
            <UPC>382157229380</UPC>
            <UPC>283929327281</UPC>
            <UPC>058227392728</UPC>
         </UPCs>
         <!-- Custom product attributes -->
         <Attributes>
            <!-- Families the product is a member of -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Green</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Round</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Product management group ID -->
            <Attribute id="ProductManagementGroupId">
               <Value>Group56789</Value>
            </Attribute>
         </Attributes>
      </Product>
      <Product>
         <ExternalId>22</ExternalId>
         <Name>Second Product Round and Green</Name>
         <Description>Second Product Description Text</Description>
         <BrandExternalId>BBB</BrandExternalId>
         <CategoryExternalId>1021</CategoryExternalId>
         <ProductPageUrl>http://www.example.com/product.htm?prod=2000002</ProductPageUrl>
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/prodimages/2000002.gif</ImageUrl>
         <ModelNumbers>
            <ModelNumber>1235832</ModelNumber>
            <ModelNumber>1235839</ModelNumber>
         </ModelNumbers>
         <ManufacturerPartNumbers>
            <ManufacturerPartNumber>26-12345-8W</ManufacturerPartNumber>
         </ManufacturerPartNumbers>
         <EANs>
            <EAN>0213354752287</EAN>
         </EANs>
         <UPCs>
            <UPC>138313830283</UPC>
         </UPCs>
         <!-- Custom product attributes -->
         <Attributes>
            <!-- Families the product is a member of -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Round</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Green</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Show all content from other products in the Round Family -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
               <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:Round</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Product management group ID -->
            <Attribute id="ProductManagementGroupId">
               <Value>Group56789</Value>
            </Attribute>
         </Attributes>
      </Product>
      <!-- Example product with multiple languages -->
      <Product>
         <ExternalId>333</ExternalId>
         <!-- Default product name -->
         <Name>Third Product Square and Red</Name>
         <!-- Localized product names -->
         <Names> 
            <Name locale="en_US">Third Product US</Name>
            <Name locale="en_CA">Third Product CA</Name>
            <Name locale="fr_CA">Troisième produit CA</Name>
         </Names>
         <!-- Default product description -->
         <Description>Third Product Description Text</Description>
         <!-- Localized product descriptions -->
         <Descriptions>
            <Description locale="en_US">Third Product Description Text US</Description>
            <Description locale="en_CA">Third Product Description Text CA</Description>
            <Description locale="fr_CA">Troisième texte Description du produit</Description>
         </Descriptions>
         <BrandExternalId>BBB</BrandExternalId>
         <CategoryExternalId>1021</CategoryExternalId>
         <!-- Default product page URL -->
         <ProductPageUrl>http://www.example.com/product.htm?prod=2000003</ProductPageUrl>
         <!-- Localized product page URLs -->
         <ProductPageUrls>
            <ProductPageUrl locale="en_US">http://www.example.com/en_us/product.htm?prod=2000003</ProductPageUrl>
            <ProductPageUrl locale="en_CA">http://www.example.com/en_ca/product.htm?prod=2000003</ProductPageUrl>
            <ProductPageUrl locale="fr_CA">http://www.example.com/fr_ca/product.htm?prod=2000003</ProductPageUrl>
         </ProductPageUrls>
         <!-- Default product image URL -->
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/prodimages/2000003.gif</ImageUrl>
         <!-- Localized product image URLs -->
         <ImageUrls>
            <ImageUrl locale="en_US">http://images.example.com/en_us/prodimages/2000003.gif</ImageUrl>
            <ImageUrl locale="en_CA">http://images.example.com/en_ca/prodimages/2000003.gif</ImageUrl>
            <ImageUrl locale="fr_CA">http://images.example.com/fr_ca/prodimages/2000003.gif</ImageUrl>
         </ImageUrls>
         <ModelNumbers>
            <ModelNumber>123523832</ModelNumber>
            <ModelNumber>123325839</ModelNumber>
         </ModelNumbers>
         <ManufacturerPartNumbers>
            <ManufacturerPartNumber>26-93812-8W</ManufacturerPartNumber>
         </ManufacturerPartNumbers>
         <EANs>
            <EAN>0813354723287</EAN>
         </EANs>
         <UPCs>
            <UPC>138313830999</UPC>
         </UPCs>
         <!-- Custom product attributes -->
         <Attributes>
            <!-- Families this product is a member of -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Red</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Square</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Show all content from other products in the Red Family -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
               <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:Red</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Show all content from other products in the Square Family -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
               <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:Square</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Price of this product in USA -->
            <Attribute id="PriceUs">
               <Value>65.30</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Price of this product in Canada -->
            <Attribute id="PriceCa">
               <Value>67.25</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Product management group ID -->
            <Attribute id="ProductManagementGroupId">
               <Value>Group12345</Value>
            </Attribute>
         </Attributes>
      </Product>
      <Product>
         <ExternalId>4444</ExternalId>
         <Name>Fourth Product Round and Black</Name>
         <Description>Fourth Product Description Text</Description>
         <BrandExternalId>BBB</BrandExternalId>
         <CategoryExternalId>1021</CategoryExternalId>
         <ProductPageUrl>http://www.example.com/product.htm?prod=2000002</ProductPageUrl>
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/prodimages/2000002.gif</ImageUrl>
         <ModelNumbers>
            <ModelNumber>1235832</ModelNumber>
            <ModelNumber>1235839</ModelNumber>
         </ModelNumbers>
         <ManufacturerPartNumbers>
            <ManufacturerPartNumber>26-12345-8W</ManufacturerPartNumber>
         </ManufacturerPartNumbers>
         <EANs>
            <EAN>0213354752287</EAN>
         </EANs>
         <UPCs>
            <UPC>138313830283</UPC>
         </UPCs>
         <!-- Custom product attributes -->
         <Attributes>
            <!-- Families this product is a member of -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Round</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Show all content from other products in the Round Family -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
               <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:Round</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Product management group ID -->
            <Attribute id="ProductManagementGroupId">
               <Value>Group56789</Value>
            </Attribute>
         </Attributes>
      </Product>
      <Product>
         <ExternalId>55555</ExternalId>
         <Name>Fifth Product- Family level</Name>
         <Description>Use this product to collect reviews at a Family level. This product is also a member of the Green Family. It has the BV_FE_EXPAND Attribute set which will pull all reviews for the family</Description>
         <BrandExternalId>BBB</BrandExternalId>
         <CategoryExternalId>1021</CategoryExternalId>
         <ProductPageUrl>http://www.example.com/product.htm?prod=2000002</ProductPageUrl>
         <ImageUrl>http://images.example.com/prodimages/2000002.gif</ImageUrl>
         <ModelNumbers>
            <ModelNumber>1235832green</ModelNumber>
            <ModelNumber>1235543green</ModelNumber>
            <ModelNumber>127654green</ModelNumber>
            <ModelNumber>123111green</ModelNumber>
         </ModelNumbers>
         <UPCs>
            <UPC>138313830281</UPC>
            <UPC>138313830282</UPC>
            <UPC>138313830283</UPC>
            <UPC>138313830284</UPC>
         </UPCs>
         <!-- Custom product attributes -->
         <Attributes>
            <!-- Families this product is a member of -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_FAMILY">
               <Value>Green</Value>
            </Attribute>
            <!-- Show all content from other products in the Green Family -->
            <Attribute id="BV_FE_EXPAND">
               <Value>BV_FE_FAMILY:Green</Value>
            </Attribute>
         </Attributes>
      </Product>
   </Products>
</Feed>

Create a text product catalog feed

Bazaarvoice supports receiving catalog data in a text file. Though this format can be used to provide the main catalog feed, Bazaarvoice recommends that you use the text format for supplemental feed files because the text format has the following limitations:

  • Lack of localization—You cannot provide localized catalog attributes such as product name, category name, and URLs.
  • Simple category hierarchy—Though the text format supports category information, only non-localized category names can be provided in a text file. Unique category identifiers cannot be sent to Bazaarvoice in a text file; if they are, downstream issues may occur if category names change over time for any reason.
  • Strict limitations on field values—You must adhere to the following rules when creating a text feed:

    • Do not include instances of a delimiter (commas, pipes, or tabs) within the field values, such as Name or Description.
    • Do not use double-quotes around field values.
    • Avoid including leading and trailing spaces in field values because they will be included with the value when stored in the Bazaarvoice database.

Complete the steps in this section to provide catalog data to Bazaarvoice in the form of a text file.

Step 1: Create and format the text file

The following sections detail the exact specifications of the Bazaarvoice text feed file.

File attributes

The file must be formatted as follows:

File Attribute Description
Header

Must be listed as the first line in the file and begin with //. Include a header for specific scenarios when using multiple catalog sources, such as when using a text file as your main feed in conjunction with multiple catalog feed sources. Here is an example:

//catalogMode=COMPLETE
Delimiter

Use one of the following delimiters to separate columns:

  • Comma
  • Pipe (I)
  • Tab

Column Header Row

Required to describe the values provided in the file. The file must include at least two columns. Refer to Column definitions for a list of headers and values that can be included in the file.

File extension

You can use any file extension when naming the feed file because Bazaarvoice automatically detects the file type. However, Bazaarvoice recommends using common extensions, such as .csv, .tsv, or .txt.

Columns definitions

The following columns are supported in the text file. Note that column names are not case sensitive.

Column Name Value Required
ExternalId

Unique product ID that can contain only alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). If the external product ID contains an invalid character, replace it with an alternate character, such as an underscore. The ID is case insensitive, so you cannot use IDs that match except for case.

This format is used in the data feed only and is not visible to end users.

Yes
Name

Name of the product, which is visible to end users.

No
Description

Description of the product. A description is only used within the optional Facebook Ratings and Reviews or Questions and Answers app. Bazaarvoice recommends that product descriptions be at least three sentences or 300 characters long.

No
Brand

The name of the brand to which the product belongs.

Note: If BrandExternalId is not specified in addition to Brand, a brand external ID is created even if a brand external ID was specified in a feed or created in the past.
Recommended
BrandExternalId

ID of the brand to which the product belongs.

Recommended
Category

The product's category name.

Recommended
CategoryExternalId

Category ID for the product.

Note: If CategoryExternalId is not specified in addition to Category, a category external ID is created even if a category external ID was specified in a feed or created in the past.
Recommended
ProductUrl

Unique, uncorrupted URL for a product page. Do not include extraneous query string parameters that you might use for tracking and partnership codes. If the URL contains a reserved (special) character, you must URL-encode the character. For example, use &amp for an ampersand, use %20 for a space, or use %5B and %5D for square brackets ([ ]).

Yes
ImageUrl

Unique URL for the product image. The optimal but slightly flexible display size is 600 x 600 pixels. If the URL contains a reserved (special) character, you must URL-encode the character. For example, use &amp for an ampersand, use %20 for a space, or use %5B and %5D for square brackets ([ ]).

Note: If Conversations is deployed on an HTTPS site, you must provide image URLs at an HTTPS location in your product catalog. If you do not, your customers will see a mixed content warning.
Yes
ModelNumber Unique referencing code that businesses use to identify a part that a particular industry uses. Each model number can contain letters, numerals, and other characters. No; if included, one per product
ManufacturerPartNumber Manufacturer-specific part number (MPN). Part numbers can contain letters, numerals, and characters. Recommended
EAN

European Article Numbers (EAN), which is used worldwide for marking retail goods. An EAN must be a string of eight numerals or 13 numerals (no letters or other characters are allowed). Remove spaces and hyphens because they disrupt syndication matching.

Note: Bazaarvoice does not enforce length or numerical constraints on EANs. Values are validated during the catalog import process, however, and only valid values are stored.
No
UPC

Universal Product Code (UPC), which is a 6- or 12-digit bar code used for standard retail packaging in the United States. A UPC can contain numerals only, with no letters or other characters. Remove spaces and hyphens because they disrupt syndication matching.

Note: Bazaarvoice does not enforce length or numerical constraints on EANs. Values are validated during the catalog import process, however, and only valid values are stored.
No
ISBN International Standard Book Number (ISBN), which is a 10- or 13-character value used predominantly for media products such as books, music, and videos. The last character provides a checksum that helps validate the product identifier. Most ISBNs are composed only of digits, except for some 10-character ISBN values that use an X for the checksum. No
GTIN Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which is a globally unique 14-digit number used to identify trade items, products, or services. Bazaarvoice auto-detects the type of value provided in the GTIN field and stores it as the appropriate UPC, EAN, or ISBN value in the Bazaarvoice database. No
BV_FE_Family The product family name to which the product belongs. Bazaarvoice recommends that you exclude special characters from product family names. No
BV_FE_Expand The product bundle name, to enable a product to display all content about family components on the product bundle's page. No
Inactive

Marks the product inactive if a yes or true value is specified in this column.

Note: If the product does not exist in the database and is marked inactive, it is not added to the database.
No

Product attributes with multiple values

If a product has more than one value for an attribute, you should provide all values if possible to maximize the value of the Bazaarvoice network. For example, a shirt may have different SKUs in your catalog system, one for each color or size variant. Bazaarvoice supports multiple values for the following product attributes:

  • UPC
  • EAN
  • ISBN
  • GTIN
  • ManufacturerPartNumber
  • ModelNumber

To provide multiple values for an attribute, you can

  • Combine values into a single column and separate the values using spaces. Here is an example:
    ExternalId | UPC  
    123 | 123000000001
    456 | 456000000001 456000000002 456000000003
    788 | 789000000001 789000000002
  • Repeat the product in the file, providing a different value on each line. Here is an example:
    ExternalId, UPC
    123,123000000001
    456,456000000001
    456,456000000002
    789,789000000001
    789,789000000002
    789,789000000003

Step 2: Upload the feed

Bazaarvoice recommends that you upload an updated product feed whenever changes are made to your product catalog as reflected by your website. It is imperative that you provide Bazaarvoice with matching updates as your product catalog changes on your live site.

Note: If you are attempting to provide product catalog data using multiple sources, contact Bazaarvoice to enable this functionality before uploading the feed file.

You can add another level of security to your data by supplying a public Secure Socket Shell (SSH) key using SSH passwordless entry. This process relies on a private key that resides with you, paired with a public key used by a Bazaarvoice SFTP server. If you want to set up this key-based authentication method, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care for information and assistance.

Upload the feed file to the /import-inbox directory of the SFTP server:

  • If your data is hosted in the US, use the following URLs:
    • Staging server—sftp-stg.bazaarvoice.com
    • Production server—sftp.bazaarvoice.com
  • If your data is hosted in Europe, use the following URLs:
    • Staging server—sftp7-stg.bazaarvoice.com
    • Production server—sftp7.bazaarvoice.com

Be sure to connect to SFTP using port 22. If you do not know your SFTP credentials or where your data is hosted, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care.

After you upload a product feed to an SFTP server, Bazaarvoice automatically begins importing the feed at 2 AM Central Time (CST: UTC-6 or CDT: UTC-5), although Bazaarvoice may not finish importing your feed until later the same day due to the import process.

If you uploaded the feed to a staging server, you can trigger an import manually. (You cannot manually trigger an import to the production server.) Complete the following steps to manually import the feed:

  1. From the Bazaarvoice Workbench of the staging server , select Settings » Validate Product Feed.
  2. Click Schedule one-time import to manually import the feed.

Step 3: Check the feed status

After uploading a feed to the staging or production SFTP server, you can view the import summary and error or warning count of the feed. Checking the import summary enables you to correct errors before the next import, so you can ensure you provide a valid feed for the next import.

View the import summary in the staging Workbench or production Workbench by selecting Settings » Validate Product Feed. If your feed returns an error or warning, click it to get detailed information.

Example text feeds

The following example is a simple comma-separated value (CSV) file that provides supplemental EAN catalog data:

ExternalId, EAN
123,0123000000001
456,0456000000001
456,0456000000002
789,0789000000001
789,0789000000002
789,0789000000003

Here is an example of a CSV file that can be used as the primary feed for product catalog data:

//catalogMode=COMPLETE
ExternalId, UPC    
123,123000000001
456,456000000001
456,456000000002
789,789000000001
789,789000000002
789,789000000003

Required feed elements for Bazaarvoice product and feature support

High-quality feed content is required for successful syndication, notifications, reporting, and integration with other Bazaarvoice products. Bazaarvoice relies primarily on an automated matching technique that depends on globally unique product identifiers. The completeness and accuracy of your product feed determine how well products can be matched.

These Conversations features and Bazaarvoice products rely on accurate identifiers in your product feed to ensure maximum value:

The following sections provide information about key feed components that are required for product and feature support (some exceptions are noted below). For XML feeds, they are elements. For text feeds, they are column names.

Incremental feed files

A full product catalog feed includes all products that are available in your catalog and for which you want to collect content. An incremental feed contains data for a subset of your products.

Consider the following strategies for using full vs. incremental feeds:

  • Only full feeds

    You can upload a full, periodic, XML catalog feed to Bazaarvoice that includes all current data for all active products and categories. This is the recommended strategy.

  • Full and incremental feeds

    You can provide a mix of full and incremental catalog feeds. Bazaarvoice recommends that you provide an initial full catalog feed followed by periodic, incremental feeds that contain only changes to your catalog data. Consider using full and incremental product feeds if:

    • Your product catalog changes so frequently that daily product feed updates are necessary
    • Infrequent or modest updates are made to your product feed

    However, to prevent gaps in the dataset that can result from failure to upload and process any given incremental feed, Bazaarvoice recommends that you provide a full feed periodically (with current data for your complete catalog) to ensure no data gaps exist.

  • Only incremental feeds

    If you cannot provide all products in a single, full catalog feed, you can provide incremental feeds only. Be sure to include the removed=”true” attribute when providing only incremental feeds. See Control the active set of products for more information about this approach.

    Caution: If you use incremental feeds only and you never provide a full feed to Bazaarvoice, it is possible that catalog data may become out of sync with your source product catalog if an incremental feed upload is missed or fails in any way.

Each feed file indicates whether it is full or incremental, though this is done differently depending on the feed format:

  • XML feed files: use the incremental attribute in the <Feed> element
  • Text feed files: specify a file header

Filter catalog data based on custom product attributes

To filter your product feed by custom product attributes, you must add them to your feed configuration. This lets you filter based on attributes in the content dashboards and reports in the Workbench. Custom product attributes give you a way to report on product-specific information; however, it does not provide multiple categories in a feed. For example, you could define a "region" attribute to report on hotels in a region of the country. Or, you could define a "department" attribute to track how products from various departments are being received by your customers.

Note: If you want to include custom product attributes in a text feed, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care for assistance.

The following video illustrates how to use custom product attributes.

Complete these steps to add a custom product attribute to your implementation and then enable custom product attributes in the Workbench:

  1. Include custom product attributes in the feed by adding the <Attributes> block to the <Products> element. Each <Attribute> element in the <Attributes> block identifies a custom attribute. Here is an example of three custom attributes:
    <Products>
       <Product> ... <Attributes> <Attribute id="CHANNEL_VISIBILITY">
    <Value>Any</Value>
    </Attribute>
    <Attribute id="SAP_STATUS">
    <Value>L</Value>
    </Attribute>
    <Attribute id="BUYING_NUMBER">
    <Value>Not_Available</Value>
    </Attribute>
    </Attributes> </Product>
    </Products>
  2. From the Workbench of the staging server , select Settings » Manage Applications.
    Note: You can create attributes on the production server, but you may want to test and preview this on the staging server first.
  3. From the Implementations section of the Site Manager page, edit the implementation that is deployed to the Main Site deployment zone.
    Note: Custom product attributes cannot be enabled in individual deployment zones. If they are not enabled in the Main Site deployment zone, they are not displayed in the Workbench.
  4. Select Getting Started » Technical Setup and then click the Product Feeds tab.
  5. In the Feed Attributes section at the bottom of the Product Feeds page, type an attribute name in the Custom Product Attributes field and then click Add. The attribute name must match the id attribute of the <Attribute> element in the product feed. Repeat this step for every attribute you want to add.

    This example shows attributes that match the IDs in the previous XML example:

You can use custom product attributes to filter content in Workbench analyst reports, dashboards, Bazaarvoice Intelligence, and other views.

Note: You cannot filter data based on custom product attributes in the Reports section of the Workbench. Viewing product attribute data is only supported on legacy dashboards.

For example, you can filter the Content » Manage Content : Ratings & Review view by selecting Product Attributes from the Product drop-down list. You can specify one or more attribute names, and only content that includes those attributes are displayed on the Manage Content: Ratings & Reviews page, like the following example illustrates.

Share reviews using product families

The product families feature in Conversations enables you to share consumer-generated content (CGC) among multiple related products. By grouping products into families, you can display CGC written about one family member on the product display pages of all family members. Sharing reviews among product family members increases the following key performance indicators for your Bazaarvoice implementation:

  • Percentage of products with displayed reviews
  • Number of products with displayed reviews
  • Average reviews per product
  • Number of total displayed reviews

Types of product families

The type of product family that you use depends on how products differ:

  • Product variants — Products that are nearly identical to other products in terms of consumer experience, but they have different SKUs or part numbers. For example, products that come in different colors, different sizes, or are packaged in different weights or quantities may be variants of one another. Content from product variants is usually shared in all directions. All products in a given family display content that was written about the other family members.

    Creating a product family of product variants works best when each product variant is featured on its own product display page. If all product variants share the same page on your site, treating the variants as one product when integrating with Bazaarvoice may be simpler and more practical than setting up a product family for those products.

  • Product bundles — Groups of products sold together that otherwise may be sold individually. Content about product bundles is usually shared in one direction: from individual components to the product bundle. Typically, the product display page of a bundle displays all reviews written about the individual components. However, the product display page of each component shows reviews only about that component.

Configure product families

You can configure product families either in your product feed or through the Bazaarvoice Workbench. The product feed method is a best practice. You can assign a product to one or more families at the same time using either the feed or the Workbench.

Keep the following caveats in mind when configuring product families:

  • Product family configurations do not carry over between the staging and production environments.
  • Any changes you make to product families in the Workbench can be undone only through the Workbench.
  • Family definitions in the product feed do not override any family operations in the Workbench.
Note: Syndication ignores product family relationships. If you plan to or have implemented syndication, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care before configuring product families in your product feed.

Using the product feed

Bazaarvoice recommends you create product families through the product feed if you have a clear idea about which products can be grouped into families. Automating those relationships in the product feed is straightforward and faster than creating them using the Workbench.

You can configure product families in your product feed by including one or both of the following attributes:

  • BV_FE_FAMILY—Adds a product to a specific family.
  • BV_FE_EXPAND—Enables a product to display all content from other members of the family.
Tip: Bazaarvoice recommends that you do not use special characters, such as commas, in product family names.

Using the Workbench

Use the Workbench to manually create families in the following situations:

  • You are not familiar with XML.
  • You are unable to work on the product feed.
  • You need to create a family whose CGC sharing relationships are not straightforward or possible to configure in the product feed.

    The following two examples describe scenarios in which a product family should be created using the Workbench.

    • A category manager for MP3 players wants to share reviews among all the colors of the 32 MB and 64 MB players. Setting up separate families for the 32 MB device and the 64 MB device is straightforward in the feed. However, because the 32 MB device and 64 MB device have different SKUs, combining them into one family using the feed might not be possible. The category manager should configure the family in the Workbench.
    • A personal-care brand manager wants to bundle lip balm and sunscreen for sale during the summer months. The brand manager wants to configure a product family containing the lip balm and sunscreen so that reviews about the individual family members will be shared on the product bundle's page. However, the lip balm and sunscreen do not have a common product feed element to link them together. The brand manager should configure the product family in the Workbench. When the season ends and the brand manager no longer wants to sell the products together, the manager can delete the product family bundle using the Workbench.

Complete the following steps to configure product families through the Workbench.

  1. Log in to the Workbenchand navigate to Content » Manage Families.
  2. Click Add New Family, and enter a name for the product family.
  3. Enter the Product ID, as listed in your XML product feed, for every product you want to add to the family, and click Add Product.
  4. Deselect Expand if you do not want the corresponding product to display content from family members.
  5. Click x to return to the Manage Families page.

Control the active set of products

Bazaarvoice maintains a status for every brand, category, and product ever provided in a feed file. An active brand, category, or product is one that is available for purchase and review. An inactive brand, category, or product is one that is considered out-of-date, removed from production, and no longer available for purchase.

Inactive brands, categories, and products are excluded from the following:

  • Syndication, if you are manually matching products
  • Ratings-only feeds
  • SEO
  • Connections portal

Inactive brands, categories, and products continue to be included in the following:

  • Display
  • Syndication, if products are auto-matched
  • Submission
  • Standard client feed

Finally, based on status, you can filter Workbench content and reports and retrieve content using the API .

When you upload product feed files, Bazaarvoice processes the feeds differently based on whether they are full or incremental:

Full feeds Incremental feeds
  • Products, categories, and brands included in the full feed are added to the Bazaarvoice database
  • The status of included products, categories, and brands is marked active (unless the removed="true" attribute is set).
  • The status of products, categories, and brands that are already in the Bazaarvoice database but not in full feed is marked inactive.
  • Newly added and updated products, categories, and brands in the incremental feed are added to the Bazaarvoice database.
  • The status of included products, categories, and brands is marked active (unless the removed="true" attribute is set). If you cannot provide the removed=”true” attribute, Bazaarvoice can enable a feature that infers the products that should be active based on the recency of the catalog data received incrementally. Contact Bazaarvoice regarding this feature.
  • The status of products, categories, and brands that are already in the Bazaarvoice database but not in the incremental feed are not changed (the active status is not updated).

Define a product category hierarchy

If you create an XML feed file, you can define product category hierarchy. You can associate each product with a specific category within the hierarchy using the <CategoryExternalId> element, and you can define a category's parent, thereby defining the category hierarchy, using the <ParentExternalId> element.

Be aware of the following if you are providing multiple feeds for your catalog data:

  • A product that appears in multiple feeds must be in the same category in all feeds. Therefore, if product A is in category X in Feed A, then product A cannot be in category Y in Feed B.
  • A category that is listed in multiple feeds must be in the same parent category in all feeds. Therefore, if category A is in parent category X in Feed A, then category A cannot be in parent category Y in Feed B.

The following XML file excerpt defines a <CategoryExternalId> for a category that is then reference by a <ParentExternalId> element.

<Categories>
   <Category>
      <ExternalId>food-1123</ExternalId>
       <Name>Food</Name>            <= no parent category; this is a top-level hierarchy element
         ...
   </Category>
   <Category>
      <ExternalId>fruit-1789</ExternalId>
      <Name>Fruit</Name>
      <ParentExternalId>food-1123</ParentExternalId>         <= "Fruit" category is a child of category “Food”
      ...
   </Category>
</Categories>
<Products>
   <Product>
      <ExternalId>123</ExternalId>
      <Name>Apple</Name>
      <CategoryExternalId>fruit-1789</CategoryExternalId>      <= belongs to category “Fruit”
      ...
   </Product>
   ...
</Products>

Use multiple catalog sources

Bazaarvoice can consume product catalog data from multiple sources. This alleviates the need for clients who store their data across separate systems to merge all product catalog data into a single source, such as a single feed file, before providing that single source to Bazaarvoice.

Note: Because there are so many possible scenarios for providing data from multiple sources, it is important to consult with Bazaarvoice about your particular needs. Considerations must be made regarding how data will be provided, and a Bazaarvoice representative must enable this feature to make sure data is properly merged from multiple sources. Therefore, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care before attempting to provide product catalog data using multiple files.

Example scenarios

Consider the following example scenarios:

  • Primary XML feed plus supplemental feed for missing data elements

    All product catalog data is stored in one system, such as a web storefront system, but the data elements required for syndication (such as UPC and EAN codes) are stored in a separate order management system or product information management (PIM) system. You can use an XML feed to provide the catalog data to Bazaarvoice and use a simple, supplemental XML or text file to provide data missing from the XML feed (such as UPC or EAN data) to Bazaarvoice.

    This approach can be used to provide any data elements missing from the main XML feed (EAN, ISBN, Manufacturer Part Number, and so on). Bazaarvoice recommends that you supply all data for a given data element (such as UPC) in the main XML feed or the supplemental feed, rather than providing data for a given element in both feed files.

  • Products and categories span multiple feeds

    The complete catalog of products is supplied by separate systems. For example, if a client sells fruit and cars, the fruit product catalog data comes from a different system than the product catalog data for car products. Rather than generating a single unified product catalog feed, it is easier to provide one feed for all current fruit products and another feed for all current car products.

  • Localized product catalog feeds
    If you implement Bazaarvoice in multiple locales, you can store product catalog data for each locale in a separate feed file.

Upload multiple feed files

If you are using multiple sources to provide catalog data to Bazaarvoice, you must upload the files from each catalog source on a recurring basis to ensure that catalog data is current and complete in the Bazaarvoice database. However, feed files from each source do not need to be provided to Bazaarvoice at the same or on the same upload schedule. For example, the main XML feed can be provided on a daily basis, but the supplemental text file can be provided on a weekly basis.

While it is a valid strategy to provide a one-time supplemental feed to quickly solve issues related to incomplete catalog data, you should consider an automated process to provide the supplemental data on an ongoing basis to ensure catalog completeness in the future.

Note: It is recommended that you upload a feed files at least every 30 days.

Examples

Primary XML feed plus supplemental feed containing UPC data

In this scenario, a client includes all product catalog data from a web storefront system in an XML feed file and provides UPC data in a text feed file. The primary XML feed does not contain UPC data.

Here is the XML file. Note that this file is a “full” feed (incremental=”false” in the <Feed> header); all products in the feed should be considered active within Bazaarvoice after consuming the feed.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed name="Apples_n_Bananas" extractDate="2015-10-13T13:56:25" incremental="false" xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7">
<Categories>
<Category>...</Category>
</Categories> <Products> <Product> <ExternalId>123</ExternalId> <Name>Apple</Name> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>456</ExternalId> <Name>Banana</Name> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>789</ExternalId> <Name>Orange</Name> ... </Product> </Products> </Feed>

Here is the supplemental CSV feed that contains the UPC values. Note that the file also contains each products ExternalId value, which is used by Bazaarvoice to merge the UPC data with the product catalog data provided in the main XML feed.

ExternalId, UPC
123,123000000001
456,456000000001
789,789000000001

Or, an XML feed file could be used to provide the UPC data. Note the use of incremental="true" supplemental="true" in the <Feed> header.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed name="Apples_n_Bananas" extractDate="2015-10-13T13:56:25" incremental="true" supplemental="true" xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7">
<Products>
<Product> <ExternalId>123</ExternalId> <UPCs> <UPC>123000000001</UPC> </UPCs> </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>456</ExternalId> <UPCs> <UPC>456000000001</UPC> <UPC>456000000002</UPC> </UPCs> </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>789</ExternalId> <UPCs> <UPC>789000000001</UPC> <UPC>789000000002</UPC> <UPC>789000000003</UPC> </UPCs> </Product> </Products> </Feed>

Products and categories span multiple feeds

In this scenario, a client provides two separate feeds:

  • An XML feed with product, brand, and category data for fruit products
  • An XML feed with product, brand, and category data for car products

The following is an example of the XML feed for fruit products. Note the incremental="true" attribute in the <Feed> header.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed name="Apples_n_Bananas" extractDate="2015-10-13T13:56:25" incremental="true" xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7">
<Categories>
<Category>...</Category>
</Categories> <Products> <Product> <ExternalId>123</ExternalId> <Name>Apple</Name> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>456</ExternalId> <Name>Banana</Name> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>789</ExternalId> <Name>Orange</Name> ... </Product> </Products> </Feed>

Here is the XML feed for car products. Again, note the incremental="true" attribute in the <Feed> header.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed name="Apples_n_Bananas" extractDate="2015-10-13T13:56:25" incremental="true" xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7">
<Categories>
<Category>...</Category>
</Categories> <Products> <Product> <ExternalId>9876547</ExternalId> <Name>Ferrari</Name> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>7736208</ExternalId> <Name>Aston Martin</Name> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>789632528</ExternalId> <Name>BMW</Name> ... </Product> </Products> </Feed>

Localized product catalog feeds

In this scenario, a client wants to implement Bazaarvoice across two locales: en_CA and fr_CA. The client stores its product catalog for the en_CA locale in a separate system from the product catalog data for the fr_CA locale. To use a single Bazaarvoice account, a client can provide one feed with the en_CA data and another feed with the fr_CA data.

The following example shows the product catalog feed containing the localized catalog data for the en_CA locale only. Note the incremental="false" attribute in the <Feed> header.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed name="Apples_n_Bananas" extractDate="2015-10-13T13:56:25" incremental="false" xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7">
<Categories>
<Category>...</Category>
</Categories> <Products> <Product> <ExternalId>123</ExternalId> <Name>Apple</Name> <Names> <Name locale="en_CA">Apple EN</Name> </Names> <ProductPageUrls> <ProductPageUrl locale=”en_CA”>http://www.example.com/en_CA/apple.htm</ProductPageUrl> </ProductPageUrls> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>456</ExternalId> <Name>Banana</Name> <Names> <Name locale="en_CA">Banana EN</Name> </Names> <ProductPageUrls> <ProductPageUrl locale=”en_CA”>http://www.example.com/en_CA/banana.htm</ProductPageUrl> </ProductPageUrls> ... </Product> </Products> </Feed>

The following example shows the product catalog feed containing the localized catalog data for the fr_CA locale only. Note the incremental="false" attribute in the <Feed> header.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feed name="Apples_n_Bananas" extractDate="2015-10-13T13:56:25" incremental="false" xmlns="http://www.bazaarvoice.com/xs/PRR/ProductFeed/14.7">
<Categories>
<Category>...</Category>
</Categories> <Products> <Product> <ExternalId>123</ExternalId> <Name>Apple</Name> <Names> <Name locale="fr_CA">Apple FR</Name> </Names> <ProductPageUrls> <ProductPageUrl locale=”fr_CA”>http://www.example.com/fr_CA/apple.htm</ProductPageUrl> </ProductPageUrls> ... </Product> <Product> <ExternalId>456</ExternalId> <Name>Banana</Name> <Names> <Name locale="fr_CA">Banana FR</Name> </Names> <ProductPageUrls> <ProductPageUrl locale=”fr_CA”>http://www.example.com/fr_CA/banana.htm</ProductPageUrl> </ProductPageUrls> ... </Product> </Products> </Feed>
  1. Create or update the product XML feed as described by the XML schema . You can use the Product Feed Generator as a starting point for creating your product feed.

    Each product in the feed must include these properties: 

    • Brand
    • Product ID
    • Product name
    • Product URL
    • Image URL
    • EAN, UPC, or MPN
    Note: The product ID is set in the $BV.configure call on your product page. In the product feed, you must specify the value of the product ID for ExternalId. Within Bazaarvoice, ExternalId is especially important. Without it, product matching across features cannot occur. Product ID is also used in submission form links (productId) and in the integration code on product description pages (PDPs), and it is used by sku in BV Pixel transactions.

    Refer to this XML feed example if necessary.

  2. Validate the XML feed against the schema using this validation tool .
  3. Upload feed to the Bazaarvoice staging or production SFTP server, in /import-inbox. Feeds are processed in a daily queue at 2 AM Central Time (CST: UTC-6 or CDT: UTC-5) and are placed in the /backup folder.
  4. Check the results on the staging Workbench or production Workbench .

To trigger the import of the validated feed on the staging server:

  1. Log in to the staging Workbench .
  2. Select Settings » Validate Product Feed.
  3. Click Schedule One-Time Import.

You cannot trigger the import of the validated feed on the production server. Instead, check results on the production server:

  1. Log in to the production Workbench .
  2. Select Settings » Validate Product Feed.
  3. Click the Error/Warning Count for more details.

Verify the following: