Table of Contents
Updated by Patrick Mares
The Private or Custom Catalog feature allows dealers to add custom Ecommerce Products to their webstore. Product Groups can be added to Private Catalogs to include: brands missing from other Catalogs, parts that dealers produce or modify themselves, or for any other item a dealer would like to add to the Ecommerce webstore.
Please review the warnings, best practices and terms below before importing Private Catalog data into the system, and listing it for sale.
Catalogs, Products, Product Groups and Categories
Knowing the difference between a Catalog type and a Category, and a Product versus a Product Group will make documentation much clearer. If you are not 100% clear on any of these items please read Ecommerce Products, Product Groups, Categories and Catalogs.
Web Ready Data
Getting Catalog data into a usable format that translates into an enjoyable buying experience for shoppers on any eCommerce platform is no easy task. In fact, we have found that more people fail at it than succeed.
How you format your data matters! If you rush through it and don't give it the attention that it requires you can expect lackluster results on any E-Commerce platform. We have spent years helping dealers get their Private Catalog data to perform on various marketplaces and we feel that we have a very user-friendly system in place compared to other tools.
Sizes, Colors, Options
The database breaks out attributes so that they can be filtered on a marketplace and worked into various parts of an eCommerce Product page with tags. If the Products you are working with have a size, color, manufacturer, or option, you will want to make sure that you assign the attribute to the proper column. This way when you list Products on your webstore the listings will have drop-down choices.
Product and Product Group Best Practices
- Make sure the spelling and naming of your Product Groups is accurate and consistent.
- Use Proper Capitalization. Don't do all caps!
- Make sure your entries do not have any trailing spaces that would cause the cell to be unique.
- Make sure that your MPNs are accurate and only appear once.
- DO NOT use different formats or spelling for attributes. If you use Yellow, continue to use Yellow. Don't start using YLW. Keep your cataloging methods consistent.
- Try not to put size, color, option attributes in your Product Group Name.
- DO NOT put the Manufacturer Group in your Product Group Names.
- Try not to put fitment into your Product Group Names. Use the Private Catalog Import Fitment feature for this.
- Take your time. Do it right the first time.
Listing Products online is the first step, but providing accurate inventory information to buyers remains the biggest factor in long-term eCommerce success.
For the Aftermarket Catalog, we aggregate inventory from every single warehouse for every distributor on a daily basis and take care of this for you.
For Private Catalog Products, there is more reliance on you the dealer, and your internal systems. You may choose to manually update inventory, upload daily inventory or use the Lightspeed integration for nightly updates.