An item attribute is used to define a product characteristic. Each product consists of several different characteristics. For example, a product name, an identity number, and a product description are common attributes of any product. Similarly, attributes such as dimensions, color, and material determine the physical attributes of a product. Product attributes directly impact user experience and purchase decisions. This is why it’s important to optimize your product attributes with PIM.
In PIM, attributes are key-value pairs (e.g. Brand: Nike) that hold information for each property of the product. Attributes ensure all the different products have the relevant and correct information across sales channels. Keeping each piece of relevant information as a separate attribute—instead of conveying the brand, the model, and the dimensions in a single paragraph—makes product information management scalable.
PIM supports the following types of item attributes for storing different types of product information:
- Text: This attribute type supports a sequence of characters. There are no restrictions on what can be stored in this attribute type. You may store text, numbers, special characters, or any combination. Text attribute has three subtypes which need to be defined. These are-
- Small Text
- Text Area
- Number Only: This attribute type accepts, stores, and retrieves only numbers. Use this attribute type when the value is always a number.
- Date: This attribute type addresses all of your date-related requirements in the context of a product. You’ll see a calendar in PIM to add the date and select one of the formats listed below. Bulk import of the Date attribute type uses the date format selected when the attribute was created. The selected date format cannot be changed. To change it, you must delete the attribute and create it again using the required format. Date formats that PIM supports include:
- Boolean: This attribute type represents the Boolean value (True/False) for a product attribute. While importing attributes from an external system, make sure the True or False values are specified for all Boolean attribute types.
- List of Values: This attribute type lets you create attributes that have a defined value across the product catalog. Only one value from the list can be selected while creating an item.
- Serial: This attribute type lets you create an auto-increment number type attribute. You can specify where the number starts from and what the increment is. Each time a new item is created with this attribute, the value is automatically calculated by incrementing the previous value by the specified increment.
For each attribute type, some fields are optional while some are required. If required fields are not provided, an “Unable to create an attribute” error message will appear. To fix this, you need to provide the data that aligns with the corresponding attribute type.
Use these properties to add content to your attributes:
- Attribute title: This attribute property represents the title of an attribute.
- Description: This attribute property represents the description of an attribute.
- Mandatory: This attribute property marks an attribute as required. You can only mark an attribute as required if it's mandatory across hierarchies in PIM.
- Set a Range: Setting a range is applicable only for the Number Only attribute type. Either set a range or use a formula—not both.
- Date Format: This attribute property lets you set a date format and is only applicable for the Date attribute.
- Decimal: This attribute property can be configured only for the Number Only attribute type to allow (or restrict) decimal values.
- Values: This attribute property is applicable only for the List of Values attribute type to ensure at least one value is provided to create a list for the attribute.
The following table shows the attribute types and their properties. This will help you determine the mandatory and optional properties of an attribute type.
|Attributes||Text||Number Only||Date||Boolean||List of Values||Serial|
|Set a Range||N/A||Optional||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
To ensure data quality, provide one or more validations based on the selected attribute type.
Sometimes, businesses need attributes generated or calculated based on other attribute values for the same item. This is useful when attributes are dynamic in nature. For example, the Display Name shown on a website is sometimes the concatenation of the item's title, brand, and color. Another example of a calculated value is the Area of a rug that can be calculated by multiplying Length and Width. Without calculation formulas, maintaining attributes like this is not scalable since each value needs edited in multiple places.
Frequently-used formulas include:
|Divide||await attribute("weight").value() / await attribute("volume").value()|
|Multiply||await attribute("ratio").value() * 100|
|Sum||await attribute("grams sugar").value() + await attribute("grams fiber").value()|
|Subtract||await attribute("cost").value() - await attribute("discount").value()|
|Concatenate||await attribute("weight").value() + “ ” + await attribute("weight unit").value()|
Note: Values in double quotes (" ") represent the Title of the reference attribute and refer to the absolute value of the attribute being used for calculation.
Frequently-used validations include:
|Validation||Example Need||Example Code|
|Minimum length||You need a minimum character length for a description.||await attribute().value().length > 5|
|Maximum length||You need a maximum length for a title.||await attribute().value().length < 200|
|URL check||You need to confirm an image is a URL.||/<url-regex>/.test(await attribute().value())|
|Past date check (today)||You need to confirm a date is today or earlier (i.e. manufacture date).||await attribute().value() <= new Date()|
|Future date check (today)||You need to confirm a date is today or after (i.e. an expiration date).||await attribute().value() >= new Date()|
|Past date check (date)||You need to confirm a date is before a specified date (i.e. warranty period).||await attribute().value() <= new Date(1994, 10, 17)|
|Future date check (date)||You need to confirm a date is after a specified date (i.e. presale date).||await attribute().value() >= new Date(1994, 10, 17)|
|Boolean value||You need to confirm that a boolean value is true (i.e. washable product).||await attribute().value() == true|
- Navigate to the Item Attributes page from the left panel within PIM.
- Click Create an attribute in the upper-left corner of the Attributes page.
- In the Create attribute dialog box that appears, enter the following:
- Attribute Title
- Attribute Type
- Attribute Details
- Click Save.
- Go to the Item Attributes page within PIM.
- From the list of attributes, select the one you want to update.
- Make changes in the Edit Attribute dialog box.
- Click Save.
- You can not change the Attribute Type once it's configured.
- You can not change the date format for the Date attribute type once it's configured.
- Go to the Attributes page within PIM.
- From the list of attributes, select the attribute you want to delete.
- Click Delete in the Edit Attribute dialog box.
- A Delete Attribute dialog box will open to confirm your action.
- Click Delete.
Note: You can only delete an attribute if it is not part of any hierarchy.
In order to bulk import attributes, you need to prepare the CSV template here. The list below explains the fields within the CSV template. Complete as many fields as possible before uploading your CSV file to PIM.
- Attribute Title (Mandatory): The name of the attribute
- Type of Attribute (Mandatory): Text, Number Only, Date, Boolean, or List
- Description (Optional): More details about the attribute
- Decimal (Optional): Only relevant for Number type attributes. When TRUE, the attribute allows decimal values; when FALSE, only whole numbers are accepted. The default value is TRUE.
- Min (Optional): Only relevant for Number type attributes; defines the minimum value for attribute validation
- Max (Optional): Only relevant for Number type attributes; defines the maximum value for attribute validation
- Date Format (Mandatory): This field is Mandatory only for Date type attributes. It defines the date format for the field. Without a format, the attribute will not be imported. Acceptable formats include:
- Calcution Formula (Optional): Populate with a formula to calculate attribute values.
- Validations Formula (Optional): Populate with a formula to set business validations on attribute values.
To upload the CSV file to PIM:
- Click Import Attribute.
- Select the file you want to upload.
- Click Upload.
- PIM will queue your file and import your attributes.
- Go to the Attribute List page.
- Click Import History.
- View a list of all initiated imports, along with their status.
- Click any of the history items to show item import details, including any errors.
- You can export a file of attributes with errors. This lets you correct the errors and re-upload the items.
Last update: Aug 18, 2021