Before you consider different products that implement Product Information Management on multiple channels, you need to know if you need omnichannel at all. Accessibility across multiple channels gives you the ability to access a previously inaccessible customer and boost your company’s reputation, but most of all, it has to pay off. What decision do you make if you have many different goals or product groups?
Some useful definitions
The channel is defined both by specific locations and the category tree as well as by the required completeness of the product. It defines the product range and information about it for export. Only products that are linked to at least one tree category of the channel are exported. You have to have dedicated integrity.
The goal is the platform that provides information about the product. In e-commerce, it can be websites, mobile applications, printed catalogs or ERP.
Regional settings are language and country combinations. They enable the translation of product descriptions into the user interface.
What is the aforementioned completeness? This is the ratio or percentage of total products per channel. It is measured according to the national settings. It can be set at the family level but may vary depending on the channel.
What is the Scopable attribute? Depending on the channel, these are different values for the attributes of the same products. For example, other information or photos of the same product for the store on the website and the mobile application.
How many channels do you need?
The goal of PIM is to distribute product information from one place to many different places. These can be e-commerce websites, mobile applications, and even printed catalogs. With Akeneo Product Information Management, you can create as many channels as you need. Each object has separate properties that define the type of information collected about the product. To know how many channels you need, you must specify where to export information and its type.
If you have different values for the same product information depending on the destination, you will need multiple channels. If you need different completeness depending on the destination, you also need several channels. Thus, it can be seen that in the case of changing the PIM value and the destination, an omnichannel is proposed. However, if you have multiple destinations but the same products or information, a channel is displayed. In a situation where you have two product groups, two different targets, but the same content for both, a single channel is also used.
Create and edit channels in Akeneo
To create a channel in Akeneo, go to Settings and the Channels tab. To create a new channel, see the Create Channel tab. You must enter channel details: the code that identifies the channel in PIM, currency, regional settings, category tree, label, and units of measure. Then click Save.
Channel editing is also done on the Settings / Channels tab. First, select the channel you want to edit. Then enter the desired changes. Save it in the end.
You can also check the history of channel changes, such as For example, changing labels or attributes. They are saved and displayed on the History tab. For each change made, the channel version is created. Information about the person who made changes, the date and time of the changes made, and old and new data contained in the modified field are saved.
Removing channels is done via the Settings / Channels tab. Click the channel you want to delete, expand the options that are below the three-point icon, and then choose Delete in the upper right corner. Finally, confirm your decision.
Thanks to the clear menu, managing the channels in Akeneo is relatively easy. However, the decision on their quantity should depend on the destinations and type of exported product information. In short, when the attributes and descriptions remain the same, it usually remains with the single-channel solution. Even if there are a multitude of product sets and placements. However, if the product information is different, the channels will definitely help define the type of PIM collected.