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One common feature that will be found in most CRM webshop will be the product catalog, apart from some scenarios where you have decided to hide the catalog from display. The fundamental business process of the CRM web shop is to sell your products to customer and the delivery method for the Products is through the product catalog.  A log of time and man power goes into the design, display and structure of the product catalog and I think blog I would like to bring up some points that may help you in your decision making when working with Product catalogs. There are two key tools / Features available that increase the flexibility and capabilities of the Product catalog them being          

  1. Product catalog views         
  2. Staging functionality

 

Product Catalof Views.

The Product catalog view functionality allows you the flexibility to display a different view of your product catalog to a different customer segment. This can be dependent on Business Partner or a marketing target group. Within you Product catalog customizing in transaction COMM_PCAT_ADM you have the ability to create multiple views of a Product catalog. For example below you will see a sample product catalog where we have 2 views of the same catalog based on a customer segment.  

 

Product Catalog View

To create the Product catalog view firstly you need decide what view of the catalog a specific customer segment can view.  For the creation of catalog views please see the application help @ help.sap.com. Then from the business stand point you need to decide which view of the catalog will be apt for a specific customer segment.   

Once this has been decided and the views have been created the customer specific view of the product catalog will be displayed in the webshop. It is also important to understand that if a customer has been assigned to more then one view in a product catalog then in the webshop they will see a sum of all views. You can use the function module CRM_ISA_PCAT_GETFROMBUPA to test what catalog views will be returned for a specific Business partner.

 

Staging functionality

 

One of the drawbacks or limitations in earlier releases of the CRM web channel was that during the Product catalog replication process there may have been some down time of the product webshop. This was due to the design of the application and that only one version of the catalog index existed. As a result many update replication and changes to product catalog needed some down time of the shop. The Product catalog staging function was introduced with SAP CRM 5.0 SP 11 (available in all later releases) with this development the ability to have multiple versions of catalog index was introduced.  

The main advantage of this development was that changes to a product catalog can now be replicated to TREX and a new index can be created with out any down time for your productive shop. Once the replication has been complete the newly created index can be set as active and this will then be available in the webshop.  This feature also allows you to change between different version of the index by changing the status to active or inactive. This change in done in staging cockpit (transaction COM_PCAT_STG_COCKPIT) in release 5.0 , and in the Catalog managment area of web UI for all later release.

From more information on the staging functionality can be found here.

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5 Comments

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  1. Chris Hyman
    Hi Mark

    We have a requirement to have a catalog per fullfilment store as we have about 10 stores that will do the order fullfilment and each of these stores can have different products and price per product.

    The consultant is trying to guide me in having 1 catalog and an entry per product,store and price combination. Then I will have to modify the category search to always filter on store. This will also mean change to the text search.

    Looking at your blog and the documentation, it seems to me that the correct way to go is to have 1 catalog,1 variant and a view per store. Do you agree with this approach? Or 1 catalog, with a variant per store?

    I also read that the SOLD_TO business partner assigned to the web user is used to determine which catalog view the user is assigned to. Where does this happen? I need some guidance in this regard.

    We are using CRM ISA 6 with a CRM backened.

    Thanks,

    Chris

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    1. Mark Foley Post author
      Hello Chris,
      There are two options in this scenario,
      1. Directly set the catalog, view and Variant in the shopadmin application. This way each shop would have a specific catalog/view/variant when the user logs in.
      2. Set the “Catalgo Search” option in the shopadmin. When this is selected there is a search based on the solt-to and this will display any view that this sold to is assigned to. The B2B application will call the Function module CRM_ISAI_PCAT_GETFROMBUPA (this will bring back all the views that a business partner is assigned to , you can assign these in the view tab in COMM+_PCAT_ADM)

      Hope this information helps.

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      1. Chris Hyman
        Hi Mark

        As we are using the B2C scenario, you suggest we setup a shop per catalog/view/variant?

        So a non-logged in user will see a “default” shop and once a logs in he will get redirected\initialised on his shop?

        Is this correct?

        Regards,

        Chris

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      2. Chris Hyman
        Hi Mark

        We are using CRM ISA 6 B2C scenario.

        So you suggest having a separate shop per fulfilment store?

        What do you think of the idea of having 1 catalog and have a store attribute in the index?

        Regards,

        Chris

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  2. Grace Wilson

    Well-maintained product catalogs not only helps in improving the sales of your products, but also offer you’re customer a better shopping experience. Product catalog needs to fulfill the three major functions:

    -> Drive traffic to your site
    -> Convert leads to customer
    -> Maintain existing customer base

    Many product catalog outsourcing firm provide best services in catalog management. I hired Springbord for my ecommerce catalog management services, they provide best catalog management service for my ecommerce industry and satisfied all the major functions which need to be followed for the catalog management.

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