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Integration and development of custom Akeneo PIM system modules for an ecommerce store
Latvia's largest universal online store with more than 300 thousand SKUs and several offline shops headquartered in Riga.
The client wanted all information about products, suppliers, and stock items to be stored in a single database. It was necessary to take the following into account:
the same product could be offered by different suppliers at different prices;
each supplier could provide different descriptions and characteristics for the same product.
Also, it was necessary to automate the process of assigning product IDs, as previously it was done manually.
The integration with Akeneo PIM system was implemented to allow storage of all the information about products and suppliers in a single database with the opportunity of centralized management of the marketing and technical information. In addition to the inbuilt Akeneo functions, we've developed new custom modules serving the specific project needs.
AKENEO PIM SYSTEM INTEGRATION
In our client's store, the same product could be offered by different suppliers at different prices. In order to avoid product duplication on the website and not to mislead the customers, it was decided to develop an additional Suppliers module.
It works as follows: a list of products is entered into the PIM system to work as the basis. A supplier sends an offer containing product information and the PIM system compares the attributes of products offered with the basic ones. If there is a match of more than 90% between the existing and new products, the PIM system automatically combines them into one. If the percentage of matches is less than 90, the PIM system suggests to the operator to combine products after a manual verification.
Moreover, if one supplier provided a detailed product description, whereas another supplier made the description less detailed and specific, and in case these products are combined into one, the users will see a comprehensive description on the website. Also, in case some information is missing, the product description can be enriched with the characteristics provided by other suppliers.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CUSTOM SUPPLIERS MODULE
The name or characteristics of the same product may vary depending on the supplier. As new offers (products) are added, the number of attributes increases. To avoid attributes duplication, we developed a mechanism of combining attributes into one. The operating logic is similar to the processing of suppliers' offers.
Initially, a list of attributes is added to the PIM system, which is considered as the basis. To avoid attribute duplication, we have developed the so-called "match module". First, the operator processes the incoming stream of attributes manually and decides which attributes can be combined into one. At the next boot, the PIM system automatically combines them. Also, if there are two identical attributes in the main PIM system database, the operator can choose one principle attribute, meanwhile all the connections to products will be preserved.
MODULE FOR ATTRIBUTE COMPARISON AND COMBINATION
By default, the product ID in the Akeneo PIM system is assigned manually. However, the client wanted to set up different rules of SKUs generation for different product categories.
Our developers have created a module for the automatic generation of unique IDs. Now, when a new product is added to Akeneo PIM, a unique ID is automatically assigned, taking into account the category rules. This means that the ID generation rules for products classified into different categories, for example for Clothing and Household Appliances, will be different.
MODULE FOR THE#NBSP; AUTOMATIC PRODUCT ID GENERATION
Akeneo PIM system integration allowed the customer to store all information about products and suppliers in a single place. Custom modules designed specifically for the project helped automate the product ID generation process, avoid attributes and products duplication, and provide the most comprehensive product descriptions to customers.