Checklist: getting started with product modeling

Now that you understand how commercetools models products in more detail, use the following high-level steps to work through a Product Modeling exercise with your organization.

Before you start, understand that the process is more involved for a customer coming from an offline-only business versus one migrating from one ecommerce platform to another. In the case of offline businesses, the product modeling process must be approached very carefully.

Use the following checklist as a high-level guide for modeling product data:

Evaluate

  • Evaluate your product catalog to determine high-level product categories and classifications of products.
  • Determine which categories will be used for the content navigation on your shop.
  • For each high-level category or classification, decide whether you need sub-categories.
  • Evaluate if the classification is needed as a typifying definition on commercetools, to run your shop.

Determine

  • Determine attributes which are unique to each classification defined above.
  • Determine internal groupings within the classifications for sellable goods which share most product attributes. For example, if one of your classifications is Pants, an internal grouping might be Ladies’ Pants.
  • Determine whether to model those internal groupings as Products or Product Variants.

Model

  • Create Product Types based on your classifications. Determine the data type for each classification’s product attributes. You cannot change the data type of an attribute or its sameForAll or unique values once set up.
  • Model the Product Types from the selected classifications, one by one.
  • Create one Product for each new Product Type as a test. Ideally, these sample products should use as many of the modeled Attributes as possible, and should cover typical use cases (i.e., modeling all variants) to see if other products can be modeled in the same way, or if you need to re-evaluate your Product Types. Use static data only in this step.
  • Model your product categories and map them to your products.

Preparing for import

If your product types are correctly set up, you can begin the import of product information. Before doing that, set up the following information:

  • Categories
  • Distribution lines
  • Prices
    • Standards
    • Discounts
  • Shipping
  • Assets
  • Relations to other goods or entities in commercetools
  • Availabilities
  • External data links
  • Extendable data and information