We are currently working very hard to develop new versions of Compare and Compare+. We have been listening to our customers feedback (which we are forever grateful for) and have come up with some really great features. Rather than making everybody wait until we have all our / your fantastic ideas completed, we are releasing updates as we go along so that you all can make the most out the new features.

Amazon API Category Change

When setting up Amazon API’s there is now an Amazon API index field. This used to work by having the index set in the category field within each feed. We have improved this now so that the category field can be used to only import those sub categories required.

 

The list of indexes that can be used by domain are shown here:

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSECommerceService/latest/DG/APPNDX_SearchIndexValues.html

 

An example of this would be setting the search index as Electronics. This previously would have to have been in the category field meaning there was no other way to limit which categories you wished to import. Within API management you could then change the Category element to be BrowseNodes/BrowseNode/Name, this is the lowest level of Amazon categories.

Once this is done in the categories to include list within the feed you could change this to Coaxial Speakers to only import this particular sub category. If you didn’t need to be quite so granular you could set the Category element in the API management screen to Department ItemAttributes/Department and have a slightly higher level of category to restrict by such as Car Audio & Video.

New Feed Option – Always Import Products If EAN Exists

There is now a new feature set against each feed which allows all products within a feed to be forced to import if they have an EAN. This is useful as previously the only option for products to be forced into Compare was to force all products.

However, products with an EAN will automatically be mapped to other previously imported products with the same EAN, but with this option products with no EAN and no mapping would be imported but not mapped to the correct master products. With this new option this problem no longer exists.

Non API Feeds – Min and Max prices

It is now possible to add minimum and maximum prices to normal (non API) product feeds. This allows users to easily not import products with no price (this can be a common feature in some feeds) by setting the minimum price as 1 (1 pence). Users can also use this if they are targeting a specific set of customers and only wish to have high value items within their comparison site.

 

Conjoined Categories

It has come to our attention that the categories offered within feeds do not always offer the level of granularity that would be ideal for a targeted comparison site. We have now implemented a new feature called conjoined categories which allows the user, when setting up a parser, to join two data elements together to create a brand new category.

An example of when this may be useful is as follows:

 

  • A user wished to create a Comparison website for clothes.
  • They wish to have two high level categories, Male and Female
  • They find a feed from a preferred retailer
  • Within the feed there are categories such as Hats, Gloves, Tops, Trousers etc.
  • Within this feed there is also a data item for Gender
  • Previously it would not have been possible to force the category mapping of Hats into 2 different categories Male>Hats and Female>Hats. Now, the user can change the category data item in the Parser Management screen to be Gender**Hats. Two asterisks (**) is the syntax you need to use between the first data item you wish to use as part of the conjoined category and the second.
  • When the products import this will import as if the categories in the feed had been gender specific. All that remains is for the user to map the imported Male Hats category to the Male>Hats compare category and imported Female Hats category to the Female>Hats category and voilà!

Wild Card Product Mapping

Across many different feeds various products can be named slightly differently. Also, not all feeds contain an EAN to make the mapping process simple. We have now introduced the concept of wildcards to the product mapping process. An example of when this may be useful would be as follows:

 

    • A user has two feeds within their sites, neither of these feeds contains the EAN
    • Feed A contains the product with the name Generic Product A
    • Feed B contains the product with the name Gen Product A
    • In the product mapping screen you can now create a mapping that looks like this
      Gen% Product A
    • % is the wildcard you use for the piece of the product name that changes.
      This will then map both of the products to the master product name.

In Stock Options

Many different feeds use different values to indicate if an item is currently in stock, it may be that they say 1 for yes and 0 for no, or yes for yes and no for no (Some feeds even sometimes say yes and sometimes say 1).  We also realize that the user may not want their site to contain products that are not currently in stock.  To combat this we have implemented a new feed option which allows the user to set a list of allowed terms to reflect if an item is in stock.  If this is left blank then all items will be imported, if it contains yes and 1 then all items where the in stock value  in the feed is yes or 1.

 

When you come to upgrading your Compare+ version, we strongly recommend that you take a full backup of all your files and database in case you experience any problems and you need to roll back.

 

In case you’ve made your own customisations to Compare+ then you can use a tool such as WinMerge to compare your customised version against the original Compare+ version. You would then have to manually merge in your changes so that these are not lost when you upgrade.

 

You can download the latest version of Compare+ here: https://www.awesemthemes.com/store/download

 

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this release and you can contact us via our ticketing system.