- Adding Mappings
Product Mapping holds the relationship between the:
- Online Marketplace SKU
- Tradebox product SKU
This is an essential process because Stock Keeping Unit codes (SKUs) can often differ between platforms and systems. The Product Mapping table keeps track of how each SKU is connected so stock levels can be adjusted and passed correctly. Finding the right product record in Tradebox is also crucial for Tradebox to calculate VAT correctly based on the tax treatment stored in the product record.
Most online systems call their unique product identifier a SKU and the Tradebox product record also calls it this. eBay calls the field Custom Label/SKU.
Making sure your online products are set up with unique SKUs is a requirement of using Tradebox. Shopify and eBay both allow non-unique SKUs, however this is not supported by Tradebox. Where applicable we suggest appending your non-unique SKUs to make them unique, for example if SKU ABC001 applied to two products on eBay, amend those to ABC001-1 and ABC001-2
The simplest form of product mapping is where there's an exact match between the online SKU and the Tradebox SKU as above. Tradebox will automatically look for and detect exact matches without needing intervention. If you only sell on one online marketplace, or you use the same SKUs everywhere you sell online then create the Tradebox product records using these SKUs and the product mapping will be in place automatically for both download of online orders and upload of free stock quantities back to the marketplaces.
Exact matches are character-specific, but not case sensitive for alphabetic characters.
Note - If you're just now in the process of setting up your online inventory, best practice is to use the same SKUs on all of your online marketplaces. It's not mandatory to do so, but it saves you some legwork.
If you sell on multiple marketplaces and use different SKUs to represent the same products then you'll need to use Tradebox's product mapping tables. In this instance, it makes sense to build your product list in Tradebox from whichever marketplace has the most complete or up to date representation of your inventory. An explanation of the different types of mappings you may need to use including 'many to one' mappings and a guide to using Tradebox's Quantity Multiplier and Bundle products is available here.
If all your SKUs are exact matches and all you need are those one to one mappings, Tradebox will automatically map your products if you imported them from a marketplace. If you need additional mappings to handle any of the other mapping types described above you can either add these ahead of time so every product is mapped before Tradebox handles an order of it, or you can wait until the order downloads and action each product ad hoc.
Product mappings are specific to each sales channel in Tradebox. This means that if you sell on different marketplaces, you can have different SKUs on each of them all feeding in to the same product in Tradebox. These can be any combination of exact matches and mismatches:
Once a mapping is added through any method, Tradebox will always remember the relationship between that particular online SKU and the corresponding product. Where Tradebox downloads an order with an unmapped SKU, the order will go into Query until the SKU is mapped.
Product mappings can be added in one of three ways:
- Importing mappings from a spreadsheet
- This is the recommended option if you have a lot of mappings to add in one go, such as when you're first setting Tradebox up.
- Using the New button in the Products > Mapping screen
- Using the Assign SKU option in an order that has downloaded and gone into Query
If you're setting up mappings for a lot of products, it's often easiest to import them from a spreadsheet. You'll need to run one import per sales channel (though if the Online SKUs are the same you can re-use the same file).
The file should be saved as comma-delimited CSV and structured as:
Marketplace SKU, Tradebox SKU, Description, Accounts SKU, Multiplier (where applicable; refers to Tradebox Quantity Multiplier; populated as numeric whole integer), Excluded (where applicable; refers to where excluding an online SKU from product upload; populated as True/False)
The Description field does not need to be populated, but the column itself does need to be present. The Accounts SKU should not be populated but this column also needs to be present. Where the Multiplier column is not present, the import will assume no multiplier is needed (i.e. a value of 1). Where the Excluded column is not present, the import will assume excluded is false (i.e. all products are to be included in stock upload). A sample mapping file is available to download here.
To import your mappings, go to Products > Mapping > choose your sales channel > Import.
Click the [...] button to browse for your mapping CSV file and choose Open. If your file doesn't have column headers, untick the Import file has header option. Click OK to start the import.
Where either the Tradebox SKU or the Online SKU differ from the mappings already present, a new mapping will be created. Where the SKU fields match an existing mapping record, the existing record will be overwritten (and updated if Quantity or Excluded has changed). The export of existing mappings from Products > Mapping > choose sales channel > Export uses the same file format as the import, so exporting, amending the file and then importing is the easiest way to make changes to your existing mappings in bulk.
Repeat this process to import mappings of all relevant products for each sales channel you have set up. If you add new products in future, you can add mappings by this file import method, or by either of the two methods below.
In Products > Mapping you can edit existing product mappings and add new ones. Product mappings are specific to each sales channel, so if you have multiple channels you'll first need to choose the channel from the dropdown at the top of the screen.
Here you'll see the product mapping table. Each line is one mapping between Online SKU to Sage SKU via the Tradebox SKU. It will be pre-populated with exact matches for all of your Sage products.
The Description appears in this screen purely as an aid to help you recognise the products. The Multiplier column refers to Tradebox's Quantity Multiplier. The Excluded column indicates whether a product is opted out from uploading product quantities back to the marketplace.
Double-click on any mapping to open it for editing. The Tradebox SKU is locked, as this is tied to the product record. The marketplace SKU can be anything that's valid for your online marketplace, up to a maximum of 200 characters.
Here you can exclude a product from upload (or more accurately, exclude a specific mapping, if you've mapped many-to-one).
Multiple mappings to the same Tradebox SKU are valid, and it does no harm to leave the original automatic mappings in place and add mismatch mappings using the New button in the product mapping table.
To add a mapping, first choose the Tradebox SKU from the dropdown list. Type (or copy & paste) in the Marketplace SKU. Set the posting multiplier and the exclude from upload flag as applicable, then click Save.
Note - the Tradebox SKU here and elsewhere in the program offers look-ahead typing to help you parse long product lists, simply make that field active and start typing to limit the list.
If Tradebox downloads an order and can't find the corresponding product, the order will go into Query. These will show with the orange Query status in the Orders list.
Being unable to find a product isn't the only reason an order will go into Query. To check, either double-click the order in the Orders list to open it and check the Query reason in the lower left of the order, or go to Logs > Issues and check the Order Issues section in the top half of the screen.
If an order has a Query Reason of No product record could be found, you can resolve it by creating a new product record to represent that item in Tradebox, or by mapping that online SKU to an existing product. Remember that exact matches automatically have a mapping in place, so if your Tradebox product list is up to date you should only need to add mappings yourself for mismatched SKUs.
On a multi-item order, the Query reason will only show the first not found product, but you'll see the orange icon next to any item lines with a product that can't be found.
Note - an order with unmapped products will apply the default VAT treatment to those lines. Once the product is mapped, VAT will recalculate so don't worry if you see some unexpected values at this point.
Either of the other methods of adding mappings will also work to resolve the query on an order like this. There is one additional method that only applies to Query orders though; from within the order, click to highlight the affected item line, then click the Assign Tradebox SKU button.
Here, you can choose to create a new product in Tradebox, or to add a mapping to an existing one. Use the radio button to choose.
Create new product record for existing SKU:
This will default to using the online SKU for the Tradebox product record. If you wish, you can amend this. As this option creates a new product record, you'll also need to choose the tax code of the item as applies to a UK sale. If a quantity multiplier applies to this mapping, amend the Multiplier field.
Assign an existing SKU to the item line:
Use the dropdown to choose the relevant Tradebox SKU from the list, again you can look-ahead type here to speed things up. If this mapping should use the Quantity Multiplier, populate this in the Multiplier field. The Use description from existing SKU option will overwrite the marketplace's item line description on this order with the description of the product record you've chosen. Click OK when you're done. If there are other unmapped items on this order, repeat the process to map them. Once all items are mapped, close the order.
Once the Data Service gets to the check of query orders part of its loop, the order should come out of Query. You may need to use the Refresh button at the top right of the Orders list to see the updated status.