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 - these are character-specific but not case-sensitive for alphabetic characters.
If you have multiple different online products that correspond to the same product in your warehouse, or if you use different SKUs for the same item on different marketplaces/webstores, you'll need to use Tradebox's product mapping tables. This article gives an explanation of the different types of product mappings Tradebox can handle:
- One to one mismatches
- Many to one mappings
- Quantity mappings and Tradebox Quantity Mulitplier
- Bundle items
When you're ready to map your products, see our guide to adding product mappings here.
If each online item has a corresponding Tradebox product, but the SKU's don't match, that's a one to one mapping with mismatched SKUs. All three lines above are examples of this.
A one to one mapping is a straightforward relationship; in the above mapping all Tradebox will do when a DEF001 product is sold on the marketplace is raise the order with the Tradebox product ABC001 so that's what will be adjusted out when the order is despatched.
Tradebox can also handle many to one mappings. This is where within the same marketplace multiple listings correspond to the same product. In the above example when we sell product ABC001 or DEF001 or XYZ001 on our marketplace, Tradebox will record the sale against product ABC001 and adjust out stock of this item.
Where you have many to one mappings and use Tradebox's stock upload, the default behaviour is to upload stock to all mapped marketplace SKUs. In the above example, if the free stock quantity of product ABC001 changes, Tradebox will update the available stock for online listings for ABC001, DEF001, and XYZ001. Alternatively, any or all of those marketplace SKUs can be excluded from product upload.
The only caveat with many to one listings is that the marketplace SKU needs to be unique per marketplace. Most online marketplaces enforce each listing to have a unique SKU. 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 last type of product mapping is where products are sold in different quantities than they're accounted for in your warehouse. For example, a retailer selling batteries might buy them in bulk containers of 1,000 but repackage and sell them in packs of 5, 10 and 20. In this example the stock keeping unit in the warehouse is likely to be one battery.
There are two methods of handling mappings like this in Tradebox: the Quantity Multiplier and Bundle items.
Tradebox's quantity multiplier is held within the product mapping table. For order download it acts as a multiplier, adjusting out X many of a product for each 'one' ordered by a customer. For a stock upload, it acts as a divisor telling the online marketplace to list free stock/X of a product.
With the above example mapping, an order of online SKU AABAT05 will adjust out 5 batteries, an order of AABAT10 will adjust out 10 and an order of AABAT20 will adjust out 20 (this is entirely controlled by the multiplier, the SKUs could take any format). These are all mapped to the product AABAT001 representing one battery.
If these SKUs are included in a stock upload and free stock of AABAT001 shows as 1,000 Tradebox would upload 200 of the 5 pack SKU AABAT05, 100 of the 10 pack SKU AABAT10 and 50 of the 20 pack SKU AABAT20 back to the online marketplace.
Important: to use Tradebox's quantity multiplier, your selling price of each SKU must be divisible by its multiplier to a whole pence. Tradebox still needs to calculate a per-unit price to build a valid order, and passing prices that aren't divisible to a whole pence will result in rounding errors and discrepancies. In the above example, if our 5 pack sells for £2.00, our 10 pack for £3.00 and our 20 pack for £4.20 then we'd be fine to use quantity multipliers as these equate to respective unit prices of 40p, 30p and 21p. However if our 5 pack sells for £1.99, the unit price of a single battery is not divisible to a whole pence (39.8p) which is not valid for quantity multiplier. In this instance, you can set up Bundles items as a workaround.
Bundle items in Tradebox are designed to handle sales and inventory where you track both and end product you sell and the component products that make it up.
With Bundles it's not necessary to have a valid whole pence unit price per component product. It does require one product record in Tradebox for every bundle product you sell (what your customer actually buys) and also one for each component product you wish to track inventory of. This does mean if e.g. I give customers the option to buy batteries in packs of anywhere from 1-100 and I also want to track inventory of batteries, I need 100 product records in Tradebox to reflect this. Using Quantity Multiplier above can handle this example with a single product record, but can only be used where the pack selling prices are divisible to a whole-pence unit price.
Bundles can be comprised of multiple different items - e.g. I sell tables (end product) by buying in tabletops (component product) and table legs (component product) and assembling them. Bundles can also be made entirely of the same item in multiples - e.g. I sell a 10 pack of batteries (end product) by packaging ten individual batteries (component product) together. In either case, the bundle product and component product(s) will show in your Tradebox product list like any standard product would. The in stock and free stock figure of the bundle product is automatically calculated based on the quantities available of the component products; it's not possible to adjust in or adjust out the end product itself.
To create a bundle product, create a new (Products > New) or open an existing product record and change the Product Type dropdown to Bundle. Before saving the product record, click on the Bundle tab at the top of the product record. Here you'll control the component products that make up this bundle; use the New button to bring up the Add Product To Bundle screen. Select the component Product and set the Quantity to show how many of the component in question is required for this bundle.
Note - If you wish to later change the assignment as a bundle and revert a product back to being a stock or nonstock product, you must first go to the Bundle tab and Delete all of the bundle lines that make up the bundle, then change the Product Type in the Details tab.
When an online SKU that's mapped to a bundle product is sold, the order in Tradebox is raised with the bundle product, but the adjustment out is carried out against the component products.
If you're using Tradebox to upload product quantities back to the marketplace, it can also upload the 'potential' quantity available for bundle product based on the free stock levels of the components. To include bundle products in your product uploads, tick the Upload Quantity For Bundles option in the Sales Channel > Details tab of each channel.
The product mapping for bundles uses the same mapping table and logic as standard product mapping: exact SKU matches will map automatically; where you have mismatches or many to one, map the relevant online SKU to the Tradebox bundle product SKU.