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How and When to Use Channel Attributes
How and When to Use Channel Attributes

What to do if you can't find an attribute you want to use

Ziggy avatar
Written by Ziggy
Updated over a week ago

If you're not familiar with Zentail's SMART type system, check out this article.  If you're already familiar with it, you probably know that it's Zentail's global categorization system:  by selecting a single category in Zentail your product category is already mapped to all of your selling channels.  But did you know that it also maps your attributes to each channel?  The main objective here is to eliminate the time you spend entering the same information multiple times, so you can be more efficient managing your catalog and focus on growing your business.  This article covers a few topics:

SMART Type Attribute Mapping

Here's an example of Zentail maps the attribute of wattage to a few channels in the Light Bulbs SMART type.  Notice how some channels are text, some are text with units, and even those units vary by channel - some use "watts" while others use "W".  The SMART type takes care of all of that.

Definition of Channel Attributes

In the example above, "Wattage" is the Zentail SMART Type Attribute, while the attributes on the right (Amazon BulbWattage, Amazon Wattage, eBay Wattage, etc.) are the channel attributes.  In each category there are hundreds of possible channel attributes.  Even though the SMART type system reduces this to a manageable number, you may not need every possible attribute.  To prevent cluttering up the edit product view, we've selected the most frequently used SMART attributes in each category to streamline your catalog management.  But what if the SMART attribute selections don't cover all of the attributes you want to use?  Don't worry - Zentail's made them available for you too!

When to use Channel Attributes

For the most part, SMART type attributes will cover what you need.  However, there are two situations where you may want to use a Channel Attribute:

  1. You want to use a different value on a specific channel.  To stick with the example above, if you wanted to send 220 Watts to eBay's Power attribute, you could use a Channel Attribute to do this.

  2. You want to use an attribute not included in the SMART Type.  For example, in Amazon's "LightBulbs" Product Type there is an available attribute called "Lamp Warmup Time".  By default, this is not included in the edit product view with the Light Bulbs SMART type, but you could use a Channel Attribute to fill it in.

It's also important to understand that outside of these situations you should just use the SMART type attribute to save time and streamline your operations.

How to use Channel Attributes

There are three ways to enter Channel Attributes:

1. Edit Product

This is useful if you're looking to edit a single product that fits in the first example of when to use a Channel Attribute (a different value on a specific channel for an already mapped SMART attribute).  This can be found in Edit > Channel Attributes tab.  Note: to edit the SMART attribute and edit all channels at once, simply go to Edit > General Info and find the attribute there.  This method does not include attributes that are not mapped SMART attributes.

2. Quick Edit

QuickEdit and Import/Export provide comprehensive options for managing Channel Attributes and make every attribute from every channel available to edit.  Let's say I have "120 watts" entered for the SMART attribute but want to send "220 watts" to eBay, AND I want to send a Lamp Warmup Time to Amazon (let's get crazy!).  Here's how I could do that using Channel Attributes in Quick Edit.

3. Import Export

Very similar to the above, you can create a template (or export from Quick Edit) and then import it to accomplish the same thing.  The import file would look something like this:

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