How do I create items?

Items can be created and edited in a variety of ways.  The primary ways are through the User Interface, Bulk Excel Templates, XML, and Aggregators.

The seller portal user interface allows you to build items one at a time.  All users have the ability to create items in the user interface and multiple users can create items at a time.  Here are the basics for creating items in the seller portal user interface.

Once logged into the seller portal, navigate to the Products >> Product Mgmt >> Create New >> Use Your Content

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The first page of the item build process will prompt you to either find existing content in the portal for the product you are building, or it will prompt you to enter the product’s information.

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Should you choose to use the content finder, simply enter a UPC, Item Name, Model Number, Brand or Keywords to find the item that you are looking for.  Clicking the magnifying glass will search our existing catalog of items for suitable content.  The more specific you are in the search parameters the better the results will be.

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Click the orange copy button of the product that you wish you use the content of.  The content will then be pre-populated in the remainder of the item build process.  Page through the tabs and review the pre-populated information.  Verify that your item matches the descriptions that have been provided.  Make the necessary changes to the item information and save the changes.

If you choose not to use existing content for your items, you can start entering your information into the “Create New Product” section.

UPC #2

Regular items are the most common for single option products.  Variation items are most commonly used for apparel, shoes & an item that comes in multiple colors and/or sizes.  How to build variations items is covered in a separate FAQ.

  • UPC: Universal Product Codes are required for a good portion of our categories.  This is the first piece of product information that we use to group items on the site.
  • Manufacturer Model Number: This is a required field.  Each item should have a unique model number assigned to it by the manufacturer.  This field is limited to 40 characters
  • Product Name: This is the title of the product that will be displayed on the Sears.com site.  You should avoid using the brand as the beginning of the product title as the brand is automatically added to the item’s title when the item goes live on the site.  Please also ensure that you are not using special characters or including pricing in your title. This field is limited to 128 characters.
  • Short Description: This field is required. This field is limited to 2400 characters and should include as many details as possible about your item.
  • Long Description: This field is optional and should not be the same as the short description.  Please consider this as the place to house the run over from the short description. 
  • Your Categorization: This field is optional.  This field has no effect on the site.  This is only for sellers to label items such as “Back-to-School” or “Summer Catalog” for their own internal purposes. 

 

After all of this information has been submitted, clicking the orange continue button will take you to the next step of the process.  The “Select Program” section of the next step has been pre-populated with the program that your account is set for.  The two options are Fulfill by Merchant and Fulfill by Sears.  The next step of the process is one of the most critical.  Choosing the right category for your product to reside in on the Sears.com site is key when it comes to our Members finding your product.  Correct categorization will have a large impact on your ability to sell on Sears.

Step 1: Categorization

Based on keywords from your product title and short descriptions, the seller portal will attempt to provide you with suggested item class categories.  You do not have to place your item into any of these pre-selected categories.  You can use the “Find Item Class” tool to browse our available item classes to select one that is more appropriate for your item(s).

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Clicking on the magnifying class will produce a list of our item classes that are currently available to your program type.  You can expand any of the item classes by clicking on the + sign next to the one you wish to see more of.  You will need to go down to the furthest level in order to pick an item class.

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Some item classes have much more branches than others.  Once you have selected the appropriate item class, click the “Select Item Class” button and you will be taken back to the main item build page you were on.  Click the “Next >” button in either the upper or lower right hand of the page to proceed to the next section.

Step 2: Details

In this section of the item build, you will be able to review your chosen Title, Short Description, Long Description etc. from the first page of the process.  In addition to that, you are able to add much more details about your product.

Section 1: Core Details

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  • Product Title: pre-populated from the first step in the item build process. You can change this field.
  • Short Description: pre-populated from the first step in the item build process. You can change this field.
  • Long Description: pre-populated from the first step in the item build process. You can change this field.
  • Product Status: defaults to Active. You can elect to create products in an Inactive status.  Inactive status could be used for seasonal or out of stock items.  Once an item has been built, changing the status from Active to Inactive will remove the item from the site. 
  • Brand Name: The manufacturer of the product. ex: Acme, Sony, Dell.  Should not be Generic, OEM, Aftermarket etc.
  • Manufacturer Model Number: pre-populated from the first step in the item build process. You can change this field. 
  • UPC: pre-populated from the first step in the item build process. You can change this field.  This field is required in a large number of categories. Please populate this field. 
  • Seller Customized Bundle: this field is used in conjunction with a UPC exception.  You must have applied for a UPC exception before you can designate your items as a Seller Customized Bundle.
  • Collectible:  this field is used in conjunction with a UPC exception.  You must have applied for a UPC exception before you can designate your items as a Collectible. 
  • Mature Content: this designation is used when the image of a product does not meet our standards.  Any body parts that may be showing or a less than tasteful image.  Electing to choose Yes for this product will cause your image to have an “adult content” curtain on it online.
  • MAP Price Indicator: Choices are strict and non-strict. Sellers should know which method to choose if applicable.

Section 2: Shipping Information

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In this section, you will need to describe the packing that the product you are building will be shipped in.  This is not meant for the product’s description but rather the box or envelope.  This section will also allow you to select shipping restrictions.  Shipping restrictions are primarily used for designating where an item cannot be sold to.  If a Member is looking at your product and has a shipping address within the location you have designated as “cannot ship to” the Member will not be able to add the item to cart.  An example of this would be crib bumpers that are not breathable being sold in IL.

Section 3: Product Safety

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This section is optional.  Sellers are encouraged to complete as many of these as possible when building items. These are safety alerts that are displayed on the product page.  These safety alerts are important to anyone that might be buying an item that will be around small children.

Step 3: Attributes

Attributes are item class specific. You will have different attributes to populate based on which item class you are choosing in the Categorization step.  Sears Marketplace has three types of attributes:

  1. Required: an attribute that is required in order for your product to be online.
  2. Variation: an attribute that is used in the building of variation items 
  3. Search: attributes that are used when Members are searching Sears.com for a product and wish to narrow down their search results 

Attribute values can be free text or they can be pre-determined.  The pre-determined attribute values will have a drop down and the free text will have the text “Enter attribute value”.

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We highly encourage all sellers to complete as many attributes as possible. This is will help improve visibility on the site and ultimately lead to an increase in sales.

Step 4: Images/Specs

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Images are required for all Sears product listings.  Each product must have one main image.  Additional images are optional.  Sears can host images for our sellers or sellers can provide links to their images.  Our image requirements are available for review.

Step 5: Offers

Section 1: Offer Details and Condition

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  • Item ID: this is a required unique identifier for each product.  This is an open text field, case-sensitive and has a maximum of 50 characters. Please do not use special characters other than underscore “_”. 
  • Publish Start Date: this optional feature will allow an item to be built and will automatically send it through to the production system to be live on a particular date. You do not need to go back into the portal to set the item live. 
  • Tags: This field is optional.  This field has no effect on the site.  This is only for sellers to label items such as “Back-to-School” or “Summer Catalog” for their own internal purposes. 
  • Item Condition: All items will default to a New condition.  In some categories, item condition can vary. Item conditions are available in the drop-down.  Any condition other than New will require an item condition note be added.  More information on item conditions is available.

Section 2: Cost & Pricing Details

This section is where you determine how much you are going to sell your product for.  Changes made to this section of the item build will be reflected on the site within 60 minutes if the item is already online.

  • Standard Price: the price you would list your product as if there were no sales or discounts applied.
  • Package Quantity: this differentiates your item from other sellers.  This is used for the categories that do not require UPCs.  The Package Quantity will separate same products of different quantities from each other on the product page.
  • Sale Price:  This is the discounted price for a sale event.  It is used to put your item on sale.  It is should be a temporary reduction of your Standard Price.  When this price field is used, your items appear in our Discount navigation filter.

Section 3: Shipping Details

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This section of the product build will allow you to override the account level shipping rates.  Some items require special shipping or a flat rate fee can be applied to an item.  Or free shipping on a single item might be added.

  • Shipping Methods: this will allow you to designate an item not eligible for expedited shipping services
  • Flat Rate Shipping: this will allow you to designate an item’s flat rate shipping fee for the supported shipping methods
  • Free Shipping Override: this will allow you to offer free shipping on a single item.  Click the “Free Shipping” box and then set a date in the future for the promotion to start and end.  Promotional text is optional.  However, it cannot be “Free Shipping” as setting this “Free Shipping” override will automatically place a “Free Shipping” logo on the product page.

Step 6: Inventory

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Adding inventory is the final step in building your item.  Enter the quantity that you have for the item.  As a reminder, inventory should not be shared between marketplaces.  Sears’ seller agreement requires that inventory provided to us be exclusive to Sears orders.

On this page, you will also have the opportunity to change the item level SOPT (Order Prep Time) and add inventory to your item.  The default will be the same as the account level.  If you wish to change an item’s Order Prep Time, uncheck the box next to “Account Level” and enter a new number of days in the field above.

Once these fields have been completed, click the next button to continue on to review the product build.

Step 7: Review

This step gives you the opportunity to review all of the previous steps with the information that you have provided.  Clicking on Edit will take you back to that step in the process to make the necessary changes.

Our bulk Excel templates allow sellers to build multiple items at a time in the same item class.  All users have the ability to create items using the bulk method.  Here are the basics for creating items using the bulk Excel Item Class Specific templates.

Navigate to the Products >> Product Mgmt >> Bulk section of the seller portal.

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Bypassing Step 1 on this page, we will need to locate the Item Class where you want your items to live.  By clicking on the “+” sign next to the high level category to expand the item classes.  You can use a combined sheet for categories within the same hierarchy as shown below, up to 30 different sub categories can be chosen at once.  Or you can use a single hierarchy for each template.

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Once you have selected your item classes that you want to build items into, click on the download button and a menu will appear.  Choose the “Item Class Template (without items)” option.

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The template will download into an Excel file.  Our Excel templates are built in such a way that their structure should never be changed.  This means that the three tabs on the bottom should remain titled as they are and the formatting of the columns and header names should also remain as they are.

There are 3 tabs on the Excel template.

  1. Data Definition: this tab houses all of the fields names, descriptions, validations and examples of information that should be input into that field
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  2. Data Format: this tab is where you input the information for each item
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  3. Attributes: this tab will show you what attributes are available for the item class that you have chosen along with the accepted values for each
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Once you have input all of the necessary information for your item(s), save the file on your desktop in a .xlsx or .cvs format.  Proceed to step 3 of the bulk process to upload your file.

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“Select Files to Upload” to open the dialogue box to select the location and the name of the file.  Click open and it will automatically begin to upload.  Once the file has uploaded, items will begin to show in your seller portal within minutes (but can take up to 30 minutes to display).  If all of your items are not uploaded, you will need to check your Errors Processing report.  You can find your Errors Processing report by navigating to the Products >> Product Mgmt >> Errors Processing section of the portal.  The file can be downloaded into an Excel format.  A list of errors and how to fix them is available to help with this report.

Add inventory to your products and they will be complete.

How to build variation items.

Our bulk Excel templates allow sellers to build multiple items at a time in the same item class.  All users have the ability to create items using the bulk method.    The Generic Template is built similar to the Item Class specific template.  However, the fields are not all the same.  The Generic Template has more fields that will require population.  The benefit to this method of creating items is that there are no limits to the number of item classes that you can choose to create items for.  You can build appliances in the same template as clothing.  Here are the basics for creating items using the bulk Excel Generic templates.

Navigate to the Products >> Product Mgmt >> Bulk section of the seller portal.

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In step 1, you will need to download the file labeled “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)”.  This file will be what you use to fill in the item class and attribute information in the Generic templates.  This file is rather large and can take a few minutes to download.  While you are waiting for this file to download, click on the “Item Class Root Node” box in step 2.

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Once you have highlighted all of the item classes, click on the download button to display the menu.  Select the “Generic Template (without items)” option and a file will begin to download.

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The template will download into an Excel file.  Our Excel templates are built in such a way that their structure should never be changed.  This means that the tabs on the bottom should remain titled as they are and the formatting of the columns and header names should also remain as they are.

There are only two tabs to this file:

  1. Data Definition: this tab houses all of the fields names, descriptions, validations and examples of information that should be input into that field
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  2. Data Format: this tab is where you input the information for each item
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Now that you have the Generic Template open in Excel, and the “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)” has been downloaded and opened, you are ready to build your items.  Here are the differences in the Generic Template.

Column B: Item Class ID

  • Using the “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)”, filter to find the item class that you wish your items to live in : example = paper

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  • The Item Class ID is located in Column A.  This is the number that you will need to enter into the Generic Template.
  • Choose the Item Class ID that corresponds to the correct item class from the “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)” file and enter it into column B of the Generic Template 

Column BY and Beyond:

As this is a Generic Template, you will need to enter the attributes for each item class.  You will be using the “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)” to populate these as well.  After you have chosen the Item Class ID that your items will be built in (4714 for examples), you will see the available attributes and the accepted values.

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Using the Attribute Name from Column C of the “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)”, choose which attributes that you would like to include for your item.  The name will then be populated in column BY, CA, CC etc. of the Generic Template.

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Using the Attribute Values from Column H of the “Item Class/Attributes Mapping (for Generic Template)”, choose which values correspond to the attribute that you would like to include for your item.  The name will then be populated in column BZ, CB, CD etc. of the Generic Template.

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Once you have input all of the necessary information for your item(s), save the file on your desktop in a .xlsx or .cvs format.  Proceed to step 3 of the bulk process to upload your file.

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“Select Files to Upload” to open the dialogue box to select the location and the name of the file.  Click open and it will automatically begin to upload.  Once the file has uploaded, items will begin to show in your seller portal within minutes (but can take up to 30 minutes to display).  If all of your items are not uploaded, you will need to check your Errors Processing report.  You can find your Errors Processing report by navigating to the Products >> Product Mgmt >> Errors Processing section of the portal.  The file can be downloaded into an Excel format.  A list of errors and how to fix them is available to help with this report.

Add inventory to your products and they will be complete.

How to build variation items.

 

We are currently using v24 of our APIs for FBM items.  Please download the new API Guide below give the information necessary to build your items in XML.

We are currently using v11 of our APIs for FBS items.  The links below give the information necessary to build your items in XML

PUT:
https://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/api/catalog/fbs/v11?sellerId={sellerId}

XSD:
https://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/s/schema/rest/catalog/import/v11/fbs-item.xsd

Sample:
https://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/s/schema/samples/rest/catalog/import/v11/fbs-item.xml

Aggregators are services that are used by Sellers of all sizes and revenues.  Aggregators are a clearinghouse of sorts that take information from Sellers and process it through to a single marketplace or multiple marketplaces.  We have preferred partnerships with the following aggregators.

 

ChannelSale

ChannelSale

ChannelSale enables online merchants to reach more customers across 200+ online marketplaces and comparison shopping engines to help build the following, generate loyalty and increase revenues.
Built by experts who have studied and emulated the best practices of online business, ChannelSale is an answer to the sellers’ quest for the right online e-commerce platform. Some of the services offered by ChannelSale are feed optimization, order fulfillment, real time inventory management and detailed performance reporting.ChannelSale enables direct users, resellers and agencies to handle multiple channels with a single software interface. It eliminates repetitive and unproductive work, so sellers can focus on driving more business. Channel Sale offers convenience and it is a far more economical way to manage any retail business across different e-commerce websites.

http://www.channelsale.com

Ecomdash

even smaller ecomdash

 

 

Dedicated to small and mid-size retailers selling across multiple channels, ecomdash is a web-based integration tool that helps you connect the dots and automate critical and timely processes throughout the supply chain.  Ecomdash is known for its robust inventory management and syncing capabilities – handling some of the most complex inventory needs in the industry. Other functionality includes sales order, shipping, drop shipping, supplier, purchasing, listing management and more.  Customers see a 23% average increase in sales each quarter and enjoy free setup, free support, a free trial and unlimited channel integrations starting at only $50 per month.

https://www.ecomdash.com

Solid Commerce

Solid Commerce

Solid Commerce helps online retailers sell across multiple marketplaces including eBay, Amazon, Rakuten and more. Their cloud-base platform synchronizes inventory across all sales channels providing retailers with a single, integrated user interface to manage inventory, orders, re-pricing, and fulfillment. In the time it takes you to post a listing on one marketplace, Solid Commerce can post your listing on several. Solid Commerce allows you to take advantage of this increased exposure without the hassle of managing each marketplace separately. Optimize your online business with the fastest growing, most competitively priced inventory and order management tool today!

http://solidcommerce.com