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The reality is that no two businesses are alike. Even two retailers selling women’s apparel will have different requirements for how they want to use and report on their catalog. And different media companies, technology providers, and financial services firms all have vastly different catalogs. To accommodate each unique catalog as well as your own company's internal preferences, the Interaction Studio Catalog includes the option to configure custom catalog object types.


This Article Explains

This article details how to setup the Interaction Studio Catalog

Sections in this Article

Catalog Setup

The Interaction Studio Catalog is accessible by navigating to Settings > Catalog and Profile Objects in the left-hand navigation. On this screen, a customer will be able to configure baseline catalog settings, create/configure catalog object types, and create/configure profile object types. This article will cover catalog object configuration and a separate article will cover profile objects.


Catalog Settings

You can make changes to catalog settings including whether you will filter outliers, the type of currency used on your site, and your primary locale. Additionally, you can Configure Static Relationships on this page which are used when creating Machine Learning recipe Variations.

  1. Log into Interaction Studio with Administrator permissions
  2. Select Settings > Catalog and Profile Objects
  3. Underneath the Catalog Object Header, you can select "Catalog Settings"
  4. On the Settings screen, select Filter Outliers if you want to remove outliers (e.g. bulk orders, or significantly large orders) from reporting and statistics. For more information on outliers, please refer to the Glossary and Campaign Statistics Overview
    1. Maximum - anything above this number will not be counted in reporting and statistics
    2. Minimum - anything below this number will not be counted in reporting and statistics
  5. Set your Primary Locale which is used to format currency
  6. Set your Primary Currency as the currency you want to use for formatting, statistics tracking, and attribution analysis. If your site processes more than one currency, Interaction Studio will use the current exchange rate to convert these values for reports and analytics
  7. Select Enable Localization of Catalog Metadata Based on Page Locale if your site supports multiple locales. This setting allows Interaction Studio to store metadata separately for each locale. This enables recommendations to have language and currency formatted using the visitor's locale, as long as the locale parameter is included in the event.  For example if a visitor is located in Italy and this option is selected, the recommendations will show in Italian and currency will show in Euros. Implementers will need to make sure locale is being provided in the event, which would either come through the event API (see "locale" under the Event API specification) or the sitemap (see the Sitemap Localization Implementation under Sitemap Implementation Notes)
  8. Add Static Relationship Names to use Variations in RecommendationsRecipes
  9. Click SAVE to save changes


Understanding Built-In Catalog Object Types

Interaction Studio includes a set of built-in catalog object types and also allows customers to easily configure and relate custom catalog object types (built-in catalog object types are default disabled). The built-in catalog object types available in all datasets include the following:

  • Product: Product is the only catalog object that has pricing, inventory, and sku support. Products are also the only catalog object that can be purchased or added to cart. Lastly, Products cannot be assigned as a related catalog object to any other catalog object at this time.
  • Article and Blog: Though articles and blogs are built-in catalog objects, they do not have any special or unique characteristics outside of the fact that they cannot be assigned as a related catalog object to any other catalog object at this time.
  • Category: Category is automatically applied to product, blog, and article catalog objects as a related object and does not need to be manually applied via the "related catalog objects" section of the catalog object config screen. The cardinality value selected for category (One Per Item or Many Per Item) will be applied to all associated catalog objects. Category cannot be applied to Promotions or any other user created catalog objects.
  • Promotions: Promotions are stored in their own section of the catalog and are eligible to be used alongside Einstein Decisions for next best offer decisioning. Unlike other catalog objects, promotions are not eligible to be used in Einstein Recipes. Promotions cannot be assigned as a related catalog object to any other catalog object at this time.

Products, Blogs, & Articles also have an optional "Base URL" setting that customers can leverage. This setting allows you to specify a base URL if your catalog items have relative URLs. Outside of these built-ins, a customer can configure up to 20 additional catalog objects. The rest of this article details how to create, edit, and relate catalog objects to one another.

How to Leverage Built-In Catalog Objects

It is important to note that you are not limited to or required to use any of the built-in catalog object types offered. Before you add catalog object types to the Interaction Studio catalog, you need to decide what type of data you want to track. Depending on your business, you may have any combination of catalog object types. For example, an e-commerce site might have blog posts, articles, products, styles, colors, etc. but a demand generation site may have blogs, articles, industries, events, etc. Catalog objects are meant to provide customers with a means to construct a catalog that provides Interaction Studio with a deep understanding of a clients business. The behavioral data that Interaction Studio captures is collected in the context of the catalog that is configured, so the more detailed your catalog, the more granular you can get with understanding a customer/prospects engagement/affinity.

Creating New Catalog Object Types

To create a new Catalog Object type, simply click the blue plus sign next to the Catalog Objects header. This will open up a new catalog object entry page. From here, you will follow these steps:

General Object Information

  1. Required: Enter the name of your catalog object type
    1. Name must be alphanumeric, start with a capital letter, and be between 3 and 30 characters
    2. Once a catalog object type is saved, the name is no longer modifiable
    3. The name value is what will be leveraged in the sitemap and ETL for data storage/updates
    4. Object types (Catalog or Profile) cannot share a name
  2. Optional: Enter a Label for your catalog object
    1. A label can be used to define how the name of a catalog object renders in the application UI. For example, if the object name is ClothingStyle, you might want to make the label Clothing Style so that it renders more cleanly in the UI. The label is purely cosmetic and does not impact or influence data capture or storage
  3. Optional: Enter an Object Description
    1. There is a 200-character limit for item type descriptions. Anything over 200 characters will be replaced with an ellipse (...)

Define Custom Attributes

Custom Attributes on catalog objects are optional to configure. While these attributes do not have any impact on the decisioning process (Promotion attributes are an exception and covered in more detail here), they can be returned in a campaign response. To learn more about how custom attributes on Promotions differ, review this article. To add an attribute to a catalog object, simply follow these steps:

  1. Click NEW ATTRIBUTE
  2. Add an alphanumeric Attribute Name (the name is what you will use in ETL or sitemap for attribute assignment & updates)
  3. Add the Label as the text you want to appear in Interaction Studio (the label is simply what will display in the UI)
  4. Select the attribute Type (Supported types = string, multi-string, boolean, integer, decimal, date)
  5. Click  to apply the attribute or attribute modifications to the catalog object (In order to actually save and apply the attribute, you will need to click the blue "Save" button in the top right corner of the page after configuring or modifying the attribute)
  6. Click  to cancel

Configure Catalog Object Relationships

While a catalog object can act as a standalone entity, they can also be leveraged to describe another catalog object (formerly referred to as dimensions). To configure catalog object relationships, simply follow these steps:

  1. Below the Attributes section there is a table to add in Related Catalog Objects
  2. Click "Add Related Catalog Object" and a new row will appear in the table
  3. Select an object to add as a related catalog object 
    1. For Built-in Catalog Objects (described above), all user created catalog objects will be available to associate as a related catalog object
    2. For user created catalog objects, only other user defined catalog objects will be available to associate as a related catalog object
  4. Define the relationship cardinality
    1. Product: Products are the only catalog objects that has an option to define a relationship cardinality of one per sku
    2. Category: Category is automatically applied to Product, Blog, and Article catalog objects as a related object and has its cardinality defined at the object level. The cardinality value selected on the category object (One Per Item or Many Per Item) will automatically be applied to products, blogs and articles
    3. All Other Objects: Cardinality is defined at the relationship level and the options are One Per Item or Many Per Item
    4. Example: If you related a keywords catalog object to a blog, it would be a good candidate for Many per item since you would likely have many keywords associated to a blog. On the other hand, if you related a brand catalog object to products, you would likely want a one brand per product relationship.
  5. Save and Enable your new Catalog Object Type!


Pro Tips: Determining What Catalog Object Types to Configure

Configuring the catalog object types in your dataset is a critical part of defining/designing your data model in Interaction Studio. The catalog object types that you define are the basis for how Interaction Studio interprets and understands user interaction and affinity. Some important questions to consider while designing your catalog are as follows:

If I Don't Have a Traditional Retail Product Catalog, Can I Use Interaction Studio's Catalog System?

Yes! Think of Interaction Studio's catalog as a way to define what business objects customers/prospects might engage with when navigating across your businesses' various touch-points. The catalog is Interaction Studio's means of providing you with a flexible data modeling canvas to easily shape how Interaction Studio interprets customer engagement and affinity. By having a deep understanding of your business context (defined through catalog object types and the relationships between them), Interaction Studio is able to go beyond the baseline understanding of something like a click and know what about that thing that a person clicked makes it unique.

What Object Types Do I Want to Configure Outside of the Built-In Options?

Each business typically has a set of primary objects that individuals interact with. Think about what the most important elements of your business are that you want to understand customer/prospect engagement with. While some of these may be covered by a built-in catalog object, it is very likely that there are object types that you need to create in addition to the ones available by default.

How Should I Think About Leveraging Related Catalog Objects?

While Catalog Objects can act as standalone objects, they can be created for the purpose of describing another catalog object type in more detail or to build relationships between object types and provide Interaction Studio with a deeper understanding of what makes certain objects unique.

Is there Any Benefit to Catalog Objects Sharing Related Catalog Objects?

Yes! By having relationships between catalog object types, Interaction Studio can start to understand affinity and engagement more deeply. For example, if someone is reading blog articles that are related to a specific industry and Industry is configured as a related catalog object on the Blog Object, Interaction Studio can start to understand a person's industry affinity even if they haven't engaged with the actual industry page.

Are Catalog Objects Only Leveraged For Helping Understand Customer Engagement/Affinity?

No. Any catalog object that is configured is also available to be recommended via Interaction Studio's Einstein Recipes machine learning. This means that in addition to providing Interaction Studio with a means to deeply understand a customer/prospect, Interaction Studio can also recommend anything mapped in the catalog, be it Forms, Makes, Models, Brands, Blogs, Products, etc. 

I've Configured My Catalog Object Types. How Do I Populate Data Against them?

There are a number of ways to populate data against a catalog object. The primary methods are via the sitemap, ETL, or Event API.



Editing Existing Catalog Object Types

When editing an existing catalog object type, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind.

Editing the Object Name & Label Field

Once a catalog object is saved, you can no longer edit the name field. The name field is the value that is leveraged in the sitemap and ETL for data capture and storage. The label field can be edited at any time. The label field simply changes what value renders in the UI for that object. The label has no impact on what value is used for data capture or storage and is purely cosmetic.

Understanding an Object's Status

A green check-mark next to the object name indicates that the object is currently enabled meaning that it is visible in the catalog and available to be leveraged for data capture and storage. An object's status (enabled or disabled) is set via the slider in the top right of the object edit screen.

Editing an Object that is Enabled

If you are editing an object with a green check, you should be aware that any changes you make and save will be pulled through across the platform UI and might also impact data capture/storage. Changing the label field will not impact data storage, but changing/removing attribute or related catalog object values will impact what can be stored on an object. If you change one of these fields and are capturing catalog data via the sitemap or ETL, you should make sure that any changes you make on the catalog set-up screen are also reflected in these areas to ensure you are not trying to send in data that can't be stored since it no longer matches the catalog object definition.

Understanding Catalog Object Relationships

If you are planning on editing or disabling a catalog object, you can easily tell what objects (catalog or profile) reference the object you are on as a related catalog object by looking in the top right corner of the object definition screen. It is important to consider the broader impact of a catalog object change if it is referenced by many other objects.

Deleting a Catalog Object Definition

When a catalog object definition is deleted, the object is no longer referencable via campaign/segment rules and is removed as a related catalog object across any associated catalog or profile objects. The object values for the deleted definition are immediately removed from the UI but remain in the backend. This means that if a business user decides to recreate the catalog object definition at a later date with the exact same object name, the catalog data will resurface.