Iceshop blog

On this page, we will upload a blog weekly. Written by an Iceshop employee and also shared on Iceclog, LinkedIn, and Facebook. These blogs can have different topics. For example an update of a product, a customer success story, but also an interesting e-commerce fact or an introduction of a new employee.

Do you want to stay informed? Then take a look at this blog page now and then.

Icepim 2.3.6: WooCommerce connector, Disable categories, Export price groups

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A new version of Icepim 2.3.6 is about to be released and it has a brand new extension to connect with WooCommerce, improved category presentation, as well as some other updates and fixes. The full release log is at the bottom of this post. Here, the previous Icepim 2.3.5 release.

New: WooCommerce connector

Next to our stand-alone Icecat – WooCommerce connector, which works directly on the Icecat environment, we now developed and released a WooCommerce extension on our Icepim solution. 

The Icepim–WooCommerce connector will enable Icepim users to export their assortment, categorization, pricing, and product content managed within Icepim to their WooCommerce environment. This connector gives the user flexible options to be in control when it comes to assortment, pricing, and rich content. For example, Icepim lets you control which attributes will be set as search filters within the WooCommerce environment.

Together with the Icepim – Icecat integration, this makes your WooCommerce shop assortment and product content management as automated as it can get. Icepim will update assortment, price, stock, and product content to WooCommerce on a predefined schedule.

If you have a WooCommerce shop and would like to automate your assortment and product content process, Icepim and the WooCommerce connector are the tools you need!

The connector is available at an additional installation and usage fee. For more information please contact us.

Disabled categories not shown in product category tree

Within the new version, you can disable and or enable a category within the category tree set-up page. When you disable a category, it will still be available within the category tree set-up page, but marked as disabled. However, it will not be visible within the Icepim product overview category tree, to keep your live category tree as easy and clean as possible with only enabled categories visible.

Export price groups output increased speed on non API connections

As we have added the possibility to work with price groups, the export of assortment and pricing using the CSV and XML output was impacted. It is highly dependent on the number of products and price rules within your Icepim setup. 

We have now changed the logic within our export engine for CSV and XML assortment outputs which increased its speed by around 50%. There was no update to the API as there was no impact on speed.

Quick pre-filters on brand conversions page

Within release 2.3.4, we added a bulk pre-filter option on the category conversion page. On user request, we also improved the Brand conversion page. It is now possible to batch select brands and add all selected brands to an import pre-filter at once. This will make it easier and faster to clean your assortment from brands that come from your suppliers’ imports that you do not want to carry anymore in your assortment.

icepim 2.3.6

Full release log:

Features and improvements added: 

  • Explanation text for update locks on product detail page
  • Disabled categories not showing on product page category tree
  • Increased speed on price groups product export for CSV and XML based output
  • Quick add pre-filters via Brand conversions page
  • Stay in active tab after saving within product type page tabs
  • Error message required fields on Import wizard improved
  • Icepim WooCommerce connector available

Fixed:

  • Category product count on product page
  • MPN selection on post filters
  • Warehouse officiality rule by using brand select option


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Crozdesk: Icepim features cover all key requirements

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Crozdesk about Icepim vs Akeneo vs Plytix
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If we look at the Crozdesk comparison matrix of Icepim versus Akeneo PIM vs Plytix PIM, it becomes immediately obvious that Icepim is covering all key PIM requirements. Is Icepim, and the Icecat Free Vendor Central, therefore one of the best-kept secrets of the industry? Maybe it is. Probably the lack of visibility was caused by the fact that it could lean on its best-in-class Icecat integration. Benefiting from the visibility of Icecat as a unique open content data source. The Iceshop team definitely didn’t spend much time on press buzz, but instead on diligently creating version after version. To meet the evolving needs of client projects.

Icepim most feature rich

Comparing Icepim with Akeneo and Plytix: what they all share is – of course – the basics: a product catalog as the central database, an API, necessary for enabling external integrations, and data import and export tools in the user interface. It is the completeness in advanced features that sets Icepim apart from its alternatives. Plytix doesn’t support calendar management and scheduling of jobs, and has no third-party plugins or a SAP integration, like Icepim has. Also Akeneo PIM doesn’t have a standard SAP integration or scheduling function. Further Akeneo has no standard dashboard and data visualization environment.

Visibility through add-ons

Although Icepim has a quickly growing list of clients, it still needs to work on its general visibility. But, its philosophy is not to invest in pay-to-play schemes as they are inherently misleading. Till now Icepim leans on its growing number of add-ons to popular e-commerce environments such as Amazon, Google, Woocommerce, PrestaShop, Shopify, and Magento Commerce, and to 100s of vendors. And maybe that is also the best way to go in an integrated, syndication-driven world. Can a great product, being most feature-rich on Cozdesk, still sell itself?

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Founder and CEO of Icecat NV. Investor. Ph.D.

Product Feed Management Key for Headless Commerce

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Product feed management
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Given the trend of headless e-commerce, where a commercial back office can be connected to multiple front offices, feed management has become existential. Most important, to efficiently send product data feeds to several e-commerce channels. It leads to more visibility among buyers and thus financial success. What is Product Feed Management? We define it as a solution for administering and optimizing your product feeds in a seamless flow. This flow is between back offices and multiple front offices, including marketplaces. It will improve the effectiveness of your online and offline sales efforts. It also involves improving, monitoring, and maintaining the quality of the feed and the data sources. Further, it ensures that all the sales channel requirements are met and the feed is regularly updated. A great product feed is a basis for seamless order management.

Why using a great product feed?

What makes a great product feed? To sum up, a great product feed:

  • Allows reaching more customers through different sales channels;
  • Is one location to manage, promote, sell, evaluate, and run, and track product performance;
  • Supports a variety of product listing formats. This to meet sales channel requirements;
  • Saves your organization a lot of time;
  • Takes care of timely updates;
  • Supports enriched and standardized multilingual product data;
  • Supports mainstream open-source platforms like Magento, Prestashop, WooCommerce, Batavi, and commercial platforms like Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Alibaba, etc.
  • Automatically updates your catalog’s multilingual taxonomy to industry standards.

Improve product feed

How to improve one’s product feed? Firstly, look at the basic attributes like identifiers, categorization, titles, descriptions, prices, URL links, etc. Icecat can help correct and enrich such basic product data.

Secondly, optimize the keywords. Check how the potential customers or your customers come to your page. What are they looking for? Provide them with the information they are looking for. To do this, mention the most important product information first. Further, structure the data properly so that search engines understand it too. In this way, you show search engines like Google that your feed and a customer’s query are a perfect match.

Additionally, product images are a key to successfully reaching your audience to make that purchasing decision. The image must have the correct resolution and meet the format requirements of each channel. And be persuasive of course.

Finally, product attributes, marketing messaging, and rich media are important product information. It helps buyers select products and convince them to buy them. Don’t exclude them. Especially the messaging will make it easier to recognize by Google. But also to find it faster by the potential customer. It does not matter what niche your products are in. You have 150 words to reach your potential customer, and often half is shown. Google lists several tips for you.

In conclusion, managing product feed is fairly easy for both smaller and larger companies to do. But for ambitious e-businesses, it is a challenge that cries for efficient automation. For example, tech SMEs like SpareIT and Everything IT successfully automated their processes with Icepim to easily manage their product feeds.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Growth of PIM Market and Associated Trends

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PIM Market
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What is a PIM, actually? PIM stands for Product Information Management. In short, a PIM like our Icepim refers to the processes and systems for handling all the structured and unstructured product content needed for running an e-business. Before choosing a PIM tool, in-depth business analysis is critical. That is why I want to explore here the PIM market and the accompanying trends.

The e-commerce industry is growing at an accelerated pace worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, internet access and the use of smartphones are increasing. Online sales are increasing worldwide by almost 18% per year, facilitated by the rise of big marketplaces like Amazon.com, Alibaba, eBay, and local marketplaces like BOL.com. To keep up with the rapid growth, we see that PIM becomes an increasingly popular business solution. This helps companies to save time and apply automation to update product information on the e-commerce platform quickly. A need-to-have given the exploding size of the average online catalog.

Growing PIM

According to MarketsandMarkets research report, the PIM market is expected to grow from USD 9 billion in 2020 to USD 16 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 12%. The major players in the PIM market are:

For most such popular PIM platforms, Icecat add-ons are available.

Product Information Management Market

Especially ASIA & Pacific have a high regional growth rate, compared to Europe, North- and South America.

Salsify has extended the PIM functionality with syndication functionalities, somewhat overlapping with the number 1 Icecat in the PIMS (PIM + Syndication) space, Syndy, and Icepim.

Trends towards PIMS

More specifically, the trends that I see in the PIM market are the rising demand for PIM solutions from the e-commerce industry, boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, data security and privacy risk becoming more important for organizations. Also, connectivity or syndication is becoming the centerpiece: a PIM involves data collection and syndication from one channel or system to another. This enables the full automation of product information management workflows. This of course requires a single product data standard or taxonomy, which is essential for the seamless exchange of data between all market players in a value chain. Things that only a true PIMS resolve. Finally, to grow and stay ahead of competition, companies are searching for an AI-powered PIM. But, in many cases, this is still a research subject more than a business subject.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Checklist Data Types for Product Information Management

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When Do You Need Help With Product Data_
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Companies using e-commerce can have a massive amount of product data. Product data consists of any useful information about a product. Useful for consumers, purchasing, marketing, logistics, or management. In short, this includes descriptions, digital assets, dimensions, pricing, and inventory. However, much product data is hardly accessible as it’s not available in a standardized format. A product information management (PIM) system like Icepim can help you to make your product data retrievable. What is a PIM actually? In short, a PIM refers to the processes and systems for handling all the structured and unstructured product content. Before choosing a PIM tool, in-depth business analysis is critical.

When analyze your product data requirements?

What are the signs that you need to improve your company’s product data flows?

  • The time to market for new products is not fast enough.
  • Too high client returns because of unclear or erroneous product information.
  • Your clients can not easily search and select products based on relevant attributes.
  • You miss sales because you don’t satisfy the product information needs of your customers.
  • Easily expand your business into new categories is not possible.
  • You can not connect to new sales channels as your product content is locked up, not standardized, or not mapped.
  • It takes too much time to curate your product data, for example, all the required attributes and assets.
  • Your content team is demotivated and a bottleneck.

In short, if one or more of these issues occur, it is time to look for a radical speed-up of your PIM processes.

Checklist product data types

Before selecting a PIM, it is still crucial to analyze the business requirements regarding product data. What types of data does your organization exactly need? Based on the data flows of 1000s of PIM users, we created the following comprehensive checklist. It lists types of product data that may be relevant. We starred (*) the data that are typically mandatory.

Product identifiers

  • Product identifiers, for example, brand name, brand product code, GTIN, ISBN, or other universal identifiers*.
  • Vendor-specific identifiers for ordering picking.
  • Categorization (according to UNSPSC and/or other standards)*.

Logistical data

  • Packaging units, dimensions, weights.
  • Stock quantities.

Product messaging

  • Multilingual marketing texts, descriptions, and/or disclaimers*.
  • Fully standardized product specs, grouped in spec groups*.
  • Images of products *.
  • Product variants, for example, to describe specs like sizes and colors that can vary.
  • Product relations for cross-selling, up-sell (alternatives), and compatibility.
  • Videos of products (normally in MP4).
  • 3D/360 degrees animations in an HTML5 compatible format.
  • Leaflets and user manuals (usually in PDF).
  • Reasons-to-buy.
  • Feature logos, videos, and related multilingual texts.
  • Enriched product stores often as HTML5 based mini-sites.

Product ratings

  • Sustainability ratings such as certificates and mandatory energy consumption classifications.
  • User reviews.
  • Professional reviews.
  • Popularity.

Pricing

  • Purchase price*.
  • Consumer advisory price.
  • Sales price*.
  • Applicable taxes*.

Taxonomy

A taxonomy consists of the definitions of:

  • Brands and brand ownership relations.
  • Categories and category trees.
  • Category-specific attributes, including their units of measurement, data types, groupings, and whether they are mandatory or not.
  • Mappings regarding taxonomy elements to foreign taxonomies for connectivity.

Management information

  • Product popularity per region.
  • Outlets per region.
  • Sales-out estimates per region.
  • Data health score and completeness.
  • Aggregated product review scores.
  • Stock evolution estimates.
  • Price evolution.

PIM selection for headless e-commerce

The best PIM to select not only supports a multilingual taxonomy and all possible data types as included in our check, but also supports connections to Google, Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, Magento Commerce, Prestashop, and tons of other 3rd party platforms. Especially given the trend towards headless e-commerce. It is of course my advice to look into Icepim given it’s seamless integration with Icecat’s taxonomy and data sources, it’s ability to process any other additional data source as well, and as it is designed for headless e-commerce. Thus, it’s one of the more versatile PIM data hubs on the planet.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Download Unenriched Product List with Iceshop WooCommerce Connector

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download unenriched product list
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Iceshop further improves its WooCommerce connector. Now, it is possible to download an unenriched product list. This makes it easier to analyze such products.

What is new?

What are the key benefits of the WooCommerce/Icecat connector? This connector enables the automated enrichment of product content directly from the Icecat catalog in combination with other Iceshop WooCommerce connectors for vendor integration and e-ordering. The products can be matched with brand product codes or GTINs.

With the new improvement, it is possible to download a CSV file from the WooCommerce add-on with all unenriched products. The reason for not enriching the products may be that the product does not exist in Icecat yet or because you do not have the correct Icecat license: Open Icecat instead of Full Icecat, or no subscription to relevant verticals. With this list, Icecat can check the missing product datasheets and find the best solution. The advice could be an upgrade of your Icecat license or have it covered by a service level.

Where to find the download?

Where to find the WooCommerce Icecat add-on?

Firstly, log in to the WooCommerce platform. Next, go to WooCommerce “Settings”. Finally, click on the Icecat tab and scroll down. And, here you see the Icecat for WooCommerce Product Statistics (see screenshots below).

WooCommerce Product Statistics
Here you will find the download button for the non-enriched products.

Unenriched products list

The download button is added at the bottom of the Icecat page described above. Click on the download CSV button under the heading Icecat for WooCommerce Unmatched Products List, and the export of the CSV file will run.

Unmatched products list

Discuss with Icecat what the best way is to enrich the uncovered products. Do you have any further questions? Please contact us directly via de website.

Irish EverythingIT leverages Iceshop Vendor Network

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Everything IT uses Icepim and Iceimport Successfully
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Everything IT, an Irish IT management and security provider since 2010, integrates Icepim and Iceimport on their new Magento webshop successfully. Last year Everything IT was looking for a solution to find the right supplier for hardware faster and speed up the purchase process. Therefore, web-EDI (electronic data interchange) to automate purchase management makes sense. Everything IT chose Iceshop, i.e., Icepim and Iceimport, given its standard connectivity to its Magento Commerce environment.

Iceshop’s services help us making the purchase and selling process simpler and faster by automating it. This allows us to focus on the most important thing: satisfied customers.

Denis Mc Auliffe, Systems Engineer at Everything IT

Benefits for Everything IT

What are, more in detail, the reasons for Everything IT, to integrate with Iceshop’s Vendor Network?

First, with the online product manager Icepim, Everything IT can standardize and centralize all product data. There are many customization options in Icepim. As a result, Everything IT can quickly and easily adjust the product data as desired. After managing the product data, Everything IT can distribute the data directly across its various channels. Leading to a shorter time to market.

Second, through the Web-EDI integration of Iceimport, Everything IT can find the right suppliers quickly and easily. Additionally, Everything IT uses Iceshop’s large vendor network with over 300 connected suppliers. Everything IT can select the preferred supplier using various filter options. Next, it is possible to connect to the selected supplier, which means that it is added to the preferred supplier list of Everything IT.

The final step in the automated purchase process is that the connected suppliers import their retailer-specific assortment, pricing, and stock data. Iceimport standardizes this product feed and adds rich product content from Icecat. This gives Everything IT direct access to the correct rich product content. For Everything IT also new suppliers are added to the Iceshop Vendor Network to benefit from the network effects. Everything IT’s new Magento webshop is now running thanks to the automation solutions from Iceshop smoothly.

Do you also want a connection to Everything IT? Or join the Vendor Network, like STRAX , Flex-IT DistributionDIFOX, and Integral Memory, and 300+ other Vendors? Or do you want to know more about the possibilities of Icepim? In those cases, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Icepim 2.3.5: Multishop, Product Pricing Groups, Lock Button, and Icecat UNSPSC Code

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Icepim release notes
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Icepim 2.3.5 is now live. In this Icepim 2.3.5 release, we discuss added shops, product pricing groups. Furthermore, we highlight the lock button and Icecat UNSPSC code. The full release log is at the bottom of the post. You can find the previous Icepim 2.3.4 release here.

Multishop support

Thanks to the add a “New shop” function, it is possible to manage multiple shops in one e-commerce environment: Icepim. By using one back office for multiple shops, you save a lot of time. For example, you can now export multiple products to multiple e-commerce environments with one back office.

You can find this function in the navigation menu under Settings. First, you have to create a new shop. You can do this under Settings -> Shops (see the screenshot below).

Added shops

After creating a new shop, you can manage the shop’s desired settings under Settings -> Shop selector (see the screenshot below).

Shop selector

You can choose from the options below and connect to the relevant shop.

connect to the desired shop

This new function is now live for Batavi. Do you have a different environment? Then, don’t hesitate to ask us about the possibilities.

Product pricing groups

With the addition of product pricing groups, it is possible to make different price rules for different product groups. You can add pricing rules for discounts, mark-up, and fixed prices. It does not have to be a fixed percentage because there are many more flexible options in our standard price-rule functionality.

Create a price group

For example, with two different export environments, you want to give everything a 10% discount but in the other environment only a 5% discount. To do this, create a Price group and add the Price group in a new Price rule. Take the following steps:

  • Create a price group: Go to Price -> Price group (see screenshot above)
  • Add the price group to a price rule: Pricing -> Pricing -> New price rule. Add here the desired price group and add the desired price rules (see the screenshot below).
Add the price group to a price rule
Icepim markup/ discount and fixed price options

Further, you only have to add the price rule to the desired export environment. For this, go to Exports and click on the edit button behind the desired environment (see screenshot below).

desired export button
desired export conditions

When running the new export, the entered price rule and the entered price group will be applied.

New option to lock products

A general lock button is added on the Product overview page. Select some products in the Product overview and then click on this blue circled button at the bottom of the page:

general lock button

After clicking on this button, it is possible to lock the chosen data.

set the chosen data to lock

The lock ensures that products in a category or brand are locked. When adding the lock right away, the category will not change when running a new import. Without a lock, products would be reset to the original category when running a new import. Thanks to this page, you can select and lock multiple products at once.

Added Icecat UNSPSC to Products CSV and Magento CSV exports

It is now also possible to export the UNSPSC-based classification code from Icecat to your environments. This makes the product information in your live environments even more complete.

Full release log

New features and improvements added:

  • Shops
  • Product pricing groups
  • Empty Delta exports will now set a notification, not an error
  • Option to add general lock products upon when moving categories
  • Icecat UNSPSC to Products CSV and Magento CSV exports
  • Creation of non matched products on Shopify

Fixes:

  • Issues setting product definition on saving a product
  • An issue with incorrect warehouse selector on import/price rule
  • Modified XML parsing to work with Icecat XML changes in Reasons To Buy
  • The issue causing the language not to be set correctly using the cron
  • Fixed issue with the caching of products
  • Products fields not being imported when the content lock was enabled
  • Products being unable to be copied
  • The issue causing custom numbers to be updated during import while not mapped

In case you have any questions or need support. Please, contact us directly via the website.

Audio-Visual Distributor Van Domburg Offers Partners Iceimport and Iceorder Connection

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Van Domburg Partners successfully uses Iceimport and Iceorder
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Distributor Van Domburg Partners successfully uses Iceimport and Iceorder. This offers their customers the possibility to fully automate assortment, price, and stock data via the Iceshop supplier network. In addition to the product data, all order information is also automated via Iceorder (EDI). 

Van Domburg Partners is the largest value-added distributor for audiovisual solutions in the Benelux. They carry leading brands such as Samsung, LG, NEC, Dynascan, and SMART for the business market. Van Domburg Partners offers the products and their knowledge and experience to make your project a success.

Benefits Iceimport and Iceorder

Now that Van Domburg Partners successfully uses Iceimport and Iceorder, it is easier to be found and accessible for retailers, thanks to Iceimport. Retailers easily find offers in Iceportal, thanks to the connection to the Iceshop supplier network. All Iceimport clients have access to Iceportal, the purchase portal of Iceshop.

With Iceorder, Van Domburg Partners is digitizing the purchasing process. Additionally, Iceorder automates the exchange of price, availability, and order status messages. In this way, Van Domburg Partners informed their customers automatically without delay. This saves time and costs.

“The connection with Icecat provides our website with the necessary product enrichment. And thanks to the Iceshop services, we can offer our customers a direct link to our system. An extra service that allows our customers to benefit from all the information automatically. ”

Bastiaan van Rooij, IT & Opertation Manager at Van Domburg Group

Optionally customers can purchase an extra service from Iceshop. The enrichment of rich product content from Icecat. This includes product texts, product specs, images, manuals, and spec sheets.

Adding rich product content

Iceshop is a subsidiary of Icecat NV that provides standardized rich product content. The product data-sheets that manufacturers provide assist end-users in their decision-making process. Furthermore, rich content is useful for developing search filters and comparison tables. Our single catalog export format includes matching Icecat IDs. This makes it very easy to retrieve the matching Icecat datasheet from the Icecat database.

With the completed catalog, retailers can then easily find the desired products in the purchase portal of Iceshop, Iceportal.

Benefits of Iceportal

One of the main benefits of Iceportal is that retailers can find information about products and suppliers with all details. It is also possible to set different search filters to find the desired product even faster. Iceportal is also interesting for suppliers because it is easier to get to retailers’ attention and sell more products. It also saves a lot of time in communication because suppliers can automatically keep retailers informed via Iceportal.

How Iceportal works

In Iceportal, retailers can select Van Domburg Partners as their preferred supplier. Besides, they can find the supplier in the optional supplier list for the products. After a retailer added a preferred supplier, the preferred supplier is added to its personal preferred supplier list.

System integration is also easy as Iceportal delivers the data from connected suppliers in a single catalog export format. We also make it easy to integrate the standardized data into your environment through plug-ins and end-to-end integrations. There are standard plug-ins available, for example, MagentoPrestashop, and WooCommerce.

Do you want to connect with Van Domburg Partners or 300+ other distributors? And do you also want to take advantage of all these benefits? Do not hesitate to contact us.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

WooCommerce Connector Enriches Product Content for Smart Click New Zealand

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WooCommerce connector for Smart Click
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Smart Click New Zealand enriches its offers with rich product content from Icecat fully automated thanks to the new WooCommcerce connector. Smart Click sells services, such as laptop repairs, virus and software fixes, desktop or tower pc repair. The WooCommerce connector for Smart Click solves their issues by putting multiple data feeds, including enriched content, into one single output feed.

Benefits WooCommerce connector

What are the key benefits of the Icecat WooCommerce connector? First of all, the Icecat connector solves the challenge to join multiple data feeds with additional content into one single output feed, quickly and easily. Furthermore, the connector automates the enrichment of product offers in different environments, directly from the Icecat catalog. Finally, the connector supports full PIM management of product attributes, images, etc.

Our experience with the Iceshop team is amazing. I like to work with a team that knows what they are doing regarding multiple data feeds.
They say if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true,
but it is true with the Iceshop team.

Drew Howitt – Technical director at Smart Click

How does the connector work?

After installation, the WooCommerce connector, as used by Smart Click, will automatically create, update, and/or delete the required product content that matches the catalog in WooCommerce. Each night this connector checks in batch if there is any updated or new content available for the assortment. Similar connectors are available for Magento, Prestashop, and Shopify.

So, do you run into problems with joining multiple data feeds? Then, don’t hesitate to contact us directly via the website.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Vendit packages POS and PrestaShop with Icecat Connector for Retailers

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Vendit uses Icecat connect
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POS supplier Vendit uses the Prestashop Icecat Connector for its retail partners to offer a full-service product content package. This includes the following: a managed PrestaShop webstore, a connected Point Of Sales (POS) system, and the rich product content from Icecat via the standard connector. Vendit’s roots go back to 1986, and thus the early days of retail automation. It successfully pivoted to omnichannel. Especially, because of the lockdowns, a must for its clientele.

Icecat connector for Vendit customers

Vendit already created many Prestashop webshops for its customers. Already quite a few of these customers are provided with Icecat data via the Prestashop Icecat connector. A major advantage is that this content connector creates and updates the required product content that automatically matches a Vendit retailer’s portfolio. This data includes product specifications, descriptions, and images. For a retailer, it is also possible to edit the content and maintain professionally managed multilayer navigation filters. Every night the Icecat connector automatically syncs the PrestaShop catalog with the Icecat database.

Benefits for Vendit

There are several benefits for Vendit to use the Prestashop Icecat connector for its customers. Firstly, with the Icecat connector, Vendit offers its retail clients a very affordable and state-of-the-art rich product content service. Furthermore, Vendit, nor its retail clients, need to worry about the integration as Iceshop takes full care of the installation and management of the connector.

Do you want more information, or do you want to be connected with the Icecat connector? Do not hesitate to contact us.

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Chief Executive Officer at Iceshop BV - visit www.iceshop.biz

STRAX joins Iceshop Vendor Network

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  January 21, 2021
STRAX joins Iceshop Vendor Network
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STRAX joins Iceshop vendor network. STRAX, founded in 1995, is a global provider of technical accessories that enable a mobile lifestyle. Iceshop’s purchasing vendor network is thus growing further, after the recent addition of Flex-IT DistributionDIFOX, and Integral Memory, to a total of 300+ connected vendors.

Benefits for STRAX and retailers

STRAX has access to the retailers already part of the Iceshop network. Now that STRAX joins the Iceshop vendor network, retailers can more easily find the distributor’s offers in Iceportal. All Iceimport clients have access to Iceportal, the purchase portal of Iceshop.

Through Iceportal, STRAX is easier to find, and this will generate more sales leads for STRAX. When required, we can also fully digitize the purchasing process. Therefore, you can purchase Iceorder; and Iceshop can take care of the automated exchange of price and availability, and order status messaging via Iceportal, Iceimport, and Iceorder. We also provide the products with rich product content in this automation process.

How to add rich product content

Iceshop has a close connection to Icecat to deliver standardized rich product content, i.e., the product data-sheets that manufacturers provide to help end-users in their decision process. Furthermore, rich content is useful for developing search filters and comparison tables. Our single catalog export format includes matching Icecat IDs. This makes it very easy to retrieve the matching Icecat datasheet from the Icecat database.

Benefits of Iceportal

Iceportal is primarily a portal for retailers to find information about products and suppliers. However, it is also an exciting environment for suppliers because it helps suppliers easily find new retailers and expand their distribution networks. One of the main benefits of Iceportal is that retailers can quickly find information from which suppliers they can order; they can also find all status information about their orders. It is also possible to set different search filters to quickly and easily find the desired product.

How does it work?

Retailers that use Iceportal can select STRAX as a preferred supplier. Alternatively, they can find the distributor in the optional supplier list for its supplies. If a retailer chooses STRAX as a preferred supplier, the distributor is added to the connected suppliers’ list. These preferences streamline the ordering processes of a retailer.

Further, system integration is easy as all data from connected suppliers are provided in one single catalog export format. We also make it easy to integrate the standardized data into your environment through plug-ins and end-to-end integrations. There are standard plug-ins available, for example, Magento, Prestashop, and WooCommerce.

By connecting as many retailers and suppliers as possible to the vendor network, we bring supply and demand together.  

Do you want to connect to the Iceshop Vendor Network as well? Please contact us via our website.

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Chief Executive Officer at Iceshop BV - visit www.iceshop.biz

New Iceshop Magento Module More Efficient

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Iceshop Magento modules
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The Iceshop Magento module introduces several improvements. First of all, the optimization of the image import process. Secondly, ensuring unique URL keys for products. And adjustments to URL keys for products in case of non-alphanumeric characters in product names.

What was the issue? Some of our clients ran into other problems related to URL keys. But these are now fixed with this new Iceshop Magento module update. In some cases, Magento threw errors regarding incorrect or non-unique URL keys, causing our process image queue to stop. With these improvements to our modules, the image queue processing now runs smoothly again.

Icecat connect image process

The new Magento Icecat connector improves the image download process. For example, images that are already added will not be downloaded again. This improvement will speed up the download process considerably.

Iceimport option to add a prefix for product URL key

Further improvements to the URL key are live as well. Before our improvement, the module used the product name in a URL link. But, as multiple products can have the same product name, this led to non-unique URLs. With our new improvement, every product in Magento generates a unique URL. We do this by adding a combination of brand and product code to the URL key.

Non-alphanumeric characters replaced by a “-“

A URL must not contain non-alphanumerical characters. Otherwise, the URL will not work correctly. Sometimes product names contain non-alphanumeric characters, for example for inches (“). In case there is a non-alphanumeric character in a product name, then a “” will now automatically replace the URL key. In this way, every unique product and category URL in Magento will always work.

Icecat Magento Module by Iceshop

Iceshop provides user-friendly modules for the popular Magento platform. These modules automatically import Icecat product content. This includes product images, specifications, descriptions, marketing texts, but also rich content. Our aim is to make e-business easy.

Icepim Present on More PIM Selectors

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PIM Selectors
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Icepim is now live on the PIM (Product Information Management) selectors PIM selection and PIM Solutions. This, in addition to inclusion on review site Crozdesk.com. These websites collect data about PIM systems and compare these with customer needs. In this way, they try to help a user to choose the best PIM system for an application area.

Not only consumers are making use of comparison sites like Google shopping, booking.com, and Kieskeurig, but also business professionals. Being present on comparison sites helps to improve brand awareness and convince, in our case, more potential customers to consider Icepim. We believe it is the most convenient PIM system in its class. Especially, for medium to large companies. Below, I explain why.

Automating content and e-commerce flows

Unique is that Icepim specializes in automating content and e-commerce business flows. It seamlessly integrates the popular product content service Icecat, offers 100s of supplier connections, and supports mappings, filtering rules, and pricing rules. Especially, large-scale e-businesses save a lot of time with Icepim thanks to the many automation options. Furthermore, Icepim is state-of-the-art as it is supplemented with rich content, and it allows for easy management of product content. This why Icepim stands out in PIM selectors.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

From Travel to E-commerce, waiting for the Vaccine

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travel to e-commerce
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After I finished my software development education, I started working in the travel industry as a PHP developer. I loved this job because of the nice conviviality and open ambiance. I mainly built a CMS system and was able to maintain and expand it. But, I lost my job due to COVID-19 as the travel industry imploded and other e-commerce soared. I dislike such instability.

Therefore, I started looking for a new challenge. I made the change from travel to e-commerce as I started last month as a PHP developer at Iceshop. The e-commerce environment is a whole new challenge for me. The job itself is not so new to me. I already have experience with PHP, Javascript, and mySQL. I also fit well in the Iceshop team because it is an international team and I speak fluently Dutch, English, and Turkish.

Maybe also nice to know about me: development is my passion. Further, I like to game, and I love to go out (if COVID-19 permits). I was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Rotterdam.

Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who lost a job due to COVID-19, and I’m certainly not the last. Fortunately, I found a new job quite quickly. Hopefully, most people who have become unemployed due to COVID-19, find also a job soon. And I also hope that the corona unemployment will drop to previous levels, now that new vaccines are available.

Vaccines

It’s not over yet, but thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines, the end is getting nearer and nearer. The opinions on the vaccines differ a lot. Some people fear long-term consequences and others prefer the vaccine today and believe it is the solution. Personally, at this moment, I know too little about it and would first like to wait for the results of the vaccine in the Netherlands, before taking it myself. Fortunately, I am not yet among the target group of vulnerable people that receives the vaccine first. This gives me the time to think more about it and see what it does to others.

The new normal

Furthermore, also with the vaccine and almost the end of these unstable times, I expect that life will never be totally the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. UrbanNext wrote an article about seven interesting predictions for the changes that might occur.

The seven points that are expected to be different for everyone:

Houses, not apartments. People do not want to go to multi-story buildings anymore, but prefer their own house with a little garden.

Bunkers better than open-plan. The desire to prepare your home for natural or man-made hazards is no longer surprising.

Self-sufficient power and water. The goal is independence from the outside world, minimizing risks in the case of a full shutdown.

Filtration and neutralization. Water and air filter systems were often seen as an unnecessary addition. After the pandemic, this trend will change.

Home as the new office. More attention will be given to the arrangement of the workplace at home. So, less travel, more e-commerce.

Urban farming goes global. It used to be trendy to start small gardens near homes or on balconies, but now it will be a boom. It has been proven that physical interaction with living plants is good for our mental health.

Rejection of mass industry. The new world will be about things that matter. There will be fewer objects, and they will be chosen more responsibly. 

According to Deloitte, the world is also increasingly dependent on the digital world. Through COVID-19 it becomes visible what being digital truly means. It is not just about cool apps, but about having a solution chain that runs deep across processes, people, and technology. It’s a fundamental change in the way we work, live, and do business.
Because Iceshop helps to automate sales, purchasing, and product content processes for online environments, I think I made a good choice to go work for Iceshop.

Besides that, I wait and see what the future will bring me. For now, I am more than happy that I found quickly a new job. With my education and previous work experience, I will help to improve the current e-commerce services within Iceshop like Icepim, Icepimport, and Iceportal. But more importantly, I will also develop new ones by working on all areas for improvement.

I am looking forward to meeting clients and colleagues, online and in-person to achieve great things together!

Update: New Prestashop Connector Version 1.1.0

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New Prestashop connector version
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Iceshop releases its new Prestashop connector version 1.1.0. In short, this new version contains several improvements. Firstly, you can now use reference files for Brand Product Code matching. Furthermore, we skip now empty features entirely. Finally, you can now customize the generation of product descriptions.

Iceshop built a user-friendly connector for the popular Prestashop platform. This connector automatically imports Icecat product content. This includes product images, specifications, descriptions, and marketing texts. There are also connectors available for other platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify.

Reference files for matching

Previously it was possible to use a special Product Code-feature field created by the module for matching with Icecat product data-sheets. With the new Prestashop connector version, it is now also possible to use the reference field that is available by default in Prestashop for this purpose.

No empty features

The module does not set features anymore when there is no value present. So only when a feature has a value for at least one product the feature is set in PrestaShop.

Description generator

With this new version, you can now decide upon which Icecat fields you would like to use to generate product descriptions. There are two options available. Firstly, you can choose the Icecat Long description. Secondly, you can use the Icecat long summary description. Both options can also be combined to ensure that the description is always filled even when your first option is empty.



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Chief Executive Officer at Iceshop BV - visit www.iceshop.biz

Review Icepim on Crozdesk

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icepim on crozdesk
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The Iceshop PIM is now available for review on Crozdesk.com. Crozdesk is a business software discovery platform. It helps buyers to find and compare 1000s of software products across 280+ different categories since 2014.

Now that Icepim is registered, it will be easier to collect user reviews. With these reviews, we want to gain better insights into the usage and user experience of customers to further improve Icepim. We are of course motivated to improve our PIM score, to win awards. At the moment the Icepim scores 62/100 points. The top 5 of the PIM Award 2020 are as follows: Akeneo, Pimcore, Salsify, Widen Collective, and Sales Layer.

Crozdesk judges the PIM on four points. Firstly, the product’s relevance regarding this list. Secondly, breakdowns of user satisfaction per product. Further, the market attendance score of each vendor. And finally, the buzz score. The PIM registered on Crozdesk, will help to raise brand awareness.

Crozdesk Market Radar

The Crozdesk Market Radar divides companies into four categories in the PIM award list. Icepim is listed as “Market Leader” by Crozdesk.

Do you have any experience with Icepim? Please leave a review on Crozdesk to help us further improve the PIM. If you have any questions about Icepim, please contact Iceshop via our website.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Icepim 2.3.4: Support for Delta Import, Pre-filter, Re-stock Date, and PDFs

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Icepim release notes
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Icepim 2.3.4 is now live. What are the new features and improvements of the Icepim 2.3.4 version? Below, you can find the full release notes.

The previous Icepim release includes improved exports, logging, and enriching products of brands and categories.

Delta CSV import

Per this release, it is possible to only import changed product data. With such delta imports, you can apply only these changes to your imported catalog. Before this release, all information had to be re-imported every time, even if only a minor change was made. Now you only import the changed product data-sheets, and the rest will remain the same. This makes importing a lot faster.

Apart from the delta and full import options, Icepim has many other import options including using a dedicated API. If you are still using the full-import method via CSV, please request us to optimize the import type to your needs.

Icepim import options

Create prefilters using category conversions

If you now go to the category conversions page in Icepim, you can add here a pre-filter. Therefore, you do not have to go to the “prefilter page” separately to add such a selection filter. Now, this can be set simultaneously with category conversions. This makes it simpler and easier for the user.

In the image below, the prefilter option is shown in the lower right corner with a blue square around it.

Icepim prefilter

Restock date for Magento

We added a restock date field, which is useful for Magento CSV imports. Thanks to this addition, you can see exactly when a product is back in stock. If the stock is 0 and the product is not available, a back-in-stock-date will automatically be displayed. Now you know exactly when you can re-order the product. It is also possible to use the restock field in a selection filter. For example, you can set a filter for products that are back in stock within two days. In this way, you can make a good overview of when the products are in stock again.

Icepim restock

You can see the restock date range option in the filter options. And if the stock level of a product is 0 in the product list below, the restock date is also shown behind the stock level.

PDF files tab on product edit page

Further, it is now possible to view the PDF of the product content provider Icecat in Icepim. You can see this PDF on the product edit page. In this way, you know exactly which product content is enriched by Icecat.

The PDF button can be found on the product edit page. In the image below I have circled the PDF button.

Icepim pdf

Full release log

Features and improvements added:

  • Delta CSV import
  • Possibility to create pre-filters using category conversions
  • Product state field for CSV export
  • Re-stock date field for Magento CSV import
  • PDF files tab on the product edit page
  • Performance improvement: reduces unnecessary product content exports. Only if price/stock is updated
  • Improved filtering of include and exclude rules in CSV import

Fixes:

  • Price rule editing from the product page
  • Language-dependent Icecat import
  • Product last modified time updating in image resizer
  • Live price and stock update
  • Category tree presentation on the product edit page
  • Wildcard filtering bug

If you have any questions or need support. Please, contact Iceshop directly via the website.

Flex IT Distribution Sustainable Alternative in Iceshop Vendor Network

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Flex IT Distribution Joins Iceshop Vendor Network
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Flex IT Distribution joins the vendor network of Iceshop. This purchasing network is growing further, after the recent addition of DIFOX and Integral Memory. Who is Flex IT? Flex IT is a supplier for IT retailers in Europe for over 15 years. The supplier specializes in recycled alternatives to the latest equipment. This leads to significant cost benefits for end-users and a reduced carbon footprint.

Added value for Flex IT resellers

Resellers can now easily find the products of Flex IT in Iceportal, the purchase portal of Iceshop. Furthermore, they can automate the purchase connection via Iceimport and Iceorder. These purchase services are now also including product availability and personalized purchase prices for all Flex IT products. Consequently, Flex IT retailers can now offer refurbished alternatives to more expensive new products. In this way, they help their clients to meet their sustainability objectives.

How does it work? Retailers that use Iceportal can select Flex IT as a preferred supplier. Alternatively, they can find the distributor in the optional supplier list for the products it supplies. If a retailer chooses Flex IT as a preferred supplier, then the distributor is added to the list of connected suppliers. These preferences, streamline the ordering processes of a reseller. Further, system integration is easy because all data from the connected suppliers are provided in one single catalog export format.

Through plugins and end-to-end integrations, we make it still easier to integrate the standardized data into your platform. There are such standard plugins available for Magento, Prestashop, and WooCommerce.

By connecting as many retailers and suppliers as possible to the vendor network, we bring supply and demand together.

How to add rich product content?

Iceshop has a close connection to Icecat to deliver standardized rich product content, i.e., the product data-sheets that manufacturers are providing to help end-users in their decision process. Furthermore, rich content is useful for developing search filters and comparison tables. Our single catalog export format includes matching Icecat IDs. This makes it very easy to retrieve the matching Icecat datasheet from the Icecat database.

Benefits for Flex IT

Flex IT gets access to the resellers that are already part of the Iceshop network. As Flex IT joins the Iceshop vendor network, retailers can now more easily find the distributor’s offers. This generates sales leads for Flex IT. Furthermore, the purchasing process is fully digitized. In short, Iceshop takes care of the automated exchange of price and availability, orders, and order status messaging via Iceportal, Iceimport, and Iceorder.

Do you want to connect to the Iceshop Vendor Network as well? Please, contact us via our website.

Avatar for Marc Weehuizen

Chief Executive Officer at Iceshop BV - visit www.iceshop.biz

Integral Memory Joins Iceshop’s Vendor Network

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Iceshop adds Integral Memory to its Large Network of Distributors
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Integral Memory joins Iceshop’s global vendor network. Integral Memory, a UK manufacturer of memory and LED lighting products since 1989, is now included in Iceimport. This vendor network already covers more than 300 different suppliers. Nowadays, Integral Memory produces Memory Cards, Card Readers, USB Flash Drives, Solid State Drives, RAM-Memory, and, since 2013, also LED lighting products. The purchase information that is available through Iceimport includes, for example, actual purchase prices and stock quantities, brand names, brand part codes, and product descriptions. This data is automatically available for any retailer with a login for Iceportal (beta).

Added value for retailers

What are the advantages for resellers of Integral Memory of this move to join the Iceshop vendor network? Through Iceimport retailers, and their back-offices, receive timely purchase data, including purchase price and stock level. All data from all suppliers are provided in one single catalog export format. It is easy to integrate, as many plugins or end-to-end integrations are present. For example, for add-ons are present for Magento Commerce, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, etc etc. This catalog format can be found in the Iceportal, the web-based reseller purchase portal for manual lookup of supplier data. Further, the retailer benefits from standardized product data-sheets of Integral Memory by Icecat. These product data-sheets provide additional data such as categorization, GTIN, and standardized product descriptions. Thus, Iceimport turns product information from any supplier into a complete and up-to-date database.

In summary, the data is always available, and easy to find and share. For the integration of Iceimport, there are three export formats available. Firstly, the most commonly used standard Iceimport output. Secondly, a customized output, on request. And, finally a full integration with the client system. E.g., via a standard module or API2API. Possibly, in combination with other services such as Icepim.

“We found it a challenge to bring our company to the attention of the right target group. Thanks to this collaboration, we expand our network quickly and easily.” 

Kees Vogelaar, Area Manager Netherlands/Flanders, Integral Europe BV

Benefits Iceportal

Integral Memory asks its existing resellers to make use of the Iceimport service to save cost and time. Or, for interested resellers, to become a business partner, directly. If you want this, please fill in Integral Memory’s contact form or let us know. We are happy to assist.

Although Iceportal is primarily a portal for retailers to find information about products and suppliers, it is also an interesting environment for suppliers. Because it helps them to easily find new resellers to expand their distribution networks.

What are the key user benefits of Iceportal? First of all, retailers can find quickly information from which suppliers they can order. Furthermore, they can find all status information about their orders. Finally, it is possible to set different search filters to find the desired product fast and easy.

Let us know if you want to connect with Integral Memory via Iceimport and Iceportal.

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Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV

Dutch Consumers Spent 700 Million Euro in European Webshops

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Dutch Consumers Spent 100s of Millions in European Webshops
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During the second quarter of 2020, Dutch consumers spent a record amount of €696 million at foreign online webshops in the EU. This is 37% more compared to the same period last year. During that period, €508 million was spent. The rate of increase in the turnover of European webshops is more than doubled in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter. At that time the turnover rose by less than 16%. Although in the first quarter, Dutch consumers still spent 471 million euros on European webshops.

Dutch-Consumers-Spent-100s-Millions-in-European-Webshops
Sales of EU webshop to Dutch consumers

Due to COVID-19, in March, measures like a lockdown were taken. People were advised to stay at home as much as possible, and many shops needed to close their doors. These measures boosted e-commerce. The sales of webshops, based in the Netherlands, are 55% higher in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, which is the highest growth measured so far.

A distinction can be made between Dutch webshops and so-called multichannel shops, companies that sell online and offline. Turnover from webshops in the Netherlands was 45% higher during Q2 compared to the same period last year. For multichannel shops, online sales were 68% higher during Q2.

Source: CBS

Distributor DIFOX added to Iceshop Network

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Distributor DIFOX added to Iceshop
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Distributor DIFOX joins the Iceshop distributor network. DIFOX is one of the largest independent wholesalers in Europe, with more than 100 years of history. DIFOX’s 30,000 products of 500 different A-brands are now easier to find by retailers. Because DIFOX will appear automatically in the catalog systems of resellers in our network. For each product in the catalog, our system indicates which of the 300 distributors can deliver it and for what price. This will definitely generate more business for DIFOX.

Connect with Iceimport

Technically, there is now a DIFOX connector with Iceimport. Resellers use Iceimport’s distributor connection to import in several exchange formats the reseller-specific pricing of DIFOX as well. But, also stock data is exchanged.

DIFOX in Iceportal

Iceportal is a web-based purchase portal for retailers to find information about products and distributors. It is also very interesting for DIFOX as its catalog is now easy to find for retailers. And this makes it easier for retailers to find and buy its A-brand products.

DIFOX and Iceshop want to expand the network via Iceportal to syndicate the best product purchase information. For example, if a product is in stock. Or when someone places an order and the distributor also has a connection with Iceorder. Then the retailers can receive the order status and track and trace code via the web portal as well. Soon there will also be new filter options in Iceportal.

Do you want more information about DIFOX, Iceimport, or Iceportal? Please contact us directly.

The “Disrupted” E-commerce Trends of 2020

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E-commerce Trends 2020
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Each year there are predictions for business trends. To inspire us to grow and move with the market. For e-commerce trends 2020, things turned out differently than predicted. Companies have to be more flexible. But what exactly has changed in the trends since COVID-19 is among us? I have selected a few E-commerce trends in 2020 that we want to work on.

Voice search: small change, big impact

Quoracreative says that in 2020 more than 50% of searches are based on voice search technology. Google wants to guarantee users optimal search results based on voice input. The impact on design is often limited to a microphone icon for voice-to-text conversion and in mobile applications the interpretation of voice commands.

voice search optimization statistics

Marketplaces

Due to lockdowns, many physical stores closed. But companies also start to invest and improve their webshop and expand through sales partnerships. By offering products through marketplaces and 3rd party webshops, companies are able to continue to develop their sales channels.

Website traffic growth of 57 U.S. marketplaces
Example of the US marketplaces

Social commerce

More and more sales are taking place via Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. It’s called social commerce. It depends on the type of products you sell which channel is most suitable. When developing your marketing activities it is good to keep an eye on which channels are interesting to use.

Lower Returns

According to Dutch research, customers want longer return options and clear information. The customers find clarity the most important. The actual return time remains fairly the same. Interestingly enough, if you give a consumer a reflection period of 31 days, the number of returns will decrease by 47% compared to shorter return periods.

Clear information is also important for e-commerce management. For example, it is good to find out the reason for returns.

Direct to consumer (D2C)

Direct brand communication is important for the customer. It is a trend. Communication about delays, shipping information, or other important details is not only communicated by a store but also by the brand. With different accents of course. In this way, the customer experience improves and contributes to a trustworthy relationship during difficult times.

According to Statista, D2C sales in the U.S. alone reached $14.28 billion in 2019 and will increase to $17.75 billion by the end of 2020.

D2C e-commerce sales in the U.S.

Avatar for Marcella van de Streek

Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV- Develop and improve the marketing activities and generate more leads with a new website, digital communication, advertising campaigns, and update the Social Media channels.

Webshop Platforms for Connected E-commerce. The Top 5.

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Webshop Platforms for Connected e-commerce The Top 5
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What are my top five webshop platforms for connected e-commerce? In short, there are many options for webshops that can be connected to a supply chain. If you want to avoid developing connectors yourself, then it makes sense to look into platforms that have standard supply chain add-ons available. These are typically the most popular ones, such as Magento, Woocommerce, Prestashop, Shopify, and Batavi.

Most popular platforms?

Which webshop platforms are the most popular? In conclusion, WooCommerce is by far the most popular platform of 2020. Also, among Icecat customers WooCommerce, Prestashop, and Amazon are the most used platforms.

Best e-commerce software platforms In 2020
Overview marketshare webshop platforms 2020

Best choice for your business?

What is the best webshop choice for your business? That depends of course on your specific requirement. In general, all platforms have the same basic functionalities. But, some are more feature-rich than others. These platforms are often more complicated and expensive. When making a choice, you have to pay attention to the small differences.

In short, in the table below you will find an overview of my top five e-commerce platforms with their various features. In order to see what suits you best.

Magento-plugin-connectorWordpress WoocommercePrestashop-plugin-connectorBatavi-plugin-connector
Open source+/-++
Flexible to build++++/-
Popular++++
User friendly++++
Quick set-up++++
Support included++
Enterprise version+Only Shopify Plus+
Good reviews++++No reviews
Template available+LimitedLimited++
Free version++++/-
Commercial upgrade?+++

Magento

What are the pros of Magento? First, it allows you to fully control how you deliver your customer experience, without limits. Second, Magento enables merchants to sell customizable products and digital goods online. Third, it enables merchants to handle the complexities of B2B commerce. Fourth, it supports various payment solutions such as PayPal and Amazon Pay. And finally, Magento web stores can also be used and managed mobile.

The main con is that hosting Magento is very “heavy”. Therefore a good hosting package is required. Further, users experience a loss of performance when no extensive hosting package is chosen. When this is the case, you will immediately notice this in the speed of the system. Another issue is ‘bugs’. Magento suffers from bugs relatively often. Some disappear like snow in the sun, but others are sticky. And finally, Magento is complex. Not in the last place because different commercial or community versions can be incompatible.

WooCommerce

The main advantages of WooCommerce are the availability of an endless number of plugins and its scalability. But, also the seamless integration with WordPress, good product presentation, ease of adding product variants, its user-friendly interface, good search engine optimization, and the presence of a global community for asking questions.

But, the cons are that WooCommerce has only a limited number of free templates and there are hidden costs related to maintenance, upgrades, and managing the interactions between plugins.

In conclusion, WooCommerce is a great low-entry option if you already have experience with WordPress as a website management tool or if your budget is very limited.

Prestashop

The pros for Prestashop are first the availability of an endless number of plugins. Secondly, its scalability. Thirdly, good product presentation, Fourth, ease of adding product variants. But also its user-friendly interface, good search engine optimization, and the presence of a global community for asking questions.

But, the cons are that Prestashop has only a limited number of free templates and there are hidden costs related to maintenance, upgrades, and managing the interactions between plugins.

Shopify

In short, Shopify has a global user base that provides ratings and community support and guaranteed performance and security in its own cloud hosting. Furthermore, it has all the bells and whistles. For example, it is easy to use, has standard online marketing options, and had a 30-day trail. But also supports a responsive design (for mobile and tablet) with many themes you can adjust yourself and provides a wide choice of “add-ons”.

On the other hand, you should check carefully whether Shopify has the integrations you want. But, the installation process is slow and is more vulnerable to hackers as you can customize it. And in addition, its built-in blogging platform is not the best. Further, a lot of Shopify jargon is thrown at you as a user. Finally, it is difficult to switch to another platform.

Batavi

The pros of Batavi are that is a fully flexible template system for business-to-business applications. Most important, it has a complete content management platform and customer-specific pricing support. Further, it has modules for payment, or shipping available, and it supports related products for cross- and upselling. Another pro is its content management system that is fully integrated with product content providers. For example, an Icecat interface is standard available. The Icecat specifications can be used for product search and product comparison.

A drawback is that Batavi has still a less extensive installed base than the other four mentioned webshop platforms.

In conclusion, Batavi is a great B2B webshop option. A hidden gem.

How to connect?

We have experience with connecting Magento Commerce, WooCommerce, Prestashop, Shopify, and Batavi. We created standard addons to these platforms for Icecat and supply chain solutions of Iceshop. For example, Icepim, Iceorder, and Iceimport. Also, we can set-up a total solution for you including required hosting, and help you navigate through the selection process.

Source: https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/best-ecommerce-software/

Avatar for Marcella van de Streek

Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV- Develop and improve the marketing activities and generate more leads with a new website, digital communication, advertising campaigns, and update the Social Media channels.

Optimizing Computacenter’s E-commerce Processes

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  September 11, 2020
Iceshop Helps Computacenter to Optimize the e-commerce Process
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To optimize e-commerce processes Iceshop delivers a complete and tailored solution to Computacenter Nederland based on Batavi. Who is Computacenter? Computacenter is a leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, headquartered in the UK.

Jochem Vreeke, Manager Operations Computacenter, says, “Iceshop’s flexibility, expertise, and pleasant way of working are of great value in achieving our e-commerce challenges.”

Multifunctional platform

Computacenter needs a multifunctional and easy to use platform. Therefore, the Batavi platform of Computacenter contains several tailored functionalities. Firstly, the multi-shop engine. Secondly, Single Sign-On (SSO). Thirdly, an ERP connection with SAP. Fourthly, rich product content upload. Finally, Simplesurance integration. Below, I’ll explain this in more detail.

1. Multishop engine

In short, Batavi gives Computacenter the possibility to create customized ‘choose your own device’ portals. This is powered by a multi-template engine. As a result, Computacenter can set-up a purchase portal for each corporate customer. And also use a separate template for each individual purchase project.

2. Single Sign-On

SSO is hot, as users get tired of having to remember tons of different login credentials. For example, students log in to a university portal. Within the same session, they can buy IT equipment at the Computacenter school shop. No need for an extra login account.

3. ERP connection

Computacenter’s portals link to its SAP ERP. During this project, the BAAN ERP connection is phased out. This high volume connection processes 1000s of orders per month. This automated ordering helps to lower the transaction costs and save time.

4. Rich product upload

The Batavi solution of Computacenter automatically enriches products with Icecat rich-product content. This goes via a standard Icecat connector, which eliminates manual content management completely.

5. Simplesurance integration and order process

Via Simplesurance customers can easily select and buy insurances for their purchases. For example, anti-theft insurance for their new notebook. Orders via the portals are automatically sent to SAP for further processing.

More info

Do you want to know more about how Iceshop can help to optimize your e-commerce process? Then contact us directly.

 

New: Icecat Shopify connector by Iceshop

Avatar for Marcella van de Streek
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Icecat Shopify connector by Iceshop
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Iceshop launches a new add-on, an Icecat Shopify connector. This in addition to existing ones for Prestashop, Magento, and WooCommerce. These connectors not only link the most popular e-commerce platforms to PIM environments but also automate the import of Icecat product content. For example, product images, specifications, digital assets, and descriptions. All products are automatically enriched with product content on a daily base. Except for products for which a content lock is configured.

Why content integration?

A merchant needs content integration to connect its e-commerce site with its other online sales channels. And to connect back-end systems such as an ERP, or PIM with front-end systems such as a Point-Of-Sale system. A connector makes it possible to exchange information seamlessly between all such systems. As a result, an e-commerce business saves time, money, and makes fewer human errors as all manual tasks are automated.

For example, a retailer can keep track of the price. But, also how much inventory he has of each product in the ERP system. For example, if they sell a product online, the stock quantity needs to real-time adjusted. Without integration, one has to change inventory counts in both systems manually. But, with integration, inventory numbers are synchronized automatically.

What exactly do you want to achieve?

First, map out your goal. What exactly do I want to achieve? Before you build a website and everything that comes with it, it is good to first think about the following points: Who is the target group? What exactly do I want to achieve? Or sell? What options should be available? When did I reach my goal?

Search for a solution that suits your needs

Then go and see what options there are. Do not immediately go with the first option you find. Compare different options and see what best suits the answers to the above questions. Avoiding mistakes saves a lot of time and money.

Subscribe for Pilot

With 20+ years of experience, Iceshop continuously works on many different customized and cutting-edge e-commerce and PIM solutions. Iceshop delivers best-in-class data connectors and supports a multi-supplier set-up. This is a unique competence in combination with rich content integration, PIM cloud management, and running complete e-commerce projects.

For more information about the Icecat Shopify connector or other integration solutions, contact Iceshop directly. Also, you can subscribe until 18th of September 2020 for the Connection with Shopify pilot.

Avatar for Marcella van de Streek

Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV- Develop and improve the marketing activities and generate more leads with a new website, digital communication, advertising campaigns, and update the Social Media channels.

IcePIM 2.3.3: Improved Exports, Logging, Enriching Products, Added Wildcard Filters and GTIN Field

Avatar for Jarno Nederend
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Icepim-new-features-2.3.3

Icepim-new-features-2.3.3

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IcePim improved version 2.3.3 has been released. The previous IcePIM release includes the option to enrich Product Data-Sheets in batch. What are the new features, improvements, and export opportunities for the improved Icepim version 2.3.3?

Improving export of Brands and Categories

Iceshop added the export type “used export” when selecting brands and categories. This helps users to select active brands from the PIM environment.

Wildcard filters

With a wildcard filter, users only have to enter a small piece of text. This selects or filters out any brand or category that contains that text string.

More options with prices

Further, we added a “promo purchase prices” attribute as a new price field in the warehouse tab. The promo purchase price is directly imported from selected distributors. This will helps users to get a complete overview of their purchase prices.

GTIN field on distributor level

In general, not all GTINs, or EAN codes, that are delivered by distributors will result in a match with Icecat. This is a result of flaws on the distributor side or because GTINs are not confirmed by the built-in quality check of Icecat.

On the other hand, users would like to receive all available data from distributors, this includes multiple GTIN codes. If they are not confirmed, it is still good to have the data for matching purposes. From now both GTIN quality levels are provided! Icecat’s confirmed GTIN via the general information tab and the distributor GTIN via the warehouse tab. Therefore, users will profit from the best of both worlds.

Enriching products

The performance of product enrichment is improved, and also new matching features are included. The manual product enricher is now able to retrieve content data through the GTIN and custom number (custom number as an alternative to Product Code). For example, there can be two products with the same custom number but with a (slightly) different Product Code.

This is useful when a product has multiple variants. For example: if you have two Iphone’s. One new and one refurbished and you would like to offer these as two separate products in your platform. Previously, offering those as two unique products was not possible. Because the Product Code number (example “12345-refurb”) did not match with Icecat’s.

Now, there is a solution to this challenge. By using “12345-refurb” as Product Code and filling “12345” in the custom number. It is possible to enrich with Icecat anyways and after enrichment modify the content of each product in the way you like. Users can now perfectly match with Icecat while not causing any ordering problems or issues at your supplier.

Logging

The updated logging allows users to better monitor which steps have been taken.

Full release log

New features and improvements:
– export for used brands
– export for used categories
– wildcard filtering
– import and export product warehouse purchase promo price
– updated price rules to show the purchase price
– saving distributor provided GTIN now by warehouse
– improved performance enricher when language not available in Icecat
– improved logging
– product enricher can now retrieve content data through GTIN and custom number (as Product Code)

Fixes:
– lock setting at business rule
– an issue with changing the admin language
– running jobs checker
– saving HTML code for product descriptions
– an issue preventing multiple price breaks for price rules
– issue linking to incorrect price rules on the product edit page
– corrected sorting order for Magento SOAP export

“I Switched from Catering to Marketing E-commerce Solutions”

Avatar for Marcella van de Streek
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This August, I start my adventure in marketing Iceshop. A new challenge for me in a whole new and interesting online environment. Due to the corona crisis that hit the catering industry in which I was active, I was more than prepared to move to an entirely new industry. Thanks to my network, I got in contact with Iceshop and was able to start within two weeks.

With the ever-changing e-commerce market, a stable working environment during the crisis has a positive effect on online sales, and the crisis also gives Iceshop new opportunities. “The internet turnover of the retail trade was 54.8% higher in the second quarter than a year earlier. That is the highest growth measured so far. Turnover was 45% higher for pure online retailers.”*

Within Iceshop, I am going to further develop marketing activities. Such as generate more leads, work on a new website, improve digital communication, start online advertising campaigns, and keep social media channels up-to-date.

I am looking forward meeting clients and colleagues, online and in person to achieve great things together.

*source: Emerce

Avatar for Marcella van de Streek

Marketing and Communication Assistant Iceshop BV- Develop and improve the marketing activities and generate more leads with a new website, digital communication, advertising campaigns, and update the Social Media channels.


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