Product Connection (SFTP)

To create personalized product recommendations in BlueConic dialogues, you first need to add your recommended products to the BlueConic product store database. With the Product Connection (SFTP) you can import products using CSV files to be used for personalization in BlueConic.

For information on accessing the Product Connection (SFTP), contact your BlueConic Customer Success Manager.

Creating a Product Connection (SFTP)

Because the connection imports data via your SFTP server, you need to enter your SFTP account credentials to authenticate the connection.

  1. Click Connections in the BlueConic navigation bar.
  2. Click Add Connection.
  3. A pop-up window appears. Enter "Product" in the Search bar.
  4. Click Product Connection (SFTP).
    The connection page opens. You can expand or collapse the metadata fields (to mark it as a favorite, add labels, or write a description) by clicking the gray + or -.
  5. In the metadata section you can choose whether to get email notifications when the connection runs or fails to run.
  6. Enter a name for your connection at the top of the page.

Configuring a Product Connection (SFTP)

To set up the connection to use SFTP, you need to add your SFTP account credentials. Follow the steps outlined below.

Setting up the connection

  1. Select Set up and run in the Setup section in the left panel.
  2. Enter your SFTP account credentials: SFTP server, port, username.
  3. Select your Authentication method: either password or private key.
    If using password authentication, enter your password.
  4. If you select private key authentication, the private key field appears. Here you can drag and drop or upload your private key. 
  5. Click Show advanced settings to specify the SFTP user directory.
    Enter the user home directory on the SFTP server. This is a path relative to the root of the SFTP server, to which the user is restricted. Depending on your SFTP setup, you may need to fill this with the correct path before BlueConic can correctly read or write files to your SFTP server.
  6. Save your connection settings at the top of the page.

Most recently imported items

After the connection has run successfully, the items most recently imported are listed in the Setup page.

 

Collecting shopping data

  1. Select channels to collect data from. 
    Optional: You can also choose to define URL rules to specify which areas of the sites to collect product data from.
  2. Select the data to collect.
    Next, paste a product URL into the "Test URL" area, and click 'Test' to review the metadata that would be collected for your product.
    If the "Name", "Description", "Image", "URL," and "Categories" fields are not populated, the webpage may not surface product information in a supported format. BlueConic supports:
    To add custom metadata fields, select Add data field. For example, if your products have a typical gender association, or are tagged based on associated brands, influencers, or sources, you can use this data in recommendations placement filtering.
  3. Add shopping cart data to profile properties.
    Select profile properties to store the number of unique products in the customer's shopping cart. You can choose an existing profile property or create one here.
  4. Implement events.
    Detect the number of unique products currently in the shopping cart and the last time the shopping cart was updated. Also detect order data. To be able to detect this you need to add JavaScript to your website to publish shopping cart and order events.
    • Implement the shopping cart event
      Implement the following JavaScript on your website to let BlueConic know which products the customer puts into or removes from the shopping cart, and when the basket is emptied. You can use this data in dialogues to improve recommendations with the recommendations toolbar, using the specialized cart and collaborative filters and algorithms for shopping cart data.

      blueConicClient.event.publish("shoppingcart", {
      productIds: ["your", "product", "ids"],
      storeId: "ea17467f-4299-45d2-bfb4-7469f8227df1"
      });
    • Implement the order event
      Implement the following JavaScript on your website to let BlueConic know which products the customer ordered. This data can be used in dialogues to improve recommendations with the recommendations toolbar, using the specialized ‘bought products’ algorithm and collaborative filters and algorithms for order data.

      blueConicClient.event.publish("order", {
      productIds: ["your", "product", "ids"],
      storeId: "ea17467f-4299-45d2-bfb4-7469f8227df1"
      });
    • Implement the view event
      Implement the following JavaScript on your website to let BlueConic know which products the customer viewed. This data can be used in dialogues to improve recommendations with the recommendations toolbar, using the specialized viewed products’ algorithm and collaborative filters and algorithms for view data.

      blueConicClient.event.publish("product_view", {
      productIds: ["your product id"],
      storeId: "ea17467f-4299-45d2-bfb4-7469f8227df1"
      });
  5. Set algorithm time frame.
    Here you can use an algorithm to offer products up for recommendations, which can be helpful if your SFTP store is not updated often. Some algorithms are based on a look-back time frame, for example the "top products" algorithm. You can configure this time frame based on hours or days here. 
    Note: The maximum time frame is 14 days and the minimum time frame is 1 hour.

 

Importing products into BlueConic

  1. Select a BlueConic domain group for the import.
    BlueConic supports domain groups to prevent undesired profile exchange between specific domains. Use the drop-down menu to select one domain group for the import. This adds or updates only profiles in the selected domain group.
  2. Select your SFTP directory and files.
    Enter the directory that holds the files or click to navigate the file structure.
    Optional: Specify the files to be imported. You can use regular expressions or wildcards to choose the files.
  3. Define file and field handling.
    Here you can customize how your CSV files and fields should be handled during the import. See the options for configuring CSV file and field imports for details.
  4. Link identifiers between SFTP files and BlueConic product fields.
    Data that has no matching identifier will be excluded from the import.
  5. Link metadata between SFTP files and BlueConic product metadata.
    The fields Name, URL, and Type are required. If all of these fields are not found, the product will not be imported. Click Add mapping to create additional links.
  6. Run the connection.
    Be sure to check the box next to Import products into BlueConic in the left panel, and save your settings first. A green arrow appears, going from the Product Connection (SFTP) icon to the BlueConic icon.

This goal will only add or update existing items that have changed from your store. 

Cleaning up the product store

Product-Connection-SFTP-store-cleanup.png

  1. Set cleanup criteria.
    Here you can choose to remove products from your store by setting a certain field criteria for removal, such as category, stock availability, or publication date. This goal is helpful when trying to remove outdated, discontinued, or unavailable products from your product store.Note: When using Publication date, Collected date, or Last modified date as the Field, you must use the exact date format in order for the goal to be configured correctly. This format is: MM/DD/YY H:mm A
  2. Run the connectionOnce this goal is configured, saved, and has the checkmark next to it, run the connection to initiate the store cleanup.

Running the connection

Running the connection multiple times allows you to collect or remove products from your store with different goals. For example, two runs would need to be executed in order to remove products in a certain category and to remove products with a specific stock availability.

Tip: Make sure you have added your import or export goals and saved your settings before running the connection.

  1. Turn the connection on.
  2. Go to the Set up and run page. Scroll down to the Run history section. This table shows all past and scheduled runs for the connection.
  3. To start the import and export manually, click the Run now button.
  4. To schedule the import and export for a future date, click the Settings icon How to schedule a BlueConic SFTP connection to import or export customer profile data and customer segments?. Select how to schedule the import by choosing an option from the drop-down list:
    • Every X minutes
    • Number of times per day
    • Days of the week
    • Days of the month
    • Weekday of the month

    Set a time for the import. Click OK.

Privacy management

Connections can be added to Objectives, allowing for privacy management of the information that is being picked up. A connection will only process the profiles of visitors who have consented to at least one of the objectives that the connection is linked to.