How do I setup my product catalogs?
An introduction to product catalogs
- Retailers consume product catalog feeds that are generated automatically by Mothership. If your retailer is using the Mothership Connect app, this allows them to directly import your products into their Shopify store. If they are connecting via the Mothership API, the product feed is a computer-readable (JSON) list of all of the published products that are in the catalog.
- A product can belong to multiple catalogs, but a retailer can only subscribe to one of your catalogs at a time.
- You can can set prices products in a catalog on an individual basis, or apply a catalog-wide margin that discounts all products in the catalog by the same amount off of their retail price in your online store (e.g. 25% margin).
- You can also configure products in your catalog to have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) and an inventory buffer (an artificial floor to help you prevent over-selling)
Create a new product catalog
Enter the name of your catalog- this can be anything you want and will be seen by your customers, so try to choose something descriptive (and REMEMBER: you can create as many catalogs as you want, and connect to as many customers as you want, but each customer can only access one of your catalogs at a time)
Set a default margin for the catalog. This is optional but recommended. The margin is used to calculate the cost to the retailer for each product in the catalog using the following formula:
Cost to retailer = Retail price * (1 - Margin/100) e.g. 7.00 = 10.00 * (1 - 30/100)
The default margin is particularly helpful if you have a large number of products. For cases where you want to offer a margin that is different from the default margin, you can override the default margin at the product level. As you add products to the catalog, the discount will automatically be applied. Note, you can adjust size of the discount later, and not all product need to have the price rule applied (you can also set the margin on a per-product basis once you have created your catalog).
Shopify gives you two options for pricing products in your inventory: the regular price, and the compare-at price, typically used to highlight products on sale. Choose which price you want to use as the basis for your wholesale cost.
Product Collection and Publishing
- Indicate whether or not you want to automatically add a product to the catalog whenever you publish it to Mothership. By selecting the 'Automatically add Products to this Catalog' option, products will be automatically added to the catalog. This is great if you want to publish a large number of products very quickly and offer the same set of products to all of your retailers. If you want to offer a subset of your products to one retailer, but not another, you may want to select "Manually add products to this catalog" to have finer control over which products are offered to specific retailers.
- The "Only allow in-stock products in this catalog" option tells Mothership to automatically add and remove products from your catalog (and thus, customers' inventories and online stores) based on inventory quantity. If the option is checked, when a product is out of stock it will be removed from the catalog, and when it comes back in stock will be re-added to the catalog.
- If you have the inventory policy for a product set to "Continue selling even when out of stock", it will override this option and cause those products to still be included in your catalog, regardless of inventory quantity
- The "Automatically add to this catalog collections published to Mothership" option tells Mothership how you want to add collections to your catalog. If you choose automatic, all collections that you have published to Mothership will be included in this catalog. Choosing manual lets you individually control which collections are added to this catalog.
Now that you've got your product catalog setup, let's go add your first product.