Multisource and grouping
This article contains the frequently asked questions regarding multisource and grouping of SKUs. Click on one of the following questions to get more information:
What is multisource?
Multisource is a function where we put the exact same products (same specs, same model, same colour) from different sellers together so that they will appear on the same product page. This makes for a cleaner looking website as opposed to the website being cluttered with multiple pages/results of the same products (from different suppliers).
This creates an easier viewing experience for customers who browse our website. Instead of seeing pages of search results for one item, they ideally will only have to click on one. After which, they will be able to choose from which seller to purchase from.
View of multisource
There is a parent sku, and children skus in a multisource (relationship).
Multisourced SKUs follow (most of the) parent SKU’s content (eg. Short description, long description, image) except for shipping fee, lead time, shipping location availability, price, stock, and seller promotion, payment method – these are unique to each seller.
Because multisourced SKUs “share” the same content on the website, a parent SKU in a multisource relationship is usually an SKU that has the best content.
Therefore, if your SKU is a child in a multisource relationship, you may see that on the website, the product page of your SKU is reflecting another seller’s content or even another seller’s SKU when you click your product link from Seller Center.
When clicking into a multisourced SKU, the first/current one showing is determined by the price, followed by delivery lead time. Meaning, the cheapest SKU will show first but if all SKUs have the same prices, delivery lead time is taken into account by the system.
Though the logic means that sellers should be competitive with pricing, do not be discouraged as other info is still available for customers to take into consideration when making a purchase decision. Info such as promotional items, and seller ratings are still visible and unique to the seller this can heighten the value of the product listing.
Benefits of Multisource:
Overall, multisource increases findability of a product.
1) Customers have a better browsing experience – able to view a cleaner website instead of seeing duplicates of the same product.
2) Customers have a better shopping experience – able to choose which seller they want to buy from (eg. they can select seller with a better warranty coverage/higher seller rating/faster lead time/seller they have bought from etc)
3) Visibility – If one SKU in the relationship has high visibility in the website (boosting/campaign), the whole “family” follows and therefore a seller’s sku can have a better visibility than if they are not multisourced.
What is Auto-grouping and why is it beneficial to me as a seller?
Auto grouping is a grouping of SKUs of various SKU attributes and are associated by Associated SKU id, without going through sending manual requests to group SKUs to Partner Support Centre.
Benefits of Auto-grouping
1. No more manual requests need to be done by sellers to group SKUs.
2. Improved customer experience whereby product variations are easily accessible.
3. Neater presentation of product catalogue and product page.
4. Automated process.
How Auto grouping looks like
All the variants available for the same product appears on the same product page. Customers would just need to click on the variations to access to the respective products.
Ways to upload products/SKUs into Seller Centre to facilitate Auto-grouping
CORRECT WAY: Product variations are created under one SPU/Product
1. SPU properties/attributes are filled in
SPU model number need to be in a generic manner. No colour, storage capacity or other specializing attributes that differentiates the product is allowed in the model number.
2. Product variations are chosen in the SKU & Image page of the same SPU/product
When the SKUs are seen stacked together as in the photo above, it means the SKUs are belonging in the same product and auto-grouping will be triggered.
WRONG WAY: Product variations are created under different SPUs/products
1. SPU model number is not generic
SPU model number in the example above is not generic and is specifying on a colour and storage capacity variant. This leads to seller creating the SKUs in different SPUs for different variants.
2. One product variation for each SPU/product
The photos above illustrate SKU variations are created in different SPUs/products therefore the SKUs are individual and not stacked together, this will not trigger auto-grouping.
CORRECT WAY: Using same Associated SKU for all the SKU variations for an SPU/product
AssociatedSku functions to link all the variations of a product to be under one SPU. When this is done, auto-grouping will be triggered. It uses the same principle of ParentSku in previous Seller Centre in grouping size variations.
WRONG WAY: Using none or different Associated SKU for all the SKU variations for an SPU/product
No AssociatedSku assigned to the SKUs means that the SKUs are all individuals and will be created under different SPUs/products. Auto-grouping will not be triggered
Different AssociatedSku are assigned to each SKU variations will lead to the variations to be created under different SPUs/products. This will trigger auto-grouping however all variations will be separated.