Product vs. article

The small but fine difference

In everyday language, we would probably make no distinction between article and product when buying a jar of jam in the supermarket or jeans in the boutique. Everyone would know what is meant. In OctoPIM, however, the difference is enormous: the product is the basis of an article, but cannot be exported as a "finished good".

An example from the application

Our example store Mode Piment sells fashion for men and women via its online store, including shirts. The shirt in OctoPIM can represent a lot: a family, a catalog or a product. In Mode Piment's online store, first of all shirts are a category that is split into casual shirts, business shirts and special occasion shirts. In PIM, a family is a group of products with similar function that fulfill a similar market need. They can be used as a "template" because they represent a classification in which characteristics of a product are managed.  

In PIM, all shirts share a base family with the following attributes:

  • Item name (text attribute)
  • Item number (number attribute)
  • Description (text attribute)  
  • Size (size attribute)  
  • Collar width (size attribute)  
  • Cuff width (size attribute)  
  • Main color(s) (text attribute)  
  • Design (text attribute)  
  • Material (list selection)  
  • Care instructions (list selection)

The screenshot shows the base family with its attributes.

The more concrete families inherit all attributes from the base family. In addition, there are:

1.) Shirts Business & Casual  

  • easy iron (select yes/no)

2.) Shirts for special occasion  

  • Embroidery (selection yes/no)

A product can now be created from these two families.

The screenshot shows the hierarchy base family shirts -> family shirts business & casual

We create a product from a (concrete) family, in this case shirts for the special occasion. We fill in the attributes as an example:

  •    Item name: Silk shirt Red Nights  
  •    Item number: - (Remains empty for the time being, because it is assigned only for a finished article)  
  •    Description: Luxurious comfort meets breathtaking elegance and color intensity.  
  •    Size: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL  
  •    Collar size: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45/46, 47/48  
  •    Cuff width: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26  
  •    Main color(s): Dark red, light red  
  •   Design: blanc, stripes  
  •    Material: Already available in the list selection:  
  •    100% cotton  
  •    100% linen  
  •    100% merino  
  •    100% silk (x = selection made here)  
  •    Care instructions: Available in the list selection:  
  •    Hand wash (x)  
  •    Dry cleaning (x)  
  •    Delicate wash 30°C  
  •    Ironing no  
  •    Ironing * (x)  
  •    Ironing **  
  •    Ironing ***  
  •    Drying no (x)  
  •    Drying yes  
  •   Embroidery (selection yes/no): Yes

Our product is ready!  

Now it also becomes clear what the difference between product and article is. The product Silk Shirt Red Nights still includes all variants, that is: all sizes, colors and designs. In contrast, the article concretely describes the thing that can be touched in reality, which is once again illustrated in the following example:

  •    Artikelname: Silk shirt Red Nights
  •    Artikelnummer: SKU2324  
  •    Beschreibung: Luxeriöser Tragekomfort trifft auf atemberaubende Eleganz und Farbintensität.  
  •    Größe: M
  •    Kragenweite: 40  
  •    Manschettenweite: 23  
  •    Hauptfarbe(n): Dark red  
  •    Design: blanc  
  •    Material: 100% Seide
  •    Pflegehinweise: Handwäsche, Reinigung, Bügeln *, Trocknen nein  
  •    Stickerei: Ja

The graphic visualizes the difference between a product, which still needs to be concretized, and the finished article, which hangs tangibly in the store. A seemingly small, but in the PIM universe very important difference!

Article vs. Product - a seemingly small but very important difference in the PIM universe!