Setting up Auto-Association of Products and Images.

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Auto association of images is a feature Americommerce Spark Pay Online Stores offers that can save you a tremendous amount of time by letting you associate products and their images without having to enter the complete image path in the product editor or the product import spreadsheet.

To set up auto-association for images you would need to:

  1. Name your images in a particular format (explained below)
  2. Upload them to the folder: \Shared\Images\Product (Note: you may have to create this folder if it is not already created)
  3. Enable Auto Associate Product Picture Using Item Number in Settings > Catalog

Format for naming images (step 1 above):

The image is named based on the Item Number of the product. The item number is stripped of all characters except numbers, a through z, underscores and dashes and the following format is used for naming the images:

Primary Image: [Stripped Item Number] + .jpg

Second image (if any): [Stripped Item Number] + _1.jpg

Third image (if any): [Stripped Item Number] + _2.jpg

You can have more than three images. Simply use the above format incrementally.

Stripped Item number explained: A stripped item number is an item number from which all characters are removed except numbers, a through z, underscores and dashes.

Examples:

  1. If the item number is Yoga Art 5555
    The stripped item number is yogaart5555 (note: spaces are removed)
    The image name should be yogaart5555.jpg (Stripped Item number + .jpg)
  2. If the item number is Yoga-Art-5555
    The stripped item number is yoga-art-5555 (note: dashes are not removed)
    The image name should be yoga-art-5555.jpg (Stripped Item number + .jpg)
  3. If the item number is Yoga_art_5555
    The stripped item number is yoga_art_5555 (note: underscores are not removed)
    The image name should be yoga_art_5555.jpg (Stripped Item number + .jpg)
  4. If the item number is Yoga Art* 5555
    The stripped item number is yogaart5555 (note: the asterix* is removed)
    The image name should be yogaart5555.jpg

Key Points:

  1. Spaces are removed from item numbers
  2. Names are NOT case sensitive
  3. All characters except numbers, a through z, underscores and dashes are removed from the item number
  4. Currently, only .JPG images are supported for auto-association
  5. All auto association images must be located in \shared\images\product for auto association to function
  6. You can use auto association for some products and the product editor/product import for others to associate products and images. However, you can't use auto association and the product editor/product import for the same product. For any given product, you may use only one of the methods.
  7. If you use auto association of images, the image path is not populated into the product editor. You can use the product editor to change the path, however, the auto association image path is not populated into the product editor. If you specify a path in the product editor, this path will override the auto associated image.

Once your images are named as per the format explained above, you can upload the images to \Shared\Images\Product - this will automatically associate your images with the relevant products as long as you have enabled Auto Associate Product Picture Using Item Number in Settings > Catalog. The image name format with the stripped item number will automatically create the association.

Note:

  1. If you have a large number of images which you use for auto association we recommend not accessing that folder through the browser (shared/images/product) using the product editor. A large number of images in a single folder is going to take time to load in the browser and can be a tedious and time consuming process. We recommend creating a separate folder for images for which you will be specifying paths through the browser. It is also recommended that these folders have sub folders and don't store a large number of files in a single folder. It makes for easier maintenance and quicker load times when you use the product editor.
  2. If you need to use alt text or alt text merges, please use the product editor/import to associate your images with products.
  3. Auto associated images are not submitted to product feeds. If you will be submitting your product database thru shopping feeds, please note that auto associated images will not be submitted. 
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Comments

  • Avatar
    Brad Crowell

    What about image file size? Does the system automatically resize a large file for better web delivery?

  • Avatar
    Support Agent

    Brad, yes, if you have the image resizer on then the system automatically resizes the image based on the dimension you provide giving you a clear image that is optimized for that size.  This saves you on bandwidth and it also allows you to not concern yourself with sizing images over and over just to make a web design tweak.  If you want to go from 100px wide images to 200px, it's just a quick setting and it will just start resizing them to that size automatically.  No having to visit photoshop over and over for stuff like that.  The system also caches those resized images as well so they are not constantly draining server resources and can be cached by browsers and content delivery networks easily.  Happy selling!

  • Avatar
    Support Agent

    Here is how to set up our resizer, many times it is already set up by default though.   http://support.americommerce.com/entries/21962713-HOWTO-Enable-the-automatic-image-picture-resizer-cache-for-resizing-images-on-the-fly

  • Avatar
    Brad Crowell

    Great, thanks Greg.