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Mandatory item elements

Describes mandatory item elements in the RSS product feed, used for importing catalog content from Optimizely Customized Commerce to the Optimizely personalization engine.

The portions of an RSS feed contain a number of elements that provide descriptive information for each item/product. The following fields are mandatory for the Optimizely feed. You may request additional information to fully optimize the product recommendations.

Tag Description
<title> The title of the item – The values for <title> are used as the labels for the links in the recommendation widget. The <title> value should convey enough information for a user to understand what the link refers to. For example:
<title>Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom by Ben Hammersley</title>
<description> A text description of the item – The value for the <description> describes the item. It is typically a few sentences in length and ideally should be all text with no HTML. The descriptions should be able to stand-alone and provide enough information so users know what the item is. For example:
<description>The Chiodo has the look of a motor sport boot
with a low-cut design. Waxy finish, grained aniline leather upper
with abrasion-resistant technical mesh panels.</description>
<pubDate> The publication date of the item – If your data supports <pubDate> then it needs to be included in the feed as it is valuable information when calculating product recommendations. If your data does not support this, the field must be included but leave the content blank. For example:
<pubDate>Fri, 11 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT</pubDate>
<pubDate>Wed, 20 Apr 2022 16:00:00 +0200</pubDate>
<guid> A value or string that uniquely identifies the item within the site catalog – The <guid> (Globally Unique ID of a product) serves as an important connector between your data and the Optimizely product recommendations engine. The GUIDs provided in the feed must match those that are being used on the website. There is no established format for what a <guid> value should be, the only requirement being that no two <guid> values within a data set be the same. For example:
<link> The URL of the item. Typically the content/product detail page – The value of the <link> provides the "landing spot" on your site for the links in the Optimizely product recommendations. The <link> value should simply be the URL for the Product Detail Page in your website. Avoid adding parameters to the URL. The URL must match the website. For example:

Note: If you want to include the location attribute, use <p:link> instead. See Location attribute for more information.

<p:imageLink> The link to the image that is required – The <p:imageLink> element associates the images that you want to display with each item. Avoid adding parameters to the URL. The URL must match the website. For example:
<p:price> The product’s price. (This must match the price listed on the site.)

This element describes the retail price or the sale/promotion price of the product.

  • The <p:price> element has 3 sub-elements:
    • You must supply the <p:unitPrice> element and define the product Manufacturer's Recommended Retail Price (MRRP) was, or sale price (if <p:salePrice> is not used).
    • Optionally, you can supply the <p:salePrice> element. It may be provided if the product is sold at a different price to that specified in the <p:unitPrice> element. If not provided, this field populates with the <p:unitPrice>.
    • You must supply the <p:currency> element to indicate the currency of the prices.
If more than one price is required for the same currency (such as prices in Euros for different European countries), the prices need to be included as an attribute (described later in this document)


<category> Classification of the item, which is used to group items together. This needs to match the category structure of the website (breadcrumb) – The <category> element defines the type of product and needs to match the category structure of the website. Use a greater-than symbol (>) to separate category levels. If a product belongs to multiple categories, then specify as shown – For example:

  <![CDATA[Clothes>Mens>Woolen Cardigans]]>

  <![CDATA[Clothes>Mens>Winter Wear]]>
<p:stock> The number of products available – The <p:stock> element advises the number of products that are available for that item. If unable to advise, the quantity <p:inStock> can be used – See optional elements detailed later in this document. For example: