Product Categories

Products are organised into a heirarchy of categories, you can see the top of the list of categories in the product manager below.

A well structured heirarchy of product categories makes it easier for you to locate products, and allows customers of your web store to find products more quickly.

Product Manager

The product manager is the primary way you can manage your products, the category heirarchy is shown to the left, and the products in each category are shown.  The product manager below is empty, as it would be on a new store, but there are two products:

  • "Freight" is a product used to represent the calculated cost of shipping.  During the sale process, the cost of freight can be calculated and automatically applied to the purchase.
  • The "Surcharge" product represents a percentage of the total price added to the purchase for certain types of transaction.  For example, you might add a 2% surcharge to a credit card purchase.

Initially with no categories, the only option is to create a category, as you can see below:

Product Manager

The search box at the top of the product manager helps you to find product by keywords of barcodes.  It is a scan field, so you may scan a barcode into it or enter a search term, and the list of matching products are shown as a product grid.

Create a Category

You begin filling out your category heirarchy by creating a top level category, the example below is for a "Childrens Toys" category:

Create Product Category

Fields

  • "Path" shows the categories that sit above this one.  Since this is a root category, it does not have any parents.
  • "Name" should be an easily identifiable, customer useful name for the category.
  • "Description" gives more information about the products that fit in a category, and in a web site it is available to customers as they browse your categories.
  • "Discount" lets you provide a sale discount to products in an entire category.  Entering 10% here would automatically discount all products in the category.
  • "Margin" allows you to apply a margin at sale time.  This allows you to inflate the cost of an entire category, without individually modifying product prices.
  • "Sequence" influences the order product categories are shown on your online store, leaving this as zero will cause categories to be sorted alphabetically by name.
  • "Valid" flags a category as available or now.  Categories marked invalid are not available in your store point of sale, nor online.

A good way to organise old products is to move them to an invalid category, sometimes called "Trash".

Categories in Product Manager

Once created, categories appear in the product manager heirarchy, and each has a set of controls you can use to maintain products in the categories.

Expand the root category "Categories" and you will see the new category.  The number next to it indicates the number of products in that category.

  • The "Pencil" icon next to the category name lets you update the category details.
  • "Add a new Product" allows you to create a new product in the current category.
  • "Import Products" will take a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file and import the products into the category.
  • "Create a Subcategory" creates a lower level in your product category heirarchy.
  • "Move Category" allows you to relocate a category (and its products) to a new location in your category tree.
  • "Remove Category" will delete a category, but only if it is empty.  Move products out of a category before removing it.

Product Manager with Categories

Category Images

Once a category is created you may begin to manage its images.  Two additional controls are available when editing a category:

  • "Move this Category" lets you move this to another parent category.
  • "And add Manage Images" allows you to associate one or more images that represent the category, and are displayed on the online store.

Keep category images at the same aspect ratio, the ratio of width to height.  A good way to is to use the same resolution and orientation (portrait or landscape) for every product and category photo.

Update a Category