A few powerful and flexible tools exist to help organize your product catalog. The main tools at your disposal are Categories, and Tags.
Creating categories is one of the easiest ways to organize your products. The more products you have, the more benefit you will receive by organizing into multiple categories. What do categories do? They allow your customers to easily sort and navigate your products. To set up your product categories, click the Categories link under Products Menu in your WordPress Dashboard.
You can create multiple sub-categories within a category, thus creating a hierarchical organization. For a clothing vendor, one common way to use groups is to create a new group called Clothing and a number of categories within it for T-shirts, Pants, Shorts, Hats, and more. The resulting hierarchy would look like this:
- Clothing (Parent Category)
- T-Shirts (categories)
The same clothing vendor could also create another parent category called Brands and list all her available clothing brands as sub-categories within that group. Customers could then easily sort her products by type of clothing or brand.
For our music shop, we will create two overall groups: one for music Genre and the other for Composer name.
Creating a Category
Creating a new category is very similar to how you would do it in WordPress, only for product category’s there are a few advanced options.
If you are creating a parent category – then you will fill in the information you require, category name is the only required value here. For category parent you will leave this as none, if you were creating a child product (eg: T-Shirt) then you would set the Category Parent to (Clothing).
As all the other values are the same as a normal WordPress product category we are going to skip right to the advanced category settings.
Presentation Settings: This is where you can upload an image for your category, if you need the category image to be a different size than the default you can enter that in here to. The catalog view setting (Gold Cart required) can be used to over- ride the view display for that category. For example, I have a music shop selling MP3′s so I just list view to list my product tracks, however I have a merchandise category because these are physical products I want to use the default view so I can display the images and gallery settings. This can be achieved by overriding the default (list) view to be grid view for the merchandise category.
Target Market Restrictions: Use this to limit which countries products in this category can be sold to, the countries not included in the target market will not come up as options on the checkout page for billing or purchasing.
Checkout Settings: The checkout setting “This category requires additional checkout form fields ” relates to custom forms you can create in checkout page, if products from this category require extra information collected at checkout then create a custom form set and include it here.
Deleting and Editing category and groups
You can delete a category by clicking the delete link – if you delete a category with products in it then all those products will become categorized.
There are two ways to edit a product category, if you only want to change the basic information, such as name then you can use the quick edit link. otherwise use the edit link for full control over all the settings. Don’t forget to save it when your done!
Tags are an yet another organizational tool that you can use to help customers search and sort your products. By tagging your products with one or more labels, you can create a “tag cloud” that gives customers a visual indicator of how many products are associated with that particular label.
Not every store has a need for a “tag cloud”, but here is an example of how it could work. For our music store, we have already created groups for Genre and Composer. We could also create tag labels for sacred versus secular music, or perhaps labels for duos, trios, and quartets.
There are two ways to add tags, the first is with the product tag menu.
You can add a description and change the slug settings for you tags, however this is a longer way to do it the best way to create tags is to add them to your product when you create it.
To add tags to your products on creation simply look for the Product Tag meta box, this will show you what product tags you already have and you can add new ones. To add more than one tag at a time coma separate them.