Catalogs and categories

A catalog is a collection of products organized into categories for a store. Each site implements a catalog of products. A company can have multiple catalogs. A site typically has one catalog with multiple categories.

Use Catalogs and Categories to organize products into groups and structure your store by product characteristics.

Best Practices: Each site should use only one catalog. If a site uses more than one catalog, only one of those catalogs will be the default catalog for the site.

You can associate a catalog to price lists and a volume license plan. Digital River created your default catalog when they built your site/store.

You can create and edit catalogs and categories. That includes adding products to specific categories on your site. You can also localize your catalog by creating locale-specific categories.

You can also control the structure and contents of your catalog by:

  • Creating categories and subcategories
  • Setting the order of categories and products
  • Editing your catalog or category details.

Catalogs and subcategories

Products can reside in one or more categories. You can assign products to categories when you create the products. If needed, you can change the categories assigned to a product after you have created the product.

Use categories to organize your products into meaningful groups within your catalog. Categories provide structure in your store and allow your shoppers to browse your products by your defined groupings. You can associate a category with an image, a short and long description, and keywords.

You can also use subcategories to refine the category groupings within your catalog. Based on your product line and business, you may want to create subcategories based on:

  • The product type
  • The intended consumer or audience
  • Other unique factors about your products such as how they are used or where they are sold.

Example: If you call your root category is called "Educational," you can create subcategories such as "Languages," "Math," or "Science" to further define the types of educational products you offer.

Tip: When you create a new product, you must assign it to at least one category or subcategory for the product to appear on your site.

If you have the Catalog ManagerClosed This Global Commerce user role allows users to access the catalog, including product features, categories, subscriptions, and tags. The user can also preview sites. role, you can create and manage the categories within your catalogs. There is no limit to the number of categories you can create. There is also no limit to the number of categories you can assign a product to. You can create categories for a number of different organization schemes and assign a product to categories across those schemes.

Unassigned products

When you assign a product to a catalog, you choose which categories within that catalog you want to assign to the product. Products that are not assigned to either a catalog or category are called "unassigned" products.

  • Unassigned products do not appear in your store and shoppers cannot purchase them. You cannot set pricing for unassigned products because you associate price lists with catalogs, not products. If you want a shopper to see and purchase a product from your store, you must assign that product to a catalog.
  • Products assigned to a catalog but not a category within the catalog will not appear in the catalog listing pages in your store. However, a shopper can use the search feature to find and purchase the product. To view products that are not assigned to a category, you must view your list of categories and click the Unassigned Products link within the catalog.

Best Practices: Assign all products to a catalog and at least one category within that catalog. You can always change the catalog and category assigned to the product by editing the product or viewing your list of categories.

How to unassign products

Choose one of the following options:

  • View the Unassigned Products folder in the catalog on the Catalogs page.
  • View the Products page and change the filter to show All Products.

Price lists and catalogs

You can associate price lists to catalogs. The catalog determines which price list you can use when you set the pricing for a product.

Localizing categories

Localizing your categories for supported locales is important because the name and description of your categories can appear to shoppers in those locales.

To localize your categories, you must create categories in the locale you want to support and enter the category information in the language for the locale.

Example: If your store supports the "de_DE" (German) locale you would create a category for that locale and enter the category name and description in German.

The steps for creating a locale-specific category are the same as the steps for creating a regular category.

While working with your categories, you can change which locale you are viewing and working in using the "Locale" list at the top of the page. If you create a category while you are viewing another locale, the system creates that category for that locale only.

Once you have created locale-specific categories in your Catalog, you can assign products to those categories and complete the localization process by localizing the products (and pricing) for your supported locales.

See How to create locale-specific categories for more information.

Determining when to use multiple catalogs

Most sites have only one catalog. Your store may have more catalogs based on how you configured product line and other factors. If you think your site should have more than one catalog, contact your Store Operations team. They can help you determine if you need multiple catalogs for your store and can create additional catalogs for your store if needed.

Assigning products to catalogs and categories

When you create a product, you must assign the product to a catalog for it to appear in your store. You can then assign the product to one or more of the categories and subcategories within that catalog.

Best Practices: Assign all products to a category. This will make the products easier to find in your store.