More Structure in The Product Range: It's Easy with ePages

by Anja Römisch, 07.01.09



Structure in The Product Range76 different items of clothing in up to 7 colours, designs and sizes. With zippers, buttons or ties. In cotton, acrylic or corduroy. A dizzying prospect when you consider that shop visitors should ideally be only two clicks away from their desired product. We’ll show you how to best structure your offer in the ePages online shop.

 

 

 

1. Visualisation of The Product Range

Before you get started with setting up products and creating categories, you need to really think about what you would like to present and how. First answer the following questions:

  • What goal do customers have when they come to your shop?
  • How can your products be catagorised in a way that makes sense?
  • Are subcategories a sensible idea? If yes, which ones?
  • What features or attributes do the products have?
  • Are there products with the same features?

Your goal should be to create a clear and easily understandable navigation structure. Too few categories can lead to disorientation within the products. Too many categories has the disadvantage that customers don’t always know what they are looking for and become overwhelmed with the wide selection.

Ideally, you should outline your product range structure in a drawing. Work your way through it from general to specific and imagine you are the customer: Are you yourself interested in clicking through your product range?

Here is an example of a shop with clothing for festive occasions:

In the example, based on the target group, the linking in starts in the respective product types and finally to the products themselves. Starting directly with the clothing types could lead to confusion.

However, in an auto accessories shop, it might make more sense to start with product topics such as interior trim, tuning elements, care products and tools.

2. Category I + Category II = Shop Navigation

You can create categories and subcategories in the ePages shop in order to structure your range by topic. But a category does not always have to contain products. It can also contain customer information or manufacturers’ profiles. Categories provide for a topical order and facilitate the orientation in the shop.

3. Product I + Attribute I + Attribute II = Product Variation

A product often has different traits or attributes (sizes, colours, patterns, materials). Combining a product with attributes results in numerous product variations. Every product combination is treated as a new product by the system. It receives its own product number and can be individually placed in the shopping basket. A total of up to 200 product variations per product can be created.

The presentation of product variations could look as follows in the shop:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can thus show the attributes of a product in a dropdown menu with value selection or in a list .

If it makes sense, product variations can also be published with their own images. If you are only presenting different sizes or weight specifications, a dropdown menu is completely sufficient.

There will be a more in-depth article about the "Product Variations" topic for you shortly. It will provide you with information about how to best proceed with the creation and what you should bear in mind.

4. Attribute I + Attribute II = Product Type

In order to be able to create variations of a product in the shop, all additional features or attributes of a product must first be integrated into so-called product types. Attributes are managed in product types separately from individual products since there are attributes that apply to many products and not just one (e.g. size, weight, colour).

One example:

A t-shirt, a shirt and a blouse can all be selected in the same colour as well as the same size. While the materials and cut are already defined in the products themselves, the colours and sizes are assigned to an "Outerwear" product type. For this product type, you can decide how the display of its attributes shall occur in the shop, e.g. as list or as dropdown menu with value selection (see above).

All three products are assigned with the "Outerwear" product type so that the additional feature is automatically visible in the detail view of the products.

Even if it’s only one product for which different attributes can be selected, the attributes must first be integrated into a product type in order for them to become effective for the product.

Important: Product types are not to be confused with categories. Product types are only a technical device for the administration of additional product features in the administration and are not displayed in the shop.

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Comments


  1. 19.04.2009

    Thank you, these blogs are the best help I have found. The epages instructions or help book doesn’t explain the planning and logic behind setting up the products in the shop. Cheers Jen

  2. 20.04.2009

    Nice to hear, that it helped :).

    Have a nice week

    Anja

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