Purpose and scope

You've set up an automatic product import that imports products, pricing and stock data from your ERP to Aphix Digital Platform. However, the products are not categorised correctly and consequently, they are not displayed on your Aphix WebShop in a way that allows your customers to find the products they want easily.

Enter Category management. Category management is built on top of the product import functionality. It allows you to categorise your products by brand, type or any other category you want to use. This gives you power and flexibility to display your products in a way that makes sense for your business processes.

This feature guide explains the benefits of category management, describes how this feature works and gives you step by step guides for the most common category management tasks.

Benefits

Key benefits include:

Introducing terms and concepts used in this article

Term

Definition

Category

a class that contains one or more products from your product listing.

Category tree

a hierarchy containing your product listings consisting of parent and child categories.

Enterprise resource platform (ERP)

a collection of your critical business operating systems, such as product, stock levels, financial, customers, suppliers and so on that run on the same platform.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

a method of attracting more organic traffic to your website (in this case, WebShop) by making it appear higher on search engine results pages.

Simple category tree

a file directory that contains your product listings structured as a single parent with multiple children.

Visible

a product whose status is set to Visible, which means that the product can be viewed and purchased by your customers.

Fitting it all together

Think of your category tree as a structured version of your product catalogue. There is a hierarchy to the category tree, which is based on a simple parent:child relationship. Within the category tree, there are parent and child elements. The root category is found at the top of the category tree.  If there is at least one child category under a root, the root becomes a parent category.

The hierarchy contained in Aphix Management Interface is mirrored on Aphix WebShop. 

Example

In Aphix Management, you have a category tree containing:

  • "Root category", which has two children "Child 1 category" and "Child 2 category".

  • "Child 1 category" is also a parent (or root) category to its two children: "Child 1A category" and "Child 1B category".

  • "Child 2 category" has no children.

In Aphix WebShop, this looks like:

Use either the category management tool to create or update an individual category, or the category import / export spreadsheet feature to create or update multiple categories. 

The category management configuration tool

Use the category management configuration tool (found under Categories in Aphix Management Interface) to create, edit, delete and/or make other changes to individual categories.

The category management configuration tool contains configuration options in six tabbed screens, as follows:

General tab

Key data elements, such as the category name and its description, are found under the General tab. Data fields are:

  • Category name: which is visible in the category tree in Aphix WebShop.

  • Default layout: how you want the category to be displayed by default. Three options are available: Detailed list, Grid or List. 

    The parent category must be set to Grid if you wish to include thumbnail images on the child category pages.


  • Description: include a description of the category using the editor provided.

  • Parent: specify where you want this category to be located in the category tree. By default, it is set to Root.

  • Menu index: specify the order you wish to display categories on the side and top menu bars in your Aphix WebShop. By default, categories are displayed with an alphanumerical ordering. 

    Change category display order

    • The menu index goes from Low to High. This means that a low menu index number for a category means that the category is displayed higher in the side menu. Conversely, if a high menu index number for a category means that the category is displayed further down in the side menu.
    • You can use negative numbers.


    Enter data and click Save. Any changes made are applied immediately to your Aphix WebShop.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a method of of attracting more organic traffic to your website (in this case, WebShop) by making it appear higher on search engine results pages. 

Enter metadata, such as page titles, keywords, descriptions and URLs to improve your SEO.

Media

A thumbnail image is one which is displayed at the top of the category tree, and allows you to group similar products together.

The parent category page must default to Category Grid for thumbnail images to be visible.

Configure this using the options available under the

  • General Tab where the Default Layout field must be set to Grid

  • More tab where the Links to field must be set to Category Grid

Add a thumbnail image to each child category to provide your customers with a visual representation of a product grouping.

Extended

Adding images may make your categories more visual and accessible to your customers.

A menu image is one which is displayed when you click Products on the top menu bar.

A banner image is one which is displayed when you open the category page in your product catalogue.

To add a menu or banner image, click Choose File, locate the file in your file directory and click Open. Click Save to upload the image to the Aphix Digital Platform. Changes are visible immediately in your Aphix WebShop.

To remove an image, tick the checkbox and click Remove Image. Click Save to remove the image. The image is removed immediately in your Aphix WebShop.

Site sync

Site sync is used where you have a multi-site setup. Ignore this tab if do not have a multi-site setup.

Otherwise, it displays a list of linked sites, with a toggle allowing you sync the new or updated category information to them. 

Toggle as required, and click Save to save changes.

More

The More tab gives you additional options to further configure each category:

  • Image scan: originally controlled how the image is positioned on the parent category page. Now, we suggest that you use Blocks to display images on category pages.

  • Filter or category: specify whether you would like the category appear as a filter in Aphix WebShop

  • Links to: configure whether the page that this category links to is a listing page, a category grid or another page. If you select Other Page, enter the link to the page in the Other Link field.

Update as required, and click Save to save changes.

Key points

  • A filter is a specific type of category, which is set at parent category level, and children under that parent category can be filtered in Aphix WebShop.

  • When exported, a filter appears as a category in the downloaded spreadsheet

  • Set up filters in Aphix Management Interface only since you can not import filters through the category import / export spreadsheet feature.

The category import / export spreadsheet feature

Use the category import / export spreadsheet feature (found under Categories in Aphix Management Interface) to quickly import changes to your category tree. This feature exports existing category and downloads it as an XLS spreadsheet, you make desired changes to the downloaded spreadsheet, and then import it into Aphix Digital Platform. Once the spreadsheet has been uploaded, changes are made to category tree as necessary.

Key points

  • We support two different ways of curating your category tree:

    • Standard category tree, where you can create multiple parents and children categories. Useful if you have a large range of products, and you want to add products to many categories.

    • Simple category tree, where you create a single parent with multiple children categories. Useful if your product catalogue consists of brands and models.

  • The spreadsheet has a pre-determined format, which must be used. If not, your categories may not import correctly. Read our troubleshooting guide on How is the category tree structured and how do I manage it? for some tips.

Tasks

Both the category management configuration tool and the category import / export spreadsheet feature are found under Categories in Aphix Management Interface. Once you log in to the Aphix Managment Interface, you can:


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