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A Look inside the Catalog

The key to building your shop is adding products to its catalog, and while PrestaShop makes it easy to streamline that process as much as possible, you might still need a hand in getting the hang of it all. Indeed, there are many pages that you can fill in with a lot of data, and many forms to validate.

That is the purpose of this chapter: to take you through all the menus that weren't explored in the previous chapter ("Adding Products and Product Categories"), explaining each form and detailing every field, so that you can get up to speed quickly with your shop, know what data you need in order to prove useful to the customers and in the end, sell more.

Throughout a product set up, we are going to tackle how to use several key pages from the "Catalog" menu.

Products

The "Products" page and its dozen of tabs per product are explained in details in the previous chapter, "Adding Products and Product Categories".

Categories

The "Categories" page is explained in details in the previous chapter, "Adding Products and Product Categories".

Monitoring

The "Monitoring" page is the sections of your shop to which you must pay the most attention in order to best manage your catalog.

Four sections are shown:

The "Monitoring" page should be checked regularly in order to improve your catalog management.

Attributes and Values

Attributes are the basis of product variations (or "combinations" in PrestaShop's interface): you can only create variations of a product if at least one of its attributes changes.
You should think of attributes as properties of a product that may change between variations, while still keeping the same product name: color, capacity, size, weight, etc. You can use anything that varies between versions of the same product, except the price.

The difference between an attribute and a feature depends on the product itself. Some products might share the same property, one being an attribute built for building product variations, another one being simply an invariable feature.

For instance, a customer can buy an iPod variation based on attributes (color, disk space) but not on features (weight, size).

Likewise, another shop might sell t-shirts variations based on attributes (color, size, gender) but not on features (weight).

Attributes are configured on a per-product basis, from the "Products" page under the "Catalog" menu, but they must first be registered on your shop using the tool on the "Attributes and Values" page under the "Catalog" menu.

To add a type of attribute, or in other words, to add a group of variation possibilities (colors, capacity, material, etc.), click on "Add new Attributes". A new page appears.

Fill out the form:

Three more options are available when you enable the Layered Navigation Block module. They are not strictly tied to the layered navigation: they provide a direct URL to each of a product's variations. This way, not only is the customer able to send a correct link to a friend, but this also helps enhance your search engine placement.

  • URL. The word to use in the URL. By default, PrestaShop uses the attribute's public name.
  • Meta title. The word to use in the URL. By default, PrestaShop uses the attribute's public name.
  • Indexable. Whether search engines should index this attribute or not

The customer can get the URL simply by clicking on an attribute from the product sheet, and the URL will change to add a final detail, for instance #/color-metal or #/disk_space-16gb/color-green.

The layered navigation generator does make use of these too, hence the description text "Specific URL format in block layered generation" and "Use this attribute in URL generated by the layered navigation module".

Save your new attribute to return to the attributes list, then click on "Add new Values". Another page appears.

Fill out the form:

The next fields are only shown if the attribute is a color type.

You can add more values for the same attribute type by saving your changes with the "Save then add another value" button.

Two more options are available when you enable the Layered Navigation Block module. They are not strictly tied to the layered navigation: they provide a direct URL to each of a product's variations. This way, not only is the customer able to send a correct link to a friend, but this also helps enhance your search engine placement.

  • URL. The word to use in the URL. By default, PrestaShop uses the value's name.
  • Meta title. The word to use in the URL. By default, PrestaShop uses the value's name.

The customer can get the URL simply by clicking on an attribute from the product sheet, and the URL will change to add a final detail, for instance #/color-metal or #/disk_space-16gb/color-green.

The layered navigation generator does make use of these too, hence the "Specific URL format in block layered generation" description text.

The main list eventually presents you with all your registered attributes. You can edit or delete each using the buttons on the right of the table, or display their values by clicking on the "+" icon, which opens a sub-table.
You can also set the attributes presentation order on the front-office either by clicking on the arrow icons, or by drag'n'dropping each row when the mouse hovers the "Position" column.

One your attributes are in place and their values are set, you can create product variations (or "combinations") in each product's "Combinations" tab, from the "Product" page under the "Catalog" menu.

Features

Features are a product's intrinsic characteristic: they remain the same throughout the product's variations (or "combinations").
You should think of features the same way you think of product attributes (see above), with the notable difference that you cannot create product variations based on features.

The difference between an attribute and a feature depends on the product itself. Some products might share the same property, one being an attribute built for building product variations, another one being simply an invariable feature.

For instance, a customer can buy an iPod variation based on attributes (color, disk space) but not on features (weight, size).

Likewise, another shop might sell t-shirts variations based on attributes (color, size, gender) but not on features (weight).

Features are configured on a per-product basis, from the "Product" page under the "Catalog" menu, but they must first be registered on your shop using the tool on the "Features" page under the "Catalog" menu.

Click on "Add new feature". A very simple form appears. This is where you name the feature itself: for example, the types of headphones provided with a music player.

Give a name to this new feature, and save your new feature to return to the attributes list, then click on "Add new feature value". Another page appears.

Fill out the form:

You can add more values for the same feature type by saving your changes with the "Save and add another value" button.

The main list eventually presents you with all your registered features. You can edit or delete each using the buttons on the right of the table, or display their values by clicking on the "+" icon, which opens a sub-table.
You can also set the features presentation order on the front-office either by clicking on the arrow icons, or by drag'n'dropping each row when the mouse cursor indicates you can.

Manufacturers

Unless you make your products yourself, you should always register your products' manufacturers in PrestaShop.

In PrestaShop, a manufacturer is the brand behind a product.

If you sell your own products, you must at least create your company as a manufacturer. You can then remove the manufacturers block from the site's left column:

  1. Go to the "Positions" page in the "Modules" menu.
  2. Find the "Left column blocks" section.
  3. Find the "Manufacturers block" in that section, and click its trashcan icon.

On the front-end of your store, manufacturers are sorted alphabetically. You cannot change that order.

New categories are automatically disabled. You must enable them in order to have them appear online – even if they do not contain any product yet.

By entering information about the manufacturers, your site's visitors can have rapid access to all of a given manufacturer's products. This makes navigating around your site easier for them. In terms of visibility, filling out these fields will improve your position in search engines.

Click on the "Add new" button, and a creation form appears.

Fill out all of the fields:

Save your changes in order to be taken back to the manufacturers list. From there, you can:

Manufacturers Addresses

At the bottom of the "Manufacturers" page is an "Addresses" section. Each manufacturer can have its own address registered with PrestaShop. This serves mainly as a reminder for yourself: this way, you'll always have the contact address for a manufacturer available directly within PrestaShop.

Suppliers

Having suppliers registered is optional if you already have manufacturer who directly supply you with their products. It all depends on your needs, but if your product supplier is not the same as the product manufacturer, then you should make sure to have both registered in your system, and associated with each product.

In PrestaShop, a supplier is the company which provides you with a product.

If you sell your own products, you must at least create your company as a supplier. You can then remove the suppliers block from the site's left column:

  1. Go to the "Positions" page in the "Modules" menu.
  2. Find the "Left column blocks" section.
  3. Find the "Suppliers block" in that section, and click its trashcan icon.

You should also remove the suppliers block if you do not want your customer seeing who your suppliers are.

Just as for manufacturers, your site's visitors can have rapid access to all of supplier's products. This makes navigating around your site easier for them. In terms of visibility, filling out these fields will improve your position in search engines.

Click on "Add new", and a creation form appears.

Now fill out all of the fields:

Save your changes in order to be taken back to the suppliers list. From there, you can:

Image Mapping

Image mapping is the fact of assigning multiple clickable zones to an image so that different product pages can be opened by clicking on one single image. This feature makes your site very attractive by easing your customers' navigation.

Before creating an image map, you must have an image which features variations of a product, or different products altogether.

Clicking on the "Image Mapping" menu option takes you to a new page, which lists the currently-registered image maps, if any.

To create a new map, click on the "Add New" button. You are taken to the creation screen.

Now we are going to learn how to set up an image map. Click anywhere on your image and drag your mouse over one of the products presented, in order to highlight/cut out the part of the image you want to be clickable to the user.

Your selection will be clear and illuminated while the rest of the image will darken. Pay attention to carefully align the frame of your selection with the zone onto which your customer will be able to click.

Once this is done:

  1. In the field just underneath the image, type the first few letters of the product associated with your selected zone.
    In our example, we would type "iPod" and several choices would appear. We would then choose "iPod Touch".
  2. Confirm your choice by clicking "OK". Your image map is now created.

Repeat this process for all of the products on this image that you wish to make accessible with a click.

The clickable zones are visible thanks to the "+" icon. Hovering over the image with your mouse cursor, you can see a little window that presents the image's name, default image, short description, and price.

If you have made a mistake on your clickable area, you can resize by grabbing its sides or corners.

If you wish to delete a clickable area, just select the area, and click the "Delete" button within the image.

Finally, you must assign your Image Map to a category. This is done by checking the boxes on the "Categories" table.

Once all of the modifications have been done, save all of your settings.

Your image map is now available on your store, in the chosen categories.

Tags

The tagging feature enables you to associate your products with keywords. Your customers can use the keywords to easily and quickly find the products they are looking for.

For instance, let's say customer wants to find a MP3 player in your shop. In order to find the product corresponding to his or her search, there needs to be a tag to associate "MP3 player" with "iPod Nano".

You have two ways to set up this feature.

First Solution: When Creating a New Product

You can associate several tags to your product from the moment you create a it in PrestaShop, directly in the "Tags" field in the product's "Information". See the previous chapter of this guide, "Adding Products and Product Categories".

Second Solution: Managing Tags

The "Tags" page under the "Catalog" menu enables you to create new tags and manage existing tags. Once you have given tags to your products, you will get a very important list of tags. The "Tags" page will help you manage them all.

To create a new on, click on "Add New", and a creation page appears.

This interface enables you to add tags to one or many of your products.

Once you save the page, the named tag will be applied to all the products listed in the list on the right.

To add the same tag for another language, just repeat the operation, only this time, change the language.

After saving the tag, you are redirected to the list of tags, where you can edit or delete them, or even bulk delete them using the button at the bottom of the list.
Next to the edit and trash icons, a number indicates how many products use the tag.

From now on, when your customers make a search query on your site, the results they will receive will also depend on the tags that you have associated with the products.

Attachments

PrestaShop enables you to make some files available to your customers before their purchase.

For example, let's say you sell electronics, and you would like to urge your customers to read a document on how a product works. You can upload a document for that purpose.
You could also simply have the product's PDF manual directly available for download right on the product page.

Each product can have attachments, which can be individually set in their own "Attachments" tab on the left, as explained in the previous chapter of this guide, "Adding Products and Product Categories". That page gives you access to all the attached files of the shop: if you need to apply the associated one file with many products, you will thus only have to upload it once.

You can also upload attachments on their own, before associating them to products. This is done from the "Attachment" page, under the "Catalog" menu.

The process to register a new attachment to your shop is straightforward:

  1. Click on the "Add new". A form appears.
  2. Filename. Give your attachment a name, in all the needed languages.
  3. Description. Give it a quick description, also in as many languages as needed.
  4. Click on "Browse" to select a file on your computer to upload.
  5. Click on "Save".

You are then redirected the attachment list, where your file now appears. It is now available to all products, through their "Attachments" tab.

Now the "Download" tab will appear in your online shop and your customers can download that file if needed.

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