Table of content
The foundation of a PrestaShop site is its catalog, which contains products and product categories. Building and improving your catalog is the main way you will make your website live in the eyes of the customer. This is where your shop becomes a reality, creating content, and thus giving value to your online shop.
As the heart of your shop, your catalog deserves a great deal of your attention. Adding products does not only mean adding an image and some text, and then validating your content. It means knowing your product by heart: price, weight, size, features, specifications, details, manufacturer, supplier and so much more. You should not start adding products to your Catalog without knowing exactly what you want to present to the customer, and thus need to have a set plan about your products and the way they will be displayed. This also means knowing your shop's front-office like the back of your hand in order to properly fill in the required fields.
The "Catalog" section can be accessed by opening the menu with the same name, which lists all the product-related pages. This is where you manage your catalog throughout your PrestaShop site.
The pages of this menu are sorted by order of their importance in the daily management of your shop: indeed, you are more likely to add/edit/deleted products than adding suppliers or image-maps.
When adding your first product, you should first start with a clear plan:
You can start adding products with minimal information and edit them at will, but before launching your shop, you should at least have this information written down.
Categories are essential, as they enable you to group equivalent products. This helps customers find their way through the variety of your products, and narrow down their search when looking for a specific type of product. They also make it easy for the customers to find and compare them (thanks to PrestaShop product comparison feature).
You should create a new category from the moment you have at least two products with equivalent features. Products in a category should be comparable, if not interchangeable. Keep this idea in mind when adding new products and creating new categories.
When creating a product category, you should focus on one thing: the products in this category must be comparable. This is not only useful for your customers, but it is also a necessity for PrestaShop's product comparison feature.
All the categories you will create are in fact sub-categories of "Home", the root category, which cannot be deleted.
You may choose to not create any category, and have all products grouped into a single global category, "Home". But then customers won't be able to compare products.
Categories are managed in the "Categories" page of the "Catalog" menu.
To create a category, click on the "Add new" button and fill out the form.
Make sure to fill each field in every language that your shop supports. In order to do that, click on the little flag next to the field, choose the flag of the language in which you wish to edit the text.
First of all, you must enter a set of general options:
Then, the form presents you with a few Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fields. This information will help you optimize the visibility of your catalog on search engines.
Once you have finished configuring your category, you must save it.
You can manage the products in your shop using the "Products" page, in the "Catalog" menu. You can see the existing products and few details, and add new products by clicking on "Add new". A form will appear, with several tabs in the left column.
In the following sections, we will explore these tabs one by one. We begin with the first tab in the form, which enables you to fill out the general information about your products.
When you create a new product, the product page feature a single button at the top: "Back to list". It simply takes you back to the list of product, without saving any change your have made in any of the tab from this page.
As soon as you give the product a name, two more buttons appear:
As soon as you save your product, using either the "Save" or the "Save and stay" button, more buttons appear:
The first tab contains the essential information about the product.
The first line is an essential one: indicate whether the product is a pack (a combination of at least two existing products), a virtual product (downloadable file, service...), or simply a classic, mail-sent product. For now, we will only explore the first option of these three, and deal with packs and virtual products in their own sections of this chapter.
You begin with four text fields:
You must give the product a name in at least the default language before you can save it. You won't be able to save until it has a name – and many other tab require the product to be saved in order to be accessible.
On the right side are four options:
Now that these details are set in stone, you can adding a description for your product.
Describing your product well is essential, both for the customer (the more information, the better) and search engines (it will help your shop appear in more search requests).
These two fields are here to fill out your product's description.
The first field enables you to write a short description that will appear in search engines and in the category description for your product. This field is limited to 400 characters.
In the second field, you can write a full description of your product, which will appear directly on the product page. The text editor offers a wide range of options for creating visually attractive descriptions (font, size, text color, etc.).
While the second field has no limits, there is such thing as too much content: strive to provide the essential information in a compelling way, and your product should be good to go.
In the "tags" field, add some terms and keywords that will help your customers easily find what they are looking for.
PrestaShop 1.4 enabled you to indicate the product manufacturer right on this page. In version 1.5, this setting is to be found in the "Associations" tab on the left. Same for the "Default category" field, the categories associations, and the "Accessories" field.
Version 1.4 also enabled you to indicate the size and weight of the final package. In version 1.5, these settings is to be found in the "Shipping" tab on the left.
The "Location" field of version 1.4" can be found in the optional "Warehouses" tab on the left, which is only available if you have enabled Advanced Stock Management ("Preferences" tab, "Products" page, "Products stock" section).
The "accessories" field gives you the option of choosing relevant products to associate with this product. To suggest a product to your customers, type in the first letters of the product in question, select it, and then click on the green button to the right of the field.
Once you have filled out all this information, save your work, after which you will be sent to your list of products. If you save by clicking on "Save and Stay" to continue working on your product's presentation.
The pricing section can be quite intimidating, with fields influencing each other and taxes to take into account. This is all done in the "Prices" tab on the left.
Set the price that will appear in your store by following the instructions below:
You can fill out the "retail price with tax" field and choose the tax rate to apply, and the field will automatically calculate the pre-tax retail price. The opposite operation is also available.
At this point, you are done with the essential information for a basic product page. You can save it and have it immediately available for sale on your shop!
But keep reading, as there are many more details you can add to your product to make it more attractive to customers.
You can changes the total price of a sale depending on the quantity of products your customer buys, the user group, the country, etc. This is done using the "Specific prices" option of the "Prices" tab.
Click "Add a New specific price", and a form appears.
*Starting at \[\] unit*. Contains the value from which the discount should be applied. Default is "1", which means any quantity.
Once you have chosen your values click on "Save and stay": the summary of your discount model appears below. If you wish to delete a value, click on the trashcan icon in the table.
Even when setting detailed prices and quantity discounts, with custom groups and shops (when in a multishop context), one customer might fit into multiple prices or discount rules. PrestaShop therefore uses a set of priorities in order to apply one price rule to such customers.
You can change PrestaShop default settings using the "Priority Management" section: You might want the user group to be more important than the currency, for instance.
The default order of importance is:
A checkbox at the bottom enables you to update the settings for all products. If the checkbox remains unchecked, then your settings changes only apply to the current product.
To improve your product listing as well as increase your store's visibility we suggest that you carefully fill out the various SEO fields: meta titles, meta descriptions, and keywords and friendly URLs.
"SEO" itself stands for "Search Engine Optimization. Read more on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization
Get to know the best SEO practices for e-commerce! Download and read PrestaShop's free "Complete Guide to SEO": http://www.prestashop.com/en/white-paper-seo
To access the product's SEO information, open the "SEO" tab on the left. The following fields appear:
These fields enable you to directly optimize your catalog's visibility on search engines.
Friendly URLs will only work if URL rewriting is enabled. You can do this in "SEO & URLs" preference page, in its "Set up URLs" section.
You will find more information on the "SEO & URLs" preference page in the "Understanding the Preferences" chapter of this guide.
Creating associations for your product means pairing it with other content in your database:
The "Associated categories" section enables you to select in which category the product should appear. You can select more than one, but keep in mind that it is better for the customer if the category only contains equivalent and comparable products. Therefore, you should prevent from selecting root categories, and prefer child categories.
For instance, "telephone" can feature sub-categories of "brands" (Apple, Samsung, Nokia, etc.) and as well as "characteristics" (smart-phone, flip-phone, etc.). It is up to you to indicate the category most useful to your customers.
If you feel you need to add a category, save the current state of your product before clicking the "Create new category" button. Category creation is explained at the start of this chapter
The "Default category" section is useful when an article is filed under several categories. It serves mainly to clarify which category to use in case your customer arrives at your site from a search engine, since the name of the category will appear in the product's URL.
Checking the "Home" box enables you to highlight the product on your shop's homepage, provided your theme supports it. To remove a product from the Featured list, simply uncheck the "Home" box.
The "Accessories" field gives you the option of choosing relevant products to associate with this product. To suggest a product to your customers, type in the first letters of the product in question and select it. The product is then added at the bottom of the field.
You can associate a product with as many other products as you deem necessary. Click on the trashcan icon to delete the product.
Accessories addition/removal is not automatically saved! Do not forget to click on the "Save" button.
A product can only be associated with one manufacturer. Choose one in the dropdown menu, or create a new manufacturer if it is needed (but do save your current product before clicking the "Create a new manufacturer" button.
Manufacturer creation is explained in the next chapter, "A Look Inside the Catalog".
The "Images" tab on the left is for including photos on your product page. You should upload all the images for this product, including all the available variations of this product (color, size, shape...).
To add one or more images to your product:
Once you have uploaded several images, you can modify the image order by drag-and-dropping each table row when the mouse cursor changes to a "movable" cursor.
Shipping costs are not be neglected: they can easily double the final cost of an order, and you should be very upfront about them.
The "Shipping" tab on the left enables you to give some precious details about your product's package:
You will often sell the same product under different versions: same overall name, but they might differ by their color, their capacity, their screen size, and other attributes. Most of the times, these attributes come together: you could have the red version of the product available with either 1 Gb capacity or 2 Gb, or with 12'' screen or a 15'' screen. This is why PrestaShop calls these versions "combinations": your stock of product can be made of several variations of one product, which in effect are simply its attributes combined in specific ways.
How they are combined is up to you, and PrestaShop gives you two ways to achieve this.
You cannot create combinations if you do not already have product attributes properly set in PrestaShop.
Attributes creation is done in "Attributes and Values" page from the "Catalog" menu, and is explained in details in the next chapter, "A Look Inside the Catalog".
Combination quantities are managed from the "Quantities" tab on the left, which is a new feature of PrestaShop 1.5.
When creating a virtual product, you can now upload a different file for each combination. In PrestaShop 1.4, you had to pack all combinations into a single Zip file, and have the customers download all combinations.
This method helps you create combinations one after the other, so it is to be reserved to either products with few combinations, or products with very specific combinations that can't be created reliably using the automatic method (see next section).
Adding a new variation to your product takes just a few steps.
When you have set all of the combination's details, save your product changes using the "Save and stay" button. Your combination will appear in the attributes list at the bottom of the screen.
In PrestaShop 1.4, there used to be a "Color picker" form at the bottom of the list of combinations, where you could choose to display a color picker or not on the product page.
In PrestaShop 1.5, this option has been moved and improved. When creating a new attribute (in the "Catalog" tab, "Attributes & Values" page), you can used the "Attribute type" drop-down list to choose whether the front-page should display it as drop-down list, a radio button list, or a color picker.
If you have too many different products or varieties you can use the "Product Combinations Generator." This tool allows you to automatically generate all of the variations and possibilities.
Clicking the "Product combinations generator" will take you to the complete form.
A warning window might appear, saying "You will lose all unsaved modifications, do you want to proceed?" This means your product already had some combinations created. If you agree to this, this will delete the combinations that have not yet been saved. Be careful, and always save your work before using the generator!
On the right side of this page are your groups of attributes and their values. Select the varieties by clicking on their name (if your combination combines more than one attribute, hold the Ctrl key while clicking), then click on "Add".
For example, you might select the "Blue", "Green" and "32 Go" attributes.
Once the varieties have been selected, insert the quantity of each product in the "Quantity" field at the top. Be careful, it needs to be the same for every combination. For instance, 200 products in each combination = 2 colors * 1 disk size * 200 = 400 products in all.
You may add a reference if it serves your administrative needs.
Click the "Generate" button, and tables will appear below for each combination, enabling you to edit their possible specific prices.
As you can see, the combination generator helps you save a lot of time when you have numerous attributes to assemble, such as sizes and materials. It automatically creates all of the possible combinations, which will then appear under the product's "Combinations" tab.
If you do not want to keep all generated combinations or if they are in fact not all exactly the same (different references, prices, available dates...), you can delete (trashcan icon) or modify them (file icon). The yellow star icon turns the selected combination into the default one.
The tab named "Features" is where you specify your products' features (i.e. weight, material, country of origin, etc.). When you create features and values (i.e. wool knit and micro-fiber materials), you assign them to the products when it is appropriate. This means that you do not have to fill out the features fields for each of your products but instead simply fill in the necessary values and apply them later.
PrestaShop comparison engine entirely relies on product features: this is what gets compared.
Since product comparison also works on a per-category basis, this means that basically, you should make sure that all the products in a given category do share the same features, with various values to be compared between each other.
Be aware that contrary to the combinations, these values do not change, and are valid for the general product.
Before adding a feature to a product, you must create it for general use in your shop. You either go to the "Features" page of the "Catalog" tab, or directly click on the "Add a new feature product" button. A warning will appear, "You will lose all unsaved modifications, do you want to proceed?" – make sure all your changes are saved before validating.
Feature and feature value creation are explained in details in the next chapter of this guide, "A Look Inside the Catalog".
We will assume here that you have already set all your features and feature values.
In the current product's "Features" page, a table is displayed, listing all of your shop's features. Not all of them pertain: PrestaShop will only take as relevant the features where you actually set a value.
You can either set a value manually, in the field on the far right a feature's row, or you can use one of the pre-defined values (as set when creating the feature) if there are any available. If no value is available for a feature, the mention "N/A" appears (short for "not available" or "non applicable"), followed by a "Add pre-defined values first" button.
If you choose to use a custom value, do not forget to set it for every languages that your shop supports. Use the flag icon to change language.
If there are pre-defined values available, they will appear in a dropdown list. Simply click it and choose the correct value.
Once you have set all the relevant features, save your changes to see them immediately applied in the front-page.
Remember: If a feature does not have any value assigned to it, it will not be visible on your shop.
PrestaShop makes it possible for your customers to customize the product that they will buy.
Example: You are a jewelry retailer and your customers have the possibility to engrave their jewelry with a text or an image. Your customers can submit the text and/or the image when they place their order.
The advantage of this function is that it offers your customers a personal service, which they will without a doubt appreciate!
Let's look at how to configure this function. In the "Customization" tab on the left, you can indicate what type of context (file and/or text) can be personalized.
Once you have added the needed number for each field, click "Save and stay". The page will reload and display as many text fields as necessary. Fill every one of them with the appropriate public label: this will be an indicator for the customer, so be very specific about what you expect.
For instance, if you allow images for a book cover, you could use the following:
You can make any field necessary to validate the purchase by checking the "Required" box on the right of each of them.
Removing fields. If in the end you added to many fields, simply change the number of needed fields for each of the two types and click "Save and stay". The page will reload with the right number of fields, with the first ones preserved.
One all the label fields have been filled, do not forget to save your changes.
PrestaShop enables you to make some files available to your customers before their purchase. This is done in the "Attachments" tab on the left.
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.
Adding an attachment is really quick:
Now the "Download" tab will appear on the product's page, and your customers can download the file(s) that you just uploaded.
If you need to remove an attachment, select it in the "Attachments for this product" selector and click on the "<<< Remove" button. The file will be moved to the "Available attachments" selector if you need to set it back online later on.
You can view all of your store's attached files, add some more and delete some, by going to the "Attachments" page under the "Catalog" tab.
This is a new tab in PrestaShop 1.5. You previously had to manage quantities either in the "Informations" tab, or within the "Combinations" tab if you have any product varieties. This is all now managed in a single page.
The way it works is quite easy: the page presents you with a table of all the combinations for the current product (if there are no combinations, the table simply has a single row). It is up to you to set the initial stock for all the combinations. PrestaShop will use this to determine when a product is soon out-of-stock or unavailable anymore.
The quantities page supports the stock management features, if activated. This means that if the current product's combination are distributed among several storage location, PrestaShop is able to handle the exact location of each combination, even with a given warehouse.
To use advanced stock management for the current product, you must first enable the feature for the whole shop: go to the "Products" preference page (under the "Preferences" tab), and in the "Products stock" section, select "Yes" for the "Enable advanced stock management" option.
Once the feature is globally enabled, you can enable it for the current product by checking the checkbox for "I want to use the advanced stock management system for this product".
By default, you have to manage the current product's quantities by hand, for each variation, from this page. With the stock management feature activated, you can rely on PrestaShop's stock management feature to handle this.
Once the checkbox has been clicked, an option becomes available: "vailable quantities for current product and its combinations are based on stock in the warehouses". Click it, and you cannot edit the current product's quantities from the "Quantities" page: it has new become dependent of your stock management.
You can set the exact behavior of PrestaShop depending on the availability of the current product.
You can also configure the general settings applied to all of your products. The default option is to deny orders, but this can be modified under the "Products" preference, which is fully explained in the "Understanding the Preferences" chapter of this guide.
Indicate the product supplier is not really important to your customers (very much less so than its manufacturer in any case). Still, it may turn out to be an essential part of your own internal management, not the least when managing your stock: you simply need to know who you bought the product from. The supplier of the current product is to be set from the "Suppliers" tab on the left.
You cannot use this feature if you do not already have at least one supplier registered in your shop. Suppliers are created from the "Suppliers" page, under the "Catalog" tab.
The complete supplier registration process in explained in details in the next chapter of this guide, "A Look Inside the Catalog".
Associating the current product with one or more suppliers is really easy: simply click the box corresponding to the supplier, and save your changes.
If the product is associated with more than one supplier, you can choose which one should be the default one use the radio button on the right.
Note: the "Default" radio buttons are unavailable by default. In order to select them, you must first click the "Save and stay" button" in order to select another supplier as default.
The product's supplier page also features a table that enables you to set the precise reference and unit price/currency for each product combination. If the product has more than one supplier, the table only opens the combination tied to the first supplier, the others being closed by default. Click on a supplier's name in order to open its references table, and close the others.
Once you have enabled the advanced stock management option (in the "Products" preference page), this new tab gets available for all products, and enables you to indicate in which warehouse the current product is stored.
You cannot use this feature if you do not already have at least one warehouse registered in your shop. Warehouses are created from the "Warehouses" page, under the "Catalog" tab.
The complete warehouse registration process in explained in details in another chapter of this guide, "Managing Stock".
The "Warehouses" tab presents you with a table that enables you to set the precise location for each product combination (if any) in each store. If you have registered more than one warehouse, the table only shows the first one by default, the others being closed by default. Click on a warehouse's name in order to open its sub-table, and close the others.
For each warehouse, you can set which combination of the current product is stored, and a text field enables you to indicate precisely where it is stored in that warehouse. You can write anything in that field: "Aisle 5", "Next to the Radiohead albums", "A07 E08 H14", or anything that helps you or your packing team to find the product as precisely as possible.
The "Accounting" tab on the left is a new feature from PrestaShop 1.5. It simply enables you to set a default accounting number for each geographical zone. This information is in turn used when you do an accounting export
You may wish to sell a pack of products made of several items. I.e.: a computer start-up pack composed of the computer itself, a monitor, and a printer. PrestaShop makes it easy for you to create a "pack" product and add other products from your catalog to this pack.
Packs enable you to simplify preparing orders. They also allow customers to take advantage of special prices and offers.
You cannot currently add combinations or virtual products to a pack.
The process to do this is similar to the one for creating a simple product:
A new tab will appear on the left, titled "Pack", to which you will be redirected as soon as you change the product type. This tab only features two text fields and a button:
You can add as many products as you would like to the pack.
You can remove a product from the pack simply by clicking the trashcan icon next to it.
Your shop may feature (partly or exclusively) virtual products – that is, products that are not shipping, but rather downloaded: concert tickets, e-books, real-life services...
PrestaShop makes it easy for you to create a virtual product
The process to do this is similar to the one for creating a simple product:
The tabs on the left change:
The new tab only features two radio buttons at first: it asks if the virtual product you are creating has a file attached (i.e., if your customer will pay to download something).
When you click "Yes", PrestaShop opens a new form within the tab, from which you can upload the file you intend to sell: