Organizing Your Products
Creating Store Categories
Products are categorized and identified by as many as four layers of search criteria: product, category, secondary category and keywords. The larger number of products you carry, the more search options you should offer to help your customer narrow down what he/she is looking for.
You may add an unlimited number of categories or delete/archive existing categories. The category list in the Administration Area, under Lists > Categories, determines the choices available to the customer when searching your site, and the choices you have when assigning a category to a product.
Categories are your top-level search filter. If you have products that seem to fit in more that one category, take time to rethink how you have categorized them. A category should be broad enough to cover everything associated with it. Department stores are a good example of this, for example: housewares, clothing, jewelry and so forth. It is, however, possible to assign a product to multiple categories.
The sort order field for each category allows you to force the order in which the categories are sorted, rather than relying on alphabetical sorting. Categories are first sorted by the Sort Order value, and then alphabetically.
Secondary categories act as subcategories, but they can be searched on directly without an associated category. A product can be related to an unlimited number of secondary categories.
The sort order field for each secondary category allows you to force the order in which the secondary categories are sorted, rather than relying on alphabetical sorting. Secondary categories are first sorted by the Sort Order value, and then alphabetically.
Powerful Search Solution
The real power in this is the flexibility with which products can be searched for. For example, you can narrow or refine a search using secondary categories by searching for Clothing (category) / Men's (secondary category). In this way the secondary category acts like a traditional subcategory. Because there is no direct relationship between categories and secondary categories, you can easily widen your search by searching for Men's (secondary category only). This will return results of all products with a relationship to the Men's secondary category, regardless of what category they are in.