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Categories

Categories help you group your products. How should your items be structured in the online store? Which merchandise groups match your product catalogue?

This page helps you develop a category tree and create categories. Once you’ve finished creating your categories, you’ll be ready to sort your products into categories and publish your categories in the online store.

Are you creating a “Ceres” online store?

New plentymarkets systems come with a so-called “Ceres” online store. The great thing about Ceres is that you can design an attractive store without having to learn HTML and CSS first. How? With ShopBuilder! ShopBuilder not only helps you create pages of your website, but also create categories.

So if you want to use ShopBuilder to create your Ceres store, then it also makes sense to use ShopBuilder to create your categories.

This page is primarily geared toward sellers who do not have a Ceres store. In other words, this page is for:

  • Sellers who still have the older Callisto store

  • Sellers who don’t have a plentymarkets store at all

  • Sellers who don’t want to create their categories with ShopBuilder

1. Developing a category tree

Spend some time thinking about which categories and sub-categories match your product line. How can you sort your products so that they’re easy for customers to find? Ask yourself these sorts of questions before you start creating categories. You might find it helpful to draw a category tree and visualise your product groups.

Table 1 shows two simplified examples of different item structures.

Table 1. Examples of different item category structures
Example structure 1 Example structure 2
  • Women

    • Shoes

    • Accessories

    • Clothing

  • Men

    • Shoes

    • Accessories

    • Clothing

  • Kids

    • Shoes

    • Accessories

    • Clothing

  • Shoes

    • Women

    • Men

    • Kids

  • Accessories

    • Women

    • Men

    • Kids

  • Clothing

    • Women

    • Men

    • Kids

2. Deciding on a category depth

How many categories can be on the first level without overwhelming your customers? At what depth do customers stop noticing your categories? First decide how many category levels you want to have in your online store.

2.1. Defining the basic category depth

First decide how many category levels should function in general. For example, if you choose 4 levels, then it will not be possible to create categories on the 5th level. Save this setting for each of your clients (stores). This setting applies to the complete category tree, i.e. to all category types.

Defining category levels:

  1. Go to Setup » Client » Select client » Categories » Settings.

  2. Select the maximum number of levels in the category navigation.

  3. Save the settings.

2.2. Defining the category depth in the Ceres store

How many category levels should be displayed in the header of your Ceres online store? While setting up your online store, you’ll save this category depth in plentymarkets.

3. Manually creating and editing categories

3.1. Creating new categories

Have you already thought up a meaningful category structure? Then you’re ready to create the main categories and sub-categories that will group your products.

If you only want to have a few categories, then we would recommend creating them manually. However, if you have a lot of categories, then it will probably be quicker to import your category data.

Manually creating a category:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on New category () in the bottom left corner.
    → The Create new category window opens.

  3. Enter a name for the category.

  4. Click on Create ().
    → The new category is created and displayed in the category tree.

Creating a subcategory

In the settings window, click on Subcategory () and select the category under which you want your new category to appear. Click on a category’s folder icon () on the far right. This displays the subcategories within.

Creating a new category while creating an item

It’s technically possible to create items and categories at the same time. In other words, you can create a new category while manually creating an item. This method can save you a lot of time but it might also cause you to lose track of your category structure.

3.2. Searching for and filtering existing categories

You can find previously created categories in the menu Item » Categories. They are displayed in the navigation tree on the left.

Are you looking for a specific category? Enter the name of the category into the search field in the upper left corner. Search results appear while you enter the name.

Are you responsible for multiple online stores? Or is your online store available in multiple languages? Do you perhaps use categories to create the individual content pages of your store? Then filter your categories with the three drop-down lists at the top of the screen. This way you can limit which categories you’ll see in the navigation tree on the left.

Category names in cursive font

The font style indicates which categories are available for the selected combination of store, language and use case. If the category name is displayed in cursive font, then the category is not available for the selected filter combination.

Category names in red, yellow and grey

Do you see category names displayed in various colours? Don’t worry! The colour simply indicates what the category is used for.

3.3. Editing existing categories

Click on a category in the menu Item » Categories. The category will open and you can continue editing it.

The editing window consists of a toolbar and the following tabs:

3.3.1. Toolbar

  • At the very top of the screen, you’ll see the path of the category. You can click on one of the higher-level categories to open this category as well.

  • Click on Save () to save your changes to the category. If you haven’t made any changes to the category, then the symbol will be greyed out. If there are any unsaved changes, then the tab will be flagged with a red triangle ().

  • The Category ID is assigned automatically and cannot be changed. It uniquely identifies your categories. Do you manage the same category in several different languages or in several online stores? All of the client and language-versions of the category share the same ID.

  • Click on Preview () to see what your category looks like in the online store.

  • Click on Inline edit preview () to simultaneously see what your category looks like in the online store and edit your category.

  • The Image gallery () is no longer available.

  • Click on Template variables and template functions () to see an overview of the template variables and template functions. If you use the old Callisto store, then you can insert template variables and template functions into your category description.
    Example functions:
    {% Link(CategoryID) %} = Links to a different category page
    {% Link_ShippingCosts() %} = Links to shipping cost information

  • Click on Multilingualism () to open the category in two different languages at once. Which two languages do you want to see? Select them from the drop-down list at the top of the screen. You can also choose a language that doesn’t have any content yet. You do not necessarily have to open the default language.

  • Do you manage the same category in several different languages or in several online stores? Click on Apply category settings () to transfer this category’s settings to a different client or language version. Choose the options () that should be transferred. Choose the client and language versions () that should be given these options.

  • If you use the old Callisto store, then you can insert template variables and template functions into your category descriptions. If you want to insert this category somewhere else, then you can find the necessary template function displayed in the toolbar. This function always includes the category ID so that it can be uniquely identified.

  • The time stamp displays the time when changes were last made and the person who made these changes.

  • Click on Delete () to remove the category. You will be asked if you want to delete the entire category or only the selected combination of language and client.

3.3.2. Settings

First, save some basic information about your category, e.g.:

Why don’t I see some of the settings?

The settings will differ slightly depending on what you want to use the category for. Most of the settings apply to all of the category types. However, some settings are irrelevant to specific types of categories. Irrelevant settings are not displayed.

Table 2. Category settings
Setting Explanation

Type

What do you want to use the category for? In plentymarkets, categories can be used to group products together or to create content pages for your store.

  • Item () = Product groups that help you structure your merchandise clearly. New categories are given the type Item by default.
    If you’ve already linked a category to items and you switch the type from Item to Content, then the item links will not automatically be deleted. However, the category will no longer be displayed in the item data record.

  • Content () = Content pages for the online store, e.g. information pages such as terms and conditions, payment information and shipping information.

  • Container () = This type of category is only relevant for older Callisto stores. Similar to free text field, the content of a category of the type Container can be displayed on a different page, e.g. on a different category. In addition, the order steps of the individual order process are categories of this type.

  • Blog () = Do you write a blog for your Callisto store? You can use blog categories to sort your entries into specific topic like “News” or “About us”.
    It’s also possible to write a blog for your Ceres store.

Name

Enter a name for the category.
Note: You can re-use category names as long as they are used in different categories or on different levels. Within one category, however, the names may only be used once per level.
SEO tip: Enter different meta titles and meta descriptions for categories of the same name.

Tags

Select tags to assign topics to the category.

URL name

If necessary, change the name to be used for the URL. When a category is created, the category name is prefilled as the URL name automatically. You can re-use URL names as long as they are used in different categories or on different levels. Within one category, however, the URL names may only be used once per level.
SEO tip: Because no client (store) is selected when the category is created, the automatically created URL is not indexed by search engines. However, in terms of SEO it is best not to change the URL name after the category has been activated for a client.

Important:

  • URL names cannot contain special characters. As such, only enter ASCII code.

  • Do not enter the following characters at the beginning of a URL name:
    a-, b-, c-, f-, fa-, p-, t-
    These prefixes are deleted automatically. For instance, "a-class" is changed to "class" automatically. For example, for a category named "a-class", you should enter the URL name "aclass".

URL

The URL of the category. The URL is generated automatically based on the complete path of the category, i.e. domain plus category levels plus URL name.

Canonical

If necessary, enter the URL of a category with the same content to prevent duplicate content.

Short description

Enter a short description of the category. Template variables are used to insert the short description into the store’s design.

Position

Enter a number to specify which category is displayed first, second, third, etc on this level. Go to Setup » Client » Select client » Item layouts » Settings to specify the sorting order. Pages are sorted in ascending position order by default.
Tip: Count by tens when creating position numbers. This will allow you to easily add new categories in between.

Client (store)

Which online stores should the category be visible in? Choose one, several or all of the clients in the list ().

Have you also saved sub-categories underneath this category? Then the following also applies:

  • Activate the option Apply visibility to subcategory () if you want to make the sub-categories visible for the selected clients too.

  • The option Apply visibility to subcategory only affects the next save. In other words, the check mark disappears when you save your changes. You’ll need to re-check the option if you want to use it again in the future.

  • If a sub-category is visible, then the category above it must be visible too. This means:

    • If you make a sub-category visible, then the categories above it will be made visible too.

    • If you make a category invisible, then the sub-categories below it will be made invisible too.

Meta title

Enter the meta title. The meta title is displayed in the tab title of the browser and in search engine results. If you leave this field blank, the category name is used as the title.
SEO tip: Pay attention to the length of the title. Longer titles are cut off in the tabs. Currently recommended: max. 50 characters

Meta description

Enter a meta description (max. 350 characters). The meta description is analysed by search engines. As such, it is especially important for the homepage.
SEO tip: The meta description should contain the most important content in one sentence.

Meta keywords

Enter keywords that potential customers are likely to enter into search engines and that relate to the content of the category.

Sitemap

Should the category be included in the sitemap?

  • Display = Category is included in the sitemap.

  • Do not display = Category is not included in the sitemap.

Robots

These values tell search engine crawlers how to deal with the page and any links on the page.

  • all = Include the website of the category in the search engine index and follow links on the page.

  • index = Include in the search engine index.

  • nofollow = Do not follow links on the page.

  • noindex = Do not include in the search engine index.

  • nofollow, noindex = Do not follow links and do not include webpage in the search index.

Template page
(only relevant for the old Callisto store)

Select a template. The template that is selected here provides the framework for the category. This option is not available for categories of the type Container.

Template list
(only relevant for the old Callisto store)

Select a template. The template determines what the category overview looks like for the current category. This option is only available for categories of the type Item.

Template product
(only relevant for the old Callisto store)

Select a template. The template determines how individual items will be displayed within this category. This option is only available for categories of the type Item.

Full text search

Should the category be added to the store’s category search index?
Note: The template plugin Ceres and FINDOLOGIC ignore this setting.

  • Yes = Open the menu Setup » Client » Open client » Online store » Forwarding and check whether the option Redirect for categories is set to Carry out content search. If it is, then the category data will be searched if a customer tries to open an invalid category URL.
    The category data is also added to the store’s category search index. When customers enter a search term in the online store, the category’s name, description 1, description 2 and meta title are searched for this term.
    Note: Before you can search categories, you will need to make some changes to the code in the Calisto template CategoryViewContentSearchResultsList.

  • No = The category will not be added to the category search index.

In link list

Should the category be displayed in the store’s navigation?

  • Display = Category is displayed in the store’s navigation.

  • Do not display = Category is not displayed in the store’s navigation.

Visible

Should the category only be visible for users who have logged in?

  • Public = Category is visible to all visitors of the online store.

  • After login = Category and all of its sub-categories are only visible to people who have logged in. Visitors that are not logged in will be redirected to the login page.

Elmar category

Select an Elmar category.

Translate template variables and template functions

Should template variables and template functions be translated?

  • Yes = All template variables and template functions are translated.

  • Template variables and template functions for links only = Only template variables and template functions for links are translated.

  • No = No template variables and template functions are translated.

3.3.3. Description 1 and 2

Enter and format text in the tabs Description 1 and Description 2. Use template variables and template functions to insert this description into your store’s web design or other areas. Description 1 and 2 allow you to write two texts per category and display them in different areas within a website. For example, you could display Description 1 above and Description 2 below an overview of items.

In the drop-down list above the entry field to the right, you can select which editor you want to use for editing the template. You can use the Editor, the HTML editor Text field or the Syntax editor. Categories of the type Container can only be edited with the HTML editor Text field and the Syntax editor.

3.3.4. Documents

Add images and files to your categories. You can upload the data formats JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PDF, DOC, ODC, OTH, XLS, XML, HTML, HTM, CSS, JavaScript, ZIP, JSON and GZIP.

Uploading documents

You can either add documents by clicking on the Upload file button or by dragging and dropping them into the tab.

You can define two category images for categories of the type Item. But it’s possible to upload more than just two files. So if you regularly switch out your category images, then it’s not necessary to delete the images that are not currently in use.

Defining category images:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open the category.

  3. Click on the Documents tab.

  4. Upload the images if necessary.

  5. Point your cursor over the desired image.

  6. Select () the image.

  7. Click on Image 1.
    → The image is outlined in red and designated with the number 1.

  8. Optional: proceed the same way for the second category image and click on Image 2.

  9. Save () the settings.

Remove a category image by selecting the image again () and clicking on Image 1 or Image 2.

You will be able to click on the greyed out buttons in the toolbar once you have selected one or more images with a check mark. By selecting images with check marks, you can see a preview, download or delete several images at the same time.

Displaying category images in the online store

Only category image 1 is displayed in the online store by default. This image is displayed because an if-query was added to the ItemViewCategoriesList template with the template variable $CurrentCategoryImageUrl. You have to insert a second if-query to the template in order for category image 2 to be displayed.

3.3.5. Note

Save helpful information about a category in the Note tab. For example, you can specify which sources your information comes from or let colleagues know that changes should not be made to specific paragraphs. The information saved in this tab is only visible in plentymarkets and is not displayed in the online store.

Saving a note:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open the category.

  3. Click on the Note tab.

  4. Enter the note in the editor.

  5. Save () the note.
    → The note is saved and shown in a yellow speech bubble.

3.4. Copying, moving, deleting

The so-called context menu helps you manage your categories. Want to move, copy or delete a category? No problem! You can also open the context menu if you want to create new items or sub-categories.

Opening the context menu:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Point your cursor over a category name.

  3. Click on the small triangle ().
    → The context menu appears.

category context menu
  • Edit category = opens the category and lets you edit it further.

  • Move category = moves the category, e.g. from a main category to a sub-category. Do you want to control which category is displayed first, second, third, etc? Simply change the position number.

  • Copy category = creates a copy of the category. Use this function, e.g. to create a similar category somewhere else. Copy the category with all of its settings and then make changes to individual options like the name, description and position.

  • Create new item = opens the menu where you can manually create a new item.

  • Delete category = asks you to confirm your decision to delete the category. The category will be completely deleted. In other words, if you manage the category in several different languages or stores, then all of the different client and language-versions will be deleted. If you only want to delete the category for specific language and client, then click on the delete symbol in the toolbar instead.

  • Create subcategory = creates a new category underneath this category.

4. Importing category data

Have you already thought up a meaningful category structure? Then you’re ready to create the main categories and sub-categories that will group your products.

If you only want to have a few categories, then we would recommend creating them manually. However, if you have a lot of categories, then it will probably be quicker to import your category data.

Categories are imported with a tool called ElasticSync. The idea is simple. Rather than manually saving category information in plentymarkets, you’ll enter the same information into a CSV file and then import this file into your system.

5. Sorting items into categories

Every item must belong to a category. It’s not technically possible to create an item without a category. As such, items are sorted into categories while they are created. It doesn’t matter if you:

Do several categories apply?

Sometimes it makes sense to list an item in several different store categories. There are a few different ways to link additional categories. You can either manually link categories in the item data record or you can enter category IDs comma-separated in the import files.

6. Displaying categories in the online store

6.1. Displaying item categories

You’ve finished creating your categories and now you want to see what they look like in your store. But where are they? Why aren’t they visible?

Work through this checklist and make sure your category meets all of the requirements for being visible in the online store.

6.2. Displaying content categories

There are several different ways to insert categories of the type Content into the Callisto online store. The following examples illustrate two different possibilities.

6.2.1. Inserting an individual category

You first learn how to insert an individual category.

Inserting individual categories into the design:

  1. Go to CMS » Web design » Layout.

  2. Select which template you want to insert the category into.

  3. Click on the PageDesignContentMainFrame tab.

  4. Insert the template function {Link(ID) %} at the desired position of the layout.

  5. Replace ID with the ID of the category.

  6. Save the settings.

6.2.2. Showing a category in a different category

Template functions can be used to display the content of a category in another category. Simply insert the template function {% CategoryContentBody(ID) %} at the desired position in the category and replace ID with the ID of the category that is to be displayed. For instance, you can insert the terms and conditions into another category.

6.2.3. Inserting all categories of the type Content

Inserting all categories of the type content into the design:

  1. Go to CMS » Web design » Layout.

  2. Select the template into which you want to insert the categories.

  3. Click on the PageDesignContentMainFrame tab.

  4. Insert the template function {Container_NavigationCategories() %} at the desired position of the layout.

  5. Insert the template function of the navigation that you have selected for categories of the type Content.

  6. Save the settings.

Specify the category type for the navigation

Go to CMS » Web design » Layout » Navigation to access the various designs for the category navigation. Open the design that you use for categories of the type content and click on the Settings tab. Make sure that the type Content was also selected here.
If you use a plentymarkets default design, NavigationCategories4 is intended for categories of the type Content. You can change these settings at any time.

6.3. Displaying container categories

Categories of the type Container are inserted into the Callisto online store using template functions.

6.3.1. Displaying a category

Template functions can be used to display the content of a category of the type Container, e.g. in another category. Simply insert the template function {CategoryContentBody(ID) %} at the desired position in the category and replace ID with the ID of the category of the type Container that is to be displayed.

6.3.2. Linking a category

Categories of the type Container are linked to order steps of the individual order process. This is done in the Order process tab within the Design settings.

7. Other uses

Learn other uses for categories! Do you want to save your categories in several different languages? Do you want to give customers a discount on specific item categories? This can be done with categories.

7.1. Creating multilingual category pages

If you want to make your online store available in several different languages, you also need to create categories in these languages. This chapter explains how to create multilingual categories of the type Content, the type Item and the type Container. We assume that these categories already exist in your store’s default language and that you’ve already met a few requirements.

There are two ways to create multilingual categories. You can choose between a multilingual or a monolingual editor. Use the monolingual editor to edit one language version after another. Use the multilingual editor to edit two languages at a time. Both procedures are described below.

7.1.1. Creating multilingual categories in the monolingual editor

Proceed as described below to create a language version of an existing category.

Visibility of categories in the “Item » Categories” menu

In order for a category to be displayed within the directory tree in the Item » Categories menu, you must have already created this category in the system’s default language. In other words, you must have at least entered a page name in the default language.

Creating language versions of a category (monolingual):

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open whichever category you want to create a language version for.

  3. Select the desired language from the Language drop-down list, e.g. German.

  4. Enter a name for the category.

  5. Select the desired settings under Template page, Template list, Template product and Full text search. Pay attention to the settings that were saved for the category in the default language.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The entry is saved.
    → The page’s path is created and shown in the URL field.

  7. Insert content in the selected language.

  8. Save the settings.

7.1.2. Creating a multilingual category in the multilingual view

Proceed as described below to create a language version of a category in the multilingual editor.

Creating language versions of a category (multilingual):

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on the desired category in the directory tree.
    → The category opens.

  3. Click on the Multilingualism icon.
    → The multilingual view of the category opens in a new tab.
    Tip: The default language of the online store is shown on the left side by default.

  4. Select the desired language on the right.

  5. Enter the Name, URL name and Meta title.

  6. Enter the foreign-language text and content into the Description 1 text field.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The category is saved in the selected language.

Tip: Opening two completely new languages in the bilingual editor

You also can open new languages in the bilingual editor, i.e. languages for which no content has been saved yet. You do not necessarily have to open the default language.

7.2. Saving category discounts

Go to Setup » Client » Select client » Categories » Discounts to save volume discounts for individual item categories. You can save up to three volume discounts per category. The discounts are automatically granted when customers order at least the specified number of products in this category. The specified discounts are calculated for a variation’s default category only.

Saving category discounts:

  1. Go to Setup » Client » Select client » Categories » Discounts.

  2. Carry out the settings. Note Table 3.

  3. Save the settings.
    → The discount is applied automatically when a customer orders the required number of variations in the online store.
    Note: These discounts are only applied for the default category of a variation.

Table 3. Saving category discounts
Setting Explanation

Discount 1 (%);
Discount 2 (%);
Discount 3 (%)

Enter the discount in percent that is to be applied when the required number of variations is reached.

Minimum quantity

Enter the number of variations customers need to order from this category for the discount to take effect.

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