Categories in Hotcakes are pretty much the same as in any other e-commerce system - they allow you to logically group your products together in a way that makes it easier for you and your customers to discover and manage.
As an example, if you bought groceries online, separating your products into aisles as your first level of categories, then types of products as your next level makes it much more easy for everyone involved.
Imagine looking for a specific brand and size of tomato sauce in a product catalog of 500,000 items without categorization. You'll find yourself going through hundreds or thousands of pages before you find it. It seems impossible, right? Now imagine how your customers might feel with your product catalog...
The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:
- Have access to your Hotcakes store administration
- Have an idea or plan of how you can categorize the products in your store
If you haven't done so already, build a plan of how you think your store categories should be. Don't limit it to just the top level either. You can have an unlimited number of categories on every level - so get as granular as your customers need you to get. Speaking of your customers, it's not a bad idea to contact a few of your customers to see if they agree with how you plan to implement the categorization.
You'll find category management begins in the Catalog menu of your control panel.
The main Categories page shows the configured categories for your store.
You can drag and drop to reorder these categories or use the arrows to reorder them on this page. You can also drag and drop and reorder nested categories using these arrows.
|[no name]||This first column allows you to drag and drop the various categories to re-order them as you see fit. There's no additional save step. Once you let go of your mouse, the sort order is saved. Technically, you can sort the category from anywhere on the row.|
|Name||This is the name of the category, as your customers will see it when they're shopping in your store. Clicking on the name will open up the category for editing.|
|[no name]||Finally, there is an editing column, with an option to edit the category, and another to remove the category from your store permanently. Once you delete the category, there is no undo.|
Adding New Categories
If you'd like to create a new category, you'll find there is a way to do that on the left panel.
In the first drop down list, you'll choose the type of category you're creating. Category Page will create the type of category that you want at least 99% of the time. However, if you want to create a navigational item in your category listing to line to another URL, you can do that using the Custom Link option instead. This latter option will look like category to everyone involved, until it's clicked on. Then, it will forward the customer to the URL you specified. This is useful if you have products being sold on other channels (e.g., Amazon, E-Bay, etc.).
The next drop down list allows you to choose the parent category. Leave it at "(Root)" if you're creating a top-level category. Otherwise choose an existing category if you are trying to nest this new category as a child of another category. This is what you might do if you were adding an "Earrings" category to an already existing "Jewelry" category, for example.
Then simply click the "Add New Category Button" to add your new category. This will bring you to another category editing page, which is discussed in another documentation article.