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Creating an Ecommerce Category Structure

OVERVIEW

To show you how to setup successful ecommerce categories for NRO. We recommend that you start with a small group of your best‐selling items, and then continue to add more items later. The sooner your store is up and running, the sooner you can begin generating sales!

Table of Contents

Planning Your Categories
Tips For Creating Categories
Category Worksheet
Adding Ecommerce Categories
Adding Ecommerce Categories Video
**NEW** Editing Existing Ecommerce Categories
Images
Descriptions
Storefront Layout
NRO Category Editor


PLANNING YOUR CATEGORIES

The structure and names of the ecommerce categories that you create now will actually form the navigation of your NRO store. Although these ecommerce categories come directly from NCR Counterpoint, please note that they are not the same as your inventory categories in NCR Counterpoint!

Similar to the organization of a physical store, the structural goal for your online store is to make it easy for your customers to find and purchase items. Your customers already think of your merchandise in terms of departments, sections, vendors, etc., or in ways that your physical stores are arranged. You can define an unlimited number of ecommerce categories and subcategories and you can list a single item in as many categories as you want.

The fewer clicks it takes to get to your merchandise, the better! In other words, the fewer category levels of merchandise in your online store, the quicker your customers can get to the items they want to buy. We recommend no more than two or three category levels!

TIPS FOR CREATING CATEGORIES

Online sales frequently fail because shoppers cannot find the products that they want to buy. It’s important to have a well‐planned category structure:
  • Think about departments in your store. Create category names that are meaningful to shoppers.
  • Use natural language in category names. Incorporate your target keywords into your category names.
  • Resist using all UPPER CASE letters and symbols such as &.
  • To facilitate organic search engine optimization (SEO), name your product categories and sub‐categories using high‐volume, multi‐keyword search phrases. Similarly, be sure to include all your best categories as top‐level categories. Because top‐level categories display on every page on your site, search engines are more likely to find them.
  • Add items to multiple categories to give shoppers multiple ways to find items in your store, for example:
  • Sporting Goods

  • Sports Equipment
  • ‐ Nike Pro Tour Golf Bag
  • ‐ Men’s X8 Snowboard
  • Sports Apparel
  • ‐ Youth Baseball Jersey

  • Shop by Brand

  • Nike
  • ‐ Nike Pro Tour Golf Bag
  • Rawlings
  • ‐ Youth Baseball Jersey
  • Burton
  • ‐ Men’s X8 Snowboard

  • Shop by Season

  • Summer Sports
  • ‐ Nike Pro Tour Golf Bag
  • ‐ Youth Baseball Jersey
  • Winter Sports
  • ‐ Men’s X8 Snowboard



CATEGORY WORKSHEET

It’s a good idea to plan your category structure on paper. You can use as many layers as you want, but we recommend no more than three levels. Complete a similar worksheet for each Category level 1.

TIP:You can download a copy of the worksheet at the bottom of this article.


Category level 1: Identify the top‐level categories (e.g., Sporting Goods).
  • Category level 2: For each top‐level category, identify appropriate subcategories (e.g., Sports Equipment and Sports Apparel).
  • Category level 3: For each subcategory, identify any additional subdivisions.


Category level 1: __________________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 2: _____________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:__________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:__________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:__________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:__________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:__________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 2: ______________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 2: ______________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 2: ______________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________
  • Category level 3:________________________________________________________________

CHECKLIST

CounterPoint
1. Plan your category structure on paper using the Category Worksheet.
2. Add ecommerce categories in Setup / Ecommerce / Categories.
a) Optionally assign images to each category.
b) Optionally enter long descriptions for each category.
3. Publish ecommerce information using Ecommerce / Publish.

NRO:
1. Save your category images to C:\Program Files (x86) or Program Files\Radiant Systems\CounterPoint\CPSQL.1\TopLevel\Store_Name\Configuration\CategoryImagesNRO.
2. Once installed, the integration agent will move your category images from this folder to your NRO
categories.



ADDING ECOMMERCE CATEGORIES

CounterPoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Categories


Select Setup / Ecommerce / Categories and use the Add category editor to add ecommerce categories and subcategories. You can also change category names, delete categories, assign images and descriptions to each category, and add items to each category. The Move up and Move down buttons will adjust the category order. These changes wil also pass on to NRO.
TIP: The ecommerce categories defined here are NOT directly related to your CounterPoint item categories.

You can display an item in an unlimited number of categories.
Moving the categories up or down, will change the display order in NRO.
Learn more about adding items to each ecommerce category in Ecommerce Items.

TIP: To print a list of all the categories defined so far, select Setup / Ecommerce / Reports / Categories.
You can also print any items that have not been assigned to any ecommerce categories.




IMAGES

CounterPoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Categories



For each category and sub‐category, optionally assign an image that will display when customers browse your store.

TIP: Ask your vendors to provide you with professional, web‐optimized category images.

You can assign category images to all, none, or some of the category levels you define for your online store. If you don’t assign images to a category level, the category name will be used instead. To display an image with your category, enter the name of the Image file (e.g., baseballs.jpg) for each category in Setup / Ecommerce / Categories.

TIP:Category images can be GIF, JPG, or PNG formats.

Category images will automatically be copied to your company’s ItemImages folder (e.g., C:\CounterPoint\[Company]\ItemImages), and a thumbnail will display in the category editor.

WARNING:You will also want to save a copy of these images into your CategoryImagesNRO folder. Image filenames should not contain spaces or special characters such as asterisks (*).

We recommend that you use a naming convention for your category image files that will help you identify and manage the images. A useful naming convention assists you in recognizing images and facilitates image changes.

DESCRIPTIONS

CounterPoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Categories



Optionally, add html descriptions to your ecommerce categories. Select Setup / Ecommerce / Categories and click the Edit description button to enter or edit a category description. Use category descriptions to identify the items included in the category or to provide shoppers with general information about the category.

TIP: Include SEO target keywords and phrases in your category descriptions to facilitate organic search engine optimization. Category descriptions should be both descriptive and informative, and should include keywords and phrases similar to those used in your category meta information.

Formatting Long Descriptions

Long descriptions may include HTML formatting. The maximum length of each category description is 6,320 characters.

WARNING:DO NOT use double quotes in HTML formatting entered in Counterpoint! If you must use quotes, use single quotes. DO NOT paste in HTML code generated from WYSIWYG editors such as FrontPage, Dreamweaver,
or Microsoft Word. HTML code generated in this way contains extraneous code that may cause your online store to appear improperly.

STOREFRONT LAYOUT

There are two types of category pages:

  • Category pages that contain a list of subcategories (what merchants see when browsing categories)
  • Category pages that contain a list of items (what merchants see when browsing items)
TIP:Before you proceed with your NRO setup, you may want to install your NRO Integration Agent and publish your NCR Counterpoint information using Ecommerce / Publish.

BROWSING CATEGORIES

NRO: Catalog / Manage Categories

Here you can see all of the categories that have been published to NRO from NCR Counterpoint. If you need to adjust the order of your categories or subcategories, you will need to to change their order in NCR Counterpoint under Setup / Ecommerce / Categories.

BROWSING ITEMS WITHIN A CATEGORY

NRO: Catalog / Manage Categories / select category / Category Products Tab



All products that are associated with the category or subcategory will be shown here. If you need to add or remove an item from a category or subcategory, it should be removed in NCR Counterpoint under Setup / Ecommerce / Categories and published to NRO.

WARNING:Changes made to product availability within a category in NRO, will be overwritten the next time items and categories are published from NCR Counterpoint.

NRO CATEGORY EDITOR

NRO: Catalog / Manage Categories / select category / Display Settings




Use NRO's Display Settings to change the look of your category and subcategory pages. This section will often be referred to as Category Landing Pages. Under Display Optioins you have 3 basic settings:

Display Mode

Products Only
- When a customer lands on this category page, they will only see products. No static block or "landing page graphic" will be displayed.
Static Block Only
- Customers visiting this category page will only see the static block or "landing page graphic" assigned to this page.
 
Static Block and Products
- This page will show both Static Block graphics and products.

CMS Block

Choose the CMS Block that you want to display at the top of this category. CMS blocks can be created under CMS / Static Blocks.

Is Anchor

Yes
- will set this category as a parent that all subcategories under it will be forced to use this categories settings
No
- Subcategories under this category can have their own separate settings.

 

Available Product Listing Sort By:

Use all available attributes if you want to use all available attributes by default. If you want to specify available attributes, uncheck all available attributes box and using ctrl+click select the attributes you want to use.

Default Product Listing Sort By

If you want to change the categories default product listing, uncheck Use Config Settings and select the attribute that you want o be the default sort by for your customers.
 
 

Related Articles:
Setting Up Ecommerce Items

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