The module combines characteristics with the same names or by aliases specified by the administrator. Instead of dozens and hundreds of essentially identical characteristics, you will get one. This reduces the load on the database and makes it easier to work with search filters. It will be much easier for the buyer to find the desired product with the specified characteristics.
Large online stores work with a large number of suppliers. And each of them has its own range of products, which means that it has its own set of necessary characteristics. Of course, when working with a new supplier, you can run through its assortment, make a list of necessary characteristics, compare the resulting list with the characteristics already available in the store and create the missing ones.
However, it will take a very long time. It is much easier to automatically create characteristics for a supplier when importing goods via CSV, XML or YML files or by synchronizing inventory accounting programs according to the CommerceML standard.
Here another problem arises: a huge number of new characteristics appear in the store, some of which will duplicate each other. Duplicates can occur for several reasons?
- Suppliers have characteristics with the same name, and each time they import, a new characteristic is created, for example, “Country of origin” and “Country of origin”.
- Suppliers have characteristics, the essence of which is the same, but they have different names: “Country of origin”, “Country of production”, “Country” and so on.
- The supplier works with several manufacturers and other suppliers, which is why he also has the same and similar characteristics.
- When importing goods from 1c UNF using the CommerceML protocol, a separate characteristic will be created for each final category of goods. So, in the category “Clothes” there can be more than a hundred subcategories, and for each of them its own characteristic “Size” will be created.
Let’s give an example: let’s say there is a large online store that works with hundreds of suppliers. And each of these suppliers has about a hundred characteristics. As a result, about 10 thousand characteristics are stored in the database of the online store.
At the same time, most likely, suppliers work in approximately the same categories of goods, which means that their characteristics are approximately the same. That is, in reality, an online store would have enough hundred characteristics. And 10 thousand warehouse accounting programs created as a result of import and synchronization of characteristics load the database, slow down the work of the store, product cards are loaded for too long.
And that’s not all the problems. After all, based on the characteristics, filters are formed to search for goods in the showcase. And, of course, no buyer will scroll through a list of hundreds and thousands of identical characteristics to mark all relevant to the search. And if this is not done, then the right product may not be included in the selection.
The “Grouped characteristics” module allows you to solve this problem and put the characteristics of the marketplace in order.
The module groups together:
- Characteristics with the same names (For example, “Country of origin” and “Country of origin”);
- Identical characteristics with different names, provided that aliases are specified in the settings of the characteristics group (For example, “Country of origin”, “Country” and “Country of manufacture”);
- Characteristics by type: “Variation as one product”;
- Characteristics by type: variation as "Several products;
- Characteristics by type: “Brand”;
- Characteristics by type: “Additional information”.
If we talk about the example above, with a database of 10 thousand characteristics. After installing, configuring and launching the module, no more than a hundred really necessary characteristics will remain in the store. The database will take up less space, respond to requests faster, and the loading of the product card will be accelerated. It will also ensure order in the filters. It will be much easier for the buyer to find the right product.
It is possible to combine characteristics by category. This is especially true for Brand type characteristics. After applying this setting, you will not have to manually scroll through the entire list of brands of the online store when setting up a new product card, you will have a short list of brands relevant to the specified category of goods.
Regular deletion of characteristics after grouping
The old characteristics are not deleted immediately after the combined characteristic is created. This allows you to return everything as it was, if necessary. But in this case, the old characteristics still keep the load on the database. To reduce it, the characteristics still need to be removed.
You can do this manually: go to the combined characteristic and click the “Delete characteristics” button. However, it is easier to do this automatically by setting up a schedule for removing unnecessary characteristics, for example, once a month.
Please note: the characteristics are linked by ID, and the information about the links is preserved even after the characteristics themselves are deleted. Information about the names of the characteristics and from which it was imported is saved. When you restart the same import, new characteristics will not be created, since all information about them is saved.
Types and purposes of characteristics
The module can combine characteristics, regardless of their internal settings, their types and goals. However, you can configure the module so that it combines characteristics based on their types and goals.
For example, you have a “Brand” characteristic with a Brand goal. This characteristic contains not only brand names, but also basic information about them: descriptions, logos, links, and so on. All this information forms a page with brand products and is beautifully displayed in the product card.
And there is a second characteristic of “Brand”, for the purpose of searching for products through a filter. It was created after importing from a new supplier. In this characteristic there is only the name of the brands, without any additional information.
If you combine these two characteristics, then the variants of the characteristic will mix: part blows with additional information about the brand, part does not.
You will have to break through the entire list of options, look for those without additional information and supplement them. In this case, it is better to look at the list of brands in advance, prepare information about them, and only after that combine the characteristics and fill in the information on the finished list.
It is also impossible to combine characteristics for searching, and characteristics for creating variations. They have completely different functions.
You can configure the association based on the purpose and type. This will help to organize the characteristics, simplify the management of the marketplace.
When a new characteristic is created, the categories in which it is used are specified for it. This information is also taken into account when combining characteristics. For example, you have several characteristics of a “Brand”: for clothing, for electronics, for auto parts. And the module will not combine them with each other.
This is convenient, since it allows you not to artificially increase the number of options for characteristics. In case you need to change something in the product card or create a new product manually, you will not have to rewind hundreds of brand options.
When synchronizing a website with a warehouse accounting program, special characters sometimes appear in the name of characteristics: dots, colons, semicolons. To bring the characteristics back to normal, you will have to manually edit each characteristic. It takes a lot of time.
Our module allows you to automatically bring the names of the characteristics back to normal. This significantly saves time on processing characteristics.
The module is compatible with the module “Creating characteristics by the seller”: groups characteristics created automatically during import. In turn, the module “Creating characteristics” adds moderation as a tool for monitoring and restoring order in the characteristics. Read more in the description of the module “Creating characteristics by the seller”.
Feature: The functionality of adding grouped characteristics to Groups (the standard functionality of “Groups of characteristics”) is not currently used in the module.
The module is included in Enterprise packages for CS-Cart for online stores.
Compatible with CS-Cart version for online stores of Standard and Ultimate versions. No testing was conducted for the Free version.
For more information, see here:
Visit our CS-Cart module store for Online Stores and CS-Cart for Multi-Vendor marketplaces.
Sincerely, the Maurisweb team.
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