Categories/Products > Multiple Categories Link Manager

Zen Cart Products Multiple Categories Link Manager Admin Page

Let’s say that your site sells TVs. Nothing but TVs. Seems simple till you think of the amount of listings. There’s the obvious of which manufacturer, size, resolution, and web-ready are just a few. But, there are a lot more considerations from the customer’s view point. Does the TV have HDMI inputs? How many does it have? Is it compatible as a computer monitor? Will I need a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter? What are the audio out capabilities? RCA? Optical? Plain 3.5 mini-jack?

In simply thinking that you customer is looking for a particular brand name, you may be losing a sale if you make them go through too many choices. Sure, they may have wanted something from that manufacturer. But, if that manufacturer doesn’t make the right screen size, you may lose a sale from a frustrated customer who went through every TV only to find that the manufacturer did not make an 80 inch screen. Using standard screen sizes as Categories can save the customer some time as well. Did you know that, although most screen sizes are divisible by 5, there is a 32-, 43- and 83-inch size as well?

You can imagine if we had to search through hundreds of TVs to find the one that met our needs. This is where the Multiple Categories Link Manager comes in. If the customer’s primary objective is to find a set with Optical Audio Out, it would be great if I had a Category of TVs with Optical Audio Out. Now, the customer can go to all the TVs that have Optical Audio Out rather than having to search all the TVS and read the description.

The more ways you have to quickly get a customer to their desired product, the easier the sale.

How Would I Set This Up?

First of all, the obvious creation of a category of the manufacturer. All the TVs manufactured by that company would be under the company name. If a customer will only buy from one manufacturer, they may just stop there.

If they are mainly concerned with finding a TV that’s 70 inch, the Screen Size category with a sub-category of 70 Inch would get them closer to their desired item. Likewise, a Resolution category with a sub-category of 1080p would get the customer to that resolution quickly.

Other categories and sub-categories can be utilized as well. Anything that helps the customer get to the desired product is good practice.

How to Make It Work

Let’s take an item from a fictitious TV manufactured by Sonsung as an example. We would create a category of Sonsung, Screen Size, and Resolution. Screen Size would have a sub-category of 70 inch. Resolution would have a sub-category of 1080p.

The product itself is entered in only one place. Since Sonsung is nearest to the top of the category tree, you would enter the product Sonsung MX701080 as the first product in the category. Be sure to include all information about the item, especially the information that identifies the other features for which you made categories. If this model has Optical Audio Out, you will want to state that in the description so it can be added to the Audio Out > Optical category as well.

Locate the product in the Categories and Products menu under Sonsung. Click on the blue C in the Action block of the Product Listing. If the item only needed to be copied to one or two other categories, it can be done in the Copy To area BUT, we are going to be in several categories. Scroll down until the Multiple Categories Link Manager appears and click on that.

Many options will appear but, the Linked Categories listing works best for this scenario.

If the extra categories were entered correctly, you should see a Screen Size > 70 Inch option and a Resolution > 1080p option in the listing. Ticking both of those will now have your Sonsung MX701080 show up in three places on your site. If you also had categories for Width, Height, Depth, etc. that fit this model; you can add them at this time as well.

The beauty of this is that any change made to the Sonsung MX701080 in the main product category will automatically change all the data for every category to which it’s linked. Imagine the time savings if you have Screen Size, Resolution, Height, Width, Depth, Optical Audio Out, RCA Out, Computer Monitor Capable, etc, etc, etc. The beauty of changing just one is a great feature of Zen Cart.

Still have questions? No problem! Just head over to the Zen Cart support forum and ask there in the appropriate subforum. In your post, please include your Zen Cart and PHP versions, and a link to your site.

Is there an error or omission on this page? Please post to General Questions on the support forum. Or, if you'd like to open a pull request, just review the guidelines and get started. You can even PR right here.

Last modified July 13, 2020 by John (2e88e4f).