In PrintNow, an attribute is a distinguishing property of a product. This post describes the concept of attributes. When you understand attributes, you can use them to deploy your product catalog with filters controls.
What Is an Attribute?
In PrintNow, an attribute is nothing more than a characteristic or property of a product. For example, a photo card attributes might include color, size, style, construction, industry, styles, number of photos, etc. Defining a complete list of attributes for the products in your Storefront makes it easier for your customers to search for, filter, compare, and decide on the products they want to buy.
What Is an Attribute Set?
PrintNow enables you to categorize attributes into attribute sets. This way, you can have different attribute sets for different product types & categories.
Now that you have the basic understanding of attributes, you can start to define your attributes. We highly recommend giving this part of the Storefront setup careful thought. You need to make sure that for each product type, you include all of the attributes that a customer may be interested in. If you find that you need to add attributes at a later time, you will need to assign values for those attributes for each one of your products.
An Attribute represents a property of a product, such as its size, industry, color, and manufacturer and so on. They provide an almost limitless ability to control the products. Attributes are vital for making your Storefront easy to use for customers when you have a lot of products to offer. Attributes are assigned by you to the products of your choice in order to enable your customers to find them more easily.
To create an attribute, do the following:
- From your PrintNow admin, go to Stores/Attribute Sets.
- Click Add Attribute button to view the Attribute Panel.
- In the Name field, type the name of your attribute.
- In the Type field, select 1 of 3 types of attributes. A text type will allow your Admin Tool users assigning attribute value to products to type out a value where a Dropdown list will restrict the Admin Tool users to assign the value from the list of predetermine values. A Dropdown list is recommended in most cases. The Color type is used specifically for color because a swatch is made available to the user for visual reference.
- The Multiple Select toggle will allow the end user when enabled to pick multiple attributes in the list to filter at one time. Say the user was interested in filtering the Product Browser by both “Red” and “Blue” attributes of Color. If this was toggled on the system would allow the user to continue to filter selections across multiple values. If this was toggled off and the user clicked “Blue” under color they wouldn’t be able to add “Red” until they cleared the selections. There are systems we found in our research that worked one way or another so we designed it for both.
- Click Add Value to enter in your value. In our example above Color is the name that will show as our heading and your first value would be “White”. Click insert and continue to add new values until your list is complete. When you are done click the save button to save the attribute and default values. You will see your Attribute item set saved in the Grid. Continue adding attributes that will complete your sets and the next step is to Add a new attribute set that will group a bunch of attributes that will complete a product.
Adding Attribute Sets
- From your PrintNow admin, go to Stores/Attribute Sets.
- Click the Add Attribute Sets button to view the Attribute panel.
- In the Name field, type the name of your attribute Set. You could decide to make a unique set for each one of your categories in the system or you could end up making fewer Sets then you have categories if you have similar options between some of them so enter a name that you can easily reference on category assignment.
- Select the Pull Down under name and click add to assign what attributes make up your set.
- The Default Open toggle effects how your attributes will present in the front end. We designed the filter control so an attribute category can default open or closed. In the example below“INDUSTRY” is set to default open and the others are toggled closed. This helps keep the interface clean with the important filter controls front and center and visible and the other less desirable on the bottom and out of the way.
Assign an Attribute Set to a Category
When all your Attributes have been assigned and saved in an Attribute set you will need to tell each category what set you want to use.
To assign an attribute set to a category, do the following:
- From your PrintNow admin, go to Stores/Categories.
- Click the Actions Icon and Edit.
- Choose what Attribute Set you want to display for each category by selecting it under the Attribute drop down.
Assign Attribute Values to Products
The final step in the Attribute workflow is to actually assign the values each product will use to allow the product browser and filtering options to work correctly.
To assign attribute values to a product, do the following:
- From your PrintNow admin, go to Stores/Products.
- Click the Actions icon and View/Edit to edit a product.
- Click the Attributes tab.
- Click the Add attribute button to assign an attribute and value.
- Choose a Value by dropdown type or input text on text type that will be assigned to product.
- Click the Save button to add your attribute value and continue assigning attributes for all items part of your defined set. The table will reflect all your values that will be searchable and filterable in the product browser on the front end.
*Note: The system won’t use the new filter control unless you have attributes assigned in the system. By default the system will use a regular side bar until such time you are able to assign attributes to your products for users to be able to filter by categories.
You can also Export All Products to an Excel document to assign attributes in bulk. Here you can list multiple Attributes in the Attributes column. Note: Option return on mac to add more ‘attributes’ in the column list. And Shift Enter on a PC. Names MUST match exact to Names Given in your Attribute Sets separated with a “:”.