Product categories

Categories are groups of products that you wish to show on the same page in your store (for example, Women's Fashion, Men's Clothing). They help customers to faster navigate through the store and find the products they need. The same product can belong to multiple categories at the same time. Read more about how to manage the categories in your store.

Creating categories and subcategories

The products from one category are listed on a separate page in the storefront. This page can have a description and a featured image. When adding an image, make sure that it represents well the content of the category.

Use the description to tell your customers what they will find in this category and what are the best things about the products there. Try not to make the description too long.

Find out how to add a welcome text to your store with the help of a category description.

See a video on how to add your first category:

In Ecwid you can create a complex category structure with several levels. Categories of the first level are referred to as root categories. These are the categories your customers see in main navigation. You can also create categories of the second, third, etc. level within your root category. They are referred to as subcategories or child categories.

Clear and concise category structure makes your store’s navigation intuitive. This allows your customers to find easily what they are looking for. That’s why we recommend planning your category structure before adding products.

Customers can navigate your categories and subcategories with the help of breadcrumbs – special links that show the path to the page they are currently viewing.

Here are the steps to create a new category of the first level:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Click Add Root Category:

Add root category

  1. Enter the Name of your category:

Enter category name

You can edit the name of a category anytime later. To do it, just change the text in the Name field and save changes.
  1. Click Choose file to upload an image for your category. You can upload an image that represents your category or an image of a product from the category:

Upload category image

  1. Enter the description. You can describe what kind of products are in that category, or just leave it blank:

Enter category description

  1. Click Save.

To create a new subcategory:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Select the category into which you want to add a subcategory from the category tree on the left.
  3. Click Add Subcategory:

Add subcategory

  1. Enter the Name of your category:

Enter subcategory name

  1. Click Choose file to upload an image for your category. You can upload an image that represents your whole category or an image of a product from the category:

Upload subcategory image

  1. Enter the description. You can describe what products are in that category, or just leave it blank:

Enter subcategory description

  1. Click Save.

Assigning products to categories

In Ecwid a product must belong to at least one category. So, when you add products without assigning them to any of your own categories, they are automatically assigned to the Store Front page category and appear as featured products on your storefront.

To show products in your own categories, you should assign them to these categories. You can add products to multiple categories at once. For example, an item that belongs to the Shoes category can be on sale and belong to the Sale items category as well.

To assign a product to a category:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Select the category to which you want to assign a product from the category tree on the left.
  3. Switch to the Category products tab.
  4. Click Assign Products to Category:

Category products tab

  1. Select the necessary items in the list. You can filter the products by SKU and Name.
  2. Click Add products to assign items in bulk (or click the Plus icon to assign products one by one):

Assign products to category

Besides making such changes on the category level, you can also assign a product to categories (or move a product from one category to another) right in the product's editing page:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Open the product in editing mode.
  3. In the Categories section at the page bottom click Change Categories:

Change categories

  1. Select the category to which you want to assign the product and click Ok:

Select category

Uncheck the Store Front page category if you do not want this product to be featured in the store.
  1. Click Save.

You can see how many products are assigned to this or that category in the category tree in your Ecwid admin in  Catalog → Categories:

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2019-10-18_16-41-29.png

It may take several minutes for the numbers to update in the category tree.

Moving products from one category to another

You may need to rearrange products in your store and move them to another category. You can do this by exporting the products and importing them to a new category or by editing the categories manually.

Exporting the products and re-importing them to a new category

To rearrange many products, it’s best to import them with new parameters. You need to export the products you want to change, edit them in a spreadsheet and then re-upload them to your store using the import feature. Please refer to the articles about exporting and importing your products.

Editing the categories manually

Here are the steps to rearrange the products manually:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Find the desired category in the left panel and click it.
  3. Open the Category products tab:

category_products__1_.png

  1. Click Remove All. They are now uncategorized and will be listed on the storefront page much like featured products.
  2. Open the category where you want to move the products.
  3. Open the Category products tab.
  4. Click Assign Products to Category.
  5. In the popup, select the products to add.
  6. Click Add products:

add_products_to_category__1_.png

  1. These products are now listed under the desired category.

Sorting products in categories

You can choose in what order to show the products in the storefront to your customers. Products can be automatically sorted by date added, by price or by name. Or you can set a custom order of products within a category and arrange the products manually in the desired way.

For detailed instructions, please visit Sorting products.

 

Changing categories order

If you wish to show some categories first, you can easily change the order of categories and subcategories:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Drag and drop categories in the category tree:

Drag and drop categories to sort

Disabling and deleting categories

If you wish to remove a category from your store, you can disable it or delete permanently.

Disabling a category

When you disable a category, it stops showing in your store. At the same time, you can see it in your Ecwid Control Panel and enable it back if needed.

To disable a category:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Select the category you want to disable.
  3. Click Disable:

Disable a category

The enabled products from a disabled category will not show in the storefront navigation, but will still be available by a direct link and in the search results.

Deleting a category

If you wish to remove a category completely, you can delete it:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Select the category that you want to remove in the category tree on the left.
  3. Click Delete category:

Delete category

The products that were assigned to the deleted category will not be deleted. They will be moved to the Store Front page category.

Hiding category images

When you add a category in your store, you can upload your own category image, keep a default gradient image (it appears if no category image is added), or you can hide the category images across your store.

If you hide the category images, only category names will be displayed. Example:

Hiding_category_images__3_.png

To hide category images in your store:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Design.
  2. Scroll to Category name position.
  3. Choose Hide category images.

The changes will be autosaved.

If you use Ecwid on a Wix or Wordpress site, you can use ready CSS codes to hide category images in your store.
You can also hide product images.

Expanding categories

You can unfold root categories and display products from these categories right on the store front page. This category view is perfect for restaurants as it gives a menu-like look to the storefront. It also suits good the stores with small catalogs because customers can see all offered products at once.

Here is an example of how the expanded categories could look like:

Showing categories as expanded

To expand categories:

  1. Go to Design.
  2. Scroll to Storefront navigation & colors.
  3. Select Expand categories.

The changes will be autosaved.

If you have more than 10 categories, 7 categories will shown as expanded in the storefront while others will be shown after clicking the Shop more categories link.

Related articles

Hidden products and categories
Adding horizontal categories menu
Category displayed to first-time visitors

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