Hidden products and categories

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Ecwid doesn't have a built-in tool to create a hidden product or category. I.e. a product or category which doesn't appear in the usual list, but can be opened/purchased using a special direct link.

However, you can create such a product or category using a special trick: all enabled products and categories which belong to the disabled category don't appear in the product browser, but still can be opened using the direct link.

So, how you can create a hidden product: 

  • Create a new root category, call it "Special products", for example.
  • Disable it.
  • Move your product to this disabled category. You can do it using the Catalog → Categories → Category Products tab or "Categories" section in the product details. Make sure that this product is enabled.
  • That's all, now this product is hidden. You cannot open it by browsing categories in your store, but you can still open it using a direct link (how to get such a link).

The same instruction will work for categories too. In this case you need to make your enabled category a child of a disabled one.

  • Note that such hidden products will still appear in the search results provided by the Ecwid search widgets.
  • If you make a hidden category, then the disabled parent category will still appear in the breadcrumbs. If a customer clicks it, he/she will be redirected to the home store page. So if you don't like this behaviour,  you may want to hide the breadcrumbs.
  • You can use this option to open a hidden enabled category on a particular page: Default category for product browser

How you can use this

Discounts and Wholesale products.

You can create special products with discounts or for your wholesale customers. Usual customers will not see these products, but the customers with a special link or access to a password-protected page, will be able to purchase it.

Filters

You can create special categories to filter your products by parameters, for example, by price: "$0-$10", "$10-$100", "$100+" or by brand.

Since each Ecwid product can be assigned to more than one category, it can be located in the main category and in many "special" ones. You may want not to show these special categories with the main ones, so you can hide them there and put links to them on your site manually.

Different categories for different sites

If you have many sites, you may want to show different Ecwid categories on different sites. For example, if you sell laptops, you may want to show the "Apple" category on the site about Apple, Dell laptops on your site about Dell and so on. At the same time you want to manage all sales and products in one place and use one Ecwid account.

How to do this:

  • Create a disabled root category. So, the only root category in your store will be a disabled one.
  • Create enabled categories in the disabled one. One enabled category per each site. Let's call them "site categories".
  • Move your product categories to the corresponding site categories.
  • Hide your breadcrumbs. You need to hide them, because the link to the disabled category in the breadcrumbs will point to the root store page, which will not have any enabled categories in your case.
  • Then use this option to open a particular site category on each site: Default category for product browser

This workaround for creating multiple storefronts with different products has some drawbacks you should keep in mind:

  • The categories menu widgets (horizontal categories and vertical categories) will display no category since the only root category is disabled
  • The search widget in Ecwid always searches all store products - you cannot restrict it to specific category. So, to prevent appearing one category products in another category's "storefront" you will have to disable Ecwid search box on your site

Additional Notes

How to choose a hidden category for a Facebook store

You can use the hidden categories with your Facebook store, but in order to actually select the hidden category you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Temporarily enable the upper one disabled category (the one that does actual hiding)
  2. Go to the store settings for your Facebook business page herehttps://apps.facebook.com/ecwid-shop
  3. In the "Facebook Tab content" choose "Catalog. Category opened by default" and choose the necessary category from the dropdown. Save the changes.
  4. Disable the category you enabled at step 1.

If you show random products in a page tab instead of your catalog, then your "hidden" products may be shown among those random products. Since our Facebook app picks random products out of all available items. We would rather recommend to show a particular category in your Facebook page tab, as described above.

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