Discussion on creating the items to web categories import spreadsheet

One of the advantages of using Birddog Software eCommerce is displaying your inventory on your web site in a way that makes it convenient for your customers to easily find the items they want.  Sometimes that means letting them get to the item in different ways. Birddog web categories make this possible, and the import process makes it easy to get all of your items arranged on the site quickly and easily.

For this discussion, we are going to use a the following items: THING, TRINKET, WIDGET, and DOHICKY.  We will assign them to categories, and create an items to web categories import spreadsheet.

Since the spreadsheet will ultimately control the website structure, it is a good idea to think about how you set up your categories.  For the purpose of the example, we are setting up a retail consumer website and we want our customers to be able to search by Type, Market, Manufacturer, and price range for gifts.  So, the products have the following attributes:

Type Market Manufacturer Price Range
THING Home Improvement | Indoor | Bathroom Men Mantown Inc. 0-50
TRINKET Jewelry Women Womantown 50-100
WIDGET Home Improvement | Outdoor Men Mantown Inc. 50-100
DOHICKY Outdoor Recreation Adult Stuff Inc. 0-50

We would use this information to set up our spreadsheet.  It is important to remember that we build the spreadsheet left to right and top to bottom. If there are any blank cells to the left of a cell with a value we want to import, the import process will break.  So let's build the spreadsheet.

THING PRODUCTS BY TYPE HOME IMPROVEMENT INDOOR BATHROOM
WIDGET PRODUCTS BY TYPE HOME IMPROVEMENT OUTDOOR
TRINKET PRODUCTS BY TYPE JEWELRY
DOHICKY PRODUCTS BY TYPE OUTDOOR RECREATION
THING PRODUCTS BY MARKET MEN
THING PRODUCTS BY MANUFACTURER MANTOWN
WIDGET PRODUCTS BY MANUFACTURER MANTOWN
THING  PRODUCTS BY PRICE RANGE 0-50
WIDGET PRODUCTS BY PRICE RANGE 50-100
DOHICKY PRODUCTS MARKET ADULT

If we built an outline for this site map it, it might look like this:

  1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Products
    1. By Type
      1. Home Improvement
        1. Indoor
          1. Kitchen
          2. Bathroom
          3. Storage
        2. Outdoor
      2. Jewelry
      3. Outdoor Recreation
    2. By Market
      1. Men
      2. Women
      3. Children
      4. Adults
    3. By Manufacturer
    4. By Price Range
  4. Contact Us

A key point to remember is you need to have a row in the spreadsheet for every path you want to create to the item.