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You can find this section under Products > Categories in the IRP Admin left navigation menu.

Before adding any Models to your site, you must first create the Categories and Brands to which they will belong. Categories are used to class and group products in your IRP Admin. For example coats, jumpers, shoes, tents, jewellery, etc. Products can be filtered by Category so that all products of one type are displayed when searching for products on the front end.

Overview video

Note: Currently videos are not maintained in line with each software release and therefore features may work slightly differently from the way they are shown.

Category levels

Categories are structured in a hierarchy of Levels consisting of Parent and Child Categories, between Levels 0 and 4:

Level Category Description Example
0 Shop Level Category Parent Category for all other categories contained on the site. This is a standard level across all IRP instances. The Shop level Category allows clients to use two stores on the one website. Store Name, e.g. IRP Sports.
1 All Categories Used as a holder for all sub categories. This is a standard level across all IRP instances. All Categories.
2 Department The different Departments within the Category Structure. These are commonly used as headings in the Top Navigation and Left Navigation. Running, Cycling, Clearance, Sale, etc.
3 Sub-Department These are the Heading Categories for the Level 4 Categories. Running - Men’s Shoes, Women’s Shoes, Clothing, Running Accessories, etc.

Cycling - MTB Bikes, Road Bikes, Helmets, etc.
4 Category Categories of the Level 3 Parent Heading Categories. Men’s Shoes contains 'Men's Shoes - Neutral', 'Men's Shoes - Support', 'Men's Shoes - Barefoot', etc.

Women’s Shoes contains 'Women's Shoes - Neutral', 'Women's Shoes - Support', 'Women's Shoes - Barefoot', etc.

Helmets contains 'Men's Helmets', 'Women's Helmets', 'Children's Helmets', etc.

Category structure

The examples mentioned above would produce the following structure:

IRP Admin image

As discussed previously, Categories are structured in a hierarchy of Levels, from 0 to 4. Categories, depending upon their Level, can have Parent and/or Children Categories that are associated with them. The image below shows the structure of this hierarchy. Please note that this is the category structure in its simplest form. There could be multiple Level 4's within a Level 3 Category, multiple Level 3's within a Level 2 Category and multiple Level 2's within a Level 1 Category. There will always be only one Level 1 Category and one Level 0 Category.

The Parent/Child relationships between Categories are defined on the CategoriesEdit.aspx page by clicking the Relations Tab. The options here will depend on the Level of the Category for which you are setting the relations, as displayed in the table below:

Level Category Parents Children
0 Shop Level Category None One
1 All Categories One Many
2 Department One Many
3 Sub-Department One/Many if Sub-Department applies to multiple Departments Many
4 Category One/Many if Category applies to multiple Sub-Departments None

A Child Category can have one or more Parent Categories, but usually only has one. A Parent Category can have one or many Child Categories but usually has many.

The lowest level of Categories will be displayed in alphabetic order on the SiteMap.aspx page.

Category selection

The Category Selection dropdown appears beneath the Top Navigation section on the default home page of your IRP. The dropdown contains an alphabetic list of all currently active Categories within your IRP. Selecting a Category from this dropdown will open the relevant Categories.aspx page, listing all Models under the Category sorted by the selection for the Sort By Default Categories Page Application Setting (Default value is Best Selling).

Category banners

You can set Category Banners by Category, Department and Shipping Country to appear on the Categories.aspx page for the corresponding selections.

IRP Admin image

Merge Categories

You can merge one or more Categories into a single Category using the Models Merge functionality. Merging Categories changes the Categories for all Models contained within the Categories to be merged, to the destination Category. This is discussed in further detail in the How To Merge Categories article in this section.

View orphans

If you click the View Orphans button at the top of the Categories.aspx page you can view a list of Categories that do not have any parent Categories.

Default Departments and Categories

You can define a Department (and a Category) as the default one as follows:

  1. Go to Products > Categories in the IRP Admin left navigation menu. This takes you to the Categories.aspx page.
  2. Click the Other Actions button at the top of the screen.
  3. Select a Default Department and a Default Category using the drop-down lists.
  4. Click the Update Default Department And Category button.

Now when a customer first lands on your website they will see the Department that you have set as default. Also the Product Options Bar (just below the top navigation tabs) will show the Category that you have set as the default. In addition, as the customer clicks the Departments in your top or left navigation, the title bar on their web browser will change to show the Department-specific SEO that you have configured on the CategoriesEdit.aspx page. Likewise, search engine results will display your Department-specific SEO Descriptions below the URLs of your pages.

Note that you configure the default SEO (Title, Description and Keywords) for your home page by using Small Translations, for example IDs 617 and 618. However if you have defined one particular Department as your default Department (as described above), the SEO that you have configured for your Department pages (on the SEO tab of the CategoriesEdit.aspx page) will replace the SEO in your Small Translations.

Exporting Category data

You can export your Category data at any time by clicking the MS Excel icon below the search bar on the Categories.aspx page and selecting one of the following file formats: CSV (comma-delimited text file), TSV (tab-delimited text file), Pipe (pipe-delimited text file), Microsoft Excel file or XML.

Reassigning Model Categories

When updating your Categories on the IRP, you must remember that the Categories are all interlinked with desktop and mobile navigation, banners, headers/footers in emails and — most importantly — with the PPC campaigns aimed at driving traffic to your website.

Categories are very complex in nature and are comprised of various hierarchies so it’s vitally important that you approach any restructuring or reorganisation with caution and care.

NOTE: Updating Categories can have a major effect on the navigation, URLs and PPC on your website. If you are thinking about updating the Category Structure on your website, please discuss this with your IRP Account Manager beforehand and read the How to Reassign Your Model Categories guide later in this section.

How To Guides (3)

How To Add or Edit a Category

To add or edit a Category, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Products > Categories in the IRP Admin left navigation menu.
  2. To add a new Category, click the Add New Category button at the top of the page.
    To edit an existing Category, click the Edit button at the right side of the Category that you want to edit. Alternatively, click the Add New Category button at the top of the CategoriesEdit.aspx page.
  3. You can enter or edit the following details for a Category. Select the Category Information and SEO tabs on this page to open the corresponding sections. Data that you enter on previous tabs will be saved during the session but you must click the Insert Category or Update Category button to save the details indefinitely.

    Category Information Tab

    Basic Category Details
    Category ID The unique IRP identifier for this Category. This is generated automatically when you add a Category.
    Active Active Categories will be visible to customers on the front end of the website. Inactive Categories will not be visible to customers. Note that Category must be included in the Category structure to be visible on the front end of the website.
    Name The name of the Category that will appear on the front end of the website. Click the Translate link and you can translate the name into any active language in your system. You can also select a gender for the name, if appropriate (masculine, feminine or no gender).
    Level The level at which this Category appears. The lowest-level Categories will be product-level Categories. Please see the main Categories article for further information on Category levels.
    Models (This value will be present only when editing a Category and will be generated automatically). The number of active models in this product-level category.
    Listing Type (This setting will be present only when you select ‘Sub-Department (3)’ for the previous ‘Level’ setting). This overrides the application setting for Level 3 Categories (Set Sub Department Listing Type), allowing you to show either the full list of products underneath a category, or an image-based list of sub categories. You can opt to keep the application setting value by selecting ‘Use Application Setting’. Here is an example (with placeholders for images) of a category displaying the sub categories:
    IRP Admin image
    Category Description Top
    Description Top Top Category Descriptions appear at the top of the Categories.aspx page. Note that you can show the top description either independently from, or at the same time as, the description at the bottom of the page.
    Category Description
    Description Category descriptions appear at the bottom of the Categories.aspx page, below the Models of the Category and beside the Category image (if added). Note that you can show the description either independently from, or at the same time as, the description at the top of the page.
    Auto Generate Short Description Check to automatically generate the short description for this Category based on its long description. Note that there is an Application Setting (in the 'Models Page' grouping) called 'Short Description Max Length' - if the value of this Setting is set to anything greater than 250, it will be automatically set to 250 as that is the maximum allowed length for a Category Short Description.
    Additional Information
    You can use this section to provide, for example, ingredient details, additional product information, or for any reason you desire. This will be shown in the same area as the product description and any other sections you have configured such as Reviews, Q&A, Price Match Requests, etc. See the Models and Kits topics for more information.
    Additional Information 1 Tab Title The title that you enter here will be used as the title of the Additional Information 1 tab/section (depending on the display style Application Settings you have configured) for any Models under this Category. This title overrides the Small Translation title (ID 2664) and is overridden by any Model-specific Additional Information 1 titles. You can 'Translate' the title into any active language in your system.
    Additional Information 2 Tab Title The title that you enter here will be used as the title of the Additional Information 2 tab/section (depending on the display style Application Settings you have configured) for any Models under this Category. This title overrides the Small Translation title (ID 2665) and is overridden by any Model-specific Additional Information 2 titles. You can 'Translate' the title into any active language in your system.
    Upload New Image Browse to locate and upload a new image for his category. This logo will be resized automatically and inserted in the relevant Category Image sub-folders in the File Management section.
    Other Information
    Postage Weight (g) The overriding Postage Weight of Products within this product-level Category. If you set a value here, it will override any Postage Weight values set at a Stock level.
    Enable Price Match for Category Customers can request Price Matches for Models in this Category. The Price Match functionality will not be available for Models in this Category if you disable this option.
    Show Category in Site Map Determines whether Category appears in the Site Map. Only product-level Categories will be visible on the Site Map.
    Display Image Zoom Hover Box Displays a zoom box when images of Models in this Category are hovered over. This zoom box will appear on the front end Models page, for example:
    IRP image
    Note: See also How to Manage Model Images in Carousels and Pop-Ups.
    Is Gift Wrappable Check this box if the item should be available for gift wrapping. This can also be configured at the model and stock level. For more details, see How to Manage Gift Wrapping.
    Amazon Pay Restricted Determines whether Models within this Category are available for purchase via Amazon Payments. Restrictions apply to the items that can be paid using Amazon Payments (e.g. weapons).
    – Select 'Yes' if Models in this Category cannot be purchased via Amazon Payments.
    – Select 'No' if Models in this Category can be purchased via Amazon Payments and to override any Brand rules.
    – Leave as 'Inherit' if this item should adhere to any Brand Rules there may be for Models within the Category.
    Exclude From Finance This setting defines whether all products in this category should be excluded from Finance. If you select 'Yes' then customers who have items from this category in their basket will not be able to select finance options at checkout. (Note that you can also set this value at the brand level. You can use override settings on models (ModelsEdit.aspx) and stock (StockEdit.aspx) which, by default, are set to inherit the brand/category value but can be explicitly set to be excluded from finance.)
    Default Sort By If provided, this sort option will be used on the Categories.aspx page when this category is selected, overriding the Application Setting called 'Sort By Default Categories Page' (in the 'Product Listing' grouping). It will also be used on the BrandCategories page, taking precedence over both the Application Setting called 'Sort By Default Brand Category Page' (also in the 'Product Listing' grouping) and the 'Default Sort By' of the Brand. Select from the following options in the drop-down list:
    • Inherit: The default sort order will inherit the value of the 'Sort By Default Categories Page' Application Setting.
    • Sales Rank: The default sort order will be best selling products.
    • Price: The default sort order will be price (low to high).
    • Price DESC: The default sort order will be price (high to low).
    • Discount: The default sort order will be discount (low to high).
    • Discount DESC: The default sort order will be discount (high to low).
    • Brand: The default sort order will be product (A - Z).
    • Brand DESC: The default sort order will be product (Z - A).
    • Category: The default sort order will be category (A - Z).
    • Category DESC: The default sort order will be category (Z - A).
    • Rating DESC: The default sort order will be customer reviews.
    • Newest DESC: The default sort order will be newest.
    • Default: The default sort order will be governed by the value of the model-specific setting called Default Sort Order (in the 'Other Model Information' section of the ModelsEdit.aspx page). That setting allows you to precisely control the positioning of individual models on listings pages. (If any model has a blank 'Default Sort Order' value, the sorting will fall back on the sales rank but any models that do have a 'Default Sort Order' value will display above those that don't.) See How To Add or Edit a Model for more details).
    Desktop Model Images Display Style If provided, this value will be used as the model images desktop display style for models in this category. Select 'inherit' to use the default Application Setting value. Note that this value can be overridden at the model level.
    Product Listing Colour Swatch Attribute This determines which attribute represents colours (as used by the colour swatch functionality) for all products in this category. This value inherits from the 'Product Listing Colour Swatch Attribute ID' Application Setting value (in the 'Product Listing' grouping) when a specific attribute is not selected. Note that this value can also be overridden at the model level, thus allowing different models/categories to use different attributes for their swatches. The drop-down list of available attributes is populated from all available 'Is Colour' attributes (see Attributes).
    Advanced Information
    Average Profit Margin (%) The Average Profit Margin percentage for Products in this Category.
    Commission Group This value sets the Commission Group that this category belongs to (for example, this could be used for Affiliate Window (SWIN) tracking). The string values that you enter here should correspond to the string values set within Affiliate Window to flag different commission rates for specific Categories. NOTE that you can override the 'DEFAULT' Commission Group for Affiliate Window when a voucher has been used on the order by setting the text in the Application Setting called 'Affiliate Marketing Voucher Commission Group'. If there is already an existing category Commission Group and it falls into the scenario where it will use this Application Setting, it will combine both by using this text followed by a '-', followed by the category-specific Commission Group ('ApplicationSettingText-CategoryCommissionGroupText').
    WebGains Affiliate Marketing Event ID This is the WebGains Affiliate Marketing Event ID associated with this Category. If this is left blank, the following values will be used instead:
    – The value of the 'Web Gains Affiliate Marketing Override Event ID' Shipping Country Setting. If this is empty, then:
    – The value of the 'Webgains Affiliate Marketing Default Event ID' Application Setting will be used.
    WebGains Affiliate Marketing “connects you with the right customers fast ... [they] match brands with the best editorial and publishing partners to put clients ahead of the pack and boost sales.” You enable this feature using the 'Enable Webgains Affiliate Marketing' Application Setting which then renders tracking scripts on all landing pages. The WebGains conversion script is also placed on all relevant order confirmation pages. For more information, search for 'WebGains' within the Application Settings help topic and also see the Shipping Countries help topic.
    Category External A secondary/external name for the Category. For example, the Category Mountain Bikes may be referred to as MTB by retailers or suppliers. This value is used in integrations where secondary names are used.
    Harmonisation System Code The HS Code or Commodity Code that applies to this category of products. Commodity codes classify goods for import and export. These can be input at the category, model or stock level in the IRP. If populated, they can be to sent in integrations to Shipping Carriers for inclusion in shipping labels or electronic customs declarations.
    Customs Description Of Goods For customs purposes, enter the appropriate Description Of Goods for this category. Note that this setting is also available at the Model level. This data will be used to auto-populate the 'Description of Goods' text box on the OrdersAutoDispatch.aspx page by compiling the distinct values into a comma-separated value so that Admin users do not need to manually enter the Description of Goods at dispatch time. See Auto Dispatch Orders for more information.
    Inactive Redirect Type If the Category is inactive, you can put the following redirects in place:
    • No Redirect — No redirect occurs.
    • Redirect To ID — A search is performed based on the Inactive Redirect Parameter. You should enter a different Category ID for the Inactive Redirect Parameter.
    • Redirect To Search — A search is performed based on the Inactive Redirect Parameter.
    Inactive Redirect Parameter The value used for redirects when Redirect To ID or Redirect To Search is selected for Inactive Redirect Type.

    SEO Tab

    SEO Page Data
    The values entered in this section will be used to populate the meta tags: Title, Description and Keywords (specialized HTML tags that contain data about the contents of a website or webpage) for the corresponding Category. The order in which translated Category text is used is: Translation SEO > Translation Name > English SEO > English Name.
    SEO consultants can tailor the information contained here to increase search engine rankings, etc.
    All values are limited to 250 characters and you can translate them into available languages.
    Title This will appear in the title bar or current tab of your web browser when on the Category page.
    Description This brief description will appear under the URL when returned by a search engine. It should contain information on the Store and Category.
    Keywords This should contain keywords that are relevant to the Store and Category, each separated by a comma. These will be indexed as meta data which will help potential customers to find your site using search engines.
    Trade SEO Page Data
    (Applicable only if you have the Trade site enabled.) These settings fulfil the same function as those for the standard desktop site.

  4. When you have entered or edited all the details, click the Insert Category or Update Category button.
  5. You can now enter information on the remaining tabs:
    Shipping Restrictions Tab
    Add Shipping Restrictions
    Brand Select a Brand for this Shipping Country Product Restriction, select a Country (or Countries, by holding down the Shift key) and then click the 'Add Restrictions' button. All restrictions will be shown in the 'Current Shipping Restrictions' section in the lower part of the screen.
    Current Shipping Restrictions
    This section will be available only if there exist current Shipping Restrictions.
    Tax Operations
    Remove Country Specific Tax Rates Remove any Country-specific VAT Rates for this Category. The Default VAT Rate will be applied to Products within this Category.
    Please note, you must click the Remove button to remove Country specific VAT Rates.
    Apply Tax Rate to ALL Countries (%) Set the VAT Rate across ALL Countries for this Category.
    Please note, after entering a value, you must click the Apply button to apply the VAT Rate to all Countries.
    Tax Rate (%) The VAT Rate for your Default Shipping Country.
    Select Attributes This allows you to define which Attributes can be applied to Stock Items within this Category. The Attributes available to you are the ones previously configured in the Attributes section of IRP Admin. To make a selection, click the name of the Attribute and then click the Link Attributes button. The Linked Attributes will then be displayed in the 'Attributes Linked to this Category' grid of the CategoriesEdit.aspx page.
    Note that – currently – you cannot set the Attribute 'Display Order' on individual categories. You can set the Display Order only globally across all categories/products. To do this, use the Attributes section in IRP Admin.
    Default Option Selector (Visible only if you have Linked Attributes.) Set what the default Option Selector should be for this category. You can choose the default 'Option Text' or 'Attribute Values'. If you select 'Attribute Values' you can then use the Add button to select which Attributes will apply when inserting new models from this category on the ModelsEdit.aspx page.
    Note: See the Models help topic for more information about setting the Option Selector. Also see the Attributes help topic for information about setting the optional 'Selector Text' for an Attribute.
    Non-Parent Sub-Departments Highlight the Non-Parent Categories you wish to add as a Parent and click the Add >>> button. This will add these Categories to the Parent Categories list for this Category, creating a Parent Relationship. This can be reverted by highlighting the Parent Categories you wish to remove, and clicking the Remove <<< button.
    Parent Sub-Departments Please note, this section will only be available if this Category is capable of having a Parent/Child relationship with another Category as defined in the main Categories article.
    Highlight the Non-Child Categories you wish to add as a Child and click the Add >>> button. This will add these Categories to the Child Categories list for this Category, creating a Parent Relationship. You can revert this by highlighting the Parent Categories you wish to remove, and clicking the Remove <<< button.
    Child Display Ordering If this Category is capable of having a Parent/Child relationship with another Category, you can use this section to alter the order in which the child categories are displayed. Note that if you want to manually order the display you need to enable the Application Setting ‘Allow Bottom Level Category Ordering’ — if you don’t enable this setting, Bottom Level Categories will be ordered alphabetically by default. If you make changes here, make sure you return to the Department Information tab and click the Update button.
    Marketplace Select the appropriate marketplace from the drop-down list.
    Brand Select the Brand that this marketplace Inclusion / Exclusion Rule applies to. Select 'All Brands' for a Category-only Rule.
    Inclusion Status Select whether this Brand-Category Inclusion / Exclusion Rule should Exclude or Include Products. By default all active Brand products are included in the marketplace integration. The default inclusion for this Brand's products is overridden by the rules displayed below.
    – Models by default inherit their inclusion/exclusion from brand-category rules.
    – Each stock item inherits its inclusion/exclusion from its parent model.
    This inheritance can be overridden at both a model and stock level, i.e. a model can be specifically included/excluded ignoring brand-category rules.
    Brand-Category Inclusion / Exclusion Rules
    This section will be available only if there are existing Brand-Category Inclusion / Exclusion Rules
    Percentage Stock Allocation
    Stock Allocation (%) This value is the percentage of stock belonging to this category that will be available for sale for each marketplace included in your integration. This applies to all products in this category where a stock-specific percentage has not been provided. If no value is provided then all stock will be included.
    (This tab will be visible for Level 4 categories and only if you have configured any Category Mappings for Feeds. You can edit the Mappings using this tab. If you do, be sure to click the Update Category Mappings button.
  6. After you have entered or edited all the details on the remaining tabs, click the Update Category button.
How To Merge Categories
How To Reassign Your Model Categories

FAQs (9)

When adding a new category what is meant by the commission group?
This refers to Affiliate Window tracking.
When changing the child display ordering, is there a specific way in which the children should be numbered?
There is no specific way in which the children should be numbered, just as long as each child has a greater number.
What is meant by orphans?
Orphans refer to sub categories that do not have a parent or supercategory.
How does the price match for category work?
The price match is a pop up which allows a customer to request a price-beater option on a product that a competitor might be selling at a cheaper price.
What do the SEO tags refer to?
The SEO tags are used for the site's meta data. This allows search engines to crawl the information. The easier this information is to find, the easier it will be to improve SEO, which should hopefully in turn increase sales.
My category does not appear to be showing on the site.
Ensure that you have the category active and that you have active models within the category. This could also be because you have incorrectly configured your departments and categories. Normally you would use: Level 2 (Department) > Level 3 (Sub-Department) > Level 4 (Category) – if, for example, the Level 3 Sub-Department has not been configured as a child of the Level 2 Department, then the Level 4 Category will not be shown on the website. (Also, if you have entered a Category ID for the Application Setting 'Default Super Category ID' (under General Site Settings) you might need to delete it as this value becomes the Default Department ID that is set when a customer first visits the website.) If the category still does not appear on the site, you may need to uncache the site.
What are the VAT operations?
VAT operations allow you to set discounted rates and VAT rates for all countries as an alternative to setting individual country pricing.
How do I split an existing category into a category containing multiple sub-categories?
You can do this using the Data Imports / Exports section in IRP Admin – see the Bulk Updates help topic for details.
Why, when I click on a link for a Category or a Brand, am I just directed to the home page?
This is likely to be because you have shipping restrictions in place and the Application Setting ‘Hide Products Restricted From Shipping’ is enabled. There is functionality (‘Redirect Type’, ‘Redirect Parameter’) on the Categories, Brands, and Brand-Categories pages that will redirect to the home page when ‘Hide Products Restricted From Shipping’ is enabled and when a shipping restriction exists for the given Category, etc.

Application Settings (1)

Live Market Data
Today v Yesterday +0.05%
October 2022 v October 2021 +16.57%
YTD 2022 v 2021 -11.85%
Arts and Crafts +0.30%
Baby & Child +0.12%
Cars and Motorcycling +0.10%
Electrical & Commercial Equipment -0.52%
Fashion Clothing & Accessories +0.14%
Food & Drink -0.18%
Health and Wellbeing -0.09%
Home Accessories and Giftware -0.32%
Kitchen & Home Appliances -0.13%
Pet Care +0.36%
Sports and Recreation -0.01%
Toys, Games & Collectables +0.20%

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