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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
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 0.09%
July 2024 v July 2023 11.38%
YTD 2024 v 2023 15.40%
Arts and Crafts 0.13%
Baby & Child 0.24%
Cars and Motorcycling 0.17%
Electrical & Commercial Equipment 0.32%
Fashion Clothing & Accessories 0.03%
Food & Drink 0.27%
Health and Wellbeing 0.32%
Kitchen & Home Appliances 0.03%
Pet Care 0.10%
Sports and Recreation 0.09%
Toys, Games & Collectables 0.12%

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