Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    21
    Plugin Contributions
    0

    Default Seeking general advice on store set up...

    Good evening, Zenners. I need some general advice on how my site should be set up. My questions spread across many potential forums, so I figured this would be the best place for general Zen Cart theory advice instead of posting multiple separate specific threads all over the place.

    My problem is this: I'm setting up a store for a client's online shoe/accessory business. What they want is two "mini-sites" within Zen Cart, a women's home storefront and a men's home storefront. For the purposes of this post, I'll focus on the women's home storefront because the men's home will be a carbon copy once I finalize it.

    From the women's home, the client wants the customer to be presented with a general "Women's" graphic in the center wrapper, and a list of designers/accessories on the left column.

    For example, the category layout would be:
    Women's Home
    |_Designer1 Shoes
    |_Designer1 Accessories
    |_Designer2 Shoes
    |_Designer2 Accessories
    ...and so on.

    This is where I get stuck and need advice. The client wants the customer to click on "Designer1 Shoes" and then be presented with different sizes to choose from.

    For example:
    Designer1 Shoes
    |_Size 5
    |_Size 7
    |_Size 9

    ...or if they want Accessories...

    Designer1 Accessories
    |_Wallets
    |_Handbags

    That's going to be a hell of a lot of categories if I have to put sizes in subcategories for each designer (there are dozens of designers). And the way my client's business is set up, he's not always going to have Size 5 of Designer1's Shoes in stock. That leaves the potential of having many, many subcategories with 0 product in them at any given time. That wouldn't be necessarily a huge deal if I could somehow prevent categories with 0 product from being shown.

    What is the best way to set this up in Zen Cart?

    My questions are this:

    1) Is there a way to have Designer1 Shoes bring up all available sizes (in a way the customer can narrow it down, ie. click Size 5 to bring up all Size 5 shoes) for that designer without having hundreds of subcategories?

    I'm thinking there may be a way to do this with Options/Attributes, but it seems I would need an SQL query to bring up results to filter that designer and size combination. Furthermore, it would also seem I would have to hardcode (using blank sidebox or ezpage) a clickable list of links for each Designer/Size combination, which isn't much better than having the hundreds of categories. What if there are no Size 5's for Designer 1? I'd not want that as an option to choose which is not feasible if it's all hardcoded.

    2) Without messing around too much with Product Types, is there a streamlined way to use the existing Categories box (or clone of it?) to separate the women's home storefront and men's home storefront? For example, I don't want to see the Men's Home Storefront or any of it's subcategories if I'm in Women's.

    The existing Categories box will show both by default. Product Type seems very difficult to set up and too much trouble. A blank sidebox or ezpage would require hardcoding that, while doable, seems like an unnecessary amount of work to keep up on.

    .........

    Considering the type of business (one which will not necessarily have a certain Designer/Size in stock at any given time), is there a good way to set Zen Cart up to streamline this as much as possible? To basically only list categories with product available in them, or do it using options/attributes? Splitting the navigation up between men's and women's is the other big thing.

    Any suggestions or comments regarding how something like this should be set up are most welcome. I'd prefer not to post a link to the store, but I wouldn't be opposed to PMing it to you if seeing it first would help you come up with an idea on how to best design this.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    26,493
    Plugin Contributions
    9

    Default Re: Seeking general advice on store set up...

    This is more complicated to explain than to do...

    You can create the products in logical categories like mens shoes > so you have mens shoes > designer1 shoe

    Then create another category for Designer1 or a top level cat for designers with subs for each designer and show/include items from another category in this area

    For the size issue - the way I think you explained it is somewhat backward - and should be designer1 shoe > and then as attributes you have one that is "size" in either radio buttons or preferably a drop box with the sizes. maybe another with the color and or style etc.

    The native action will only warn at the time of add to cart so that on the product page it is not currently native to indicate what is in stock.

    For stock-by-attributes - see the module in the downloads section in the other category for this by kuroi
    Zen-Venom Get Bitten
    Get Your Business Found

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    21
    Plugin Contributions
    0

    Default Re: Seeking general advice on store set up...

    Quote Originally Posted by kobra View Post
    For the size issue - the way I think you explained it is somewhat backward - and should be designer1 shoe > and then as attributes you have one that is "size" in either radio buttons or preferably a drop box with the sizes. maybe another with the color and or style etc.

    The native action will only warn at the time of add to cart so that on the product page it is not currently native to indicate what is in stock.
    kobra - thanks so much for the response. It is highly appreciated. I will try to give a longer reply later, but I must rest soon.

    I have a question about "and should be designer1 shoe > and then as attributes you have one that is "size" in either radio buttons or preferably a drop box with the sizes". If it's done like this, where would I be able to select, for example, "Size 9's" from Designer1. It would be perfect if the customer could go to the Designer1 category and be able to refine by size - but how? I've played with Stock by Attribute, but I didn't see where it could do anything like this without being in the actual product info page.

    I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again for the reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    26,493
    Plugin Contributions
    9

    Default Re: Seeking general advice on store set up...

    Actually when I read this I thought that "Designer1 shoe" would be a product.

    I do not see the need or an advantage in being able to refine a large group by size, as this only becomes an issue when a shopper finds the exact "product" that they might have an interest in.

    Or I liken this to a physical store where one would not ask to see all the size "9"'s that were in stock - they look for the style/exact product first - then ask if this is available in their size.
    Zen-Venom Get Bitten
    Get Your Business Found

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    21
    Plugin Contributions
    0

    Default Re: Seeking general advice on store set up...

    kobra - thanks again so much for your response.

    This is my biggest frustration with Zen Cart (as awesome as I think it is!).

    Ideally and originally, I wanted four main categories: Women's Shoes, Women's Accessories, Men's Shoes, Men's Accessories.

    I wanted to throw all women's shoes, regardless of size or brand into the main Women's Shoes category. Then I wanted boxes on the side (like the Manufacturer's sidebox) to be able to narrow down the manufacturer and size. I sort of got the software to do this using the Music product type sideboxes (genre and record company), but I needed it to remember that I selected "Designer1" when I also select "Size 9" but it won't. It'll bring up Size 9 for all designers instead of remembering that I already had Designer1 selected, and only want to see Size 9's from Designer1.

    I understand what you are saying when you said someone doesn't typically go into a store and ask to see all Size 9's. I think internet shopping is a little different. My client really wants to base their store loosely on http://www.bluefly.com/pages/browse/...Efolder_id=959

    You see the "refine by size" and "refine by artist" on the left hand column? You can select just one, or both, size and artist and the site remembers it. I realize that store software probably cost many tens of thousands of dollars to create This is the fundamental thing my client wanted, and I think i'm pretty aware at this point Zen Cart doesn't do that. That's why I opened this thread with some ideas about possibly using subcategories creatively to achieve a similar effect. Plus I have the additional task of creating the same thing for a Men's storefront (shoes and accessories) and keeping the left column menus separate from the Women's storefront.

    -----------------------

    One thing I noticed about using the Manufacturer's sidebox, if I have subcategories under the designer for size (ie, Designer1 Shoes->Size 9), and I choose Designer1 from that sidebox, a "Filter Results By" dropdown appears and that would _almost_ be what I want because it lists all the categories Designer1 is in. That effectively lets me narrow down by manufacturer and size. However, if I have a Size 9 subcategory under both Men's Shoes and Women's Shoes, two "Size 9" options pop up. Might there be a way to limit, if i'm in the "Women's" storefront to only show subcategories under the main Women's category in the dropdown?


    -----------------------

    I apologize if the above is an explosion of text

    The short version is: I just want a way to narrow down manufacturer/size and separate the women's and men's categories doing so.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    26,493
    Plugin Contributions
    9

    Default Re: Seeking general advice on store set up...

    However, if I have a Size 9 subcategory under both Men's Shoes and Women's Shoes, two "Size 9" options pop up. Might there be a way to limit, if i'm in the "Women's" storefront to only show subcategories under the main Women's category in the dropdown?
    You might try naming these w9 and m9 ect.

    Mail me in my profile, while I am not adept enough with the DB I might know someone who is that could possibly assist you.
    Zen-Venom Get Bitten
    Get Your Business Found

 

 

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •