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From Beginner To Advanced in OpenCart: Products and Categories

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This post is part of a series called From Beginner To Advanced in OpenCart.
From Beginner To Advanced in OpenCart: Configuration
From Beginner To Advanced in OpenCart: The Architecture

Welcome to the next article in our OpenCart series. In our previous articles, we've discussed the administration panel and its controls; however, we haven't actually discussed entering products, categories, and so on.

In this article, we'll begin doing exactly that.

Adding Products is essential and a basic feature in the OpenCart System; however, it's also sensitive primarily because our products are the core part of the systems. To that end, products should have rich keywords, descriptions, and details. If you understand search engine optimization, then you likely already understand these things. 

For now, we are not going to learn SEO as our main focus is to understand the OpenCart system. If you have interest learning more about keywords, and more, you can find a large number of articles regarding Search Engine Optimization over the internet. 

1. Adding Categories

Suppose, you're running an electronics store. There are a large number of electronic gadget collections so it's a good practice to sort all the gadgets relevant to its category. When a customer comes, s/he can find the desired gadget by find it out from the category. 

In OpenCart, a user can define as many categories as he wants. There are some default categories like cameras, desktops, laptops, MP3 players, and so on.

2. Filters

This is an optional, but it's worth noting that this feature is used to group designated products. This feature gives the store owner more control over what products are viewed by their customers in the front office, compared to the traditional OpenCart search options.

3. Attributes

Every product has a set of attributes, OpenCart gives you choice to add attributes of the product. Its better to show attributes of a product for a customer display. 

For example, a computer system has some attributes like processor, RAM, hard disk drive, screen size, graphics card, and so on.

4. Manufacturers

Product Manufacturers are listed and added here. Sometimes, it's necessary to have detail of Manufacturer for your Product Sale. 

5. Products

Adding a product is a bit of complicated work, because it requires some manipulation of the above features, like filter, attributes, options, and manufacturers. There are a couple of tabs in the form what need to understand .

5.1 General

This form includes the Product Title, Description & Tags.

Note: User must add the same inputs for other language in multilingual sites.

5.2 Data

This form includes the basic information, like model number, ISBN codes, stock quantity, stock status, default product image, and general inputs.

5.3 Links

This tab contains the links to the other information. As discussed above, we've created categories, manufacturers, filters, etc. The links are associated with the product with the help of this tab form.

5.4 Attributes

This form contains the attributes list. We've discussed about attributes of the products. A store owner can add multiple attributes to a product. In the following screenshot there are some attributes added to the product.

5.5 Options

There are already some options available in OpenCart, but you can also define your own Options in the Options form. This form is basically to provide options against a product. For example, for a mobile phone, you can provide color dropdown or something as below image.

And on visiting the front end, customer will be able to see the options on the product like screenshot below:

5.6 Profile

This form is useful when the store owner plans to sell products on subscription basis or monthly plans for the customers. Note that this is an optional field. You can add multiple profiles for a single product.

5.7 Discount

If a store owner wants to give a discount on the purchase of specific quantity of product within defined date, use this form.

5.8 Special Discount

This form is use to give special discount on specific group of customers. The owner can then provide the amount of the product if special discount applies to specific group.

5.9 Image

This form contains the secondary images of the product what are visible under the product on front-end.

5.10 Rewards Points

Some store owner gives special points to their users on the purchase of products. The rewarded points are also called as loyalty points. Owner can define the Product Reward Points from this form.

Note: Leave the rest of the options, they aren't used very often.

6. Reviews

Customers provide some feedback review of the products, those reviews are listed here. However, you can also provide a manual review of the product from this form.

7. Information

OpenCart is quite simple and clean. It has all those pre-built options that are useful on developing an online store; however, it is also a Content Management System, or a CMS, that allows you to add custom content. 

OpenCart has already provides some content out-of-the-box such as "About Us", "Terms & Conditions" and "Privacy Policy" etc. You can also write your own contents.

Conclusion 

We're done with with our coverage of the administration panel; however, as we've stated in the previous articles, our main motivation throughout this series is to make sure that we have a strong understanding of the system. 

To that end, we'll begin focusing on the development aspects of OpenCart in the next few articles. Until then, don't hesitate to leave any questions or comments about this article in the feed below.

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