Product attributes and options in MultiMerch
MultiMerch 8.6 update makes it possible for vendors to create their own attributes and options in addition to existing ones – and assign these to their own products.
The new attribute/option management interface for vendors is located in a dropdown selector in Account > Products.
Attributes and options that are created by vendors require administrator's approval before vendors can assign them to products.
Attributes and attribute groups
Product attributes let customers gain additional information about a product such as its size, color, fit or dimensions and technical specifications. Attributes are grouped into attribute groups so for a smartphone, attributes such as Resolution, Screen type and Screen size can be grouped into a separate Screen attribute group.
Note: Attributes are different from options (that can be selected by the customer) and are only meant for informational purposes about a particular product.
Vendors can create their own attribute groups by switching to the "Attribute groups" tab in the Manage attributes screen or add their own attributes to store's attribute groups.
If there are multiple languages installed and enabled in the Marketplace, vendors will be able to specify attribute names in multiple languages by using the language selector.
Each attribute belongs to a single attribute group and its display order in attribute lists is controlled by the "Sort order" field.
After the attribute is created, the marketplace administrator will receive an email notification requiring to approve the newly created attribute. Attributes are disabled and can not be used by vendors until they are approved by the administrator.
Once the attributes are approved, vendors can use them when publishing new products or modifying existing products. Vendor's own attributes will be displayed along with global marketplace attributes in the product publishing form.
Attributes that are assigned to a product will be displayed by OpenCart in the "Specification" tab on the product page.
MultiMerch uses OpenCart's attribute system, therefore it's possible to use vendor-created attributes in a similar manner to regular attributes, e.g. for category filters or for third party plugins.
Options and values
Options are different from attributes in that they can be selected by the customer when adding products to cart. If you're offering a smartphone, it could have a "Storage" option with a few different values that will let the customer choose a phone with more or less space.
It's possible to specify a different price, weight and quantity for different option values.
Vendor's option management screen is similar to the attribute management interface and can be accessed through the same Attributes/Options dropdown in the product list.
There are a few different option types for different purposes:
- Select is the most common option type and lets the customer choose one value from a dropdown list with multiple values
- Radio is similar to Select, but is displayed as a set of radio buttons instead of a dropdown list
- Checkbox lets the customer choose one or more values instead of a single value
- Text lets the customer specify a short line of text, e.g. a single word or a sentence
- Textarea is meant for larger text inputs, e.g. the customer can specify a whole paragraph of custom text when adding a product to cart
- Date option produces a calendar-type datepicker where the customer can choose a specific date
- Time option generates a timepicker in case you need customers to choose a time
- Date&Time is a combination of both datepicker and timepicker
- File lets the customer upload a file that is included in their order, e.g. an image
Some of the options require the vendor to specify one or more values, e.g. Select, while the others require no values.
If there are multiple languages enabled in the marketplace, vendors will be able to specify option/value names for multiple languages.
After the option has been created and approved by the marketplace administrator, vendor can use it when publishing or managing products. Vendor's own options will be displayed along with global marketplace options in the Options product form section.
MultiMerch uses OpenCart's option system so options created by vendors will get displayed as regular OpenCart options on the product page. Note how both options and attributes are displayed for the new Cotton hat product.
This also means it's possible to use vendor-created options for all standard option functionality such as displaying options in cart and at checkout, using option filters and third party plugins.
Although OpenCart has its own admin interfaces for option and attribute management, MultiMerch has a separate set of interfaces to manage options and attribute to make it easier to control how options and attributes are assigned to vendors and change option/attribute statuses.
MultiMerch attribute and option management interfaces allow the administrator to approve newly created options and attributes as well as reassign them between vendors or make them global. When an option or attribute becomes global, it is automatically made available to all vendors in the marketplace.
It is not currently possible to remove an option or an attribute that is assigned to one or more products – the administrator will first have to remove the corresponding product or remove the option/attribute from the product.
The following emails are being generated by MultiMerch for options and attributes and sent out to vendors and the administrator:
- (vendor) attribute group approved
- (vendor) attribute approved
- (vendor) option approved
- (admin) new attribute group created
- (admin) new attribute created
- (admin) new option created
If there are multiple languages installed in the marketplace, emails can be translated to all languages. MultiMerch uses OpenCart's main email setting for administrator notifications.