Category & Product Limits

Sam,

I read that you advise us not to list more than 30 sub categories or more than 30 products in a sub category. Stupid question now, why and what happens if you do??

The reason I ask is I am setting up my yarn store. The categories are not a problem yet. But, several of the yarn lines have over 30 colors. The DMC Embroidery Floss has 465 colors.

I have to list the colors as individual products. Obviously drop down boxes for that variety of colors is out of the question. No customer is going to want to look through all that to find a color, and they want to see the color. So individual product listings with a color swatch is the only way I can think of to achieve that. But, that means I will have more than 30 products in some of the sub category.

Any ideas or solutions would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Lisa

RE: Category & Product Limits

Lisa:

As stated in the Program's help:

Number of Product Ads per Sub Category / Page
Keep in mind that each sub category results in one published HTML product page. Therefore you need to consider the following:

(1) The more products / page, the longer the page will take to download. Be aware of your visitor's download speed if they are viewing your website via a telephone dial-up connection. It is also advisable to check the Published HTML file sizes to see if they are all within a reasonable size for downloading.

(2) How big of a list of products do you want to make your visitors scroll through on "one" page to find the product they want?" You may want to subdivide these products into additional sub categories to lower the number of products per page. Try not to place more that 30 products per sub category.

Warning: The largest single HTML file that Excel can publish can only contain a maximum of 65,536 lines. This maximum limit is reached when there are usually more than 750 products listed in a single sub category. If you exceed this limit, a Publishing error will occur.

A Possible Suggestion
In your particular case, I would create a single "user selection color reference page" with all the color options available with an associated color product code. This reference page could be activated / opened via a Product Ad Hyperlink popup window as an additional Ad Comment placed in the individual ads.

This page would look similar to either of following HTML Color selection pages shown in the following two examples:

The user can then enter the color product code directly into a COMMENT MESSAGE text box within the Shopping cart itself that will eventually be passed along with the transaction.

For example, "The Parking Lot Planet Store" utilizes the following method in their Mal's shopping cart cart.

To set up a customer text input field using Mal's Cart, just use the CUSTOMER MESSAGE in Mal's Cart Setup under MESSAGES AND GENERAL SETTINGS.

Note: If you are a Paypal user, you can still use Mal's e-commerce shopping cart. Mal's cart can port the final transaction to Paypal if desired

You may have to experiment a little if you choose to use Paypal for the final transaction to see if the Mal's cart CUSTOMER MESSAGE is actually passed along to the Paypal final transaction.

I hope this helps,

Sam Raheb
XLEcom Program Developer

Thank You

Sam,

The loading time of the page is the main reason we use such small color swatches. It takes less time for the page to load that way. In yarn though, believe it or not, you expect to scroll through lots of colors. And, it's better to have the colors side by side. It makes it easier to see what colors go best together.

The ultimate yarn line page has one description and then all of the color swatches with quantity boxes. The colors do not need additional descriptions other than the name of course. This can easily be acheived with shopping cart buttons. But, when color or price updates come along that can be a pain to update.

I've tried the example you gave about the color reference chart. I got a lot of complaints about how hard it was. They want to just click and go. I can't say I blame them. The more time we spend on the computer the less time we have to knit or crochet.

Generally my customers are not selecting just one color. If their project is an afghan for example they may be looking for 4 or 5 colors that go nicely together. Looking through 40 colors is not a problem to find the right 4 or 5 colors.

I'll have to play with it a bit. I mainly wanted to find out what would happen if I did have to use more than 30 products in a subcategory. Maybe I'll lump the Embroidery Floss into color families. That would help with the Embroidery Floss. Other than that my largest color line is 47 colors.

I figured it better to ask what would happen than to get all that work in and the program not work. Or worse yet crash it and lose all that work. Yarn I know, computers are a challenge. That's why I like your program so much, even I understand it!!!

Thank you for your time,
Lisa