How Do Item Attributes and Filters Work in WebAlliance and the PIM?

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Filters are a list of all the possible attributes attached to a set of items.

When a customer executes a search or browses a category, WebAlliance will figure out the attributes that could be chosen from all the possible attributes and will generate a list of options for the user to select. The user can normally select one or more attributes that will filter their search results.


Modules can include almost any kind of functionality. WebAlliance has a function called “Featured Filters” that allows you to select from the available filters per-category and show them in a featured way (above the product listing). This achieves a couple of things:

If you have many filters, it lets you highlight the ones you believe are important
It puts them in the customer’s line of view so that they can easily interact with them
It allows you to leave your filters sorted naturally (more specifically, by name alphabetically – there is a psychological reason for that) for the typical ‘list’, but still pull out the most relevant ones.


Attributes are defined at the CATEGORY level.

In this example, we have Categories of:

Glove Category
Shirt Category
Mop Category

For Gloves, (in the PIM) we tell it the attribute definitions for everything we call a Glove is: Color, Size, Palm Material.

Glove Attributes

For Shirts, (in the PIM) we tell it the attribute definitions for everything we call a Shirt is: Size, Material, Color, Sleeve Length.

Shirt Attributes

For Mops, (in the PIM) we tell it the attribute definitions for everything we call a Mop is: Typical Use (can have more than one value), Mop Head Width, Mop Material.

Mop Attributes

When you place an item into a category, these are the attributes you will then be able to place values on. So, for Gloves, we will not have “Mop Head Width” as an attribute to complete, only the attributes we defined for mops.

Attributes are attached at the item level

What is important to understand is that the attributes "attach" to an item regardless of category. That means if you were to place an item in BOTH the gloves AND the shirts category, the PIM would help you manage the attributes you defined based on whichever category you were in. When you get online, the attributes from all applicable categories would be part of that item.

This makes sense because when items are placed in a true category, the attributes that you attach to the item represent the item and are valid for the item, regardless of what category they were defined in.

Learn more about search functionality

To sum it up:

You define attributes for management purposes at the category level.
When you are defining and setting attributes, our tools help make you efficient by only showing only attribute definitions for the category you're working in (vs. every attribute definition for your entire product line)
Items 'own' the attributes from all categories they belong to and can show attributes from all categories online.
When viewing online, any attribute attached to that item will be available as a filter/spec.
Category browsing adds a special ability that allows you to feature certain attributes above the product display for easy and foremost access.


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