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Populating Your Catalogue With Products

Once you’ve got product shapes and assets in place, you’re ready to create new products for your catalogue. Crystallize gives you several options for adding product content in quick, convenient ways.

Creating A New Product

The first step is to create a new product. You’ll do this whether you’re selling physical products, virtual products, subscription-based services, or something completely different.

Within the Crystallize App, click the Catalogue button on the left side of the screen. From here, click either the Product button in the center of the screen or the Create+ button at the bottom.

Here, you’ll see all of the product shapes that have been defined within your tenant. Click on a shape to see all of its components, or use the Expand all shapes toggle to view all components for every shape. If you’ve enabled Components on Variants within Labs, you’ll also see a toggle that lets you switch between viewing the Product story components and Variant story components, if any were defined. 

Click on a shape to select it, type in a name for your product at the top of the screen, then hit Enter or click Create.

Adding Product Data

There are two editing modes for products, Pretty View and Nerdy View, which allow you to specify different kinds of product information in different ways. You’ll first need to enable Nerdy View within Labs. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to switch between Pretty and Nerdy View using the View drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

In Pretty View, you have each product variant listed across the top. Underneath that is the product-level data common to all variants: product story components (which come from your product shape), and topics (more on these later).

If you switch to Nerdy View, you’ll see product variants represented in a spreadsheet format instead, with product story and topics beneath.

How to proceed depends on the kind of product you’re working with, the type of data and assets you need to store, and your own preferences. For a simple product, you could remain in Pretty View and create/maintain a single (default) product variant. Below is an example of a plant where we’ve added an image, base price, tax group, stock, description, and more:

For a more complex item, like a t-shirt available in multiple sizes and colors, you won’t create a separate product for each combination. Instead, you’ll create one t-shirt product, then add multiple product variants for all of the options available. Nerdy View makes this process a lot easier. 

Here’s an example of a couch available in several colors. For each variant, we’ve added different media, prices, stock, and attributes:

Nerdy View edit screen

Let’s look at the kinds of data and media you can add at the product level and the product variant level.

Product-Level Data

You can specify product-level data from either Pretty View or Nerdy View, at the top of the screen and beneath where the variants are listed. 

  • Product name. This field is required.
  • Value-Added Tax (VAT) or Sales Tax. If you’ve defined tax groups for your tenant, you can assign your product to one of these groups using the VAT drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Refer to our Configuring Tax Groups page for more information.
  • Product story components. These come from your product shape and may contain placeholders for text, images, videos, properties tables, related items, and more. Hover your mouse over each component’s name to see the description that was specified for it (if any). Refer to our documentation on components if you need information about any specific component.
  • Topics. If you’ve created topic maps, you can add any number of topics to the product, assigning relevant keywords that can be helpful for organization and search functions. Under the Topics section, click the plus sign button (+), then type into the search tool to find and select topics. Topics can be removed by clicking the X on the right side of the topic label.

Variant-Level Data

You can specify variant-level data one variant at a time within Pretty View, or one/many/all at once with Nerdy View. Nerdy View also has a Variant Generator and batch editing tools that can be a big time-saver. Refer to the Pretty View and Nerdy View documentation to learn more about these options.

Variant-level data contains the following:

  • Variant name. This field may be left blank.
  • Stock keeping unit (SKU). Crystallize will auto-generate a value, which you can change if desired. This is a required field and must be unique.
  • Images. In Pretty View, add images by dragging/dropping them onto the product variant card or the Media component, by browsing to files on your machine, or by using Magic Paste. In Nerdy View, Magic Paste can be used to add images to the Images column.
  • Image Alt text/Captions. In Pretty View, you can click on an image’s thumbnail within the Media component to add/edit this optional metadata.
  • Videos. In Pretty View, add videos by dragging and dropping them onto the Media component, or by browsing to files on your machine. In Nerdy View, you’ll be able to see each variant’s videos in the Videos column.
  • Video Title/Thumbnail(s). In Pretty View, you can click on a video’s thumbnail within the Media component to add/edit this optional metadata.
  • Attributes. Within Pretty View, you may optionally define custom attributes for each product variant. Any attributes that you add to a variant are unique to that variant. However, if you switch to Nerdy View, all attributes defined across all variants will be visible as spreadsheet columns. You can then add attribute values for the other variants without having to modify each one in Pretty View separately. Note that attributes are not translatable. Use them for things like dimensions, weight, and codes that will be the same across all languages.
  • Stock. If your product has physical inventory counts that must be tracked across one or more locations, you can enter stock values via Pretty View or Nerdy View. You may also leave these fields blank. Refer to our documentation on stock locations for more info.
  • Prices/Price Variants. Prices and price variants, if defined, can be set within Pretty View or Nerdy View by typing in the desired values. If a product has many variants, Nerdy View may be preferable, as its spreadsheet interface provides batch editing functionality. You can leave price fields blank.
  • Price Lists. You can assign product variants to price lists via Nerdy View. Refer to our price lists documentation for more info.
  • Variant story components. If you’ve enabled Components on Variants within Labs and if variant story components were defined for this product’s shape, you’ll be able to populate the components for each variant within Pretty View. Hover your mouse over each component’s name to see the description that was specified for it (if any). Refer to our documentation on components if you need information about any specific component.
  • Subscription plans. Within Pretty View, one or more subscription plans can be added to each product variant and customized as needed. Refer to our documentation on adding subscription plans for more detailed information.

Editing Products and Product Variants

To remove product variant images and videos in Pretty View, select one or more thumbnails within the Media component, then click the (…) button and choose the Remove Media option. In Nerdy View, you can use the Delete key to remove content from the Images and Videos columns.

As you enter or edit product and variant information, all changes are automatically saved, but they won’t be made publicly available until you click the Publish or Publish changes button at the top of the screen.

In Nerdy View, you must also remember to click the Save changes button upon modifying data contained within the spreadsheet. Otherwise, changes will be lost if you browse away from the page.

Setting the Default Product Variant

If your product has only one variant, that is also the default variant. For a product with multiple variants, you can set the default in Pretty View, either in the main view or with the variant selected. Using the (...) button on the variant card or to the right of the SKU field, choose Set as default variant.

Frontend Previews

If you have one or more frontend previews set up for your tenant, you can have a look at what your products and variants will look like within these environments before changes are published. From the View drop-down menu at the top of the screen, choose Preview. Refer to our frontend preview documentation for more info.

Products in Multiple Languages

If you’ve defined multiple languages within your tenant, there will be a translation of your product for each of these languages. You can switch between different translations using the Language drop-down at the top of the screen. Refer to our Configuring Languages page for more information.

Deleting Product Variants From a Product

A product must always have at least one (default) variant. Once you have more than one variant, the delete option will become available. In Pretty View, click the (...) button on the variant card or to the right of the SKU field, then choose Delete. In Nerdy View, select one or more rows, right-click and choose Delete row(s). You could also select one or more rows and press the Delete key on your keyboard to clear out the values contained within those rows, but otherwise preserve the rows/variants.

Product variants and their data are usually gone for good once deleted. There is an undo function in Nerdy View (the CTRL+Z keyboard shortcut) that you may be able to use to restore deleted variants and data, but you shouldn’t count on it. Always proceed carefully with deletion.

Deleting Products From the Catalogue

To delete a product along with all its variants, click the (...) button at the top of the screen and choose Delete. Once a product is deleted, it’s gone for good, so proceed carefully.

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