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  1. #1
    Join Date
    June 28th, 2006
    Question Howto split and sort products to categories?
    Hello everyone.

    i want to build .NET dynamic template website that loads data from different cj datafeeds. i understand that it would be better to keep it simple and work with one "giant" table.
    but the question is about the categories: each product (record) in the feed contains category colum and in that colum there is data like: "general-->tools-->hammers".
    in my site i want to make a menu that users will be able to browse through the categories and sub-categories etc.

    1. what is the best strategy to do that?
    how can i work without categories table (that contains parentCategoryID
    colum) ?
    2. in CJ datafeed can one product can belongs to several categories?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    My favourite subject.......not.

    We develop pricecomparison software and i will be frank it is not easy to do, even with some very good programmers you will be hard pushed to anything correctly without manual labour.

    If you are working with just one merchant and one data feed this can be easy as you just make a script to parse the category field and then you can use the values to generate your category structure. However if you are using more than data feed it then becomes a problem. Whilst it should look simple it is not for the following reasons.

    Scenario 1:

    Merchant A decides to name his or her category as "jewellery"
    Merchant B decides to name his or her category as "gold rings"
    Merchant B decides to name his or her category as "fashion accessories and jewellery"

    There may be no parent category structure in the feed and no further category information, if you are working from network category structures and not the merchants you may find it is even worse.

    You decide you want to have a category structure good enough for your users like the following:

    Jewellery>>Rings>>Wedding Rings
    Jewellery>>Rings>>Engagement Rings
    Jewellery>>Rings>>Eternity Rings
    Jewellery>>Rings>>Diamond Rings etc etc

    It is clear you can not just have a category called jewellery as that would contain hundreds of thousands of products in no particular order and using this category as example most women are looking for something in particular, they are not going to do look through 1000 products on the off chance they will spot what they are looking for, even if they do find what they are looking for it is a lottery whether they will even like what they see or not.

    So it is clear for this and other categories you have to be specific with your own category structure but you cant because half if not all of your merchants only categorise to "jewellery" and no further below, which means for the sake of a universal structure you have to put all engagement rings into just plain jewellery because otherwise the whole thing looks bad.

    Generally you will find that specialist stores will have better categorisation, i have even seen jewellery items under a category called "clothing and fashion" before, so how do you map from one to the other?

    Using keyword mapping:

    Generally most products have a search query that will pull up only results for that item, for example if you do an exact search for products that contain "diamond" and "ring" then 90% of the time you will only end up with diamond rings, especially if you further wrap the search between two price ranges that you know the product generally sits between. you can use this "rule" to map products into a specified category automatically if you load up all your rules into memory as you are importing but this does take some quite advanced programming to be able to do this and properly.

    This method can be troublesome and took us many months if not a year to perfect. Even then it is not perfect.

    The final way i cant really discuss or help with as it cost us enough to work out ourselves but unless you have two fulltime programmers and a big big pocket then it would be pointless explaining anyway.

    I hope that is at least a little help to you.


    Matt Yabsley

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