Feature Pack 2: Deprecated feature

Merchandising associations

Merchandising associations suggest additional, different, or replacement products based on a selected catalog entry. The merchandising associations are used as a product recommendation strategy to increase store sales. In addition to promotional associations such as cross-selling, up-selling, and suggested accessories, key words highlight extra semantic information of merchandising relationships, such as requires and comes with. The behavior of these semantics is determined by your store's specific business requirements and does not perform any business logic by default. For example, one store may decide that require automatically adds a product to the shopping cart, while another simply displays a message to the customer.

For each merchandising association there is a source catalog entry and a target catalog entry. For example, if a shirt has a tie as an accessory, the shirt can be the source entry and the tie can be the target entry. A source catalog entry can have multiple associations, therefore multiple target entries. Continuing the previous example, the shirt can have both a tie and cufflinks as accessories. In this case the shirt remains the source entry, while the tie and cufflinks are each target entries. After a merchandising association is created, from the source catalog entry you can determine its associated target catalog entries.

You can create the following catalog entry merchandising associations:

A merchant suggests other catalog entries based on an already chosen catalog entry. For example, a merchant can suggest a high-resolution color printer when a digital camera is purchased, or a particular type of batteries when a flashlight is purchased.
A merchant suggests a better catalog entry based on the one selected. For example, a merchant can suggest a higher quality television when a low-end model is selected.
A merchant suggests an accessory that will complement the selected catalog entry. For example, a merchant can suggest an extra game controller when a video game system is selected.
A merchant indicates that the relationship between two catalog entries is considered equivalent. Replacement is only valid when two catalog entries are of the same catalog entry type: product, package, bundle or dynamic kit. For example, if one type of brand name battery is sold out, a merchant can suggest a different brand name battery, as long as both batteries are products.
You can create custom merchandising association types based on your requirements. For example, you may want to offer a down-sell merchandising association to suggest lower-priced catalog entries based on the selected catalog entry.

Merchandising associations can be static, which is a fixed relationship, or dynamic, which customizes rules and queries to form personalized associations. The preceding list describes static merchandising associations. For more information about dynamic merchandising associations see eSpots.