Merchandise Management section contains description of working with common and virtual catalogs in Virto Commerce Manager. You will learn how to organize items in categories, form bundles, kits and packages of products, define product properties and many other peculiarities.
A catalog is commonly defined as a list of items or services that a company showcases online. Physically a common catalog is a collection of items grouped into categories. An item may appear in only one category and category in the catalog can have sub-categories. Categories allow building hierarchy and relationship between various items in the catalog. This helps to make it easier for customers to navigate to the items they would like to purchase. Large catalogs containing many items should be organized using parent-child relations.
In which cases catalogs are supposed to be used? For example, when a number of different trademarks or product lines is operated. Each trademark or product line should have its own catalog of all the offerings in that category. Or when dealing with several suppliers. In this case each supplier should have its own catalog with offered items.
Virtual catalogs are created from one or more common catalogs. This kind of catalogs aggregates multiple base catalogs into a single catalog. Virtual catalogs are generally used to display seasonal goods that can be collected from multiple catalogs.
A virtual catalog must have a unique name different from other virtual catalogs and common catalogs. Though virtual catalogs are composed of items and categories from common catalogs, items from a virtual catalog cannot be added to another virtual catalog.
The major difference between catalog and virtual catalog is that the second one is just a view of items from common catalogs. Physically all items from a virtual catalog are located in common catalogs. This also means that if a modification is made to an item in the common catalog, the update will be reflected in all virtual catalogs instantly.