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Catalog is your store's administration module for configuring the features related to your ecommerce products to make them available for customers on your website. This overview article goes over what you can accomplish with the VTEX Catalog, including relevant links to our developer documentation about this topic.


Understanding Catalog architecture

At VTEX, Categories represent the way you organize your products, generically dividing items available in your store. They generally have three levels: Department, Category, and Subcategory.

Each product is associated with a Category and a Brand, and has at least one Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), which corresponds to each product variation – each physical unit in stock.

Categories are associated with Specification groups, which gather Product Specifications and SKU Specifications that will be applied for all items associated with the category. All specifications must be filled in for items to be active in your store.

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VTEX Catalog architecture

Setting up your catalog

One of the first steps for new stores is making an initial load of products into VTEX, whether from your ERP, back office system or other methods. See the links below for an overview of this integration flow and for detailed guides on each step of the process.

Integration Flow

The links below provide a general view of required steps in the integration flow between a back office system and a VTEX store’s Catalog.

  1. Back office (ERP/PIM/WMS)
  2. Set up catalog
  3. Import products
  4. Updating / deleting information
  5. Catalog
  6. Catalog API - Overview Step-by-step guides

Looking for storefront Catalog content? Check out our Customizing your storefront guide.


Making initial configurations mandatory

See the following links for details on each step and API call during the process of loading products into your VTEX Catalog. All these steps are required and must be performed in the order below, whether you are connecting to VTEX through an external system or not.

1. Categories

Categories organize your product assortment by working as hierarchical levels of product classification. The organization by category makes a customer’s search for a product easier and keeps your catalog organized. The three main category levels are called Department, Category, and Subcategory.

2. Brands

A brand is an attribute that helps your end customers to identify a product and the business behind it.

3. Specifications

Specifications are additional properties that can be included in your store's products or SKUs. At VTEX, you must first create a specification group associated with a category and then include the desired specification fields that will be replicated in all products or SKUs in the category.

When a group is created in a department or a category, it will be replicated in all the sublevels of that department or category, following a "inheritance" logic. Therefore, if you want to create a specification group applicable to one category only, you must create it at that category level.

4. Products

A product is a generic definition of something that is available for purchase in your store, such as a shirt.

5. SKUs

SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit, which represents the physical unit of the product, that is, each variation of the product, such as a blue medium shirt. SKUs are the items that stores keep in stock and that end customers actually buy.

Enriching your catalog mandatory

After an initial load of products, you must enrich them with the required information before selling them. The steps below are required for any product to be available for purchase in your store. See the following links for more details.

6. Filling in specifications

It is necessary to fill in the specifications for each product and SKU, according to the fields and values you have created.

7. Adding images to SKUs

Every SKU needs at least one image to be active in your store.

8. Activating SKUs

Read the following guide to understand how to activate SKUs, making them available for purchase in your store.

Adding optional configurations

Once you have all the required information, there are optional settings you can make to enhance your Catalog. See the following links for more information.

Attachments

An attachment is the optional and cost-free customization of a product. It's used to add information to an SKU.

Assembly Options

An assembly option is an attachment for complex scenarios, such as product customization, in which you need to manage different product combinations, quantity, additional items, costs, and product inventory management and display these options in the product page.

Services

A service is an item that may come with a product, optionally and with cost. It is used to assign an additional service to an SKU, such as gift packaging, customization or special warranty deals.

Kits

A kit is a set of SKUs that are sold together, that is, an SKU composed of one or more SKUs.

Collections

A collection is a group of two or more SKUs that may or may not have common features to be displayed on your store's product pages. You can create collections using grouping criteria such as commemorative dates, launches, or best-selling products. It is possible to create collections using either Legacy CMS Portal or Collection Beta.

Legacy CMS Portal

Collection Beta

Trade policies (Sales channels)

When operating with multiple trade policies (sales channels), you can define which products will be available on each trade policy.

Customizing your storefront

To understand how to build your storefront and showcase your assortment of products, check out the articles in this section. The rest of this guide focuses on Admin related configurations and actions.

Integrating with external marketplaces or sellers

Learn more about integrating with non-VTEX marketplaces or sellers through the following documentation.

External Marketplace

If you are an external marketplace that wishes to integrate with VTEX sellers, you can see the links below to learn how to develop a custom connector to connect with VTEX's architecture and sellers’ catalogs.

External Seller

See the documentation below to understand how to integrate an external seller’s offers into your catalog if you act as a VTEX marketplace.