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There are many ways that merchants can sort their products into categories.  Automation has its pro’s and cons which is why CommerceCM lets merchants rank their products individually.  In most cases, painstakingly ranking every product in every department, is just not practical so we used a hybrid approach.

What are the options?

Highest Reviews:  Merchants think this is great.  It gets your highest ranked products front and center and that is always a good thing but it favors older products that have had more time to get reviews.  New products get buried farther down the list.

Most Popular: We do this by sales, but there are decisions to be made.  Is this most sales ever?  Or is there a limit like the most sales in the last 30 days.  180 days? Again, this puts new products at a disadvantage everywhere except a "New" products department.

Lowest to Highest Price: Depends on your market but do you really want to push people towards the cheap stuff? 

Highest to Lowest Price: This could scare off some shoppers.  

Newest to Oldest:  Some merchants are concerned that this results in everything on the first screen or page having no stars for reviews which is a valid concern.  Social confirmation helps conversion rates so this could reduce your conversions.

Alphabetical: This is easy for people to understand and is a good fall back option if items match on other criteria but do people know your product names?

Our Solution

CommerceCM uses a hybrid approach based on a manually assigned product Rank for our default sort order on landing pages. Ranking products within departments provides a simple override to any of the scenarios above allowing you to fine tune what your customers see.

By default, when creating your departments all products are assigned the same Rank.  We usually use something simple like 20.  We use one of the automated methods to sort the department when Rank is tied so if you do nothing, your products will be sorted in an order that is going to make sense to your shoppers.  However, merchants can use Rank to tweak the all important first page or even just the first 2 rows of products no matter what the underlying sort order is.  With Rank merchants can keep high margin or popular products at or close to the top and filter in a selection of new products throughout their main catalog landing pages. 

Are there other sorts that you think are useful?  Let us know!

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