Supervising Product Catalog

Ways for the store administrator to help vendors with adding their products to the catalog.

Written by Anna Verbichenko
Updated this week

In a multi-vendor X-Cart store, the store administrator supervises the product catalog through which the vendors market their products. In connection with this function, the administrator can:

Creating Catalog Categories

By default, vendor users in a multi-vendor X-Cart store do not have permission to create or manage the store's product categories. The store administrator creates the categories to which the vendors will add their products. The vendors will add their products to the existing categories. If the need arises for a new category, they will have to contact the store administrator to request the change. The store administrator can create and manage categories via the Manage Categories page of the store's Admin area (Catalog > Categories).

If necessary, the store's root administrator may delegate the function of supervising the product catalog categories to any other administrator user (including the vendor). To do so, they need to give them an additional role for category management with the permission to manage the product catalog:

Working on Product Classes and Attributes

The store administrator supervises the use of product classes and attributes by the vendors:

  • Product classes and attributes are a complex topic in X-Cart that requires time to understand. So the store administrator may need to help new vendors with the initial setup of product classes, attributes, and attribute values. The store administrator can create any product classes, attributes of all levels, and attribute values that the vendors may require via the Classes & Attributes section (Catalog > Classes & Attributes) of the store's Admin area.

  • Vendors can create their product classes, attributes, and attribute values. Therefore, the store administrator should periodically check the Classes & Attributes section (Catalog > Classes & Attributes) for review and, if necessary, edit or delete data. When displayed to the administrator, product classes and attributes created by vendors are marked with the name and email of the vendor who owns them ("Vendor: Vendor name ("), so the administrator can quickly identify whom this or that product class or attribute belongs.

  • The "Vendor access to global attributes" setting on the Multi-Vendor add-on settings page allows the store administrator to permit the vendor users to add new values to global attributes and attributes created by the administrator or by other vendors at the level of product classes or limit it to the existing values only. The setting does not restrict access for vendors to product class creation and maintenance.

Determining the Owner of a Product

When a product catalog contains products from several sellers, the store administrator supervising the catalog may require the ability to find the seller (vendor) who added a particular product (and thus is its owner).

Finding the owner of a product is easy:

  • When viewing the store's product list in the Admin area, the administrator can see the owner of each product in the "Vendor" column:

    (This column shows the email address of the vendor who owns the product.)

  • When viewing the details pages of a vendor product in the Admin area, the administrator can see the name and email of the vendor who owns the product:

Changing the Owner of a Product

The store administrator can change the owner of a product. For this purpose, open the product details in the Admin area and hover the cursor over the current product owner's name. The field shows as editable:

Once this happens, they need to click on it. The owner field becomes a drop-down selector from which they can choose one of the existing vendors. Next, the administrator needs to select a new owner and save the changes by selecting Update product:

After this, the selected vendor will become the new owner of the product and will be able to access its details in the Vendor area, whereas the previous owner will lose access to the product.

If any existing orders contain this product, the new owner will not have permission to access these orders after the product owner is changed. You will see a warning like this:

Sorting the Products by the Vendor

The store administrator supervising the product catalog can sort products by a vendor (Catalog > Products). To do so, they need to click on the Vendor header of the product list table:

Finding the Products of a Certain Vendor

The store administrator supervising the product catalog can easily find the products of a specific vendor. For this purpose, they need to do a product search in the store's Admin area specifying the vendor in the search form. Once the initial characters of the vendor's company name or email address are entered into the Vendor field, a drop-down selector with matching vendors will be provided:

As an alternative, the store administrator can access a specific vendor's products via the vendor's user profile. See Managing Vendor Profile Information as an Administrator for details.

Importing Vendor Products

A store administrator can import products on behalf of the vendors. General guidance on the products' import you can find here. Use the CSV Import: Products guide to prepare your file for product import.

When creating a products.csv file, pay special attention to the "vendor" field value. It determines the owner of a product. The products.csv file must contain at least three fields - sku, name, and vendor, and may look like this.

A store admin can also import product-related data like products classes and attributes.

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