In a multivendor 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:
- Create catalog categories;
- Control the use of product classes and attributes by vendors;
- Determine the owner of any product in the catalog;
- Change the owner of a product;
- Sort the products by the vendor in the Product list view;
- Find the products of a specific vendor.
Creating Catalog Categories
By default, vendor users in a multivendor X-Cart store do not have the permissions to create or manage the store’s product categories. It means the store administrator must create 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 section of the store’s Admin area (Catalog > Categories).
If necessary, the store’s primary administrator may choose to delegate the function of supervising the product catalog categories to any other administrator user (including 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 themselves create any product classes, attributes, and attribute values that the vendors may require (including any attributes at the global level, the level of product classes, and the level of specific products) via the Classes & attributes section (Catalog > Classes & attributes) of the store’s Admin area.
- Vendors have access to the creation of their own product classes, attributes, and attribute values. The store administrator should periodically check the Classes & attributes section (Catalog > Classes & attributes) to review the product classes, attributes, and attribute values that the vendors have created and, if necessary, edit or delete them. 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 (email@example.com)”), so the administrator can easily tell which product class or attribute is owned by whom.
- Through the “Vendor access to global attributes” setting on the Multi-vendor add-on settings page, the store administrator can specify whether they 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 whether they permit vendors to use the existing values only. The setting does not limit access for vendors to product class creation and maintenance.
Determining the Owner of a Product
When the same product catalog holds more than one seller's products, the store administrator supervising the catalog may require an ability to find the seller (vendor) who added a certain 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. To do so, they need to 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. 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 their own Vendor area, whereas the previous owner will lose access to the product.
If any existing orders contain this product when the product owner is changed, the new owner will not be able to access these orders. You will see a warning like this:
Sorting the Products by the Vendor
The store administrator supervising the product catalog can sort the products in the product list (Catalog > Products) by the vendor. 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.