Manage categories

  • Updated

Use category trees and categories in Optimizely Product Information Management (PIM) to organize your products and create taxonomies for customers visiting your website. A clear category structure with products assigned to categories ensures customers can find better products. Your category attributes enable filters on your product list pages in Configured Commerce. You can also maintain multiple category trees to support multiple websites.

Build category trees by adding categories. Include basic category information on the Details tab and use the Products and Attributes tabs to assign these items to a category. You can manually assign products or set up dynamic rules for product assignments on the Products tab and assign relevant attributes to the category on the Attributes tab.

Best Practices

Categories in PIM function the same as categories in Configured Commerce. You and your team should create and manage categories only in the PIM to maintain consistency and accuracy.

You do not need to create a category tree for each if multiple websites share the same category structure. Only create category trees for websites with distinct taxonomies.

While you can create any level of category depth, the menu must be customized to display more than three levels based on the Category Menu Depth setting in the Configured Commerce Admin Console. See Example category set up.

Category tree

Use the Categories page to search for, filter, and select categories for editing, assigning properties, and assigning to products.

You can sort data by clicking column headers and filter records by clicking the filter icon. Edit individual categories by clicking on the name. If a category is active, the Deactivate On cell is empty.


  • Select Category Tree – Select the category tree from the drop-down list. Use the More menu to edit, create, or delete a category tree.
  • Filter by Name – Enter a partial or full category name to narrow the results across the selected category tree folders.
  • Expand all and Collapse all – Click to expand or collapse the entire category tree.
  • Select folder – Select a folder in the category tree to apply a parent category filter. The selected folder and its subcategories are displayed in the category list results.

Create a category tree

  1. Click Categories.
  2. Select More (...) > Create Category Tree.
  3. Enter a Category Tree Name.
  4. Select a website from the Assign Available Websites list. You cannot select websites with category trees already assigned. Assign a website to each category tree to make categories available in Configured Commerce once you publish products. If a website created in Configured Commerce does not display, run PIM: Sync Setup job in the admin console.
  5. Click Create.

Edit a category tree

  1. Select a category tree from the left panel.
  2. Select More (...) > Edit Category Tree.
  3. Edit the name and websites. 
  4. Click Save.

Delete a category tree

Deleting a category tree also deletes all categories and any associations with products in the tree. Only users with PIM_Admin or PIM_System roles can delete category trees.
  1. Select a category tree from the left panel.
  2. Select More (...) > Delete Category Tree.
  3. Click OK when the confirmation message displays.

Category list


  • Editing – Click an individual category record to view and edit its details.
  • Search by name – Enter a partial or full category name to narrow the results across all folders in the selected category tree.
  • Filters – Click Filter to enable or disable column filters. This adds a row below the column headers with options for filtering each property. Filtering also updates the count of records and paging options. Click a filter to change the filter option or value.
  • Depending on the column's property data type and control type, you may see the following options:
    • Search operator of Contains, Does not contain, Starts with, Ends with, Equals, Does not equal or Reset
    • Property value of Yes, No, Is Empty or Is Not Empty

  • Pagination – The list displays 25 categories by default, with options to view 50 or 100 per page.

Add a category

You add categories to category trees, which display as folders within that tree. 

  1. Click Categories.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Select a Parent Category (if applicable) and enter a Name and a URL Segment.
  4. (Optional) Enter dates on which to activate or deactivate this category.
  5. (Optional) Flip the toggle to Exclude From Dynamic Product Recommendations if you do not want to include products in this category in dynamic recommendations on your website.
  6. (Optional) Enter a Category Description.
  7. (Optional) Add a category image from the Asset Drawer.
  8. (Optional) Add the Page Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords to enhance the category's metadata.
  9. (Optional) Add the Open Graph Image, Open Graph Title and Open Graph URL if you want the category's preview link to display attractively when shared on social media. If blank, the category's small image, name and URL display instead.
  10. Click Save. The category displays in the tree.

Example category set up

The Victory company wants to set up its website to show kitchen and bathroom faucets within its plumbing product offerings.

  1. Go to Categories and create a Victory category tree by selecting More Options > Create Category Tree.

  2. Create a Plumbing category, and then create the following subcategories: Bathroom, Faucet, and Kitchen.


    Use only three levels for now, and watch customer shopping patterns to see if you need to add more levels later. Wait to assign products to your categories until after you import them.

  3. In the Kitchen category, select the Products tab and turn on Use Dynamic Rules.
  4. Select a property of Product Template, an operator of Equals, and a value of SMS_Kitchen_Taps.


  5. Clicks Save. The assigned product list automatically populates with every product that uses the SMS_Kitchen_Taps template.
  6. Repeat these steps for the Bathroom category, selecting the appropriate template. Because Enable auto-assignment of category attributes is turned on, the category attributes are automatically assigned based on the properties mapped to the products.
  7. If you do not want the filter options for the Kitchen category to contain all mapped attributes for faucets, return to the Kitchen category, select the Attributes tab, and click Assign to deselect Auto assigned attributes.
  8. Select the attributes to include in the filter options.

Delete a category

You must remove all child categories or products associated with a category before you can delete it.
  1. Select a category tree from the left panel.
  2. Use the category tree navigation options to locate the category you wish to delete.
  3. Hover your cursor over the category and then click the Delete icon that appears.