Get started with product and dynamic categories

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Categories and Dynamic Categories are the product classifications driving website navigation. While the product catalog is global, categories are website-specific. A product must be assigned to a category before it appears on the site. Assign products to regular categories, or use Dynamic Categories to create categories of products based on a set of rules.


Categories provide the base product taxonomy for the website. Categories can be parent categories, used to house other (child) categories, or regular product categories. Parent categories display a category list page, while product categories display a product list page. Categories and products can be assigned to each other. Once a product is assigned to a category, the product search index must be rebuilt before the product is visible on the website.

While Optimizely lets you create any level of category depth, the menu will not display more than three levels without customization. This is based on the Category Menu Depth setting in the Optimizely Configured Commerce Admin Console.

Dynamic Categories

Dynamic Categories use rules to determine if products are or are not displayed on its category page. The Rules Engine cycles through of a set of rules and statements resolving as either True or False, then returns the appropriate values to the Dynamic Category. For example, if a rule exists to show all products with a price greater than or equal to $50, the rule checks every product to see if it does meet the criteria (true) or does not (false). It then takes all products where the rule is true, and adds them to the Dynamic Category.

On the live site, Dynamic Categories and regular Categories look the same; they only differ in how they retrieve and display products.