How to Use Filters in StoreMantis

Lets first try to understand the concept of filters in StoreMantis. In a conventional store front-end, youll probably find an Advanced search feature so that users can filter products according to their preferences. But sometimes, you want to group different kinds of products together, although they belong to different categories. Or you would like to attach a tag to certain products so that they can be found easier in the front-end.


To understand it more clearly, lets take a real-world example. Lets assume that you have a Monitors sub-category available under the Components main category. And you would like to categorize monitors further by LED, LCD, and CRT.


The first option that pops up in your mind is to create another level of categories under Monitors. But instead of creating another level of categories, which could make things a bit more complex, you can use filters in StoreMantis.


The benefit of using filters in the above scenario is that when you enable the Filter module, it provides a nice blockin the front-endwhich allows users to refine the relevant products of their choice.


Lets go ahead and set this up.


Create the New Filter Group and Filters


Head over to the admin section of StoreMantis and go to Catalog > Filters. Click on the Insertbutton to open the screen which allows us to create a new filter group and filters. Filter Group Nameis the title used to distinguish the filters when more than one set of filters is available for display. Just fill in the details as shown below.




As you can see, weve created a filter group Monitor Types and the filter values are LED, LCD, and CRT. Click on the Save button to commit the changes.


Assign the Filters to Categories and Products


Now weve set up the filter group and associated filters. Further, we need to assign the filters to the relevant category and products.


Assign Filters to a Category


Lets first assign filters to a related category. For this example, Im assuming you have a category called Components which has a Monitors subcategory.


Continuing with our earlier example, lets go ahead and edit the Monitorscategory. Go to Catalog > Categoriesand edit the Monitorssub-category under the Componentsmain category. Click on the Data tab, which shows different fields, amongst which is Filters.




Filtersis an autocomplete field. So you can select the values by just typing a few letters. In our example, you would like to choose LED, LCD, and CRT as filter values. Click on the Savebutton to apply the changes.


Itll make sure that when the Filters block is displayed on the Monitors category page in the front-end, itll display all three of the options weve selected in the Filters field under theData
tab.


Assign Filters to Products


Now we need to assign filters to the each product that we would like to be filtered by our Monitor Types criteria. Obviously, we would like to edit the products under the Monitors category as weve set up the filters for that category in the previous section.


Go to Catalog > Productsand edit a product. Under the Linkstab youll see the Filterfield. Lets select LED and save the product.




In the same way, go ahead and assign LCD to another product . So now we have two different products assigned with two different filter values. Also, you can assign more than one filter to the same product if needed. But in our case well keep it simple.


Enable the Filter Module


Were almost done with the setup! The only remaining thing is to enable the filter module and assign it to the appropriate layout in the font-end. Go to Extensions > Modulesand install the Filtermodule.




After installing the Filtermodule, click on the Editlink to open the module configuration page. Click on the Add Modulebutton to add a new row, and choose the options shown below.




In our example, itll only make sense if we display our module in the Category layout. Itll make sure that when a user is browsing the products by category, the Filters block will be helpful in filtering out the products further. So weve selected Categoryin the Layoutdrop-down, and well display it in the Column Leftposition. Click on Saveto apply the changes.


Testing the Front-End


So finally its time to see things in action in the front-end. Head over to the front-end and selectComponents > Monitors (2)to list the products available under the Monitors category. You should see the Refine Searchblock on the left sidebar. Pretty cool, isnt it?




So as you can see, its a really nice-looking block showing the different filter options, with the total number of products available in each filter. Just select LEDand click on Refine Searchto see the filtered product listing.


If you are familiar with Faceted Search, the interface looks similar to that. In the same way, you can set up more filter groups and filters to display a rich refining interface in your front-end store!


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