Product Slicing

Slices are configurable products that have been split (“sliced”) based on option values.  With this feature, one product can have its slices displayed separately without creating individual product listings. This allows a site to appear more robust and makes it easier for shoppers to find what they may be looking for without adversely affecting SEO or user experience. 

For instance, a sweater comes in several color options. Each color is a slice, so the red variation and the blue variation can be displayed separately in search results when “sweater” is searched for. They would also be displayed separately when viewing the Apparel category that the sweater is assigned to. Clicking the red slice would take the shopper to the slices' shared product details page with the red color preselected, but they can select a new option from this page and order the blue version instead. 

Slicing Strategies

There are two main uses for slicing products in the storefront. 

  • Slicing by Product Option: A configurable product, such as a sweater, has multiple options for size and color. This product can be shown as an option slice in some static categories and on search results pages. It can be specifically sliced by color and displayed based on that criteria.
  • Slicing Within Categories: A dynamic category exists based on the condition that a product's color is green. In that category, product slices with the “green” attribute are pulled into the category. The non-green slices of those products are not pulled into the category, but the other variants can still be viewed on the product details page by the shopper. 

It is important to note that a slice may not be a directly purchasable product if there are other required options.  A slice is not the same thing as a variation.   The slice is based on only a single selected option, like color.  A shopper may still need to select size or other required options in order to purchase the item.  

Slicing Compatibility

Support for slicing extends to other features of the ecommerce storefront. Click the links to reference the existing documentation of each feature.

  • Dynamic Imaging: If Dynamic Images are set up to use the same option as slices, the sliced options will display the associated image on the listing page. Otherwise, all sliced options will display the same product image. 
  • Visual Merchandising: A user can visually merchandise the sliced products through ProductSortDefinitions configurations. 
  • Facets: Instead of displaying a configurable product as a single item, each slice of an item can be displayed separately and faceted accordingly. 
  • Product Mapping Attributes: When a mapping attribute is used to group options by related generic attributes, then filtering will be able to work more efficiently with sliced products that have a large number of options, and thus a large number of slices. 

Configuring Slicing

Configure slicing on the product page to select the option that a product should be sliced on. A product cannot be sliced on multiple options at once. If no options are selected, slicing will not be applied and the category setting will have no impact.

  1. To enable slicing, go to Main > Catalog > Products
  2. Click the appropriate product row in the table. Note that it must be a product with multiple options in order to be sliced.
  3. Go to the Options section of the product settings. 
  4. Click the checkbox for Allow Product Slicing to enable slicing on this product. 
  5. Click Save in the top right to confirm changes. 

Toggle Slicing On/Off

Once slicing has been configured for a product, its slices will display on category pages by default. However, a category can be set to display only the base product instead.  

  1. To hide slicing, go to Main > Catalog > Categories
  2. Click the appropriate category row in the table. The option to Hide slicing on category will be displayed as a checkbox on the details page.
    • If slicing has been disabled, then it can be re-enabled by deselecting this checkbox. 
  3. Click Save in the top right to confirm changes.

Close-up of the category configurations with the Status and Hide Slicing on the Storefront options

Toggle Slicing on Search Results

A Personalized Search setting toggles Slicing for search results. This is disabled by default, which means that slices will not be displayed in the search until enabled. 

  1. Go to Main > Search > Configuration
  2. Click an existing configuration or create a new configuration.
  3. Toggle Show Product Slicing under the site search and/or product suggestion tabs. 
  4. Click Save in the top right to confirm changes. 

Slicing with Mapping Attributes

In basic slicing, if a product has a large number of options then it will result in a large number of individual slices. When a mapping attribute is used to associate sets of specific options with generic attributes, then faceting and filtering will be able to work more efficiently with slicing to better reflect the relationships between these properties. 

One use for mapping would be a product that comes in many different shades of green. This product can have each of those shades mapped to one generic green attribute so that all shades will be returned when a shopper searches for “green.” 

In an example with four sliced color options (Forest Green, Spring Green, Vibrant Yellow, and Gold Rush), those individual colors will be mapped to the generic-Color attribute with the below values.

  • Forest Green → generic-Color: Green 
  • Spring Green → generic-Color: Green 
  • Vibrant Yellow → generic-Color: Yellow 
  • Gold Rush → generic-Color: Yellow 

Then a facet will be created for green products within a category where generic-Color=Green. Both Forest Green and Spring Green slices will be displayed in the facet. 

See the Mapping Attributes documentation for more information about mapping and how to set up these attributes.