There are two main ways to set up categories for your Shopify store:

1. Using Collections:

This method involves creating collections, which are groups of products that share specific characteristics. These collections can then be displayed as categories on your storefront navigation menu.

Here’s how to set up categories using collections:

  • Login to your Shopify admin panel.
  • Navigate to Products > Collections.
  • Click “Create Collection.”
  • Give your collection a name that reflects the category (e.g., “T-Shirts,” “Jewelry”).
  • (Optional) Add a description for your collection. This description will be displayed on the collection page.
  • Add products to your collection. You can do this by searching for products by name or using filters. You can also select products from a list of all your products.
  • (Optional) Set a collection image. This image will be displayed on the collection page and in some themes, it might also be displayed in the navigation menu.
  • Click “Save.”
  • Once you’ve created your collections, you need to make them visible as categories on your storefront.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Online Store > Navigation.
  • Click on the menu you want to edit (usually the main menu).
  • Click “Add menu item.”
  • In the “Link” field, choose “Collection” from the dropdown menu.
  • Select the collection you want to display as a category.
  • (Optional) You can also add a sub-menu to a category by creating nested collections.
  • Click “Save menu.”

2. Using the Navigation Menu:

This method involves directly adding menu items to your navigation menu, which will then function as categories. However, these won’t be linked to collections, so you won’t have dedicated collection pages for them.

Here’s how to set up categories using the navigation menu:

  • Login to your Shopify admin panel.
  • Go to Online Store > Navigation.
  • Click on the menu you want to edit (usually the main menu).
  • Click “Add menu item.”
  • In the “Link” field, choose “Link” from the dropdown menu. This creates a custom link that will act as your category.
  • Enter the name you want to display for your category.
  • (Optional) In the “URL” field, you can enter a custom URL for your category. If you leave this blank, Shopify will generate a default URL for you.
  • Click “Add.”

Choosing the Right Method:

The best method for you depends on your needs. If you want to have dedicated collection pages for your categories with product filtering and sorting options, then using collections is the way to go. If you simply want to create basic categories without dedicated collection pages, then you can use the navigation menu.

Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide:

FeatureCollectionsNavigation Menu
Dedicated collection pageYesNo
Product filtering/sortingYesNo
More customization optionsYes (e.g., collection image, description)Limited

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Additional Tips:

  • Keep your category names clear and concise so that customers can easily understand what products are included in each category.
  • Use a hierarchy of categories to organize your products logically. For example, you could have a category called “Clothing” with subcategories for “T-Shirts,” “Jeans,” and “Dresses.”
  • Make sure your categories are mobile-friendly. Your navigation menu should be easy to use on all devices.

By following these steps, you can easily set up categories for your Shopify store and help your customers find the products they’re looking for.