How do I create a Matrix item?
This article explains what a matrix item is, and guides you through how to create them
A Matrix item is a way of grouping together standard or serialised items which are all alike apart from one characteristic, for example, the size or colour of the item.
The items are grouped together under one Matrix 'parent' to allow faster item creation. This also groups the items together on your eCommerce platform, so all sizes or colours, etc., are visible on one product page.
Items grouped together within a matrix are referred to as 'Child Items' or 'component items'.
Matrix Parent: Red Jacket
Child Items: Red Jacket - Small, Red Jacket - Medium, Red Jacket - Large
It's important to understand that the Matrix parent itself doesn't physically exist as a product; it is just a way to group together alike items which do physically exist as products.
NOTE: It is good practice to create separate matrix items for products that are available in different colours. So, for example, if the jacket described above is also available in blue, you would create one matrix for the red colour / sizes, and a second matrix for the blue colour / sizes.
Creating a Matrix parent
1) From the main menu in Cloud POS backoffice, navigate to Create & Manage Items, then Items;
2) Select Create New Item. From the drop-down menu, select Matrix and then hit Create;
3) Here, you will create the Matrix parent. This is the part of the product that groups the child items together.
For ease of identification, the name and code of the matrix parent should be terms that are applicable to all of the items within the matrix.
In the example below, we have given the matrix parent a Style Name and Matrix ILC which makes sense in the context of the names and codes of the items which will be contained in the matrix:
|Individual item name||Manufacturer code||Colour||Size|
|Short Sleeve T-shirt Red Small||SSTRS||Red||Small|
|Short Sleeve T-shirt Red Medium||SSTRM||Red||Medium|
|Short Sleeve T-shirt Red Large||SSTRL||Red||Large|
|Style Name (max 25 characters)||Matrix Item Lookup Code (ILC)|
|Short Sleeve T-shirt Red||SSTR|
4) Populate the remaining fields with the relevant details of the items.
NOTE: All component items within the matrix will be updated with the Price entered here. This should not be amended, as all items within a matrix should have the same price.
5) Once complete, click Save Changes to Matrix Parent.
Creating the Child Items
1) To create the child items, scroll down to Add Dimensions & Create or Manage Matrix Items;
2) Under Dimension 1, enter the name of the dimension. The 'Dimension' is the differentiating characteristic, such as size or colour. In the below example, we have used Size. This is just an example, but please note that this name is required if you list your products on eBay using the eBay integration.
NOTE: You can create a template for frequently used dimensions. Details on how to do this are at the bottom of this article.
3) Click New and enter your first attribute and code. The code entered here will be what is added to the end of the matrix parent item lookup code you created earlier, so if your matrix parent code is SSTR, for example, then using the code 'S' will mean that child item will have the lookup code SSTRS.
When you have created the first attribute, you will need to click New to create the next attribute, and so on.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A matrix item can only have up to 70 child items. If your attribute combinations will result in more than 70 child items, be aware that not all child items will be created.
Using the 'Short Sleeve T-shirt Red' product example we referenced above, you would complete the attribute and code sections as below:
4) Click Save Changes once you have entered all the required attributes. NOTE: Please only fill in one dimension table at a time. Make sure you save your entries into Dimension 1 before you move onto Dimension 2, and so on.
5) Once you have filled in the dimension details, click the Generate Matrix Items button as shown below:
6) You will now be presented with a popup screen that will preview all the child items that will be created:
This provides an opportunity to review the items and ensure that they will be created as you intended. Additionally, if you know that a particular child item doesn't exist as a physical product (if the manufacturer doesn't make the item with a certain combination of attributes), then you can click Remove and that particular item and will not be created in the database. Remember to click Save Changes if you make any amendments in this screen.
When you are ready to proceed, click Generate Matrix Items.
7) The result will be a collection of items with a combination of the above details:
8) You have now created your matrix parent and child items. Within the generated matrix items field you have the ability to make adjustments to most of the data shown.
For example, you may decide you wish to adjust the 'Barcode Description' to make the product more recognisable on the barcode labels printed from the system.
9) Of particular importance at this point is the ability to 'Set Alias'. This enables you to assign a manufacturer's barcode against each item within the matrix. When you click the Set Alias option a pop-out box will appear that gives you the ability to add one or more barcodes against the product:
Converting all child items to serialised items
If the child items in your matrix need to be serialised, you can do this in bulk by clicking Convert Child Items To Serial.
Please note, this cannot be easily undone, so confirm that the items do need to be serialised before carrying out this step.
Edit Reorder & Restock Points (minimum and maximum levels)
You can set Min / Max Levels after creating your items. Click on the Edit Reorder & Restock Points button as shown below:
This opens a pop-out that gives the ability to enter Min and Max Levels and Bin Locations for all of the items you have just created, at all of your store locations.
In the example below, we have given the two stores different Min / Max levels and also different Bin Locations to account for the differences in the stores:
After making any changes, always make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save And Update All Component Items button to confirm and implement any changes made.
Saving templates for frequently used dimensions
1) Click the Apply & Manage Template button above the dimensions grid, then select Create New Template:
2) Give the template a name and click Done. Click New and populate the first attribute and code fields. When you have created the first attribute and code, you will need to click New to create the next attribute, and so on. Click Save Changes when complete.
3) Click Done to save your template for future use.
To apply a template, click the Apply & Manage Template button. Find the required template in the drop-down list, then click Apply Selected. If the wrong template has been selected, you can remove it by clicking Remove Existing Template.