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    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 particular variations, for example, the size 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 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.

    Before you start

    It is highly recommended to create separate matrix items for products that are available in different colours. This allows you to correctly list your items on the Citrus-Lime Ecommerce platform.

    So, for example, if the jacket described above was also available in blue, you should create one matrix group for the sizes available in red, and a separate matrix group for the sizes available in blue.


    Creating a Matrix Parent

    1)  From the main menu in the Cloud POS Back Office, navigate to Create & Manage Items, then Items.

    2)  Click Create New Item.  From the drop-down menu, select Matrix and then click Create.

    3)  Here, you will create the Matrix parent.  This is the 'umbrella' item 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:


    Product range    
    Individual item name Manufacturer code Size
    Short Sleeve T-shirt Red Small SSTRedS Small
    Short Sleeve T-shirt Red Medium SSTRedM Medium
    Short Sleeve T-shirt Red Large SSTRedL Large
    Style Name (max 25 characters) Matrix Item Lookup Code (ILC)  
    Short Sleeve T-shirt Red SSTRed  


    4)  Populate the remaining fields with the relevant details of the items.

    NOTE:  All child items within the matrix will be created with the details entered here, but you can make individual adjustments afterwards, if needed.

    5)  Once complete, click Save Changes to Matrix Parent.

    Creating the Child Items

    1)  To create the child items, scroll down to the section titled, 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 fitting.  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 SSTRed, for example, then using the code 'S' will mean that the child item will have the lookup code SSTRedS.

    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. 

    You can now move on to add dimensions into the other tables, if needed. It is recommended to mention the colour as a dimension, if you have space to do so, because this will be searchable in the Back Office and Point of Sale later (for example, you would be able to look for any child item with the colour 'red'). It also makes the presentation of your items clearer to customers online if you're using the Citrus-Lime Ecommerce platform. However, it is not recommended to have multiple colour dimensions in a matrix, as this causes problems when activating items for Ecommerce. Please speak to the Support Team if you'd like some further guidance on this.

    For our red t-shirt, therefore, we have just listed a single colour in Dimension 2, like this:

    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 with a preview of all the child items that will be created. There will be a child item for each unique combination of attributes. The Item Lookup Codes will be formed by joining the matrix parent code with the attribute codes. Similarly, the Descriptions will be formed by joining the Style Name with the attribute names. Here is the example for the red t-shirts:

    This provides an opportunity to review the items and ensure that they will be created as you intended. For example, in the image above, the word ‘Red’ is repeated in the item Descriptions, and there is an extra ‘R’ on the end of the Item Lookup Codes, which we don't really need. You can click directly into these fields to make amendments.

    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 item will not be created.  Remember to click Save Changes if you make any amendments in this screen. (If a change is unsaved, it will be highlighted in green.)

    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:


    You have now created your matrix parent and child items.  

    9)  A recommended next step is to click 'Set Alias' for each child item.  This enables you to assign a manufacturer's barcode (EAN/UPC) 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 — for example, if the child items are bikes — you can do this in bulk by clicking Convert Child Items To Serial.

    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.

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