Merchandise Hierarchy Overview


Merchandise Hierarchy helps you to identify market trends and realize shopper buying and demand by providing a customizable organization of your company’s merchandise.

You design merchandise hierarchies to represent how you categorize your items or products during a particular time period and assign the items to the hierarchy. After you have assigned items, you have a strong framework that you can use in the downstream workflow for workbooks, reports, pricing, promotions, and more. This framework enables you to make informed merchandising decisions.

Organizing your workbooks or reports using Merchandise Hierarchy makes it easier to see specific details. Such information helps to identify sales trends across product classes and is invaluable when determining sales strategies such as promotions. For example, you can create a workbook to examine sales by department that at a glance shows you that sales of men’s organic cotton T-shirts are much lower than expected.


Do not confuse the Merchandise Hierarchy feature with Commerce Categories, a Commerce Web Stores feature designed to help you create hierarchical product structures on your websites. Commerce categories presents items on your website in a structured way that makes it easy for your shoppers to find them. For more information, see Commerce Categories.

Each merchandise hierarchy is multi-level with the highest level providing an overall enterprise view and then narrowing down to families or classes of products. Hierarchy levels help you to determine the relationships between items. This enables you to efficiently manage items throughout the enterprise workflow while planning, buying, merchandising, pricing and more.

Hierarchy levels contain nodes which provide simplified product definition and enable alternate views of product classifications. For example, a hierarchy level for women's clothing may contain different nodes for each of the available item classes such as skirts, pants, T-shirts, and shirts.

Merchandise hierarchies are customizable, so you can label each hierarchy level and node as needed to completely match your enterprise.

The Hierarchy Manager lets you visualize and manage the merchandise hierarchies you create. For more information, see The Hierarchy Manager.

View the Merchandise Hierarchy overview video