Imagine if your customers were able to “build” their own Shirts on your store. Or if they could assemble their preferred sneaker style without having to browse and search the store.


With HCL Commerce it is possible using the power of attributes as facets to achieve things beyond your customer’s imagination.


Look at this example, where your customer can virtually “build” his own sunglasses, just like a self-service system.

So, how can we do that?

The first step is understanding the types, variations and applications of attributes we have on the platform.










1 – Types:

Attributes with predefined values – These attributes are best applied for common types, with repetitive values, like Screen Size for example. The Business User can define a range of possible values for this attribute (45″, 32″) and also a default one.

Attributes with assigned values – These attributes are best applied for very dynamic and not “predictable” values, in this kind of attributes, the business user is able to insert virtually any kind of value.

2 – Attribute properties:

Displayable – This parameter defines if the attribute will be appearing in the product page or not. With that, you can hide the attribute from a crawler or a user.

Comparable – This parameter defines if this attribute will be shown in the product comparison screen or not. A comparison screen full of information helps the customer to make decisions.

Use as ribbon ad – Allow the attribute values to be advertised on top of product picture, in the product grid.


Use in merchandising: Allows the attribute to be used in Web activities or Search Categories.


Use in Faceted Navigation – This parameter dictates that the attribute values can be used as “filters” in product lists, categories and search results, in order to improve shoppers’ experience. With facetable attributes, shoppers can filter multiple values of the same attributes to check the products, almost building their own item. We can also use images to represent the attribute values in the left navigation filter, which allows us to create almost a “self service” system in the navigation of our store – a really awesome feature!

Searchable – This parameter enables the attribute values or attribute name to be “found” using the store search functionality.

3 – Main Applications:

Descriptive attributes – These are attributes that are common for all product SKUs. Perfect for facets and comparison. Business Users have to define it just once, in the product level, and all SKUs inherit these values.

Example: All iPhoneX have a 4 Inch screen size.

Defining attributes – These are attributes that change the products’ SKUs. They are also perfect for facets and comparison. Business users have to define it just once, on product level, and HCL Commerce automatically creates one SKU for each value of the attribute. Defining attributes can only be of the Predefined Values type. Assigned Values are not allowed.

Example. iPhoneX can have Color Black or White. Also, capacity can be 16, 32 or 64 gb.

Now that we know the types, parameters and applications of attributes, let’s see how to create a “self-service” system to choose a tablet, using facets and multiple-choice attributes.

The first step is to identify the main attributes of our tablet products and create the attributes, so let’s take as example: Size, Battery life and Storage.

To create a new attribute, we have to do the following, inside the catalog engine:

File -> New -> Attribute dictionary attribute with predefined values.

Then, we have to create our attribute, filling the name and general description, and we cannot forget to mark that this attribute will be facetable, comparable and displayable.

*After you save an attribute as facetable, you cannot undo this action without IT support.

Then, we have to define all the possible values for each attribute. Like this example.

If you want to associate images to represent values and provide the following effect, we have to associate an asset with each value. For that, right click the attribute value column title, configure columns, and mark image path.

*Remember that we always can change the order of values with the sequence field

After that, our attributes are created with all values filled.

Now, we have to associate these attributes to products and the values to the SKUs.

So, in our product details page, inside CMC, let’s go to the Defining Attributes tab, type the attribute name on the text field, then hit “find and add”.

Now, our last step is to generate the SKUs for our tablet product. For that, right click the product on “Active Work” and choose generate SKUs.

And this is the result:

Then in near real time, Elasticsearch will make these options selectable from the product detail page.

*Remember that you can always change the sequence facets are displayed with a right click on the product category, choosing “show facets” an changing the sequence value.

This is just one example of the power and flexibility of the HCL Commerce platform. I hope that you have liked this post. If you need any help, have questions, or want to suggest a topic for the next post, please leave a comment 😉

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Further Reading
Marketing & Commerce  /  August 5, 2020
HCL Commerce Right Now
By: Caley Iandiorio, Commerce Product Marketing Manager
After all the excitement and energy from the HCL Commerce Customer Summit and the launch of version 9.1, which was only a month ago, the pace of innovation by our clients and by HCL is accelerating. To provide some insight, we thought we would share a quick snapshot through the lens of our customers, drawn from our AHA Ideas Portal and our customer support team – and three things stood out.   Cloud native is hot as customers connect the dots between the platform and the value to the business. Customers are clamoring for information, tips, best practices as they seek to adopt its constituent pieces as they work towards becoming a cloud native organization – and that means going beyond commerce. In many cases, HCL Commerce is a catalyst for broader organizational change and they are looking to us for advice as they tread a very new path. Questions around microservices (or business services as we think about them), DevOps and CI/CD, Containers (and supporting technologies like Kubernetes, Google Anthos, etc) are constantly hitting our Support and Advisory Services team.   Adoption of 9.x is accelerating! Not surprising after a great launch event with live demos and deep dives into the benefits - we have a lot of inquiries about the move to 9.1, closely connected to questions around Cloud Native – which of course is the foundational architecture of 9.1. Since the start of 2020, we’ve seen double digit growth in inquiries about 9/9.1, migration paths, timing, organizational approaches and more – companies have clearly seen the value and are in various stages of mapping or executing their moves.   Elasticsearch and search in general – coming out of our launch and announcement of HCL Commerce Search based on the Elasticsearch engine, this has been the single most...
Marketing & Commerce  /  July 1, 2020
A Solution to Adding Cash Flow – Without Cutting Budget
By: Angela Diorio, Commerce Business Manager
HCL announced its strategic partnership with Google. Google Cloud will be HCL preferred cloud platform and HCL will be Google’s preferred commerce solution.
Marketing & Commerce  /  July 1, 2020
Goodbye SOLR, Hello ElasticSearch!
By: Aaron Pickrell, Senior Product Manager
HCL Commerce team new approach towards Elasticsearch and depth on the newest HCL Search capabilities!
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