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 | November 23, 2020
Why Agility is the #1 Critical Capability in Commerce
The events this year have permanently accelerated the move to digital. As always, the shift has not been universal, with the outcome based on their existing digital maturity or their industry segment read blog for more details.
Marketing & Commerce | November 20, 2020
What it means to go Beyond the Transaction
18 months ago, IBM WebSphere became HCL Commerce, part of the HCL Software unit. I, like many of my colleagues, wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But one of the key messages the leadership team ingrained in us is that HCL Software and HCL Commerce by extension, would be an organization focused on helping our customers excel.
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