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Consider a simple example whereby an electronics shop sells a computer mouse "Mini Mouse M187" in ten different colours. The simplest solution is to enter data for ten different products. We already see the problem with data entry as every singe product would need to repeat names, descriptions, most of specification attributes and category assignments. But leaving this aside lets think what happens when the customer searches for a "Mini Mouse" phrase. Top results would be ten items representing the same products in ten different colours, which simply clutters the screen pushing other products which could be relevant down the list or maybe even to the next page. This gives the customer watching the search results a feeling of system being imprecise and unhelpful simply dumping the data onto results page. A much better way would be to group all ten products into one thus being concise with the search results and providing the customer with a real choice.

YC The platform solves this issue using two distinct entities: products and SKU. In terms of the platform products are detailed descriptions of what generic products. Products represent a template for actual Stock Keeping Unit (SKU). SKU represents actual (real world products) that can be offered to the customers. Consider t-shirt as an example: t-shirt by Lacoste would be a description of a product, t-shirt by Lacoste in size M and red colour would be a SKU. Product in this case represents generic t-shirt of a particular brand. SKU represents a specific size and colour. This model works particularly well with multi SKU (e.g. t-shirt with many sizes and colour) because when customers search for a specific phrase or a generic one YC relevancy the relevancy search engine will present the with a single hit every time but will change the image and description to SKU that best matches the search. 

Looking at "Mini Mouse M187" example on the demo store we can analyse how YC the platform handles search and data presentation. When entering data the difference (which is colour and imagery) is set on SKU, the rest is set once on the product avoiding data duplication issue. When searching for "Mini Mouse" we get only one result hit that invites the customer to explore more colours if they are interested in this particular product. If however the search is more precise "Red Mini Mouse" the system offers red version with red picture to the customer, but still only one result hit without any clutter on the search results. Every data search is precise and gives the customer feeling of guidance and support as sales person would in a traditional shop.


Associations tab provides easy way to accomplish this linking. Associations are split into several types. By default YC the platform provides: Product accessoriesUp sellCross sellBuy with this products and Expendable materials. Additional association can be easily added but above list provides a good start. 


Placing product into a category allows to categorise the product and thus help customer with their search. If customer is looking for "shoes" the obvious place to look is the "shoes" category. But what happens when we broaden our perception of just putting products into categories by their function and start bringing more context. For example seasonal context. For example "flip flops" could be in "shoes" and "summer clothing", and when summer is over those flip flops make their way to the "clearance" category.

This is exactly how YC the platform manages products. Each product can be assigned to one or more categories to suit the kind of cases described above. It is up to the business to decide when and where to assign the product.