I hope this title isn't misleading and properly describes what I am wanting to do.
I am also seeing insight from the community for the best way to accomplish the end goal that I want for Magento categories.
To start this question off, I think it would be best to start with the problem.
When we create a new product line, we have to create many new product categories, each with unique content and unique URLs. In our most recent examples, we had to create 11 category pages to get our categories in all the locations where we think our customers will shop. Here are some examples of this issue:
/bags/barrier/pouch/oval-window /bags/gusset/stand-up-pouch/oval-window /bags/food/barrier/zip-pouch/oval-window
See how every page would yield a different category in the Magento system in order for it to be published.
What we want:
We would like to be able to create a single category page for "Oval Window" bags, yet have customers browse their way to that page from multiple different locations.
To be clear - We don't want many URLs. We want a single page with a single URL that can be reached by browsing through many different paths.
In the post I use the term modern e-commerce when describing how we want this to function. I have some examples from larger sites where they have achieved this functionality.
Take, for example, TheHomeDepot.com lighting page:
You can get to it via a few different routes. Here are two routes:
You can see a similar experience at Walmart.com:
Electronics > Video Games
Toys and Video Games > Video Games
You can see in both of those examples that they have a flat category structure in the URL. The Home Depot has the structure "/b/" for category pages and Walmart has "/cp/" for their category pages.
I know the massive sizes of these companies and that they have fully custom systems, but my real question is this:
What is the best way to do something similar inside of Magento 2?
I have thought about a couple of solutions:
1) We could do something similar to how the hierarchy functions within the static content system inside of Magento - having the pages and the hierarchy separate, at which point we could build something custom to figure out how to direct what where... Complex, I know because of how products fit within categories.
2) I can see us finding one single terminal category path for each category and whenever we create branches off of a terminal path, those branches would only be in the menus on the other pages. So, for example, using the /oval-window page, we would have it's "Master" category be
and then have the other categories link into the first branch they have, so for example, once someone gets to
on the former
path... They would branch off via a menu link in /bags/gusset/ that would then take them to
which from there they would then be able to navigate to the children of the /pouch/ category to get to /oval-windows.
Now, I know the idea with Magento is to work within Magento's capability. As I just crazy for even wanting it to work similar to this and I should just not fight how things work right now in Magento 2?
Does anyone else have any additional ideas or recommendations for how to execute this inside of Magento 2?
Thank you in advance!