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we have a lot of clothing and shoes in our magento shop. We use layered navigation to allow the users to shop by color or brand. Everything works fine. However, there is multiple colors which are very similar (chesnut brown, dark brown, brown/black, etc) which should only appear as a single one (in this case just one entry for "brown").

Does anybody know of a plugin or at which part of the code one should tackle that problem? I have googled for hours, but coudln't find anything on that topic. It feels strange that we are the only ones who are interested in that kind of usability optimization. Any kind of hint is appreciated. Maybe we can figure something out together.

Side note: changing the original attributes and products to simpler/normalised versions is NOT an option due to internal/backend stuff.

  • Trying to understand your question. You have a product with multiple colors: yellow, blue, dark brown, light brown and medium brown. You want the web site to display yellow, blue, and brown? I'm not sure I have an answer other than normalize, but perhaps a clarification might enable someone to help answer the question. – JasonS Aug 4 '14 at 22:04
  • Products usually have 1 colour which needs to be normalised. See the other comments below, they got it. Sorry for the confusion. – blackcud Aug 7 '14 at 14:21
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Yes, we know this one very one, you need to create a pseudo attribute for Colour with only blue, brown, etc. and use this for layered nav but not on the product detail page. The trick with Magento, never make it more complex than it needs to be, we see your note about internal but we use it exactly this way and works fine. Why can you not do this, it is the simplest and most logical method with Magento - sure you have two attributes - one detailed and one the group - but that is a minor issue.

  • Thanks for all your comments. The question is now: How do you assign this new attribute? I won't certainly do it by hand (talking couple thousand products) so there needs to be some autmatisation at import time (using OscWare at the moment). I guess I will need to write some custom plug-in for that after all. – blackcud Aug 7 '14 at 14:13
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We did a lot of layered navigation customization for last five yerars, including the described one. Most clients do not change existing attributes but crestes a new one, like naviation-color and show only it in the navigation.

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As an apparel seller, I understand how hard it is to keep your color list manageable. Seriously, create another normalized list of colors that you use for site navigation only. We have over 230 colors of products on our site, and use a normalized list of 12. Color and Primary_Color is the easy, cost effective way to deal with this situation.

Alternatively, you can go with the more expensive and harder way to do it. Sign up with a search provider (Celebros, Convermax etc...) and let them normalize your list for you. They'll probably create a normalized list, and use that for their powered search engine, but it'll also do other things at the same time that helps improve your site search performance

  • Yes, I'm aware that celebros starts at $800 a month and goes up to $1500 a month. It's not cheap, but if he doesn't want to create a sanitized list (or can't given his restrictions) it's A solution, just not a smart one. We did 6M in sales last year and are well on our way to 7.5M this year. We use a sanitized list for navigation. – Justin.OMC Aug 5 '14 at 6:38

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