Commerce Commerce 1.x Getting Started Product Catalog

This document assumes Commerce was downloaded and installed with the default options and that you’ve gone through the basic configuration.

Now that your basic shop configuration is in place, and you have an idea of the different pieces that are involved, let’s start talking about the actual products and your catalog.

Products and the Catalog

In Commerce there is a distinction between the products and the catalog. This may seem a bit odd, but is by design to enable more flexible and powerful shops.

Products are simple representations of an item that you sell. A product could be “Rainbow shirt in size M”, which has its SKU, price, weight, stock, etc. Commerce doesn’t natively have variations within products: each unique option you have in your warehouse is a unique product.

The Catalog is how your products are organised and presented to customers. This contains your products, of course, but may also cover reviews, categories, filters, product videos and galleries, brands, etc.

Commerce focuses primarily on the products. You’ll use a selection of tools, not necessarily tools provided by modmore, to build out the catalog exactly how you want it to work. Then you’ll hook in the products in Commerce.

Laying out your product catalog

For most MODX shops, we recommend building the catalog based around resources. For example, you might use:

  • Collections as categories. Collections show up in the resource tree like regular resources, except it hides regular child resources from the tree. That allows you to have hundreds or even thousands of resources, without overloading the tree. Each child resource would be a product page.
  • Tagger and/or mSearch2 to allow a customer to drill down products within categories based on values you store in TVs on each product page.
  • pdoTools to list resources and to generate menus.

These tools allow you to use MODX in the same way you would for normal sites.

To hook up Commerce, you will then use what we call the Products TV or Matrix TV on your product pages. These are template variable types that ship with Commerce that let you maintain either a list or a matrix of products that are associated with the page.

Imagine this resource structure:

  • Clothing
    • Shirts
      • Design A
      • Design B
      • Design C
    • Jeans
      • Design D
      • Design E
      • Design F

All designs will have a set of sizes that are available for selection on that product page. You will manage the general catalog page through the resources, while the sizes are the products in Commerce, with their own price and stock. The Products TV lets you manage a one-dimensional list of product variations.

About the Product Matrix:

The Product Matrix TV works in a similar way to the Products TV, but instead of a one-dimensional list, it lets you define 2 properties and products are automatically created for the intersections of those properties. This is useful for a variety of use cases, but it’s a bit more complex to get started with. If this is your first time working with Commerce, we’d recommend first getting to grips with the system using the Products TV. When you have that working, you can learn more about the product matrix for more powerful product management.

So let’s start building. Install Collections, and create a sample resource structure for your shop, perhaps based on the sample above. Make sure to create a template for your categories, and a template for your product resources.

Product Template

Create a Products TV with name products, and assign it to your product template. Use it to create some products on one of your product pages. (For example, on your Design A resource, add Design A - M, Design A - L and Design A - XL and give them different prices.)

In your product template, add [[*products]] to see the comma separated list of product IDs for that specific product page. We can turn that into a list of product variations with the get_product and get_products snippets.

Start by making the first product in the list available as the main product information:

[[!commerce.get_product? &product=`[[*products]]` &toPlaceholders=`product_info`]]

Now we can use placeholders prefixed with product_info to get any of the product fields. For example, we may show the resource title followed by the SKU and price of the first product, and then the main resource content that may include a product description:

[[!commerce.get_product? &product=`[[*products]]` &toPlaceholders=`product_info`]]
<h4>SKU: <code>[[!+product_info.sku]]</code> | Price: [[!+product_info.price_formatted]]</h4>

We’ll also need to add the ability to select from the different products, and submit that to the cart. There are 2 different form structures you can use, we’ll use the single product variation.

<form method="post" action="[[~[[++commerce.cart_resource]]]]" class="add-to-cart">
    <input type="hidden" name="add_to_cart" value="1">
    <input type="hidden" name="link" value="[[*id]]">
    <div class="product-variation">
        <label for="choose-variation">Product</label>
        <select id="choose-variation" name="product">
    <div class="product-quantity">
        <label for="add-quantity">Quantity</label>
        <input type="number" id="add-quantity" name="quantity" value="1">
    <input type="submit" class="cta-button" value="Add to Cart">

The product_as_select chunk:

<option value="[[+id]]">[[+name]] ([[+price_formatted]])</option>

What’s important to note here is that we have 3 required fields we’re submitting to the cart:

  • add_to_cart with value 1 to indicate we want to add something
  • product with the ID of a Commerce Product that we want to add. In the example above, this is a <select>, but it can also be a hidden field.
  • quantity with the number of products to add.

We’re also submitting a link hidden field with the current resource ID. This is optional, meant to be used with the ItemData module to be able of linking back to where the user added the product from.

When viewing a product resource, you should now have the add to cart form and basic product information shown. Adding to cart should also work, as the installation already set up our cart page accordingly.

Category Template

In your category template, use pdoResources or getResources to generate a list of your product pages. Include the products TV so we can show information from the Commerce products.

For example:


template.products_list chunk:

<div class="product-list-item">
        <small>[[commerce.get_product? &product=`[[+tv.products]]` &field=`price_formatted`]]</small>
    <div class="product-list-actions">
        <form method="post" class="product-list-addform" action="[[~[[++commerce.cart_resource]]]]">
            <input type="hidden" name="add_to_cart" value="1">
            <input type="hidden" name="product" value="[[commerce.get_product? &product=`[[+tv.products]]` &field=`id`]]">
            <input type="hidden" name="quantity" value="1">
            <input type="hidden" name="link" value="[[+id]]">
            <input class="cta-button" type="submit" value="Add to Cart">
        or <a href="[[~[[+id]]]]">find out more</a> 

The add to cart form in this listing is slightly different because we used the quantity as a hidden field, and we’re using the get_product snippet with a &field property to get specific product information.

Going beyond

With the basic structure in place, you can now start building your catalog. Perhaps you want to add related products, show the add to cart form only if there’s sufficient stock, or add more TVs to your products for highlights or product specs. The sky is the limit!

You can also try the product matrix, instead of the products tv. The matrix is a more powerful way of managing products that combines 2 product attributes or properties into automatically generated products. You will need to make changes to your template and add to cart form to get that one hooked up, which is a little more complex than the Products TV due to its different structure.

Next: customising your Cart & Checkout

The cart and checkout should already be up and running, but you can customise a great deal. Lets work on the cart and checkout, and look at theming them with Twig.