Our Autonomy starters use existing content models that have been provisioned by the team at Chord Commerce when we bootstrapped your CMS environment.
You can use the (simplified) diagram below to learn more about how core models are interconnected:
E-commerce Content Models
When starting with Chord Autonomy, your initial CMS space will come with more CMS types than what are listed here. You are free to remove/edit content types that are not listed here. The content types listed here are all required for Chord's OMS and its sync service to function properly. With that said, you are free to add whatever fields you would like to the following content types, so long as they do not clash with the fields explicitly listed.
Common Required Fields
Most of Chord's content types have a set of required fields across them that are required for Chord to properly function. These fields are frequently used so that our sync service can sync changes between the CMS and the OMS. You should not remove these fields from content types as it will break syncing from the CMS to OMS.
The name for an item that may or may not be displayed to your customers in the storefront's UI in Chord's Autonomy starters. We note cases where the name is displayed to customers in specific content types in this document.
It will be shown in the CMS as the title for a given entry and it may be synced to Chord's OMS, in the case of content types like Content Models and Content Models. Generally, the name for an item should make sense from an operational standpoint and not a marketing standpoint.
It is a required field and should not be removed from a content type if it's provided to you as a part of your initial CMS space.
Some examples of the name format are:
- The Plant Store
- Colorado Blue Spruce
- Poplar Tree
It is recommended that you add a name field to all custom content types that you end up creating, even if you do not display the name to a customer.
The slug field is a slugified string that is unique to that content type and is the human readable identifier for a given item. This field can be used in URLs to route to the item.
Some examples of the slug format are:
If this field is present in a content type provided to you in our initial CMS space, you should not remove it from the content type, as that will break elements of our sync service from the CMS to the OMS.
It is recommended that you add a slug field (or something like it) to each custom content type that you end up creating in the CMS, even if you don't plan to route to it initially. Having a unique, stable, human readable identifier can be very helpful when querying for a single record. Changing the slug after it has been set can lead to some syncing issues with the OMS for certain content types. When changing it for types like Content Models or Content Models, you should check the OMS afterwards to see if duplicate items were created.
To illustrate the content models used by Chord Autonomy, we are going to imagine a store that sells a variety of plants called "The Plant Store".
The Plant Store is an established business that sells houseplants, shrubs, flowers, trees, and plant supplies, like soil and plant food. The Plant Store currently has a single storefront located at https://theplantstore.com.
The catalog is the top level taxonomy for the items in a store. For Chord customers with a single storefront, you will frequently have one catalog that you use for your whole site. Chord customers with multiple storefronts should have multiple catalogs in their CMS, one for each storefront.
The name for an item that may be displayed to your customers**.**
A string that is unique to that content type and is the human readable identifier for a given item.
A many-to-many reference of in this catalog.
To illustrate some of the finer points of the catalog content type, let's consider what we would do if The Plant Store wanted a single storefront at theplantstore.com versus multiple storefronts corresponding to their verticals (ex: theplantstore.com, theshrubbery.com, flowers4u.co, etc.)
The Plant Store is coming to Chord with an existing site where all their products are listed and they would like to keep it that way.
If The Plant Store wanted a single storefront, they would create multiple Content Models corresponding to their verticals (Houseplants, Shrubs, Flowers, etc.) and associate them with the singular catalog record with the slug of catalog.
The Plant Store would like to diversify itself into multiple storefronts corresponding to its verticals (all flowers on flowers4u.co, all shrubs on theshrubbery.com, and all houseplants on theplantstore.com).
If The Plant Store wanted multiple storefronts, they would create a catalog entry for each site (Flowers 4 U, The Shrubbery and The Plant Store) and then either:
- Create a single Content Models for all products in the store (ex: flowers4u.co has all flowers in a single collection)
- Create multiple collections that highlight distinctions in groupings of items (ex: flowers4u.co has the following collections: Tulips, Roses, Orchids, and Accessories)
A collection is a grouping of items for sale in a storefront. In the Autonomy default content model, a collection is a grouping of products and kits. It should be noted that products and kits can exist in multiple collections.
All of these fields are required for Chord's OMS and its sync service. Do not remove them from the collection content type.
The name of the collection. By default, in our starters, this is not shown to the customer and is used as an internal identifier.
The identifier of the collection.
A many-to-many reference to the content type that represents all the products in this collection.
A many-to-many reference to the content type that represents the kits in this collection.
The Plant Store sells many plant accessories, such as soil, pots, vases, plant food, and everything in between. They would like to have all these accessories in an "Accessories" collection on the site, and they would also like some of their vases to show up with their flowers.
In order for The Plant Store to do this, they would:
- Create their "Accessories" collection along with their other plant-focused collections, like "Flowers."
- Add all their accessory products to the "Accessories" collection.
- Add some of the vases to the "Flowers" collection.
A product is an item for sale in a storefront. It contains information about the product, like the name, description, ingredients, and other metadata. All product management lives in the CMS and is synced to Chord's OMS via our sync service.
An important fact to know is that the product content type itself does not have information like the price, SKU, weight, and other pricing/shipping information, nor should it contain this information. This information will be set in one or more of the product's variants.
All of these fields are used by the Chord OMS sync service and should not be removed from the product content type.
The name of the product. In our starters, by default, this name is shown to customers, both in the store's UI and in the <title> tag of the document.
The identifier of the product. In our starters, by default, this is used in the path portion of the URL to route to the product display page.
The primary image to be shown for this product. It is used not only on your website, but also in the Google Search results for this product (through the ) and other metadata about this product. It is also synced to the Chord OMS through our sync service and will show up in that UI.
are modifiers for a product. If you were to sell a t-shirt, the size of the shirt for sale would an option type and the sizes (small, medium, large) would be option values.
A product is required to have at least one which represents a SKU, which is an item type in your warehouse. There must be a variant for each combination of the product's option values. The variant contains data for the product for pricing, shipping, discounts, and more.
The subscription field allows this product to be purchased by customer on a recurring basis by adding a reference to an instance of the content type.
To help illustrate some of the finer points of the product content type, consider the following use case:
The Plant Store sells red, yellow and purple tulips. The customer can purchase these tulips in a size of small (5 tulips), medium (10 tulips), or large (30 tulips).
In this use case, we are going to model The Plant Store's content to work with Chord's Autonomy starters, which have product display pages with select menus for all possible variants for the product. There is nothing stopping you from having variant display pages where customers can buy specific variants.
There are two ways that The Plant Store could model their products and variants:
All Tulips On A Single Page
In this use case, The Plant Store would like all tulips for sale on a page with the URL of https://theplantstore.com/products/tulips. In order to do this with Chord's Autonomy starters, they do the following:
- Create a product named "Tulips".
- Create the option types for the "Size" and "Color".
- Create the option values for the "Size" option type ("Small, "Medium", "Large") and "Color" option type ("Red", "Yellow", "Purple").
- Add a variant for each combination of of the option types/values with names like "Red Small Tulips", "Purple Medium Tulips", "Yellow Large Tulips" and so on (there will be 9 variants attached to the "Tulips" product).
The biggest advantage to this approach is that you get a single logical product to manage all the SKUs in the CMS.
Each Color Of Tulip Has Its Own Page
In this use case, The Plant Store would like for each color of tulip to have its own page. To do this, they would:
- Create a product for "Red Tulips", "Yellow Tulips" and "Purple Tulips".
- On each product, they add an option type for the size of the order and create three variants on each tulip product corresponding to the size (small, medium and large).
The advantages of this solution include:
- Better search engine optimization, in the default product display page setup in our starters, as it's more likely to catch specific queries like "red tulips" with this approach.
- Easier top level product management in the CMS, as the individual colors are easier to view at a product level than they are at a variant level.
The kit content type represents a grouping of products that can be sold at a set price. A kit is great when you would like to bundle products for sale together at a discount.
It should be noted that, from a Chord OMS perspective, that a kit generates a distinct SKU in the OMS. This product in the OMS will have variants for every possible combination of the included product's variants. The SKU will be an alphabetized pipe joined list of the variants in the SKU which looks like the following:
The name of this kit. This name is synced to the Chord OMS and is displayed to your customer by default in the Autonomy staters.
The slugified identifier for this kit. By default, in the Autonomy starters, this fields is used in the path portion of the URL for the kit display page. It is also used by the OMS sync service to sync the kit to the OMS.
The to be bundled together in this kit.
The amount of money to charge the customer for buying all these items together in this kit.
If you would like to emphasize that buying these products together in a kit would save the customer money, you can enter the regular price here. If it is not on sale, set it to what the price is.
The Plant Store would like to sell red roses with a glass vase and a box of chocolates for Valentines Day for $100 with a name of "Nothing Too Sweet For My Honey".
In order for The Plant Store to offer such a bundle, they would:
- Create a kit with the name of "Nothing Too Sweet For My Honey" and set the price to $100.
- Add the products (red roses, glass vase, box of chocolates) to the kit created in step 1.
- When the kit is synced to the Chord OMS, there will be a new SKU with the identifier chocolates|glass-vase|red-roses.
The variant content type corresponds to a type of item in your warehouse and contains all the pricing, discounting, shipping, and warehouse metadata for a product. All products must have one variant per combination of option types attached to it. If there are no option types on the product, the product must still have one variant record that represents its only variation.
To reuse an analogy from the product section, if you are selling a "t-shirt with the Chord logo," a variant of it would be a "medium t-shirt with the Chord logo."
If your customer is on a product page, they can be presented multiple variants of that product. The customer is able to select that variant by making selections of that product's option types which will map to option values placed upon the variant.
If you were selling a "medium t-shirt with the Chord logo," you would:
- Create a product named "Chord T-Shirt"
- Add a variants to that product named "Small Medium Chord T-Shirt," "Medium Chord T-Shirt," and "Large Chord T-Shirt"
- Add an option type named "T-Shirt Size" to the "Chord T-Shirt" product
- Add option values to the "T-Shirt Size" option type named "Small," "Medium," and "Large"
- Add the option values to the variants ("Medium" option type to "Medium Chord T-Shirt" variant, repeat for the "Small" and "Large" option types)
The starters provided by Chord have product pages and checkouts already set up to work perfectly with this product/variant/option type/option value setup.
All fields listed here are required and should not be removed from the variant content type.
The name of the variant. In the Autonomy starters, this name is displayed to the customer when the variant of a product is selected.
The price of this variant of the in the currency defined in the Chord OMS for this storefront. If you are thinking about setting up your storefront for multiple currencies, reach out to the Chord team for further discussions.
If the product is on sale (or you want it to appear as if it's on sale), this is where you would set the regular price of the variant. If it is not on sale, this field should equal the value in the price field.
Weight & Total Packaging Weight
This is the weight of the product variant without packaging and with packaging. These fields can be used to calculate how much shipping might be for some shipping services in the Chord OMS.
The internal identifier for this product variant. It is used by Chord's OMS sync service to sync pricing and shipping information to the OMS, so the SKU shouldn't change and should be considered stable. This field can functionally serve the same purpose as the on other content types.
Global Trade Item Number
The /barcode for this product variant.
A many-to-many reference to the content type. It is used to match the variant to what the user wants to purchase on a product page.
The Plant Store sells sunflowers. They sell them in bunches of 6 (small, $20), 12 (medium, $40), and 20 (large, $65). Sunflowers are in season right now and they have a surplus of them in stock and have to move them quickly. To do so, they are going to offer a discounted price when customers purchase larger sizes, discounting a medium order of sunflowers to $30 and a large order to $50.
In order for The Plant Store to offer sunflowers in such a fashion, they would:
- Create a product named "Sunflowers."
- Create an option type named "Size."
- Create option values that reference the option type "Size," named "Small", "Medium," and "Large."
- Create variants for the product "Sunflowers" named "Small Sunflowers," "Medium Sunflowers," and "Large Sunflowers."
- Set the option values on the variants to match their size through the "Size" option type.
- Set the prices and regular prices on the variants to match the one described in the use case.
The option type content type represents an option for the customer to pick when adding a product to their cart. Imagine the option type as a dropdown in a form and the values in the dropdown would be option values. If you were selling t-shirts, the size of the shirt would be an option type with option values for "small," "medium," and "large."
Option types are part of the glue that binds a product to a variant. To make an analogy to HTML (and how it might show up in the Chord UI), the option type is a <select> element and the option value is the <option> element for that <select>.
It is encouraged that you reuse option types (where it makes sense) across your products.
All of these fields are required for Chord OMS and its sync service to work properly. Do not remove them from the option type content type.
The name of the option type. This is primarily used as an internal identifier in the CMS interface to describe the option type and is not displayed to customers in the Chord Autonomy starters by default.
The identifier of this option type. To continue the HTML <select> analogy from above, this field maps to the name attribute on the <select> element.
A many-to-many reference to the content type.
The human readable description of this option type. To continue the HTML <select> element analogy from above, this would be the <label> for the <select>.
For a detailed use case of how to use option types, please refer to the variant's use case.
The option value content type represents an option for an option type. If you were selling t-shirts, the size of the shirt would be an option type and "medium" or "large" would be an option value.
Option values are part of the glue that binds a product to a variant through option types. To make an analogy to HTML (and how it might show up in the Chord UI), the option value is an <option> element to a <select> represented by the option type content type.
All of these fields are required for Chord OMS and its sync service to work properly. Do not remove them from the option value content type.
The name of the option value. This is primarily used as an internal identifier in the CMS interface to describe the option value and is not displayed to customers in the Chord Autonomy starters by default.
The identifier for this option value. To continue the HTML analogy from above, this would be the value attribute for the <option> element.
The human readable description of this option value. To continue the HTML analogy from above, this would be the text inside of an <option> tag.
For a detailed use case of how to use option values, please refer to the variant's use case.
The subscription content type allows you to define recurring purchases of products or kits for your customers at a custom interval defined by the subscription interval content type. Chord Autonomy's subscription model allows you to give your customer a discount on their recurring order based upon a percentage discount.
A single subscription can be associated with multiple products by adding an instance of the subscription to the desired products.
Chord's OMS handles all of the recurring billing and order management around subscription orders.
These fields are required by the Chord OMS sync service and should not be removed from the subscription content type.
The name for this subscription type. In the Chord Autonomy starters, this name is not displayed to the customer. It is used by Chord's OMS sync service and should serve as an internal name for this subscription type.
The internal identifier for this subscription type. This is used in Chord's OMS sync service to sync subscription to the OMS. It is also used in Chord's Autonomy starters in the subscription selection dropdown.
The percent of money to take off of the subscription product's price. Set it to 0 if the subscription should not be discounted.
A many-to-many reference of the content type, defining the acceptable intervals for the subscription to reoccur for the customer.
The Plant Store offers their customers the ability to send roses or violets to a loved one on a weekly and monthly basis at a 10% discount. They want to promote it with the name of "'Always Thinking About You' Subscription."
In order for the The Plant Store to offer such a subscription, assuming they had already created the roses and violets products, they would:
- Create a new subscription named "Always Thinking About You" with a 10% discount.
- Add new subscription intervals set to repeat every 1 week and every 1 month to the subscription.
- Add the subscription to the "Roses" and "Violets" products.
The subscription interval content type represents a reusable unit to define how often a subscription purchase should reoccur.
These fields are required for the Chord OMS sync service to work properly so do not remove them from the subscription interval content type.
The name of this subscription interval. In Chord's Autonomy starters, by default, this field is shown to your customer in the subscription selection dropdown.
The identifier for this subscription interval. It is used by Chord's OMS sync service to sync subscription intervals to the OMS. It is also used in the subscription selection dropdown in Chord's Autonomy starters.
The customer-facing name of this subscription interval.
The measurement for the interval. These can be either days, weeks, months, or years.
The number of the subscription should reoccur upon.
Refer to the use case for subscriptions for an in-depth description of how subscription intervals function.