Hierarchies let you group products together for better discovery and catalog management. This article shows you how to use hierarchies in Fabric PIM.

PIM Hierarchy

  • Master hierarchy: the anchoring object that defines the organizational structure of assortment

  • Alternative hierarchy: represents various merchandising objectives such as organizational requirements, multi-regional assortments, multi-channel assortments, collections, and browse structures/paths

The master hierarchy is a hierarchical structure to categorize items. It lets merchants create a tree structure of categories and subcategories (i.e. nodes) to segregate products. The master hierarchy is made up of multiple categories, starting with the main category and subcategories. It ends with the leaf node where items are located. Every item must belong to one category/subcategory. There is no limit to the number of categories or subcategories in the master hierarchy.

The role of the master hierarchy is to let merchants segregate items in categories and subcategories. For example, if the hierarchy for sports shoes is Fashion > Footwear > Shoes, you can add attributes to each of these categories. The subcategories will inherit these attributes. For example, a “Brand” attribute added to the Fashion category will be inherited by Footwear and Shoes. Similarly, a “Size” attribute added to the Footwear category will be inherited by Shoes.

  1. In PIM, navigate to Hierarchy and click Master.
  2. A vertical menu will appear. Click the + circle.
  3. Add a Title to the empty category.
  4. Click Enter/Return. A category will be created.
  5. Click the newly-created Category name to add subcategories. A new level will appear to the right of the selected category.
  6. Follow the instructions above in the new level.

Note: For first-time PIM users, a blank screen appears with a single empty category.

Adding first category
Adding first category

Master Hierarchy
Master Hierarchy

Adding item attributes to a category and subcategories is required to create items. If a category is missing item attributes, no item can be created for that category.

  • Click the three dots next to the name of the category you want to edit.
  • Click Edit Item Attributes.
  • Add one or more Item attributes to the subcategory.
  • Click Save.

Note: System mandatory attributes are separated for each category for easier management. These attributes are shown by default but need saved in order to be added to the master hierarchy. Click the menu icon to make attributes mandatory for the category and all of its subcategories. Attributes added to a category are inherited from the category to all of its subcategories. You can mark the required attributes as mandatory by going to the options menu for each attribute.


To add hierarchy attributes that are relevant to all categories in the category tree, you can add hierarchy attributes at level 0.

  1. Click the menu icon in the level 0 section.
  2. Select Hierarchy Attributes.
  3. Add one or more attributes to the selected hierarchy.
  4. Click Save.

Note: These attributes are inherited by each category and subcategory of the hierarchy. You need to assign the value for these attributes separately for each category.

If there are attributes that are relevant only for a particular category, they can be added specifically to that category.

  • Click the three dots next to the name of the category you want to edit.
  • Click Hierarchy Attributes.
  • Add one or more Hierarchy Attributes to the category.
  • Add Values to the hierarchy attribute.

Note: The new attributes are only added to this category. Neither the attributes nor the values are inherited by subcategories.

Managing Item Attributes for a category in Master Hierarchy
Managing Item Attributes for a category in Master Hierarchy

Managing attributes
Managing attributes

Alternate hierarchies let you group items based on different use cases. For example, if the warehouse team wants items grouped by vendor ID and the marketing team wants items grouped by brand, alternate hierarchies support overlapping sets of items.

Alternate hierarchies allow for the assortment of items based on multiple attributes and groups them together under one or many subcategories. Alternate hierarchies are derived from the master hierarchy and updated when a new item is added to the master hierarchy. You can create alternate hierarchies to support different business use cases such as the grouping of items for marketing purposes, for promotions, or for warehousing teams.

A user can create one or more alternate hierarchies in PIM. Categories of an alternate hierarchy are dynamic and populated from the master hierarchy which is the original source of items. Any new item created in the master hierarchy automatically populates in the alternate hierarchies (subject to the set rules and conditions). Categories of an alternate hierarchy are linked with the master hierarchy via Sources, Source Exclusions, and Conditions.

For any category or subcategory in the alternate hierarchy, users can set up Sources, Source Exclusions, and Conditions. All three are inherited by subcategories.

  • Sources: These are categories (nodes) of the master hierarchy that provide a list of items to the category of an alternate hierarchy. This list consists of all the items that belong to the category or all of its subcategories (in case it's not a leaf node). Only items that belong to this list can be part of the destination subcategory of an alternate hierarchy. You can add sources to any subcategory in an alternate hierarchy. Sources are inherited by the subcategories as well.
  • Source Exclusions: These are exclusions of the sources applied on a particular category of an alternate hierarchy. Users can restrict items added to a subcategory by applying exclusions to every source it has added or inherited from its parent category. Source exclusions are inherited from categories to their subcategories
  • Attribute Conditions: These are filters on the list of items inherited by subcategories from sources. Conditions can be configured for each attribute based on the type of the attribute. Attribute condirions are inherited from parent category to subcategories

View source
View source

  1. In PIM, navigate to Hierarchy and click Alternate.
  2. See a list of Alternate Hierarchies or click Add Hierarchy.
  3. Edit the empty subcategory to give it a Title.
  4. Create a category at Level 0 or under an existing subcategory.

Note: You can also create categories by dragging and dropping from the master hierarchy. When a category is created using drag and drop, all subcategories are created with it.

Create alternate hierarchy
Create alternate hierarchy

  1. Click the menu icon at Level 0 of Alternate Hierarchy.
  2. Click Edit Hierarchy Attributes.
  3. Add one or more attributes to the hierarchy. These attributes will be added to each subcategory of the hierarchy.

Manage attributes
Manage attributes

  1. Click the menu icon for a subcategory in the hierarchy.
  2. Click Manage Hierarchy Attributes.
  3. Add data to the existing hierarchy attributes.

Users can add one or more Attributes to this subcategory. These attributes will only be added to this subcategory.

Edit hierarchy attributes
Edit hierarchy attributes

  1. Click the menu icon for any subcategory.
  2. Click Manage category.
  3. Add Sources, Source Exclusions, and Attribute conditions.
  4. All the items that match the criteria of source, source filters, and attribute conditions will be added to the subcategory.
  5. Click Save.

Manage conditions
Manage conditions

  1. Click the menu icon for any subcategory.
  2. Select View Items. You will be able to see a list of all items that belong to the particular category

View items
View items

Last update: Aug 20, 2021

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