Product filters (article)

Susana Moleón Moya
Susana Moleón Moya
  • Updated

Product filters provide a flexible way for you to organise your Tours into sets using your own custom fields. These filters can be used in various aspects of TourCMS where you wish to include/exclude a certain selection of your products such as:

  • Staff booking process
  • Restricted logins
  • Reporting
  • Online booking engine
  • Webdesign
  • Website channel / brand

This feature is formerly known as "Collections", we'll go into details about this further in this document.

How to Create a Product Filter

There is a two steps process to define your Product filter:

  1. Create Categories & Groups
    These are the aspects (attributes) of your products which you will use to build your filters, for example an Activity Operator in Scotland may have groups called "Activity type", "Location" and "Challenge". They are custom and can be whatever you like.
  2. Create the Product filters based on these new Groups
    Sticking with our Activity Operator example they may want a Product filter (set of products) called "Rafting in Aviemore", this simple filter would return all of the products with an "Activity type" of Rafting and a "Location" of Aviemore

The benefit of this approach is that once you have your Groups loaded you can quickly create many different Product filter, as you add more products/services to your account they will automatically drop into the correct Product filter. It's important to assign the corresponding categories for each tour in the tab Setup → Categories.

Step by step guide

Step 1 - Creating our Groups and Categories

First you will need to decide on some of the aspects you will group your products by. Some examples for an activity company have been given above (Location, Activity type, Challenge) whereas a chalet operator may want to create a "Catering" group to allow filtering by Catered / Non catered properties.

You can currently create up to five of these Groups and each can have as many possible values (Categories) as you like. Here's how to create one:

1. Log into TourCMS, then from the homepage head to Configuration & setup then on Categories & groups, which is within the Product filter option.

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Figure 1. Categories % groups

2. By default, all five possible Groups will be deactivated. Click Activate Group, then click Edit once the group is activated.

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Figure 2. Activate group

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3. In the Edit existing group box enter the name for your first group (e.g. "Activity type") and click Save changes.

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Figure 3.Group name

4. In the Create a new category box add each of the possible values in turn (e.g. "Rafting", "Kayaking", "Paintball") clicking the Create button in between each.

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Figure 4. Create a new category

5. You should end up with something like this:

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Figure 5. Group name and categories

Step 2 - Setting the Categories for our Tours/Hotels

1. Head to the Tours/Hotels section of TourCMS and click Setup for one of your Tours

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Figure 6. Setup the tour.

2. Under the Categories tab you should see rows of boxes for each of your categories. Move the ones related to this particular product to the right hand side, like so:

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Figure 7. Tour categories

3. Save your changes and then repeat for your other products.

Step 3 - Creating our Product filters

The final step is to create the actual Product filter, these can use any combinations of the Groups & Categories we configured in Step 1 and once we have them set up our existing and new products will drop into the correct filters automatically.

1. From the homepage head to Configuration> System & setup then Product filters

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Figure 8. Product filters. 

2. In the CREATE A NEW PRODUCT FILTER form  enter a name for your filter then click create

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Figure 9. Create a new product filter

3. Click Setup for the newly created item

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Figure 10. Setup a new product filter

4. If your are using TourCMS templates to manage your website content then you can tick the Build web page? box if you would like TourCMS to generate a web page for this collection (for example you could have an introductory paragraph of text followed by a listing of all of the products in this collection)

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Figure 11. Build web page

5. Below that you should see a row of boxes for each of your categories (very similar to the Tour setup in Step 2 above). Move the correct values over to the right hand side using the arrow buttons, like so:

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 Figure 12. Categories selected

6. Save your changes and repeat for your other Product filters. 

Step 4 - Checking our Product filters

Your product filters are now ready to use, however, there are a couple of different ways you can check they are working as you'd like:

1. In the Product filters page in Configuration> System & setup: The table shows the number of Tours returned by each product filter, clicking on the number lists the Tour names.

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Figure 13. Product filters table

2. In the Product filters report in the Reports section of TourCMS: This report lists each of the product filters and the Tours returned by them. Homepage -> Reports -> Product filters

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Figure 14. Product filters report.

Note: TourCMS sorts Tours into product filters behind the scenes, so it may take up to a few minutes for Tours to show up in a new product filter, or for new Tours to show up in existing product filters.

Using your Product filters

Once you have built your product filters they should be "Set and forget", all you need to do is ensure that you set the correct details on the Categories tab in Setup for each Tour/Hotel that you create (i.e. "Step 2" above). 

Staff booking process

When checking availability to make a new booking or when searching for existing bookings a Product filter can be used to refine the results. This is an easily way to restrict your searching.

Once you have created the corresponding Product Filter, then go to Homepage → Bookings → Search and there you can select the Product filter from the dropdown list to restrict the searching. Please, look at two examples below.

Example: Searching by Activity type

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Figure 15. Searching by activity type

Restricted logins

You can limit staff user accounts so that they can only access certain products.

Example: User who can only access to Spain tours

Once you have created the corresponding Product Filter, from the Homepage you can go to Configuration> Users, then click on PERMISSIONS & MAIN SETUP over the corresponding user, scroll down until Area access permissions and then select the Product filter you should have created before.

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Figure 17. Restricted access only for Spain tours.

 

Reporting

When running the standard included reports or using the report designer to build your own you can optionally use a Product filter to restrict the products considered by the report. Once you have created the corresponding Product Filter, from the Homepage go to Reports. You can use Product filters to restrict the following reports:

  • Booking summary
  • Tour Departures
  • Tour Freesale (No overlapping)
  • Arrivals
  • Arrivals (Weekly)
  • Arrivals (Summary)
  • In resort
  • Overnight
  • Leaving
  • Hotel pickups
  • Ground Transportation
  • Unredeemed vouchers
  • Supplier components
  • Year on Year
  • Leadtime
  • Booking source
  • Conversion

Example: Booking summary restricted only for Austria Half Day Tours

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Figure 18. Booking summary restricted ony for Austria Half Day Tours.

Online booking engine

The booking engine can optionally list a set of alternative products, this list can be based on a Product filter. For instance, for “Hop on/ Hop off” tours in Austria you are interested in showing “Austria tours” as alternative options for customer. For that, once you have created the corresponding Product Filter, from the Homepage go to the Tour settings Tour → Setup → General tab, at the bottom of the page you can selectMultiple alternative toursand the corresponding Product filter to restrict the alternative tours.

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Figure 19. Product filters to show Alternative tours

Webdesign

If you are using our CMS templates to power your website you can generate pages containing groups of Tours (e.g. "Hiking Tours" or "Cycling Tours") using Product filter. If you want to use this feature, you should go to Configuration & Setup → Product filters → click on SETUP on the corresponding product filter and then tick the box “Build web page?”.

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Figure 20. Build a web page

In this case, we call Product filters as Collections, which is the former name. You can use the name or even the Product filter ID to show on your website your tours grouped by collections.

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Figure 21. Product filters names and ID’s

Example 1: List of tours grouped by collection

Group name #A (collection)
  Tour #1
  Tour #2
  Tour #3
  Tour #4

Group name #B (collection)
  Tour #4
  Tour #5

 

Could be created using the following TourCMS content tags:

 <TourCMSlist_collections orderby="collection_points">

 <h1><$TourCMScollection output="c_name"$></h1>

   <TourCMSlist_tours orderby="tour_points" has_sale="show">

     <$TourCMStour output="t_name"$><br />

  </TourCMSlist_tours>

 </TourCMSlist_collections>

 

Example 2: List of individual trips grouped by collecion

Instead you may prefer to list individual trips - e.g.

Group name #A (collection)
  Tour #1  1 Jan 2010
  Tour #1  2 Jan 2010
  Tour #1  3 Jan 2010
  Tour #2  4 Jan 2010

Group name #B (collection)
  Tour #3  5 Jan 2010
  Tour #3  6 Jan 2010

For this style, use the following TourCMS content tags:

<TourCMSlist_collections orderby="collection_points">

 <h1><$TourCMScollection output="c_name"$></h1>

   <TourCMSlist_departures orderby="start_date" bookable="show">

     <$TourCMSdeparture output="t_name"$> <$TourCMSdeparture output="d_start_date"$><br />

  </TourCMSlist_departures>

 </TourCMSlist_collections>

 

Notes
Tours or departures (trips) will be listed for each collection they are members of (i.e. they could be listed multiple times)

Instead of using TourCMSlist_collections you could hardcode the collection IDs (numbers) into the TourCMSlist_tours or TourCMSlist_departures container tags. This could give you more accurate control on which collections you list - but requires more management if you add or remove collections over time. Note the addition of c_id="1" below:

<TourCMSlist_tours orderby="tour_points" c_id="1" has_sale="show">

You can list multiple collections (comma separated). Find the ID number from the collections page within TourCMS (Homepage -> Configuration & Setup -> Product filters).

For ideas on how to layout your page - you could use the format as outlined on the category page example.

Note: Link to download documentation http://www.tourcms.com/support/webdesign/tags_overview.php

 

Website channel / brand

You can choose to run multiple website channels / brands from a single TourCMS account, each can offer a subset of the products loaded in your account by using Product filter. This is useful if you want to easily separate tours which are sold in different channels. For that, you can create a different Product filter per channel in order to restrict the tours offered in every channel.

For this example, we have created a Group named as “Channel”, a Category named as “OTA” and a Product filter named as “OTA Channel tours” in order to differentiate which tours are sold by OTAs.

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Figure 22. Product filter “OTA channel tours”

If you click on SETUP on the right side, you should see the following:

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Figure 23. Settings of “OTA channel tours”

In addition to this, we have assigned this category to the corresponding tours. For that, head to Homepage > Tours and then click on “SETUP” in the corresponding tour. Then, go to the Categories tab and move to the right side the category “OTA” under the Group “Channel”.

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Figure 24. Tour categories

Finally, we have to change the OTA channel settings in order to make the restriction.

For that, head to Homepage > Channel manager and select the corresponding channel from the dropdown list on the right. In our case, our channel is “OTATest 12803 (12803)”. Then, click on the “Product filter” link:

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Figure 25. Channel settings: Product filter

After that, then tick the box Restrict product on web sale by product filter (If you don’t use product filters, leave this unticked)” and move the product filter “OTA channel tours” to the right side. Save changes at the end.

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Figure 26. Channel settings: selecting the filter

Note: This is a fairly advanced feature and is by no means required to use TourCMS, if none of the above use cases appeal to you then you can probably ignore Product Filters.

Best practices

Use Product filters to setup different channels. So, it will be useful when you decide to stop selling a tour in a channel, you only should go to the Tour categories and move to the left the corresponding category.