Yay to the Lemax Software developer team! We have taken a look at what people need of attributes and how they functioned earlier and said “OK, there is room for improvement there!”. And, a couple of weeks later, new features regarding attributes and attribute groups are available. So, now you can define the descriptions of your products much quicker and easier.
So, what’s new, you ask? Well, in this blog post I’d like to talk about the attributes in general, what they are, how they work and how to use them.
What attributes are
Attributes are used for describing products. They are used so that your products are described in a more uniform format, and that your clients can get a quick and easy overview of what they are getting. These attributes can be visible on your website and on the itinerary documents. Example of what attributes are can clearly be seen on a screenshot taken from a hotel description page from our demo website:
We need to make a clear difference between two terms: attribute and attribute group.
- Attribute – a feature that can be defined for a certain product describing one of its properties
- Attribute group – a group of attributes describing similar properties of a product
So, in the photo above, attribute groups would be: hotel equipment and offerings, additional activities nearby, meals… while the attributes would be: internet, exchange office, dry cleaning…
Please note that the attributes are used only for description, they are in no correlation to any services being provided on bookings.
Defining attributes is done in a window that is shown in the photo below. This window can be accessed from several locations (whenever you might need to add an attribute!). The novelty is that you can now access this window directly from the Description tab of a product, where you actually define the product’s attributes. Please take a look at the screenshot below to see how to add an attribute:
The first thing you need to define is the Attribute value. There can be several of them and here is how to use them:
- Yes/No – an attribute will be defined and it can have a “Yes/No” value. So, you can state for each of your products whether it is available or not (e.g. Outdoor pool – with Yes/No attribute you define whether a hotel has an outdoor pool or not).
- Area – an attribute in m2 defining an area of something (e.g in an apartment you can have the attribute Area, giving the full area of the accommodation in m2).
- Distance – numeric data which defines distance in meters. If it is a big distance (e.g. 90 000 m), you enter it as 90 000, and the system will display 90 km for any distance longer than 1 km. Example of this is the Distance from sea attribute, explaining where is the nearest beach or seaside.
- Numeric data – to be used for describing numeral values (e.g. number of conference halls)
- Weight – numeric data which defines weight in kilograms (kg).
- Liter – numeric data which defines a volume in liters (e.g. fuel tank capacity).
- Power (engine) – numerical data which defines power in kW (e.g. Engine power).
- Speed – numerical data which defines speed in km/h (e.g. Vessel maximum speed).
- Consumption (fuel) – numerical data which defines consumed volume in liters per hour (e.g. average fuel consumption).
- Date – date value (e.g. date of built).
Each attribute can be translated to multiple languages so Lemax can use the correct language when translating. Also, there is a possibility for an attribute to be hidden, and this is used for attributes that you wish to have, but not have displayed for your clients (e.g. supplier phone number). An attribute can be required, which means the system will not allow you to save the product unless this attribute is set.
Defining attributes on products
OK, so now we have defined our attributes, now we need to say which attributes are available for which products, and of course, define their values. To do this, you need to edit a product and use the description tab and the attributes sub-tab.
Whoa! There are some novelties! If you take a close look at the buttons in red rectangles, you’ll see new options that were not there. What are these options used for? Well, they are an improvement on the earlier interface of linking attributes and attribute groups.
Basically, this is where things become easy. At the moment, you are now looking at an apartment and its attributes. In the photo above you see that three groups of attributes are visible: Distances from, Beaches, Location. Above that I have the button Edit groups. Once you click this, you see all groups available for the product type apartment. You can easily remove the unwanted groups and add new ones, or reorder groups just by drag and dropping them. These groups will apply to all apartments.
So, if we go back to the interface for defining attribute values, you will see an Edit attributes button next to each group. This is also new, and allows you to link a new attribute to a group directly from here, which is also a great save of time and effort. So, once again, yay for the devs on this one. Once you click the Edit attributes button, you get an interface like this one:
So, what is all this for?
The attributes are easy to define now. But, where can they be used? Well, that is a special thing, which we usually do on a “per client” basis, depending on their desires. One useful thing is, for example, an online search of all apartments that have air conditioning? Well, this is something we did for a client of ours, on their private accommodation rental website, check the search box in the image below:
Or, would it not be amazing if you could define some things as attributes, keep them hidden so they do not appear on the web, but use the information on a voucher or offer? Like the check in / check out time?
These are just basic ideas, working with our customers we have come up with a lot more ideas and practical uses.
Attributes have always been there. But we are proud to have improved them. Because we do believe that if we work on things one step at a time, we make Lemax Software a better and more user-friendly environment to work in. And thus we make it a better travel agency software.