Merchandising Capabilities

Pathways & Recommendations shares certain Merchandising layers with your Search and Merchandising modules while providing certain levels of separation. This section will outline the different merchandising rule layers and the influences to align your merchandising strategies accordingly.

Global Merchandising Rule influences

The Global rules defined influence all Discovery modules like Search, Merchandising and Pathways/Recommendations. Global-Search and Global-Category rules Influence the Search & Category type Pathways. 

Global-Recommendations rule scope only influences all the Recommendation type widgets like Frequently Viewed Together, Frequently bought Together, Similar Products.  


For Bestseller, Past Purchases and Experience-Driven Recommendation Widget types, the widget level merchandising functionalities are not available yet. However, Global Ranking and Global Recommendations rules can be created to block the products.

Widget Global Rule

The global widget rule refers to rules which affect all responses tied to a particular widget ID. For example, a widget ID abcd123 has a Widget Global rule to include only New arrival products. All responses served using widget ID abcd123 will only have products that have a new_arrival=true set. This type of rule can be used in both Search and Category Pathways or Recommendations widgets as well. 

Given below is the Widget Global Rule creation screen.

To create a Widget Global Rule:

  1. Go to Pathways and Recommendations > Widget Configurator. 
  2. Select the widget that you wish to set the widget global rule for and click Manage > Widget Global Settings.
  3. Click Manage > Edit Rule.
  4. Click on the Product Grid tab and make the necessary widget level rule as shown below:

  1. Click Save to apply the rule at the widget global level.

Preview Merchandising in real-time

After adding the merchandising rules, you can view the grid using the Preview button from within the Product Grid Configurator. You must enter the Product ID (PID) to view the preview changes.  

The Preview shows products as per the rule you have set as shown below:

Widget Query Rule

You can set the merchandising rule for the widget at the query level. The widget query rule affects responses tied to a Widget ID and the query combination.

A query rule in the case of a pathway can be a keyword like “chair” or a category ID like “ cat1234”. A query rule in the case of Recommendation widget is a Product ID like “pid1234”. 

To create a Widget Query Rule:

  1. Go to Pathways and Recommendations > Widget Configurator. 
  2. Select the widget that you wish to set the widget global rule for and click Manage > Widget Query Settings.
  3. Click Manage > Edit Rule.
  4. Click on the Product Grid tab and make the necessary widget query level rule as shown below:

  1. Click Save to apply the rule at the widget global level.


"Using * query
When you use the query '' as 'q=' in the API request, the latency of the response will vary depending on your catalog size and it may not adhere to the Bloomreach's standard SLA. Further, please note that except for include/exclude operation, other merchandising operations such as boost/bury or slots do not work on * query parameters."

Merchandising Feature Datasheet 

There are various types of merchandising features available to you for maximum flexibility in dealing with specific scenarios that needs override of the algorithms based on business requirements. 

Feature Name What does it do?Pathways 

(Search/Category Type)

(Frequently Bought/Viewed, Similar Products)
BlockRemoves PIDs from a response setYesYes
Include/Exclude rulesFilters out or include products from a response set based on attributesYesYes
Hard boost ( PID boost )Includes PIDs from out of algo recall set into responseYesYes ( except for Personalized algo )
Soft boost/bury - Description Attribute-basedBoosts/bury a set of products that match defined attribute based criteriaYesBoosts attribute match products to Top N ( carousel size defined in configurator )
Soft boost - Numeric attribute basedBehaviour is Widget type dependentBoosts set of products based on a numeric attributeSorts set of products based on numeric attribute
Product SlottingPins particular products to certain positions in a gridYesNo
Numeric Attribute SortAllows sorting of numeric attributes while creating a merchandising ruleNoYes


Please refer to Multi-site Management to get a quick context on how Multisite feature works for Discovery. 

Widgets can be created at an account level or site level. Account-level widgets are visible at site level and can be used by site merchandisers. Site-level users cannot modify the rules created by account level users but can add merchandising rules to these account level widgets. Widgets created at a site level are only available for use on that particular site and not to other sites or at the account level. 

Targeting & Scheduling

You can set up rules for targeting specific segments for Pathways and Recommendations widgets based on the target type such as device, location, URL or Reference URL. To know more about how to set up Targeting audiences, click here

Targeting Rules can be set up for both Pathways and Recommendation widget global rules as well as query rules. This image shows a Targeting dimension being added for a Widget global rule. 

Scheduling rules can be added for Widget Global Rules. 

Your Widget Global rules will be listed under Widget Global rules. The listing will show both Schedulings as well as Targeting dimensions.