Explore channel management concepts


Channel types

Dynamics 365 Commerce supports three different channel types:

  • Retail
  • Call center
  • Online

Retail channels

Retail channels represent standard brick-and-mortar stores. Each store can have its own point of sale (POS) registers, income and expense accounts, and staff.

Retail channels are shared across legal entities.

Call center channels

Call center channels represent call center order and customer management.

Online channels

Online channels represent online e-commerce storefronts. Once an online channel is created, a site must be created using the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce Site Builder tool or other third-party e-commerce solution.

Channel setup basics

Channel setup is performed in the Commerce tool. Each channel can have its own payment methods, price groups, product hierarchies, assortments, and set of products. After you create a channel, you assign the products that you want it to carry and sell. Each channel type has a unique set of features that may need to be configured. For example, a retail channel needs assigned employees, registers, and customers. Once a new channel is created, it needs to be assigned to an organization hierarchy.


To learn more about setting up a channel, use the links in the Summary unit at the end of this module.

Commerce hierarchies

You can create a category hierarchy to organize the products you sell through your channels. You can use product hierarchies to categorize or group products. You can then use these products to create product assortments and customer loyalty programs. You can also assign product attributes and properties, assign a pricing structure, include the products in product promotions, and use the products for reporting. You can create one category hierarchy to represent all the products and categories in your organization, and then use that category hierarchy for multiple purposes. Alternatively, you can create multiple category hierarchies for special purposes, such as product promotions.

There are three types of category hierarchies available in Dynamics 365 Commerce:

  • Product hierarchy: Use this hierarchy type to define the overall product hierarchy for your organization. You can use this hierarchy type for merchandising, pricing and promotions, reporting, and assortment planning. Only one product hierarchy can be assigned this hierarchy type.
  • Supplemental hierarchy: Use this hierarchy type for any additional category hierarchies that you want to create. For example, in the spring, you have a promotion for swimwear. Therefore, you include your swimwear products in a separate category hierarchy and apply the promotional pricing to the various product categories.
  • Navigation hierarchy: Use this hierarchy type to group and organize products into categories so that the products can be browsed online or in POS.

By using a category hierarchy to structure your products, you can set up and maintain product attributes and properties at the category level. These attributes and properties include settings for product dimensions and POS settings. Any products that you assign to the categories automatically inherit the attributes and properties that you define. You can also copy the property settings for any product to multiple products in a selected category at the same time.