Most efficient way to structure data for ecommerce?

Hi all,

I’ve been reading many posts in the community and am encouraged by all the evidence of an active, helpful community! I’m relatively new to Softr and Airtable, although I think I have the basics figured out now.

My question has two, related (I think) parts:

  1. What is the best way to structure my Airtable database if I expect to have thousands of products in different categories, where each category has different attributes, and consequently, different filtering needs?

For example, I could create one table of products and a second table of product details, where the first shows just the basics (product name, image, brand) and the product details table contains…the details which could vary by product type (for clothing could be size, color, etc; for snack bar could be flavour, size, allergens, etc).

This seems simplest, but would mean a large table with lots of NULL values.

Alternatively, I could create a separate product table for each category (clothing, food, etc) that contains all of the required fields for each, and nothing extra.

Is one of these approaches inherently better (faster, more flexible)?

  1. Related (I think), as I’m building out pages in Softr, I realize that I want the inline filters to be dynamic, and related only to the content I’m currently viewing. So for example, If I’m on a Clothing category page and I want a sidebar filter of Brands, I only want to display Brands that make clothing. I’m currently seeing every brand in that filter (filter shirts by “Nabisco” makes no sense, etc) and can’t figure out how to limit it to just relevant brands (except manually, which will be a pain as I add/remove brands over time)

Thanks for any help you can offer!