View Full Version : Some pre-sales questions answered

05-14-2008, 06:27 PM
I will attempt to cut and paste a fairly big list of questions I had prior to switching over to Shoppe Pro. I was switching from an OS Commerce store with many functionalities and wanted to compare how many I would retain, or what other features were offered by the SP cart system. Karina was ever so grateful to answer every single one of my questions. It may be a little tedious to read through but it was loads of help for me. I hope these help someone else.

1. can a customer use more than one gift certificate at a time? No, only 1 code at a time can be used.
2. is paypal their only option for paying? (for example, right now my customers can use either paypal, check, or credit card) No, you can accept paypal, check, credit card via paypal, or if you have a merchant account or Propay, you can accept regular credit cards.... [more info here]
3. how would international orders & shipping work in shoppepro stores? All shipping setup is done through your Mal's account which is integrated into the cart. You can pretty much set up any shipping scenario. The more complicated shipping setups (like real time shipping calculators, complicated shipping tables etc...) require either a premium Mal's account ($8 a month payable to mal's), or a third party shipping plugin like Auctioninc. [more info here]
4. I don’t see any area for entering meta description on individual products (in OSC after each product you have the option to enter title, description and key words –the description of the product is different than the three options below it) –why is that? This is because the product is already being described in the product description area. The search engines value the actual page text far more highly than the meta tags. As long as you describe your product in detail on the page you would have no need for a meta description. To the search engine, having a meta description on these pages would be considered redundant, and in some cases could be ignored completely if the same key phrases are repeated too often.
5. when entering a cateogry, what is the “layout” for? The layout is different ways of displaying the products in that category. Try playing around with the categories in the demo. Change the layout, and then view the category from the front end of the website. You can show your products in a single column, double column, triple column, multiple column thumbnail links, or a no-image grid listing
6. how does the advance item search work under entering a new product? Would this have to be done for each product entered? Is this what drives the search function on the website? No, this is just to help you narrow down products you need to edit or modify. For example, let's say you have a category "t shirts" that you want to modify the prices in each product of that category. Instead of having to choose each product one by one from the top drop down box area, you could just choose the category Tshirts under the advanced item search. This would bring up a quick list of all products in that category so you could go down and modify each price (or whatever it is you're modifying) on one page instead of one by one. Basically lets you modify groups of products at 1 time instead of individually. This isn't something you every have to use if you don't want to and this has nothing to do with the search function on the website.
7. when entering a new product, what is shipping units? (is that the number in stock?) No, shipping units can be used a lot of different ways. It's primarily used to help the Mal's cart calculate shipping. Mal's has about 8 different ways to calculate shipping and a lot of them rely on what you enter in that shipping units box. For 1 method of shipping, you can assign that field to equal the actual dollar amount of what you want to charge for shipping for that particular product. So in that case, if you wanted to charge a flag $5 to ship that 1 product, you would enter 5. Other methods of shipping use that field as how many items you're shipping... like let's say your product is a table that requires assembly and comes in 2 different boxes. This would tell Mal's to count this product as 2 shipping units if your shipping calculates per unit. This can also be used as a weight. Some Mal's shipping methods use this field to calculate shipping based on weight. So in this case you would enter the actual weight of the product into this field. Like if your shipping units is "pounds" and your product weighed half a pound, you would enter 0.5 in the shipping unit field and it would calculate the shipping that way. Shipping is probably the most complicated part about the entire system which is why we offer a service to set it up for you if you ever want to throw in the towel while trying to figure this out. [here] A lot of folks just have us take care of it instead of stressing over figuring out all the different methods.
8. if you put a particular product on sale, would you go back into that product and enter the sale price? Basically how do you put a product on sale? Very simple actually. You would go into Products > (pick your product) > edit, then enter a sale price in the "Sale Price:" field. It would display like my sale items on this page. If you have a specific category, or even the whole store, that you want to mark down, you can click on "Global Updates" on the bottom left side of the store admin, and mark down items that way too.
9. after entering wholesale, what does “display” mean? This is which people you want to display this product to. If you want ONLY your wholesale vendors who are logged in to see this product, you would pick "WS only" . This would mean for this product to even be visible, you would have to be logged in as a wholesale vendor. If you leave it as "All", the product would be visible to everyone, and anyone could order it.
10. how does the price discounts section work? This is basically "bulk" discounts. Price discounts give a discount for larger quantities of items ordered. So if you have a product that's $5, but if they order more than 20, they can have them each for $4 then you would enter 20 "or more" and then 1 "$ off". Here's an example: Do you see at the bottom where it says "Buy 25 or more and receive $0.75 off / Buy 50 or more and receive $1.50 off". Try adding different quantities to the cart and see how the price changes.
11. how do you get notice of a new order? (via email?) Yes, your order notifications come from Mal's to your email address. You can set up your Mal's account to customize your order notification emails, as well as the order notification that's sent to your customer.
12. how does the default items work? This is a feature that can save you ALOT of time while you are adding products... especially if they all have the same options etc. There's an article about that [here].
13. when checking out, what payment options do I have? (or can add?) Again, the checkout is all done through Mal's e-commerce. Same link as #1. If you're interested, I do have a sample test product for $0.01 that you can order to test out the order process. If you want to I'll even refund your penny. ;)
14. what is the members area about? This is basically discount coupons (but only for % off). (It used to be called "Coupons" but it confused too many people since it's not the best way to offer coupons.. more on that in a minute). It's called Members because it basically lets you assign discounts to certain groups of people that you give out a special link. Let's say you have some family members that you want to give 10% off . You would enter something like "FAMILY" and assign it 10% off. This will generate a link that you can give out to those people that would discount everything 10% for them if they click on that link to enter your site. You can also give out the code itself, but you would have to enter a coupon box somewhere on your template that people can enter this code into to get the discount (much like what I have at the top left here). Just to let you know, the best way to offer coupons is with "discount vouchers" through you mal's account, not through this "Members" feature. There are more advanced ways of creating coupons that way. You can use $off as well as % off and assign it maximum and minimum amounts etc....
15. is there a logout for the wholesale clients? No.
16. is the affiliates section work much like banner manager in OSC? (you can charge people to put their ads on your site?) No, it's for use with Mal's mTracker affiliate link program.
17. how does price search work? It's basically a "Shop by Price" feature. You can add a drop down to your template to narrow products by price (See the example on the bottom left of my other site where it says "Select Price")
18. what is froggle? "Froogle", which is now called "Google Base", is where you can export your product listings into the Google Product search. You need to sign up with Google Base first.
19. are you able to enter a title or product number or description for the products you put in your gallery? The gallery feature is something I personally integrated into this pre-existing catalog software myself. It is only intended as a neat place to showcase your products. You CAN enter a caption for each photo, which could be a title, item number or whatever you want it to be. But it does not link into the product catalog at all. It's just a neat little type of "bonus feature" to show off your products or photos or whatever you want..
20. how do I check my statistics (who is coming to my site, how they got there, what products they are looking at, etc) - The best place is awstats which is available through your cpanel. [article here] EXCELLENT detailed information on where your visitors are coming from and what they're searching for, how long they stayed, what page they came in on, what page they left on... etc.
21. I assume I’d be checking my email through the storeadmin panel? - No you can check your email through /webmail or you can set up your Outlook or other email client to read/send your email. (I personally use Mozilla Thunderbird). [Article here]
22. do you know with Mal’s if I can have the following options (pay by): check, paypal or credit card (the last one is the one I’m interested in, I visited their site but didn’t find a response and you apparently have to have a username to send an email –I use an outside vendor to process credit cards where the customer didn’t want to use paypal and I’d like to maintain that ability) - Yes, you can set up your Mal's account to accept offline credit cards. [article here] The customer would enter their credit card info during checkout. You would then log into your mal's account click "payments", enter your payments password, and retrieve the credit card info, and then process it however you normally process it.
23. does SP allow for the reservation of domain names? If not, where would you offer to go? - Yes, we can register domain names for you when you sign up, or any time. Our price is $15 per year, but you are free to register a domain anywhere you like. [article here]
24. for each product listed on a summary page, is the product title and price the only thing you can have on it? (right now, my product summary pages show just about the full description of the item plus the title and price –then offers a details button) - Well, this depends on the "layout" we discussed in # 5. The 'Single Product Layout' would be very similar to your summary page in osC, which is horizontal rows of products. Except the "more details" link would not be there. It actually shows the entire product description and options and order button in this area, in rows, not just the title and price. The "Grid Listing" is like that but doesn't include a photo, which is what I have [here]. My personal favorite is the "3 column layout" , which is what I have here which is rows and columns, not just a row like the layout in osc. You can see thumbnails of everything in 1 glance instead of having to scroll down through lots of rows of products. Lots of people do not want to spend time scrolling through pages of rows and would much rather see everything in one glance to find what they're looking for.
25. with wholesale, I see you can enter a specific % for each vendor –but are there any other restrictions you can place on the vendor –ie., you have to order $X.XX amount to receive the 50%? No, unfortunately there is no way to make it impossible for them to order below your minimum with our cart, but you can always let your vendors know that you won't process any orders received that are below the minimum.
26. are you familiar with wordpress and emalbum gallery? If so, do you know if either one can be pulled into your system and the designers templates? I'm familiar with Wordpress, but any third party systems like these won't integrate directly into our system. You can always install these on your domain separately and often designers can make a matching template for these items to blend into your site as if they were integrated, but they won't be able to pull them directly into our system.
27. lastly, is it possible to start working on my site prior to it going live? Meaning, can I start all the store product page setup, etc before I have it be live to the public (and right now I’d be using the same web address that is currently on another server…that account doesn’t end until October but I thought if I could get the work done now then I’d be all set up to go live). Yes, absolutely. [article here] We can assign you a temporary url to work on your site before "going live". You would just wait until you're ready to go live before changing your domain's name servers.