An Introduction to eShops 1 – a tour of your shop back office

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Get to know the wide range of options your online shop has available, with our seven-part series that will walk you through setting up your online shop from start to finish. This week, we’re taking a tour of your merchant back office.

The back office

The merchant back office is the hub of your online shop. From here, you have a clear view of your inventory, orders, customers and the design of your online shop. Use the upper menu bar to switch between the shop areas:

Administrator options can be modified under “Settings/User management” – you can set a new password to the back office or change the language used in the back office here. In the “Settings/General settings” menu, you’ll find a status overview of your online shop. Here, you can see which features are available to you what you have already activated.

The setup wizard

The shop system will show you a setup wizard when you log into the back office for the first time. Using this wizard, you can choose the design of your shop in just four steps and record basic information like your contact details or the tax number of your company. You can also use the setup wizard to specify roughly what sort of content and sub-pages your online shop will have. Don’t worry, though – you can always change this later via the “Settings/General settings” menu, and if you find you prefer to use the wizard you can call it again at any time via the “Settings” menu.

Convenience features
To the right in the back office, you will find an additional menu with several useful features that can make working with the shop much easier. If it is hidden, you can expand it by simply clicking on the question mark icon.

In the expanded menu, context-sensitive online help will show you more detailed help topics from the user manual depending on which section you are in. This menu also provides you with links to videos and a search function for the user manual.

Located behind the second tab is your shop’s tray. You can use the tray to transfer data from one area of the shop to another without having to enter it again in the new area. For example: Highlight a selection of products in the product overview and copy your selection into the tray using the drop-down menu in the product overview. Now you can insert those products into the export list for a product portal of your choice with one click to boost your marketing activities. (We’ll talk in more detail about product portals in a later article in this series.)

On the third tab, you’ll find the favourites function of your back office. Expand the tab and you can add your current location to your favourites to make it easier to navigate to the areas you need most often.

The fourth tab of the convenience features contains your eShop page history. You can use the history function in combination with the tray of your shop to transfer data from one area of your back office to another area even more quickly.

Preview function and page cache

At any time, you can switch from the back office to the shopfront of your online shop and view it just as your customers will see it. This enables you to check the effect of any changes you make. Just click on the preview button in the upper edge of your back office – it will show the shopfront section that corresponds to the area you’re editing in the back office.

Next to the preview button, you’ll find a note about your page cache. You can use the page cache to optimise the display speed of your online shop for your customers. The page cache is effectively a holding area for your website pages and means that every page no longer has to be found and output afresh from the database whenever someone accesses it, making access speed slightly faster. However, if you are still working on setting up your online shop and so making lots of changes, we recommend not activating the page cache until you’re happy that your shop is as you want it. Once the cache is activated, you’ll need to manually update it before each use of the preview function in order to be able to see the effects of your editing in the storefront.

You can, via the “Settings/General settings” menu, switch the page cache on and off and also specify the interval when the current version of the back office is to be automatically transferred to the database. You can also set the duration for how long the cache is to remain valid on the server before browser requests are again answered by the database which forms your shop content.

Please note: The setting “Product detail view” contains the information about the current inventory status of the product. If you only have a few products in stock or you sell your products very quickly, you should set this to a short interval so that purchases don’t happen when you are actually out of stock!

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