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2010
Nov
22

Introduction to eShop 3 – organising your product catalogue

In parts one and two of our Getting to Know eShop series, we took you on a tour of the shop backoffice and examined some of your design options. So, now it’s time to get your product catalogue organised.

Create products

Pivotal to administering your goods is the “Products” menu. Select the “Products/New” menu to enter new goods.

Do you have a product with different versions, for example, something that comes in a variety of colours? No problem. The Version Assistant allows you to create subproducts with various attributes—without having to re-enter a majority of the product information. The Version Assistant will then suggest how the product versions should be presented.

When you enter product data, you have the option of specifying a minimum inventory level for the product. We strongly recommend you use this option, as it means that if the available quantity of your product drops below the specified level you’ll be automatically notified by means of a symbol in the product overview under “Products/Products”. If you’d like to be notified by email as well, activate the corresponding e-mail event in the “Settings/E-mail settings” menu.

You can include images as well as product text when you enter product data. Just upload an image and the shop system will calculate different sizes for your image for use in the product overview and for the detail pages. If you would like to insert additional images to really show off a product, simply use the gallery function.

Categories

Prodcuts must be assigned to at least one category if they are to be displayed. To create a new category, switch to the “Content/Categories” menu and then select the “New” menu item. Concerning “Type of page”, select “Page/Category” and immediately set the new page to visible.

Once you have created a new category, your shop’s back office will switch to the corresponding “Preview mode”. Here, you can modify the contents of the newly created categories page – edit text and images and specify how products should be displayed in this overview of categories. The system lets you decide everything, from the number of columns through the assortment of product images and texts to the activation of a stylish cover-flow effect to really show off your product.

If you would like to modify another category, simply switch to it via the left navigation bar. Here, you can switch to a deeper display level to permit access to individual product pages so that you can really hone the presentation of your products. You can also insert additional items here, for example, a demo video.

Assigning products and going live

You now need to place products into the newly created category. Simply switch to the “Products/Products” menu to access the overview list. Select, via check marks, all the products you wish to assign to the new category and select the corresponding entry in the page’s drop-down menu.

Products can be assigned to more than one category, so that you can display them in more than one area of the shop – for example, in the “Promotional products” category as well as in their normal category. Products which should appear on the home page must be assigned to the “Home page” category.

The same drop-down menu will allow you to complete the final step: making the products visible. Your customers can now shop to their hearts’ content.

Import/Export

If you want to create lots of new products in one go, you can use the import/export function. To ensure that you do not make any mistakes while entering data, we recommend that you use the back office to create and organise all the categories to begin with. Then create a reference product for each category. Once you’ve done this, switch to the import/export function. You will find it in various places within your merchant back office: under the “Customers”, “Products” and “Content/Categories” menu items.

Export your database of reference products, and then use a spreadsheet program such as Excel to open the CSV file which has been created. You can now add missing products to the spreadsheet. The reference products will make it clear how data must be entered.

When you do so, make sure that neither the sequence of individual columns nor their headings are altered. Finally, import the CSV file back into your shop to transfer the product data.

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