shopping Cart Pt2

Sections in Detail – Products

If you use any special character in the creation of any product descriptions you MUST use the code equivalent for the symbol. £ must become £ and © must become © Failure to do this WILL break your products RSS feed so that it will (at best) show a blank RSS feed or at worst show an error message.

Right – now we have that out of the way!Using this screen to create or edit products is pretty easy:

1. Give the product a product name (make sure that it is unique and easy for you to identify

2. Write your product description in the next box. Interestingly you CAN use some HTML here (just remember the warning above!) – so unordered lists, or emboldening text etc is all perfectly acceptable. You can even play with different font colours if you so desire.

3. Additional description (next on the list) IS important. Lots of users ignore this opportunity to give more detail about their product. If you are using the simple list view this will appear automatically when the viewer clicks the plus sign next to the ‘additional info’ link, and in the grid view (Gold Cart Module) this extra information makes up a large part of the description itself. It is important that it follows the same rule in the warning, but don’t squander this chance to really sell your item, and of course get a few more keywords in.

4. Product tags work in much the same way as post tags do. They get embedded into the header of your product and can be used by the search feature, search engines, and anything else that is looking for post tags. You are using WordPress, which is absolutely the best way to keep search engines interested in your site at this moment in time – don’t waste this option!

5. Product group selection is next (See product groups below), which is a very simple radio button click – but it is worth noting that a product can be a member of more than one product group if so desired or if useful

6. Price and stock control are our next options. Price is clearly your sales price – but as we will find later in the shop settings, this price can be affected by our decision as to whether we are showing our prices INCLUSIVE of any taxes or EXCLUSIVE of any taxes. Enter the appropriate figure in the box here, allowing for your decision on tax.

? Next is a secondary option allowing you to choose whether or not you want to change your mind on including the taxation (yeh – we know. But better to have the option!),

* followed by a radio button to show this as a donation;

* then another radio selection to exclude this item from the shipping rules you set in the
shop (see section below)

* next is the option to set this as a special or sale item. Selecting this pops up a new
option (AJAX is cool!) which allows you to set a lower price. This is actually a very
nice feature as the product will show the higher value with a line through it and then the
lower price below it. Also these items are included when you use the specials widget
(see dedicated section for more)

* Finally, is a radio selection to limit the stock on that item. Selecting this creates a new
box (AJAX again) which allows you to fix the stock of that item to a finite amount. WP-
Ecommerce will then count down the stock so that you only sell what you have.

7. Next up is variation control. This is the option to include variations such as sizes, or colour choices on otherwise identical items preventing you having to set up a new product for each possible variation. Image if you had 4 colours of t-shirts, in 7 sizes. That would give you potentially 28 different products! With clever use of variations you can get this down to just one making it much easier for your customer and for you to manage.

* Selecting the variation option that you want to include with the product then gives you a
list of all the options (and if you select two or three variations the combinations of all of
those variations) allowing you to set stock and pricing levels for each of those variation
combinations. For example – if a black xxl t-shirt is a limited edition, that may be $4
more than the white xxl and so on. VERY powerful if you put some thought into it’s use.

8. Product images does exactly what you would expect it to – it allows you to add an image to your product. If you have had the foresight to upgrade to the Gold Cart it also expands this to allow multiple images which is excellent. You do have a lot of control over thumbnail sizes and so on here – so it should be easy to get the look and feel that you want.

9. Finally, if you are selling downloadable products you can add the product here so that WP- Ecommerce can handle the issuing of your payload directly. You may find that this has another use for you and your store, however. Imagine a store selling foodstuffs, maybe you would want to add a recipe as a downloadable product associated with that particular ingredient. Or a chemicals company that wants to make the safety leaflet available immediately that the order is received… Have a think and you might even find a way that an associated download could be a secondary sales vehicle (trial software, sample of e-book etc).

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