Once you have specified the initial settings and tailored the design of your shop to meet your expectations, it is time to itemize your stock and transfer the product data to the ePages shop system. You can do all that by using the ePages merchant backoffice (article based on ePages version 6.11).
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? No problem—the Version Assistant will help you list it. 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: for example, with a cover-flow effect.
When you enter product data, you have the option of specifying a minimum inventory level for the product in question. If the quantity of your product drops below the minimum level, then the shop system will automatically notify you by means of a symbol in the product overview under "Products/Products”. You can also choose to be notified automatically via e-mail. To do so, activate the corresponding e-mail event in the “Settings/E-mail settings” menu. For additional information on e-mail settings, please read the fifth article (“Opening Your Shop”) in this series and this blog post.
By the way, you can define a different inventory level for each version of a product.
While you enter product data (now and/or later, naturally), you not only can enter product texts but also include images of products. To do so, you must merely upload an image. On the basis of your image, the shop system will then calculate different sizes for portrayal in the product overview and for the detail pages. If you would like to insert additional images for a product, the gallery function is at your disposal.
So that products can be displayed, they must be assigned to at least one category. 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. Provide information to your customers via texts 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.
If you would like to modify some other 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 to subsequently optimise the portrayal. You can also insert additional items here, such as a product 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.
By the way, products can be assigned to more than one category. In this way, they can be displayed elsewhere as well—in the “Promotional products” category, for example. 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.
You want to make your work easier? Just use your ePages online shop’s import/export function to create a lot of new products in one go.
To ensure that you do not make any mistakes while entering data, we recommend that you use the back office—as usual—to create and organise all the categories. Then establish a reference product for each category. Afterwards, 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; then use a spreadsheet program 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.
For more details, please read about Importing and Exporting in ePages.