When you navigate to Catalog > Manage Products you will find a list of every product your distributor provides, even the products you do not currently have in stock at the store. You can add products, disable products or see all the product information. The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) will also update with products as your distributors update their products.
You can search for specific products using the empty fields at the top of the product list. The search fields you will likely use the most are UPC and SKU.
Why is managing products important?
- Managing your products is equally important for the front end of your website as it is for the back. There is general information about products that will be used on the product page your customers view such as the product's description, images, prices, related products and custom options for products that may allow customers to choose sizes or colors. As for the back-end, there are several options found here that will benefit you as a merchant, like pricing and shipping options.
Click here for more specific information on Managing Products.
The ability to manage your product categories can be found when navigating to Catalog > Manage Categories.
Here you will find every category and subcategory that your products are related to and can be found under. Categories can be as vague or as specific as you'd prefer them. Products can be found under multiple categories, depending on how in depth your categories go.
Aside from organizing products, what does having categories do for my store?
- Having categories helps your customers navigate your site when they aren't looking for a specific product but rather a range of products that might fit their needs. Example: A customer looking for .45 caliber bullets for a Smith & Wesson might not want to use Smith & Wesson ammo and would like to compare some information between brands. They can use your clickable categories and subcategories to search your site for all .45 caliber bullets of every brand you offer.
Click here for more information on Managing Categories.
On your Navigation bar under Customers > Manage Customers is where you will find a list of customers who are registered to your site.
This is where all of their information is kept. You can see all of their personal information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, customer group (if assigned) and billing addresses.
After selecting a customer you wish to view, you will use the left-hand navigational bar to see further information such as what is currently in that customer's cart, products they've recently ordered, if they have any gift credits and if they have reviewed or returned any products.
In the Customer tab of your navigation bar, you will see Customer Groups.
Each customer that registers on your site will be added to the Customer Group: General. As a business, you may have some customers that you work more closely with or go above and beyond for. This is where customer groups come into play. Here you can create groups to categorize select customers. After a customer(s) is added to a group, you can select special prices, promotions or shopping cart codes for customers specific to that group. Customers outside of the group will not be able to see these special prices/promotions.
Click here for more information on Managing Customers and Customer Groups.
Navigating to Promotions you will see two promotion types: Catalog Price Rules and Shopping Cart Price Rules. These are different ways you can promote a sale on your website.
- Catalog Price Rules:
- A catalog price rule is a promotion which will display the special prices on the storefront to those who are logged in as a certain customer group.
Click here for more information and how to add Catalog Prices Rules.
- Shopping Cart Price Rules:
- A shopping cart price rule is a promotion that will apply if certain conditions of the customers shopping cart are met. Another way to utilize a shopping cart price rule is to create a Promo Code, which customers will type in at checkout to receive the discount related to that code rule.
Click here for more information and how to add Shopping Cart Price Rules.
Newsletters are still a highly effective customer communication tool, despite what some entrepreneurs might say. E-mail marketing is great when used with care- only approach subscribers with relevant information. Spamming customers can be detrimental to your business.
- On your navigation bar, you will see Newsletters > Newsletter Templates. This feature allows you to create newsletters that can be sent to subscribing customers. To make designing your templates easier, you can click Show/Hide Editor which will make the template field more like a word document rather than HTML.
- Newsletter Queue:
- Navigating to Newsletters > Newsletter Queue, you will see newsletters that are being sent out to customers. A newsletter that has many recipients must be sent in stages. The process of sending the newsletter is managed by a queue. After you start the queue, GSEcommerce sends the emails in packs.
If you will be frequently sending out newsletters, you can create a Newsletter Popup which will appear on your site when a customer first enters and will give them the immediate option to sign up.
- I'm worried about spamming my customers, how I ensure I'm managing my newsletters responsibly?
- MailChimp is an extension that can be added to your GSEcommerce website and can help you easily manage your newsletter by making sure your emails get to the right people at the right time. They're able to do this by connecting to the statics of your website and targeting customers based on behavior, preferences, and previous sales.
Content Management System:
CMS is where you will find every page, popup and clickable link set up on your front end. The two main categories you will work with here are pages and static blocks.
- CMS > Pages
- In this section is every page that your website holds. When you click on the different pages from the category tree on the left- it will open that page on the back-end, showing all of the codings and give you options to change certain sections such as your "About Us".
- Making changes through coding can be difficult, but clicking the Show/Hide Editor on the content tab will transform the coding into what looks like a word document- making it easier to edit text and add pictures or videos. It is important that when having your Home Page selected, to NEVER click the Show/Hide Editor. Coding for this page is intricate and can be easily damaged.
Click here for more information on Pages.
- CMS > Static Blocks
Click here for more information on Static Blocks.
Shipping Mgr > Manage Warehouses holds information for all available warehouses that your products can/will ship from.
You can assign which applicable shipping carrier you'd prefer from each warehouse or set a default warehouse.
Click here for more information on Managing Warehouses.
Cache and Index Management:
Cache and index management are going to be your final steps when adding or removing information to your site. Just because your changes have been saved in your back-end, doesn't mean customers will see them right away.
- After the changes you've made have been saved you will navigate to System > Cache Management.
"Flush Cache Storage" is your main function here. A single click will essentially reboot your site quickly and update it with new information.
Click here for more information on Cache Management.
- Indexing is how GSEcommerce transforms data such as products, categories, etc. to improve the performance of your web store. When changes to this data are made, re-indexing is needed to organize the new information into your store's statistics. To do this you will navigate to System > Index Management.
- A list of data and status bars will show you which sets of data need to be re-indexed. If re-indexing is needed, the status bars will show red. If there are more than one sets of data that need re-indexing, you can simply click "select all" or you may individually select boxes that need re-indexing.
Click here for more information on Index Management.