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Creating product types and catalogs
IMPORTANT: Ektron has discontinued new development on its eCommerce module. If you have a license to eCommerce, you will continue to receive support, but if you need to upgrade, contact your account manager for options.
After you configure the eCommerce site, build eCommerce products in the following order:
Create a separate product type definition for each category of catalog entries that you sell. For example, you might have a product type for movies, another for books, a third for electronics, and so on.
When thinking about creating new product types, the most significant differences are the Class field and the content page, which defines the XML Smart FormAn Ektron-defined Web page that contains XML (hidden from the end user) to display content, and receive, verify, and save user input. for products you will create for a Product Type.
A catalog entry’s product class affects customers’ purchasing options.
Example: A computer whose price changes as a customer selects RAM, hard drive, monitor, and so on.
Example: A living room set: couch, end tables and lamps. Instead of buying each item separately, the customer buys all for a “package” price.
Example: A movie in 3 formats and prices:
Example: website content that is only available to subscribed members
Catalog folders generally contain the same kind of catalog entries, such as DVDs or digital cameras. Some information applied to a catalog folder is inherited by all entries in the folder.
After you create product types, apply appropriate types to existing catalog folders using the Catalog Properties screen’s Product Types tab. Then, when creating a new catalog entry, you first go to a catalog folder. Next, click New and choose a product type assigned to the folder. See also: Assigning a catalog folder’s product type
A product type determines the following aspects of the associated catalog entries:
There are 2 steps to creating a product type.
To create a product type:
A kit is a type of catalog entry that allows a customer to select from free-text options, which can affect the item’s price. The options can also be placed into logical groups.
For example, if a catalog entry is a laptop computer, one group may let you enter options for RAM, another for operating system version, and a third could present hard drive options.
There is no limit to the number of groups you can add, nor the number of options in a group. All groups and options are simple text, created on a kit’s Items tab as needed, and can accommodate a price modifier. The following example shows how to set up chair color combinations.
In this example, the options do not affect the price. Here is how the options appear on a product page.
Consider another example in which the price does change. In this case, use the Item screen’s Price Modifier field to adjust price based on the chair frame. For example, if the chair frame is teak, the sale price increases by $25.00.
Other chair materials might adjust the price.
Note how the Price Modifier can either increase or decrease the sale price. Here are these options on the product page.
The chair’s base price is $79.99, and the teak frame increases it to $104.99.
A bundle consists of several simple products. You would use it to combine several existing products into one “umbrella” catalog entry. That entry captures pricing, SKU number, shipping, and inventory information for the bundle. The information for the individual entries that make up the bundle are not affected when one is ordered.
As an example of a bundle using furniture, assume your eCommerce site sells a chair, a table, and an ottoman separately. You also sell them together as a set.
Use a bundle to define the set, add pictures, pricing, and so on. On the bundle’s Items tab, you select the individual catalog entries that make up the bundle.
Here is how this bundle looks on a product page.
A Complex Product is similar to a bundle in that one catalog entry serves as an “umbrella” for other entries. However, unlike a bundle, a customer must select one of the catalog entries. So, the price is that of the selected entry, not the umbrella item.
The advantage of a Complex Product is its ability to consolidate several related items under one title, yet lets customers choose the item they want. Because each item under the umbrella is its own catalog entry, it is priced and tracked separately.
For example, a site sells movies in 3 formats: VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray. Each is priced differently. To accommodate this, create catalog entries for the movie in each format, assigning images, SKU number, pricing, dimensions, and so on. Then, create a Complex Product, make its title the title of the movie, and use the Items tab to select the catalog entries of the individual formats.
The Product List or Product Search control displays the Complex Product, which is the movie title. When a customer selects that, the customer sees the product page, which lists the format and price of each assigned catalog entry. The customer can only choose one.
Unlike the Kit or Bundle, a complex product does not have its own product class. Instead, you create a catalog entry whose product class is Product, then assign other catalog entries to it via the Items tab. As soon as you assign one catalog entry via the Items tab, the original catalog entry is converted to a Complex Product.
Note that the price of the “umbrella” product appears on the Product List and Product Search server controlA server control uses API language to interact with the CMS and Framework UI to display the output. A server control can be dragged and dropped onto a Web form and then modified.s. This can be misleading, since the price of individual items within the complex product can vary.
You cannot apply tier pricing to a complex product. See also: Tier pricing
A subscription is a good or service which
If you use the recurring billing feature (a series of scheduled payments), the bill can be generated for any number of months or years, but no other time increments. Each payment must be the same for the subscription’s term. The term begins when a customer submits the order.
Customers cannot apply a cart-level coupon to a subscription-based catalog entry. See also: Creating a coupon.
Creating a subscription is the similar to creating a regular catalog entry:
If using recurring billing, enter the term of the subscription. To learn about Recurring Billing fields, see Entering recurring billing information.
If this product does not use recurring billing, click No at the Use Recurring Billing drop-down. To learn about the Unit Pricing fields, see Entering a catalog entry’s price information.
Subscription-based products do not support tier pricing. See also: Tier pricing.
IMPORTANT: Due to differences in the way payment gateways work, you should test recurring payments with your gateway before processing live transactions.
The Pricing tab’s Recurring Billing area of a subscription-based catalog entry lets you determine if a subscription is billed on a one-time or a recurring basis. If recurring, it helps you define the terms.
To set up recurring billing:
As another example, if a customer should be charged once a year for 3 years, complete the screen as shown.
If a customer purchases the item on June 1, 2013, the person's credit card will be charged on the following dates.
You must assign a membership user group to a subscription-based catalog entry. Optionally, you can assign an Ektron user group. You assign groups via the subscription’s Items tab.
See also: Membership groups
So, as part of setting up a subscription, you must either create new membership and (possibly user) groups, or use existing groups.
All users (identified by their email address) who purchase the product are automatically added to one of the groups. Ektron checks a user’s email address to determine if the user is an Ektron or a membership user.
If a subscription does not involve access to Ektron content, the membership group provides a list of customers who purchased the subscription. You can use the list to manage the accounts, notify them when the subscription is about to expire, and so on.
If a subscription involves access to Ektron content:
Create a folder and enable one or more subscription-based product types on its Product Type screen.
Place the subscription products in that folder. Customers shop for and purchase this content on your website as they do all products, via eCommerce server controlA server control uses API language to interact with the CMS and Framework UI to display the output. A server control can be dragged and dropped onto a Web form and then modified.s.
Then, create a regular content folder in which to create the confidential content. Next, use the content folder’s Permissions screen to grant the subscription user groups access to that folder.
After you complete and save the Add Product Type screen, a new screen lets you enter XML Smart Form information. On this screen, you set up fields to collect information for the content page of catalog entries based on this product type.
The content page appears on the Product server controlA server control uses API language to interact with the CMS and Framework UI to display the output. A server control can be dragged and dropped onto a Web form and then modified., describing this catalog entry to customers. The process of creating a product type content page is the same as creating an XML Smart Form, described in Adding a Smart Form configuration.
NOTE: You cannot edit a Product Type’s Class.
Each attribute has a publication status. To view attribute status, go to Settings > Commerce > Catalog > Product Types, select a product type and click the Attributes tab.
You can delete an attribute only if it is not applied to a catalog entry. If you try to delete an attribute applied to a catalog entry, it is marked “Inactive.” Inactive attributes can no longer be assigned.
The product type is not assigned to any catalog entries.
Although you cannot delete a product type that is being used, you can prevent users from creating new catalog entries based on it. To do this, go to each applicable folder’s Catalog Properties > Product Types screen and remove that product type.
One or more product types.
A catalog folder is a special kind of Ektron folder designed to hold eCommerce entries. Its unique icon () distinguishes it from other folder types. If you are familiar with content folders, much of that information applies to catalog folders. See also: Setting up your CMS folder structure
A Catalog folder's properties screen has several tabs/screens. The following screens are the same as regular content folders.
The unique screen is Product Types. See also: Assigning a catalog folder’s product type.
Like content folders, the following catalog folder information can be inherited from its parent or uniquely set for each catalog. You can only make changes after creating the catalog.
A catalog folder’s Product Types screen lets you identify product types upon which catalog entries can be based. For example, you created a lawn mower Product Type, and want only lawn mowers to be entered in a catalog folder. In this case, open a catalog folder’s Product Types tab, break inheritance if necessary, and select Lawn Mower as the catalog’s only product type.
Then, when an Ektron user creates an entry in this catalog, the user must use the Lawn Mower product type.
One or more catalog folders.
A Catalog entry is the eCommerce term that describes a product sold on your website. It is similar to content in the rest of Ektron, so those concepts also apply to catalog entries.
Catalog entries are built from Ektron XML Smart Forms, so use the same content and folder structure as other Smart Forms. See also: Working with Smart Forms
Catalog entries share the following features with regular content:
Catalog entries also have unique information:
Because there is so much information to provide about managing catalog entries, this section takes 2 approaches:
After signing in to your website, you can also update a catalog entry’s information from there using the context menu.
If a new catalog entry is similar to an existing one, you might find it quicker to copy the existing entry then edit the fields that are different. Moving a catalog entry is the same as moving content. See Moving or copying content
- Catalog entry is not on an order, or checked out.
- You have delete permission for this catalog folder. See also: Managing folder and content permissions
Avoid deleting catalog entries due to the affect on your website. For example, if you delete an entry from your staging site, then run eSync, that entry is removed from all active carts on your live site. Instead of deleting entries, you should archiveThe state of content upon reaching its end date. What happens next is determined by your choice at the content's Schedule tab > Action on End Date options field. Choices are * Archive and remove from site (expire) * Archive and remain on site * Add to CMS Refresh Report them using the Properties tab’s Archived checkbox.
If you want to prevent customers from purchasing an item, but you cannot delete it because it has been placed on existing orders, you have 2 options.
To delete a catalog entry:
See also: Entering a catalog entry’s properties
The Content tab displays the content page of this catalog entry’s product type. Because the format is customized for your system, this documentation cannot explain how to respond to the fields.
To learn about working with the editor, see Editing in Ektron.
Creating summaryA short description that supplements a content item's title on a Web page. Content authors compose a summary when creating or editing content. Server controls and widgets can display a content title and summary to attract readers to the full story. Summaries can include images and text formatting. information for a catalog entry is done the same as with any other type of content.
The Properties screen collects eCommerce-specific information about your catalog entries:
For example, a 12 pack of soda. Set Quantity is 12 to represent the number of units. But a customer still orders 1 of the item.
The quantity is not used when this item is ordered, nor does it affect inventory levels. It is used for clerical purposes only.
To make the entry available again on your website, open its archive folder, edit the entry by unchecking the Archived check box, and publish it.
A catalog entry can also be set to Archived status if it reaches its expiration date and its Schedule tab > Action on End Date field is set to Archive and remove from site (expire).
If a product is not buyable, it can still be seen by customers, but its product page does not display an Add to Cart button.
Check this box if the item is tangible, that is, it has dimensions, weight, and will be shipped to a customer. Examples of non-tangible items are services, warranties, and downloadable software. If a catalog entry is tangible, you must enter its height, width, length, and weight.
Use the Pricing screen to enter price information for catalog entries.
By default, the Pricing screen converts prices to every enabled currency using the exchange rate. Customers who select a non-default currency see these prices. See also: Defining and updating exchange rates .
The Float checkbox (checked by default) indicates that prices change as the exchange rate changes.
If you do not want to float a catalog entry’s price, but instead fix it for a currency, select the currency, uncheck Float, edit the price, and publish. From then on, if a customer selects that currency and catalog entry, the price set on this screen is used. The exchange rate is ignored.
For example, a television costs 700 Euros, regardless of its cost in US dollars or the exchange rate. To incorporate this, do not check the Float checkbox.
When you first select EUR on the Pricing screen, the default currency’s prices are converted using the exchange rate. For example, the television’s sale price is $1000 US dollars, and today’s exchange rate is .7811. When you select Eur from the Pricing screen’s currency selector, the television’s cost is set at 781.10 Euros. You change the price to 700.00 Euros.
From that point on, the Euro price only changes if an authorized user accesses this screen and changes it manually.
eCommerce supports tier pricing, that is, a pricing schedule that adjusts according to order quantity. Typically, the price is reduced as more items are ordered. For example, if a visitor orders 1-5, items are $10.00 each; 6-10, $9.00 each; 11 or more, $8.50 each.
Tier pricing is not supported for subscription products, nor for complex products.
To set up tier pricing:
NOTE: To remove a tier, check the box to its left, then click Remove Pricing Tier.
If a non-default currency is floated, then that currency’s pricing tiers mirror the default currency’s pricing tier values. The amounts are adjusted by the exchange rate.
These values appear on pricing screen in view-only mode and cannot be changed.
If pricing tiers are set up for the default currency and the user unchecks the Float box, the user is notified that the pricing tiers can now be edited. Next, Tier Pricing fields are loaded with the existing values but the user can change values, remove existing tiers, and add new ones.
If a non-default currency is not floated, its pricing tiers are independent of the default currency’s. That is, they do not exist initially regardless of whether they exist for the default currency. If the user clicks Add Pricing Tier, Tier Pricing fields appear and let the user enter number of units and corresponding tier price per unit.
If pricing tiers are set up for a non-default currency and the user checks the Float box, the pricing tiers are changed to mirror those of the default currency. If the default currency has no pricing tiers, then that currency has none. You cannot independently edit a non-default currency’s pricing tiers if Float is checked.
Attributes are additional pieces of information that help describe a catalog entry. Attribute fields, data types, and default values are created as part of a Product Type. When you create a catalog entry, you base it on a product type. The product type’s Attribute information is imported to the catalog entry. Like metadata that follows Ektron content, if a catalog entry is moved to another folder, its attributes stay with it.
To illustrate the concept, the following attributes are applied to furniture in Ektron’s sample site.
In the Workarea, you select a catalog entry then click the Attributes tab to enter or modify attribute values. If no attributes are assigned to the product type on which a catalog entry is based, you will not see an Attributes tab when working with that catalog entry. You could change model year to 2009, or style to Woodland. You cannot however change fields, field names, or data types.
On your website, a catalog entry’s Attribute field names and values appear by default on the Product server controlA server control uses API language to interact with the CMS and Framework UI to display the output. A server control can be dragged and dropped onto a Web form and then modified..
Use the Media tab to add product images that appear on the following server controlA server control uses API language to interact with the CMS and Framework UI to display the output. A server control can be dragged and dropped onto a Web form and then modified.s.
See also: Using images in eCommerce.
siteroot/uploadedimagesfolder and you are returned to the Media tab. The uploaded image appears on the screen, below any existing images.
Image thumbnails and product icons are described in Using images in eCommerce.
When an image is uploaded to the Media tab, the original image and any thumbnails associated with it are added to the Library. For example, if you add an image named “TestImage” (actual file name: “case.jpg”) with a 150px and 50px thumbnails, you see the following entries in your library (File Name - Path):
TestImage - /~siteroot~/uploadedImages/case.jpg
case[filename]150 - /~siteroot~/uploadedImages/case[filename]150.jpg
case[filename]50 - /~siteroot~/uploadedImages/case[filename]50.jpg
If you assign several images to an eCommerce catalog entry, and want to allow searching for that catalog entry by image file name, the search only works with the first image assigned to the catalog entry.
NOTE: You cannot change an existing image. If you need to do this, delete the image you do not want, then add the correct one. You can only edit the Title and Alt Text.
When you create a catalog entry, you base it on a Product Type. The selected product type’s Media Defaults information determines the sizes of thumbnails created for each image assigned to the Media tab.
If you do not assign an image to a catalog entry, but one is assigned to appear on a server control, the following default image is used.
If you want to change the default image, edit the following file:
Use the Items tab to add additional information to the current entry. You can only choose a catalog entry whose language matches the language of the original item. It is used in these situations:
The eCommerce Module provides the following server controlA server control uses API language to interact with the CMS and Framework UI to display the output. A server control can be dragged and dropped onto a Web form and then modified.s for displaying catalog entries on your website.
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