To help you start planning and setting up your store for Ecommerce by flagging items as Ecommerce, writing descriptions (product names) and HTML descriptions, and item images.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Planning Your Items
- Selecting the Items to Sell Online
- Item Descriptions
- Optimizing Your Content
- Item Images
- Using the Category Editor
- Using Inventory / Items
- New Items & Specials
- Working with Quantities
- Working with Alternate Units
- Working with Gridded Items
- Changing the Image for Each Color
Planning Your Items
Many merchants choose to open their store with a small subset of items and add more items later as time allows. This method allows merchants to open their online store as quickly as possible and to focus on the quality of the items instead of the quantity. The better your descriptions and images are, the better your chances that shoppers will buy from you.
Use clear, quality images. Recommended image size is 360 x 434 pixels if you do not intend to use the built in zoom feature or 664 x 800 or larger if you do want to use the zoom feature. To ensure that your online store is visually pleasing, try to fit all images into square like shapes with the same dimensions (this will ensure your thumbnails are all proportionate).
Use the item number as the image name and save as a .jpg or png. By naming your images in this manner, CP-Commerce will pull the item images from your images folder specified in the CP-Commerce ConnectionConfig utility setup and associate the images to the correct items.
Write great item descriptions. Imagine that the shopper is in your store to inquire about the product. What do they ask? What do they want to see? If they called you on the phone, how would you describe the item? Use lots of adjectives to describe the item. Describe the size, color, height, width, suggested uses, ingredients, materials, how/where it’s made, etc. Most importantly, include the key words and phrases people are most likely to use when searching for your products. Keyword-dense product descriptions help increase your site’s search engine ranking and improve your customers’ overall shopping experience.
Incorporate target keywords anywhere you can. Your existing Counterpoint item names may not be shopper friendly or optimized for search engines.
Keep your formatting simple and easy to read. Optionally use HTML to add formatting, links, etc. Resist using all UPPER CASE letters and symbols such as '&'.
Reduce file sizes. As a general rule, file size per image should be lower than 200KB to allow pages to load quickly and minimize your bandwidth costs. Most graphics software has a ‘save for web’ option to help reduce file size. Image resolution should be 72 dpi.
Contact your vendors to obtain images and descriptions.
If you plan to leverage descriptions from your vendors, you should reword the descriptions to suit your business and target audience. Keep in mind that other businesses similar to yours may be using identical descriptions from the same vendor. If identical product descriptions are used on multiple websites, search engines may rank your site lower (or not at all).
Selecting the Items to Sell Online
Counterpoint: Inventory / Items
You can sell all of your items online, or you can sell a subset of your items. Each item you decide to sell in your online store requires setup. The amount of setup depends upon which CP-Commerce features you want to use in your online store.
For every item that you sell online, you can:
- Add a detailed item description (Item descriptions cannot be HTML. Plain text only)
- Add an image
- Assign a weight to use for shipping charges, under the Other tab.
- Specify whether or not the item can be discounted
- Specify whether or not to charge tax on the item
- List the item in one or more categories
- Include the item on the New Items and/or Specials page in your online store
- Identify and link to related items
Start with a small group of your best-selling items in multiple ecommerce categories and continue to add more groups of items later.
- Select Inventory / Items and locate the item you want to include in your online store.
- On the Ecommerce tab, check the Ecommerce item box to designate this item as an ecommerce item.
- Enter additional information, edit the item’s ecommerce description, assign this item to one or more categories, etc.
To print a list of all items that have been marked as ecommerce items, select Ecommerce/ Reports / Ecommerce Items. You can optionally print item descriptions and/or the category assignments.
Item descriptions are one of the most important parts of your online store. A good item description should accurately describe the item, including its size, color, suggested uses, ingredients, materials, how/where it’s made, etc. Item descriptions should be straight-forward and honest. Most importantly, they should include the key words and phrases people are most likely to use when searching for your products. Keywords should be similar to those used in your meta information.
Keyword-dense product descriptions help increase your site’s organic search engine ranking and improve your customers’ overall shopping experience.
Each item HTML description can be up to 6,240 characters in length.
HTML Item descriptions may include HTML formatting. The item description must be entered on one line and cannot contain any line breaks. It can wrap to the next line in your word processor, but do not press Enter in the middle of a long description! If you need line breaks in your long description, you must insert appropriate HTML code, such as a <BR>or <P>tag.
DO NOT use double quotes in HTML formatting entered in Counterpoint! If you must use quotes, use single quotes.
In Counterpoint, you can enter item descriptions for each item one at a time, or you can create all item descriptions in a text file and import them into Counterpoint. .
Entering an Item Description
Counterpoint: Inventory / Items
Select Inventory/ Items and locate the item.
Click on the Ecommerce tab and enter or edit the long description.
Optimizing Your Content
People aren’t the only ones "reading” your content. Search engines constantly scan the Internet to find out about your site, who you are, and what you’re selling. By optimizing your content for search engines, you have a better chance of achieving a higher ranking.
Example of Optimized Content
In this example, a sporting goods store wants to target Rawlings baseballs.
Item Name: Rawlings Base Ball
Description: Durable performance ball with raised seams and a cushioned red cork center. Features premium grade full grain leather cover and wool blend windings with a durable vinyl finish wind. Ideal for professional and collegiate levels.
Category: Sporting Goods / Baseball
Item Name: Rawlings Official Major League Baseball
Description: The Rawlings Official Major League Baseball is a durable performance baseball with raised seams and a cushioned red cork center. Rawlings baseballs feature premium grade full grain leather cover and wool blend windings with a durable vinyl finish wind. Each baseball is carefully weighed, measured, inspected, and tested. Rawlings Official Major League Baseballs are ideal for professional and collegiate game ball. Available by the each or by the case.
For over 25 years, Rawlings has been the exclusive supplier of baseballs to the Major Leagues. Rawlings baseballs are crafted from the finest materials to ensure the highest level of quality.
Sporting Goods / Baseballs
Shop by Brand / Rawlings
Baseball / Equipment / Baseballs
Rawlings Big Stick Baseball Bat
Rawlings Baseball Catcher’s Face Mask
Additionally, keyword-dense content is used throughout the site, including the home page, about us page, footer, etc. Extra Pages are used for relative, informational content such as a "Baseball Glove Fitting Guide.” Meta keywords and meta descriptions include baseball-related keywords (learn more below). The optimized site also includes reciprocal links to complementary websites such as websites for summer baseball camps and little league trophies.
Populating your online store with high-quality product images can make a big difference in whether shoppers purchase items from you or from someone else.
Item images should have a .jpg or .png extension for association in CP-Commerce.
Assigning Images to Items
CP-Commerce will take images, and re-size as needed for the other primary image sizes. Requirements for alternate and swatch images are covered here. To be properly associate the image to the item in your store, please us the naming format of [ITEMNUMBER].jpg. (ex. BIKE-170.jpg).
Uploading your images automatically is as simple as placing them in a directory so that the Integration Agent can send them to CP-Commerce for you. The item images folder used for CP-Commerce is the same folder you set up during your integration agent installation.
Copy your item image into the ItemImages CP-Commerce directory, and when the Integration Agent polls for new files, it will pull the image in, and take care of the resizing for you. If the Integration Agent finds a file of the same name with a newer date and timestamp, it will automatically import that image into CP-Commerce.
Replacing item images with new ones may require you flush your CP-Commerce cache under System / Cache Management.
Adding Items to Categories
If an ecommerce category has no items assigned to it, that category will not display in your online store.
It’s a good idea to add items to multiple ecommerce categories to give shoppers more than one way to find items in your store. You can list each item in an unlimited number of categories.
Using the Category Editor
Counterpoint: Setup / Ecommerce/ Categories
Select the category or sub-category folder you want to work with.
WARNING: You cannot add items to categories that contain sub-categories.
Add one or more items to this category:
Delete one or more items from this category:
Move items from one category to another by cutting and pasting the items:
WARNING: Only one group of items can be held (i.e., cut) for pasting at a time. If you cut a second group of items before pasting the first group, the first selection of items will be removed from the clipboard.
Using Inventory / Items
Counterpoint: Inventory / Items
Select Inventory/ Items and locate the item.
Click on the Ecommerce tab to open the Ecommerce Category Assignments form.
New Items & Specials
Counterpoint: Inventory / Items
CP-Commerce includes pages for New Items and Specials. To mark items as new or on special, select Inventory / Items.
Check the New box if you want this item to display on the New Items page of your online store. Enter the date that the item will no longer be considered new (the item will no longer display on the New Items pag eafter that date).
In the On special field, select Yes or If on sale if you want this item to display on the Specials page of your online store.
- If you select Yes, you will need to enter the date that the item will no longer be considered on special (the item will no longer display on the Specials page after that date).
- If you select If on sale, this item will appear on the Specials page of your online store anytime the item is on sale in Counterpoint. Learn more about using sale prices in "Defining & Calculating Prices.”
Stock Status for Gridded Items
Stock status for gridded items will changed based on the options you selected and the quantity on hand of each item. The gridded item will not be considered out of stock until all varieties / styles of the gridded item have been sold through. If a particular variety or style is sold through, then that option will not appear on the drop downs for the customer.
Working with Quantities
When an item is out-of-stock, you can choose to display an out-of-stock message, suppress the Add to Cart button, hide the item so shoppers don’t see it, or do nothing (the shopper won’t know that the item is out-of-stock). You can also display customizable in-stock messages for selected items.
Counterpoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Control
All quantity information comes directly from Counterpoint. To change how Counterpoint determines the available quantity, change the Qty available field on the Items tab of Setup / Ecommerce / Control.
Counterpoint bases the available quantity on one of the following methods:
- Item qty available: Total of all inventory quantities across all locations
- Item qty on hand: Total of all inventory quantities across all locations, minus any inventory already committed
- Location qty available: Inventory quantities from the store specified on the Main tab
- Location qty on hand: Inventory quantities from the store specified on the Main tab, minus any inventory already committed
Each time an online order is placed, the quantity sold is subtracted from the Quantity available field for the item.This is how Out-of-stock status is determined in CP-Commerce. Customers do not see Qty available. Each time data is synced between Counterpoint and CP-Commerce, the quantities will be updated.
Displaying Quantities Online
CP-Commerce: System / Configuration / Catalog / Inventory / Stock Options
At launch, CP-Commerce does not have the ability to display quantity on hand. You can, however, set a threshold on your inventory to alert customers when quantities of an item are low. For example, if you set an item to a threshold of 5, as soon as the stock on that item reaches 5 or less, CP-Commerce will inform customer viewing the item how many of that item are actually left in inventory.
Working with Alternate Units
WARNING: Do not rearrange the sequence of alternate units if you have outstanding orders on file in CP-Commerce. First import online orders, then change the order of the units, then publish item changes to CP-Commerce.
CP-Commerce supports alternate selling units so you can sell, for example, an item by the case, by the dozen, and as a single item. For items with alternate units, you will see a drop down menu on the item details screen that will allow you select which unit type you would like to purchase.
Working with Gridded Items
With CP-Commerce, you can change the item image for each color or style, suppress specific colors or sizes, change the grid’s display labels, customize the layout for gridded items, and use oversize prices.
CP-Commerce supports gridded items with up to three dimensions (e.g.,color/size/pattern) .
Changing the Image for Each Color
CP-Commerce: Catalog (horizontal top menu) / Manage Products / [open an item] / Images
You can assign cell-specific images for your gridded items so that when a shopper selects a different color or style, the image changes accordingly.
- Upload unique, images for each cell (color/pattern/etc.) using either the Integration Agent or a manual upload.
- Access the Product Information screen and click on the Images tab. All images associated with your item should be displayed here.
TIP: A naming convention is required to manage your gridded item images. This naming convention allows CP-Commerce to recognize that it the image is associated to a base item number, and will act as an alternate item image, or as another color / style in a swatch.
#APP-1920, name the color-specific images:
When viewing the image in your storefront, selecting a new color or style will automatically change the image show. You will also be able to view these alternate images by clinking the thumbnails below the base item image.
Suppressing Specific Colors or Sizes
For gridded items, all colors andsizes that are ‘stocked’ at your publishing location will be available for sale in your online store.