eCommerce

eCommerce Features

General

How do I integrate ecommerce into my existing web site ?
My website is not hosted with you. Can I still use the merchant services ?
How do I use FrontPagetm 98 2000 with the integrated ecommerce ?
What will you be implementing into the Merchant Services in the future ?
Where can I find the online help ?
I do not know how to use PHP. Can I still use the Merchant Services ?

System

Is the Merchant Services secure?
What was the Merchant Services written in ?
Can I use my own database ?
How do you validate credit cards ?
Which online banking gateways do you have available ?
Do I need a SSL Certificate ?
What can I use multiple stores for ?

Products

How do I backup my product catalog ?
How do I import products from a previous ecommerce site ?
What happens when I go over my product limit ?
How can I upload my images into the drop down catalog in the add/edit product page ?
What is a CSV file ?

Product Options

What are product options ?
How do I assign options to my products ?
Is there a limit on product options ?

Categories

Can I assign multiple product options to one product?
How can I display a product listing of a single category on my site ?
Do I need to categorize my products ?

Site Customization

Why isn't my color scheme displaying properly in my website ?
I want a menu-bar down the side of my pages. How do I do it ?
Can I edit the product boxes that I have pasted into my website ?
How do I add a View Basket Button ?
How do I customize my e-commerce website?
How do I display my product catalog?

Shipping and Taxes

The interface is very overwhelming. What do I do ?
How is shipping calculated ?
How are taxes calculated ?

Order Processing

How do I process an order ?
How do I know someone has ordered a product from my site ?
How do you validate credit cards ?
Which online banking gateways do you have available ?


How do I integrate ecommerce into my existing web site ?
Merchant Services is designed to be easily integrated into an existing website. No programming skills are required and all of the server-side setup and configuration has already been done for you.

Step 1: Your Store Setup
Setting up your store is done through the "store details" option and allows you to configure store options, such as store name, currency, contact email etc.

Step 2: Add Products
Select "Add a New Product" to add a product to your catalog. Batch uploads allow you to add multiple products through a CSV file.

Step 3: Download HTML code
After each product is added, you will be shown the necessary HTML code you will need to copy and paste into your website. If you are using FrontPageTM the product HTML code can be inserted into your FrontPageTM Website using the "insert code" function. This code is also available anytime by selecting "Product Management" and clicking on the "View" button.

You can also download a search box to enable product searches on your website. You will find this option under "Product Code Generator" along with other product code options, such as generating code for all your products.

Step 4:Customize Your Store
Adding a header and footer to your store allows the Basket and secure Checkout to be used, maintaining your websites' "look and feel". Add your HTML in "Customize Trimmings".

You can also change the colors of the forms used in the search and Basket and Checkout pages. Select your colors from "Customize Color Settings".

Other options include :
Product Options
Categories
Shipping and Taxes
Order processing

My website is not hosted with you. Can I still use the merchant services ?
Yes. Your website does not need to be hosted with us to use the Merchant Services. However, for full integration it is recommended that you transfer your site to one of our hosting plans.

How do I use FrontPagetm 98 2000 with the integrated ecommerce ?
Refer to our inserting HTML snippets section in our Support Section for further information.

What will you be implementing into the Merchant Services in the future ?
There are a variety of projects currently in development, including :

  • Backing up of orders history
  • Full website generation
  • Payment Gateways
  • and more...

Visit the What's New section to find out more.

Where can I find the online help ?
Online help can be found anywhere in the Merchant Services by clicking on the question mark on the top of any main header.

I do not know how to use PHP can I still use the Merchant Services ?
It is not necessary that you know PHP. No programming is required on your behalf.


Is the Merchant Services secure?
Yes. Your settings can only be accessed through your merchant login. The Checkout that your customers will use is secure. It uses SSL encryption, which is an Internet standard and encrypts all of their details.

What was the Merchant Services written in ?
PHP, Perl, some CSS and Javascript.

Can I use my own database ?
It is possible through the use of the CSV Import/Export function which allows you to enter your product base via uploading of a CSV file which can be exported from many common database applications and spread-sheet software.

How do you validate credit cards ?
Online Credit Card processing requires an online credit card payment gateway and a merchant account with your bank. We provide access to several gateway products, but you will have to speak with your bank about setting up an account to use with them.

Which online banking gateways do you have available ?
To date we can provide access to Authorize for our US customers and WebPay for our AUS customers. If you already have a preferred gateway service, which can provide a multi-platform implementation, we are keen to try implementing it. We would like to provide as many services for our customers as possible.

Do I need a SSL Certificate ?
No. The Checkout process uses our SSL Certificate so there is no need to acquire any additional accreditations.

What can I use multiple stores for ?
Multiple stores are available for users wanting to create sectioned ecommerce sites or "mini-malls". These multiple stores are available on the Platinum and Enterprise Plans.


How do I backup my product catalog ?
You can use the download your products using the "Download Products" function available under Batch Options.

How do I import products from a previous ecommerce site ? It is possible as long as your previous software will allow you to download or view your product base in an exportable format such as CSV. You can then use the Import function available under the Batch Options menu. This will save your products for your own catalog.

Full instructions can be found by using the help located on the Batch Options page.

What happens when I go over my product limit ?
You have an option to remove products or upgrade to a higher account.

How can I upload my images into the drop down catalog in the add/edit product page ?
You will find all of your images and merchant material under the .merchant directory in your home directory. You can upload into this directory.

What is a CSV file ?
A CSV file stands for Comma Separated Values. As the name suggests, each field or value is separated by a comma. This enables you to import an existing product catalog from either a spread-sheet program or existing database. Simply use the 'Save As' function in spread-sheets and choose CSV as the file type. To export a database, you will need to consult the database's manual. For example, in a MYSQL database, you use the "SELECT INTO OUTFILE ..." statement.

When you have a CSV file, you can simply import into your store through the Batch Option in Merchant Services.

What are product options ?
Product options are used for calculating variations between your products. eg. small add $5.00, medium add $10.00, large add $20.00. Product options are created through the "Product Option Management" section.

How do I assign options to my products?
Once you have created your product options you can assign them by pressing the "Assign options to products" button on the product options page. You then select which option you want to apply from the list on the far right. Then for each product, click "add" to apply this option.

Is there a limit on product options?
No.


Can I assign multiple product options to one product ?
Yes. Further information can be found about this process in the "Assign categories to products" section by clicking on the question mark icon on the header.

How can I display a product listing of a single category on my site ?
Generating a product listing based on a category is available through the "Product Code Generator". You can select which details you want to display for each product e.g. description,category weight etc. This section also allows you to generate the code for an entire catalog.

Do I need to categorize my products ?
No. Categorizing your products is not absolutely necessary. However, users will not be able to search through your product base via categorical searches.


Why isn't my color scheme displaying properly in my website ?
It is recommended that one of the first things you do before integrating ecommerce into your site is to select a color scheme. If you have previously downloaded HTML code into your website, the code will need to be updated in order to show the changes.

I want a menubar down the side of my pages. How do I do it ?
The simplest way to achieve this is to create a table with two cells in the customize trimmings sections. The first cell should enclose the menubar. The second cell should be left open at the end of the header. In the footer both the table and cell has to be closed off to encase the product/s. The sample code below will give you a starting point.

<-- header -->
<TABLE WIDTH="100%" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="0" BORDER="0">
<TR>
<TD WIDTH="30%" VALIGN="top">
-- insert your menubar here --
</TD>
<TD WIDTH="70%" VALIGN="top">
<-- end header -->

Body of page goes here

<-- footer -->
</TD>
</TR>
</TABLE>
<-- end footer -->

Can I edit the product boxes that I have pasted into my website ?
Yes, as long as all of the form, select, option and input tags remain intact and unchanged.

How do I add a View Basket Button?
The following link must be placed within your <A HREF=" "></A> tag.

http://membername.epshosting.com/commerce/basket?action=view
or if you have a domain
http://www.yourdomain.com/commerce/basket?action=view

This path can be used for form/javascript buttons, image maps, etc.

How do I customize my e-commerce website?
All the customize options are viewable in the Custom Settings section.

You can select from the following customizable sections :

  • Header and Footer - design the HTML code that surrounds the content of your pages.
  • Colour Settings - jazz up the look of your site by choosing colours from the colour palette to apply to your tables.
  • Dynamic Page Layout covers these areas -
    • Search Results - detail the layout of search results when a product search is done on your store.
    • Product Detail - this page is used to display in-depth information about a product. It is usually viewed when you click on a thumbnail image.
    • Basket Template - design your shopping basket layout.

We use our own, in-house designed, "Funky Template System"(FTS). FTS allows dynamic templates through the use of variable parsing and interpolation.

For example, you can display a product name, anywhere on your page by using {PRODUCT_NAME}. When the page is viewed, the FTS engine replaces {PRODUCT_NAME} with the actual product name, such as "Sports Shoes". Detailed instructions can be found in the help section for each custom template.

How do I display my product catalog?
To have each category on a page, you have two options:

The easiest to maintain would be to have your category pages displayed dynamically. Dynamically means that a change in your product database will also alter the information displayed in your pages(so when you update your prices for example, the change will be reflected in your category pages aswell). You can do this by linking straight into the search facility for each category.

For example, you have setup your own categories, so to display that page your link would be: http://your_domain.com/commerce/search/index.php3?merchant_id=your_id&custom_store_category=Cat_id&by_category=1

or you could provide a search box such as http://your_domain.com/commerce/search/search_options.php3?merchant_id=your_id

In this case you will need to add your header and footer so that the pages look the same in the search results pages. You do this under the "Customize Components" option.

Dynamic pages are definitely they way to go as it will save you lots of time when it comes time to update or refresh your catalog.

The second option is to use the "Product Code Generator", which can generate all the HTML for you - choose the "Select a category" option. You will then copy and paste the result into your product pages.


The interface is overwhelming. What do I do ?
Shipping and Taxes is divided into three sections, local, national and international. For each region you will need to specify what shipping and tax charges apply. Depending on what address your customer specifies, shipping and tax charges will be calculated accordingly.

Detailed help is available on the shipping and tax pages under the help icon.

How is shipping calculated ?
Shipping costs are detailed under the help icon in the shipping section.

How are taxes calculated ?
Taxes are calculated depending on the percentages you specify for each region.


How do I process an order ?
The merchant receives an email as a notification that a transaction has occurred. From there the merchant logs on to the merchant services section to retrieve the order details. Payment processing is completed through your existing payment processing facility. Real time online payment processing is currently unavailable. This feature is being implemented and will be available soon.

How do I know someone has ordered a product from my site ?
As a Merchant you will receive an email alerting you that an order has been placed and that it is available for retrieval through the merchant services section. You will find the order management interface at the bottom of the merchant section menu or in the top bar.

How do you validate credit cards ?
Online Credit Card processing requires an online credit card payment gateway and a merchant account with your bank. We provide access to several gateway products, but you will have to speak with your bank about setting up an account to use with them.

Which online banking gateways do you have available ?
To date we can provide access to Authorize for our US customers and WebPay for our AUS customers. If you already have a preferred gateway service, which can provide a multi-platform implementation, we are keen to try implementing it. We would like to provide as many services for our customers as possible.

Do I need a SSL Certificate ?
No. The Checkout process uses our SSL Certificate so there is no need to acquire any additional accreditations.