Managing your online store with Business Catalyst — (Part 1)
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Topic: eCommerce
This tutorial is written for those who want to learn how to manage and configure their online store with Business Catalyst.
Why Business Catalyst?
Business Catalyst (BC) includes all the main functions you need to run a successful online business. It includes Content Management System (CMS), Customer Database (CRM), eCommerce, blogging, email marketing, analytics and more. Check out the official Adobe Business Catalyst website for more details.
Step 1: Create a new Catalog
Start by creating a catalog for your product to go into. A catalog is a group of related products, so you can also think of catalogs as categories. Catalogs are a way of organizing your store for your visitors.
Go to the BC admin (by clicking the Manage tab in Muse). On the left-side menu, go to E-Commerce > Catalogs. Select “Add Catalog” and fill in the details asked for on the form.
The field “Parent Catalog” will give you a list of your catalogs. If you want your new catalog to be a sub-catalog of an existing one, then set the “Parent Catalog” field to that catalog. If you have no other catalogs, this field will simply say “Root”. You can set the “Template” field to the template you created in Muse. See our tutorial on How to Add a BC Shopping Cart to Muse for more details.
Then click Save at the bottom of the page.
Step 2: Create your Product
On the left-side menu, go to E-Commerce > Products. Select “Add Product” and fill in the details asked for on the form.
The “Product Code” field will be generated automatically by Business Catalyst. You can specify your own Product Code instead if you’d like.
The "Small Image" field will be the thumbnail image of the product that visitors see when viewing your list of products. To select this image click on "Browse...", located to the right of the box. The Image Manager will pop up. First you must upload your image into the Image Manager:
Click Upload File(s). Choose the folder that you want the image to go into (selecting the backslash '/' will upload the image into your Root folder). Next, to the left of the "Select file to upload to server" box, click "Select". Choose your file from your computer then hit "Upload". The file will now appear in the Image Manager inside the folder you chose to upload it to. Select the image. A preview of the image now will appear on the right hand column of the Image Manager.
If your image is not already the proper dimensions for the thumbnail, set the correct image dimensions by choosing "Re-size", located in the preview column beneath the image preview. Specify the height and width dimensions. These dimensions will depend on the template you're using. The Image Manager will save another version of your image with the new dimensions (or overwrite the original image if you select the "Overwrite file with the same name" box). Click Save. The new file will now be in the same folder in which you saved the original file. Select the file and hit Insert, at the bottom of the Image Manager window.
The "Large Image" field will be the image site visitors see on when they click on the product to view more details. You can do one of two things to choose the large image:
- Upload a new file for the large image with the same process used for the Small Image or
- Select the original file uploaded for the Small Image and re-size it again to the dimensions needed for your Large Image. Again, these dimensions will depend on the template you're using.
Make sure "Enabled" is selected so that your product appears in your store.
Select "On Sale" when your product is on sale.
Select "Downloadable Product" if your product is a file that visitors can download.
After filling in the details under the headline "Product Details", select the headline "SEO Metadata". The SEO Metadata is crucial for your product to be found in Google and on other search engines.
Choose a good Product Title (less than 70 characters) that includes the keywords you want to come up for. But make sure to not just include a whole list of words. It has to make sense to a human visitor who may see that link in a search engine and want to purchase it. The Product Description is what appears in the search engine results below the link to the product. You want to make sure the description is informative, yet engaging so visitors will choose to click on the link to view that product on your site and hopefully purchase it.
It is a good idea to offer visitors as much information about your product as possible.
If applicable, you may specify product dimensions under the headline "Product Dimensions".
Under "More Options" you can set the date the product will appear in your catalog under "Release Date" as well as the date the product will no longer be offered, under "Expiry Date". (The date 01-Jan-9999 is used if you want the product permanently in the store)
Finally, inside the WYSIWYG editor, write a detailed description of your product, including any information that wasn't given above.
Then click Save.
Step 3: Enter the Price(s)
Now that you have saved, the other tabs across the top are accessible. You just completed the “Details” tab. Now click on the "Prices" tab to add the price(s) of your product. Fill out the form on the right hand column to add a price. Then hit Save Price. Click "Add New Price" and fill out the form for every price you have. The prices you've added will appear on the left column. Here are some reasons you may have multiple prices:
Selling the product in multiple countries or currencies: Use the field "Select a Country to Add Pricing". Business Catalyst will give you a price field in the appropriate currency.
Consumer vs. Wholesale pricing: This feature allows you to list a different price for the same product based on the type of customer. Regular customers will see the "Consumer" price. Wholesalers who have a user account on your site that is designated for wholesalers will see the wholesale price. Use the Pricing Type field to specify the type of customer for the price.
Bulk purchases: Select "Enable Volume Discount". Then fill out the form that appears. The Quantity Threshold is the volume required to qualify for each level of discount.
Step 4: Assign the Product to the Catalog
In this step you will add the product to the catalog you created at the beginning of the tutorial. Click on the “Catalogs” tab. A box on the left will display a list of your catalogs. Click on the catalog you would like to add the product to, and then click on the big arrow that points to the right. The box on the left will now display the Catalogs that the product is in. If you want the product to be in multiple catalogs, simply repeat this step for each catalog.
Tip: The double arrow that points to the right will add the product to all of your catalogs in one click. If you accidentally add the product to the wrong catalog, select the catalog and press the big arrow that faces left. The catalog will move back into the box on the right hand side. Similarly, the double arrow that point to the left will remove the product from all the catalogs in one click.
Step 5: Choose the attributes (if any)
This step is optional. As mentioned earlier, the Attributes feature is very useful if you have a product that comes in several varieties. For example, you might sell the same shirt in red, blue, or green and in small, medium, or large. With Business Catalyst, you only have to create the product once, and then specify the different attributes. When a customer sees this product in your store, they will select their choice for each attribute before purchasing the product.
To start, click on the “Attributes” tab and select “Add New Product Attribute”. Fill out the details on the form. The “Display as” field lets you choose between a check box list, a dropdown list, a radio list. If the customer is allowed to choose more than one option, set “Display as” List (Checkbox List). If the customer can choose only one, set “Display as” to either List (Dropdown List) or List (Radio List). Then click Save.
Now list the individual options for that attribute by clicking “New Option” and fill out the form. Then click Save. Repeat this process for each option you have.
Step 6: Enable inventory control (if required)
Now go to the "Inventory" tab and click "Enabled". Inventory controls allow you to manage your stock levels and keep your website up to date with products that are in stock. You can choose one of three things to display in the store when the product is out of stock. You will choose this option in the "When Out of Stock" field. The options are:
- Display the product in the store but don't allow new purchases ("Show product but don't accept orders"),
- Don't let visitors see the product if it is out of stock ("Hide product") or,
- Allow customers to order the product prior to restocking ("Enable pre-ordering")
BC will automatically email the site administrators when the product has reached the stock level that you specify in the "Low Stock Notification" field. You must set the "In Stock" value so that BC can track how many of the product have sold.
Then hit Save.
Step 7: Upload any additional images (poplets)
Now go to the "Poplet Images" tab. This is where you will add additional images of your product.
Customers like to know as much as possible about an online product before purchasing, especially since they cannot handle the product before paying for it. Images are a great way to give your customers a better understanding of your product. Images are much more effective for this than textual descriptions, and most people respond more positively to them. Aim for good-resolution images taken at multiple angles and distances from your product.
To upload each image, click "Browse..." to the right of the image field and uploading, re-size (if necessary), and insert your image. You can use the same process described in Step 2
Then hit Save.
Step 8: Choose any related products (Upsell/Cross-sell)
Cross-selling is a very effective way to ensure that your customers are aware of everything you offer. Whatever you set as a "related product" will appear as a thumbnail on the detail page of the current product.
Cross- selling also makes your online store much more navigable, as your customer will not have to do all of the work to find products that are similar to the one they are currently viewing.
Go to the "Upsell/Cross-sell" tab. The box on the left will initially display all of your products. Select any related product and click the big arrow that faces right. That product will now be listed inside the box on the right. Repeat this with every product that is related.
Business Catalyst allows you to create and manage a powerful, yet easy to use online store. In this tutorial we covered how to create a new catalog and how to create a product. Follow these steps to create every product in your store. Remember to make new catalogs for different sets of products when appropriate, in order to keep your store organized and easy to navigate.
Here are some links to resources used or mentioned in this tutorial.