The primary place you'll find yourself editing any specific product will be in the Name, Description, Price page or view - also referred to as the product details edit view. All of the most common information for the product is found her, as the name implies. However, you'll also find things like taxes, the primary image, shipping, and SEO here as well.
The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:
- Have access to your Hotcakes store administration
- Understand what your store requires for product information
Every store is different. There's going to be very few things that are consistent from store to store. Besides product names, prices, and SKU's, your store might have a completely different need when compared to another online store. So be sure to have a clear plan of how your products should be saved before creating them. However, you can always edit your products again later to fix anything you've done in the past.
Managing the Product Details
Once you've clicked through to edit any specific product, you can get to this view by clicking on the Name, Description, Price page in the left panel.
Once you reach the product details editing view, you have a large list of common attributes that you can edit. We'll walk through each section individually.
The main section contains the bare minimum required fields, which are the name and the SKU.
|Product Style||This attribute allows you to define how this product will be treated, here and elsewhere in both the front and back ends. The default is Product, which functions in a general way that nearly all stores expect. Bundle is a choice that allows you to bundle together two or more other products, such as a set of clothing. Gift card allows you to sell gift cards using this product.|
|Name||This is the language-friendly name of the product. The value you enter here will be the primary way you identify this product nearly everywhere. It's also used for SEO purposes, for indexing by search engines. Finally, this value is used to dynamically determine the unqiue URL for this product, which you'll see towards the end of this page.|
|SKU||SKU stands for stock keeping unit. The SKU is the primary key that you as a store owner or merchant will track this product both in Hotcakes and in other systems as well. Even customers in some cases will use your SKU. SKU's must be unique across your entire store.|
|Product Type||The types of products you have in the store are created by you, in the product types page. Any of the standard product types and membership product types you create will be found here. Unless you have a specific need to select one of the product types, you should continue to use the built-in "Generic" product type. Depending on the product type you select, you might end up seeing the view update to display the product type properties below this setting.|
The pricing section is used to define the various pricing attributes for the product. If you have zero-dollar priced products, please know that you'll want to specify this in the Orders settings.
|Allow User Supplied Price||This setting is described in more detail below.|
|MSRP||This stands for manufacturer's suggested retail price. This value can help you illustrate to your customers how much of a deal they're getting, if your price is lower than this value. This value should be in the same format as your store currency settings.|
|Cost||When entered, this is the cost to your company to acquire or create the product. This value can help you with some of your custom reporting, but it's really useful to help you employ price group pricing strategy. This value should be in the same format as your store currency settings.|
|Price||This is the price that you intend to charge your customers. It's also the price that will be used for promotions. This value should be in the same format as your store currency settings.|
|Text||If you use this value, it will replace the pricing anywhere that a customer might see pricing listed. An example of this might be hiding the price until getting to the cart or checkout, where your promotions might have adjusted the pricing further.|
User Supplied Pricing
User supplied pricing allows a customer to specify how much they're going to pay, instead of you setting the price. This is primarily used in donation scenarios. However, many have chosen to use this feature in a more dynamic way for dynamic or custom pricing as well.
Please note that when you use user supplied pricing, it is excluded from certain promotions, including offers for line items, user specific pricing (discounts by role, price groups, etc.), and volume discounts.
When you choose to use the Allow User Supplied Price option, the other pricing fields will become read-only. You won't be able to edit them any longer. Two new settings will appear as well.
|Hide Quantity||When checked, the quantity field will not be shown to customers when they view the product page. The quantity will continue to be whatever is set to be the default specified in the Advanced section below.|
|User Price Label||When user supplied pricing is enabled, there is a default label that is shown next to the price. This setting allows you to set your own label.|
The properties area allows you to set the manufacturer and vendor for the product. These settings are useful when combined with the search and search results features, as well as the drill down version of the category view. However, they're most commonly used for drop shipping.
|Manufacturer||The manufacturer is generally the company that has built the product you sell. An example of this might be Nike if you're selling name brand shoes. Manufacturers are created in the Manufacturers view, found in the People menu.|
|Vendor||The vendor is generally the company that supplies you with the product to sell. They bought it from the manufacturer, and then sell it to you. Vendors are created in the Vendors view, found in the People menu.|
All of the settings in the Display section affect how and when customers will see the product displayed to them. This includes the primary product image, as well as the template assigned to this product.
|Active||When checked, this product will be available in all of the customer-facing views. If you uncheck this, it effectively disables the product. Customers will no longer be able to purchase or view the product in the store, even if they have the direct URL to the product.|
|Searchable||When checked, this product is made available to any search-like feature. This includes the search results and the drill down category viewer.|
|Featured||If you check this feature, it will make the product available to any view that displays featured products. This includes the featured products module, and the featured products content block.|
|Template||In this drop down list, you'll find a list of views that are built for the product, as defined by your current viewset. By default, your site will only have and use one, called Index. However, your designer may have supplied many more options for you to choose from. If you don't select a view, it will either use the Index view. If there is a view specified in the module settings of the product viewer module on your site, that value will override anything you save here.|
|Large Image||This is often referred to as the primary image as well. This is the first image your customers will see whenever your product page is loaded, or when the product is listed anywhere, such as with the category listing. It's also shown in the cart, order history, and e-mail templates. Basically, this is the first and primary representation of your product everywhere for the customer. The large image you upload will automatically create the other sizes that the site requires, such as the small image below.|
|Large Image Description||This is also known as alt text. This value will be applied as the alternative text for the image when displayed in the customer-facing views. It's used by search engines and text-based web browsers.|
|Small Image Description||If you wish to provide an alternative text for use in instances where the smaller image is used, you should supply it here.|
The description section is all about how to describe the product to your customers and to the various search engines out there. These fields work together to make your product both more attractive to purchase, as well as more easily discovered. These fields also work together with each other and other settings to better display your product when customers share it on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
|Description||This is the primary field you'll use to describe the product in a way that identifies what the product is and why the customer should buy it. You should always use a unique description instead of copying it from anywhere else.|
|Alternate Search Keywords||The keywords used here are not shown to search engines or customers. They're instead used to help enhance the onsite search features. This field is ideal for common misspellings of your product and competitive terms that your customers might use to find products when searching on your site.|
|Meta Title||The meta title is used as a title for search engine search results, as well as the title for your product when it's shared on social media sites.|
|Meta Keywords||Meta keywords are primarily used with search engines, but their usefulness is widely debated. Keywords are usually single words or short phrases, separated by commas.|
|Meta Description||This value is very similar to the meta title, only it's a description and not a title. It otherwise functions the same way.|
The tax section is quite simple. It allows you define whether or not taxes apply to this product, and how.
|Tax Schedule||This list will be populated with the tax schedules you've created in the tax schedules administration view. If your product requires taxes to be applied to it, select the appropriate tax schedule.|
|Tax Exempt||This setting doesn't require that the previous setting be anything specific. If this product should be exempt from taxes, simply check this checkbox. You should double-check with your legal and/or accounting team to be sure before you make any product tax exempt.|
Shipping can get quite complicated for some stores. We've made sure that despite how complicated your business rules may get, we're flexible enough to allow you to make your shipping requirements a reality. These values will need to be filled in properly for all shipping-friendly products, before many of your shipping methods will begin to work.
|Weight||Enter the weight of the product, as accurately as you can. While the default uses American pounds, you can specify the weight in kilograms, as long as you use the same values in all other weight settings throughout the system.|
|Extra Ship Fee||If you need to charge an additional shipping fee for this product, enter it here. This allows you to account for shipping or handling charges that are unique to this product.|
|Non-Shipping Product||If this product doesn't require shipping, it's important that you check this checkbox. This will prevent unnecessary processing to retrieve and display shipping rates, as well as removing the shipping information from checkout.|
|Shipping Charges||Shipping charges allows you to determine on a case-by-case basis how shipping should be charged for each product. The default will charge shipping and handling, but you can also choose from No Charge, Charge Shipping Only, and Charge Handling Only.|
|Dimensions||Like with weight, most shipping methods will require that you enter these values so that an accurate shipping estimate can be returned to you and your customer. This is also used to determine how many products can be shipped per package, further helping to ensure the most accurate shipping rates possible.|
|Ship Mode||This setting allows you to determine if the product is using the drop shipping feature, or if your products will be shipped directly from your store. When using drop shipping, you can ship directly from the manufacturer or the vendor.|
|Ships in a Separate Box||If you know that this product can't be shipped with other products, you should check this checkbox. Otherwise you'll either end up with shipping estimates that don't match what you're actually paying, or potentially no rates at all when using live rates shipping providers.|
The Advanced section contains all of the miscellaneous and seldom-used settings that you may need to set from time to time, but aren't often touched.
|Minimum Quantity||By default, this value it 1. The quantity you specify here will be required to be met by customers when they purchase your product. So if you enter 5 here, the customer must order at least 5 because the cart allows them to add it. This value must be a full number, or integer, value.|
|Page URL||This is the unique URL path added the URL of your site. This value will not be shared by any other product, and it's initially generated based upon the first product name you enter. You can change this without any fear at any time, becase Hotcakes will remember the old URL's and forward your customers and search engines appropriately. Old URL's will be listed here as well for you to see and even remove if you wish.|
|Allow Reviews||The default setting will have the product inheriting the review settings from the primary review configuration view. If you wish to override that setting, you can choose to always allow or allow deny reviews to be used with this setting.|
|Swatch Folder Name||If you're using swatches in your site, this value allows you to specify the swatch folder that this product will be using. There's more complete documentation on this specific feature in other articles.|
|Header Content Block||If you wish for a pre-made section of content appear in the header area of the product, you can select any content column that's been created. You can go to the content columns administration area to create a new content column.|
|Footer Content Block||If you wish for a pre-made section of content appear in the footer area of the product, you can select any content column that's been created. You can go to the content columns administration area to create a new content column.|