Items (Products-Services)

 Objective

Actinic allows you to create a products and services database that you can display for your visitors via 2 components:
  • The Catalog (Brochure) component presents your products without the possibility to purchase them online. The visitor can simply send an information request.

  • The Shopping Cart (Shop) component is intended for e-commerce sites geared toward selling online with secure payment options.
 
 How many items should be in my catalog?

The size of product and services catalogs can vary.

Some of our customers only present several items. However, they display a great deal of information about these products.

Other customers present several hundred items with details laid out in each product file: detailed description, multiple images with zoom, up/cross-selling items, etc.

Still other customers present catalogs with several tens of thousands of products. However, they add fewer details, such as images or long descriptions. Their end customers are professionals who know their products well. For them, a website is just an easy way stock up on supplies.

There aren't any hard and fast rules concerning the number of items and the amount of information you need to enter to have a good products and services catalog.

 
 Implementation

Each item is added as an element.

When you add an item, you have direct access to the properties of this element. If you want to modify these properties after the element has been added, you have to click on the icon provided for this reason in the row where the element is located.

When you create an item, you must fill in certain parameters that are essential for displaying the product in your site:
  • Enter a Name and Item Code.

    Do everything possible to avoid having several similar item names, and respect unique item codes.

  • Enter the Price

    As with the rest of the solution, the prices are entered excluding VAT in the item properties. We recommend using our Tax Calculation Wizard to help you convert your prices including VAT into prices excluding VAT.

    Of course, in most cases, you would want to display a price for your item. However, this wouldn't necessarily be the case if you use the Catalog (Brochure) component.

    Attention: A product without a price will not be displayed to your visitors by the Shopping Cart component (but will be displayed by the Catalog component) because a potential customer could then order hundreds of items without being charged for them.

    When a price is null, the system sees this as an error and the product cannot be purchased. However, there is an option in the Shopping Cart (Shop) component properties that allows you to modify this behavior to meet specific needs.

    The system is capable of managing different VAT rates for each of your items and applying any related eco-tax charges.

  • Add Stock and Manage Availability

    Stock levels are automatically decreased when you receive an order on your website. When you receive stock from your supplier or when you create an item, don't forget to update the stock level to what you currently have in stock for this item. You have the option of being alerted by the system that an item will soon be out of stock thanks to the low stock level email alert.

    By default, the system will hide out of stock items from your visitors. However, you can use the "Availability" sub-tab in the item properties to change this behavior and display an item even if it is unavailable.

    You also have an option allowing you to decide if you want to sell items that are out of stock. If you decide to continue selling the item even if unavailable (this is the most used practice), check this box and don't forget to indicate your average days to ship. Attention, don't confuse days to ship with the shipping times of your defined shipping options.
You can find more information about this subject in the following FAQ:
Why are some of my products not displayed in the shop?

 
 Sell Products or Services

With Actinic, you can sell two types of items: "Physical" items that you possess and stock on your premises and "Intangible" items.

Originally, intangible items were created in the Actinic system to allow customers to sell downloadable files. Therefore, it is necessary to associate a file to this type of item so that it is considered "intangible" by the system.

However, it is entirely possible to use this functionality to sell services, the trick being to associate a descriptive file to these items (such as a PDF document describing the terms of the service).

 
 Include Generous Descriptions

The text you include in your item files, and more generally in your site, is extremely important. First of all, it is important because your customers want a maximum amount of information (you will show them your skills and knowledge about the items you're selling through your text). Secondly, it is vital to your natural search engine optimization.

A common error is neglecting the "description" zone and only entering text in the "detailed description" zone. However, if properly filled out, this zone works in favor of your search engine optimization. This description is displayed in the page listing all of the products from a category and allows you to create rich, textual content, listing keywords linked to your activity several times.

The detailed description generally uses information from the main description and elaborates with complementary information, such as a table of technical characteristics. You can also use a WebBlock to present your detailed description.

 
 Illustrate your Items

You do not need to include an image to create an item. However, you will probably want to include at least one photo of your item. Therefore, enter at least a "main" image and a thumbnail image for your items.

The thumbnail image should be the same as the main image. The file size (dimensions in pixels) is simply reduced to speed up display on your site. The list of products in a category displays numerous items on the same page. Using thumbnail images allows you to limit the time it takes to display your pages.

The solution allows you to associate several images to the same item.
  • Zoom Images: You can associate up to 10 different photos for your items and propose a zoom feature for your images! These images will override the main image, if entered, in the item file.

  • Option Images: Each option defined for your items can be associated to an image. The customer will then see the image of the item variation they selected.
 
 From 10 or 15 Products, Use Categories

As soon as you have a few dozen products, organize them into categories. This way, your customers will be able to find the product they're looking for in just a few clicks. Classification of items into a proper tree structure of categories and sub-categories that have been wisely chosen, described and illustrated (preferably) is going to make browsing easier for your visitors.

The system allows you to associate up to 3 categories for each item. This way, a shirt could be displayed in the sub-category "Clothing \ Men \ Shirts" and the category "New Items", for example.

 
 Optimize Shipping

The Actinic solution does not allow you to configure different shipping options for each of your items. The system assumes that you are going to send all the items in the order together. The solution doesn't know how to manage several items ordered simultaneously that are subject to different shipping rates.

However, Actinic provides you with numerous methods for calculating shipping fees for your orders. In particular, you have access to calculation methods based on the weight or volume of your orders. You can enter the weight and/or dimensions of your products if you decide to use this shipping configuration mode.

Note that information concerning the weight and volume of your products is not displayed in your site and is only used to calculate shipping fees when the order is confirmed.

You also have a field allowing you to associate handling fees to your products, if necessary. These charges will be added to the shipping fees.

 
 Include Meta-Data in your Item Pages for Search Engine Optimization.

You can optimize your SEO Properties (HTML Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords) for each of your items! And don't worry...If you have a very large catalog, the system will automatically propose a title for your product pages for search engines. You can focus on optimizing the meta data for the items that best represent your activity.

With Actinic, you can also export your catalog to price comparison services. You can define the specific fields to be exported depending on the price comparison service's requirements.

 
 Work at your Own Speed

As with most elements in your administration space, you are not required to publish your items as soon as they are created. You have access to a system allowing you to hide your products while you are working on them.

 
 Propose Several Variations for your Items

You can propose several versions of your items. For this, you can use:

  • 2 multiple attributes, which allow you to create item variations and decide how the item code (concatenated, replaced) and price will be affected.

  • 3 option traits, which give you more flexibility when managing variations: stock management for each variation, image display change according to selected variation, different item display modes, etc.
Using options, you can propose up to 200 item variations. You are also able to combine Options + Attributes!

 
 Boost Sales with Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

Actinic proposes a powerful up-selling and cross-selling system that allows you to attach and display related items and higher-end items in each of your item files. This type of tool has been tried and tested in the e-commerce world and using it will guarantee you a significant increase in sales.

 
 Feature Certain Items

Feature certain items by placing them at the top of the page using a manual classification. You don't need to reclassify all of your items. You just need to move the most important items to the top of the display list. Don't forget to set the initial display order to "According to the manually defined order" under the Element Classification tab of the component (Shopping Cart or Catalog), which will define your item display order.

Lastly, allow your visitors to change this order to display the items by name or price. It is understandable that you want to feature your five hottest items at the top of the page. However, if your visitor is searching for a specific product that is not included in your featured items, it's preferable to give them a way to easily find what they're looking for!

 
 Work with Several Customer Profiles

By activating multi-price management on your site, you can define up to five different prices for your items depending on the user.

This powerful system allows you to carry out B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) sales simultaneously, even allowing you to sell to several types of businesses, define discount grids per user category, etc.

 
 Sell on eBay

Multi-channel selling can help boost your sales. You may be tempted to sell your products simultaneously on the powerful eBay platform to commercialize your items.

Take advantage of the work you've already put in to your Actinic site and directly list your items from the Actinic system on eBay in just a few clicks!
 

Add to favorites: http://www.actinic.co.uk/Help/HelpCenterContent.asp?ActionID=512&TID=1218&MID=9000%7C55320&LangID=1
© 2001-2018 Oxatis. All rights reserved.