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QUICK START
Setting up products is very easy with our friendly, intuitive system.  You may also access additional information about a product field by choosing the next to selected fields to launch a context-sensitive popup help window.  Other features not as easily provided in that format are provided in this Quick Start guide to help you quickly learn the core features so that you can maximize your use of our system in minimal time ...


TOPICS:


SETTING UP QUANTITY DISCOUNTS
Quantity discounts are an important part of most any sales strategy.  If you offer packs, say a 5 pack, 10 pack, 25 pack, etc., you should set up a product for each "pack" (in which case using the "clone" feature described further below will be particularly useful to you).  However, we recommend you use the strategy/feature where you offer discounts at each increment because if you force certain quantities there will be gaps and, thus, some customers will end up in the gap.  For example, if you only offer a 10 pack and 25 pack, yet a customer is sure they only want to buy 20 licenses, they'll often want to negotiate a rate between two 10 packs and one 25 pack (or they will otherwise feel cheated that they have to buy 25 licenses when they are certain they will only use 20 licenses).  In addition to losing some of the good will customers could have, you will tempt them to negotiate a different price, which can result in lost sales or, at the very least, add administrative overhead for you.

As shown below, our system helps you set up a quantity discount schedule that demonstrates to customers that higher quantities have larger discounts, eliminates any gaps in the quantities being offered, and it reduces the risk of you having to negotiate prices and possibly losing a sale.

Quantity:  2-4  5-9  10-24  25-49  50-99  100+ 
Price:  $39.96 $38.96 $37.45 $34.97 $32.47 $32.00

To set up a quantity discount schedule to any product:
  1. Select "Modify product" from the left menu (or if you are currently adding a new product, save it and return to the top of the screen and follow the steps starting with step 4 below).
  2. If needed, narrow your product list, or leave blank if you don't have a lot of products. (There is also a "Search-and-modify" checkbox that makes modifying several products at once easier).
  3. Select the product you wish to apply discounts to.
  4. Choose "Quantity Discounts" from the top menu
  5. Set up prices and save.

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CLONING SIMILAR PRODUCTS
If you have several products that are similar, you can use the Clone Product feature to more quickly enter each new product:
  1. Mark the checkbox next to the product you want to copy.
  2. Select the "Clone product" button at the bottom of the page.
  3. You'll be taken to a cloned/copied product, where you can adjust the details (such as SKU, Product Name, price, and whatever else may be different).
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MAKING MASS ADJUSTMENTS
If you would like to change a field for multiple products at once:
  1. Select Modify Product from the menu.
  2. Mark the checkbox next to the products you want to modify at the same time.
  3. Select the "Modify selected" button below the product list.
  4. You will notice a checkbox besides each field in the product details area. When selected, any changes you make will be applied to all products that have been selected once you select the "Save" button at the bottom of the screen.
Note that you can also make individual changes easily by selecting the product you wish to modify from the list of products presented at the top, but then do not select the checkbox to the left of the field if the change only applies to the particular product you are modifying.

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LINKING TO YOUR STORE/PRODUCTS
Our system offers you several ways to present your products to customers. You can link directly to a specific product, a category, or automatically add one or more products to the customer's shopping cart. The following examples explain the concept more ...

Link To Just Your Store Area
By adding the "provider=[ProviderName]" parameter, you can present customers with just your store area (which means they come to the store and see only your products available for sale and if you have made any customizations to your store the customizations will appear on your order pages). For example, if your username was "demo", then you would use a link like this:
http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=demo
This is the most important parameter to use and may be the only one you need. For more features, you can add any of the additional parameters below and even combine them with this main one. Also note the parameter is case sensitive, so if your username was "AcmeWidgets", then using "provider=acmewidgets" is not correct and will not work.

Link To a Specific Product
If one of your products was Product #16236, this link would take customers directly to that product so they can view the description and add it to their cart after verifying it is the item they wish to purchase:
http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/product.php?productid=16236&provider=demo

Automatically Add a Product to a Customer's Cart
http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/cart.php?mode=add&productid=16236&amount=1&provider=demo

Automatically Add Multiple Products to a Customer's Cart
http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/cart.php?mode=add&productid=16236/16865&amount=2/4&provider=demo
Each product # and corresponding amount is separated with a single slash. Always pass the amount value which should be an integer of "1" or more -- customers will have the option to increase, or if it is more than one to decrease, the initial value supplied in the URL.

Show only Certain Products (via Search)
If you have products with a common name and want to show customers only those items, you can combine the search feature to achieve that ...
http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/search.php?mode=search&by_title=Y&including=all&provider=demo&substring=demo+widget
(Since the URL includes the "provider=[ProviderName] parameter, it will not get any other products from other providers with the same name.)

Automatically Include a Coupon Discount
Another useful feature is that after you have set up a coupon, you can pass that coupon code via the URL so that customers do not have to type the coupon code. When this is done, the discount is immediately shown to the customer. For example, if you had a coupon code of "demo123" which was set up to provide a discount to any purchases for productid 16236, then this is the link you would use:
http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/cart.php?mode=add&productid=16236&amount=1&coupon=demo123

Redirecting Customers After a Product Has Been Added to Their Cart
You can add a "&redirect=checkout" or "&redirect=shop" parameter to the URL to take customers directly to the checkout page, or encourage them to continue shopping. By default, they are left at a page where they may first view the contents, perhaps add a CD if you have that option turned on, and then choose which direction they want to go. Generally the default is what you should use, but those two redirect options are also available to you if you have a business need to automatically send customers in one direction or the other.

The "Generate HTML-Links" Feature
While not as powerful or flexible, if you just need a simple means to link to your product and the above seems confusing to you, you can use the "Generate HTML-Links" feature:
  1. Select "Modify product" from the left menu.
  2. If needed narrow the products you want to view using one or more search criteria, then select the "Search" button.
  3. Select the product you wish to generate a HTML Link for.
  4. Use the "Generate HTML-Links" button at the bottom of the screen.


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FORMAT OF OUR ORDER NOTIFICATIONS
When a customer places an order, you will be sent an e-mail message from our system to immediately notify you of the purchase. The e-mail is sent in a text-based format so that you may parse it easily if you programmatically load the orders into another system or automatically send something to customers after they have made a purchase. (You may also view orders online in real time and have the option of downloading a CSV file based on whatever search criterion you have used.)

Here is an example of a notification:

	NORTHSTAR SOLUTIONS ORDER NOTIFICATION

	Order ID: #1211883
	Order Date: 04/09/2008 11:56:07 AM
	Order Status: Processed

	CUSTOMER INFORMATION
	--------------------
	First Name: Elaine
	Last Name: Smith
	Company: Acme Widgets
	Tax #:
	Phone: 905.555.1315
	Fax:
	E-Mail: e.smith@acmeee.com
	URL:

	BILLING ADDRESS
	---------------
	First Name: Elaine
	Last Name: Smith
	Address: 2 Widget Street
	Address (line 2):
	City: Burlington
	State: Ontario
	Country: Canada
	Zip/Postal Code: L7T 4A8

	SHIPPING ADDRESS
	----------------
	First Name: Todd
	Last Name: Smith
	Address: 2 Widget Street
	Address (line 2):
	City: Burlington
	State: Ontario
	Country: Canada
	Zip/Postal Code: L7T 4A8

	PRODUCTS ORDERED
	----------------
	SKU: SKU10239
	Product: Macro Mania
	Quantity: 1
	Item Price: $49.95

	TOTAL
	-----
	Delivery Method:
	Subtotal: $49.95
	Shipping Cost: $0.00
	Total: $49.95

	CUSTOMER NOTES
	--------------
	I previously purchased Macro Mania version 8 and have enjoyed the product for
	many years. Thanks so much for the upgrade discount!
	###
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CUSTOMIZING THE LOOK OF YOUR STORE
Our system offers powerful customization options, as the files you may alter go far beyond just templates. You may easily customize fonts, colors, images, and even the layout. A more detailed help section entitled Customizing Your Store is devoted to that topic.



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