Ecommerce Templates > Newsletter > February 2008

Ecommerce Templates Newsletter February 2008

Welcome to the February 2008 Ecommerce Templates newsletter

We would like to wish all our clients a very happy & successful 2008, a year, we hope is chock-full of opportunities to grow your businesses!

This first newsletter of the year brings news of Version 5.5 along with some great ideas, and tips. We hope you enjoy them and all the benefits e-commerce templates can offer you. This is what’s in store for you this month:

Upcoming features

There are lots of exciting new features available in the upcoming release for version 5.5.0 and we believe this to be the greatest yet! So, have a look through the new additions and see what you think!

Reduced checkout steps
- Get your customers quickly and easily from the products pages through to payment, as easy as 1-2-3. The number of checkout pages has been reduced so shipping totals and order review are merged onto the same page. The new streamline flow will be:

Add to cart > Enter billing and shipping details > Select shipping and review order > Pay for goods

Customer reviews and ratings
- Customer reviews are a great way of providing on-topic content, useful to both customers and search engines alike. As they are provided by visitors and reviewed by the store owner before publishing you can be guaranteed fresh and relevant copy for your store.

Image upload
- Updating product information has just got quicker and simpler with the image upload feature. Click the button in the product admin page to browse and upload your product images.

Multiple images
- Need multiple or larger views for some products? Now, you can have up to 5 images for your product page, 5 images for your product detail page and up to 5 further giant images from a link on the product detail page – all administered from the control panel.

Product option picture change
- What they see is what they get! Enable your customers to visualise exactly what they are purchasing with images that automatically change depending on the product options they select.

Multi purchase of product options
- Do your customers need to put multiple product options into the cart with varying quantities? This feature does just that providing a simple to interface to add multiple items to cart in a flash.

Integration of the FCK HTML Editor
- This is a far superior alternative HTML editor to the one currently supported. It can be used to edit your product descriptions in a WYSIWYG manner in your product admin so you see exactly how your descriptions will look to your customers.

Additional goodies

- Copy the billing address to the shipping address with a click on checkout, further streamlining the payment process.
- New leaner, meaner, streamlined stock management system to make sure you never receive an order you can't fulfill.
- Manage stock much more efficiently by updating the stock levels on the admin products page without having to go into every product.
- Increased search power in the admin orders page as the extra order and checkout fields are now searchable.
- Show the manufacturer dynamically on the products and product detail pages.
- Make your navigation more consistent as the Previous / Next links on the product detail pages now follow the product sort order set in the includes file.
- Keep all your shipping and handling costs up front as the handling charges will automatically be included in the shipping estimator when using combineshippinghandling.
- Help users find their account with an extra link in the minilogin box.

Updaters are free following the first 6 months after purchase. After this time a further 6 months of support and updates is available for $39.95 here.

Your feedback

Your feedback is important to us. Please tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and what you would like. Your views & opinions help us gauge demand and all comments we receive from our customers are crucial in planning new features for updaters.

We actively welcome suggestions through the support forum here and we have also set up an online survey where you can leave your thoughts on the features, site, support and pricing.

Top Tips

Do you need a different page layout for different products?

The store comes with a default product page layout having the product picture to the left of the description. That's fine for many stores but it is also possible to show the picture above the product description or put all the product details into a table format. To help visualize the various options we have included some screenshots with instructions here.

You can also set up different layouts for different categories. Some items may require a detailed description whilst others, such as accessories, may just need to be listed in a table format.

The way to do this is to set up static product pages using the search engine friendly feature. This allows you to edit each product page individually and apply the formatting you require.

We have some examples on our layout help page.

How can I spice up my product listings?

By default products are separated by a horizontal rule. This can look a tad dull so applying a CSS rule can get it looking brighter and matching your site. Try this in your css file to get a blue dashed line

hr.prodseparator {
height: 0;
border-width: 1px 0 0 0;
border-style: dashed;
border-color: #006AC8;

You can also do away with the line altogether or separate your products with the decoration of your choice with a simple switch in vsadmin/includes.asp or includes.php

Don’t forget to check out our website for more tips, downloads and support.

All the best for 2008!

Have a good one!

Your ecommerce templates team