Web to Print: Kitting

Kitting in the CommerceTools word is an important tool, especially while selling.  Kitting is grouping several different products to create one product option.  Most people know about kitting, but if you haven’t gotten it setup, we can help you get started!  If you are familiar with kitting, but would like like to freshen up on what is available or need some questions answered, we can help you with that too!

Case Question:
Are kits/kitting supported in CommerceTools?  If so, can you briefly explain the kit functionality so I can tell if it will accommodate my customer’s needs?

G-Ray:
Kits can be great tool in the sales cycle or to spice up the product offering for existing clients on CommerceTools.  The kit functionality supports basic/static type scenarios as the end user is not able to modify the products or their quantity in the kit.  Adding the dynamic kit functionality is on the roadmap as a phase 2 of the overall kit project.

To find out more about subscribing to the kit performance option or to check it out on the CommerceTools Demo environment, drop us a line at info@four51.com or submit a case.

Ski-Dog:
Creating a kit on CommerceTools is very similar to creating a static product.  There are various differences like selecting which variable/static products to include as kit items, setting inventory to track at the kit and/or kit item level, and selecting if pricing will be displayed as an overall kit price or the sum of the kit items.  Click Here to read the Knowledgebase article creating kits.

Remember to subscribe to your favorite articles in the Knowledgebase to receive a notification when they get updated!!  Just click on “Subscribe” in the right navigation bar when viewing an article and enter in your email address.

Headphones:
The kit will appear as a single line item during the checkout process for an end user and in the emails.  When an order is received on the administrative interface, the kit items will be visible and can be sourced to the same or different suppliers.  **This is a great way to handle sourcing each aspect (embroidery, material, etc) of a job like a hat or shirt to different suppliers on CommerceTools.

In regards to kits in the Order Request XML document, the productType will be set to ‘Kit’, and there will be a new extrinsic element named ‘parentKitLineItemID’ that references the lineitemID of the line item containing the kit’s parent product.  Click Here to check out the Knowledgbase article on the Order Request XML document.

Four51 Web-to-Print: All About Project File Management

Do you ever feel like your desk looks like this?

Or maybe your computer monitor looks like this?  (I’ll admit it, I’ve been here before)

Well, we don’t ever want you to have to deal with that in CommerceTools while you are balancing your customers varying products and ongoing corporate design changes.  That is why we are talking about the setup of variable data products and the project file upload utility.  Join our panel of experts on how you can get setup and organized today.

Case Question:
My customer frequently changes their corporate logo, and has over thirty variable data products that use this logo.  Is there a way to setup these products so that I can swap out one image, rather than maintain thirty identical images for each product?

G-Ray:
Absolutely.  From an operations efficiency and customer solution development viewpoint, it is important to understand how variable data products are setup, and how the project file upload utility works to make decisions on how to optimize your workflow.  Some key considerations include:

  1. Can a project file work for more than one product?
  2. Will images be shared across multiple products?
  3. Does more than one product use the same data source?
  4. How often does the project file require change?

Ski-Dog:
These considerations are exactly why hands on training is required to gain access to manage projects in CommerceTools admin.  We demonstrate the relationship between the Pageflex template design tools and a CommerceTools variable data product.  We also walk the trainees through the installation of the project file upload utility, which maps the data found in the Pageflex project to a CommerceTools variable data product.

Headphones:
It is important to note that the upload utility requires a desktop computer installation and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

Ski-Dog:
We do get a few cases on installing the utility when someone completes instruction and returns to their work desktop.  Should an install fail after following the instructions in the article right here, we provide another troubleshooting utility that Headphones created.

Once you get the utility working, you can follow the instructions to share a project file with multiple products here.

Headphones:
Don’t forget about the project file web service if you need to manage frequent changes to the project file.  The web service allows updates and additions to those projects so that your admin user does not need to repetitively login and manage the project via the CommerceTools admin interface.  We commonly see the web service used to replace a data source with a nightly update.  Take a look here for specifics on the web service.

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Jazz up your customer’s sites!

We’re back!  See, we told you we would be!  Today’s case is, in general terms, how to make your customer’s sites totally cool!  There are a lot of easy ways you can customize your buyer sites and make them hip again.  Groovy, huh?  Oh wait, lets use the term “Awesome” to be more with the times.  Read on for some more serious talk on updating these sites.

Case question:
A large customer of mine was recently shown a competitors online site which looked much more modern than what they are using today.  Their existing Four51 CommerceTools site has all of the functionality that they currently need; however, they are asking me to improve the overall look and feel of their site.  I originally set this site up about 6 years ago and I haven’t made any changes to it other than adding additional products to the catalog.  I have seen other Four51 sites that look much more professional and fun than any of mine, so I know it can be done.  How can I jazz up my customer sites and give them the Official Seal of Awesomeness?

Ski Dog:
There are many ways in which you can customize the look and feel of a buyer site!  In fact, many options are available within the standard configuration options when setting up a buyer site.  Some of the easiest things to do that do not require any additional knowledge or technical expertise are:

  • Out with the “Old Blue” and in with the new!  The default template for our oldest customers was assembled a looooooong time ago, and we mean so long ago, some of you, err, I mean us, didn’t even have a gray hair!  Swap that old tried and true template from a list of over 40 standard themes with various colors and layouts.
  • Enable Dynamic Menus: Allow the buyer to hover over a top level category to expose sub-level categories.
  • Text Replacements: Replace specific default text in the Buyer interface.  Replacing this text with your own custom text provides a mechanism to customize your buyers’ experience and make the interface more personalized.
  • Create and apply custom messages to selected pages in the application.

G-Ray:
It is easy to forget about sites that were built years ago, because they work and customers continue to order from them, kind of like that old sweater you keep wearing, you think it looks good and it keeps you warm.  (Did I mention its all of 8 degrees F in Minneapolis this fine afternoon!)  However, CommerceTools is continually updated and your tried and true site may start to look old.  You can get a lot of bang for your buck by simply going into these sites and  updating them with SkiDog’s suggestions.  To your customers, it looks like a new site and they appreciate that you continue to invest in them (even though it didn’t really cost you anything)!  Always trying to help you win!

Headphones:
SkiDog brings up some good points, but I consider that ‘customization lite’, sort of like his taste in beer.  Four51 doesn’t restrict browser-based languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript in any way – so the sky is really the limit. You can’t make data appear on the page that didn’t exist there before, but anything on the page is fair game for manipulation. You can put any of these languages in custom themes, product descriptions, spec forms, etc. There’s nothing stopping you from copying the look and feel of any site out there. Does your client think it would be cool to use HTML5 and make a mini game where an Italian plumber can jump down different pipes to navigate to different categories in a CommerceTools catalog? It’s possible. Copy the look and feel of the customer’s public, non-commerce site exactly? It’s possible. I’m currently writing an awesome (groovy?) series of blog posts that will explain this from a technical perspective. Look for it here soon.  In the meantime, check out some of these cool featured designs here.

How to View Reports

How to View Promotion Reports

In the FanTools Dashboard:

  1. Make sure the correct company is selected
  2. Go to top of dashboard, click Reports
  3. Data will be displayed below

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How to connect FanTools to your Twitter Account

How to Add a Twitter Account

After you have logged in to the FanTools Admin:

  1. Click Social Media in the top Dashboard.
  2. Click Twitter Accounts.
  3. Click Add Twitter Account.

A Twitter form will pop up for you to input your Twitter Account information.

Fill in Twitter account info and click Authorize App.  Once you have authorized the app, your FanTools account will be properly routed to your desired Twitter account and you can tweet out your new deals.

 

 

 

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