Working with products
Cartweaver uses a traditional brick and mortar style Product/SKU configuration. For each distinct version of a product you must have a unique SKU to represent that product.
The best way to illustrate the Product/SKU relationship is with a real-world example. Let’s assume that your store sells Levi's 501 Blues blue jeans. This is a specific product although there may be many variations of size and color. The product could have a product ID of 501 or another unique identifier. The Product ID identifies the Product in the database as Levi's 501 Blues.
Because you may have several sizes of 501s, the SKU would need to denote the size and style, such as 36x30 Stonewashed. The SKU for such a product could be 3630SW, where 36 is the waist, 30 is the length and SW represents Stonewashed. A retailer may have 40 Levi's 501 Blues in stock but only 4 of them are size 36x30 Stonewashed - which is one reason why tracking products by SKU is important.
The important thing to remember is that a SKU identifies the product's properties and must be unique in the database. You may use numbers or letters for a SKU value.
Here is a visual representation of the relationship between Product IDs and SKUs as previously described.
The Product ID is how merchandise is grouped and identified. When adding items to a cart, it is SKUs that are counted for tracking inventory.
One method used to help ensure that SKUs are unique is to use the product ID followed by a dash then the SKU. Once your company and shipping settings are complete you can then begin creating product options, categories and the actual products themselves.
Defining Product Options
In order to define unique SKUs, you should begin by defining product options. Returning to the Levi’s 501 example, product option groups could be Waist (32, 34, 36, etc.), Inseam (32, 34, 36, etc) and Wash (Faded, Stonewashed, etc). You can customize the sort order for options inside each option group to ensure they are displayed in the proper order in your store; options are sorted numerically then alphabetically. If you used sizes such as Small, Medium, Large and X-Large, you can use the sort field to ensure they’re displayed in the correct order. The Option architecture is one of the most powerful features of Cartweaver. There can be an unlimited number of options.
Adding Option Groups
To add an Option Group you click the Add New link under the Option tab on the Cartweaver Admin menu. This will take you to a simple form that will allow you to add the Option Name.
Once you have added an Option Group, click on the group name in the Options tab of the Admin menu to open the Options Administration page. Here you can add and administer options to be listed under this particular option group.
If there are products associated with a given option you will not be able to delete the option. Instead, you can Archive the option so it will no longer appear on the web or in the selection fields on the Product Admin page. Archiving options that have already been used allows you to keep historical data accurate, while providing a means to exclude items from view without permanently deleting them.
Begin adding new products by choosing Products> Add Product. When you click the Add Product link you will see that product configuration starts with three tabs: General Info, Descriptions, and Photos. Additional tabs for SKUs and Up-Sell products appear once you have created a base product.
Remember that every product in the database must have at least one SKU in order for it to be displayed on your store. You must first establish a product before adding its SKUs.
Basic product information is configured in the General Info tab. The product ID and name are required fields. If you need to add a product but are not ready for it to appear on the web, set the On Web setting to No. (This will hide the product and all its related SKUs from the web until you are ready for it to be shown online.)
The short description (used in the search results page) and the long description (used in the product details page) are configurable in the Descriptions tab. Both the short and long description fields are required.
The images tab allows you to select and upload product images of all types. Default image types are Expanded, Full, Small, and Thumbnail. You need only upload one image, and Cartweaver 4 will automatically duplicate and resize it for you. The image upload will only allow web-compatible image files to be uploaded (image files ending in .gif, .jpg, .jpeg or .png). Once the image is selected and uploaded, the appropriate image name field will be updated with the name of the file that was uploaded.
Although Cartweaver will resize your image for you, it's best to avoid uploading an image larger than 1000 pixels in any direction. Uploading very large high-resolution images could result in server time-out or image file corruption, which may lead to problems. Remember to reduce your initial image to a reasonable size before uploading.
Once the product has been created, the Add SKUs form will be available in the SKUs tab. You can add as many SKUs as you would like. If you wish to add more SKUs at any time simply click the SKUs tab to show the Add SKU form again.
When adding SKUs be sure to complete all fields. If weight is unimportant for your
SKU enter 0; all fields must be complete.
Deleting Products and SKU
If you delete a product, all SKUs will be deleted too. If there are orders related to a SKU, you cannot delete the product, but you can choose to archive it. This will remove it from the web and remove it from the Active products list.
Delete SKUs by clicking the trashcan next to the SKU's ID. You may not delete SKUs that have orders associated with them. If you cannot delete the SKU and wish to make it unavailable for sale you can set the On Web setting to No.
Up-Sell products are products that the buyer of the current product may find of interest. You can add as many of these as you wish.
If Show Up-Sell is set to Yes on the Display Settings page, links to the Up-Sell products will appear on the Details Page in your Cart. Adjacent to the Up-Sell link is the optional extra small image, whose setting can be disabled in the Display Settings page.