You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Products link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking New Product. You can also go to Products and click on Categories, then click on the Category you want (or create one) and finally click New Product.
Manual Product Entry
If the product you want to enter is not in our Catalog, you will need to enter the information for it manually. This section contains full details on how to enter data into each area of the product.
To enter a product manually, once you have clicked your New Product button (see how to get there above) you will see the above options for UPC, Manufacturer Number, and Search at the top of the Add Product screen. For manual product entry you will not need these fields, so begin with the Product Title. Here are the main elements of the Details tab:
- Product Title (required) - Just putting in the name of the product is essential, but if you have other information, it can help with the search results. For example, if you are putting in a Lifestyle Exponent tent, that is all you absolutely have to have for a title, but including the manufacturer and the style of the tent will be better for your search results, so a title such as Coleman Lifestyle Exponent 2-Person Tent will increase the page views you get.
- Available - This is where you can set the areas of the system for which the product will be active. You can set it to Website only, Point of Sale only, or the default value, Both website and point of sale.
- Show Price on Website - If you leave this option off, your product will display as if it's in a gallery, just showing product information and images. Turn it on to let people know your selling price.
- Show Add to Cart Button - If you have set your 'Show Price on Website' to On, you will have the option to also display the Add to Cart button for web order processing for the product.
- Unlimited Web Inventory - Turning this On makes sense if you produce the product yourself, if you can special order with a sufficiently short turnaround time, or if you are selling a Digital Download product.
- Track Serial Numbers - If the product has serial numbers that you wish to track for inventory purposes, you can enable this option. Doing so will change your Inventory and Costs section (see below) so that it works with serial numbers instead of quantities.
- Department - If you have set up Departments (or if we have migrated them over for you from your old system) you can add the product to whatever Department would apply. A product can be in only one Department (Click here for instructions on setting up your Departments).
- Category - If you have Categories already set up in the system (or if we have migrated them over for you) you can add your product to as many as you would like. When you click the Edit button, you will see a list of all of your Categories and Subcategories. Click on as many as you want and the product will be listed in all of them. To de-select a Category, click on it again. When you are done selecting your Categories, click Close, and you will see a list of all selected categories.
- Manufacturer - If you wish to associate the product with a manufacturer, you can enter the company name in this field. This is purely for your reference purposes.
- Make - You can enter the Make of the product, for example, Coleman, Fender, or Chevrolet, etc. This is most useful when selling a unique item used, and in most other cases is not needed.
- Model - You can provide the Model name of the product as well, if you like, for example, Exponent, Stratocaster, Corvette, etc. This is most useful when selling a unique item used, and in most other cases is not needed.
- Year - If applicable, enter the Year of the model was manufactured. This is most useful when selling a unique item used, and in most other cases is not needed.
- Manage Vendors - Click the Select Vendors button to bring up the Preferred Vendors panel. You can select all Vendors from whom you might order the product. Once you've built your list, you can click on one of them to make it the Primary Vendor for the product. That Vendor will be the default the system uses whenever you work with our Ordering system, but you can always change to another Vendor for any Purchase Order or Receiving Order you do, if you need. Click Done when you are finished.
- Vendor Packaging - If the product comes packaged with multiple units a certain way when you order from your vendor, you can set up how the system will order it here. For example, you might order a scuba mask in cases of 12 masks each. In that case, you would enter 12 in the first field, make sure Items is selected in the first drop-list, and choose Case from the second list. If you order the product piecemeal, you should leave the fields blank where possible, and ignore the word 'cases' below for Reorder Amount.
Styles and Pricing
Down below the upper area for the Details tab, you will see a large gray box with data fields for Styles and Pricing. This area is visible from all tabs. There are several ways to set up your products. With most products, you will not need to create Options for things like colors or sizes, so in this area, you will see only one column of information. If you wish, you can set up multiple Options for the product, but this can only be done when you are first creating it, so make sure you have decided what you will do with the product for Options (or not) before you first Save it.
- Location - If you have multiple locations, you will see a drop list at the top of the Styles & Pricing section where you can choose whichever location your product information will be going into.
- Show Items with Zero Inventory - This setting applies to any Options you have set up, each of which will have its own column of data like the one pictured above. For some products, you may have many such columns for Options, so this allows you to hide any that no longer have inventory, and it's also a way for you to 'turn off' such Options, since you cannot delete them once they've been saved. So this only applies to what you see on the Edit Product screen: by default, any Option that is out of stock will not be visible on the website.
- Styles - If you need to set up Options for a product, for example; Colors (red and black) and Sizes (regular and large), our system allows you to do as many as you might need. In this example, you would click on Add Option, and you would set the first Option Title to be Color, and under that title you would create Option Values for Red and Black. Then you would click Add Option again, set the next Option Title to be Size, and under that title you would make Option Values for your Regular and Large sizes. As you Save each Option group, you will see additional columns added in the Styles and Pricing area, one for each combination of your Options. So in our example, you would end up with four columns of product data for the following four Options: Red Regular, Red Large, Black Regular, and Black Large.
- UPC - A UPC code is a series of 8 - 13 numbers (never letters, spaces, or punctuation) that is officially registered with the Universal Product Code organization. So this will be a barcode that is already on the product somewhere. If the product does not have the barcode, once you have the proper code in this field, you can click on the number and a Print Barcodes button will pop up that will allow you to print labels.
- Manufacturer Number - This field allows you to enter the code the manufacturer uses for a product. If you order directly from the manufacturer, this will usually be the part number or product number on your shipping invoice. This will also be the number they list on their website for the product. These codes are usually a mix of letters and numbers, often 6 to 8 characters long.
- SKU - A SKU number or code is one that you make for the product yourself. It may be some kind of code to indicate the location of the product on your sales floor, or it might just be some kind of departmental identifier. It is recommended to keep your codes long enough for good uniqueness and searchability, but short enough that they aren't too difficult to identify visually, so somewhere between 5 and 9 characters should work fine.
- Alternate Lookup(s) - For products you might order from multiple vendors, in many cases each vendor has a unique code for the product that they use, so this area allows you to enter as many such identifiers as you might need, so you can look up the product easily by those codes whenever needed.
- Inventory - Clicking on the Change link will open the window below and allow you to work with your inventory and cost numbers. If you are manually entering a new shipment of inventory into the system, you will put the quantity number into the Quantity field, the Cost you paid per unit, the Extra Cost is freight/shipping per unit, and the current date will already be in the Receive Date field. Previous shipments will be listed and you can see what is currently in stock (the first number, before the slash), the original quantity added (the number after the slash), the cost per unit, and the date it was entered into inventory. If you need to change any of those numbers or amounts, you can click on the Change Inventory tab and adjust as needed. The system uses FIFO (first in, first out), so the inventory that is the oldest will always sell first before starting on newer stock.
- Purchasing - Click the Manage link to work with purchasing information for the Vendors you've selected for the product. Your Primary vendor will be at the top of the list. You can enter a Vendor Part Number if the vendor has a unique identifier you'll need to use in the Purchase Orders for the product. In the Packaging field, you can set how many units come in whatever packaging the vendor might use for the item. Options for unit types are Items, Inches, Feet, Yards, and Meters and the packaging types are Case, Bolt, Box, Roll, or Pack. You do not have to set anything in here if there is no set packaging done for the products by the vendor. Click Done when you have entered all the information.
- Reorder Point - Your Reorder Point is where you set the amount of inventory that would be considered low enough to trigger a reorder of the product. For example, if our scuba mask gets down to 2 units left in stock, that might be a good inventory level to reorder from. If you do not plan to restock the item, leave this field completely blank (0 will still cause the item to reorder: it will trigger when the item is out of stock!).
- Desired Stock Level - You can set the level of inventory that is ideal for the product, for example, you might like to have 12 items at maximum in stock for your scuba masks, so when the product gets down to 2 units, the Ordering system will prompt you to order ten more items to get to your Desired Stock Level of 12.
- Default Cost - Entering a Cost value here will allow Purchase Orders to place the Cost value into the Order as an expected or approximate cost before the items are received. If there is no value entered here, the system will default to the selling Price in the orders.
- Price - This is the standard retail price.
- Sale Price - If you are selling the product at a discount, you can enter the reduced price here. The Point of Sale system will use this area if a price is listed here. If you have not turned on the setting for separate website and Point of Sale pricing, on the website, you will see the Price amount crossed out, and the Sale Price in bold red numbers.
- Website Price - You can enable your system to use separate pricing for web and for POS by going to Settings > POS Settings > Products. If left blank, the system will use whatever you have in the Price field.
- Website Sale Price - This field operates in the same manner as the Sale Price, but can be set separately from that field. If nothing is entered into this field, the system will use whatever is in the Sale Price area.
- Weight - If you base your shipping on the total weight of the order, you can list a weight value for one unit of the product. You will use a decimal value or either pounds or kilograms, depending on your unit of measure. So, for example, if the product weighs 8 ounces, you would enter a value of 0.5 to represent half a pound. If you need to change your current unit of measure, please notify us in Support, and we can make that change for you.
- Image - This image field is for use if you have set up multiple Options for the product. For the primary images for the product, please use the Images tab, just above the product title. You an enter an image here either from the server, or you can upload one from your computer. On the website, the image will automatically load if the visitor selects that Option in the drop list. As with all product images, you will want to use either a Jpeg or a PNG file, and you will want it to be a minimum of 800 pixels in its largest dimension. For best results, anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 pixels is a great size for your product images.
You can add up to four main images to a product. The leftmost image area will be the Primary Image, that will be used as the default image for the product everywhere it is displayed. Any other images you enter will be accessible on the detail page for the product on the website, using thumbnails under the main image.
If you need to change an image, just click to select a new one from the server or upload a new one from your computer, and it will replace the old one. If you no longer need an image to display, you can click to Delete it, and when you save the product, that image will no longer be visible.
As with all product images, you will want to use either a Jpeg or a PNG file, and you will want it to be a minimum of 800 pixels in its largest dimension. For best results, anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 pixels is a great size for your product images.
You can enter descriptive text to help market your products in this area. The Short Description is convenient if you don't need anything more than the basic details of a product. In this area, you are limited to 256 characters, including spaces and punctuation. The reason for this is because in a Google search result, no more than that will ever display. We recommend entering your description, saving the product, and then reopening it to make sure the message is not truncated (as the one below is, if you compare it to the Long Description).
The Long Description allows you more freedom in the content you enter for the product. You can include additional images, links to other resources (like PDF spec sheets or manufacturer websites), specially formatted text, tables, and even videos if you like. For your more expensive products, it will pay to put in a complete description here, and this is one of the key ways you can set yourself above your competition.
The Advanced Tab
This area allows for some special settings for your product. Here is what you can do:
- Eligible for Discounts - If it is not already set at the Department level, you can set the product to be eligible or not for discounts in the Point of Sale.
- Eligible for Rewards - In the same way, a product can be set to generate Reward Points or not, if the Department does not already have it set.
- Taxes - Some products may require a special tax setup. For any tax rates you have configured in your Settings (Settings > POS Settings > Taxes), you will see the title and a check box to enable it. The product will automatically have the Materials tax rate checked as active if that has been set as your Product Default tax in the Taxes setup window in Settings. Check the boxes for as many tax rates as would apply for the product, but understand they will be cumulative when the system charges tax. For example: If you have Municipal (3%), County (1.5%) and State (3%) tax rates configured, and all would apply for the product, you would check all three boxes, and in the POS, the product would combine those rates (7.5%) and charge that amount for the tax on that product.
- Suggested Products - This is a follow-up step you will want to do after you have entered most or all of your products into the system. You can use the search field to find a product that would go well with the product you are working on. This is similar to what you see in big online retailers where they show you "Customers who bought this also liked these..." You can enter any number of these, but as a practical matter, an even number such as four or six is good.
- Digital Download - Our system can facilitate secure digital downloads for products such as videos, audio files, PDFs or other documents, or a combination of files that have been combined into a Zip file. You can upload a file up to 100mb in size, and our system allows only the purchaser to download the file with the link that is sent to them.
- Product Form - You can get information from the customer about their order using one or more product Form fields. For example, if you do monogramming on a bag you sell, you could put a Single Line Input field into the product so the customer could enter their initials for the monogram. Form fields include Single Line Input (short written answers), Paragraph Input (longer descriptive answers), Check Box (if checked, the item is true, e.g. the title in front of the check box could be 'Gift' and if the box is checked, you might giftwrap it), Dropdown Box (a list of options they can choose from). You can add as many necessary form fields as you like.
- Offline Reserve - You can set an amount of the inventory quantity to not be available for online sale so you have a reserve of the product for in-store sales. For example, if you have 15 units in stock, you could set an Offline Reserve of 3, leaving 12 for online sale. In this example, when someone is viewing the product online, if they click to set the Quantity they want to buy, they would only see up to 12 items in the drop list.