How to open an online store and begin using Shop-Script

1. Inistallation

The easiest way to install Shop-Script is to create an account in Webasyst Cloud. Simply sign up like in a social network or an email service.

You can also download and install Shop-Script on your own web server (web hosting). Note that you must purchase a license to open a real online store.

2. Initial setup

To start working with your online store, log into your Webasyst backend. To do so, enter a URL of the form http://yourdomain.com/webasyst/ in your browser. Part yourdomain.com must be replaced with the actual URL at which you have installed Shop-Script. On the login page, enter your login name and password which you have specified during the installation.

Upon login, click on the Store app's icon in the main menu. When you access your store's backend for the first time, you will be offered several basic parameters: country and product types which will be available in your store.

You may skip this initial setup but note that this opportunity to specify some basic parameters will be very helpful. Any of the options selected here can be changed or canceled in the settings afterwards.

3. Adding products

The main logical unit in an online store is a product. When adding a new product, you can specify its various properties: name, description, price, extra features (e.g., color, size, weight, etc.), and upload photos. If you are planning to sell several variants of the same product, then you can arrange such variants as separate SKUs of a product, i.e. its physical stock-keeping unit with common name and description displayed in the storefront.

SKUs

Product SKUs can be presented in the storefront in 2 ways: as a plain list or via selection of product feature values. Look how these two options may appear in the storefront:

In mode “Flat SKU list”, more SKUs can be added using the “Add purchase option” link:

In mode “Selectable features”, in order to create SKUs connected to feature values, first add one or more product features of type “Checkboxes (multiple choice)” in backend section “Settings → Product types & Features”; e.g., “Color” and “Size”:

Then, on the product-editing page, enable feature values which you want your customers to be able to select before adding an item to the shopping cart:

New products can be added manually one by one or in large amounts by means of import functions or using the bulk image upload feature.

Bulk uploading of product images »
Importing products from a CSV fileа »

Product types

In Shop-Script products can belong to different types. Types are helpful for managing a large amount of products. If you have set up several online storefronts on different domains, which are connected to one common backend, then you can select different product types which must be available to customers in each of your storefronts. If you need to grant access to your store's administrative backend to some of colleagues, then you can select which product types your colleagus is allowed to modify (products of other types will be available to that user in read-only mode). Product features can also be different for each product type. For example, you may attach feature named “Screen size” to product type “Smartphones” and feature “With freezer” to product type “Refrigerators”. Having features distributed over product types this way is very conivenient in a large online store. To add a new product type, proceed to backend section “Settings → Product types & Features”.

Product categories

Every product cab ve added to one or more categories. Categories help organize products by their arbitrary properties and thus help your customers faster find the desired items. Examples of product categories: “Apparel”, “Smartphones”, “New”, “Sale”.

It is essential that a category is not some static location of a product within the catalog. It is only one of groups a product can belong to if the store owner desires so. Categories can be static or dynamic. In dynamic categories are displayed products satisfying certain selection conditions by price, adding date, customer rating, tags, etc. Static categories must be filled with products manually, using the drag&drop feature or by selecting products from the list on individual product-editing pages.

4. Setting up shipping and payment options

You may offer any number of shipping and payment methods to your customers. Examples of shipping methods: courier, FedEx, UPS, pickup at store (customers come to your office or outlet to fetch their order). Examples of payment methods: cash, bank (credit) card, PayPal.

To add a new shipping or payment option, you need to install a corresponding plugin—additional component for providing shipping or payment to customers. You can install shipping and payment plugins directly in your stpre's backend or via the Installer app which is available in the same backend via an icon in the main Webasyst menu.

User manuals on setting up shipping and payment methods are available in “Help” section on Webasyst website; e.g.,:

Real-time shipping quotes calculation with UPS »
Accepting payments with PayPal »

5. Design and storefront setup

It is often too complicated and expensive to create bright individual design for your new online storefront. And it would be much faster and affordable to select and install one of available design themes developed by professional designers.

You can choose and install the desired design theme in your store's backend with only one mouse click in section “Storefront → Themes”.

To set up your storefront, open section “Storefront”, choose the desired design theme from the list and click on “Start using [name] theme”. In the popup dialog, enter optional subdirectoryo name if you want your storefront to be available at a URL with subdirectory; e.g., http://yourdomain.com/shop/. If you do not need a subdirectory name in the URL, simply select your domain name and click on the confirmation button.

One installed copy of Shop-Script enables you to create multiple storefronts. This means that you can manage several online stores on different domains using one administrative backend; e.g.: mydomain.com, best-toy-store.net, supermegashop.com, etc. And you can select different design themes for each of your storefronts.

Adding extra storefronts for Shop-Script »

6. Order processing

New orders placed by your customers will appear in the corresponding backend section:

It is not necessary to constantly keep looking at the order list if you do not want to miss new orders. Shop-Script can automatically notify you by sending you emails or text messages to your phone. Various notifications can also be sent your customers oni various occasions such as adding a new order, sending of ordered items to customer, or order completion.

Setting up email notifications »
SMS notifications »

For overall convenience, you can perform various actions on orders; e.g., add comment to order, delete order, mark order as paid, mark order as shipped, mark order as completed.

Performing an action can change the order status. For example, when you perform actions “delete” or “paid”, order status is changed to “Deleted” or “Paid”. But, if you perform action “add comment”, order status remains unchanged.

By default, Shop-Script offers a standard set of statuses and actions, which are sufficient for most online stores. Should you need more statuses or actions (e.g., action “Submit for verification” and status “Pending verification”), you can easily add them in backend screen “Settings → Order states”.

Adding new order status »

7. Adding new functionality

Shop-Script allows you to easily add new functionality to your online store, which are not available by default. For example, you can add the watermark feature for product images or product filter by manufacturer (brand) name, etc. To add some new feature, install a plugin from Webasyst Store. All available plugins are displayed in the “Plugins” section of your Shop-Script backend, which facilitate online store management for you.

To install a new plugin, click on its name and then click on the installation button on the plugin details viewing page.

8. Other settings

Info pages. Tell your customers about your store: where it is located, how one can contact you, what are the shipping, payment, refund, and guarantee terms, what your office and your staff look like. A detailed description will contribute to higher customer trust in your online store. Add info pages in Shop-Script backend screen "Storefront → Pages".

Product features. They provide a convenient way of displaying all important properties of your products to customers. You can create any number of extra product features in backend screen “Settings → Product types & Features”; e.g.:

  • text string
  • HTML text (textarea)
  • number with measure unit; e.g., length (mm/cm/m), weight (g/kg), power (W/KW/MW), etc.
  • range; e.g., 100—150 cm
  • selection of one or several options from a list of values
  • “Yes/No” checkbox

After adding new features in the settings, fill their values for all your products, where applicable.

Recommendations. For every product in your store, you can additionally offer similar (upselling) and/or accompanying (cross-selling) products, often titled as “See also”. Automatic generation of such related product lists depending on various parameters can be set up in backend screen “Settings → Recommendations”.

Product images. For each product image which upload in your store, Shop-Script automatically generates several reduced image versions (thumbnails), which are displayed in the backend and in the storefront. Those thumbnails' sizes are listed in backend screen “Settings → Product images”.

If you need to use thumbnails of other sizes, then you can add new sizes to this list.

Setting up image thumbnails »

Stocks. Shop-Script can track stock balance of your products. To enable this feature, enter initial stock balance before you publish a product for sale.

If you do not specify a stock balance value, then such a product will be treated as having endless stock balance!

In backend screen “Settings → Stocks” choose when the stock balance must be updated: when every new order is placed by a customer or when you mark a new order as processing using the “Processing” action button.

In this settings section you can also add as many stock as you work with to receive merchandise. We recommend taking into account only your own stocks if you have them and not your suppliers' stocks, because you cannot preceisely control their stock balance. If you do not have your own stock and if you always fetch ordered products from your suppliers' stocks, then it is meaningless to specify setock balance for your products as you cannot control it.

Product search. There is a product search field in your online storefront similar to the one shown below:

The words specified in this field are searched in various product properties: name, description, tags, feature values, SKUs. In search settings you can choose which of these propeties must have higher or lower priority when search results are displayed to your clients.

There is also an option to enablle search by partially entered words and change the set of various special characters, which must be ignored during search.

Checkout. Enable all necessary checkout steps (contact information input, shipping method selection, payment method selection, order confirmation) and choose various parameters for each of them:

  • Contact information. Set up the form in which customers will enter their personal data: name, email, phone number, postal address. If necessary, enable individual shipping and/or billing address fields for the checkout form.
  • Shipping. Select address fields, which must be requested from customers on the shipping method selection step.
  • Payment. This checout step is automatically filled with payment options set up in backend screen “Settings → Payment”.
  • Confirmation. If you need your customers to confirmt their consent with your store's terms and conditions, specify your conditions in the provided text area so that it is displayed to customers during checkout.
  • Required fields validation. Fields marked as required in section “Contact information” must be completed when an order is created by a customer in the storefront. You may desable validation of required contact fields for the cases when you create orders in the backend.

Discounts. Offer your customers discounts to attract more attention to your online store. Discounts can be provided under various conditions:

  • if a customer enters a discount code, or coupon, which you can send him/her by email, for example; you can specify individual discount size for each couon;
  • if a customer is included in a special customer group; you can specify different discount for each group;
  • if the price of customer's current orderhas reached a certain threshold value; you can set up several threshold values and different discounts for customers reaching each of them;
  • if customer's total cost of his/her all paid orders has reached a certain threshold value; an unlimited number of threshold values is available here, too.

Affiliate program. This additional functionality will increase your customers' loyalty. With the affiliate program enabled, you can offer your customers bonus points for each purchase, and customers can use these points to receive discounts in your store.

Currencies. Select currencies which you want to be displayed in the storefront and which customers can choose from to view prices. You can also specify product prices in different currencies; prices are always automatically converted to selected currency according to your exchange rate.

Countries & Regions. During the checkout and when signing up for an account, customers can select different countries and their appropriate regions. The list of regions is editable for each country so that you can change it when necessary.

Any country or region can be marked as favorite, this adds duplicate entries for them in the country/region dropdowl lists. This option enables fast selection of such countries and regions, which is helpful if most of your customers live within a limited territory.

Taxes. Tax rules are applied to individual products within an order. Once you have set up a tax rule, you must also select it in the properties of each product it must be applied to.

Depending on the current legislation, a tax can be either included in the product price or added to it during checkout. Tax rates for each rule can be specify differently for each country or equally for all countries.

Should you need to override tax rates to match local requirements within a region, you can specify local tax rates which will be applied according to customer's postal code (ZIP). For this option to work correctly, be sure to enable the ZIP code field in address fields form in “Checkout” settings.

Printable forms. This section displays the list of available printable forms provided by various plugins.

Notifications. When various actions are performed on orders (e.g., order placed/created, order accepted, order marked as paid or shipped), email notification or text messages (SMS) can be sent to the store administrator and to a customer. You can specify arbitrary email address or phone number as recipient for such notifications, and you can set up as many notifications for each event (action) as you need.

Default templates for order notifications will be suitable for most online stores, but you can change them at any time.

Follow-ups. These additional email notifications can be automatically sent to customers some time after they have paid for their orders. You can send them for any purpose; e.g., if you want to request customer's opinion on the purchased product or to remind him/her of interesting items available in your store. You can set up several follow-ups to be sent in different periods of time after the payment date of the order.

Reset. This option to delete all data from the online store is available only to users with full access to the Shop app. It may be useful for preparing to live sales after some time of testing Shop-Script. Be careful when using this function!

Once you have installed and set up payment and shipping plugins, selected a design theme and filled your online catalog with products with photos, prices, and descriptions, your new online store is ready to accept the first customer! Before opening your first online store, please read our Ecommerce starter guide.

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