[ Table of Contents ]|
(Make sure you have read the Quick Start guide before reading this document)
Appieshop is an easy to use secure e-commerce solution (aka shopping cart) available only on Appies servers. It is very robust yet simple enough to be intuitive. Appieshop is ideal for stores with fewer than 1000 items.
Appieshop uses all text-based databases. This makes it easy to work with data but starts to slow things down if you have more than 1000 or so products. If you do have a large store, consider using OSCommerce.
- many choices of layouts without the need for complicated templates
- administration does not require FTP or TELNET access
- customized appearance
- choose from dozens standard color schemes or create your own
- unlimited categories
- unlimited sub-categories
- user (shopper) help area
- select number of products per page
- unlimited options for each product
- two types of options - pull down and checkbox
- inventory control system
- many prewritten policies and statements to easily include as your own
- option of substituting all input buttons with custom images
- "instant order" option allows users to order products without having to click on thumbnails
- menu bar always on left for the easiest navigation of any shopping system
- customers choose own customer ID
- customer database for easy repeat ordering
- easy to use search feature for searching products
- define number of products per page
- continue with current order if disconnected
- thumbnail image option for faster downloading
- zoom feature option for detailed product viewing
- users can click back and fourth through product pages
- advanced product entry streamlined in admin area
- specials - unlimited featured on front page that can be changed in seconds
- choice of "Simple" or "Advanced" administration
- price schedules for changing all products that are priced the same in one easy step
- upload all images through web browser - no need to give multiple users ftp accounts
- setup store using on-line wizards OR off-line editing easy-to-read text files
- related product sell on review page
- lookup former orders
- Mail customers directly from Appieshop
- add unlimited custom input fields with comments
- products can fall under multiple categories
- use the import/export tools to convert existing databases of 1000's of products within minutes
- most accurate and customizable shipping schedules
- shipping calculated per product OR for total cost of order
- different schedules for different countries - add export/country taxes if shipped to a
- specific country
- unlimited shipping options
- works with any form of currency
- currency symbol can go before or after the amount - international use
- unlimited payment options
- custom tax schedule for city and states/provinces
- custom tax schedule II for country taxes - can even tax shipping!
- built in credit card verifier for all MasterCard, Visa, Amex, and Discover cards (verifies
- validity of number only - not amount to be charged)
- discount schedules can be setup based on number of each product purchased
- global discounts can be specified for reseller programs
- gift certificate / store credit manager for easy creation and redemption
- fully integrated with AuthorizeNet real time credit card processing
- e-mail banning - choose which e-mail addresses or domains you do NOT want to accept
- orders from
- detailed sales reports
- send orders via e-mail to third parties
- add custom messages to order confirmations and receipts
- web-based and e-mail order retrieval system
- express checkout feature
- easy to read web invoices/receipts and e-mail receipts
- full product editing from review page, not just quantity
- define minimum quantity per product
- define unlimited custom fields for obtaining customer information
- annotate pending and processed orders on-line!
- E-mail customers with preset messages directly from administration order screen
Accessing Your Store. You can access your store from within the Appieshop administration area by clicking the icon at the top of any admin page. You can also access it anywhere from the Web by entering
depending on which mode you have setup.
Accessing Your Administration Area. Your User Administration Area is located inside Appies. Access your Appies as you normally would, then click E Commerce >> Appieshop. This is where you will find the Appieshop Administration Menu which contains:
Double check your setup. Your settings for your Appieshop should not have to change after your store has been set up.
Before you announce your store to the public, set up your basic configurations and customize just about any aspect of your store. You can change information in this area at any time.
Create very basic or very advanced shipping schedules for your products.
Define what forms of payment you will accept and any associated city or state sales tax(es).
Use this wizard to easily add, edit or remove products from your database. You can even upload all product images through this area.
Check your online orders for both secure and non-secure payment methods. Secure payment information will be linked to your secure area.
Once orders are marked as processed, they will be included in your sales reports. View a variety of sales reports.
||Customer Mailing List |
Keep your customers updated with the customer mailing list. You can send all your customers or select customers messages. You can even create a "do not disturb" list for those who wish not to receive customer updates.
||Gift Certificate / Store Credit Manager |
Use this tool to create and view gift certificates and store credits. Appieshop will automatically redeem these credits and remove them from this file or reduce the certificate amount automatically when redeemed.
Basic Configurations. Before you can open your store for business, you must first setup the basics of the store. These basic configurations define how your store will look as well as function. You can setup some of the configurations or all of the configurations. You can come back to this area at anytime to customize more or make changes to your store.
If you are new to Appieshop™ you may want to start with the Simple Form. You can switch to the simple form by clicking on the link "Simple Form" at the top of the basic administration page. The simple form has all the configurations required but leaves out the advanced features that may confuse the novice. At any time you can switch back and fourth between the simple and advanced forms.
- Name of store - The name of your store appears at the top of each page. You can use HTML tags to further customize the look of the store. If no HTML tags are used, the name of the store is displayed between the <FONT SIZE=+4><i> and </FONT></i> tags. If you do not choose to enter a name, the top of the store will be left blank - this option is mostly used when using frames or a top logo.
- Logo - This is the filename of your logo that you are about to (have already) uploaded. Both .gif and .jpg images are allowed.
- Upload Logo - Use the browse button to select your logo from your local PC file system. Make sure the pop up window on your local computer is set to show all files and not just html files. The name of the file will be overwritten by the filename specified in the "logo" field above. After your logo has already been uploaded, this field will appear
- blank - there is no need to re-upload your logo again.
Where do you want your logo to appear? - Your logo can appear in the upper left hand corner of the store (in the left cell), this is best for logos that are taller than wide and do not want to be over emphasized, or it can appear in the right cell at the top of the store in place of the store name. If your logo is to appear in the left cell, you can now choose to constrain the logo to the cell width. If you do not constrain the logo, the cell will expand with larger logos. The latter choice is better for logos that are wider than they are tall, and do want more emphasis. You can also choose not to have a logo displayed anywhere.
- Use Custom Header/Footer Files - The custom header/footer can be used in place of store name and logo. This is the most customized option to make your store look unique. Enter the absolute path to your header and/or footer file. If your header and footer file are in your html folder, the path would be /var/www/html/[filename]
- Use thumbnails - This option when selected to "No" will enable the instant ordering feature. This bypasses the display of thumbnail images throughout your store and lists full details and ordering information without requiring the shoppers to click on an icon to see details of a product and to order.
- Invoice/Receipt Logo - This is the logo that will appear on the HTML version of the invoice, receipt, or package slip for the order. Upload this file from your local PC.
- Link to logo - This is the URL (if any) that your logo can link to. It is suggested you link your logo to your home page or a place where shoppers can find out more about your company. There is also an optional target variable. This can be helpful if using frames or just if you want the clicking of your logo to open a new window, in which case you would set the target to "_blank".
- Select the Font Face - Choose the font that works best with your website design.
Accept orders outside USA and Canada? - If you select this box, the order page will allow for custom states/provinces as well as countries outside USA and Canada to show.
- Custom HTML on menu bar - You can now add links, text and even your own icons to the bottom of the left menu bar using this web-based HTML editor. Just add your information in this area. Remember that this code is displayed on the color cell. Suggestion: if using link colors that clash or are hard to see in the background color, start by creating a table with a white background.
- Company information - This should be similar to what you would include on a letterhead. This information will appear in the Vendor Information area on the shopper's checkout page and receipt.
- Store introduction - This is the text that will appear on the first page of your store to welcome shoppers.
- Choose color theme - Color themes make up table background colors, link colors, and button colors. You can choose from a selection of over 20 pre designed colors known as a "color themes". Use the "preview/create new color themes" link to take you into Appies where you view the many different themes or create your own custom color theme.
Use background image with current color scheme - The background image can be either a .gif or .jpg image. If the "Yes" checkbox is selected, the last background image uploaded will be displayed im place of a white background color. You can always change the background by uploading a new image, or de-selecting the "Yes" button to no longer display the background image.
- Transparent background for color cells - If you want your background image to show through the cells that are a color by default, then select this option.
Transparent background for white cells - If you want your background image to show through the cells that are white by default, then select this option. It will make the product cells transparent plus the review page, checkout page and credit card entry form. This option should only be used with very light backgrounds.
Use custom buttons below, rather than standard CSS buttons - Use the browse* button to upload your custom images to the server. You can only have one custom color scheme at a time so any image you upload will overwrite previously upload images. The names of these files does not matter because they will be renamed at the time of upload. Do make sure that they are valid .jpg or .gif images, however.
- Redirect user when finished - Once the order process is completed, the final page will have a "thank you" message followed by a link. This link should be the full URL of either a home page or the store front. Also uses optional target variable.
- Thank you message - Once the order process is completed, the final page will contain this message to the shopper. You can include HTML.
- Price schedules - If you have a large number of products that are priced similarly, you many want to setup a price schedule for each product. A price schedule lets you assign a name to a specific price, then instead of changing each price for each product, you simply change one price in the price schedule and all the products prices using that schedule will be updated. For example, if a store sells 50,000 CDs, there may only be a few different prices - 9.95, 11.95 and 14.95. By creating the following price schedule you can easily change all of the prices at one time if you ever need to:
Once you have created the price schedule, you just need to select the schedule name in place of the price in the product database.
- Discounts based on total price of the order - If you offer discounts based on the total price of the entire order (excluding shipping and taxes and after credits or gift certificates are applied) then this is where you set up the discount schedule. Enter one price/discount per line. Format - total amount of order:discount. Discount can either be expressed as an absolute amount (ex. 25) or a percentage of total order (ex 25%).
This would mean that any order totaling between $100 - $199.99 (assuming US dollars) would get 10% off. $200 - $499.99 would get 25% off. And any orders totaling $500 of more would get $100 off (because there is no % it is assumed to be an amount).
- Discounts based on number of processed orders (reseller discounts) - If your discounts are based on the number of processed orders, you would enter the number of processed orders followed by the percent discount. One entry per line.
This would mean that any customer who already has two to nine processed orders in the system gets a 10 percent discount. 10-14, 25 percent discount. 15 or more, 50 percent discount.
- Reseller discount nudge - If you have resellers that you want to automatically put in the higher discount range, you can "nudge" them to that level. Enter the customer ID, colon, then the number of processed orders you wish to nudge them.
- Product categories - Categories are a great way to organize your products. They can be any descriptive name that would describe your products. For example, a department store may have hundreds of categories such as men's clothing, women's clothing, shoes, etc. where a specialty store may have a few categories that are more specific like running shoes, tennis shoes, hiking boots, etc.. Product categories should be listed one per line. These categories appear in a pull down menu on every page of the store. They appear in the order they are listed in the basic administration area.
You can even have sub-categories off your categories to allow users to find exactly what they are looking for without having to browse all the products within the entire category. To do this, simply create the sub-categories directly under the category using the following syntax:
The dash, space, category, forward slash, sub category syntax is important to follow otherwise you may have errors when selecting the main category. Example:
- Where do you want the category pull-down menu to appear? - It can appear in the left cell of each page or at the top of the page under the title or logo. It is suggested you keep the category descriptions short in length (number of categories can be unlimited) so the menu can remain on the left side. If even one category name is too large, the menu will need to be at the top center or it will extend the left cell too far into your store.
- Specials - Appieshop™ gives you the option to include any number of products to feature on your first page of the store for better exposure. These are known as "specials". You can change your specials as often as you wish. The specials box is a multiple select box, meaning you can use your keyboard's control and shift button with your mouse button to select more than one product as you scroll through the available products. When you come back to this page, your current specials will be both listed above the select box and highlighted in the box itself. You cannot setup specials on products that are not first entered in your product database. If you desire only the specials to appear on the home page of your cart, select the "Show only specials on homepage" checkbox. You can always deselect this at anytime. Make sure you have specials displayed if using this option or no products will appear on your homepage.
Number of products to display per page - You can control the number of products that are displayed per page. This number defaults to 10 however you will want to change this depending on the size of your thumbnail images and the length of your product descriptions. If you have more products than the number you have selected per page, a link at the bottom of the screen will instruct the shoppers to click to see next page. There will also be a "previous page" link so users can navigate back and fourth through your pages.
- Default width of thumbnail images - If this is left blank, it will default to 35 pixels. Depending on the detail of the products you may wish to enter a larger or smaller number here. This number can be overridden by the product thumbnail image width field in the product database.
- Truncate product descriptions in thumbnail listings - By default, Appieshop™ uses full descriptions in thumbnail listings of each product. If you have very long descriptions for your products this will increase download time of your store and give shoppers more information than they really need. We suggest setting this value to around 300 - this will truncate any descriptions longer than that to 300 bytes and append a "continued..." after the description.
- E-mail address(es) to send orders to - Once a order is placed through your store it is sent to orders file in your admin area. These orders can be accessed through the admin page. You can also have a copy of the order information sent to you and/or a third party via e-mail. Only non secure information will be sent. Even when orders are sent via e-mail, they are still sent to the orders file in the admin area.
- Message details - You can further customize your e-mail message by entering a "From" address (must be a valid -email address) and a "Subject" for your e-mail. You can also include a custom message that will be prepended to the order information in the e-mail.
Send vendor confirmation message - You now have choice when to have vendor e-mails sent. This option is most useful for those using 3rd party credit card processors such as AuthorizeNet for secure transactions. Since these services send out their own e-mails once orders are completed, you may choose to disable the mailing for credit card orders only.
- Confirmation message details sent to customer immediately after ordering - The customer is sent a full order confirmation after they have ordered. The information included the e-mail is identical to the information on the checkout page. You can customize this message by entering custom "From" headers, "Subject" headers and a custom message to be prepended to the order details.
- Send customer confirmation message - You now have choice when to have customer e-mails sent. This option is most useful for those using 3rd party credit card processors such as AuthorizeNet for secure transactions. Since these services send out their own e-mails once orders are completed, you may choose to disable the mailing for credit card orders only.
- Add to information page - Appieshop™ comes with several pre written policies used by top businesses on the Net today. You can add these to your information page simply by selecting the policy/statement then pressing the "Add now" button. Remember: these are general policies and statements and will probably not match your policies exactly. You will need to modify the wording in the information page textbox below once added.
- Information page - This is the HTML page that is linked to your "Information" button in your online store. The left menu bar and title (or top logo) will be included in HTML page. The information page should contain general information about your company, shipping policies, return policies, privacy policies, etc.
- Addl customer information - Once a customer is taken to the checkout page, they are prompted to enter information necessary for completing an order. This information is set by the program and cannot be changed. You can, however, have as many additional information fields as you like by adding them in this area. This is where you would add fields for a separate shipping address as well.
The "comment" field has been added as an acceptable field type. This allows you to keep your descriptions short and be descriptive by adding a comment under the field. Comments should be added right after the field you are commenting. For example:
How did you hear about us?:textarea
comment:It is important for us to have this information so we can better serve you.
- The format is quite simple - there is one information field per line including the description of the field, the type of field and any choices for that field. Information fields supported are
EXAMPLE: Date of birth:text
EXAMPLE: How did you hear about us?:textarea
EXAMPLE: What is your favorite color?:select|blue|red|green
OPTION: description:radio|choice1 _ checked|choice2|choice3
EXAMPLE: Have you ordered before?:radio|yes _ checked|no
OPTION: description:radio|choice1 _ checked|choice2|choice3
EXAMPLE: Mailing list?:checkbox|yes _ checked
FORMAT: the word "comment":comment here
EXAMPLE: comment: this is not a required field.
Keep in mind you can have unlimited addl information fields and as many choices per option as you wish. Not the " _ checked" option after a choice. This will cause that choice to be selected by default for radio buttons and checkboxes only. For select menus, enter your selected choice as your first choice in the list.
- Banned e-mail addresses - Today with E-commerce you must be careful with fraudulent orders. Most fraudulent orders come from e-mail addresses that are obtained free on the Net - this way crimes cannot be traced back to the criminal. You can now block any e-mail address or entire domain name from placing orders by using this area to enter the addresses or domains you wish to block. For example, if you choose to block all "hotmail.com" addresses, any user placing an order using any hotmail address will receive an error message telling the shopper that orders are not accepted from their e-mail address. This will force the shopper to enter a new e-mail address or quit the order and move on to another victim.
Product Database. Before you can open your store for business, you must first add products to your product database. Appieshop™ provides an easy way to do this through the User Administration area where you can not only enter full product details, but upload product images as well. You must have at least one product in your store for it to operate.
If you are new to Appieshop™ you may want to start with the Simple Form. You can switch to the simple form by clicking on the link "Simple Form" at the top of the product database page. The simple form has all the configurations required but leaves out the advanced features that may confuse the novice. At any time you can switch back and fourth between the simple and advanced forms.
Adding a New Product. When you first enter the product database administration area, you are ready to add a new product to your database.
- Product code - Each product must have a unique product code. The product code must not contain any spaces. It can be a number, alphabetic characters or both. Once you enter a product into the database you cannot change the code of the product. To change the code, you must first remove the product then recreate it with the new code. This is a required field.
- Product name - This should be a descriptive name that will make sense to the shopper. This is a required field. Plain text only.
- Product category - The categories must first be entered in the basic configurations database before they are added to the pull down menu. They will appear in the order they were entered in the basic configurations. You can select as many categories for your product as you like using the control and shift keys on your keyboard. Selected categories will be highlighted and shown above the select box.
- Price - This is the base price of the product. This price is without any discounts added. Do not include any currency symbols. This will be added in the payment/tax configurations. This is a required field.
- OR Price Schedule - In place of the price, you can select a price schedule from the pull down menu. If none are available, you must first create them in the basic administration area.
- Minimum quantity - If you choose to enter a number in this field, your shoppers will see the minimum quantity listed by the field where they enter the quantity. If the shopper tries to enter a number below the minimum you have specified for this product, they will get an error message.
- Use tax schedule I for this item? - Here you can specify whether an individual product is subject to state/province or city taxes. If you have a combination of both taxable and non taxable products and you are charging tax, the appropriate tax will be charged only on the taxable items. Remember to setup your tax schedules or selecting yes will have no effect.
- Other taxes applied to item / Other taxes - Here you can specify whether an individual product is subject to the custom taxes you define in the tax schedule II. These taxes are triggered by matching countries. If you have a combination of both taxable and non taxable products and you are charging tax, the appropriate tax will be charged only on the taxable items. Remember to setup your tax schedules or selecting yes will have no effect.
- Product information - A description of the product that the shopper will read. This should be as descriptive and complete as possible.
- Image location - The image can appear to the left of the product description above the product description, or to the left of the name, price and description only. This would depend on the size and layout of your image. If it is very wide you would opt for the image to be on the top. If it vertically long, it would look better to the left of the information. If you have a short description with few options having the image to the left of the name, price and description only works best.
- Thumbnail width - This width, if set, will override the default thumbnail width for this product only. The value is in pixels (35 is default).
Thumbnail location - Just like the image location you can also choose the location of the thumbnail image.
- Upload image - This is the full sized product image. If the actual image on your local system is different from the filename specified in the "Image name" field, it will be renamed.
- Upload thumbnail - By creating separate thumbnail images for each product, you can increase the download time of the pages. This is because by default the thumbnail image is just the product image resized by the browser. When the browser resizes the image it still downloads the entire file. If you create a smaller version of the image and use the upload feature to upload it to the server, it will be renamed "th_imagename". If this file exists on the server, it will be called in place of the default image.
- Upload large image - If your full size image does not show enough detail, you can upload an even larger image of the product. This will activate the "zoom" feature for the product where shoppers can click the zoom link and be taken to the large image. Using this upload feature, the file will automatically be renamed "zoom_imagename".
- Option (pull down menu) - Each product can have an unlimited number of options. The pull down menu options would hold options that can be only one or the other. For example, a shirt can be only one size or another - it can't be both small and large at the same time. The first input box is for the name of the option, like "Size" or "Color". The larger textarea box is where each option is listed one per line. Each choice can increase or decrease the price of the product either by an amount (1.00 - no currency symbols) or by a percent (10 would be 10 percent - do not include % sign). Format: one choice per line. Each choice can accept a "- add" or "- subtract" followed by an amount or percent (using %). Example: Extra large - add 2.00.
- Option (checkbox) - Each product can have an unlimited number of options. A Checkbox will allow users to select one or more of the choices in an option. The first input box is for the name of the option, like "Features" or "Colors". The larger textarea box is where each option is listed one per line. Each choice can increase or decrease the price of the product either by an amount (1.00 - no currency symbols) or by a percent (10 would be 10 percent - do not include % sign). Format: one choice per line. Each choice can accept a "- add" or "- subtract" followed by an amount or percent (using %). Example: Extra large - add 2.00.
- Quantity discounts - If you offer discounts based on the quantity, you can setup a discount chart. This chart will be visible to the shopper and the appropriate discount will automatically be figured into the price. FORMAT: range:discount[enter]. Range can be in form of single digit (n), from low to high (n-nn), or a digit followed by a "+" sign (nnn+). Discount can be expressed either in the form of an amount (.50) or a percent (25%). Make sure each range and discount is separated by a colon - do not use any spaces. Example: 1-11:5%.
- Shipping schedule - Select from the different schedules created in the shipping schedule area. If no schedule is selected, shipping will not be charged. You must first have the shipping schedules created before you can assign a schedule to a product otherwise the product will have no schedule associated with it an therefore no shipping will be charged.
- Related products - Related products are displayed to the customer after they have ordered this product and have been taken to the review page. Accessories are a good example of related products. Select multiple products by holding the shift or control button. Current related products will appear highlighted and listed above the select box.
Related product message - This should be an attention grabber that introduces the related products. This message, as well as the related products will appear on the review screen after the product is ordered.
- Number of products in stock - By adding a value in this field you create an inventory control system for this product. A separate database is created on the server with the number of products available and is updated automatically whenever a product is ordered. The current product number available will always appear in this field after an initial value for the product has been entered.When an order is "trashed" the inventory will automatically be readjusted.
- Accept back orders on this product? - If you accept backorders, the program will let customers order products even if there is/will be a negative value in the inventory. If backorders are not accepted, shoppers will ne notified that the product is "currently out of stock" and will not be able to order until the inventory is updated or the number "0" is removed from this field.
- Display current number of items available to users? - This is recommended if you choose inventory control for the product but is not needed.
- Back order wait time or date - It is good to let shoppers know how long of a wait there will be if an item is not in stock. In this field you can enter either a date (ex. Feb 16th) or a time value (ex. 2-4 weeks).
- Footnotes - Footnotes are a very useful part in a catalog type environment. There are many notes that are not relevant enough to be included in the main description but too important to be left out. The footnotes appear in small text at the bottom of the product page.
Selecting an Existing Product. Selecting a product is as easy as selecting it in the pull down menu. By default, the existing products are listed in alphabetical order by product code. You can choose however to list the products in order by category or product name as well by selecting the option at the top of the screen. Once you change your sorting option and select a product, the new option will be used and saved until it is changed again.
Once the product is selected for editing, the option to remove the product will be available. You can also change any information about the product and it will be saved and take effect immediately after the "Make Changes" button is depressed.
Payment Configurations. Appieshop™ gives you total control over what types of payments you want to accept, if they will be on a secure server or not as well as who to charge tax to. This administration area is divided into two areas: payment and tax.
- Currentcy symbol - Appieshop™ can work with virtually any form of currency. This is because all amounts are entered in without a currency symbol throughout the setup of the store, and the currency symbol is entered just once here. You can choose whether you want the currency symbol to appear before or after the amount.
- Credit card types accepted - Just enter the name of the credit cards each separated by a colon (ex. Mastercard:Visa:American Express).
For the credit card number verifier to work, the following credit card names must be used EXACTLY (case sensitive):
- Payment option - You can use as many payment options as you like. Every time you add a new payment option, empty fields will be added to the form so you can add another - you are not limited to just one. A payment option is the form of currency you will accept in exchange for the product(s) you are offering. The name of the payment option (ex. cash) is entered into the smaller input box on the right, and the payment instructions / details for that payment option are entered in the larger textarea field on the right.
You can specify the order in which your payment options appear by placing numbers in front of the payment option name. For example, if you wanted payment option "Credit Card" to appear before "Cash" then name/rename the payment options "1 Credit Card" and "2 Cash" respectively. The numbers will not show on the checkout form.
On-line payment processor - Select from one of the available on-line payment processors. Current options include:
- Do Not Use Credit Card Form: this is for non CC forms of payment such as check, money order, cash, etc.
- 2CheckOut: for full details see http://www.2checkout.com
- AuthorizeNet 3.0/3.1 SIM: this is the most robust option and recommended for most merchants. See http://www.authorizenet.com
- Remove payment option - If at anytime you no longer wish to offer this payment option, simply remove it by checking the checkbox and hit the "Make Changes" button at the bottom of the page.
Tax Schedule I. Here you can define a tax schedule where you specify which states and cities you will charge sales tax . Each time you enter a new state and tax percentage, one more empty set of fields will be appended to the form so you can add as many as you wish.
- State - Here you select from a list of states/provinces in both the USA and Canada. The percent of tax to charge should be entered in the second field. Notice the "%" after the field, there is no need to enter in a percent sign.
- City/Town - If there are no special taxes for any town in a state, this can be left blank.
Tax Schedule II. Here you can define a tax schedule where you specify which countries you will charge taxes for. Each time you enter a new state and tax percentage, one more empty set of fields will be appended to the form so you can add as many as you wish.
- Country - Here you select from a list of countries in which to apply the tax to. The percent of tax to charge should be entered in the second field. Notice the "%" after the field, there is no need to enter in a percent sign.
- Tax shipping? - If this tax should be applies to shipping charges for the item as well, select "YES" otherwise select "NO".
- Name of Tax - Each tax in this schedule should have it's own unique name. This tax name will be displayed on the customer invoice if the tax is applicable to the order.
Just because you create a tax schedule for a country, it does not mean that all orders from that country will automatically be subject to that tax. You must select the tax for the product in the product database first.
Shipping Schedules. Appieshop™ is the Internet's most complete shopping cart software for shipping options. You can set up shipping schedules for all or each one of your products. You can have a different schedule with different rates for shipping to a different part of the world.
How Shipping Schedules Work. Since the beginning of catalog shopping, retailers have been faced with the shipping dilemma - how to automate shipping while charging a fair price for shipping. The most common method used today in catalogs and on the Net is the "charge by total" method. This, however, lacks in many ways. Products are very often different sizes and different weights. A store that sells both feathers and bricks for $1.00 ea cannot reasonably setup up shipping based on price. This would mean an order for a dozen bricks would cost the same to ship as a dozen feathers! Thus we introduce the shipping schedule.
- Shipping schedule name - In the above example you would setup two different schedules, one for feathers (you can name it feathers) and the other "bricks". The name of the schedule should be a simple reminder of what product(s) it is for and contain no spaces. You can have shipping schedules setup based on total price of the order. To do this, simply create a new price schedule named "price" (must be all lowercase). Then create the schedule with the same range:price method described below however in the "price" shipping schedule the range is the total price of the order before tax. Here is an example:
In this example, if the total order is less than 10 dollars, the shipping will be five dollars. If it is more than 100 dollars, there is no shipping charge. This will also work for percentages:
Here if the order falles between 10 and 100 dollars the shipping will be 15% of the total price.
- Shipping method - Here you would define the carrier or method of shipping such as "UPS GROUND". If you are offering your products globally you would also want to specify what part of the world these shipping prices would be for, such as "UPS GROUND [to Europe]". If you were shipping globally you can setup several schedules for one carrier for each part of the world. Very often two would be enough - one for shipping inside your country and one for shipping outside your country.
You can specify the order in which your shipping methods appear by placing numbers in front of the shipping method name. For example, if you wanted shipping method "UPS" to appear before "FEDEX" then name/rename the payment options "1 UPS" and "2 FEDEX" respectively. The numbers will not show on the checkout form.
- Range:Price - Range can be from one number to a higher number (n-nnn), just one number (n), or a number with a "+" after it (nnnn+). Price can be either just a total price for any number of items within the specified range (ex. 1-12 items would cost 9.95 whether 1 or 12 items are ordered), price can be for each item within that quantity by adding an "ea" after the price (ex. 1-12 items would cost .95ea, total shipping would vary depending on number of items ordered within range) price can be "CALL" to be used with quantities too large to quote or price can be a percentage (by using % sign) of total price (ex. 1+:10% would add 10 percent of the total cost of the items using that schedule to the order). One entry per line. Separate each range and price by a colon (:) - do not use any spaces.
Pending/Processed Orders. Once the final "PLACE ORDER" button is pressed, the temporary file holding the shoppers current order session is moved into the pending orders database file. If you have chosen to enter an e-mail address in the basic configurations, an e-mail copy of the order will also be mailed. The orders databases can be accessed via the Web by clicking the "Pending / Processed Orders" link in the administration area.
The pending orders are orders that have not been moved to the processed (or cleared) orders database yet. All orders that arrive are first placed in the pending orders database. You must clear the orders to move them to the processed orders database. Here they can remain where they are used to generate the sales reports.
Current Orders. The first screen in this area will be the Current Order (Order Summary) screen. This will list a summary of each order in your pending orders folder including the order number, order date, customer id, and order total. The order number for each order summarized will be linked to the full order details.
Retrieving Order Details / Printing Orders. Here is where you would print the orders from your browser. To access these details, click on the order number for the order you wish to see the details on. The details contain all the needed info to process the order.
Due to the way Appieshop writes data to different databases, if a credit card order is not completed in the last step, the order will still be written to the pending orders database and the vendor will be notified. However when checking the order you will know if valid credit card data has been entered or not. If this happens often for your store, you may want to select to not notify vendor via email in the basic configurations.
- Vendor Notes - You can annotate the orders by using the "vendor notes" textarea. Any notes you make will remain with the order until the order is trashed. If you choose to "share with customer", then these notes will be visible to the customer when they enter their order in the "Order Number" input box anywhere in your store. This is very useful for customers checking the status of their order. If you do not choose to share vendor notes with the customer, the customer will still be able to check the status of the order. If the order is in the pending orders database, they will see the message "This is a current order in our system and is still pending." If the order is in the processed orders database, they will see the message "This is a completed order in our system." These messages are vague and that is why it is recommended that you share the notes with the customers and add more detail as to when the order will be shipped, why delayed, etc
- Send Customer E-mail - Very often vendors want to keep their customers updated on the status of an order. For example, if you ship and order you would want to let the customer know the order had been shipped. You can now do this inside the order screen by selecting any number of default messages that you create.
To create a default message, just enter your information like you are sending a message for the first time. But before you click the "Send Message" button, make sure you have the "Save Message" box checked. The message will be saved as the subject so make sure the subject is descriptive. Suggestion: if you want to create messages to build a message database and do not want to send them to the customer, replace your own address as the "TO:" address.
To delete a default message first select in the pull down menu, hit the "Select" button, check the "Delete Message" checkbox, then hit the "Send Message" button. No message will be sent if the "Delete Message" checkbox is selected.
- Order Status - Once the order has been printed or fulfilled, you can move it to the "Processed Orders" database by selecting the "Clear Order Number Above" checkbox and hitting the "Cleared Selected" button that appears at the bottom of the screen. If the order is an error or is bogus, you can trash the order by selecting the "Trash" checkbox and hitting the "Cleared Selected" button that appears at the bottom of the screen.
Sales Reports. It is important for all business to keep track of the orders they get. By tracking orders on a regular basis one can evaluate a products or even an entire stores success rate. Appieshop™ provides you with an easy way to automatically generate up to the minute sales statistics using all the orders in your processed orders database (you must remember to move your orders from the pending database to the processed orders database by clearing your orders).
Generating Reports. The sales report screen consists of two pull down menus. Each menu contains several choices as to how you want your report to display the statistics. Once you make your selections, hit the "View Report" button. The report will be generated and the option bars will remain on the page ready for you to generate your next report.
- Report type - There are two basic report types: 1) Number of each product sold and 2) Total sales in [currency]. The first option displays the total number each product that was sold for the chosen time interval as well as the full product name or the time interval. The second option displays the total amount in your chosen currency (ex. dollar, pound, yen) for each customer ID in the given time interval just the time interval.
- Time interval - There are six different time intervals to from which to choose.
- Yearly - This will display the different years the products were sold in the left column and the data (either the total number of products for each year or the total sales for each year) in the right column.
- Monthly - This will display the different months the products were sold in the left column and the data (either the total number of products for each month or the total sales for each month) in the right column.
- Daily - This will display the different days the products were sold in the left column and the data (either the total number of products for each day or the total sales for each day) in the right column.
- Current year - This will display the number of each product sold with the product name or the total sales in your chosen currency for the current year.
- Current month - This will display the number of each product sold with the product name or the total sales in your chosen currency for the current month.
- Current day - This will display the number of each product sold with the product name or the total sales in your chosen currency for the current month.
Customer Mailing List. Appieshop™ provides and easy and quick way for merchants to keep in touch with their customers - the Customer Mailing List. With this feature merchants can send mailings to customers about specials, product updates, and anything else that comes to mind.
Sending a Mailing. Sending a mailing is easy and straight forward.
- Send To - The "Send to" box contains all the email addresses of customers in your customer_db.txt file (your customer database). This can contain addresses of processed orders, pending orders, and canceled or never completed orders. If sending a mailing and you want to leave certain addresses out you can simply remove them from the "Send to" box.
- Do Not Disturb - You will eventually run into those customers who accuse you of "spamming" them. For those customers we have the "Do Not Disturb" box. In this box you enter the e-mail addresses of those who with not to receive any mailings from you. This is a better alternative to removing them from your customer database.
Fill out the "From", "CC" (optional), and "Subject" headers, then enter your message in the "Message" textarea. When you are done composing your message, hit the "Send Mail" button. Once the messages are sent, then the screen will refresh with a total number of recipients the message went through.
Gift Certificate / Store Credit Manager. Appieshop™ provides and easy and quick way for merchants to create and manage credits and/or gift certificates. A merchant can create a credit and give it to the customer. The customer can then redeem the credit by entering the credit code in the checkout process. The Gift Certificate / Store Credit Manager will automatically calculate and deduct portions of used credits and remove them from the open credits once fully used. All credit information appears in the vendor's order retrieval form.
- Create New Gift Certificate / Store Credit - Before a merchant can give out a store credit, a credit number must be created. This quick step will create a 15 character/digit random number containing both upper and lowercase. To prevent confusion, "0","O","1" and "l" are not included in the number. You set the amount of the certificate in the "Amount" field, then select the expiration date from the pulldown menu. If you do not want the credit to expire, select "None". Now hit the "Create" button. The screen will refresh and a line will be added to the textarea below.
Existing Gift Certificate / Store Credit - Each existing certificate is kept in a simple text file that appears in this box. There is one credit per line and 4 parts to the credit. Each part separated by a dash "-".
- Credit Number - the 15 char/digit code created from the create feature above
- Credit Amount - the current amount of the credit with no currency symbol
- Total Life(days) - the life of the credit in days. This number will never change with time. It is based on the number of days since the certificate was created.
- Time Stamp - This is the numeric value of the time that the credit was created.
As credits get used, Appieshop™ will automatically update this file by either reducing the amount of the certificate if the entire certificate is not used in one purchase, or removing it from the file if completely used up.
This file can be edited in this textarea if the merchant wishes to increase the expiration date (by adding to the Total Life value), adjust the amount, or remove the certificate.
The Product Database File. All of your product information is stored in an easy to read text file in the admin directory called appieshop_db.txt. This file is a simplified database file meaning all data for one record is expanded to several lines in the text file to make human reading and editing easier. The format of this file is quite simple: the field name is on the left in all caps then the value(s) are on the right. The two halves are separated by one or more tabs. The file gets tricky or "advanced" when dealing with multiple options or values because multiple colons are used to separate the values and it is quite easy to make an error when editing this file manually. Here is the "Mystery Meat" database record from the example store (long lines are wrapped here but should not be in file):
NAME Mystery Meat
INTRO We are not sure what type of animal this meat comes from, or even if it comes from an animal at all. But some have eaten it before without dying.
OPTIONS(pldwn) Toughness:Tough:Very Tough:Hard as a Rock - add 10%::
OPTIONS(check) Parts to Include:Legs:Rump:Back:Fingers:Tail:Kidneys::
RELATED_MSG How about a frost cold one to go with your Mystery Meat?
There are a few very important things to remember when editing this file directly:
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1) Make sure you transfer file back and fourth from the server in ASCII mode, not Binary
2) Make sure the left side and right side of each line is separated by one or more tabs (not just spaces)
3) Make sure multiple options are separated by the correct number of colons - if you are not sure, use the on-line wizard to setup one product and use that one as a template.