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Catalog Settings Reference
Cart Settings Reference

Set up CommerceSuite ecommerce software to work with your site with just a few easy steps!
1. Setting up your ecommerce catalog's categories
2. Adding products to your categories
3. Shopping cart system setup
4. Customization (Make it look like the rest of your site)
5. Linking from your web site to parts of your catalog
6. Go "LIVE"

STEP ONE: Setting up your ecommerce catalog's product categories
The first thing to do is sign in to the CommerceSuite administrator and click on the "Manage Categories" icon in the Catalog Management panel. The Catalog Management panel is in the menu system at the left side of the screen. The Manage Categories icon looks like this:

This will open the Category Manager. Next, click the "New Top-Level Category" button in the left-hand panel toolbar as shown here:

And now, the Add Top-Level Category screen will be displayed:

Fill out this form, starting with the name of the category.

Category Name
Naming your categories well is an important part of setting up your online catalog. Category names should be short but descriptive. Some merchants will use general categories such as Kitchen, Bath, or Tabletop. Other merchants will use manufacturer's names such as VIETRI, Juliska, or Waterford. You may setup your category tree (categories with sub-categories, sub-categories with their own sub-categories and so forth), in any way you wish, but it is important to keep your customers in mind when doing this as they will have to navigate through your catalog to find the items they want to buy.

Category Image
Select an image for this category from your own computer by clicking the Browse button next to the input field. A thumbnail image for display on the main catalog pages will be automatically generated. To change the size of the thumbnail, go to Catalog Settings in the Catalog Management panel on the administrator main menu. The Category Thumb Max Height and Category Thumb Max Width fields are under General Catalog Settings near the top of the settings screen. These settings limit the maximum width and height of your image, but do not affect the aspect retio. In other words, if your category image is a vertical rectangle, it will remain a rectangle, and not be squeezed into a square.

Category Full Description
The main description of the category will be displayed if you have the Category Description Block turned on. This is a setting on the Catalog Settings page. The Category Description Block is visible by default. It is important for Search Engine Optimization that you place all of the keywords that you will enter into the Category Keywords field into the Full Description Field. orphaned keywords (those that appear in the Keywords Meta tag but not on the text of the page) count against you in search engine rankings.

Category Short Description
The Category Short Description is an important part of Search Engine Optimization. This text is used for one of the META tags in your catalog page. The Description Meta tag is displayed to someone when they perform a search on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live. It is important to place some of your most important keywords that pertain to this category into the Category Short Description field. There is a maximum limit of 250 characters in the category short description.

Category Keywords
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most asked-about features of our products. As such, the keywords that you enter into the Category Keywords field are extremely important to your success online. Keywords should be entered with commas separating each word or phrase that you want shoppers to use in order to find your catalog on the internet. Here is an example:

ceramic,ceramics,plate,plates,ceramic plates,red,brown,glazed, glazed ceramics

Note that these keywords apply to the category display pages, not to individual products. In addition, they will also be searched by CommerceSuite's internal catalog search system.

Popup Info Box
The popup info box fields pertain to a special feature of CommerceSuite. In order to make your web catalog more interactive and give your customers more information, you can allow the catalog system to create small popup windows that track with the customer's mouse as it passes over category and product links and images. This popup box is composed of two sections, the header or top part of the popup window and the text area or bottom part of the window. Note that these popup windows are part of the catalog page itself and as such, they are immune to popup blockers. To see an example of these popup windows, pass your mouse over the Sample Popup image here:

You can alter the look of the popup window including font, colors, and more using style sheets. We will get to that later in this tutorial. For now, just understand that you can put additional information into this popup window and that it will appear when your customer's mouse passes over category images in the catalog. Feel free to put whatever you would like into the Popup Info Box Header and Popup Info Box Text fields. You may enter up to 250 characters into the Popup Info Box Text field.

You may set the status of a category to one of two settings: Active, or Hidden. An active category is visible in the catalog and the products it contains will be found in a search. A hidden category, on the other hand, is not visible and the products it contains will not appear in a catalog search. Why set a category to "hidden"? If, for example, you sell holiday items and don't want to display them year-round, you can set them up in a set of hidden categories and display them only during the holiday season. Then, when it is over, you simply hide the category until you are ready to display it again. This way, you do not have to delete items and re-add them based on the time of year.

When you have entered all of the information into the category form, click the "Add Category" button at the bottom of the page. The new category will be added and you will be returned to the main category editing screen with the category tree now displaying the new category that you just entered.

Category Sort Order

At the bottom of the main category editing screen, you will see a list of your categories with a sort order field next to each one.

Using this system, you can change the order in which the categories are listed. Enter any alpha-numeric code you want into the sort order field next to each category name. A good system to use is a two digit numeric code like these: 01, 02, 03, and so forth. Enter a single code into each field. So the category that you want displayed first should be coded as 01 and the category that you want displayed second should be coded as 02.

Previewing your catalog
Now that you have added a category to your catalog, you may click the Preview Catalog icon back on the main menu.

Your current catalog will appear. It won't be very pretty since we still have all of the customization to do, but you will be able to start navigating around your catalog as you setup your category tree.

Once you have your basic category tree set up (it is likely that you will go back and make changes to the layout of the catalog), it is time to start adding items to your categories.