Going Through the Motions

Now that we’ve defined everything in the “Add Product” screen, let’s actually add a product!

The first thing we need to do is select a product for our Merchant Shop.  In this case, we’ve already setup categories for coffee, so let’s add a nice Java Blend.  Java is a type of coffee that comes from Indonesia and is a dark roast blend.  Perfect for our customer’s morning cup of coffee.

As we discussed before, the first thing we need to do is give our product a name, in this case, Café Java.  We’ll add Café’ Java to the title of our product and move on to the description.  The description doesn’t have to be long, just long enough to tell the customer about the product.

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Figure 153: To start, give your product a title and description

 As you can see in our example above, we didn’t go overboard with a long description, but gave the customer just enough information to understand what this product is about.

Moving down to the product data field, I’m going to select “Variable Product” from the drop down menu next to “Product Data”, as I plan to sell two sizes of coffee bags.  Under my “General” tab, my fields are whittled down from three to one.  If this were a simple product, I’d have additional fields for “price” and “sale price” with the ability to schedule my sale.  In this case, the price will be set with my variables.

Since we’ve chosen a variable product, most of our information will be setup by variation.  For the product we’re adding, we’ll use the manufacturer’s SKU of 36069 02607 our large product and 36069 02605 for our small product.  We could use any number you like to use, assigning an internal number of your choosing using any combination of letters and numbers, but this allows us to stay consistent through the supply chain.

figure-154 Figure 154: Using the supplier’s SKU can be an advantage when it comes to ordering more when the product sells out

 When it comes time to order again, I have the supplier’s SKU, not my own, which I can use to order more product for sale.  If this were a simple product, we’d want to enter the SKU in the general tab.

Clicking on the inventory tab, we’ll want WordPress to keep track of our inventory.  The rest of our options we’ll leave alone for the moment, as we’ll set these up when we get to our variations.

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Figure 155: For our variable product, stock quantity and other options will be setup under our “Variations” tab

If this were a simple product, we would want to be sure to tell the system the stock quantity and whether or not to allow backorders and if the product should be limited to one per purchase.

As we move on to the shipping tab, again these options will be determined under our variations tab by setting them up for each variation.  If this were a simple product, we would want to make sure to fill this information in.

In the “Linked Products” tab, we can determine if we would like to upsell or cross sell from this product. As our product is a bag of coffee, you might be able to upsell to a larger bag of coffee, or cross sell to another blend of coffee. As this is our first product, we really have nothing to upsell or cross sell to, so we’ll leave these blank for now.  It should be understood that had we more products listed in our shop, we probably would have found a product to upsell or cross sell in this tab.

In the attributes tab, we’ll need to add our attribute, in this case size.  In the drop-down window, where it says “Custom Product Attribute”, we’ll click and find the attribute for “size” and click the “Add” button.

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Figure 156: Adding attributes is very important with products that involve choices for your customer

Doing this will change the appearance of the screen giving us more options.  We’ll need to define the variables for size under the “Values” window.  This is a clickable drop down field that will allow us to add more than one attribute to the product.  We’ve decided that we will be selling small and large bags of coffee because our supplier has told us that they don’t provide a medium bag.  For the purposes of this exercise the large bag will be 5lbs, while the small bag will be 1lb.

Back in our window, we’ll need to select our sizes.  Clicking the window under “Values” will provide us a list from which to choose.

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Figure 157: When setting attributes, you can choose from a predetermined list which you have created in the attributes sub-menu of the product menu on the sidebar of your screen

 First, we’ll choose small.  By clicking the word small, you’ll notice that an icon has been placed in this field with the word “small” and an “x” next to it within the icon.  The “x” will allow us to remove the attribute should we have picked the wrong one.  We’ll click once for small and once for large, placing both attributes in the values field.

figure-158 Figure 158: Adding attributes is as easy as the click of a button on your mouse!

Once our attributes have shown up in the values field, we’ll click the “Save Attributes” button.  The screen will become clouded for a moment while the system saves our settings.  We’ll also want to make sure that the “Visible on the product page” and “Used for variations” boxes are checked.

Moving on to the “Advanced” tab, we’ll setup what happens after the sale.  Under our purchase note, we’ve filled in the field with the following:

“Thank you very much for your purchase!  We hope you enjoy your coffee!”

While this isn’t necessary, a custom note can make a purchase feel more personal.  We will also place a check mark in the box allowing reviews.

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Figure 159: The Advanced tab allows us to personalize the customers purchase and allow reviews for this product

 Finally, we come to the “Variations” tab.  Because we essentially have one product in two forms (small and large) we’ll setup a variation for each.  Let’s start with our large bag of coffee.

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Figure 160: Variations allow you to setup purchase options for your customers and can be handy for things like size and color

 In our variation screen we see the selection box at the top left hand corner of the window.  Here we’ll decide which variation to work on first, in this case “Large”.  We’ve already determined our SKU for this product 36069 02607, we know we have five bags in stock.  Our price is determined by the suggested price of our supplier, taking into account any competition we may have and adjusting accordingly.  We know what we paid for the product, and can then adjust the product to our “sale price”, which is somewhere in between our wholesale price (the price we paid for the product) and our regular price.

In addition, we’ll need to fill in our weight and dimensions for our product.  We’ve also determined the shipping type and selected this under our “shipping class” field.  Off to the left hand side of the screen there are three check boxes and a box with no label.  The box with no label pertains to the featured image of the product and if “enabled” is check, the featured image will show up on the product page.  We’ve already discussed the differences between a downloadable product and a virtual product, and as our bag of coffee is neither of these, we’ll leave these boxes unchecked.

There are three more fields under our variations tab that won’t apply to our product.  If you have a downloadable product, the file path field will allow you to tell the system where to find the product on your server so that the customer can download the product to their computer.  You can also set a download limit (how many times the customer can download the product) and an expiration date for the download.

Now that we’ve setup the specifics of our first variation, large, we’ll click the “Add Variation” button at the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  This will add the variation to our list and open up a new window for our next variation.

figure-161Figure 161: Once you’ve added a variation, a new box will appear to add more variations to your product

The second variation is just like the first, with its own unique information.  Since we’ll be setting up our small package of coffee, we’ll want to make sure we add its information to the fields in the new window.

Size: Small
SKU: 36069 02605
Stock Qty: 5
Regular Price: 10.95
Sale Price: 8.99
Weight: 1lb
Dimensions: Length – 2, Width – 3, Height – 10
Shipping: Flat Rate Shipping

The result should look something like the figure below:

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Figure 162: Adding a second variation is just like the first adding information specific to that variation

 Again, once we’ve added our small variation, we’ll click the “Add Variation” button again, and again, a new variation window will appear.  Since we won’t be using any more variations for this product, we’ll use the “Remove” button on the new window so as to keep things as simple as possible.

As we again move down the screen, we’ve decided that we won’t be adding any custom fields to this product.  We can collapse this window by clicking the upward turned arrow on the top right hand side of this window.

Moving down again, we come to our product’s short description field.  This is the description that will fill up the area to the right of the product picture.  We’ve decided not only to give a product description in this field, but also let the customer know the availability of this product.

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Figure 163: The product short description can pull the customer in and let them know how long before the product will ship

In looking at the image above, you’ll notice that we’ve placed the word “Availability” in bold.  The short way to do this is to highlight the word we want to bold and click the bold button in the text tools above.   Additionally, if you have access to Microsoft Office, you can write up your text in Word, and copy and paste it into the description window.  WordPress will retain any formatting that you have given your text in Word.  Pretty neat!

This brings us to our Wootique Custom Settings at the bottom of our page.  We’ll continue to allow our sidebar to run while customers view this page, and as such will select none of these options.

This brings us to our “Featured Image” window on the right hand side of the page.  While we did set featured images for each variation, we didn’t set a featured image for the product itself.  To do this, we’ll click the “Set featured image” link, which will take us to our media library.  In this case we’ve already uploaded the image to our media library and just need to choose the right one.

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Figure 164: Selecting the featured image is as easy as clicking the link and choosing a picture you’ve already uploaded!

 Once we’ve selected the right image, click “Set Featured Image” at the bottom right hand corner of the screen and your image is added to your product.  We can choose a different image for each variation, or use the same image throughout, which we are doing with this product.

Above the featured image is the Product Gallery.  If we were selling an interesting item where multiple camera angles would help to improve the sale of the item, we would want to upload those images to our gallery.  As we are selling a food product, additional images probably won’t help us so we’ll opt not to add more images to the gallery.  Note: It could be argued that adding images such as a steaming cup of coffee or a full coffee pot pouring into a cup might add to the desire of the product, but for the purposes of this exercise, we’ve decided to stick with our featured images instead.

In the next section, we’ll setup our tags for our product.  What we really want are words used in a typical customer search that will bring the customer to the right product in our Merchant Shop.  We can use as many words or phrases as we want, but they must be separated by a comma.  For example:

coffee, dark, dark roast, roast, java, blend, Smokey, flavor, Indonesian

What we’re trying to accomplish is to create a list of words that a customer may use to find a specific blend of coffee in our shop.  Once we have our list of keywords, we’ll click the “Add” button and our keywords will be added to our list of tags.

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Figure 165: Adding keywords to your product tags can help your customers locate your products within your Merchant Shop

 Our next window is our categories window.  This refers to the categories we’ve setup for our products, not our pages and posts.  With our current product, we’ll want to select both the coffee and the dark roast categories as our product relates to both.

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Figure 166: In selecting product categories, all categories that relate to the product should be selected

 In the event that we wouldn’t want our product to show up directly under our “Coffee” category, we could simply select the “Dark Roast” category by itself.

So now, finally!  We’ve setup everything we need for our product and we’re ready to publish!  In the “Publish” window above the categories window are our publish options.  Currently, our product has been saved as a draft.  That will change when we click the “Publish” button, and unless we’ve set the page to publish at a later date under the publish options, the page will go live.  Before we do, however, it’s always a good idea to double check our work.  For this, we’ll click the “Preview” button at the top right hand corner of the publish window.  Doing so will bring up our product page in a new browser tab.  Here we can look at our product as our customers will see it once published.

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Figure 167: Previewing the product is always a good idea so that mistakes can be corrected before publishing

 In proofing our product, we’ll want to look for spelling errors, grammatical errors as well as making sure the features we’ve chosen to use will work.  For example, we built two variations into our product, large and small.  These can be seen in the drop-down menu under “Size” under our product.  Clicking this, select first small, then large to make sure all of the correct information appears as it should for each.

In this case, we failed to schedule our sale price and our product is showing up as if it is on sale right now.

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Figure 168: It’s always a good idea to preview your products before they go live to catch any mistakes that were made

 Closing out the preview tab in our browser, we’ll go back to our edit screen and find the variations tab under our Product Data window.  In coming back to edit, each variation has closed itself, and we’ll need to expand them by clicking the upward arrow button at the top right hand side of each variation ( ).

Now that we’ve expanded each variation, we can make the necessary changes to each one.  Instead of starting out with our product on sale, we’ll set the date for some time in the future.  With our coffee, we’d like to make sure that the product doesn’t go bad before it sells.  Realistically, coffee can have a shelf life of up to two years!  We’d like to make sure it sells well before then, so we’ll set our sale price for about 5 months from now.  At the time of this writing, the date was 1/30/14.  That would put our sale date at 5/30/14.  This is our start date.  In the variation window for large, click the “Schedule” link above the sale price field.  This will enable two more fields, one for the start date of the sale, the other for the end date of the sale.  We’ve already determined the start date.  Let’s set the end date for a month from the start date which should take us out to 6/30/14.  However, while we’re accustomed to a standard date format, we’ll need to input our data so that it matches something that WordPress can understand.  For example:

For our start date of 5/30/14, we’ll need to type in the date of 2014-05-30

For our end date of 6/30/14 we’ll need to type in the date of 2014-06-30

So in our example, the full year comes first, then month then day.  Make sure that both the month and day fill in two characters, so that May would be 05 rather than just 5.  If you make the mistake of typing in the short version, the system will reject your date and now allow you to schedule.  Once we’ve setup our dates on our large variation, we’ll need to do the same for our small variation.

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Figure 169: Correcting mistakes on a product page is as easy as coming back to the edit screen to make the changes

 Now that we’ve made our corrections, let’s go back to the publish window and click the “Preview” button again.  Now selecting one of the variations of our coffee shows the correct price.

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Figure 170: Once corrections are made, preview the product page again to make sure it’s working properly

We’ll want to make sure that we check both the large and the small and make sure they are setup correctly.  Not just the price, but everything.  Double and triple checking make sure your product won’t go live with errors.  Most customers are turned off by errors, even minor ones.  So make sure you take the time to proofread everything or have someone do it for you.

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Category: Chapter 10 - Putting it all Together

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