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Shopping Cart Software Tutorial - Getting Started

1. Creating A Merchant Profile

First, you need to tell the software something about the company who will be selling goods or services.

Enter the control panel and click the "Shopping Cart" button. If the shopping cart software had not yet been installed, it is automatically done at this point.

To create your "Merchant ID" or "Merchant", type the merchant name in the empty box and click "Create New". The merchant ID is case sensitive (you will need the ID later on) and may not contain spaces.

You will be presented with a form which requests information about the new cart merchant. Most merchant cart fields really do not require instructions.

The "Decimal Point" determines whether or not the currency this merchant uses has only whole units or fractions thereof. US dollar for example uses a decimal point, as it has dollars and cents. Belgian francs on the other hand has only francs and no equivalent of "cents", so the shopping cart would not use decimal points in prices.

Set "Secure Server Access" to "No" if the merchant is not capable of accepting credit cards as means of payment from those shopping on the web site.

The "Secure Checkout" variable determines how the cart will handle secure server checkouts. Unless you have a merchant account with a supported provider (the ones below "Default/Generic"), you should leave this selection as is ("Default/Generic").

The "Return Link On Secure Server" allows you to customize a link on the "thank you" page (after an order is placed). Say you wanted people to go back to your site after they place their order, you would enter your URL in that field. When people place an order, the page that they are presented with will now include a link back to your site. If you leave this field blank, no link will be shown to when done shopping.

Please note that is you are using the 'ECX Pro' merchant account module, you will also need to create accepted.html and declined.html pages. The ECX Pro payments system will access these when a payment is accepted or declines. It will take the URL you have in 'Return Link On Secure Server' and append accepted.html or declinded.html to it. So if your URL is http://my_domain.com, it would require files http://my_domain.com/accepted.html and http://my_domain.com/declined.html

The "Merchant Password" is the password which will be used to access shopping cart orders.

The "Taxes Apply (US only)" field should be left blank for US merchants. The shopping cart automatically checks if an order is being placed for shipment in-state and adds taxes automatically.

Non-US merchants can use this field to explain to shoppers when taxes are due (An example for a European merchant may be : "Taxes apply to Shipments to any EEC country"). The shopping cart will then ask shoppers if taxes apply to them and add taxes if needed.

The 'Cart Software Look/Feel' variable determines how the cart will function. Both cart options are fully functional. The 'Classic' option provides shoppers with more text/instructions. The 'Modern'look is less text based and requires less reading of instructions.

The 'Allow Decimals In Order Quantity' does exactly what it says. Enabling it can be useful for merchants selling items by weight or length were any quanitity can be ordered. Others should leave it disabled.

2. Building The Product Database

Once you have created a merchant, the shopping cart software needs to be given information about the product or service being sold.

Enter the control panel and click the "Shopping Cart" button. Select the merchant in the left hand side drop down menu and "Products" on the right hand side and click the "Ok" button.

Fill out the empty boxes for each item (the control panel tells you what each field is for) and click the add button. As products are added, they appear below the blank fields and give you the option to modify or delete that product or service.

If an item is sold that is available in multiple colors or sizes, a "Item" code much be created for each. So, if you sell a T-shirt in four sizes, information must be created for each size. You will have a total of four "Item" codes for this product.

Item codes are case sensitive. Please do not use the " symbol in Item descriptions (for more info, see Miscellaneous).

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