Your products are the heart and soul of your online business. Without them, your website would be like a retail store with empty shelves. Volusion product requirements are simple enough to let you add new products in a snap, but we also offer a wide variety of options for more complex needs. This article covers the advanced product functionality. For more basic product management needs, see "Products".

If you're looking for products to sell, see "Where Can I Find Products to Sell?"

Contents

How to Post to Facebook and Twitter

You can share a product with your Facebook fans and Twitter followers directly from a product page.

  1. Click Share. The Share dialog box shows the product URL.
  2. Sign in to your Facebook and / or Twitter accounts.
  3. Enter any additional comments in the message window.
  4. Click Submit.

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How to Add Swatches for Color and Texture Variations

If you have a product that is available in a variety of colors or textures, you can show samples of these variations as small swatch images. For example:

You can link these swatches to product images, so that when a customer clicks on a swatch, a corresponding, full-size product image is displayed.

Swatches can be used with the Inventory Control Grid or with options. See "Color Swatch Options" for further information.

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How to Add Related Products, Accessories, and Free Gifts

Sell more by promoting other products on your product pages! Product pages can display related products or accessories to encourage customers to make additional purchases.

Related Products

If you want to display other products in the same category on a product's page:

  1. Go to Inventory > Products.
  2. Click the three-dot actions menu icon and select All Products Settings.
  3. Select Show Related Products.
  4. Save.

Now five products from the same category will be randomly selected and displayed on the product page.

For more detailed information, see "Related Products".

Product Accessories

You can display associated products such as spare parts or add-ons on a product page. Customers can add these to their order without leaving the product page. For information, see "Product Accessories".

Free Gifts

Reward your customers by offering free gifts with products. See the "Free Accessories" section of our article on product accessories.

How to Set Up Bundles

Bundles let you increase cart spending while offering your customers more for their money. For example, you could offer a special discount when a customer buys a telephoto lens and carrying case together with a camera. For more on bundles, see "How to Create Bundle Products".

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How to Add Descriptive Content

Make content easier to read by breaking it into the appropriate sections and using the different fields available on the product page. Aside from the Description field already mentioned, additional fields are found on the Product Description and Product Display tabs of the Advanced Info section.

Field Name: Description*
Product Page Location: Basic Product Info
Usage: The main product description.

Field Name: Product Description Short*
Product Page Location: Product Descriptions
Usage: A short description to appear in search results and on category pages. This description is not displayed on the product page.

Field Name: Features*
Product Page Location: Product Descriptions
Usage: Displayed below the Description.

Field Name: Technical Specs*
Product Page Location: Product Descriptions
Usage: Text entered here will be displayed on a special Technical Specs tab. 

Field Name: Extended Information*
Product Page Location: Product Descriptions
Usage: Text entered here will be displayed on a special Extended Information tab.

Field Name: Product Description Above Price*
Product Page Location: Product Descriptions
Usage: Text displayed above the price.

Field Name: Photo Caption Text
Product Page Location: Product Descriptions
Usage: Text displayed beneath the product image.

Field Name: Price Sub Text
Product Page Location: Product Display
Usage: Short text displayed after the active price. For example, "Our lowest price ever!"

Field Name: List Price Description Text
Product Page Location: Product Display
Usage: Short text after the List Price, if used. For example "Manufacturer's Recommended Retail Price."

*You can click the HTML Editor link to add formatting, images, links, and more, to these fields. For more information, see "Take it Easy: Using Volusion's Easy Editor".

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How to Display Different Prices and Costs

Price

The basic price for a product is the Price entered in the Basic Info section. This is displayed as "Our Price."

List Price

You can enter a List Price on the Pricing tab in Advanced Info – usually the manufacturer's recommended retail price – to show the savings on a product if purchased through your store.

Sale Price

Enter a Sale Price if you’re selling a product at a lower price than your usual price.

If you select Add to Cart from the Require Action for Sale Price menu, the sale price will not display, but a link titled Add to Cart for Lower Price will show instead. When a customer selects Add to Cart for Lower Price, their cart will be shown with the product at the sale price.

If you select Email Better Price, a link titled Email Me a Better Price displays instead of the price. When a customer clicks the link, a window opens requesting their email address. The customer will receive an email containing a link to add the product to their cart at the sale price.

You Save

When you display two or more prices, the customer's savings is displayed by default. This can be disabled for individual products by selecting Hide "You Save" Feature on the Advanced Info > Product Display tab, or for all products by deselecting Show You Save Amount in Settings.

Gift Wrap Cost

Give customers the choice of having a product gift wrapped by entering a cost in the Gift Wrap Cost field on the Pricing tab. For more information, see Gift Wrapping and Gift Notes.

You can find information about the complete list of fields available on the Advanced Info > Pricing tab in the "Advanced Info" section of our product settings article, in the "Pricing" subsection.

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How to Set Up Different Prices for Different Customers

To give special discounts to certain customers, you can assign a Pricing Discount Level on the Customer Management > Special Privileges tab.

You can then set product prices for these levels using the Discounted Price Level fields on the Pricing Levels tab. All prices entered are shown to customers, but the You Save amount and the actual price charged depends on the customer's Pricing Discount Level.

Similarly, you can set Discounted and Recurring Prices for individual products.

For more information, see "How to Create Special Discount Prices for Customers and Products".

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How to Hide Products

To hide a product so it won't display in category views or search results, go to Advanced Info > Product Display and select Hide Product.

Visitors can still find the product by entering or linking to the page's URL directly:

http://www.myvolusiondomain.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=code

"www.myvolusiondomain.com" stands in place of your store's domain name and "code" stands in place of the actual product code.

How to Hide an Out-of-Stock Product

If you're using Stock Status to track your stock of a product, selecting Hide When Out of Stock on the Advanced Info > Product Display tab will hide the product when it is out of stock. The product page will be displayed again once the product is back in stock, and Stock Status is “1” or higher.

Note that a product will only be hidden if a customer places an order that reduces Stock Status to "0" or lower. Manually setting Stock Status to "0" or lower will not hide a product.

You should not select Hide When Out of Stock for child products. See Smart Match for information about hiding out-of-stock child products.

Seasonal Products

If you have products to be displayed for a specific duration or time period, you can set either or both of the Display Begin Date and Display End Date fields on the Advanced Info > Product Display tab. For example, you could use this to set up holiday products in advance.

Note

When you hide a product, it is still accessible and purchasable via direct link or URL entry. Such products may also remain indexed or indexable by search engines. To prevent shoppers who find the product from adding it to the cart, we recommend using the "Add to Cart" Button Replacement Text field. You can find it on the product edit page at Advanced Info > Product Display.

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Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your product page's visibility to search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Careful use of SEO on your product pages can raise your search engine rankings above your competitors!

Before you start entering SEO settings for your products, make sure you've enabled Search Engine Friendly URLs on the Marketing > SEO page. This will give your pages SEO-friendly names. If not enabled, pages will have names in the following format:

http:/www.myvolusionstore.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ABC123

With Search Engine Friendly URLs enabled, static page names are created. Instead of the above, product pages will have unique names such as:

http://www.myvolusiondomain.com/mens_orange_plaid_shirt_p/ABC123.htm

For further information, see the SEO user guide.

The following fields are available for each product.

Product URL Text
Enter a short version of the product name – as short as possible while keeping it meaningful and unique. The Product URL Text is used to create the static URL.

Photo Alt Text
Search engines index the main image using the text in this field.

Meta Tag Title
Allows search engines to better index a product. The product name entered here is also displayed in the title bar of the browser window when viewing the product page.

Meta Tag Description
Similar to a Meta Tag Title, this field lets you enter a short description of the product which can be easily indexed by search engines. 

Meta Tag Keywords
This field allows you to enter key words for the product, such as brand and part number, that are indexed by search engines. These must be separated by commas.

Meta Tag Override
HTML meta information can be entered in to this field to create custom meta tags. This overrides all meta tag information for a product. This field was designed for use by SEO firms and professional web designers. Volusion recommends against using this field unless you have professional knowledge of SEO techniques.

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How to Add Shipping Information

The Shipping Details section lets you set up specific shipping requirements for each product including:

  • Whether the product is eligible for free shipping
  • The Availability message
  • Any Fixed Cost to be added to the calculated shipping
  • Any warehouse information, if needed
  • Whether the product has to be shipped by itself
  • Product dimensions; required for certain carriers

The fields in this section are described in the "Shipping" section of our article on product settings.

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How to Integrate With Google Merchant Center, Yahoo! Shopping Merchant Feed, and QuickBooks

If you are using Google Merchant Center, the Yahoo! Shopping Merchant Feed, or QuickBooks, you can set up information for these in the Advanced Info > 3rd Party Integration fields. These fields are described in Product Settings: Third Party Integrations.

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How to Create Subscriptions and Recurring Products

If you plan to offer subscriptions or periodic services (such as magazine subscriptions or annual service contracts), you'll need to use the Advanced Info > Recurring Pricing tab to set up recurring pricing information.

Note that recurring transactions do not alter the stock count of a product; only the initial transaction affects a product's stock.

Recurring Pricing Text
Descriptive text that explains the recurring pricing details (for example, "$9.99 for the first month, $11.99 each additional month"). Text added here appears below pricing information on the product page.

Recurring Pricing
The normal recurring price a customer is charged every recurring payment period. Note that tax is not applied to recurring products after the initial purchase; if you need to collect tax with each recurring payment, you can build the additional amount into your recurring price. This is a required field when using recurring pricing.

Promotional Starting Price
An optional introductory price (for example, "$9.99 for the first month"). This price will only be charged for the number of months specified in the Starting Price Duration (in Months) field.

Recurring Frequency (in Months)
The frequency, in months, with which the customer will be billed. For example, enter "1" to bill the customer monthly, "6" to bill them every six months, or "12" to bill them annually. This is a required field when using recurring pricing.

Starting Price Duration (in Months)
If using a Promotional Starting Price, this field indicates the length of time (in months) this period lasts. After this time period, the system will start billing customers at the regular Recurring Price. Note that "1" is automatically added to any value you enter, in order to account for the initial purchase. If you only want the Promotional Starting Price to occur once, enter "0" in this field. Entering "5" in this field will result in the customer being charged the Promotional Starting Price a total of 6 times. For example, with a Promotional Starting Price of 1, a Starting Price Duration (in Months) of 5, and a Recurring Price of 5, the system will bill a customer $1 for the first six months and then will bill the customer $5 from the seventh month onward.

Recurring Duration (in Months)
The number of months a recurring billing process will last for this product. You can leave this field blank or enter a "0" to indicate an indefinite duration. In addition to these settings, you can define an additional setup cost for recurring pricing by entering it in the Price field in the Basic Product Info section. When a product uses recurring pricing, the Price field will be renamed Setup Cost on the storefront.

Example

You sell a monthly magazine that normally costs $7.99. For the first 6 months, however, you charge an introductory price of $5.99 per issue. You should configure the following:

1. Create the initial product and set the Price field to "0".
2. On the Advanced Info > Recurring Pricing tab:

  • In the Recurring Pricing Text field, enter "$5.99 for the first 6 months, $7.99 afterward".
  • Set Recurring Price to "7.99".
  • Set the Promotional Starting Price to "5.99".
  • Set the Recurring Frequency (in Months) value to "1".
  • Set the Starting Price Duration (in Months) value to "5".
  • Leave the Recurring Duration (Months) field blank.

3. Click Save.

Customers purchasing this product will be billed $5.99 a month for the first 6 months (during the initial purchase, and recurring for the next 5 months). After that they will be charged $7.99 every month.

Note that if you have a Promotional Starting Price, this will be displayed on the product page. The Recurring Price and Starting Price Duration (in Months) are not shown, so you should make sure this information is displayed in the Recurring Pricing Text and Description fields.

You can find more information on processing orders with recurring pricing in "Recurring Billing".

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Stock Status, Backorders, and Reordering

In addition to helping you sell products, Volusion lets you take control of your inventory – track stock, get alerts when you're running low, and automatically create purchase orders when it's time to restock!

Stock Status

If you want to track the quantity of a product, enter the current quantity in the Stock Status field on the Advanced Info > Stock tab. Now, when an order is processed for the product, the stock quantity will be reduced accordingly.

If the Stock Status for a product is active, you can also:

  • Enter a Stock Low Qty Alarm quantity in Advanced Info > Stock tab, so the product will appear in the Low Inventory view of the Products table when stock falls below this level.
  • Enter a Stock Re-Order quantity in the Advanced Info > Stock tab, which will be used if you set up Vendor Rules (see below) to generate purchase orders when a product's stock level falls below the Stock Low Qty Alarm level.

Before you add any Stock Status to a product, this field will be NULL. There will be a +[blank] beside the field, indicating the NULL stock status.

Once you add stock to this product, the current stock quantity will display directly to the right of the Stock Status field, after the +.

The Hist link will take you to this product's Stock History table, where you can see the full history of changes to this product's Stock Status.

The On Hold quantity shows how many of this product have been ordered but not processed.

Stock History Table 

Event: ORDER
Event ID: OrderDetailID
Event Trigger: order placement

Event: PO
Event ID: POI_ID
Event Trigger: purchase order creation

Event: RMA
Event ID: RMAI_ID
Event Trigger: RMA creation

Event: EDIT
Event ID: N/A
Event Trigger: manual product stock edit

Backorders

If you allow backorders, your customers can place orders for a product when it is out of stock. Orders can then be fulfilled when you get the product back in stock.

If you do not want customers to be able to order out-of-stock products, select Do Not Allow Backorders in Advanced Info > Stock.

If you want to give customers the option of receiving an email when a product is back in stock:

  1. At Advanced Info > Stock, select the Do Not Allow Backorders check box.
  2. Save.
  3. Go to Marketing > In-Stock Requests.
  4. Click the three-dot actions menu icon and select "Notify me when back in stock".
  5. Select Enable Back In Stock Requests.
  6. Save.

Now, when an out of stock item with Do Not Allow Backorders enabled displays, an Email Me When Back in Stock link will appear with the Add to Cart button.

For more information, see In-Stock Requests.

Vendor Rules

A product can be configured with one or more vendor rules to automatically generate purchase orders to reorder products when stock falls below a certain level. Alternatively, if you use drop-shipping, vendors can be configured to automatically send notices to 3rd party fulfillment centers when customers order their products.

Vendor rules are displayed in the Vendor Rules section near the bottom of the product details page.

For more information, see "Vendors".

QUEUED FOR PO

The Queued for PO view shows products ready to be ordered from vendors. To be able to appear on this list, a product must have:

  • Quantities in the Stock Status, Stock Low Qty Alarm, and Stock Re-order Qty fields
  • One or more active vendor rules
  • The Add To PO Now option in Advanced Setting > Vendors selected

Now if this product's stock falls below the Stock Low Qty Alarm level, it will appear in the Queued for PO view.

In the Queued for PO view, you can click Generate All Purchase Orders to create purchase orders for the queued products, which you can then view and send. However, if you select the And Send Them Now option before clicking Generate All Purchase Orders, the POs will automatically be sent to the vendors.

Once a PO is generated for a product in the Queued for PO table, the product will be removed from the table.

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How to Create and Manage Child Products

The Inventory Control Grid

For inventory control purposes you may want to create child products rather than use options for a product that offers multiple variations. For example, if you are selling a dress that comes in 8 colors and 6 sizes, you could offer 48 child products rather than one product with 48 variations. The benefit of this configuration is that it allows you to track the stock status of each variation. Child products can also be managed from within the parent product's Inventory Control Grid.

To create child products, select the Enable Options Inventory Control check box in the Basic Info section.

The child products will now display in the Inventory Control Grid section beneath the Advanced Info tab.

The Inventory Control Grid lists the child products, the options they are created from, and the settings which can be modified from this page. The grid can be used to quickly update settings such as stock quantities for these child products. You can also delete any option combinations that are not available. For more information, see How to Use the Inventory Control Grid.

Using the Multi Child Add to Cart Feature

The Multi Child Add to Cart feature displays all child products created from a parent product using the Inventory Control Grid in a table on the storefront product page. This allows customers to add multiple products and quantities to their cart at once.

For instructions using this feature, see "Multi-Child Add to Cart".

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Downloadable Products

Downloadable products can be software, audio files, PDF documents, video files, or images. Downloadable products are sold just like regular products, but there are a few special settings for making a product downloadable.

  1. Within the downloadable product's settings, the Weight field must be set to "0".
  2. Within the Shipping table, the shipping method Downloadable must be set to Active.
  3. The actual file that customers will download must be attached to the product page. Do this under the Advanced Info > Misc tab. Use the Download File Name field to specify a file name, and upload and attach the file.

There is additional information you should be aware of when using downloadable products:

  • A downloadable product can only host one downloadable file. For every downloadable file you want to sell, you will need to create a separate product.
  • Downloadable products have no maximum size limits to the files they host. However, downloading a product will use part of your store account's monthly bandwidth allotment.
  • Customers will be emailed a link to any downloadable product they have purchased. This link will be automatically sent to customers once their order status is marked as "Shipped".
  • Customers will also be able to access downloadable products they have ordered by logging in to their personal store account and clicking on the My Downloads link.
  • In order to provide security restrictions for downloadable products, customers will be required to register for a store account in order to purchase downloadable products.

Downloadable products often require a key to unlock or register them. To learn more about setting up and assigning product keys, see "Product Key Distribution".

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Automatic Drop-Shipping

You can sell and ship products through a third-party supplier as opposed to selling them directly to customers. In these cases, customers purchase products from your store and that purchase goes directly to a vendor, manufacturer, or third party to process the order.

To do this, you need to configure your store to automatically create a purchase order to send to the third party whenever one of these products is purchased. For instructions, see "How to Configure Auto Drop-Shipping".

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