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Thank you for choosing to take Nexternal for a test drive. If you haven't spoken to an Account Executive yet, one will be reaching out to you shortly. We highly encourage you to take advantage of his/her experience and knowledge.
This brief guide will walk you through some basics of setting up your store.
- Create a Category
- Create a Product
- Store Design
- Place a Test Order
- Process Your Test Order
When you're ready, clicking the button below! It will take you to your Order Management System (OMS) login screen. Log in with the user name and password that you selected when you signed up for your free trial. Keep this page open for instructions.
Note, throughout the OMS you will notice question mark icons
. These provide very useful explanations and we recommend that you click on them regularly.
Log In and Get Started!
1. Create a Category
- Click Categories in the left nav (navigation) and then New in the top nav.
- Enter My Category (or any other name) in the Category Name field.
- You can make this category a subcategory by select the parent category in the Subcategory Of drop-down list. For now, let's leave this set to none to make this a top level category. (TIP: A category can contain products or subcategories, but not both. If you attempt to assign a product or category to a parent category, and do not see your parent category listed as an available option, this may be the issue).
- Scroll down to the Thumbnail section. If you have a thumbnail image on your computer that you would like to use, click Browse to upload your image. Otherwise, you may proceed without an image.
- Scroll down and click the Finish button at the bottom of the screen.
View My Category
(Or visit your storefront URL http://store.nexternal.com/oskarblues/storefront.aspx)
Note: You can edit the category by clicking Categories in the left navigation menu and then clicking the pencil icon next to the category you wish to edit.
2. Create a Product
- Click Products in the left navigation and then click the New button at the top of the page.
- Enter My Product (or any other product name) in the Product Name field.
- Select the product's category in the Primary Category drop-down list.
- Type a product description into the Long Description. Note, you can copy HTML code or text from a word processor into this section as well using your computer's Copy and Paste functions.
- Scroll down to the Product Pricing section and enter a price. You have many pricing options, but for now let's choose single.
- Scroll down to the Images and Audio section and click the Browse button to upload three images for the product. The Main Image will appear on the product detail page, the Large Image will appear when a customer clicks the View Enlarged Image link under the main image, and the Thumbnail will appear on the product list screen. (TIP: For a great looking store, we recommend making each type of image the same size throughout the store. a Nexternal designer can give you recommendations for your image sized tailored to your store design. Just ask your Account Executive before uploading all of your images.)
- As you may notice, there are many fields available for product data. You only need to use the ones that are relevant for your business. Your Account Executive can help you in determining which fields are appropriate. Click Finish!
(Or visit your storefront URL http://store.nexternal.com/oskarblues/storefront.aspx)
Note: Product information can also be uploaded and edited in bulk from an Excel spreadsheet by clicking Products in the left navigation menu, then the Import button at the top of the page. Don't hesitate to ask your dedicated Account Executive to assist with this.
The design of your store will be matched to your website by a Nexternal designer when you activate your account. We call this a "site synch". If you prefer the design of the free trial store, you may use this design for your store and even your website for no extra charge. We'll even add your logo and other branding for you. Here is a quick video, explaining the site synch process.
Watch Design Video
4. Place a Test Order
- It's time to place a test order. This process should be intuitive so we won't list instructions here except to say that you can use the credit card number 4111111111111111 on the final checkout page.
- For demonstration purposes, choose a USPS shipping method at checkout. (Note: Nexternal is integrated with FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL, allowing your customers to pull real-time live rates while shopping.)
5. Process Your Test Order
- To view your order, go back to your OMS and click Orders in the left navigation menu.
- Locate the order you just placed in the order list. You should see a green dollar symbol next to the order. Simply click the green dollar symbol to charge the customer's card and capture the funds. (In your free trial account, you will receive an error message because your Payment Gateway has not been connected).
- To ship your order, simply click the order number. When the order screen opens, scroll down to the bottom. Click on the Shipping Labels button. Click Next on the following page, and then click Create Label on the final screen. Click Print to print the label.
- Note the following:
- When the label is created, the status of the order will automatically change to Shipped and the customer will be sent a shipping confirmation email, containing tracking information.
- This is the single order processing method. You can also process multiple orders in batches, charging credit cards and shipping orders in a single click. (Ask your Account Executive how).
- This trial account is set up for Laser labels. Thermal printers can also be set up on PC computers with Nexternal.
Before You Take Your Store Live...
Once you activate your account, the following checklist will help you prepare to take your new store live.
- Initiate a site synch. This is the fun part where a Nexternal designer matches the look of your new store to that of your website. Our site synch information page explains this in more detail and tells you when and how to initiate your site synch.
- Create or import your categories and products. You already know how to do this manually, but you can also do a bulk import. For more details, we recommend contacting your Account Executive for a full demo. Please note, writing good product titles and product description copy is key. Every product title and description should be unique and eloquent with generous inclusion of keywords.
- Basic Payment Setup
- You must sign up for a Payment Gateway in order to process credit card orders. Click here to sign up for preferred rates with Authorize.net. (Contact your Account Executive if you would like additional guidance.)
- To set up billing options, navigate to Settings / Billing Options and click Edit. For now, you can leave the default options in most sections.
- Select the boxes next to the credit cards you would like to accept.
- If you would like to accept Paypal, we recommend the following:
- Scroll down to the Paypal section and select the button to "Accept Paypal from Customers of Rank (blank) or Higher", and enter a 1 in the Rank box.
- Scroll down to the Integration Method. Select Instant Payment Notification, and enter the email for your Paypal account.
- Select Dynamic Submit Button with Images in Emails.
- Allow the other fields to keep their default settings, or you can speak with your Account Executive for assistance.
- Scroll down to the very bottom and click Finish.
- Edit your remaining Settings. Click Settings in the left nav of the OMS and go through and customize all of the settings. You can leave the default values for many of them, but please look them all over and pay particular attention to the following:
Set up a domain alias such as http://store.yourdomain.com. This is not strictly required, but it is good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and helps your customers to feel like they haven't left your website during the shopping experience. Your website hosting company will need to set this up for you, and you can send them the instructions located here. If you are switching from another ecommerce solution that uses a subdomain, contact your Account Executive before performing this step.
The last step is to simply link your website to your new store. In some cases, you simply need to change the Shop Online link (or something similar) in your top navigation so that it points to your new storefront. If you have not set up a domain alias, then this is the URL http://store.nexternal.com/oskarblues/storefront.aspx. If you have set up a domain alias, simply click here and then copy the storefront link from your browser address bar. Note, some websites have a lot of links pointing to various product pages or category pages. Each of these links should be updated with the correct URLs. If you are not comfortable with HTML, please contact your web developer to help with this.
- Site Options / E-Business Type
- Shipping (Note: The Nexternal system is extremely robust in shipping options. Please take advantage of your Account Executive's experience and ask for assistance).
- Policies Addenda and Disclaimers / Tracking Code / Google Analytics Account - If you haven't done so already, we recommend signing up with Google Analytics and then installing your account number in the Google Analytics Account field.
Finally, please contact your Account Executive so that the Nexternal team can look things over. We look forward to working with you!