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Quick start

This quick start helps you set up your online store and publish it on the internet. All of the topics are also described in detail in other chapters of the manual. Click on the links to access more detailed information.

The quick start is divided into the chapters Initial settings, Setting up the item catalogue, Setting up the online store and Setting up automatic processes. Each chapter covers one aspect of setting up your online store. Work through these chapters in the given order, as each chapter builds on the previous ones. The quick start aims to help you set up a functional online store as quickly as possible. As such, it only describes the most necessary functions.

First, the Preparation sub-chapter lists any requirements or tasks that need to be completed before you begin. Second, additional sub-chapters describe how to set up the system. Each step of the process is explained in detail and is clearly laid out. A checklist gives you the chance to make sure that all of the necessary steps were carried out.

The Final check serves to review everything before your plentymarkets system goes live. Check the settings very carefully so that potential customers do not become involuntary beta testers of your system, but rather bring in your first revenue. In addition, familiarise yourself with the basic legal conditions of electronic commerce and comply with these regulations. Otherwise, you might receive expensive warnings from your competitors.

1. Initial settings

This chapter provides information about the basic settings that you configure in the plentymarkets System menu to set up a functional online store. The chapter describes how to manage user accounts, configure email settings and set up shipping options.

1.1. Preparation

Here you will find information about the most important requirements and preliminary tasks for configuring the initial settings. You will also learn which data is needed for the quick start.

1.1.1. Install an appropriate browser

Install Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari (Mac OS).

Browser compatibility

plentymarkets is optimised for the browser Google Chrome.You can also access the system via Mozilla Firefox or Safari (Mac OS). This limitation only applies to the admin area. Your online store can be accessed with all of the typical Internet browsers.

1.1.2. Have your email account data ready

You have to save your email access data in the system before plentymarkets can send emails from your email account. Therefore, have the account details at hand for the email address that should be used to send notifications to customers (e.g. info@mystore.com). Use the same settings as in your email program (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird).

1.1.3. Have your tracking URL ready

Have the tracking URL of your shipping service provider at hand. Customers can use this link to track their orders online. For this option, the shipping service provider’s tracking URL has to be entered in the system.

The currently valid tracking URLs of integrated shipping service providers can be found on the Preparing the shipment page of the manual. You can access the chapters on shipping service providers via the chapter Overview of shipping service providers. Please note that plentymarkets does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy and currency of the tracking URLs. Ask the shipping service provider for the tracking URL.

1.1.4. Have your access data ready and log in for the first time

Have your plentymarkets access data at hand. You received this data via email. This is the URL of the test system, your user name, your password and your plenty ID. Use this data to log into the admin area of your plentymarkets system for the first time.

First login:

  1. Start your browser.

  2. Find the URL that you received via email and enter this URL into the browser’s address line.
    → The field plenty ID is already filled in.

  3. Save a bookmark for your plentymarkets system.
    The plenty ID will already be filled in when you access the page the next time.

  4. Use the access data to log into the admin area of your plentymarkets test system.
    → The plentymarkets back end will open.

1.1.5. Allowing pop-ups

Pop-ups are used in various areas of the back end, for instance for providing documents for download. You have to include your plentymarkets back end in the popup whitelist of your browser in order to ensure smooth operation. Proceed as described below.

Allowing pop-ups:

  1. Open your browser.

  2. Open the settings.

  3. Go to the pop-up exception management.

  4. Enter the link https://[*.]plentymarkets-cloud-de.com:PID for aws01 and https://[*.]plentymarkets-cloud-ie.com:PID for aws02 in the exception list. Please replace PID with your plenty ID.
    → The exception for your back end is added.

1.2. Managing user accounts

The admin area of your plentymarkets system is password protected and can only be accessed by registered users. Therefore, we will start by looking at how to create and manage user accounts. Go to System » Settings » User to create and manage users. Every user is given an individual user account and is assigned to a user class. The user classes are preset and include specific rights.

1.2.1. Creating a new user

A standard user with administrator rights and the user class Admin is already available in your test system. We recommend that you change this user account immediately and save your own password.

The administration area contains sensitive data and has to be efficiently protected from unauthorised access and hackers. Therefore, handle user accounts with great care and only use passwords with at least 8 characters.

Caution: Pay attention to password strength!

If you try to save a weak password, you will receive the error message Code 900: Password entered is too weak! Your password should always contain a mixture of lower-case letters, upper-case letters and numbers. Pay attention to the colour-coded bar and percentage in the system. If possible, use a password that has a "green" rating.

Creating a new user:

  1. Go to System » Settings » User » Accounts.

  2. Click on New.
    → The Create new user window will open. (Figure 1)

  3. Enter the User name, Actual name and Password.

  4. Repeat the password.

  5. Enter the new user’s email address. This will allow the user to receive messages from the system.

  6. Select a User class (see Classes and their rights).

  7. Save the settings.

Creating a new user:
Figure 1. Creating a new user
Classes and their rights

A  user class contains specific user rights.

  • For example, the class Admin contains all of the rights without limitation. At least one user must be an admin. This is because only a user with the user class Admin is authorized to manage and edit other user accounts without restriction.

  • Use the class Variable to set up individual rights for each user. This allows you to give variable users the exact read and write permissions they need.

  • The classes Call centre, API, Logistics and Blog have limited rights.

1.2.2. Editing a user

Proceed as follows to edit a user.

Editing a user account:

  1. Go to System » Settings » User » Accounts.

  2. Click on Open user.
    → The user will open in a new tab (see Figure 2).

  3. Carry out additional settings as desired. For further information, refer to the explanations on the Editing users page of the manual.

  4. Save the settings.

Editing a user
Figure 2. Editing a user
Password is saved

The password you entered when creating your user account will not be visible in editing mode later on, but it is saved. You do not have to re-enter the password when editing the user account.

1.2.3. Setting a user as owner

In the Owner tab, determine the areas the user should be the owner of.

Setting a user as owner:

  1. Go to System » Settings » User » Accounts.

  2. Click on Open user.
    → The user will open in a new tab.

  3. Click on the Owner tab.

  4. Activate the areas of which the user should be the owner.
    → To use the plentymarkets stock management system, for example, activate the option Incoming items.

  5. Save the settings.

1.2.4. Deleting a user

There are two ways to delete a user:

Deleting a user account:

  1. Go to System » Settings » User » Accounts.

  2. Open the user you want to delete (Figure 2).

  3. Click on Delete user account on the right side of the header.

  4. Confirm your decision to delete the user.

Deleting several user accounts:

  1. Go to System » Settings » User » Accounts.

  2. Place a check mark next to the user accounts.

  3. Click on Group function.

  4. Activate the Delete function.

  5. Click on Apply.

  6. Confirm your decision to delete the users.

1.3. Configuring email settings

Not only can your plentymarkets system send notifications to administrators, it can also send automatic emails to your customers. The system automatically generates order and shipping confirmations, dunning letters and other notifications and sends them to customers.

1.3.1. Entering email access data

You have to enter your access data into the system before plentymarkets can send emails on your behalf from your email account. Use the same settings as in your email program (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird).

Entering email access data:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Access data.

  2. Configure the settings as described in [table-entering-email-access-data].

  3. Save the settings.

Table 1. Entering email access data
Setting Explanation

Test mode

Active = Select during the test phase. This setting only sends emails to your address.
Inactive = Select once the test phase has ended. This setting sends emails to your customers.

Name of sender

Enter your name or the name of your company / your store as you would like it to be displayed to the recipient.

Email address

Enter the email address as it is listed in your email program, e.g. info@mystore.com.

Outgoing mail server/SMTP server

You can find out about the outgoing mail server from your provider (e.g. smtp.domain.co.uk or mail.domain.co.uk).

User name

Enter the user name that matches the email address.

Password

Enter the password that matches the user name and email address.

Port (standard port: 25)

Enter the value 25. This value is correct for nearly all providers. Otherwise, ask your provider about the correct port.
mailbox.org: For mailbox.org mailboxes, enter port 465 and select the encryption method SSL.

Encryption

Select SSL, TLS (default setting) or No encryption.
Either use the setting TLS (with Port 25) or the setting no encryption for our email accounts.
mailbox.org: For mailbox.org mailboxes, enter port 465 and select the encryption method SSL.

Port 587 und SSL encryption

If no emails are sent when using the default settings Port 25 and TLS encryption, change the settings to Port 587 and TLS encryption or ask your email provider for the required settings.

1.3.2. Setting up the email information service

Use the Information service to have more control over the emails that are sent by the system. This function can send all outgoing emails as blind copies (BCC) to an email address of your choice. It can also send an email notification every time a new order is placed in your online store. You need to know which email address the information service should send emails to.

Setting up the information service:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Information service.

  2. Enter the email address.

  3. Select YES from the dropdown menu to activate the information service for the address.

  4. Save the settings.

Select NO from the dropdown menu to deactivate the information service.

1.3.3. Setting up email templates

plentymarkets creates all emails based on Templates. This section teaches you how to create email templates or edit existing templates as needed. The section Setting up automatic processes teaches you how to link the sending of emails to specific events and how to automatically send emails at specific times of day.

The following table includes a list of email templates that we recommend creating when you start working with plentymarkets.

Table 2. Recommended email templates for the quick start
Email template Explanation

Order: Invoice as PDF attachment

Sends an invoice to the customer as an attachment.

Order: Partial payment received

Informs the customer if a partial payment is received (is described further below).

Order: Shipping confirmation

Is sent when the items are shipped.

Order: Incoming payment is complete

Informs the customer that their cash in advance payment has been received.

Order: Payment reminder

Reminder in case of outstanding payments.

Online store: Confirmation of store order.

Informs the customer that their order has been received.

Online store: New password

The system generates a new password upon request if the customer loses his or her login details.

Online store: Sign up for newsletter

An important email template to use for legal reasons. You can find further information about sending newsletters in the Sending newsletters chapter of the manual.

You need to create documents for the emails and upload them in PDF format before you will be able to send these documents as attachments.

Do not forget the bank and contact details

Make sure that all of your email templates contain your bank details (it is also possible to use template variables) and that your current contact information is displayed at the end.

Your test system already contains several predefined email templates. The email template Confirmation of store order is used as an example for how to customise email templates to meet your needs.

Customising the email template “Online store: Confirmation of store order”:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Templates.

  2. Open the General email templates folder and click on Online store: Confirmation of store order.

  3. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 3.

  4. Add the cancellation rights.

  5. Add your contact details at the end of the template.

  6. Save the settings.

Insert complete information about cancellation rights

Due to legal reasons, the email template you create for Online store: Confirmation of a store order should also include the complete information about your cancellation rights. Also pay close attention to any wording in the email template that relates to the contract between you and your customer. It is best to have your text checked by a legal adviser and then enter this exact wording into your email templates.

Table 3. Setting up email templates
Setting Explanation

Tab: Settings

Owner

Select an owner or the option ALL.

Name

Name of the email template used for internal reference only and not visible for the recipient.

Content

Select Plain text only or Only text in HTML format.

Template type

Select All (default setting) if you want the email template to be used for all areas. If you want to use the template in only one area, you can define this area here. The areas Order, Customers, Online store, Ticket and Scheduler can be selected.

PDF attachment

Select the attachment for the email template, e.g. the order confirmation or invoice. For information on how to create PDF attachments, please refer to the chapter on email templates.

Document attachment

Select the document attachment. Documents that were uploaded under CMS » Documents are displayed here. You can attach these documents to an email template.

Tab: Email message

Select a language

Select the language for the template text and the subject.

Subject

Enter a sentence to be displayed to the recipient in the subject line of the email. Choose the subject carefully so that the emails will be recognised by the email account and displayed in the customer’s inbox instead of his or her spam folder.

Setting up plain text emails

Start by creating plain text emails only. Enter your text in the tab Email message » Tab: Content. HTML offers you more formatting options, but it also increases the risk that your emails will end up in your customers' spam folder. Therefore, we recommend that you use plain text only for important emails.

Inserting template functions and template variables into email templates

In plentymarkets, email templates not only consist of text but also of template variables and template functions. When plentymarkets sends emails, it automatically replaces the variables with the corresponding content. The customer’s name will appear instead of the variable $CustomerFullName. The customer’s email address will appear instead of $CustomerEmail. The order number will appear instead of the variable $OrderID.

Template variables and template functions
Figure 3. Template variables and template functions
Variable names are case-sensitive

Template variables and template functions trigger predefined system commands. They will only be recognised if you use the exact same spelling as shown in the system (upper and lower case letters must match as well). To avoid malfunctions caused by spelling mistakes, copy the variables and insert them at the desired position in the editing window.

Inserting template variables and template functions:

  1. Click on Template variables and template functions (Figure 3, red arrow) in the Email template.
    → The Template variables and template functions window will open.

  2. Copy the variable that you want to insert into the email template.

  3. Insert the variable into the text field of the Email message » Content tab of the email template.

  4. Save the settings.

The variable Link_Checkout() should be included in all emails that you send to customers. Customers can click on this URL to access the My account area of your online store. In this area, customers can view and edit their personal information, view their order history, add notes or additional items to their order and also keep track of their order’s status.

Attaching files to email templates

You can attach two different types of files to your email templates: a PDF attachment and a document attachment.
PDF attachments, such as invoices, are generated in the System » Client » Select client » Locations » Select location » Documents menu. Document attachments for other files, such as item brochures or instructions, are saved in the menu CMS » Documents.

Creating and attaching PDFs

The system automatically generates the documents that are sent as PDF attachments. An example of such a document is the invoice.

It is set up in three steps. First, create a document template on your computer. For example, create a template for business letters with your logo. Save the template as a PDF file. Second, go to System » Orders » Documents and select the settings for the document. Third, select the PDF attachment for the email template.

Editing the document:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Locations » Select location » Documents.

  2. Open the document that you want to edit, e.g. the Invoice.

  3. Select a Language from the drop-down list, e.g. en for English.

  4. Configure the settings in the Template tab.

  5. Click on the tab PDF template and click on Add template.

  6. Select a Payment method if needed.

  7. Click on Choose template file.

  8. Open the PDF document template that you previously created.

  9. Save the settings.

  10. Click on Preview to see a document preview.

Attaching a PDF document to an email template:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Templates.

  2. Open the email template.

  3. Select the file that you want to use as an attachment from the PDF attachment drop-down list.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The file is attached.

Creating and attaching documents

All of the documents you want to attach to an email have to be uploaded to the server first. The terms and conditions are an example of such a document. This document is often sent as an attachment along with the order confirmation.

It is set up in two steps. First, upload the document in the CMS » Documents menu. Second, attach the document to an email template. To do so, proceed as follows.

Uploading a document:

  1. Go to CMS » Documents.

  2. Click on Browse…​ in the Upload tab.

  3. Select the file that you would like to upload and click on Open.

  4. Select one of the options from the Right drop-down menu.

  5. Enter a folder name (optional).

  6. Save the settings.

The Right option specifies whether the document should be visible to Employees or Customers only or to all visitors of your online store (= Public).

Attaching a document to an email template:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Templates.

  2. Open the email template and select the file that you want to use as an attachment from the Document attachment drop-down list.

  3. Save the settings.
    → The file is attached.

1.4. Setting up shipping options

This section teaches you how to set up shipping options. First, decide which countries you want to deliver your items to. Second, divide these countries into regions. Such groups will help you create and manage shipping options more easily in the future. Third, create one or more shipping service providers and afterwards shipping profiles. Fourth, create a table of shipping charges for each shipping profile.

There is a special concept for configuring shipping options in plentymarkets. You determine which shipping method and shipping costs are assigned to orders depending on the country of delivery and the order referrer. For example, you can manage your eBay platform with several different eBay accounts and you can differentiate between specific types of listings. This allows you to set up a very elaborate shipping cost management system.

1.4.1. Setting up countries of delivery

The overview lists all of the countries of delivery included in ISO 3166-1.

At least one country of delivery required for shipping

You have to activate at least one country of delivery before you can define shipping costs.

Setting up countries of delivery:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Shipping » Settings.

  2. The Countries of delivery tab opens. Use the drop-down list in the Active column to set countries of delivery to Active.

  3. In the Warehouse column, select which warehouse should be chosen as the default warehouse for this country’s orders.

  4. Save the settings.

1.4.2. Setting up regions

Now set up regions and assign your countries of delivery to these regions. It is necessary to create regions because shipping costs can only be saved for regions, not for individual countries. All countries that have the same shipping costs should be assigned to the same region.

Grouping countries of delivery into regions:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Shipping » Settings.

  2. Open the Regions » New region tab.

  3. Select the countries for the region from the Available countries.
    → The countries will be moved to Selected countries.

  4. Enter a Name for the region, e.g. Europe.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The new region is now available in the Overview tab.

Follow the same pattern to create other regions until all countries of delivery have been assigned to a region and the Available countries area is empty.

1.4.3. Setting up shipping service providers

In this area, set up the shipping service providers that you want to use for sending items to your customers.

Setting up a shipping service provider:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Shipping » Settings.

  2. Click on the Shipping service provider tab.

  3. Click on New.
    → A new line will be added at the bottom of the overview.

  4. Enter the Name of the shipping service provider into the line.

  5. Enter this shipping service provider’s Tracking URL.

  6. Save the settings.

The tracking URL is used to track shipments. By entering the URL in your plentymarkets system, you will be able to include it in the shipping confirmation you send to customers. This allows customers to track the items that are currently being delivered. Ask the shipping service provider for the tracking URL. The website links of integrated shipping service providers can be found on the Preparing the shipment page of the manual. The tracking URL needs to include the package number and may also need to include the recipient’s postcode. This ensures that customers receive the tracking URL that matches their shipment. Insert the template variables [PaketNr] and [PLZ] into the tracking URL. This way, you don’t have to manually enter this information for each shipment.

An example of a DHL tracking URL with such template variables:
http://nolp.dhl.de/nextt-online-public/set_identcodes.do?lang=de&zip=[PLZ]&idc=[PaketNr]

Changing the names of shipping service providers

You can create new providers or change the names of already existing providers. You can enter general names or the actual names of shipping service providers, such as DPD or DHL. The name that is entered will appear in the shopping cart and on the invoice.

1.4.4. Setting up shipping profiles

Shipping profiles include detailed shipping costs and specify how these costs are calculated. For example, shipping costs can be based on the item weight, volume or the item prices. You can create several different shipping profiles for each shipping service provider. For example, you can set up a standard shipping profile and an express shipping profile for each provider. If multiple shipping profiles are available, customers will be able to select the profile they prefer in the online store.

Link the shipping profiles to your items so that plentymarkets knows how an item should be shipped and only allows customers to choose from the correct shipping profiles in the online store.

It is also possible to use multiple shipping profiles for mixed orders. The system will then add up the various shipping prices into a total and will show this price to the customer. If a customer not only wants to purchase items which you would usually ship with DHL, but also selects an item that can only be delivered by a shipping company for larger items, the shipping prices that you saved for each shipping profile will be added up by the system and shown as a total.

Keep the shipping profiles simple

Keep your shipping profiles as simple as possible. The more complex the settings are, the more likely it is that errors will occur. In addition, shipping cost models that are too complex may confuse customers and ultimately deter them from making a purchase.

Setting up shipping profiles
Figure 4. Overview of the shipping profiles

Setting up a shipping profile:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Shipping » Settings.

  2. Click on the Shipping profiles tab.

  3. Click on New to set up a new shipping profile or click directly on an existing shipping profile to edit this profile.

  4. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 4.

  5. Save the settings.

Table 4. Go to System » Orders » Shipping » Settings » Tab: Shipping profiles.
Setting Explanation

ID

Every shipping profile automatically receives an ID when it is saved. This ID cannot be changed.

Shipping service provider

Select a shipping service provider for this shipping profile.

Name

Enter a name to be displayed to your customers in the online store.

Name (back end)

Enter a name used for internal reference in the plentymarkets back end only which is not visible for the customer.

Flag

Select a flag. The flag is displayed in the order overview and indicates which shipping profile is saved.

Priority

Select a priority to determine the order in which shipping profiles are displayed in the store checkout process.

Category

Select a category to specify when a shipping profile is displayed in the checkout. Category 1 is selected by default.
The shipping profile with the lowest category will always be displayed.
For multiple items, the common shipping profile with the lowest category will be displayed.

Activate for new items

Activate to assign this shipping profile to new items by default.
Select the option Activate for new items for at least one shipping profile. In this way, new items will automatically be assigned to this one profile at minimum. It is not possible to ship an item if it is not linked to at least one shipping profile.

Clients (stores)

Select the online stores or clients that the shipping profile should apply to (multiple selection is possible).

Order referrer

Select the order referrer if the shipping profile should only apply to specific orders (multiple selection is possible). At least one shipping profile should contain the order referrer ALL. This guarantees that there is at least one shipping profile available for all orders.

Blocked payment methods, Blocked customer classes

Select the payment methods and customer class that the shipping profile should not apply to (multiple selection is possible).

eBay-account (only for eBay referrer)

If you have multiple eBay accounts, select which account should be used (multiple selection is possible).

Listing type (only for eBay)

Select the listing types that the shipping profile should apply to (multiple selection is possible).

1.4.5. Creating tables of shipping charges

After you have created your shipping profiles, you can edit your shipping costs. To do so, create an individual table of shipping charges for each region. Before you enter data, you have to decide on one of the calculation types offered for each region.

Creating tables of shipping charges:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Shipping » Settings.

  2. Click on the Shipping profiles tab.

  3. Open the shipping profile.

  4. Click on the Table of shipping charges tab within the shipping profile.

  5. Select a Calculation type. Pay attention to the information given in Table 5.

  6. Enter the shipping charge.

  7. Save the settings.

Table 5. Table of shipping charges; calculation types
Calculation type Explanation

Flat rate

Enter a flat rate charge, e.g. 6.00 EUR. Determine an item value starting from which shipping costs should be omitted (optional).

Weight-dependent

Enter a sliding scale. Shipping costs usually increase as the weight of the shipment increases. Make sure to enter the weight for each item later on. The heaviest weight entered will be the maximum weight that the customer can order.

Volume-dependent

Enter a sliding scale for volumes in cubic meters. Make sure to enter the measurements for each item later on.

Quantity-dependent

Enter a sliding scale. Shipping costs usually increase as the quantity of items increases.

Price-dependent

Enter a sliding scale. Determine the shipping costs that should apply up to each value of items.

Item shipping charge

Customers know this type of shipping charge from eBay. Selecting this option means that customers will pay a certain amount for the first item and a (usually lower) amount for each additional item. In addition, you can enter a flat rate charge, which will be applied starting from a certain value of items. Finally, you can determine the value of items starting from which shipping costs should be omitted completely.

You can define upper and lower limits by entering data into the fields Minimum value and Maximum value. Also check whether you need shipping profiles that go beyond the defined upper and lower limits. For example, if you limit a shipping profile to a maximum value of 200 EUR, you will need another shipping profile so that an order of more than 200 EUR can actually be delivered.

1.5. Checklist

Work through the checklist once you have carried out all of the previously described settings. This will ensure that your system functions correctly.

2. Setting up a catalogue of items

All items and variations are listed in the Item » Edit item menu. You can search for and edit the items here. In new plentymarkets systems, you will find some test items in this menu. You have access to various functions in the Procedures column of the overview. These procedures are described in [table-procedures-item-overview]. Use the filters on the left to search for items. These filters are described in further detail on the Searching for items and variations page. A bit of preparation is necessary before putting the first items into the system, e.g. deleting the sample items and creating categories and attributes.

Table 6. Procedures in the item overview
Procedure Explanation

Editing items

Open the Global tab of the item to edit the item’s global data.

Visible in online store

Display the item in the online store.

Listing

If a listing is available, it will open and can be edited.

New listing

Open the New market listing window to create a listing for this item.

2.1. Preparation

Here you will find information about the most important preliminary tasks and requirements for configuring your items. Delete the test items and determine item availability and delivery times for your online store.

2.1.1. Deleting the test items

We recommend that you delete the test items saved in new plentymarkets systems since they are not part of your actual product portfolio. Test items are included in your system by default and are solely intended to help you understand plentymarkets. If you create additional test items and categories in your system and you do not want to use them in your actual product portfolio, delete this test data as well before you finish creating your catalogue.

Deleting test items using the group function:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Set the Active filter to ALL.

  3. Click on Search.
    → All items saved in the system will be displayed.

  4. Select all items by clicking on the item ID.

  5. Click on Item group function.
    → The Item group function window will open.

  6. Activate the Delete items option.

  7. Click on Execute.
    → All items will be deleted from the system.

2.1.2. Entering item availability texts and delivery times

You are legally required to provide information in your online store about how long it takes to deliver items that can’t be shipped immediately. In plentymarkets you manage this information using a ten-stage notification system. Item availability is indicated by a symbol and an availability text in the online store.

In the menu Settings » Item » Availability you will find default texts that have already been saved for the different levels of availability. You can make changes to these default texts. Typical availability texts are e.g. "ships within 24 hours" or "ships within 3-5 business days".

Select the availability carefully

Carefully consider whether you want to enter a very short delivery period, e.g. 24 hours, since you can be held liable for it. You have to keep the promises that you make to your customers. Also keep in mind that this content will be analysed and displayed by search engines.

2.2. Defining categories

Categories help you structure your product portfolio and organise your online store. Consider which categories and subcategories you want to display in your online store. It is best to prepare this information in a document before you begin.

Maximum of 4 navigation levels

The Ceres online store emphasises user-friendliness. The default navigation bar displays a maximum of one other category level beneath the main categories. Alternatively the mega menu provides the possibility of displaying up to three other levels beneath the main categories. Both navigation bars are optimised to quickly lead your customers to their destination.

2.2.1. Creating categories of the type item

Create categories of the type Item to sort your items. You can either create the categories now, as described below, or you can do this when you create items later. We recommend that you create all categories and subcategories now. This will help you to structure and understand your product portfolio.
Categories do not appear in the online store as soon as they are created. Rather, they become visible once the category is activated and an item has been added to the category. The item also needs to be visible in the online store. Your online store navigation is automatically generated from the categories in your system that have items assigned to them.

Creating a new category:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on New category.
    → The Create new category window will open.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Select the category type.
    → If you activate Subcategory, select the category that should include the new subcategory.

  5. Click on Create.
    → The new category will be created and displayed in the category tree.

It is possible to create a subcategory on the third or fourth level. Click on the folder icon to open the main category. Then open the folders of the subcategories until you have reached the category that should include the new subcategory. Right-click on a category to open the context menu where you can edit the category or create further subcategories.

2.2.2. Entering position numbers for categories

Categories can be sorted according to their position number in the navigation bar. New categories are always given the position number 0.

Entering the position number:

  1. Go to Item » Categories. Click on the category that should receive a different position number.
    → The Settings tab of the category will open.

  2. Enter a value for Position.

  3. Save the settings.

Reload the Categories tab once you have entered and saved a position number for each category. Any open categories will close automatically.

2.2.3. Assigning the category to a client

A category of the type Item will only be displayed in the online store if it is linked to at least one item that is visible in the store and if the category is assigned to a client. You can also assign a category to several clients. Please note that you need to save a category name for every client in the corresponding language. To do this, go to Item » Categories and use the dropdown lists from the toolbar.

Assigning the category to a client:

  1. Go to Item » Categories and click on the directory tree. Click on the category that you want to assign.
    → The Settings tab of the category will open.

  2. Activate the Client (store).

  3. Save the settings.

2.2.4. Displaying the category names in the browser tab

Enter a meta title if you want the category name to be displayed in the browser tab.

Displaying the category names in the browser tab:

  1. Go to Item » Categories and click on the directory tree. Click on the category that you want to assign.
    → The Settings tab of the category will open.

  2. Enter a meta title.

  3. Save the settings.

2.3. Creating attributes

Attributes are used to create variations in plentymarkets. Variations are different versions of an item. Variations differ in one way or several ways but are otherwise the same item. An example would be an item that is available in three different colours. The customer should be able to choose from these three variations when ordering. In plentymarkets, you do not need to create a new item for each variation. Instead, you can enter attributes and assign them to an item. An example for creating the attribute Colour is given below.

Creating the attribute "Colour":

  1. Go to System » Item » Attributes.

  2. Click on the New attribute tab.

  3. Enter information into the fields Name and Name (internal), e.g. Colour.
    → The entry under Name will be displayed in the online store later.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The new attribute is added to the list.

  5. Expand the attribute.

  6. Open the Values tab.

  7. Enter the values for this attribute.

  8. Save the settings.

2.4. Creating items

The items and item variations that you sell are the foundation of your business. You need to create an item before you can add variations to it. You will learn how to add variations to an item in a later chapter. First, you need to create the main item in the menu Item » Edit item.

Creating a new item
Figure 5. Creating a new item

Creating an item:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Click on New.
    → The New item tab will open.

  3. Select the item type Default.

  4. Enter a name.

  5. Enter the content.

  6. Select a category.

  7. Carry out additional settings as desired. Pay attention to the information given in Table 7.

  8. Save the settings.
    → The item will be created and a new tab will open.

Editing items
Figure 6. Editing window of an item

The settings explained in Table 7 refer to different tabs in the editing window of Default items. The tab is displayed as a subheading in the table. For reasons of clarity, we have only listed the most important settings here.

Table 7. Settings in the editing window of an item
Setting Explanation

ID

plentymarkets can automatically assign a consecutive number (recommended).
Alternatively, you can assign an item ID yourself while creating the item. You can also change the item ID at a later time. Only unique numbers without duplicates are allowed.

Tab: Global

Shipping profiles

Activate one, multiple or ALL shipping profiles. No shipping profile is selected by default. Activate at least one shipping profile per item. Otherwise the shipping costs may not be calculated correctly.

Tab: Variation ID » Basic settings

Active

Activate the item to offer it in the online store or on markets. Items will only be displayed in the online store when they are active. When searching for items using the default settings, inactive items will not be shown. Select No in the Active filter to search for inactive items.

Sales prices

Add a sales price and enter a price.

Barcode

Add a barcode and enter a code.

ASIN/ePID

Add ASIN/ePID and enter the ASIN or ePID.

Content

Enter the content and select the unit from the drop-down list.

Gross weight, Net weight

Enter the weight in grams or kilograms. This information is necessary if shipping costs are to be calculated based on weight.

VAT

Select the VAT rate. For example, the current standard VAT rate in the United Kingdom is 20%. Be sure to read up on the VAT rates for the products you sell for your country!

Extra shipping charge 1; Extra shipping charge 2

Enter an extra shipping charge for the first item and for each additional item.

Tab: Variation ID » Availability

Client (store) Available

Activate the availability for the online store.

Tab: Texts

Name 1

Enter the item’s name.

Item text

Enter the item text. The item text is a detailed description displayed in the item layout in the online store.

Next, you will need to specify the item’s availability.

Specifying the item availability:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.
    → The tab of the main variation will open.

  3. Select one of the 10 availability options in the Availability area.

  4. Save the settings.

2.5. Linking items to categories

Link categories to an item when creating the item or in the Categories tab of a variation. Only categories of the type Item can be linked to items. You can link an item to multiple categories. One category must then be selected as the default category. The default category is the category that an item is found and displayed in when searching in the online store. Furthermore, the item is linked to the default category during the item export.

Linking categories:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Click on the Variation ID » Categories tab.

  4. Click on Link category.
    → The Link category window will open.

  5. Select a category or subcategory.

  6. Click on Link category.
    → The category link will be created and displayed in the Linked categories area.

Category links of the main variation are passed on to variations. You can change the category links for each variation individually. Click on Deactivate Inheritance in the Categories tab of a variation and change the settings.

Setting the default category:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Open the Variation ID » Categories tab.

  4. Use the drop-down list to select the appropriate default category for the client.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The default category will be set.

2.6. Creating variations

A main variation is created every time a new item is created. The main variation is linked to an item. It cannot be deleted. Information saved for the main variation, such as sales prices and availability, is passed on to item variations. However, you can change the settings of every variation individually. First, learn how to create variations.

Creating new variations:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Open the Variations tab.

  4. Click on New.
    → The Create new variations window will open.

  5. Enter the content.

  6. Select one or multiple attributes.
    → The number of different variation Combinations will be displayed in the bottom right corner.

  7. Click on Create variations.
    → The variations will be created and displayed in the variation overview.

Next, the variation’s availability settings will be configured.

Specifying the availability of a variation:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Open the Variations tab.

  4. Open the variation.

  5. Select one of the 10 availability options in the Availability area.

  6. Save the settings.

You can also define the availability of multiple variations using the variation group function in the Variations tab.

Setting the availability
Figure 7. Setting the availability of the variations

2.7. Setting up stock management

In order to have a functional stock management system, you will need to set up at least one warehouse and supplier and you will have to save stock.

If you do not want to track stock in plentymarkets, open the menu Item » Edit item, click on the tab Variation ID » Settings and select the option Do not administer stock for this variation for the Limitation setting. Skip to the chapter Managing item images.

Setting up a new warehouse:

  1. Go to System » Stock » Warehouse.

  2. Click on New warehouse.
    → The New warehouse window will open.

  3. Enter a name, warehouse type and logistics type.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The warehouse will be set up and displayed on the left in the directory tree.

  5. Open the warehouse to see the sub-menus.

For further information about the settings, refer to the Setting up a warehouse page of the manual.

Setting up a new supplier:

  1. Go to CRM » Contacts.

  2. Click on Create new contact.

  3. Enter the name of the supplier.

  4. Select the type Supplier.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The detail view of the contact will open.

  6. Click on New address.

  7. Enter the address data.

  8. Save the settings.

Please note the additional information and settings that are relevant when creating a new customer data record on the Managing contacts page of the manual.

2.8. Booking stock

All incoming items have to be booked into your stock management system. Depending on the amount of items you want to add, you can use different menus. For other options than the one explained here, refer to the New incoming items page of the manual.

Booking stock:

  1. Go to Stock » New incoming items.

  2. Click on New incoming items. Make sure one user is set as owner.

  3. Select a supplier from the drop-down menu.

  4. Save the settings.

  5. Click on Add item.
    → A new window for searching and selecting items will open.

  6. Enter the search terms and select the filter options. Pay attention to the information given in Table 8.

  7. Click on Search.
    → The items that match the search criteria will be listed.

  8. Enter the Purchase price (optional).

  9. Enter the quantity (mandatory input).
    → The item is automatically selected when a quantity is entered.

  10. Select a storage location from the dropdown list.
    → If you have not yet saved a storage location for an item, you can specify a new storage location here as well. Click on Search to do so.

  11. Enter the RRP (optional).
    → The RRP will be applied to the item data once the incoming items data record is approved.

  12. Click on Add item in the Procedures column.
    → The item is added to the incoming items data record.

Table 8. Item filters
Setting Explanation

Item data

Searches through item name 1 and the item’s meta keywords.

Reset

Resets all of the filter settings so that you see the items that correspond to all suppliers. After the reset, click on Search to update the item list.

Click on Back to incoming items to return to the overview of incoming items data record.

Correcting stock

Correct the stock if you have already booked stock for the main item and now you want to specify how many of those items are in each variation.

2.9. Automating the availability information in the online store

If you work with the stock function in plentymarkets, you can fully automate the availability information that is displayed in your online store. In this case, your online store automatically sets the symbols available and not available depending on your current stock. Alternatively, items that are not in stock can also be hidden completely (set to invisible). Additionally, you can instruct plentymarkets to show the items again (set to visible) as soon as they are back in stock.

Automating the availability information:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.
    → The Settings tab of the main variation opens.

  3. Select the option To net stock from the Limitation drop-down menu in the Availability area.

  4. Activate the following options under Availability:
    Available if net stock is positive
    Not available if net stock is 0 or negative
    Store: visible if net stock is positive
    Store: invisible if net stock is 0 or negative

  5. Save the settings.

Item availability changes continually. This makes it necessary to constantly update the information, which is generally very time-consuming. Of course, you can manually update the availability of your items in the beginning. However, you should think about implementing a more efficient solution in the future. If you already manage the availability of your items somewhere else (e.g. in an external stock management software) or if you obtain such information electronically from your wholesaler, then plentymarkets can import this information. The import may take a little bit of preparatory work.

Is an import possible?

If you have already created a database or if you can export item data from another system, you should check the import options before entering data manually. Data can be imported into plentymarkets with a CSV file. This may require a bit of preparatory work. Your plentymarkets system also offers several convenient interfaces to popular software solutions.

2.10. Managing item images

Use the item’s Images tab to save images for the item and link these images to the variations of this item. You can upload up to 25 images per item. These images can be in JPG/JPEG or PNG format. You should upload the first image, i.e. the main image, in JPG format because this image will be used for eBay.

Saving images for an item:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Open the item’s Images tab.

  4. Drag and drop new images into the Insert a new image area. Alternatively, click on Select files.

  5. Select the clients and/or referrers for which you want do use the image from the drop-down list Availability.

  6. Save the settings.

2.11. Linking images with variations

Now, link the images saved for the item with one or more of its variations. To do so, proceed as described below.

Linking item images with variations:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Open the item’s Images tab.
    → A preview of all images saved for the item is displayed.

  4. Place a check mark on the left for those images that you want to link with one or more of the variations.

  5. Click on Variation link at the bottom of the page.
    → The Variation link window opens.

  6. Select the variations that you want to link with the selected images.

  7. Click on Link.
    → The images are linked with the selected variations.

If you prefer to store the item images on an external server or on your own webspace, you can also use the URL field to link the externally stored images with the items.

Larger quantities of images should be transferred to the server via FTP upload. Choose image names carefully to avoid mistakes when assigning the images to items. Generally, it is possible to use the item ID or the item number with the file extensions .jpg or .png.

2.12. Adding cross-selling items

Cross-selling is a way to offer your customers additional items from your product range that are a necessary extension or reasonable supplement for your customer’s current selection. The right batteries are needed for a torch, for example. A digital camera only makes sense in combination with a memory card that has sufficient capacity. A customer who buys a premium tennis racket is likely to invest in a nice bag to store the racket in. If such connections also exist for your items, you can use the Cross-selling option to set up associations between them and benefit from additional sales.

The following requirements have to be met in order for direct cross-selling items to be displayed in your online store:

  • The category of the cross-selling item has to be activated.

  • The items have to be visible in the online store.

  • The Cross-selling list has to be linked to the appropriate container in Ceres.

Cross-selling set up
Figure 8. Cross-selling items set up

Adding cross-selling items:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item.

  3. Open the Cross-selling » Add item(s) tab.

  4. Place check marks next to the items that you want to add as cross-selling items.

  5. Click on the appropriate relation, e.g. Similar.
    → The items will be added and displayed in the Cross-selling items tab.

You can change the relationship of the cross-selling items in the Cross-selling items tab. You can also delete the cross-selling link here.

2.13. Checklist

Use the following checklist to double check the item settings. Work through the checklist once you have carried out all of the previously described settings. This will ensure that your plentymarkets system functions correctly.

3. Setting up the online store

You have now created the catalogue of items and set up the categories. In this chapter you will learn how to purchase and install the necessary online store plugins and set up your online store.

3.1. Preparation

Here you will find information about the most important preliminary tasks for setting up the online store. This page also specifies which data will be needed for the quick start and the basic settings of your online store.

3.1.1. Compiling the terms and conditions

Compile your terms and conditions into a document. You can refer to standard texts when creating your terms and conditions. Have the texts checked by a specialised solicitor.

3.1.2. Obtaining a legally sound sample of customers' cancellation rights

Legally sound cancellation rights have to fulfil certain requirements with regards to form and content. Therefore, procure a current, legally sound sample.

The Extras chapter lists several partners who can help you create legally sound texts.

3.1.3. Purchasing plugins on plentyMarketplace

You can find the plugins IO and Ceres, which comprise the plentymarkets online store, on the plentyMarketplace. The plugin IO is the interface between plentymarkets and the plugin Ceres. The plugin Ceres is the online store. In addition to the online store, you need a payment method, so that your customers can make purchases in your online store. Proceed as described below to purchase a plugin.

Did you book your system after 07 February, 2018?

If you booked plentymarkets after the 7th of February 2018, your system comes already equipped with the plugins Ceres, IO, Cash in advance and several other plugins. Continue with the Installation of the plugins.

Purchasing a plugin:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Click on plentyMarketplace.
    → You are automatically logged into the plentyMarketplace.

  3. Open the category Templates.

  4. Click on IO.
    → The detailed view of the plugin opens.

  5. Click on Go to checkout.
    → The Checkout window opens.

  6. Accept the terms and conditions.

  7. Click on Order now.
    → The purchased plugin is now available in the Plugins » Plugin overview menu.

Now purchase the plugins Ceres and Cash in advance.

In order to see purchased, but not yet installed plugins in the plugin overview, select a Plugin set and the All or Not installed option from the Installed drop-down list. Click the *Search*button to display all purchased, uninstalled plugins.

3.2. Creating plugin sets

A Plugin set is a group of different plugins, which can be set up for one or multiple clients.

Creating plugin sets:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Click on Add.
    → The New Plugin Set window opens.

  3. Enter a name for the plugin set.

  4. Save the settings.

For further information on managing Plugin sets, refer to the Plugins manual page.

3.3. Installing plugins

After you have purchased plugins in the plentyMarketplace, the plugins will be available in the Plugins » Plugin overview menu and can be installed from there.

Installing a plugin:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Select the Plugin set.

  3. Select the option All from the Source, Installed and Active drop-down lists in the search filter area.

  4. Click the *Search*button.
    → All plugins purchased on plentyMarketplace will be displayed here.

  5. Click on Install plugin in the line of the IO plugin.
    → The Install plugin window opens.

  6. Select the plugin version from the drop-down list.
    → The most current version of the plugin ist pre-selected.

  7. Click on Install plugin.
    → The plugin will be installed and is then available in the plugin overview.

Repeat steps 5 to 7 for the plugins Ceres und Cash in advance.

3.4. Deploying plugins

The installed plugins are now available in the Plugins » Plugin overview. Initially, you should test the plugins in the preview mode by clicking the Plugin Set Preview button. The preview mode is only accessible for users of your system. The settings that you configure for your online store can then be transferred to the productive mode by clicking the Publish plugin Set button. Set the order in which the plugins are loaded before deploying them.

Plugin position numbers

The installed plugins have to be loaded in a certain order, so that all routes of the online store are working properly. The plugin IO contains the logic part of the online store. This plugin receives the highest position number and is thereby loaded last. The online store plugin Ceres receives a lower position number than the plugin IO. The plugin Cash in advance is already assigned the lowest position number 0.

Saving the position number:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Click on Set position in the line of the IO plugin.
    → The Plugin position window will open.

  3. Enter a new position number, e.g. 999.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The IO plugin will be reordered in the list of plugins.

Repeat steps 2 to 4 for the Ceres plugin. Save a position number for Ceres, e.g. 998.

Previewing Plugin Sets:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Click in the plugin set you want to preview.
    → The Plugin set details window opens.

  3. Activate the plugins IO, Ceres and Cash in advance by clicking the globe icon in the Active column.

  4. Click on Save & publish plugins.
    → The deployment process starts. This may take some time.

  5. Click on Plugin Set Preview.

  6. Select the online store that you want to preview.
    → The selected online store and its selected plugin set open in a new browser tab.

3.5. Setting up plugins

After you have looked at your online store with default settings in the preview mode, you can now set up plugins according to your needs.

3.5.1. Setting up the IO plugin

Begin by setting up the IO plugin. Here, you determine the decimal places for dimensions and weight. Typical values are already saved by default.

Setting up the IO plugin:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on IO.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.
    → The tab Template is already pre-selected.

  4. Click on the Number formats tab.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in [table-quick-start-number-formats].

  6. Save the settings.

Table 9. Adjusting number formats
Setting Explanation

Number of decimal places

Enter the number of decimal places. The default number of decimal places is two.

Decimal separator

Enter decimal separator. The default decimal separator is the comma.

Thousands separator

Enter thousands separator. The defaul thousands separator is the period.

Use customer-specific price format

Select if prices are to be displayed in the respective price formats of your online store visitors.

3.5.2. Setting up the Ceres plugin

Your online store will be displayed with a fully functional test design. You can change the design and add to it according to your needs. You can choose from several themes that are available from the plentyMarketplace. If you want to have a highly customised design, you can work with one of our certified service providers.

Carrying out global settings

You carry out global settings, which affect your entire online store in the Global tab of the Ceres plugin configuration. First, save the name of your online store and change the company logo. Later you can set up the contact page and save Shipping cost information in the Global tab.

Carrying out global settings:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.
    → The Global tab is pre-selected.

  4. Select the image file of your company logo under Company logo.
    → The company logo can be uploaded in the CMS » Webspace menu in the layout folder.

  5. Save the settings.

Setting up the homepage

This is usually the first page that customers will see when they enter your online store. It gives them a first impression. That is why you should take your time to design the homepage. Ceres comes with a default homepage. Customise this homepage, to display your own content on the homepage of your online store. Product and category previews as well as item lists will be displayed when they are set up.

Setting up the homepage:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Click on the Homepage tab.

  5. Deactivate the checkbox Show default homepage.

  6. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 10.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The default homepage is deactivated and your content will be displayed.

Table 10. Setting up the homepage
Setting Explanation

Show ShopBuilder homepage

Activate to display the homepage created with the ShopBuilder.

Show default homepage

Activate in order to display the default homepage of Ceres. This checkbox has to be deactivated in order to display changes on the homepage.

Creating the Ceres homepage with the ShopBuilder

With the ShopBuilder, you can create and edit the homepage of your Ceres online store, which just requires a few steps in your back end.

Version requirements of the ShopBuilder

The ShopBuilder is only available from version 2.8.1 onwards of Ceres and IO. If you are using an older version, you can update the plugins in the Plugins » Plugin overview menu.

Editing the ShopBuilder homepage

You can access the ShopBuilder in the menu CMS » ShopBuilder. In the preview area, you can add elements to the homepage to adjust it to your individual needs.

Displaying the homepage created with the ShopBuilder

Please note that the homepage created with the ShopBuilder has to be activated first. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder » Overview » Settings » Homepage. Activate the option Show ShopBuilder homepage and deactivate the option Show default homepage.

Adding elements to the preview area:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The ShopBuilder is opened.

  2. Click on Homepage.
    → The preview area of the homepage opens.

  3. Move elements via Drag&Drop from the left side into the preview area. Pay attention to the information given in Table 11.
    → New elements are added below the existing ones.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The homepage of your online store is displayed with the selected elements.

Table 11. Elements of the ShopBuilder
Element Description

Structure elements

2 boxes

Provides a structure element with 2 boxes that can be filled with the widgets listed below. Click on Edit to change the layout. Select a size ratio from the Layout drop-down list.

3 boxes

Provides a structure element with 3 boxes that can be filled with the widgets listed below. Click on Edit to change the layout. Select a size ratio from the Layout drop-down list. Stacked options display 2 boxes on top of each other.

4 boxes

Provides a structure element with 4 boxes that can be filled with the widgets listed below. Click on Edit to change the layout. The size ratio cannot be adjusted.

Widgets

Title bar

This widget provides a text box. Click Edit to enter text and determine the colour of the title bar via the Appearance drop-down list.

Image carousel

Provides the Ceres image carousel. Click Edit to add or remove images. Images can be selected through the category picker, by entering a variation ID or via the file selector. Determine the colour of the image carousel via the Appearance drop-down list.

Image box

Provides a container for images. Click Edit to add or remove images. Images can be selected through the category picker, by entering a variation ID or via the file selector. Determine the colour of the image box via the Appearance drop-down list. Adjust the size of text and image via the Box style and Image size drop-down lists.

3.5.3. Editing the Ceres homepage with the ShopBuilder

In the preview area, you can edit elements to adjust the page to your individual needs.

Editing elements in the preview area:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The ShopBuilder is opened.

  2. Move the cursor over the element you want to edit.
    → The context menu is displayed.

  3. Click Edit in the upper right corner. → The Settings bar is displayed.

  4. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 11.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The homepage of your online store is modified according to the settings.

You can also remove elements.

Removing elements from the preview area:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The ShopBuilder is opened.

  2. Click on homepage.
    → The preview area of the homepage is opened.

  3. In the preview area, move the cursor over the element you want to remove.
    → The context menu is displayed.

  4. Click Delete in the upper right corner to remove the element.
    → The element is removed and the surrounding elements are regrouped.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The homepage of your online store is modified according to the settings.

3.5.4. Editing colour settings in the ShopBuilder

You can edit the main colours for all pages of your online store through the ShopBuilder.

Editing colour settings in the ShopBuilder:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The ShopBuilder is opened.

  2. Click on Homepage.
    → The preview area of the homepage is opened.

  3. Click on Design.
    → The menu Design is opened.

  4. Carry out the settings in the Colours area. Pay attention to the information given in Table 12.

  5. Save the settings.

Table 12. Global colour settings in the ShopBuilder
Element Description

Primary colour

This setting changes the primary colour of the shop. Choose a colour from the colour picker or enter a hexadecimal value.

Secondary colour

This setting changes the secondary colour of the shop. Choose a colour from the colour picker or enter a hexadecimal value.

Success colour

This setting changes the colour of the success messages in the shop. Choose a colour from the colour picker or enter a hexadecimal value.

Information colour

This setting changes the colour of the informations in the shop. Choose a colour from the colour picker or enter a hexadecimal value.

Warning colour

This setting changes the colour of the warnings in the shop. Choose a colour from the colour picker or enter a hexadecimal value.

Danger colour

This setting changes the colour of the error messages in the shop. Choose a colour from the colour picker or enter a hexadecimal value.

Editing fonts

You can manage the fonts used in your online store in the Design menu of the ShopBuilder.

Editing font settings in the ShopBuilder:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The ShopBuilder is opened.

  2. Click on Homepage.
    → The preview area of the homepage is opened.

  3. Click on Design.
    → The menu Design is opened.

  4. Carry out the settings in the Fonts area.

  5. Save the settings.

You can integrate fonts either by providing a Font URL or by uploading a font file. Save a font in the fields Regular font file, Bold font file, Italic font file and Bold-italic font file. These fonts will be used globally in all pages created with the ShopBuilder.

Selecting a client in the ShopBuilder
By selecting a client form the drop-down list, the page preview shows the settings performed for the selected client (e.g. which articles are visible).
Creating a page in the ShopBuilder

The overview of the ShopBuilder offers the possibility of creating and naming pages.

Creating a page:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The overview of the ShopBuilder opens.

  2. Click on Add page.
    → The window Page name opens.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The newly created page is displayed in the overview.

Editing a page in the ShopBuilder

Currently, the overview only enables to edit the name of a page. However, further settings will be available soon.

Editing the name of a page:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The overview of the ShopBuilder opens.

  2. Click on Edit to edit the name of the page.

  3. Enter any desired name for the page.

  4. Save the settings.

Deleting a page in the ShopBuilder

Pages created in the ShopBuilder can also be removed.

Deleting a page:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The overview of the ShopBuilder opens.

  2. Click on Delete to delete the page.
    → The page is deleted.

Every page that is created in the ShopBuilder is automatically linked to the homepage. However, the link can be deleted.

Deleting a link:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The overview of the ShopBuilder opens.

  2. Select the page whose link to the homepage you want to delete.

  3. Click on Create/delete link.
    → The link to the homepage is deleted.

A deleted link of a ShopBuilder page to the homepage can be recreated.

Creating a link:

  1. Go to CMS » ShopBuilder.
    → The overview of the ShopBuilder opens.

  2. Select the page that you want to link to the homepage.

  3. Click on Create/delete link.
    → The selected page is linked to the homepage.

The blue marking indicates that a link exists.

Setting up the navigation bar

Ceres provides you with either a navigation bar with two category levels or a comprehensive mega menu with up to four category levels. Depending on the item catalog, you may have already created your categories. Now set up a suitable navigation for your online store.

Setting up the navigation bar:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Open the Header tab.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 13.

  6. Save the settings.

Table 13. Setting up the navigation bar
Setting Explanation

Position of the navigation bar

Select a position. The navigation bar will be displayed at the selected position in the online store.

Fix the navigation bar at the top of the page

Activate to fix the navigation bar at the top in your online store.

Type of categories rendered in the navigation

Select the category types to be displayed in the navigation bar. You can choose to dispaly content categories, item categories or a combination of both.

Show shopping cart information

Select the shopping cart information that will be displayed in the header.

Category levels in mega menu

Select the number of category levels for the mega menu. The mega menu is a navigational element which can simultaneously display multiple levels as a drop-down menu.

Inactive = The mega menu is inactive and will not be displayed.
2 = Categories of the first and second level will be displayed in the mega menu.
3 = Categories up to the third level will be displayed in the mega menu.
4 = Categories up to the fourth level will be displayed in the mega menu.

Number of categories in level 2

Enter the number of categories to be displayed in the second category level. 30 categories are displayed in the second level by default. Categories will be sorted by position.

Number of categories in level 3

Enter the number of categories to be displayed in the third category level. 3 categories are displayed in the third level by default. Categories will be sorted by position.

Number of categories in level 4

Enter the number of categories to be displayed in the fourth category level. 2 categories are displayed in the fourth level by default. Categories will be sorted by position.

Setting up item lists

Items can be grouped in item lists and highlighted on the homepage of the online store and in the single item view. The following item lists can be set up in Ceres:

  • Cross-selling: Cross-selling items are displayed via Relations in the online store. For further information, refer to the Setting up cross-selling chapter of the manual.

  • Store specials: Lists with new items, special offers, etc. are displayed in Ceres with the help of tags. For further information, refer to the Adding tags to items chapter of the manual.

  • Last seen items: A list of items last seen by the customer is displayed.

Display item lists in a very convenient way in your online store by using template containers. First, create the item list for your cross-selling items.

Creating cross-selling lists:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Click on the Item lists tab.

  5. Select the relationship of cross-selling items under Cross-selling: Cross-selling relation.

  6. Select the Cross-selling option from the First item list drop-down list.
    → A list of cross-selling items with the selected relation is displayed in the online store.

  7. Save the settings.

Link the item list for cross-selling items in the single item view in the online store.

Linking an item list:

  1. Go to CMS » Container links.

  2. Go to the First item list area.

  3. Activate the container Single item: Container for item lists.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The item list is displayed in the single item view of an item in the online store.

Customising the checkout

Customise the display options of the checkout in the Checkout and My account tab. Select the fields to be displayed and validated in the address form.

Customising the checkout:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Click on the Checkout and My account tab.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 14.

  6. Save the settings.

Table 14. Customising the checkout
Setting Explanation

Show invoice address fields in address form (DE)

Select one, multiple or ALL address fields to be displayed in the address form for the country of delivery Germany of the checkout.

Enable invoice address field validation (DE)

Select one, multiple or ALL address fields to validate these fields when entering the address.

Show delivery address fields in address form (DE)

Select one, multiple or ALL address fields to be displayed in the address form for the country of delivery Germany in the checkout.

Enable delivery address field validation (DE)

Select one, multiple or ALL address fields to validate these fields when entering the address.

Activate the form fields and the related validations of the fields for the country of delivery United Kingdom (UK) in the same way.

Setting up the customer area

Adjust the My account area for your customers in the Checkout and My account tab. Additionally, set up returns for your online store in this tab.

Customising the My account area:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Click on the Checkout and My account tab.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 15.

  6. Save the settings.

Table 15. Customising the My account area
Setting Explanation

Number of orders per page in order history

Enter the number of orders to be displayed per page in the order history.

Allow customers to change the payment method

Activate to allow customers to change the payment method after the checkout. If deactivated, any change is impossible.
Note: This setting is selected by default.

Forward to login page after clicking link in order confirmation

Activate to forward registered customers to the login page after clicking the link in the order confirmation. After logging in successfully the order confirmation page will be displayed.
Note: Customers ordering as a guest are not affected by this setting. Guests will be directly forwarded to the order confirmation page.

Entering SEO meta data

In the SEO tab you find settings for optimising your online store for search engines. Here, you control access to your static online store pages by robots.

Carrying out settings for search engine optimisation:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Click on the SEO tab.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 16.

  6. Save the settings.

Table 16. Carrying out settings for search engine optimisation
Setting Explanation

Robots for homepage

Select All, index, nofollow, noindex or nofollow, noindex to control access to the homepage of your online store by robots. Values of the meta element Robots are analysed by search engine crawlers. These values determine how crawlers deal with the page and any links on that page.

All = Include the homepage of the online store in the search engine index and follow links on the page.
Index = Include in the search engine index.
Nofollow = Do not follow links on the page.
Noindex = Do not include in the search engine index.
nofollow, noindex = Do not follow links and do not include the homepage of the online store in the search enginge index.

In the CMS » Multilingualism you can enter meta descriptions for the static pages of your online store. Carry out the SEO settings for the contact page as well as the pages cancellation rights, cancellation form, legal disclosure, privacy policy and terms and conditions in the same way.

Editing the name of the online store and opening times

Enter the name of your online store in the CMS » Multilingualism menu. It is displayed in the header of your online store.

Editing the name of the online store:

  1. Go to CMS » Multilingualism.

  2. Select a language in the Target language area, for which you want to edit the name of the online store.

  3. Click on Header in the Ceres section.
    → The header section expands.

  4. Enter a name in the Name of the online store field.

  5. Save the settings.

If you want to edit the name of the online store for other languages, repeat the steps for the respective languages.

Edit the opening times of your store in the same way. The Opening times field is located in the Contact page section.

Saving legal information

Specific templates for legal information are available in Ceres. You can save and display your legal information in different languages. In the Legal information menu, you can save your terms and conditions, cancellation rights, privacy policy and legal disclosure for your online store.

Entering the terms and conditions in clear text:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Online store » Legal information.

  2. Expand a language.

  3. Click on the Terms and conditions tab.

  4. Click on the Text tab.

  5. Enter the text for your terms and conditions.

  6. Save the settings.

Alternatively, save your legal texts in HTML format. For this purpose, use the features of the HTML editor or enter the HTML as Source code.

Entering the terms and conditions in HTML format:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Online store » Legal information.

  2. Expand a language.

  3. Click on the Terms and conditions tab.

  4. Click on the HTML tab.

  5. If you want to enter your text as HTML code, click on Source code.

  6. Enter the formatted text for your terms and conditions.

  7. Save the settings.

Enter the texts for the cancellation rights, the privacy policy and the legal disclosure for your online store in the desired languages. These texts will be displayed on the respective pages in Ceres.

Saving information about shipping costs

In the Global tab you link a category to display information about your shipping costs in the online store. Create a category of the Content tab first.

Creating a category:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on New category.
    → The Create new category window will open.

  3. Enter a name for the category.

  4. Select the category type.

  5. Click on Create.
    → The new category will be created and displayed in the category tree.

  6. Open the new category in the directory tree on the left.

  7. Select Content from the Type drop-down list.

  8. Activate the Client (store).

  9. Click on the Template tab.

  10. Enter the content that you wish to have displayed in the online store.

  11. Save the settings.

After saving the category settings, the CategoryTemplates plugin will be available in the Plugin » Plugin overview menu. The plugin has to be deployed by clicking the Save & publish plugin button. Then link the category in the configuration of the Ceres plugin.

Linking a category:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.
    → The Global tab is pre-selected.

  4. Click on Search under Category to display shipping information.
    → The Categories window will open.

  5. Select a category to link this category for displaying information concerning shipping costs.

  6. Click on Select.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The category will be linked.

  8. Deploy the plugin Category to display shipping information again.

Displaying the contact form

Display your contact data of your store on the contact page. Here, you also set up the contact form for customer requests. In order to display the contact form, an email address must be specified in the configuration of Ceres. Customer requests will be sent to this address.

Displaying the contact form:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.
    → The plugin overview will open.

  2. Click on Ceres.
    → The plugin will open.

  3. Click on Configuration in the directory tree.

  4. Click on the Global tab.

  5. Enter a email address under Contact form email address.

  6. Save the settings.

You can find further information about the setup of your contact page in the Setting up Google reCAPTCHA and Setting up a Google Maps map chapters.

3.5.5. Setting up the cash in advance plugin

With this plugin, you integrate the payment method Cash in advance into your online store. In order to make this payment method available in your online store, you have to carry out the settings in the plentymarkets back end. In addition, check the settings for Permitted payment methods in the customer classes and for Blocked payment methods in the shipping profiles.

Activating countries of delivery

Activate the relevant countries of delivery for the payment method Cash in advance.

Activating countries of delivery:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Activate the plugin Cash in advance by clicking the globe symbol in the Active column.

  3. Click on Save & publish plugins.

  4. Go to System » Orders » Payment » Plugins » Cash in advance.

  5. Select a client.

  6. Activate the countries of delivery of your online store.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The Cash in advance payment method is available for checkout in your online store.

Displaying the logo of the payment method on the homepage

The template plugin Ceres allows you to display the logo of your payment method on the homepage by using template containers. Proceed as described below to link the logo of the payment method.

Linking the logo with a template container:

  1. Go to CMS » Container links.

  2. Go to the Cash in advance icon area.

  3. Activate the container Homepage: Payment method container.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The logo of the payment method will be displayed on the homepage of the online store.

Displaying the bank details on the order confirmation page

The bank details you saved in the settings are available throughout the entire system. The bank details can also be displayed in the online store.

Saving bank details:

  1. Go to System » Settings » Bank.

  2. Enter your bank details.

  3. Save the settings.

Proceed as follows to display the bank details that are saved in the system as well as a designated use on the order confirmation page.

Displaying bank details:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Activate the plugin Cash in advance by clicking the globe symbol in the Active column.

  3. Click on Save & publish plugins.

  4. Go to System » Orders » Payment » Plugins » Cash in advance.

  5. Select a client.

  6. Enter the Designated use in the Display data area.

  7. Activate the option Show designated use.

  8. Activate the option Show bank details.

  9. Save the settings.

After carrying out these settings, link the bank details with a template container.

Linking the bank details with a template container:

  1. Go to CMS » Container links.

  2. Go to the Cash in advance bank details area.

  3. Activate the container Order confirmation: Additional payment information.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The bank details will be displayed on the order confirmation page.

3.6. Checklist

Use the following checklist to double check the settings. Work through the checklist once you have carried out all of the previously described settings. This will ensure that your plentymarkets system functions correctly.

  • Did you adequately design your homepage?

  • Do the shipping information and shipping costs match the settings in the system?

  • Do the legal disclosure and privacy policy contain all of the necessary information?

  • Read through your terms and conditions carefully and have them checked by a specialist.

  • Place several test orders with different payment methods and shipping settings. Check whether the shipping costs have been calculated correctly by the system.

4. Setting up automatic processes

This chapter provides information about the settings that need to be carried out in plentymarkets to set up automatic processes before you begin actively working with the system. The system then completes these automatic processes in the background.

In plentymarkets, there are four different tools that help you automate tasks:

  • Email templates. plentymarkets uses templates to automatically send emails to your customers later on.

  • Event procedures. Specific events in the online store automatically trigger certain procedures.

  • Procedure manager. Recurring events can be taken care of automatically by the procedure manager and carried out at specific times.

  • Processes. You can only use this menu, if you have installed the tool plentyBase. This menu is intended for experienced plentymarkets users. Processes are therefore not further explained in the quick start.

Learn more about editing a customer data record in the following video tutorial:

4.1. Managing orders

This chapter teaches you how to work with orders in plentymarkets. The goal is to help you understand how automatic processes work and why they are useful.

In plentymarkets, you will see a list of all the orders that were generated on all of the different platforms. No matter where or how a customer purchased an item from you, whether in the online store, on Amazon or in an eBay listing - plentymarkets will always generate a new order in your order folder. You can then edit this order the same way.

Orders all have a status that indicates how much of the fulfilment process has been completed. A new order that contains all of the necessary data but has not been paid for will always receive status 3 - waiting for payment. As soon as the payment is received and has been booked by the system, the status will change to 5 - cleared for shipping. The order can now be prepared and shipped. Once you have shipped the items that the customer ordered and paid for, the order will be completed and set to status 7 - outgoing items booked.

Every order will at least pass through the statuses 3, 5 and 7. However, orders can also pass through other statuses as well. For example, if an order has already been paid for but you do not have the actual item in stock, then status 4 - waiting for stock can be used. If an item has already been cleared for shipping (status 5) but has not yet been sent (status 7), you can use status 6 to indicate that the items are being picked and packed.

If a customer pays for the order with a credit card, the order will only remain in status 3 for a short period of time until the incoming payment has been confirmed and the status is set to 5. The status will be changed directly to 5 instead of 3 if you allow your customers to purchase on account. With this payment method, the outgoing items are shipped with an invoice before the incoming payment is received.

Status options

These status options are especially important when configuring event procedures and the procedure manager.

4.2. Sending emails automatically

In the chapter Initial settings, you learned how to create new email templates and edit existing templates. Now you will learn how plentymarkets sends these email templates automatically.

In the menu System » Client (store) » Standard » Email » Automatic email, you can choose which email template should be sent in specific situations. For example, it makes sense to automatically send the email template Confirmation of a store order whenever an order is placed in the online store. As such, select this email template in the line Order confirmation after checkout. You can also save other specific order confirmations in this menu. For example, for orders that come from eBay, Amazon or other markets. Furthermore, you can select an email template that sends the customer a new password upon request and another one confirming newsletter registration. We also recommend that you create and use the templates Customer registration and Reminder in case of aborted purchase.

Of course, you should only select those email templates you have finished editing and that contain your personal header and contact details. If you have not yet entered the necessary information into a template or if you have not finished creating an email template, keep the default setting do not send.

4.3. Using event procedures to automate routine jobs

Online stores carry out many routine jobs every day. Processing and editing incoming orders is complex and requires a systematic approach. After having received an order confirmation, customers also appreciate additional emails that provide information about the status of their order.

In plentymarkets, many routine jobs can be carried out automatically with the help of the event procedures found in the menu System » Orders » Event procedures. This allows you to operate your online store very efficiently and save time that you can invest in other things.

Two steps need to be carried out to activate an event procedure. First, use various filter options to define an event. Second, decide which procedures the system should carry out when this event occurs. The system will automatically carry out the defined procedure whenever this event occurs in the future.

It is possible to set up any number of different event procedures in plentymarkets. Below, you will find examples for setting up four event procedures that are beneficial to most online stores.

4.3.1. Example 1: Automatically sending the invoice

Set up an event procedure to automatically send the customer an email with the invoice in PDF format as soon as the invoice is generated in the system.

Did you create the document template?

Make sure that you have created a document template including your bank details for the invoices you send.

Setting up an event procedure
  1. Go to System » Orders » Events.

  2. Click on Add event procedure.
    → The Create new event procedure window will open.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Select the Event listed in [table-event-procedure-invoice].

  5. Save the settings.

  6. Carry out the settings described in [table-event-procedure-invoice].

  7. Place a check mark next to the option Active.

  8. Save the settings.

Table 17. Event procedure for automatically sending emails that contain invoices
Setting Option Selection

Event

Documents: Invoice generated

Filter

Order > Order type

Order

Procedure

Customer > Send email

Email template; Recipient

Selecting email template and recipient

Select the email template in the upper selection box. Select the email recipient in the lower selection box. Select further email templates and recipients if needed. If Customer is set as the recipient, all customers who match the filter criteria will receive the email. If Warehouse is selected, the contact person of the warehouse will receive the email. If a certain user is selected, this user in your plentymarkets system will receive the email.

4.3.2. Example 2: Automatically sending the partial payment confirmation

Everyone with a little experience in eBusiness likely knows the following problem: Instead of transferring the correct amount of money, the customer has accidentally paid a lower amount. When this happens, you need to notify the customer and ask him or her to transfer the outstanding amount. In plentymarkets, you can define an event procedure to automatically process such cases without wasting a lot of time or effort.

Setting up an event procedure
  1. Go to System » Orders » Events.

  2. Click on Add event procedure.
    → The Create new event procedure window will open.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Select the Event listed in Table 18.

  5. Save the settings.

  6. Carry out the settings described in Table 18.

  7. Place a check mark next to the option Active.

  8. Save the settings.

Table 18. Event procedure for automatically sending the partial payment email template
Setting Option Selection

Event

Payment: Partial payment

Filter

Order > Order type

Order

Procedure

Customer > Send email

Email template; Recipient

Selecting email template and recipient

Select the email template in the upper selection box. Select the email recipient in the lower selection box. Select further email templates and recipients if needed. If Customer is set as the recipient, all customers who match the filter criteria will receive the email. If Warehouse is selected, the contact person of the warehouse will receive the email. If a certain user is selected, this user in your plentymarkets system will receive the email.

Synchronisation is carried out automatically

When incoming payments are booked, your plentymarkets system compares the amount paid with the required amount and is therefore able to automatically recognise a partial payment.

4.3.3. Example 3: Automatically sending the full payment confirmation for cash in advance

Customers show their trust when they choose the payment method Cash in advance. This is because they are theoretically taking some risk. Therefore, it is understandable that customers who choose this payment method will be somewhat impatient while waiting to hear back from you. We recommend that you set up another event procedure to automatically respond to this payment method.

Setting up an event procedure
  1. Go to System » Orders » Events.

  2. Click on Add event procedure.
    → The Create new event procedure window will open.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Select the Event listed in Table 19.

  5. Save the settings.

  6. Carry out the settings described in Table 19.

  7. Place a check mark next to the option Active.

  8. Save the settings.

Table 19. Event procedure for automatically sending the incoming payment is complete email template
Setting Option Selection

Event

Payment: Complete

Filter 1

Order > Order type

Order

Filter 2

Order > Payment method

Cash in advance

Procedure

Customer > Send email

Email template; Recipient

Selecting email template and recipient

Select the email template in the upper selection box. Select the email recipient in the lower selection box. Select further email templates and recipients if needed. If Customer is set as the recipient, all customers who match the filter criteria will receive the email. If Warehouse is selected, the contact person of the warehouse will receive the email. If a certain user is selected, this user in your plentymarkets system will receive the email.

4.3.4. Example 4: Automatically confirming shipment after package numbers are imported

Online stores have to complete a variety of daily tasks in order to process their orders. The last task is usually shipping packages. The package numbers generated during this process should now be reported back to plentymarkets. This is because the package numbers are used for other event procedures that are necessary for processing orders.

Tip: Automating the import of package numbers

There are several different ways to import package numbers into plentymarkets: You can fill out forms much quicker with the help of a USB scanner. If you process a large number of shipments, we recommend you import these entries from your shipping software into the system.

When package numbers are imported, this next event procedure sends a shipping confirmation, changes the order status to 7 and books the outgoing items from the warehouse, thus updating the physical stock.

Setting up an event procedure
  1. Go to System » Orders » Events.

  2. Click on Add event procedure.
    → The Create new event procedure window will open.

  3. Enter a name.

  4. Select the Event listed in Table 20.

  5. Save the settings.

  6. Carry out the settings described in Table 20.

  7. Place a check mark next to the option Active.

  8. Save the settings.

Table 20. Event procedure for automatically sending the shipping confirmation for order email template
Setting Option Selection

Event

Order change: Package number

Filter 1

Order > Order type

Order

Filter 2

Order > Payment method

Cash in advance

Procedure 1

Order > Change status

[7] Outgoing items booked

Procedure 2

Customer > Send email

Email template; Recipient

Procedure 3

Order > Book outgoing items

Selecting email template and recipient

Select the email template in the upper selection box. Select the email recipient in the lower selection box. Select further email templates and recipients if needed. If Customer is set as the recipient, all customers who match the filter criteria will receive the email. If Warehouse is selected, the contact person of the warehouse will receive the email. If a certain user is selected, this user in your plentymarkets system will receive the email.

Nowadays, nearly all shipping service providers offer customers to track packages online. You already saved a tracking URL while setting up your shipping service providers. Once the package number has been entered, your plentymarkets system has all of the necessary information to send customers a tracking URL for their package. Use this option and make sure that the shipping confirmation email contains the variable $TrackingURL. You should also test the first tracking URLs yourself to ensure that they have been processed correctly and that the customer has all the information.

Tip: Use flags

We recommend that you use flags to help you keep track of the orders in your order folder. You will have to define the meaning of the flags yourself and use them consistently afterwards. For example, you can use an event procedure to assign flag 5 to orders that are partially paid for. Then you will be able to recognise this status right away when you open the order overview later on. Flags can either be saved manually or automatically. Save flags automatically by setting up an event procedure with the procedure type Change flag. These flags can be used to filter (select) orders in event procedures and throughout the entire system.

4.4. Using the procedure manager to automate routine jobs

plentymarkets can automatically carry out certain procedures for you with the procedure manager. Two examples will now be used to explain how the procedure manager works. In the first example, you will learn how to set up automatic eBay feedback. In the second example, you will learn how to configure the automatic dunning process.

4.4.1. Example 1: Automatically posting feedback on eBay

Posting feedback on eBay is a time-consuming, routine job. This is why we are going use the procedure manager to post feedback automatically. Whenever your customer gives you positive feedback, the procedure manager will respond by giving your eBay customer positive feedback as well.

Using the procedure manager to automatically give feedback on eBay:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Events.

  2. Click on the New procedure tab.

  3. Place a check mark next to the option Active to activate the procedure.

  4. Select a time from the Execute every day at drop-down menu.

  5. Enter a Name for the procedure.

  6. Click on the Filter tab.

  7. Select the receive positive feedback option from the eBay drop-down list.
    → All other options are greyed out

  8. Click on the Procedure tab.

  9. Select the give positive feedback option from the eBay drop-down list.

  10. Save the settings.

The procedure has now been set up. However, you still have to write the feedback texts before you can post feedback. Go to System » Markets » eBay » Settings » Tab: Account settings and enter the texts. plentymarkets will randomly select one of these texts, which will keep your feedback from sounding too repetitious.

Entering feedback texts for eBay:

  1. Go to System » Markets » eBay » Settings.

  2. Click on the Account settings tab.

  3. Enter up to four feedback texts in the Automatic feedback area.

  4. Save the settings.

4.4.2. Example 2: Automatically sending payment reminders

Unfortunately, sometimes customers order items on invoice and then forget to pay. In such cases, you should send your customers a reminder email. Use the procedure manager to automate this task.

Automatically sending the payment reminder email template:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Events.

  2. Click on the New procedure tab.
    → A new procedure is created. Note: The procedure is not active yet.

  3. Select the appropriate Dunning level in the Filter tab, e.g. level 0.

  4. Select the email template Payment reminder in the Procedure tab.

  5. Carry out additional settings as desired. Pay attention to the information given in Table 21.

  6. Place a check mark next to the option Active in the Settings tab.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The procedure is active.

Deactivating the function

Remove the check mark next to the option Active and save the settings to deactivate the procedure.

Table 21. Procedure manager; settings for automatically sending the payment reminder email template
Setting Explanation

Settings

Active

Place a check mark to activate the procedure.

Execute every day at

Specify when the procedure should be carried out.

Name

Enter a name for the procedure.
Default entry: The date and time it was created. This will not be displayed to the customer.

Filters

Status

Select [3] Waiting for payment.

Last status change

Select Enter the days and enter a number. For example, 8 means that the last status change was 8 days ago.
This entry is particularly important for reminders or dunning letters. It allows you to ensure that you only include orders that are beyond a due date.
Important: This filter only goes into effect for processes for which a status was saved. It does not go into effect when, e.g., manually booking an incoming payment for which no status has been saved.

Incoming payment

Select OPEN. Only considers orders that have not been paid for yet or orders for which no payment has been booked in the system yet.

Procedure

Send email template

Select Payment reminder.

Change dunning level

The first email should remind the customer to make a payment. The dunning level should be set to level 1. This setting allows you to easily recognise orders that have not yet been paid for, but which have already received a first reminder.

In case your customer fails to pay despite the payment reminder, create another email template that is more strongly worded, e.g. a payment request. Create a new procedure for the second dunning level and use it to send the template. Filter all of the unpaid invoices, i.e. orders that are in status 3. Select a longer period of time in the Last status change field (e.g. 20 days).

Your last option for dealing with unpaid invoices is to hand the orders over to a collection agency. plentymarkets also offers a simple solution for taking care of this automatically.

4.5. Checklist

Use the following checklist to double check the settings. Work through the checklist once you have carried out all of the previously described settings. This will ensure that your plentymarkets system functions correctly.

  • Did you understand how statuses work when processing orders?

  • Did you edit your email templates and enter your cancellation rights, bank and contact details?

  • Did you enter the tracking URL correctly into the Shipping confirmation of order template?

  • Did you use event procedures and the procedure manager to automate routine jobs?

5. Final check

Allow enough time for the final check before activating your system. Check whether your plentymarkets system is fully configured and functioning. Several useful notes and suggestions for testing the online store are given below.

Tip for testing the online store

When testing your online store, do not only rely on yourself. The more people you get to test your online store, the more feedback you will get.

  • Is your homepage informative and does it have an appealing design?

  • Is your website displayed correctly in the most common browsers?

  • Did you create all mandatory pages? Cancellation rights and shipping costs, legal disclosure and privacy policy, bank details and terms and conditions?

  • Are your items logically structured within a category tree?

  • Test the search function and the way that items are displayed individually and in lists.

  • Put items into the shopping cart and test your shipping configurations. Test various regions and payment methods.

  • Are the shipping costs calculated correctly for all combinations?

  • Do the shipping costs that were calculated match the information provided in the category?

  • Is the individual item shipping charge calculated correctly (if it is used)?

  • Have all payment methods been set up and activated?

  • Does the customer receive a complete confirmation after ordering something?

  • Did you add your data to all of the email templates?

  • Did you unlock your online store?

  • Did you deactivate the test mode for email notifications?

5.1. Deactivating the test mode

You also need to deactivate the test mode so that your customers receive the correct emails.

Deactivating the test mode:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Access data.

  2. Set the test mode to Inactive.

6. Putting the online store into Productive mode

Once you have finished configuring your system, you need to put the online store into productive mode so that customers can access it.

Activating plugins and plugin set:

  1. Go to Plugins » Plugin overview.

  2. Select the desired plugin set from the dropdown list in the menu bar.

  3. Activate the Cash in advance plugin in the Active column.

  4. Activate the Ceres plugin in the Active column.

  5. Activate the IO plugin in the Active column.

  6. Click on Save & publish plugins in the toolbar.
    → The activated plugins are checked and the deployment process starts.

  7. Activate the plugin set for your client, by clicking the Publish plugin set button on the left side of the Plugin overview.

Once you have successfully worked through all of these points, you have completed the quick start and have finished setting up your plentymarkets system.

Congratulations and good luck!

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