Tips and Tricks When Getting Started

Tips and Tricks

Below are some very handy things to do and turn on when setting up your Americommerce Spark Pay Online Stores storefront.  Please take a look, these are here only to help you get started using the product.

Capture your abandoned carts
Pay attention to your abandoned carts list and click on view session on each one to determine their click path to see if you can streamline it.  Also setup the abandoned cart automatic emails which attempt to immediately recapture any abandoned sales.  Use these tools to determine if your prices are too high or if something is missing.  Ask questions to your customers in the email to garner their feedback.

Use built-in custom urls and url redirecting
You can supply any url you want to any page in your catalog using custom urls.  This is great for SEO purposes and allows you to keyword stuff your url's and gives you full control.  URL redirecting is another technology built in that allows you to put in old urls and redirect/rewrite them to a new url, which is great for moving over existing sites to our platform and highly recommended.  Read more here

Site Merges are your friend
It's like a mail merge, we replace it with content and functionality. These can be put anywhere on your site in html areas, descriptions and much more.  Some are applicable across the board, and some only on the specific page.  Such as ##PAGETITLE## can be used to put the page title in your content area as well.  Read more here

Use LiveDesign to Edit Front End
LiveDesign is a way to interact with your front end directly and edit it while you browse.  It is a way to jump right where you need to edit and see those changes reflected immediately.  You can go into LiveDesign mode by clicking LiveDesign on the Admin Toolbar that is at the top of the site when logged in, or by clicking Preview Site from the store menu in the administration console.  Read more here

Turn on our "set it and forget it" product feeds
Sites like Yahoo! Shopping, Froogle and Shopzilla get millions of customers a day, why not have your entire catalog show up on these sites and get those sales?  Usually this is very difficult to keep up-to-date, but with Americommerce Spark Pay Online Stores you just supply your username and password and we update your feeds every single night automatically.  You simply maintain your catalog, we take care of the rest. 

Custom Layouts when you need complete control
Sometimes you just need complete control over the layout of your site or just certain pieces of it like a product list.  Custom layouts let you put raw html and our "Site Merges" in any form or layout you like.  It's a very powerful way to gain complete and utter control of the look of the front end while maintaining the advanced catalog, pricing and other pieces of the system.  Read more here

Snap-ins make the site
These are controls that do specific things on your site.  All pages can have a snapin put on them and each one houses their own piece of functionality.  Some examples are category lists, link lists, sale items and more. Read more here

Think Inheritance Overrides
We try to give the most flexibility possible, so in many places you have global settings that can get overridden by store based settings and further overwritten by your categories and products.  Same for stuff like store text and themes which start with an Americommerce Spark Pay Online Stores default and allows you to override them.

Store level overrides help you differentiate
Use these overrides to differentiate your stores from each other, making each one look, act and feel completely differently with completely different text and content.  This is great for your customers, your SEO and for maintaining it all.

Use external files to manage content
An interesting concept is the ability to "include" content from external files from any server into your site thru the use of the ##EXTERNALCONTENT ## merge and other techniques.  Once this content is referenced, you can update it with 3rd party software such as dreamweaver, expressions, frontpage and more.  Read more here

Using Store Text to change areas
The store text module under themes allows you to change key labels and text across your site that would normally just be system text dictated by the software.  Stuff like the words "Address" or "Price" can be changed to be anything.  Other more important areas are the text that shows when a cart is empty, shipping rules and more, all of which are overrideable.  This module is also where multilanguage facilities start and can easily be used to change out the language of your store back and forth between languages.

Think Modular, we did
When working in Americommerce Spark Pay Online Stores , we have seperated things into logical blocks, so try to think about the function of something and how it can be reused in many spots.  We have pulled out form from function in the themes area.  We have also split store based settings from global settings since we are geared towards multiple storefronts.  Basically when thinking about where to change an area of your store think about where it would be most reusable and that is likely where to visit.  Store, Global, Theme, Catalog, Customer, Order, etc.

Take orders without gateways
At times customers do not want to setup gateways, merchant accounts or they may already have a manual credit card machine.  If you like you can still take credit card orders without running through a gateway service and manually enter them.  You can even use services such as PayPal, Google and other express payment services.

Build Add To Cart Links for Blogs, Emails and Static Sites
Frequently you need to sell products from static sites, emails, blogs, newletters and more and need a way to take them right to the product or cart.  You can use our Add To Cart Link Generator to build buttons that you can paste in these spots to have those items automatically show up in the cart.  Read more here

Use AdCodes to track your traffic and sales
Want to know how many people clicked on your newsletter links, your pay per click ads or your link partners?  AdCodes are the answer...use these to track traffic, sales and even do interesting things like give discounts for certain adcodes.  Read more here

We hope these tips and tricks help you to get started with Americommerce Spark Pay Online Stores and allow you to realize your store's full potential.  If you have any questions, you can count on us to be there when you need us.

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  • Avatar

    I would love to read more on some of these subjects but when I click on them it sends me to a blank page. Is this just me or is this a universal issue?

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    Ira Saunders

    You are not alone. The MORE does not work for me either.

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    Lucas Lovett

    Sorry about that Marie and Ira! However, this article has been updated, all the links are working now. 

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