NopCommerce for Storeowners: How to Manage Products
For any store to be successful there are various needs – an updated inventory, flawless accounting, branding your store, seasonal offers, customer relation skills and so on. An e-commerce store is no different. Having a website is a great first step, but soon you’ll have to pick up some tricks of the online trade to keep moving ahead.
By choosing nopCommerce for your online store, you’ve already made a smart decision. It’s a reliable and dependable platform for your business. Now all you need to do is to use the tools already available on nopCommerce to your advantage. To do just this, we’re taking you, the storeowner through exploratory blogs on how to make the best of nopCommerce.
In our last blog in the series, we discussed the topic ‘How to Manage Orders’. In this blog post, we bring you the lowdown on ‘Managing Products’ in your e-store. As a store administrator, you will need to know all about managing your products. You cannot possibly learn to manage your e-store without knowing how to put up product information and details seamlessly. With this blog learn to navigate your store easily and efficiently, so you can make the best of it.
Import Product Information Data the Right Way
When you set up an online store, one of your major tasks will be updating your website with product information. This is no easy task! It can be time-consuming and tedious unless of course, you learn to use some quick import options available on nopCommerce.
Copy Product Feature
With the ‘Copy Product’ feature you’ll save yourself a lot of time. When you have a limited number of similar products, you don’t have to duplicate your effort in updating product details. Just create one product first, then to add product information to similar products use the 'Copy Product' feature and make any minor changes needed thereafter. In order to do that edit, the product you would like to copy and click on 'Copy Product' button as shown in the screenshot below at the top right corner of the product page.
Once the product is copied specify the new product’s name, then publish it by checking on the ‘published’ box. Copy the product if required as shown in the screenshot below.
After the above step, the product information will be copied, edit the desired section as per your requirements. You’ll be done creating your new product with information.
Import from Excel sheet
If you have a large number of products and the above steps are time-consuming, give the 'Import from Excel' feature of nopCommerce a shot. The best way of doing this is to export one or two products using the ‘Export’ option as shown in the screenshot below at the top corner of the products listing page.
Once the sample excel file is downloaded use the same template to create all your product data. Then simply upload it to nopCommerce in one go using the ‘Import’ option as shown in the screenshot below at the top right corner of the product listing page.
Since import from excel file requires a lot of memory, nopCommerce recommends you use between 500 – 1000 products at a time. If you have lots of products, split your product information into multiple files and upload each file separately.
Keep It Simple, Use SKU
In order to manage your products efficiently you will have to use the SKU or Stock Keeping Unit code. This is simply a unique code that each product or service can be identified with to help you manage your e-store. Matching the SKU code on your excel sheet and your e-store’s system can save you a lot of work in the future. To update or add new information to already imported products, you can make changes on the excel sheet and import all information again. If there is a matching SKU in the system, then the matching SKU product information will be updated instead of creating a new product. If some of the products you imported are not visible in your product list, make sure you are using the unique 'SKU'.
Integrate with Online Marketplaces
To make life a whole lot easier, you can integrate your nopCommerce store with online marketplaces. This means you can effortlessly import product data and prices from sites such as Amazon or eBay if you already have your products on these sites. You’ll save substantial time and effort. To do this, you can take advantage of third-party plugins that facilitate this.
Sometimes when you delete a product and import a new one with the same 'SKU' a new product might not be added. This happens because ‘Delete product’ will only 'Delete' the flag in the database but the product information still exists in the database.
Using Product Attributes the Right Way
Another piece of information that could help you conserve time is the ‘Product Attributes’ tab of the product information. Product attributes refer to descriptive aspects of any product. This can be colour, sizes etc. This is particularly useful when you want to feed in details about a product that is available in variants which you want to make available at different prices. If you want to sell the same product available in different colours at different or additional prices, this section allows you to fill in one base product with information. You can then just add additional price information for multiple products instead of adding each as a new product.
The ‘Specification Attributes’ tab, on the other hand, specifies details of the product that have no impact on the price of the product. These details specify product features of the product visible on screen – such as screen size or number of USB-ports etc. Adding these attributes will make filtering products in the category details page easier.
Basic and Advanced Versions for Product Information
When adding information about a new product or updating information for an existing product, as a storeowner, you have two options to choose from – Advanced or Basic.
The Basic version for product information allows you to feed in elementary details. The product information includes space for the product name, product description, price, dimensions and category of the product. You also have options for product and specification attributes.
In the Advanced version, there are plenty of tabs for product information, inventory details, shipping information and mapping among other things. This version also allows the storeowner to fill in SEO related information. As a storeowner, you can use your discretion to pick between Advanced and Basic mode based on your products. For products that require more details, pick the Advanced version.
Make the best of your online store by using the tools nopCommerce provides. In our future blogs, we’ll discuss other aspects of managing products such as cross-selling, upselling, product reviews, prompts and other features. Do drop us a line if you have any queries related to managing your store better.
Elizabeth Raj | Blogger
Manjunath Govindappa | ASP.NET Technical Lead