When customers select a product or service to customize
- what selections will be available for them to choose from?
- which categories of items will be required, and which will not?
- which items will be exclusive (choose one or the other) and which will not (choose any of the following)?
- which selections will be available in more than 1 unit, if any?
- how will the price change as different selections are picked?
- should there be any “default” selections?
- should you provide customers with instructions on what to select?
ProductCart Configurator has tools that allow you to flexibly answer all of those questions. You will choose which Standard Products and Configurable Items to show on configuration pages in your storefront when you assign products and items to a Configurable Product.
How it works
In the Control Panel, the store administrator allocates existing Standard Products and Configurable Items to a Configurable Product so that customers will be able to view them and select them when they configure and purchase the Configurable Product.
For customers to be able to customize and order a Configurable Product (or save an estimate), two elements have to be in place:
- The Configurable Product itself, which you can think of an empty basket that will include what the customer will add to it.
- Several selectable items that the customer will choose from, which are assigned to the Configurable Product.
Since we have already covered how to add a new Configurable Product to the store catalog, let's now focus on how to assign other products and items to it.
To get started, select Locate a Configurable Product from the "Products > Manage Configurable Products" menu. Find the Configurable Product that you wish to work with, and click on the Configuration link in the top left corner of the page (the link circled in red above). Again, this assumes that you have added at least one Configurable Product to the store catalog. If not, stop here and add it now, and then click on Configuration on the confirmation page.
Because you have not yet specified which options make up this configurable product or service, you will receive the message “This product/service has not yet been configured” (above). Click on the Start Configuration link to start adding items to this Configurable Product or service.
Or, if you wish to copy the product configuration from an existing Configurable Product, a great time-saver is the Copy from another configurable product option. This allows you to quickly create similar Configurable Products. If you opt to use this feature, you will be able to select any Configurable Product that has already been configured and copy its entire product configuration. You can then edit it as you wish.
Configuring the Product
Now start the configuration. The first step to configuring the product is to select a category of items that you would like to add to the configuration page. You will then be able to select one or more items within the category. All the items selected within the category will become available options that the customer will be able to choose from on the Configurable Product configuration page.
You can add unlimited categories to a product configuration, and you can have an unlimited number of selectable items within a category.
Even after you have added a category to the product configuration, you will be able to edit your selection by adding new items, removing items from the category, or removing the entire category from the product configuration.
The steps are:
- Pick a product category
Remember that you can take advantage of Hidden Categories. The selected category name becomes the label for the related set of selectable items in the configuration.
- Select the items that apply
Select the check box to the left of the item(s) that you would like to make available as a configurable option for your Configurator Product. Note that only eligible products within the selected category will be shown. For example, Configurator Products cannot be assigned to another Configurator Product as a selectable option, and therefore are not shown. Products are shown in alphabetical order, sorted by name. This sorting method is used to assign a default order to the selectable options within the product configuration: i.e. by default all products are ordered by name. As mentioned below, you will able to manually edit the sorting criteria when fine-turning the product configuration.
- Enter their prices
You have two options: you can use the regular prices (retail and wholesale) for the selected products or enter new ones.
Defining the User Experience
All of the products and items that you have selected will appear to your customers when they choose to configure this product. How will they be displayed? How can you control the user experience?
- The overall page display settings (e.g. whether options should be shown using drop-down menus vs. radio buttons) are defined using the Configurator Settings page.
- The many category-specific settings are described under Configuration Options.
Once you have chosen all of the items that are going to be available to your customers as options when configuring this product, click on Submit.
You can always come back to this window at any time to add more products from the same category. Of course, you can also remove items that you had previously selected.
After clicking "Submit," you will be taken back to the main Configuration page where you can edit the Configuration Options.
If you'd like to add more products or items from a different category, click on Selectable Items - Add more at the top of the page.