PrevNextE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 24 - Winter 2013

Introducing ShopSite Version 12

Below are a few of the most anticipated features released in ShopSite's version 12:

  • New Responsive Design Themes (Pro, Manager, Starter)
    There are nine new themes in this release, all of which support responsive design. This means they automatically adjust depending on the viewing size of the screen, looking great both on mobile devices or full desktop computers!
  • New Wish List Support (Pro)
    In addition to Wishpot integration, ShopSite now provides an option for merchants to maintain wish lists for customers who have registered.
  • Canada Post and Australia Post (Pro, Manager)
    Real-time shipping rates.
  • Order Management (Pro)
    New features have been added to facilitate order management. You can now bill orders, add order comments, and resend email receipts from the new Manage an Order screen.
  • First Data E4 payment gateway (Pro, Manager, Starter)
  • PayPal Advanced integration (Pro, Manager, Starter)
  • Improved Back Office Help and Support (Pro, Manager, Starter)
    In addition to taking you directly to a help page, the Help button in the back office menu bar now provides a drop-down menu (accessed by hovering over the button) from which you can navigate to the appropriate help page, an "About ShopSite" popup (displays information about your ShopSite installation), our knowledgebase articles, our support ticket system, or our forums.

A complete list of new features can be found at the URL below:

Designer Tip

Question: As a designer, I am interested in adding new v12 features to my existing custom templates. Are there any features in particular I should be aware of?

Answer: Yes. In ShopSite v12 we have added a new Wishlist Feature. This feature will allow registered customers to create, store, and share their wishlists through ShopSite.

If your current custom template already includes the tags for the Wishpot Wishlist Feature, then the main thing you will need to do is add some CSS to the global CSS file. The following cookbook tutorial will provide you with instructions concerning the tags and css for the feature. It will also provide you with files that make it easy to customize the ShopSite wish list pages.

Other new template features include a Packing Slip template and more advanced image tag parameters to allow for responsive design. Check out the new template tags for ShopSite version 12.


Merchant Tip

Question: ShopSite Software Upgrades: Optional or Required?

Answer: Shopsite upgrades are always optional; however, we encourage merchants to always use the latest version of ShopSite. We do this because each new version of ShopSite is developed with the most current PCI standards in mind. Also, ShopSite strives to stay on top of any API changes our integrated partners (UPS, PayPal, etc) may implement.

That being said, there are times when our integrated partners make changes to an API without warning. When that happens, our technicians work quickly to establish a fix. Once the fix has been found, they create a patch for the latest ShopSite release and give the patch to our partners. The patch is announced using the ShopSite Technical Bulletin. Patches and upgrades may also be announced using ShopSite's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Support Queue

Question: I have received the following error in my store when attempting to register the UPS shipping service: "Could not parse the XML from UPS".

Answer: Recently UPS changed the text in their license agreement returned during the registration process to include new characters that ShopSite did not process correctly. After this, all merchants using ShopSite 11 sp2 r5x or earlier would encounter the following error message when attempting to register in ShopSite for the UPS shipping rates service for the first time:

    UPS License Agreement
    Could not parse the XML from UPS.

A ups.cgi patch file has been issued for ShopSite 11 sp2 r5 and 11 sp2 r4 (and the same fix has been included in version 12) that will resolve this problem. If you have ShopSite 11 sp2 r4 or 11 sp2 r5 and are encountering this error, you can ask your ShopSite reseller/hosting provider to apply this patch for you. If you have an earlier version of ShopSite, ask your host to upgrade your store to version 12, which will include this patch release.

Important Announcement Regarding Google Checkout

The excerpt below is from Google's Retiring Google Checkout Announcement:

    "On November 20th, 2013, Google will shut down its Checkout product. Here’s how this may affect you:

    • Merchants selling digital goods may transition to Google Wallet for digital goods
    • Merchants selling through Google-hosted marketplaces (e.g. Google Play) will be unaffected
    • Merchants selling physical goods will need to switch to third-party alternatives (see below)
    This decision was not made lightly—ultimately, we decided our focus is best concentrated on other areas of the payments space. As we begin to sunset this product, you can expect to see a number of changes through 2013:

    DateProduct Change
    May 20th, 2013Last day to sign up for Google Checkout
    November 20th, 2013Last day to charge orders
    November 21st, 2013Last day to ship orders
    November 27th, 2013All outstanding orders will be canceled
    December 20th, 2013Last merchant refunds permitted through Checkout

    We’re committed to helping you remove Google Checkout from your sites, as well as assisting in finding alternative solutions for your payment processing needs. To that end, we’ve addressed many common questions below and throughout the Checkout Merchant Help Center. You can direct questions to our product transition specialists, available 24 hours a day at 1-855-WALLET-6. Thank you for being a user of Google Checkout."

Google goes on to say that they will not be offering a replacement product for Google Checkout. They recommend switching to a new payment processor as soon as possible to avoid disruption of your business. ShopSite integrates with a number of payment processors and gateways and we will be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have.

Doba Logo

Looking for access to wholesale products to sell online? ShopSite has integrated with Doba, the leading wholesale drop shipper in the industry. With our Certified Integration with Doba’s database of over a million wholesale products, listing products and fulfilling customer orders are quick and easy. Doba connects you to hundreds of wholesale distributors, manufacturers, and craftsman who are willing to drop ship their inventory for online sellers. Sign up for your free membership to Doba today!


Industry Articles

Brands Expected to Respond Within an Hour on Twitter
"The next time you think about putting off a response to that tweet your brand just received on Twitter – or not responding at all – think again. According to research put out by Lithium Technologies, more than 70 percent of users expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 53 percent want a response within the hour."

Five ways niche ecommerce sites can beat Amazon
"While these larger sites certainly have both marketing and SEO advantages: fast delivery, aggressive pricing, enormous SEO budgets, big brand preference from Google, an easier time adding or removing links, it’s important for niche site marketers to recognize that, in certain aspects, they can have an edge."

Customer Service Key for Ecommerce; 6 Pointers
"As ecommerce business owners, we tend to think in terms of policies, inventory, and operations. But the most important part of our businesses is customers. A customer-centric organization considers how every decision will impact the customer experience."

Recent ShopSite Blog Articles

The following articles were recently added to the ShopSite Blog:

Top 5 eCommerce Posts for October
Top 5 eCommerce Posts for September
Top 5 eCommerce Posts for August

Global Shopex Logo

Global Shopex allows a US based company to capture payment from and accept international orders from over 200 countries. You'll be set up to process the international orders no differently than you would a USA order.


Recent Knowledgebase Articles

The following articles were recently added to the ShopSite Knowledgebase:

Error "Could not parse the XML from UPS" when attempting to register the UPS shipping service
May 2, 2013 email from WorldPay regarding changes to transaction URLs as of May 30, 2013

Current Version of ShopSite

Latest Releases:

  • Version 12 on Linux
  • Version 11 sp2 r5 on FreeBSD and Windows (2003 and 2008 (32-bit)

To upgrade your ShopSite store, contact your authorized ShopSite reseller hosting partner.

PrevNextE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 24 - Winter 2013