PrevE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 29 - Winter 2016

Improve Relationships with Your Customers!

Improve Customer Relations With Responses To Reviews

The ability for shoppers to provide product reviews have been in ShopSite since 11sp2. They are an important marketing tool. With 61% of shoppers reading reviews before making purchases, it provides a way for potential customers to check out product reliability and quality of service before spending any of their hard-earned money. This is great way to spread word-of-mouth experiences to your customers. Sometimes customers have a less-than-stellar experience. Perhaps they received a defective product? Maybe there was a clerical error and they didn't get what they wanted? Whatever the case may be, the customer decides to voice their unhappiness through a review on the merchant's site. Now what?

With our latest release, merchants can now respond directly to the reviews provided by shoppers. Can't a merchant just delete the negative review? Merchants can delete or otherwise disapprove and hide any review. Doing so might eliminate the negativity, but it may exacerbate the situation, too. The customer may feel they are being silenced, and lash out with an increase in attacks and negative publicity. By engaging with their customer, a merchant can do a couple of things at once.

First, they can try to address the unhappy customer's concerns. This can be as simple as acknowledging the legitimacy of the customer's grievance. Perhaps a refund or exchange is warranted? A thoughtful response can provide positive feedback to the customer, along with the feeling that a merchant does care about the customer. This goes beyond the original customer, too. For one, the customer can relay the positive experience and recommendation to their circle of friends. Additionally, others reading the reviews can see that the merchant is willing to take care of the needs of their customers. What an incentive!

ShopSite Review Example

To respond to a review in ShopSite 12sp3, navigate to the Product Reviews page in the back office (Merchandising Tools -> Product Reviews). There is a new link under the text of a review to "Write a response". Click that link to open a text box with which to write the response.

Write A Response To A Review

You can use HTML in the response, if desired. When you finish, click "Save response". You'll need to regenerate and publish the store to have the response show up on your site.

Review Response Appearance Example

Additionally, you can email the reviewer directly by clicking on the reviewer's name from the Product Reviews page. This can be useful when you wish to further engage with the reviewer, such as getting more information about their experience or to send a coupon (which we described in the last newsletter).

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Designer Tip

Designer Tip

Question: What is a good format for the merchant response to product reviews?

Answer: In ShopSite v12 sp3 the ability for merchants to respond to reviews was added, so if you are using a custom template you will want to format the merchant response to fit the look and feel of your store. It is suggested to make the merchant response look different from the regular review, and to assume a similar format to comments within blog posts or on social media sites. The CSS below will indent the merchant response, as well as add a gray background to the merchant response.

<style type="text/css">
span.review_response_header {
  display: block;
  font-size: 80%;
  text-indent: 40px;
  color: #888
span.review_response {
  display: block;
  margin-left: 40px;
  padding: 10px;
  background: #F6F6F6;
  border-radius: 2px
Support Queue

The Support Queue

Question: I'm trying to add or update my PayPal API Certificate in my ShopSite's PayPal Express Checkout and/or PayPal Website Payments Pro configuration, but whenever I try to save the new certificate I receive the error 'Missing or incomplete Digital Certificate'. What can I do to add or update my API Certificate?

Answer: PayPal recently changed the text delimiters for the private key in the certificate they generate from:


This causes ShopSite to no longer recognize it as a valid key. ShopSite 12 sp3 and newer will recognize both the old and new formats as valid. If you have ShopSite 12 sp2 r4 or older and are receiving this error message, options are to 1) add the 'RSA' text to the begin and end delimiters for the key, or 2) upgrade to ShopSite 12 sp3, or 3) switch to the API Signature method of authentication instead of the API Certificate method (note that you will first have to remove the API Certificate in your PayPal API Access settings in order to generate the API Signature, both methods can't be active at the same time in the same PayPal account).

Note that the new API Certificates generated by PayPal expire after 3 years, so switching to the API Signature method if you can may be the best solution.

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Merchant Tip

Merchant Tip

Question: It seems like every week I'm seeing new reports of online accounts getting compromised. I know security is important, but it seems like ShopSite is prompting me to change my password every couple of months. How often should I be changing my ShopSite password?

Answer: There are standards for online business with regards to storage and handling of credit card information. In general, it is called being PCI compliant. As part of that standard, PCI compliance requires that passwords are changed at least every 90 days. The user accounts on ShopSite are set by default to meet such compliance through the Configure Users interface. (Utilities -> User Accounts -> Configure) While not a foolproof method, sticking to PCI standards will help to protect your data from online thieves. Changing those settings is not recommended.

Industry Articles

Viewing your Customer's Cart from a Contact Form
"Customers don't always provide enough details to answer their question on the first attempt, so wouldn't it be great to see what they have in their shopping cart?"

The Art of Email Sign-Up - 18 Dos and Don'ts
"According to Marketing Sherpa, email is consumers' preferred method of communication with business, eclipsing social media. Research by Econsultancy cites 20% of sales can be attributed to the email channel, and McKinsey found email is once, twice, forty-times as effective as Facebook or Twitter."

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ShopSite Ecommerce Blog

Recent ShopSite Blog Articles

The following articles were recently added to the ShopSite Blog:

More Enhancement Nuggets in ShopSite v12 sp3
"Now let’s cover some more of those smaller enhancements that sometimes are a big deal to merchants."

Litle Enhancement Nuggets in ShopSite v12 sp3
"Yes, there were some big enhancements in ShopSite’s recent version 12 service pack 3 (sp3) release. [...] But what about those less touted enhancements that for some merchants are more important than the big stuff?"

Top E-commerce Posts for October

Recent Knowledgebase Articles

The following articles were recently added to the ShopSite Knowledgebase:

Current Version of ShopSite

  • Version 12 sp3 r1.2 on Linux and FreeBSD
  • Version 12 sp2 r4 on Windows (2003 and 2008 (32-bit))

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

PrevE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 29 - Winter 2016