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Tips to Increase Holiday Sales

The holiday shopping season is upon us. For many merchants this is the busiest time of the year. Once again we will highlight ShopSite features that merchants can take advantage of to increase their sales. We will not be repeating ideas that we've covered in previous holiday editions so be sure to check them out since they are still valid:

Holiday Newsletter 2004
Holiday Newsletter 2003

  • Gift Certificates - Don't know what to purchase Mom, Dad, Junior, or even Aunt Amy but you know they'd love something in this store? Then get them a gift certificate so that they can get their perfect gift which they will not want to return! Many gift certificate redeemers spend more than the original certificate! You not only make a sale you might have lost and get to keep the funds until the certificate is redeemed but you also get additional money when the certificate is used! In ShopSite Pro v7.1 and greater you can sell both e-mail certificates and printed gift certificates that you mail to recipients.
  • Rewards - Special deals are great attention grabbers. Shoppers love to get something for free even if they have to buy something to get that free item! ShopSite Pro v8.0 added a Rewards feature. You can reward loyal customers and encourage new customers with rewards such as "Buy any 3 Harry Potter books and get another 1 free" or "Purchase any 10 DVDs and get a free DVD player". Rewards can be set up to only apply to the current order, or over time for registered customers. The merchant tells ShopSite what products apply to qualify for a reward and then what product or products the shopper can select from for their free reward. The merchant can decide to have the qualifying products and reward come from the same group of products or from separate groups.
  • Tell A Friend - If Sally finds the ideal gift while browsing your site she can click the Tell A Friend link and send the relevant product information along with a link to the Store page directly to mom or grandma! In ShopSite Manager or Pro (v8.0) Turn on the Tell A Friend feature and ShopSite can automatically add it to all your ShopSite generated pages and product More Info Pages (using the Elite or Awesome Orange themes). This is a great way to allow non-technical visitors to send an acquaintance an E-mail containing a short message and a link to the page.
  • PayPal Website Payments Pro - Because there is a big increase in shoppers during the holiday season it is helpful to accept a variety of Payment options. Don't lose a sale because you did not accept the payment method of choice for your shopper. ShopSite has supported PayPal since version 6.3. And now in v8.0 the newest PayPal version is also available! Besides making some shoppers feel more secure by using the newest PayPal merchants that previously did not directly accept credit cards can now do so with PayPal Payments Pro.

Store Profile -

The first Village Hat Shop store was opened May 2, 1980, selling only cowboy hats. Business was good for that first year, but suddenly people stopped buying western style hats. This forced the company to expand its horizons. In time, they changed the store décor, the signs, the logo, the business cards and letterhead, but most importantly they changed the inventory. What was at one time a store filled with umpteen variations on a single theme, was now a real hat store. Hats for men and women and children, in felt and straw and leather. After a number of years happily plugging along in a single store, they began to expand a bit. Always in pursuit of "harmony and not quantity." They opened a second location 15 minutes away from their first. By 1997 there were four stores all throughout California. Eventually, they bought their own building to sell their hats in. This new building was ideal in that, now they wouldn't need to pay rent, but it was in a location that did not get as much foot traffic. They needed to figure ways to generate sales, and began exploring the World Wide Web (increasingly now being called the Internet). Well, what became of all this can be seen at

One thing that is unique about the is that they have created a website where they can sell their hats online, and they have also provided the shopper with information about hats. From Books on Hats, and 'Hats in Art History', to a 'Hat Glossary' and 'Hat Facts'. They also provide 'Hat Blogs' and 'Mode in Hats'. They have come up with a way to have content management within ShopSite using custom product templates. Fred Belinsky writes, "From the start, we wanted to be more than just a place on the Internet to buy hats. But rather, we wanted to be 'the' hat portal on the web. We continue to add hat information, hat history, etc. as you can see. Lately our 'Hat Blog' has allowed us to keep more current. Early on we figured out that we could use ShopSite's 'Products' and 'Pages', create a custom template and simply add this informational content. We added content consistent with the small and large fields available."


Dydacomp Mail Order Manager (M.O.M.) - Process all of your ShopSite orders with Dydacomp's Mail Order Manager software. Designed for any size and type of business and budget, M.O.M. provides the total automation solution for B-to-B, B-to-C or a combination of both. So whether you take orders exclusively through ShopSite or through a variety of online and offline channels, M.O.M. provides all the basics plus an incredible array of direct marketing features that always keep you ahead of your competition.

Merchant Tip

"I have been looking around and haven't seen much information on, or many individuals using, subproducts. Is there a way to use subproducts effectively in my store?"


There are 2 different ways that it can be considered. The true subproduct (or the way the Subproduct feature was originally designed to work in ShopSite) would be something like an Asprin where the main product is called Asprin and can't really be ordered and the sub products would be bottle of 50, bottle of 100 etc and each of those can be ordered. So on the store page you would have them listed this way.

Aspirin (description)
bottle of 50 $2.00
bottle of 100 $3.50

It is also possible to create a template that shows the subproduct in a dropdown list instead of listing each out individually.

The second scenerio is really a cross-sell where the main product can be purchased and the subproduct are just items that go along with it. For example if you are selling a printer you may also want to list a magenta, cyan, yellow and black ink cartridge to go with it. In this case you would want the main product to be orderable as well as all the subproducts. The default templates won't allow the main product to be orderable unless the it is assigned as a subproduct of itself. Also by default in the shopping cart the product name of a sub product is show as 'Main product: subproduct' which may not be the way you would want it since a subproduct may not really be related to the main one. This can be turned off under Commerce Setup > Order System > Shopping Cart.

-Jim S

Submit a Tip

Do you have a marketing or ShopSite tip you'd like to share with other merchants? If so, submit it to

The "Support Queue"

Q: I have ShopSite Pro and have the Customer Registration feature enabled in my shopping cart. Can I or how do I add links to the Customer Registration feature's login and signup screens to my own HTML pages or to my own HTML in the header or footer of ShopSite-generated pages so that my customers can register or sign-in directly from those pages?

A: This is possible with ShopSite Pro v7.1 and newer.

You cannot simply copy the register and sign-in links from the shopping cart screen (the links that go directly to registration.cgi) and place these on other pages, if you do you will have very inconsistent results.

To get proper Customer Registration links that will work from your own pages/custom HTML, go to Commerce Setup > Customer Registration > Configure and look down in the bottom in the 'Customer Registration Link' box. You do not have to use the entire JavaScript function that is listed in this box, if you just want the links (which go through order.cgi with specific function parameters) you can find them in the JavaScript and use them in your own HTML. An example of what a link to register a new customer might look like is:*26b0febd74bec34f11ea0800b8a7e013f8586d9fe4&html_reg=html

An example of what a link to sign-in an already-registered customer might look like is:*26b0febd74bec34f11ea0800b8a7e013f8586d9fe4&html_reg=html

To see an example of a store using this feature, visit

Industry Articles

Merchant Secrets for Driving Converstion - Part 1

"While many conversion-boosting techniques are highly situational, based on a specific category or season — some factors are universal, including On-Site Search, Prices, Streamline Shopping Cart, Attractive Assortment, Anything Free, Good Navigation, and The Product Page."

Small-Town Shops Bulk Up on the Web

"The Internet has taken small family-owned business and allowed then to compete on a national level while contributing to the redevelopment of their own communities."

Stone Edge logo

Stone Edge Technologies
Product Manager for ShopSite - Manage products and pages off-line using Windows forms. Order Manager for ShopSite - Advanced order management, fulfillment, and inventory control. Order Status System - Give your customers up-to-the-minute information about their orders, including tracking numbers with live links to UPS, Fedex, USPS and other shippers.
See our website for other ShopSite modules.

Knowledgebase Articles

The following article was recently added to the support knowledgebase.

S5509: Broken Images for Add to Cart Buttons on Search Results Pages

Current Product Information

Most recent release of ShopSite:

  • Version 8.0.2 on Linux, Solaris/SPARC, Windows Server 2000 and 2003, FreeBSD or BSDI servers.

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

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