PrevE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 13 - Winter 2009Next

New Features in ShopSite 10 sp1

This month sees the release of our new ShopSite 10 sp1 software. Here is a sample of some of the new features you will find in 10 sp1 that will help you get ready for the holiday season:

  • Multiple Image and Thumbnail Support for More Info Pages (Pro, Manager)
    You can now display up to 20 images on your product more info page. These images can be thumbnails that display a larger image as you hover your mouse over them.
  • eBay Turbo Lister Support (Pro, Manager)
    Selling your products on eBay is even easier, as you can now export your products in an eBay Turbo Lister format.
  • Wishlist (Pro, Manager)
    Integration with now provides your customers with access to wish lists and gift registries.
  • Share with Friends (Pro, Manager)
    Formerly called "Tell A Friend", recent integration with allows your customers to share their shopping experiences on popular social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

A complete listing (along with short explanations) can be found at the URL below:

To sign up for a free 10 sp1 demo click here.

Dress Your Site For The Holidays

Use this holiday season as an excuse to decorate your website. There are many changes that you can make on your website to get customers in the holiday gift giving mood and direct customers to great products. Here are some suggestions:

  • Suggest Gift Ideas
    Everybody could use a little help finding that perfect gift. Try adding a few new pages on your website that are loaded with gift ideas. For example, you can do "gifts for her," "gifts for him," "gifts under $25" and more.
  • Add Holiday Graphics
    Spice up your site with a healthy dose of holiday cheer! Festive images on your website will help to promote a gift-giving atmosphere.
  • Use Upsell and Cross-Sell
    The cross-sell feature in ShopSite Pro makes it easy to remind customers of the season's bestsellers or display a list of complimentary items when they make a purchase.
  • Reward the Shopper
    Holiday shopping can be stressful! Thankfully, you can ease that tension and make it a more enjoyable experience by rewarding the shopper. Let your customers know you appreciate their business by offering incentives such as a free gift with select purchases.

Looking for additional ideas? Check out our previous holiday newsletters for more holiday tips.


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Merchant Tip

Question: How can ShopSite make my web site more search engine friendly?

Answer: ShopSite has many features which help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO): static pages, merchant controlled page and product URLs, image alt tags, meta tags, Google sitemap and Google product search.

In this tip specifically, we will focus on controlling the page and product more information page URLs. For those who do not know, the portion of the URL I am referring to is what is called the file name. It is the last part of the URL which tells you what section of the website you are in. Let's look at for example. When I am at the home page, the URL is "" If I were to click the demos tab, the URL would be "" In this case, "demo.html" is the file name for the demos page of the ShopSite website.

Now, why is it important to have control over the file name for the pages on your site? A page with a specific name, related to its content, is more likely to be found by search engines and will produce a higher search result ranking. For example, "demo.html" is a much more descriptive name than the generic, automatically-generated name of "page7.html".

Within the ShopSite back office, the file names for "pages" are set with the File Name field from Pages -> Edit Page. The file names for "product more info pages" are set with the More Info Page File Name field from Products -> Edit Product.

The Support Queue 1

Question: After I installed WordPress, Drupal, or some other CMS (content management system) software on my site (or installed ShopSite on a site that already has WordPress, Drupal, or some other CMS software), I am not able to log in to my ShopSite backoffice admin and instead I see my custom 'page not found' error message. What causes this, and how can I fix it?

Answer: Many CMS systems such as WordPress and Drupal install a .htaccess file in the root of your site that contains various special apache webserver ReWrite rules. These ReWrite rules conflict with the .htaccess file used by ShopSite to password-protect the backoffice, and prevents the password protection from working properly. Adding the following line to the .htaccess file in the ShopSite CGI backoffice directory (usually called 'ss' or 'bo') should resolve this in most cases:

ErrorDocument 401 "Unauthorized

After adding this line to the beginning of the .htaccess file and saving the edits, you should get the regular login prompt again when you go to your ShopSite backoffice URL.

Please Note: all ShopSite stores installed at 10 sp1 and newer will automatically have a similar line in the .htaccess file as a preventative measure, so those stores should not have this issue. Older versions, or 10 sp1 stores that have been upgraded from older versions, will have to have this line added to the .htaccess manually if they experience this issue. Advertisement

Avalara Logo

ShopSite and Avalara have partnered together to deliver on-demand, fully integrated sales and use tax management solutions – saving time, ensuring accuracy, and providing transactional tax compliance.

As the leading provider of sales tax management solutions, Avalara is delivering a broad range of calculation and compliance solutions that removes the tedious work and complexities involved with calculating, reporting, returning, and remitting sales and use tax.

The Support Queue 2

Question: Why is it that some merchants can no longer (since beginning of October or so) validate websites for Google's Webmaster Tools via ShopSite's Merchandising -> Google -> Sitemap function?

Answer: This is due to Google's newly implemented requirement for the file-based validation file to contain specific content. The issue has been resolved in ShopSite 10 sp1, 'however there is a workaround that can be used in older versions of ShopSite where merchants can use the Meta Tag validation method. The following ShopSite Knowledgebase article has been updated to show an example that would put the Google Webmaster Tools site validation Meta Tag in a ShopSite page:

PLEASE NOTE: This does not affect sites that have already been validated in Google Webmaster Tools

Designer Tip

Question: Christmas is coming and I want to know if I can set up my cross sell items to appear on my product pages and not just in my shopping cart.

Answer: Yes! In the new ShopSite Pro 10 sp1 release, you can configure your global cross sell feature so that all of the pages of your website will have cross sell items on them. First, go to Merchandising -> Cross Sell to turn the feature on and set it up. Then go to Pages -> Edit Page Layout. There is a check box there (right above the color boxes) which will tell ShopSite to display your cross sell items on your product pages, too.

With some of the older versions of ShopSite Pro you can set cross sell items to appear either on the product more information page (these you assign under Products -> Edit Product Info), or in your shopping cart (Merchandising -> Cross Sell).

For all you designers out there, the URL below will take you to a page in our Custom Template Cookbook about the template tags for this feature:

Warranty Feed

WarrantyFeed - provides your clients with the best warranties at the best prices. Best of all, you get paid on every warranty sold. WarrantyFeed connects to your ShopSite store and captures your product catalog data, adds warranties to each individual product web page, then imports the completed data back to your store in a matter of minutes without making any other changes your product data. Additionally, WarrantyFeed electronically transmits warranty orders to RepairMaster who then generates a warranty certificate to your buyers via email immediately after the sale.

Industry Articles

Social Media Marketing: Four Steps for Getting Started
"Let's take a moment to map out a cheap and effective social media strategy. Understand that cheap does not mean easy. This will take a dedicated effort and a lot of hours. But those hours could be more valuable than a high-priced advertising campaign."

Conversion: 10 Advanced Techniques to Turn Shoppers Into Buyers
"If you are like most online retailers, roughly 97 out of every 100 visitors leave your site without buying anything. You can spend a lot of money on marketing, but those dollars will be wasted if you can't convert visitors to buyers. There are countless articles that address ways to improve on-site conversion and usability. I think it is time to look beyond some of the basic principles and discuss some of the advanced techniques you can adopt to gain an edge over your competition."

10 Expert Tips to Retain Your New Customers on E-commerce Websites
"Winning new customers is often easier than keeping them! Not too dissimilar to other types of relationships, business or personal, you must work hard to make sure the other party is happy. Retaining customers creates a happy relationship for both parties and should therefore be considered as a key objective for the business. The math is simple, retain more customers to win more returning business."

Recently Added Knowledgebase Articles

The following articles were recently added to the support knowledgebase:

Can't login to ShopSite backoffice after installing WordPress, Drupal, or other CMS software

Can additional META tags be added to ShopSite pages, besides 'Description' and 'Keywords'?

Current Version of ShopSite

Latest Releases:

  • Version 10 sp1 on Linux
  • Version 10.7.2 on Solaris/SPARC and FreeBSD
  • Version 10.7.2 on Windows 2000 and 2003 servers

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

PrevE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 13 - Winter 2009Next