PrevE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 18 - Summer 2011Next

Introducing ShopSite Version 11

ShopSite version 11—which was released June 1, 2011—has been audited and certified as being PCI compliant (click here for more information). Below are summaries of a few of the new features:

  • User Accounts (Pro, Manager, Starter)
    You can now manage and track individual user access to the back office. Pro stores can additionally restrict individual user permissions as needed to specific roles.
  • Reports Redesign (Pro, Manager, Starter)
    The Reports feature has received a significant overhaul, both in ease of use and power. Everything from sales and inventory to coupon and gift certificate use can be examined and charted.
  • Notes for Order Processing (Pro, Manager)
    Now you can annotate the orders to provide special instructions to those handling the orders.
  • New Navigation Menus for Stores (Pro, Manager)
    There are three new navigation menu options for store navigation.
  • Constant Contact (Pro, Manager)
    Constant Contact support allows you to manage your email and newsletter lists and campaigns for effective marketing to your customers.
  • Facebook Store (Pro)
    Allow your customers to shop for select products while visiting your company Facebook site.
  • Facebook Connect for Customer Registration (Pro)
    Allow your customers to use their Facebook account to register with your store.

To see the full list of new and improved features, visit the URL below:

New User Accounts Feature

One of our most exciting new features for the version 11 release is User Accounts. If you are working with other people to help manage or run your online store, you can each have your own login account. Now you no longer need to share your password information to a third party that may at some point need access to your store.

ShopSite Pro takes this a step further with a feature we call User Roles. This feature gives you the ability to limit the information which can be accessed by any additional accounts you create.  For example, if you have a third party designing your website you can limit them to view and edit only website content. Help documentation regarding this feature, the various roles, and what can be accessed will be found at the URL below:

Merchant Tip 1

Question: I want to set up tax by zip code. What do I need to do?

Answer: There are a few steps you will need to follow:

  1. Go to Commerce Setup > Tax and select "Use ZIP Code to determine sales tax." Then click Configure.
  2. Check the Use box by whichever tax zones you will be using, or you can create your own.
  3. Fill in the Tax rate box with the appropriate percentage.
  4. At the top of the page, check the box to "Apply tax to selected countries" and save your changes.
  5. Go to Commerce Setup > State and Countries.
  6. Under Countries, check "Use" and "Zip Code Tax" for the appropriate Countries.
  7. Save your changes and Publish your store.

Please note:  Tax requirements vary by city, state, and country. Check with the appropriate official in your area to see how you should handle sales tax for your online store.

Another thing to be aware of is in ShopSite version 10 sp1, ShopSite added an integration with Avatax for real-time tax calculations. So, if you do not wish to manage your own table, you may wish to look in to an account with Avalara (the owner of Avatax). Click here to go to the Avalara website.

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Merchant Tip 2

Question: I have called in to customer support but I am still having a hard time understanding how to set up a particular feature in ShopSite. What do I do?

Answer: If you have called in and spoken with a technician but are still a little unsure of what to do in ShopSite, then you are probably a visual learner like me. Luckily for you, ShopSite's in-house designer is tirelessly working to provide new video tutorials to help show how to set up our most popular features. Our designer has also been updating many of the original tutorials so that they use the newest ShopSite version. Some of the newest tutorials which have been added to our list are:

Page and Product Defaults
Navigation Menus
Facebook Store
Advanced Ordering Options

One more thing to be aware of is our tutorials can now be found in two places on the web:

The Support Queue

Question: I have a ShopSite store set up to use the real-time shipping rates provided by UPS which was working but as of approximately 12 April 2011 shoppers get a message in the shopping cart similar to: "UPS Message: UPS OnLine Tool unavailable; try again later." What can I do?

Answer: This issue is occurring now for some ShopSite merchants because UPS recently made changes to their SSL certificate for the domain Not all ShopSite merchants using the UPS integration have been affected. The same error may also be encountered when attempting to register (or re-register) to use the UPS feature in the ShopSite backoffice.

Changing the domain name that ShopSite connects to for the rate quotes to resolves this issue. The default UPS domain has been changed to this new domain name in Shopsite 11 (currently available for Linux and FreeBSD server platforms), so one option to resolve this issue is to upgrade your ShopSite to version 11 or newer.

If you have ShopSite 8.3.1 through 10 sp2 r2 and cannot upgrade to version 11 at this time, the domain used by ShopSite for UPS rates can be changed by editing the shipdata.aa file in the store's ShopSite Data Directory and adding the following line (note that this value is not already in the shipdata.aa file by default, you are adding this as a new line):


Note that this solution only works for ShopSite 8.3.1 and newer. If your ShopSite application is older than v8.3.1 you will need to upgrade your ShopSite version first. Contact your ShopSite reseller (generally your hosting provider) to request an upgrade.

If you do not have access to edit the shipdata.aa file in your store's ShopSite Data Directory, contact your ShopSite reseller (generally your hosting provider) about making this change for you.

If you are not currently hosted with a ShopSite reseller, please fill out the following form to contact ShopSite for upgrade and support options:

Live Person

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  • 20% increase in conversion rates
  • 35% increase average order values
  • 85-90% customer satisfaction rates

Shopsite customers now save 20% on LivePerson - Try it now!

Designer Tip

Question: With the release of version 11, what new information do I, as a designer, need to know?

Answer: As a designer, you will want to be aware of the new template tags which version 11 will be using. Those tags can be found here:

Just a reminder, other designer resources can be found at the URL below:

Industry Articles

Emphasize Key Details for Effective Product Descriptions; 5 Pointers
"In general, people despise having to sift through long lines of text to find the information they believe pertinent. By calling out key details, shoppers can more quickly make a decision."

How to succeed in a world of failing small businesses
"Right now, you should be extremely excited about your future.  Even if things are bad, really bad, you are NEVER more than 1 idea away from turning it around."

3 ways to grow your business - Part 3
"In this last segment, we will look at how to get your current customers to buy more from you, also known in the marketing world as up-selling and possibly cross-selling."

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!

Recent ShopSite Blog Entries

The following articles were recently added to the ShopSite Blog:

Why ShopSite Traffic Reports has Moved to Google Analytics
"Even though ShopSite supported Google Analytics for tracking web site traffic and analysis, ShopSite also had its own limited site traffic reports that a Manager or Pro merchant could use.  Now with ShopSite v11, the reporting feature has been rewritten to focus on sales tracking and analysis; site traffic for new installations will be tracked exclusively via Google Analytics.  So why the switch?"

ShopSite and Google Product Search
"If you are using ShopSite Starter, then you only have a few products, so you can quickly and easily enter your products into your Google Product Search account by hand.  But if you have many products, both ShopSite Manager and Pro make it simple to submit your products to Google.  In ShopSite, go to Merchandising > Google Services > Product Search and click the Configure button."

When to Upgrade
"You may think that the 'if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it' mindset is the way to go.  But by doing so, you will miss out on new features and probably better performance.  And perhaps that is ok for you.  But what happens if it does break because of a software flaw that had been patched in an update?  Is being down for a day or several days acceptable?  Two recent situations illustrate how being on an older version may cause your store to go down or be down longer than desired as a result of the actions of 3rd parties."

Recent Knowledgebase Articles

The following articles were recently added to the support knowledgebase:

Beginning about 12 April 2011: shopping cart error message "UPS OnLine Tool unavailable"

Blank page in ShopSite Setup Wizard or in Preferences > Themes (Internet Explorer 9)

April 2011 email from Google Product Search regarding new requirements for data feeds (unique identifiers, tax, shipping)

March 2011 email from Google Product Search regarding deprecation of the Google Base API

Can't get USPS international or First Class Mail rates in cart as of January 2nd, 2011 (USPS service names changed)

Can't complete an order in ShopSite 5.x as of January 1st, 2011 (thankyou.cgi Internal Server Error)

Current Version of ShopSite

Latest Releases:

  • Version 11 r1 for Linux and FreeBSD
  • Version 10 sp2 r2 for Solaris and Windows 2003/2008

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

Get The Latest ShopSite News

Whether you like to get emails, read RSS feeds, follow on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook, you can always keep up-to-date with the latest news, tips and trends of ShopSite and E-commerce.

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PrevE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 18 - Summer 2011Next