"Using Invisiblegold to create and host my website has been a pleasure. I found it easy and even enjoyable using the program and maintaining my site is simple. Invisiblegold provides a service that is easy enough for someone building a website for the first time to use as well as for the more experience computer user."
Metalsmith (handmade jewelry)
|Invisible Gold includes a shopping cart with the Commerce and Advanced Commerce licenses. While it doesn't have the advanced features of some dedicated carts, it has the features essential to an online store.|
Note: It's a great idea to work with someone who has already setup a Shopping Cart in Invisible Gold. There are a variety of lessons to learn dealing with your website and in setting up an online store.
The cart is enabled right from the start if you have one of the two Invisible Gold Commerce licenses.
Create some Product pages using the product template. The Product Catalog and Gallery templates are a great way to organize products. Also, quite a few sites use Custom Templates that can add products to the Shopping Cart. (event registration forms, custom product types, books, etc.)
Note: There are System Settings that need to be set before the cart can take orders. At the most basic, you need to set the email settings. You might use a separate email address for the person in charge of Orders.
Note: You should also work with your Web designer to ensure that Secure Hosting is enabled if the site takes credit cards. Disabling FTP access will also help secure credit card orders.
Visitors can add Products to the Cart then Continue Shopping, Change Quantities, or Go To Checkout.
The Logos for available payment types (Credit Cards or Paypal) are listed below the cart along with the cart Terms.
The Continue Shopping link can be set in the System Settings. Otherwise, it simply returns to the page they were last looking at.
The "Refresh Quantities" button recalculates the cart value with new values entered into the Quantity box. A user can also click the Delete icon to remove any item from their cart.
The "Go To Checkout" button takes them to the next step to enter their Address.
Exporting Orders for use in other programs is quite easy. Log in as an Administrator and click the Orders button on the left. This will show a list of orders in the system. Click on the Export link in the top right and you will have the option to save a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file.
Each order will be on its own line with the following columns separated by commas:
Ship First Name
Credit Card Number
Credit Card Type
Credit Card Expiration
The Registration system can also work with the Shopping Cart to charge users before creating new User accounts.
For more information, read the Users section.
Basically, it works just like the Registration system, however, after the user creates a new Login and Password, they are prompted to fill in their Address and Payment information. After the Receipt page, they are taken back to a login screen.
Invisible Gold makes it easy to manage an on-line store, but there are a few things to decide before you start selling.
First, you need to understand that there are a lot of different ways to sell on-line. Some people sell on Ebay. Others put up pages of products but require shoppers to call in orders. One very popular option is to set up an on-line catalog of products and a shopping cart to calculate totals and process orders.
Invisible Gold has a shopping cart built-in that handles shipping, tax, discounts, and automatic processing of credit card orders. Note that many businesses choose to process orders by hand, and only later when they are comfortable (and busy) transition to having the site charge credit cards automatically.
It's also important to understand that security on a shopping cart site needs to be tighter. Invisible Gold automatically encrypts all of the data stored on the server - but you also need to encrypt the communications between the website and your customer. You can do this by signing up for an SSL or Secure Certificate. This is what prevents hackers from stealing your clients' credit card information. It also turns on the little padlock symbol on a website. Don't worry. The process process is simple and we'll help you through it.
Finally you need to choose between different payment options: paypal, checks, VISA, MasterCard, etc.
As new Orders come into the system, you should receive emails for each one, or check back regularly to see orders as they come in.
Note: Email is not a foolproof system. It's a good idea to check regularly just in case.
Also: Receiving the orders emails present a slighy security risk. If possible, turn this feature off in the system settings.
|Security and Reliability Concerns|
A Shopping Cart opens up a whole different level of concerns for a website owner. First of all, you need to ensure your clients' privacy.
1) Be sure to delete Orders from your website as soon as they are processed. Even if a hacker compromises the server, they won't get old orders.
2) You need to help ensure that your server is secure. This requires both a strong Administrator password along with secure (SSL) hosting, and no unsecure FTP accounts. Check with your web host if you are concerned about any of these issues.
|Shipping and Taxes|
Taxes are calculated for every Order being shipped to a single state. (presumably the one your business is in.) You can also set individual products to be Tax Exempt. For example, a Gift Certificate would not be taxable.
Note: The field to set a Product as Tax Exempt is not visible until you turn on the Charge Sales Tax option in the cart.
|Shopping Cart System Settings|
In addition to simply editing the Shopping Cart page, (for the text at the top), you can also modify several system settings that affect the way the shopping cart behaves.
Click on the System button at the top of the page (when you are logged in as an Administrator), and then scroll to the Shopping Cart section.
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