01548 856583 enquiries@aspidistra.com


The sell on account feature in Shopfront allows businesses to facilitate trade accounts on their site which allows orders to be directly placed into Sales Order Processing within their Sage account. Instead of trade customers having to go through standard payment processes each time they make an order, Sell on Account allows them to place […]

Trade customers registered with a site will have the ability to see their individual negotiated price plans as they shop. Product price plans and discount details are updated from Sage and will update details of products on the site provided the user is logged in. Where you are using quantity discount breaks then these break […]

Accounts will have agreed periods in which a balance on an account is due to be paid. Some systems can introduce a discount for balances that are paid on accounts if the payment is received early. Shopfront will apply this early settlement discount if it is configured. If the order is placed on account then […]

It is common practise for Business to Business sites to show prices exclusive of VAT as most businesses will reclaim any VAT on their purchases. Shopfront is by default configured to show all prices for logged in B2B users to be exclusive of VAT. This can be altered if required. If your site is also […]

Some businesses want to be able to add incentives for placing orders online. Discounts can be applied on top of existing product discounts. This can be particularly useful when introducing B2B ecommerce where you might give an extra 1% discount to all customers ordering online for the first 6 months.

Trade accounts have the ability to view their current balance through the ‘My Account’ section of the website. This shows the invoiced balance and does not take account of pending orders.

If you use credit limits in your business these can also be applied on the web site. There are a number of ways this can be used. The most common is to accept the over credit orders but have the credit control department notified by email so that they can discuss the order. Alternatively the […]

Your customers will be able to see their outstanding invoices and the amount owing on each. From this page they can pay off one or more of those invoices by credit card. They can also make a payment on account without paying a specific invoice. When the payment is taken Shopfront will make all the […]

The customer will be able to see his complete order history from the accounting system not just those placed online. He can view each order to see what is contained. He can also ‘repeat’ the order which will add all the items in that order to the current basket with the same quantities, or add […]

When an account is imported from the accounts system any delivery addresses configured there are brought up to the ecommerce system so that the customer can select them in the cart. If a customer logs in and he is set to be an ‘Account Manager’, the default setting for the first login on the account, […]

B2B customers tend to repeat order items. We provide a ‘regular’ or ‘top’ items list in the ‘Your Account’ section for your customers convenience. This list only relates to items previously ordered via the web site.This can be placed more prominently on the site is required.

Customers, who place regular bulk orders, can upload a simple CSV file containing stock codes and quantities to have them priced, stock checked and added to the basket in order to reduce order time and make the checkout process much easier. The process is very simple and once a customer has done it for the […]

When one of your customers logs in to the website his account is updated from the details on his sales ledger account in Sage. This means that any changes you have made to the account will be reflected online.

The default purchaser type, A, on the site can see all the products in the catalogue. Type B Purchasers only see products that have a price in the price list they are associated with. If this is a short list then when they log in they simply see a page of products that they can […]

Once your web is completed and loaded with product it may be that it provides a useful tool for your internal staff or sales representatives to enter orders on behalf of customers. You can set up ‘Agent’ logins for these staff and select the accounts you wish them to be able to input orders for. […]

The default purchaser type, A, on the site can see all the products in the catalogue with the standard navigation. If you need to show a subset of products different navigation then you can build a separate catalogue for that customer. Purchaser on that account can then be set to type C and attached to […]

Spindle is an ‘Intelligent Print Driver’ supplied by Draycir that can send your documents by email as PDF but also keep an archive copy on your server. We use it at Aspidistra and it saves us hours of work. If you have spindle we can allow customers to retrieve those archived PDF invoices from the […]

All retail orders placed on the website are posted into sage. These orders can all be organised in a single account designated as a ‘Cash’ account. This will prevent your accounts system being filled with possibly hundreds of Sales Ledger accounts where only one item is ever purchased.

All retail orders placed on the website are posted into sage.It may be desired to crate a Sales Ledger Account for these orders, particularly if you are expecting a high level of repeat business for these customers but you don’t want to convert them to B2B customers. When the customer first purchases the accounts system […]

Getting your customers to register and supplying them with a password is common practise on B2C ecommerce sites. We recommend that you get customers to register at the end of their purchase. It is possible to force customer to register before they ‘add to cart’ or ‘go to checkout’ but there is considerable research that […]

As a convenience to customers and to ensure you have a valid delivery address you can add Postcode Anywhere to the site. The feature is included in the service but the lookups themselves need to be paid for by purchasing ‘Credit Packs’. We will purchase these on your behalf and invoice you for them.

In many situations regular customers may have the stock codes of the goods they require from printed catalogues you have previously supplied them. In this case customers can have the option to make quick orders by simply entering in the stock code of the item they wish to purchase. The product will be found and […]

SagePay is the default payment provider used by Shopfront. It accepts Visa, Mastercard and optionally American Express. We will assist you to set up a SagePay account. SagePay includes the following features: Tokens – ‘Remember my Card’ Low Profile Payment Pages (Pay Pal not available)’ Sofort and Giro Payments in Europe Surcharges SagePay requires that […]

SagePay has Paypal as one of its payment options. If you want to use PayPal then it simply needs to be configured in your SagePay interface.

When the customer places the order we create a Sales Order in your sage Accounts system and for most customers allocate the stock from the appropriate warehouse(s). The order is then ready for further processing through despatch and invoicing. The Sage order number is returned tot the website and appears on all of the customer […]

By default Shopfront will place the order using the nominal codes on the products that are synchronised with the Sage accounts system. If you have other nominal code requirements most of these can be achieved through configuration changes to Shopfront.

Once a customer is logged in the cart is continuously saved so if he logs out or leaves the computer we will recover his cart the next time that he logs in. The cart is saved via a cookie for B2C customers so it is only saved on that computer. For B2B customers the cart […]

Most courier companies provide online tracking for parcels. We can provide automatic links to this tracking for many of these companies. Some are straightforward in that they use your Sage order number that we already know. However, other use their own despatch references and in this case you will have to have a process where […]

The product name is normally taken from the product name (or description) in Sage. The default configuration is for this name to only be taken when the product is first imported. This is because the data in many Sage systems is in capitals or in a form that is not friendly to your customers; if […]

While SagePay is the default payment provider and it is included in the price other payment providers can be configured. We will provide you a quotation for this work and a significant uplift to you support fee. This is because the providers have a habit of changing their interfaces which causes us to have to […]

The Sage accounting systems have the ability to store a long description of a product but we have found these to rarely be populated and even if they are ‘rich text’ is not supported. Like the name the default configuration for Shopfront is to import this field on the first occasion and them preserve any […]

The selling price is synchronised from product data or the default price list in your Sage system. If your standard selling pricing has quantity break discounts then these can also be synchronised by setting up a sales ledger account that has that discount structure and then synchronising in the context of that account.

The tax code for products is synchronised directly from Sage as is the tax code for any B2B account when a customer logs in. Once the customer enters or confirms the order delivery address in the checkout the correct tax amount and coding for every item in the cart will be calculated and then posted […]

Synchronise the RRP of products from a price list in Sage set-up to have those prices.

The product nominal code is synchronised from Sage and is the default code that is sent to sage when the order is posted to Sage. This nominal code can be changed when the order is posted if required.

The Sage systems have the ability to store the supplier part number which may be different from your stock code for the part. This field is synchronised and is included in the Shopfront search to allow your customer to find goods by the suppliers’ number as well as your own.

Most of the Sage systems have a field to store a barcode. If this is populated Shopfront will synchronise it. This field is particularly useful if is populated with the GTIN because this can then be exported to the Google products feed.

Some of the Sage systems have the ability to store one or more images. We find that very few of our customers use this facility but if they do we can synchronise one image as the primary (Main) product image on the website.

Some Sage systems offer the option to configure product alternatives. If these are configured then the Alternative in Shopfront can be synchronised with these. Alternatives can always be shown or be made to appear only when the item is out of stock.

Shopfront has a Category and Sub Category field on each product. These can be synchronised from a variety of fields in your sage system and then used to create a dynamic navigation structure. This is not enabled by default.

Your site should follow standard paradigms if you want your customers to navigate your site easily. Shopfront has top and left side menus that can be used for general navigation and catalogue navigation. These are interchangeable and can be combined into one side or one top menu depending on taste and the structure of your […]

A bread crumb, from the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, lets you customer know where they are on the site. “Fruit > Apples > Golden Delicious” – this shows clearly where they are and as each term is a link they can quickly navigate back to previous pages.

We can log each product that your customer visits and then display these so that they can quickly go back to something they looked at previously.

A sitemap for your site can be automatically generated. This is a single page with links to all the departments and products on the site. These work well for small catalogues but are of limited value for large catalogues as the resulting huge page is slow to load and difficult to navigate. By default a […]

Mega Menus are a popular way of giving your customers an at a glance view of your catalogue. They are a 2 dimensional drop down grouped menu based on the department structure of your site. They can be made to look very attractive and we have enhanced them with images for some customers. From a […]

We have designed our search algorithm around our customer base. 80% of our customers are B2B or a combination of B2B & B2C so searching by product code is important for regular customers (or agents) looking for known stock-codes. So Stock Code and Manufacturer’s (Supplier’s) Part Number are prioritised. Many of our customers use the […]

Our search is based on the words and code you have entered into all the product data fields. So if you describe every ‘bus’ as a ‘bus’ then the search will return nothing for ‘coach’ or ‘charabang’. You can provide us with a custom thesaurus so that customers can easily find the products they want. […]

As we are caching the stock value it is important we do not make a sale based on an out of date stock position. As the user reaches their final checkout step, the Sage stock database is queried one final time to get the exact stock position. If there is insufficient stock to fulfil the […]

If we had to get 40 or 50 stock positions from your office every time we rendered a single page the website would run very slowly. So we use a cascade of memory and database caches to keep the stock position. By default the cache value expires every 4 hours and the value is also […]

You may have items that you can quickly obtain for your customer when you are out of stock or they may be items that you never stock. In this case you can mark the item as ‘Back Order’. This will cause the site to show that product as ‘In Stock’ or show a more accurate […]

Shopfront supports the Sage system Bill of Materials (BOM). When a stock query is made for a BOM item the stock of the made up item is checked first and then the BOM is used to check how much can be made up from stock. BOMs should be used when this is actually the way […]

The way you display stock on the web site is an important factor in your relationship with your customers. You may want to show ‘out of stock’ messages to prevent disappointment when orders cannot be fulfilled in a timely manner. Likewise you may wish to show ‘low stock’ messages to encourage purchasing of attractive items. […]

You may want to show a ‘front’ and ‘back’ view of you product or multiple ‘swatches’ for each colour the product is supplied in. Shopfront allows for multiple images and these can be configured in many ways to give your customers the best information to make their purchase. All images can have a ‘zoom’ facility […]

If you run an accurate purchase order system and you keep expected delivery dates up to date then when an item is out of stock a due in date can be displayed. This date can by ‘slugged’ by a fixed number of days to allow for late delivery, unpacking and other factors which make the […]

You may have quite a lot to say about your product: description, technical specification, shipping details, installation guidance and much more. When laying out the web site to make it attractive and easy to read it makes sense to split these detail into separate blocks, perhaps in a ‘tabbed’ style. It will also make thing […]

Video is becoming more and more important. You can have video at any level of your site: homepage, department page or product page. We usually incorporate video by embedding YouTube clips. This means you do not have to pay for video streaming hosting, which we do not provide, and you gain the advantages from marketing […]

Your products may have groups of consistent features that your customers use to decide on their choice. A shirt website might have features such as: Fit – Casual, Classic, Slim Style – Casual, Evening, Formal, Polo Pattern -Check, Stripe, Plain, Houndstooth Cuff – Button, Single, Double With Shopfront features you can ‘tag’ each product with […]

Some customers will always buy product with certain features. To make their experience straightforward Shopfront provides a feature filter so that the customer only see product he know he wants; slim flit, striped double cuff shirts. By setting up Shopfront features for each of your products the customer can be presented with a ‘check box’ […]

‘You may also like’; cross sell allows you to push other products on your product pages. So if someone is buying shoes you can offer socks, polish, shoe horns etc. You define the cross sell. We do not provide automatic ‘Customers who bought this also bought’ because the mathematics and volume of data required only […]

In order to provide customers with the maximum information to assist their purchase, to give your business customer a one stop shop for technical data or to provide marketing collateral to your resellers Shopfront provides the ability to attach files to departments or products. These can be any file format but you should restrict them […]

The internet is more and more about buying on reputation. Shopfront reviews give you the opportunity to let your existing customers convince others. Users have the option to leave reviews for specific products. The review feature can either be ‘un-moderated’ in which case a review, good or bad, is immediately available or moderated in which […]

If you are providing a lot of information than a neat way to layout the page is to use a tabbed interface. You can separate things like ‘Specifications’, ‘Downloads’ ‘Videos’ and ‘Reviews’ onto separate tabs. Your customers will quickly get used to the layout and it has the advantage that you can suppress tabs when […]

If you sell branded goods then it can save you time and help customer recognition if you can apply that brand in a consistent way across the site; perhaps with a brand logo hyper-linked to the brand home page in the top right hand corner of each product page. Shopfront allows you to define Brand […]

Shopfront Bundles allow you to combine different products and sell them at a price that is different from the sum of their individual prices. They enable you to sell promotional bundles such as cricket bats, pads, and gloves. Stock checking will check that all the constituent parts of a bundle are in stock. One common […]

Shopfront promotions allow you to offer a deal without having to change the base price. There are wide range of promotions such as ‘Money Off’, ‘10% Off”, ‘Buy One Get One Free’, ‘Free Product’, ‘Free Shipping’ and many more. The promotions themselves can be for a limited time and/or promotion code dependant. They can apply […]

Shopfront provides a banner advertising system that will allow you to place banner ads almost anywhere on your site. The standard template provides for banners at the top, bottom and sides of the site but this can easily be changed. The banners can rotate if you upload more than one banner for a particular slot.

For sites selling certain classes of consumer goods, gift vouchers can be an effective way of increasing revenue. Shopfront allows gift vouchers to be bought online and redeemed online. If you already have a card based gift voucher system then by entering the voucher codes of the physical vouchers into Shopfront you can operate a […]

As well as the main catalogue you may want product displayed on the home page, left hand column, footer or elsewhere to push clearance items, special offers or high margin items. Shopfront offers unlimited special or featured departments that can be placed in almost any part of the page.

‘Like’ on Twitter Facebook and other sites is a common feature on many websites. Shopfront has facilities to link to all the common sites and we add new ones as they appear.

Retail customers can add certain items that they wish to purchase at a later date into a ‘Wish List’. The Wish list can also be posted to social media to show friends and family.

Let the bride and groom pick their gifts. Friends and family can buy them, add messages and have delivery consolidated for the wedding.

Google products is a powerful marketing tool. Shopfront can export a CSV file of all your products for uploading to Google. While this is an easy process the effectiveness of the marketing depends on the quality of data you have entered into Sage/Shopfront. In particular entering the GTIN into the barcode field in Sage or […]

As well as the google product feed Shopfront can export ‘generic’ product data so that it can be easily formatted for submission to product comparison sites. We can configure this export to include any of the Shopfront fields in any order.

Title tags (meta titles) drive what appears as the ‘blue’ title given in search engines after a search term has been added into a browser. Shopfront creates product related title tags for each page if this field is left empty but you can override these automatic title tags to achieve specific SEO goals.

It is not clear how relevant the keyword boxes found in CMS are to SEO today after years of abuse by operators trying to attract traffic using keyword stuffing and keywords unrelated to their site. Nevertheless, Shopfront provides the facility to create a keyword list for every department and product. It could be argued that […]

The short description in Shopfront is ‘meta’ information that is not visible when the page is rendered but is used by search engines. If you use short descriptions, then these are what will appear in the search engine results page if it is relevant to the search. If they are not present, the search engines […]

Shopfront creates URL’s that do not contain incomprehensible strings such as “http://www.acme-stores/product.aspx?id=3242343”. Instead they are formatted to show understandable names to help with site navigation and Search Engine Optimisation – “http://www.acme-stores/Clothing/Mens/Trousers/Pleated+Chino”. Shopfront is also designed to allow users to create and amend URLs, however, we would recommend that once a URL is set it is […]

H1 tags are the main title on a page for a category or product, which is often the largest text that stands out on the page. Shopfront creates product related H1 tags but you can override these to achieve specific SEO goals. You can also add H2 tags if your page needs multiple header titles.

Search engine algorithms cannot read images but they can read the ‘Alt Tags’ provided to describe the image. Shopfront provides facilities for tailored alt tags on all images to be set so they can be different from image names.

A sitemap is a file where the web pages of a website that tell search engines about the structure of a website’s content. Sitemaps help search engine bots to crawl your website better and more intelligently. A sitemap will be beneficial if your website is: Really large – it prevents pages from being overlooked, especially […]

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Tel: 01548856583 Email: enquiries@aspidistra.com Derby Road, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 1JL, Company No. 3678831 Registered in England