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Adding a New Build To Order Product

To add a new BTO Product to your store, select Add New BTO Product from the BTO menu. The page that will be displayed is very similar to the Add New Product page that is described in Chapter 4 of the ProductCart User Guide. Please refer to that document for a detailed explanation of all the fields that appear on this page. Here, we will focus only on a few of them, whose functionality changes when applied to BTO Products.

Overall, when you review the following paragraphs, keep in mind that when you add a BTO Product to your store, what you are doing is really setting up the general properties for this customizable product or service (e.g. product name, descriptions, images, etc.).

Name, Description, Images, etc.

  • SKU, Name, Description
    This is the SKU (or part number), Name and Description of the BTO product. On a computer store, for example, there may be a “Build Your PC” category containing three customizable computers, whose default configurations and available options differ from one to the other. They might be called “Gaming PC”, “Home Office PC”, and “Road Warrior”. The names, part numbers and descriptions for these products are entered here.
  • Categories, images, etc.
    These product properties behave exactly as they do for Standard Products.

A look at the BTO product detail page

Understanding Base and Default Price

The difference between Base and Default Prices

The price fields behave differently for BTO Products than they do for Standard Products in your store.

  • Base Price & Default Price
    The base price is the minimum price for the product before any customizations have been made, either by the administrator (default selections – see Assigning Products & Items for more details) and/or by the customer.

    In some cases the Base Price could be zero. This could likely be the case when the store is selling a service that is entirely customized to meet the client’s needs (e.g. printing services, catering services, etc.). In most cases, however, the base price will reflect the cost of the product without any configurations. For example, a computer store may set the base price at a level that covers items that cannot be chosen by the customer (e.g. the motherboard, the computer case, etc.). In that example too, if all items are chosen by the customer, then the Base Price might be zero.

    • When the base price is zero, ProductCart automatically hides it whenever the product is shown in the storefront, and does not allow the customer to add the product to the shopping cart from the product details page, but rather only from the product configuration page. This allows the store administrator to 'force' the customer to configure the product or service, which can only be added to the shopping cart (or saved as a quote) after it has been configured. This would typically be the case when the store is selling products or services for which there is no “default” configuration.
    • When the base price is other than zero, but there is no default configuration, then ProductCart displays it on the product details page, together with the list price and the online savings offered by the store, if that option is selected.
    • When the administrator has set default configurations for the product, then ProductCart displays the Default Price, which is the sum of the base price plus the prices of all the default selections chosen by the administrator. For more details about how the administrator can setup default selections for a product, see the section of this chapter entitled Assigning Products & Items.
  • Hide BTO Price
    If the price base price or default price (base price + default options) is other than zero, but you don't want to show it in the storefront (e.g. it's too small or could confuse customers), check the Hide BTO Price option.
  • Hide Default Configuration
    If the administrator has assigned default selections to the BTO product, these items are listed on the product details page, right above the price. In some cases, you may not want to show this list (e.g. the list is too long). Check the Hide Default Configuration to hide the list of default selections from the product details page.

Minimum price

Whenever there are default selections, the default price becomes the minimum price for the product, until the customer chooses selections cheaper than the default ones, if any, while configuring the product. If there are no default selections, then by definition the default price equals the base price. If there are no default selections and the base price is zero, the price is automatically hidden and the customer is forced to go through the configuration steps.

An example

For example, continuing with the computer store scenario, the price of a BTO Product may be setup as follows:

  • Base Price: $100
    The base price, as we mentioned, is entered at the time the BTO product is added to the store. In this scenario, it may include the cost of the computer case, fan, motherboard, etc.
  • Default Customizations: $350
    The administrator may suggest a configuration by choosing a default processor, hard disk, etc. The customer will then be able to either add the product to the shopping cart “as is”, if he likes the default selections, or change one or more of them.
  • Default Price: $450 = $100 + $350
    The default price changes dynamically based on the administrator’s default selection and the base price. This is the price that is shown on the store for this BTO Product.

BTO product weight

Similarly to the price, the weight is affected by the store administrator's default selections. Unlike for a Standard Product, there are three weights for a BTO Product:

  • Base Weight
    This is the weight that is entered when adding a BTO Product to the store catalog. Continuing on the example mentioned above, this would be the weight for the computer case, the motherboard, and other items that make up the base product.
  • Default Weight
    This is the sum of the base weight plus the weight of all the items chosen by the store administrator as part of the default configuration. If the customer were to buy this BTO Product “as is”, because he/she likes the default configuration, then this would be the weight used by ProductCart to calculate shipping charges (if you are using a weight-based shipping rate).
  • Configured Weight
    This is the sum of the base weight plus the weight of all the items chosen by the store administrator and/or the customer. When the customer customizes the product using the configuration page, the weight changes dynamically based on his/her selections.

Disallowing the ability to purchase

There are scenarios in which you may want customers not to be able to purchase a certain product or service, but rather only create a custom quote for it. In some cases, you may also want to hide prices for that product or services.

Continuing on our computer shop example, let's assume that you were selling refurbished systems: the prices of many of the parts may fluctuate daily depending on availability and other factors. So rather than showing prices that may be too high or too low, you may want your customers to configure the custom computer that they would like to purchase, without seeing any prices.

When they submit the quote via e-mail, you can look up updated prices for each of the parts that they included in their configured product, and get back to them with a price.

When the Disallow Purchasing option is selected, the following occurs on the storefront:

  • The product details page does not contain a Buy Now button. Customers can only proceed to the configuration page. The default price for the product is hidden throughout the store is the Hide Prices option is selected.
  • The second step of the configuration process (or the first step of the configuration process if there are no Additional Charges assigned to the product) does not contain a Buy Now button. All prices are hidden if the Hide Prices option is selected, otherwise they are shown.
  • Customers can only save the configured product or service as a quote. If you want customers to be able to submit a saved quote to you, make sure to enable the Allow Users to Submit a Quote feature on the BTO Settings page.

Other settings

  • Downloadable Product Settings
    Just like with standard products, you can set a BTO product to be a downloadable product. For details on these settings, please refer to the section of this User Guide that covers downloadable products. Note that the BTO product itself can be a downloadable product. However, if you assign downloadable products to the BTO product as selectable items, those products are not processed as downloadable products. This feature could be used, for example, if you were to sell a software package and have the customer configure whether or not they wanted a printed or electronic manual, standard or premium technical support, assisted installation, other related services, etc. These items that are assigned to the BTO product are not downloadable products. The downloadable product is the BTO product.
  • Duplicating BTO Products
    To create a new BTO Product that is similar to as an existing Build To Order product or service, take advantage of the Create New BTO Product Like feature. Simply choose an existing product from the drop-down menu and click on the Go button.

Next steps

Click on the Add button to add the new BTO Product to your catalog. A confirmation page will be displayed. From this page, you can perform a number of tasks, which are listed below.

  1. Configure this Build To Order product or service
    Click on this link to start configuring this BTO Product. You will be able to add groups of products and items for your customers to select from when they customize and buy this product. The next section of this chapter describes in detail how to configure a BTO Product. You can also copy the configuration from an existing product, a great time-saving feature when setting up similar BTO products.
  2. Add/Modify custom search or input fields
    This link will take you to a page where you can add new custom search or input fields, or view existing custom fields for this product. Please refer to Chapter 4 of the ProductCart User Guide for more details on custom input and search fields.
  3. Set quantity discounts
    Click on this link to be taken to the section of the Control Panel where you can add/edit quantity discounts for your products. Please refer to Chapter 5 of the ProductCart User Guide for more details on quantity discounts.
  4. Modify this product again
    This link will take you back to the previous page so that you may edit the product again.
  5. Assign to other categories
    Click on this link to be taken to the Manage Categories area, where you can assign or remove this and other products from a category.
  6. Add another product
    Loads an empty Add New BTO Product form.
  7. View all products
    Use this link to view a list of all BTO Products in your store. From there you can modify a product, configure it, assign options to it, assign custom input and search fields to it, or delete it from the store database.

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