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Lesson 4 – Part 4 – Two Case Studies of Product Variations

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Next we’re going to look at the concept of using Shopp product variations in the context both of Mental Management and of Main Clinic Supply. In the Mental Management store we chose product variations to be simply formats.

Mental Management Store Product Variations and Addons in Shopp

For example, Freedom Flight has a format and all you have to do is pick a variation. If you try to add to cart without selecting a variation, you get this little error. You pick a variation, you pick a quantity, although it automatically defaults to 1, and you add to cart in Shopp. That’s all there is to it.

We could actually offer an addon product in Shopp to this. For example, on Freedom Flight after you select one of the formats, we could have an addon here for bundles which would allow them to add an ebook to it or audio CD. You could give them a reduced price by allowing them to create their own bundles. So we could use addons that way here. But that’s the only thing I think you would use addons for is just to have a more customized bundle but maybe you wouldn’t do that since you already have your bundles already created.

Although, you could do an addon to that product that was audio download only. You could do a bundled product that was an ebook version in addition to the hardcover books, something like that. Anyway, Mental Management Store is very easy to assign product categories and variations to in Shopp.

Main Clinic Supply Product Variations and Addons in Shopp

Next we’re going to talk to Fran and talk about something that’s probably quite a bit harder. Hey Fran, how are you doing?

Fran:  Hello, Rick. Good.

Rick:  Good. Okay so now that you’ve heard this give me your questions about how variations should work on your site.

Fran:  Well, my question regarding, at this point, is the rental variation’s not really a variation? Is that in place here or not?

Rick:  No. The rental would be a completely separate product, I think.

Fran:  Okay, alright. So I think I understand the question there as it relates to variations. So sizes you know, when you’re a CPAP mask maybe small, medium or large. So we’d have variations on sizing. What other variations…

Rick:  You might have variations on color.

Fran:  Perhaps, yeah. We would, yeah, especially when it comes to some of the equipment.

Rick:  Didn’t you talk about having some that provided humidification and…

Fran:  Yeah, but they kind of… on the humidification front, that is probably a separate product. One strange variation we have is that when you order a CPAP machine, we preset the pressure before it goes out. And therefore, we may have people plug in what pressure they’re at based off their prescription. Well, the funny thing about that would be is that we could have a range, I guess. Pressures typically run from 5 up to 20, 20 being on a very high side.

Rick:  But does that affect the price?

Fran:  That’s true. It doesn’t, no.

Rick:  And it doesn’t affect the inventory, that is, you’re not going to run out of 5-pounders but have an excess of 20-pounders because each one is individually adjusted.

Fran:  Right, right.

Rick:  So that’s not going to… that doesn’t really fit in the category of product variation well.

Fran:  Okay so not a variation but you’d have a need to track it or something, right?

Customer Input in Shopp for Particular Products

Rick:  Well, it may be a really important piece of information that you capture during the sale. Something we’re going to do next week is include custom fields in the purchase form in Shopp. Then people could enter the pounds per square inch or what the pressure or in another case, could enter the kid’s name so that the clothing is embroidered with the name on it. Essentially in the purchase process in Shopp, you collect customer input and it’s entirely customized to a specific product. That is, it’s a custom field specific to a specific product. And obviously, that’s what you would do here, right? Not all of your products need to know what your pressure is.

Fran:  Right, that’s true.

Rick:  Okay so let’s go back to talking about product variations then.  Do I still have my own login on the site?

Fran:  Yup, you do. I think I sent you a password. I can look on my other screen here and give you that password, just one second.

Rick:  You can stick it in the chat window. I just want to look at those product categories in Shopp as we talk about this.

Setting Up Monthly Payments for Rentals in Shopp

Rick:  If we look at product categories for just a second, you’ve got CPAP machines, oxygen concentrators. I think rental equipment is a good super category in this case. We aren’t really going to be able to talk about rental equipment until Shopp 1.2 comes out fully because something I did not realize about Shopp is that it has never supported recurring payments or monthly payments. And so you couldn’t have some kind of a monthly recurring payment with Shopp at this point.

Fran:  Okay because they buy it again, can I set it up if they buy a week at a time?

Rick:  Well, they have to go on every time and do it. But probably, what you really want is something that’s nice and smooth. Now, Shopp 1.2 is on the verge of being out.

Fran:  Oh, is it? Okay.

Rick:  It is, yeah. The release candidate is already out. The release candidate was having some problems with Thesis that I’ve watched them work on to get resolved. But I expect that by the time this class is done, 1.2 will be out and we probably will have another week where we convert to 1.2 and then talk about the differences. So it’s not that far out.

Fran:  Okay, sounds good.

Create a Product with Variations in Shopp

Rick:  Anyway, let’s see, you’ve got 3 products under CPAP machines so let’s go look at those products. As I recall, you have a lot of details about those products. Is that correct?

Fran:  No. Well you know, that bariatric lift probably and I don’t think it had much to do with variations either but it has quite a bit of detail. Okay, I see…

Rick:  What kind of variations would you have with this?

Fran:  Well, really not a lot.

Rick:  Okay.

Fran:  But if we go back, okay, I can tell you one that is going to have lots of variations now that I more fully understand what variations are after listening to you tonight. But if you go back to the products and then you see the one that says Transcend II. Eighth

Rick:  Yeah.

Fran:  Okay, that one is going to be available in several different variations so you can order it with AC power. You can order it with battery and all of those are going to be influence to price.

Rick:  Okay.

Fran:  I haven’t set that up but that’s going to have lots of variations. I could read you those variations if you want me to or…

Rick:  And well obviously, AC power versus battery, is it either or, or is it both and?

Fran:  Well, if you order it, it comes standard with AC power. But if you want it with battery, it’s an additional $190.

Rick:  Okay so in that case then, you can have a variation and your first variation is power and the standard AC and then your new option is plus battery.

Fran:  It’s called an overnight battery, if you want to put that down.

Rick:  Okay, overnight battery.

Fran:  Right. And I have another variation when you’re ready.

Rick:  For the… that goes under power or is it an entirely… another…

Fran:  Well, tell me how to handle this. It’s a good question. So the next one would be a mobile power adaptor like what you plug in to your old cigarette lighter. So it’s power-related but it’s a separate option. It’s an additional $130.

Rick:  And you could have the overnight battery and that. It’s not either or.

Fran:  Correct.

Rick:  So then there are separate options. If it’s either or, then it’s the same option.

Fran:  If they wanted both, you have to use separate variations, is that what you’re saying?

Rick:  Yes. So what we do here is then… is…

Fran:  Mobile power.

Rick:  Power and then standard is not included. And then included. So those things now have produced 4 different choices, right? Your standard price must have been this original price. What was it, $499.

Fran:  Correct. $449, I think.

Rick:  $449?

Fran:  Yeah, something like that. Yeah.

Rick:  Okay and standard with that mobile power is $579?

Fran:  So you add the two?

Rick:  Yeah.

Fran:  Okay, yeah.

Rick:  And then overnight battery without mobile power is how much?

Fran:  Oh, it would be $579. So that other one…

Rick:  And then we’ll add another $130 so it would be $709.

Fran:  Yeah.

Rick:  And if we save this then and view that product…oh, product not found.

Fran:  Oh, I’ve got it unpublished so you’d have to hit the publish up there in the upper right hand corner after you edit… yeah. I didn’t want to show it because I didn’t have it ready yet so…

Rick:  I see.

Fran:  It’s at the upper right. There you go.

Rick:  Okay, we can un-publish it once we look at it.

Fran:  If somebody buys it in the next 30 seconds, I won’t be mad.

Rick:  So then there’s your machine and you’ve got power and mobile power. And you’ve already done some styling on this.

Fran:  Well, you forget, Rick, you helped me so…

Rick:  I don’t remember changing the colors here but…

Fran:  I just got lucky then but you helped me with that Add to Cart button that I like.

Rick:  Anyway, now you’ve got standard AC and I suppose you could just say no mobile power instead of not included. But you add that to the cart and you have the price which is $449. Note how this gives you the additional price here instead of the total price.

Fran:  Yeah, I like that. Is there any way, Rick, there in the beginning where it says the range of the price you know, I think I’d rather it to say from $449 instead of showing that. I’m afraid focus will be on that big number. Is that any chance that that’s…

Rick:  When you’re back over here looking at the product?

Fran:  Yeah. Is there any chance that you can get rid of that range?

Rick:  You don’t want them to see the $709?

Fran:  Correct.

Rick:  You just want it to say from $449?

Fran:  Yeah. When they’re shopping, they’re going to know there are other ones out there and I don’t want them to remember $709. I want them to you know, add it and get there on their own.

Rick:  Okay. You know, I bet there is a way to do that. It’s probably going to take a little bit of monkeying with the product template. But we probably can add the word ‘from’ in front of that and we probably can prevent the top range price from displaying.

Fran:  Yeah. I know my competitors, that’s how they’re doing it, so that would be helpful not to scare people off that big number.

Rick:  Sure. Okay well, we’ll look at that next week because next week is all about customizing the arrangement of these views including adding the place here where you would put the prescription, poundage for pressure for the particular device, etc.

Fran:  Right.

Rick:  Okay?

Fran:  Yeah.

Rick:  So does that make sense then?

Fran:  I think it does. I mess with variations a lot on my own but after listening to you tonight, I have a much better understanding of variations.

Rick:  Actually, I mess with variations a lot on my own as well and it wasn’t really until I started really preparing for tonight’s session that I realized that my thought process about how variations worked wasn’t full enough.

Fran:  That’s the way I feel.

Rick:  I’ve been working with Shopp for a couple of years now, not really fully understanding how variations should be used so…

Fran:  Yeah no, I do understand it better now.

Rick:  Okay.

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