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Step by Step
         Editing Your Store... (pg. 8)
By Sabra Lutz, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
Step 14

The "Product List Layout", "Search Layout", and "Related Products Layout" all offer identical options and we will discuss all of them as one unit although you may choose to customize each differently.  These tabs allow you to set the overall feel of the "Product List", "Search" results, and "Related Products" pages.  We will address the first item on the page ("Format") last.    

  • "Product Fields" allows you to choose which information is displayed to the customer about each product on a given page.  The Merchant default settings are shown above.  In our opinion it is best to have at least the product name and price displayed.

  • "Button" allows you to decide which method(s) the customer can use to purchase products from these three pages.  "Add One to Basket" will allow the customer to put one in his/her basket and continue shopping.  "Buy One Now" will add an item to the basket and take the customer directly to the checkout screen. 

  • "Image" will display no image, a "Thumbnail", or a full sized image.  If you select images, they will be hyperlinked to the product page.  On the "Product List" page you will most probably not want images since it is a list of all the products in your store.  The "Search" page can use images or not as you like, but since customers are searching for these products they are probably motivated to find out more without further encouragement.  Our recommendation is to definitely use images on the "Related Products" page.  This is because you are actively trying to interest customers in items based on something else they were interested in and may need a reason to go to the product page. 

  • "Inventory Level Message" allows you to set the length of the message displayed if you have inventory tracking enabled.  In general a short message will say something like "In Stock" and a long message may give an exact amount of how many items are available. Merchant has default messages setup, but you can change them in "Inventory Tracking".

And now for the final item.  Under the "Format" field there are two options, "Expanded" and "Line Item". 

  • The "Line Item" layout (without any images and default settings) looks like this:

The Miva Merchant default for all three of these pages is "Line Item" without images and most stores use this option on the "Product List" and "Search" pages because it loads very fast.  You will notice that each product is displayed in colored rows which alternate for each new product in the list.  The colors of the rows are based on the colors we have already configured and will not necessarily be the same as the ones shown above. 

If you have thumbnails enabled your screen will look like this:

As we discussed earlier, having images on the page is more suitable for the "Related Products" page. 

In the "Line Item" layout the text link to the product page is the "Product Code", and you MUST have this option selected under the "Display Fields" if you want the customer to have a text link to the product page (remember, images will be linked to the product pages).  We recommend having a text link even if you have images enabled since it is a visual prompt for customers to learn more about a product.  If you do not have images on the page it is an absolute must.  As we have discussed earlier the buttons are customizable and these are just the default Merchant buttons.

  • The other display option is "Expanded" which will look like this (with thumbnail images):

In this layout the "Product Name" is the text link point to the product pages, and must be enabled under the "Product Fields" if you want the customer to have access to a text link.  As you can see, having this layout without pictures would be just about the most boring page ever. 

 

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