VIDEO: Getting Started (4/9): Setting Up Inventory

Disclaimer: We recently redesigned our Admin Area. Your store may look different than the one shown in this video, but most click paths were not affected.



Hey there! It’s Celine with Volusion. In our last episode, we took care of our site design. Today, we’re ready to add products and turn our website into a store. Let's jump in.

The first thing we’ll need to do is create logical groupings of products – called categories – to help shoppers get around and find what they want. You can make as many categories as you like, and you can even create categories within categories, called subcategories. You may have noticed there’s already some placeholder categories on your store. On this template, they’re arranged horizontally along this section of the template: the top Navigation Menu, or nav menu. Every template has a top nav menu like this, but some templates also have other nav menus on the left side. If a template has more than one left nav menu, they stack on top of each other. The positioning of your nav menus determines where you can add category links, so make sure your template has the nav menus and positioning you want. Now let’s take a closer look at category setup.

In your Admin Area, go to Inventory > Categories. Here you’ll see a list of all active categories grouped by the nav menus they belong to. You can click these items and drag them into new positions to change the display order, or even turn main categories into subcategories and vice versa. Before we make a new one, let’s get rid of all these, since we don’t need them. To do that, click View List, then select the top check box in the Delete column and save. If you have more than one page of categories, repeat. When you’re finished, you’ll see a nice big message letting you know you don’t have any categories. Now you’re ready to make one.

The text you type in the Category Name field is what shoppers see on your storefront. We’ll call this one "Shirts". Since I want it in the main list on the nav menu, I’ll leave the Subcategory Of field blank. And since I want it to appear in the top nav menu, I’ll select Nav Menu 1 and save. Let’s go ahead and create a second category now, and then some subcategories. We’ll call this next one "Pants". Before we create the subcategories, though, I want to talk about the Save button options.

When you click the arrow next to it, you’ll see a menu that controls where you go after you save and the page refreshes. As you see, you can stay on the current page, open up a new category creation page, go back to the category list, or go back to the main category grid. I’ll choose Save and add new so I can quickly add a subcategory.

I’ll call my first subcategory "Blouses" and make it a subcategory of "Shirts". Then I’ll make a second subcategory called "Jeans" and make it a subcategory of "Pants". Then I’ll change the save option to Save and view grid.

Now, on the main category page, we’ve got two primary categories. If you click the arrow next to either one, you’ll see it's subcategories below it.

Before I show you what they look like on the storefront, I’m going to use the magic of cinema and add the rest of my categories instantaneously. Perfect! So, if you have the Plus plan or higher, you can use our Import / Export tool to add a bunch of stuff at once. It’s almost as good as magic. To learn more about it, check out our resources at the end of this episode.

So as you can see, I’ve created all my categories and subcategories, and now I’m ready to add some products to them. I’ll start by going to Inventory > Products. Here you’ll see a grid of the default products. Before we remove these, too, let’s take a quick look at one of them. Hover over an image and click the eye icon.

Product pages have an image on the left that you can hover over if you want to see a close-up, and thumbnails for other views. There’s also a purchasing section that has the price, quantity, and the Add to Cart button, as well as a description section that tells you about the product. Let’s go back to the Admin Area and return to our product grid.

Like we did with our categories, we’ll get rid of everything here so it doesn’t get in the way. Flip this switch to view them in a list and access the bulk delete function. Once we’re all clear, click Add at the top to make your first product.

To make a product, you only have to specify four things, and they’re all at the top in the Basic Info section. First, give the product a name. I’ll call this one "Stonewashed Bootcut Jeans". Then give it a product code. You can use the manufacturer’s code, or any other alphanumeric scheme that makes sense to you. Make sure you only use letters, numbers, underscores, hyphens, or periods.

Now I’ll put in the product’s price and weight. It’s not necessary to add a currency symbol or a unit of weight measure, because the store adds those for you automatically. Then I’ll enter some copy for the description. Be sure to enter detailed, unique content here. Remember: your customers can’t physically hold your merchandise, so they’re relying on quality pictures and text. Next, I’ll assign the product to a category. Click Select Categories and choose as many categories as you want the product to belong to. I’ll choose "Jeans", "1980s", and "Casual". Then I’ll click Apply, and Save.

The last thing I want to do is add an image. So go back to the grid and open up the Image Management section. Here, click Add, then browse for it in your local directory. You can use either a jpeg or a gif, upto a maximum of 10 megabytes. And it’s best not to exceed 1000 pixels in width or height. Now let’s check out our work.

Before we wrap up this episode, I want to call your attention to one more thing on the setup page. If you go to Advanced Info > Stock, you’ll see a field for Stock Status. This is where you set your inventory quantity levels. To learn how it works, check out our resources at the end of the episode.

We also give you a ton of ways to promote items, like featured products on your homepage, quantity discounts, daily deals, and so much more. The point is to give your customers a rich shopping experience that keeps them browsing and buying. So fill your store with products they want at prices they like - And, no, I don’t mean free.