Out of the box, mojoPortal really is a Swiss army knife of an application; you can use it for blogging, forums, articles, scheduling, and most other needs a small-to-medium business might have. It even has a basic e-commerce capability. While I do not recommend it for customers who are primarily retail, and already have a substantial product line to sell online, it is perfectly serviceable for an entry-level e-commerce presence.
I have worked with my share of e-commerce applications, and have even built one or two from scratch; that being said, the workflow for using e-commerce in mojoPortal does take a bit of getting used to. Let us step through what it takes to create an initial storefront in mojoPortal.
Prerequisites for following along; a working instance of mojoPortal, already configured, and an instance of the Web Store has been inserted into the page.
The first part that many people may find confusing is that adding an item through Product Administration does not include an option for setting the price. It is a bit confusing, but there is a reason behind this; think of the products as “eggs”, and an offer as the “basket”. Allowing the products to be presented in different “baskets” means that you can mix and match, and allow for combo discounts on pricing, as appropriate.
1) Click on “Product Administration”, and click “New Product”. Create a sample product, and save.
2) Click on “Offer Administration”, and click “New Offer”. This is where it gets interesting; you will not be able to link a product to your offer until after it is saved. Give your offer a name, and click “Save”; now you will see an additional tab labeled “Products”. Click on the tab, and click the link “Add Product”; now you will see the products you have already created, and can add as many as you wish to include in the offer.
3) Once you have completed all the information for the offer, make sure you have selected “Is Visible” under the “Settings” tab. Now you will be able to see the offer and product listed in the shopping cart.
We will continue this in Part 2, where we will cover formatting your products and offers.
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