Vendor Quick Start Guide

How to use the site, post products and manage your sales.

Getting Started

If you are reading this guide, you have already Registered for, and been granted access to the Alberta Food Marketplace. Now, you want to get your products online and start selling! However, there are some steps we need to go through first.
Don’t Miss the On-boarding Process

We have people ready to guide you through every step of the way. We’ll help you set up your account, insure you have the correct merchant account with Stripe so¬† you get paid in a timely fashion, and they will train you how to post and manage both your products and orders. If you would like in-person guidance, please contact us here.

Going It Alone

You may feel that you are able to use this Vendor Guide and get started right away. It is designed to help you do that. So, if you would like to work through this guide and get setup in your own time, please do so. We are always here to support you and ask questions, so contact us anytime!

Preparation

You should have the following information on hand in order to complete all the steps to setup.

  • Full company information including legal name, business name
  • Address and all contact information
  • Banking information – part of this process is the application for a Stripe account
  • Insure you have access to the email address you will use to setup all relevant accounts

Step One: Create Your Stripe Account

Whether you have an online merchant account or not, creating a Stripe account is completely free. It will allow us to transfer all of the funds for your sales to you in a timely fashion. Applying for and getting your Stripe account approved and verified takes a short amount of time. To fully complete the process, you will need business and banking details on hand. Get started below!

Apply For Stripe Account

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Step Two: Complete the Setup Wizard

Once you have registered as a Vendor, you will be given the opportunity to start setting up your store with the help of a setup wizard. Don’t worry…if you decide not to use the wizard, all of the settings presented to you are available in your Store Manager (details further along in this guide).

Click “Let’s Go” to get started!

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Store Setup

This is the area you can add all the essentials about your store.

  • Add your logo
  • Add a banner image (this can be your store location, staff picture, product grouping, a defining image from your local town, or any other image you would like to see. You can change this image any time, and in the main Store Manager, you can turn this single image into multi-image slideshow)
  • Insure your business name is correct
  • Add your store contact info and address
  • Type your address in the “Find Location” box and select the nearest best match to insure you appear on our Vendor Map
  • Add a short description about your store (the opportunity to add more details will come later in the setup process)
  • Click Continue

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Payment Setup

If you have already created a Stripe account, you can connect your Alberta Food Marketplace account to it on this screen. Click to Connect and then enter your Stripe account login credentials. Follow the on-screen prompts to connect your account. When finished, click Continue.

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Policy Setup

Layout your store-wide policies here. If you have separate policies for individual items, you can add those when you add products. This area is for your general policies on shipping, refunds and returns.

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Support Setup

If your customers need support for the products you sell them, tell them here how they can contact you. Telephone and email address are essential, but your physical address is also important. You may choose to handle support and return issues at a head office rather than an individual location. Add the address here where you would accept returns and handle issues.

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Store SEO Setup

You get to handle how search engines view your individual store page. Enter as much information here as you can. If you are unsure what each of these areas are for, please ask your on-boarding personnel for help!

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Store Social Setup

Connect your store and products to all of your social media accounts. Add as many addresses here as you can and links to your accounts will appear on your store page, but also on your product pages.

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We are done!

You’ve completed the basics of setting up your store. You can now proceed to the Store Manager Dashboard!

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Step Three: The Store Manager Dashboard

When you create your account and become an approved Vendor, upon completion of the setup wizard you will be transported to the Vendor Dashboard. This dashboard displays an overview of your sales performance.

There are two menus for you to explore. Along the top, are links back to the web site (Home), to your main Account settings (My Account), the Marketplace (Go to Shop), this guide (Vendor Guide) and to help (Get Support).

Further along in this guide we will tour the Account Settings area.

On the left is the main menu for all Vendor activity. We will step through each one with a full description, however, in this Quick Start Guide, we will deep dive into 3 areas. They include:

  • Completing the store setup process
  • Adding and Managing Products
  • Managing Orders

An important area to take note of are the icons that pulse in the top right hand side of the store manager.

The first icon lets you know if you have any “Notifications“. This number will increase every time you add a product, get an order, or any other major function is completed. The second icon is for “Inquires“. These are direct messages from customers. Click on the icon for a list of messages and reply to them right from that page. Lastly, is an icon for “Announcements“. These are direct messages from the Site Administrator. You can also reply directly to messages received in this area.

Menu Items Defined

1

Media

When you upload any picture to the site, whether it is for a product, or on your store page, those images will appear in the Media Libary
2

Articles

Submit articles and notices to be displayed on the main web site. Write an article and the Site Administrator may review it and publish it for inclusion. Be sure to choose the right category as some items can be published immediately such as special store announcements like sales and other promotions.
3

Products

Here is where you add and manage all your products. Detailed information below!
4

Orders

All your orders, no matter what their status will appear on this page. More details on this page below!
5

Coupons

Apply discounts in a variety of ways to your products. For detailed information on how you can create the perfect discount code, or other promotion for your products, speak with your on-boarding contact, or send us a note on the Support page.
6

Customers

Keep track of all your store customers here. You can export them into a spreadsheet and then import their email addresses into your own bulk email system, or send them individual messages right here.
7

Delivery Persons

Do you have in-house delivery personnel? You can create accounts for them here and they will be able to access limited areas of the Store Manager and receive notifications when deliveries are ready to go. For more details, speak with your on-boarding contact!
8

Staff

Assign staff members the ability to manage orders and products through the Store Manager. Their access is limited, but largely restricted to Products and Orders. For help in setting up your staff in this capacity, please contact your on-boarding contact.
9

Analytics

Get all the statistics here about your store, products and orders. Learn how customers are interacting with your store!
10

Refund

Issue and track all your refunds here.
11

Add to My Store

You can choose to include other vendors items in your store. Why? Let's say that you and another vendor have complimentary products...can we say "wine and cheese"? A wine maker can add a cheese vendor's items to their store, and vice versa. Manage those items here.
12

Settings

Manage all your store settings here. More details on this area appear below!
13

Payments

Track all transfers from the Marketplace to your Stripe account. Reconcile your sales against the amounts transferred to your Stripe account here.
14

Followers

People that like your store can choose to follow you. When you add new products they will receive a notice!
15

Support

Any customer that requires support and sends you a message will appear here. This support area is organized with a support ticketing system.
16

Reports

Get reports on sales, refunds, revenue and more here. For a detailed walk-through, please contact your on-boarding staff member.
17

Reviews

If you choose to allow customers to review your products, all your reviews will appear here. You can review, manage and reply to them all in one location.
18

Ledger Book

All your financial data is here in one location. Sales, refunds, payments and calculated earnings. Don't hesitate to ask your on-boarding staff person to help you with this powerful tool.

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Step Four: Store Settings

While you may have already setup your store using the setup wizard, there are many more settings that are useful to insure a great experience for your customers. If you skipped the wizard, this area is very important to complete. It lets customers know who you are, where you are, how to contact you, and how to get support for your products.

General Settings

The General Setting page is straight forward. Add your name, email address, phone number, log and images. Add a short description about your store and then you can leave most other things as the default setting.

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Store Address

Enter your address and then use it to find your location on the map. When your location is found on the map, this will allow customers to find you using the radius search on the store front.

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Payment

Didn’t connect your Stripe account before? You can do it right from here. Insure you have a verified Stripe account, and then click the blue button and follow the on-screen prompts to connect your account to the marketplace.

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Shipping

There are a few options for shipping. You can choose to ship by FedEx, UPS, etc and to do so you must have accounts with each of those providers. If you already have accounts, in addition to the settings on this page, you will need to enter your account info here.

On this page, you configure shipping that you will charge the customer directly for, and how you will do so. You can ship by area, by weight, and more. For a step by step walkthrough on setting up shipping you can talk to your on-boarding contact. However, many vendors will choose flat rate shipping per item. This can be added in addition to your FedEx or UPS accounts and all options are presented to the customer on checkout.

(Please note: auto-calculations for shipping cannot be done with CanadaPOST. Only commercial shippers such as FedEX, UPS, DHL are possible. If you use CanadaPOST, it is best to enter rates here, or on each product that you enter individually)

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Shipping Accounts

To enter your commercial shipping company accounts, you need to go to “My Account” at the top of the page. Once there, click on “Account Details” and scroll down to add all of your account information for any and all shippers. Once completed, click Save and then click on Vendor Dashboard in the main menu to return to the Store Manager.

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Step Five: Products

Now that you have setup your store, it is time to enter and manage your products. Click on the Products menu item to view a list of all your products. There are many functions and lots of information here. You can see what status your products are in, the date added, category and the ability to edit them.

If you have no products in your store yet, click “Add New” and lets add some!

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Products – Add a Product

This area starts by asking you what kind of product you have. Most products fall into one of two choices. A Simple product is one that has no variations that effect its price. For example, you may sell a jar of jam. There is only one choice so this is a simple product.

The other common option is a Variable product is one where customer options will effect the price. For example, if you sell a product by weight like a box of fruit. You may have 3 different box/weight options and each of them is a different price. So instead of adding each weight as a separate product, you can add one, and then add the variations that effect price. We’ll look at both in more detail below.

After you choose your product type, the information required at the top of the page is pretty straight forward. Enter a product name, price, image, short and long description, and add it to, or create a category for your product. If you want to add a gallery of supplementary images, you can do that with the icon just below the main image. Add some tags to make it more searchable in the store.

Now we’ll look at the bottom area of the page for a Simple Product in detail.

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Inventory

Add your own in-house SKU here and then decide if you would like the system to manage your inventory. If you do set up your stock management here, you will be notified when your stock is low. Check “Sold Individually” if this item is to be packed and shipped on its own.

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Shipping

The weights and dimensions you add in this area will be used by all your shipping method calculations to price shipping for your customers. Be as accurate as possible.

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Tax

Is this item taxable and if so, at what rate?

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Attributes

This example is a “simple product” but it can still have attributes. Perhaps there is a colour selection, or size selection that does NOT effect price. If so, you can add those attributes to the product here. Give the attribute a name, like “Size” and then add the variations so that you build a string like this:

XS|S|M|L|XL|XXL

You can add multiple attributes.

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Linked

If you have filled up your store with products, you can now begin to link them. You can add them as an up-sell: when an item is added the shopping cart that has and up-sell product attached, that up-sell product is suggested to the customer as an upgrade to their choice. When a cross-sell product is linked, then they are suggested to the customer as an additional item to the one they have chosen.

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Location

If you have many retail outlets, and certain items are only sold at certain locations, you can enter that location here. Additionally, entering your product location will allow customers to perform radius searches such as “Cheese products within 50km”. You can also define contact and operating hours for each product location, ideal for those products that are “pickup” only.

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Product Policies

Layout any product specific policies here. These policies supersede your store wide policies and are communicated to the customer on a product level.

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Advanced

Turn off and on Reviews here, and you can manage where this item sits in your store’s menu on a permanent basis. You can also add a special note here to appear on orders when purchased.

Variable Product Instructions

If you chose “Variable Product” as your product type, some areas of the bottom of the “add new product” page will be different. Here are those variations.

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Attributes

This screen looks much the same as the Attributes screen for a simple product, except there is now a checkbox for “Use as a Variation“. The Variations screen is where will apply a price to each of the separate attributes we list in the box here. So, add your attributes as you see in the example, check the box to “Use as Variation” and then click on “Variations”.

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Variations

There are a couple of options here but the first thing to do is to convert all your attributes into variations. Under “Variations Bulk Options” choose “Create variations from all attributes“. Once selected, wait for the page to reload. You will then see all your attributes appearing as mini-simple products where you can enter a separate price for each. You can also enter separate shipping parameters and even different images if appropriate (for items such as colour variations this is important). Once completed, you can continue to add the rest of the different attributes information and then complete the product screens to finish.

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Step Six: Manage Orders

Click on “Orders” in the main menu and you will see all your orders in a table. At a glance, you can see the status of each order and you can interact with them. It is important to maintain your order list so that you know exactly where you stand. Additionally, funds from your order won’t be transferred to you until you have completed each order. In order to complete and order, you need to change its status.

Here are steps an order will take through the system:

  • A customer will place an order
  • You will receive an email letting you know an order was placed
  • When you login to the Store Manager, you will see a notification of the order
  • You can then click to Edit the order. When you click to do so, you can see all the information about the order, including notes and shipping instructions/destination.

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Edit an Order

Right at the top of this page is a drop down where you can change the status of an order and then click “Update“.

Scrolling down allows you to review the order and also add notes. You can choose make it a private note, or a note that will be send to the customer. You can add files to the email. When finished editing, remember to click “Update”.

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Step Seven: Monitoring Your Business

Finally, we have the Ledger Book. Clicking on this in the left hand menu will show you a complete overview of your sales, withdrawals and refunds. You can select certain transaction types and date ranges and keep up to date on store’s performance.

Step Eight: Account Settings

Now that we have completed the tour of the Vendor Dashboard, we shall return to the Account Settings area of the web site. You can access this area from the top menu on the Vendor Dashboard by selecting the “My Account” button.

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Account Setting Dashboard

The reason there is a separate dashboard for your account is because you may also wish to purchase products on the Marketplace. This page is similar to the one that every customer will see when they manage their purchases. If you are an approved Vendor you will see some extra links on the left. Most are self explanatory.

Orders – if you shop in the Marketplace, a record of your orders appears here

Downloads – if you purchase downloadable items, the links to those items appear here

Addresses – here is where you can set your default billing and shipping addresses should you wish to make purchases

Followings – this is a list of all the shops you follow on the marketplace. Manage them here.

Support Tickets – when shopping, if you request support from a specific Vendor, your support tickets will show up here.

Inquiries – When you ask a vendor a question about a product right on the product page, a record of those inquiries appears here.

Account Details – Manage your email address and password, and if you are a Vendor, here is where you add your shipping account information.

Step Nine: Get Support

If you have a question, need help managing your store, or need full training on how to use the Store Manager, we are here to help. You can fill out the Support request form here and we will get in touch with you. Drop us a note today!