6. Custom Fields and Product Variants

Face This haute schoolture t shirtThe easiest case in your store is having a product that is unique and has no variants. But often you need to offer a product in different sizes, colors or other attribute so that your clients get exactly what they want. Sometimes, these attributes have a relationship to the price and sometimes, they have different images and descriptions.

Abricot Jam 250gr or 500gr?

Imagine you are selling home made apricot jam in two sizes, 250gr and 500gr. The 250gr pot is the standard size and costs 4 €. The 500gr pot costs 7 €. You don't want to use the inbuilt stock control system in VirtueMart to manage your jam pot stocks. You just want to offer the different sizes for a different price. The product images and the descriptions are the same.

Create a custom field

To achieve your goal you have to create a custom field. Go to Components -> VirtueMart -> Products -> Custom Fields and create a new field. Choose a name (e.g. pot), as type Cart Variant and Yes for Cart Attribute (Figure 1).

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5. Shipment and Taxes

UntitledIn this chapter I want to add shipping methods and taxes to our products.

Both topics are in general "easy to setup" but at the same time more than complicate because of the different regulations in countries around the world.

Shipment

VirtueMart 2 comes with an inbuilt shipment plugin called "Shipment based on the Weight, ZIP and Countries" that is highly configurable.

In this chapter I'll use that plugin for a flatrate example with two options.

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4. Buying Process and Order Management

Bryant Park, late Apr 2009 - 21In the last chapter we set up a product in VirtueMart and in the meantime I learned about cultural differences in online shopping compared to traditional shops. The reason is quite simple. The VirtueMart articles are translated to various languages and one of them is Arabic. As you already know Fitou, the village I live in, is known for its red wine but in some countries alcohol is a sensitive topic. So I decided to switch to another product in the Arabic version of the book. The same can happen to your products in your online shop. It can be seen all around the world. On the one hand that's very good because everyone in the world is able to buy something. On the other hand you have to be aware of different cultural habits.

By the way, when you start selling products or services online, you need to verify if your product /service is suitable for being sold online.

Check

  • if you need an online help to use your product
  • your transportation abilities & costs, compare your total inventory holding costs to the cost savings when using the a method of transport
  • if it would be necessary to offer technical support or after sales service?
  • if your product adapts to different environments (cultures, climates)?

Today we want to have a look at the buying process and the order management. So far, we have a product, the PayPal payment method, no shipping options and no taxes.

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3. Selling Products in Your Shop

Vin de Terre BioIn the last chapter we managed the installation of VirtueMart 2 and we explored the example data. In this chapter I want to remove the example data from the shop and add my own products. I live in a small village in France which is called Fitou and it's known worldwide for it's red wine. So I decided to create a wine store. 

Creating the shop "Vin de Fitou"

As always, there are several things to keep in mind when you start your business. I just want to cover the technical part  :-)

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2. Installation and Basic Settings

cocoate.com in building processTo use VirtueMart you need to install it first and you also need an existing Joomla installation. In our examples we are working with VirtueMart 2.x and Joomla 2.5. If you are not familiar with the Joomla 2.5 Installation, please read the Joomla 2.5 Installation chapter. Joomla 2.5 is the stable branch until summer 2014.

If you want to use VirtueMart in a single language (e.g. German) it is useful to configure your Joomla installation BEFORE the VirtueMart installation to that language too (German).

It is possible to use VirtueMart in a multi language environment. Nevertheless you should use the language VirtueMart was initially installed as "main" language. 

Download and Extraction

Go to virtuemart.net and download the 2.x package (http://virtuemart.net/downloads). A file with the name com_virtuemart.2.0.18a_extract_first.targz.zip will be downloaded to your hard disk.

After extracting the package you find three files

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1. What is VirtueMart?

Cevahir Shopping MallWith this article cocoate.com begins a 14-day series about the e-commerce extension VirtueMart.
E-commerce is an important, but unfortunately confusing topic.

Anyone toying with the idea to sell something online, must learn about topics such as payment gateways, shipping interfaces, the integration of the shopping extension into an existing website and of course, need to get familiar with the existing laws concerning e-commerce in the country/countries targeted.

Online shops are in many cases operated separately from the existing website which is often driven by a content management systems (CMS).
The large open-source systems (Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress) offer enhancements that allow you to integrate the online shop in the CMS (website). The integration has the advantage that other existing CMS extensions can be used, for example, the management of news.

In this article I would like to introduce VirtueMart, the e-commerce extension for the CMS Joomla.

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Espaces oubliés

RomaniaWhen talking about the garden project with different people in our region, I received an invitation to an event about "Espaces oubliés" (forgotten places) in Perpignan.

It was a really interesting experience, because the presentations from local associations were inspiring and for me a practical lesson on cultural behaviour and thinking. 

The commonalities of all initiatives are: