Why use Yahoo! Store Templates?

Yahoo Store templates translate to easy maintenance. In an online store, the category and product pages typically follow the same or similar layout. Category pages usually have thumbnails or links leading to other sub-categories or products. Product pages usually display the product image, which when clicked on, bring up an enlarged view of the product. Next to the image, the "order block" is displayed (price, quantity, add to cart button, SKU), and below or somewhere around this, the product description is displayed. When a designer creates a layout for an online store, these layouts are well defined using HTML. With Yahoo Store templates, you define the layout, and once that's done, all you have to do is load the products. All the pages (category and product pages) will be created automatically using the predefined layout whether the store has 1, 10, 100, or thousands of pages.

Adding extra functionality such as cross-sells or breadcrumbs are just as automatic. You or your client can concentrate on marketing and maintaining the inventory, while the template-based store takes care of the presentation. Look at the following table comparing certain common tasks done using templates and conventional web hosting (such as Yahoo Merchant Solution's store-tag approach):

Conventional Web Hosting (Merchant Solutions) Approach Yahoo Store Template Approach
Adding 1,000 products to a store
  1. Load the products into Catalog Manager from a spreadsheet or add them manually
  2. Create the thumbnail and product images (crop and save them), and optionally, the enlarged (detail views).
  3. Load the product images into the editor
  4. Create the category pages using conventional web design tools such as DreamWeaver or FrontPage.
  5. Create each product page using conventional web design tools such as DreamWeaver or FrontPage, or use a third-party web page generator.
  6. Publish the catalog.
  1. Load the products into the Store Editor from a spreadsheet or add them manually.
  2. Create the product images (no separate thumbnails are necessary)
  3. Load the images into the editor
  4. Publish the store.
Delete one item from a store
  1. Locate and delete the item from Catalog Manager.
  2. Locate the category page or pages where the item is referenced, and modify the HTML of that page to remove the item's thumbnail.
  3. If the item is on multiple category pages, modify the HTML of all of those category pages.
  4. Publish the catalog.
  1. Locate the item in the Store Editor and delete it by clicking the Delete button.
  2. Publish the store.
Change the picture of a product
  1. Create the new thumbnail, product shot, and optional enlarged view.
  2. Upload the new product image into the editor or Catalog Manager.
  3. Locate the category page where the item is referenced and change its thumbnail.
  4. If the item is on multiple category pages, change the thumbnail on all of those pages.
  5. Locate the product page and change the image.
  6. Publish the catalog.
  1. Upload the new image into the Yahoo Store Editor.
  2. Publish the editor.
Add "Breadcrumbs" to all the pages
  1. Modify the HTML of every single page in the store and add or update the breadcrumbs trail.
  1. Include breadcrumbs in your Yahoo Store templates.
Delete 100 items from the store
  1. Locate and delete the first item from Catalog Manager.
  2. Locate the category or categories where the item is referenced and remove it from that category page.
  3. Repeat for all 100 items.
  4. Publish the catalog.
  1. Make a list of the IDs of the items to be deleted.
  2. Create a temporary page, and enter the 100 IDs into the "Contents" field.
  3. Delete the temporary page.
  4. Publish the editor.

As you can see, maintenance is by far easier with templates. If you are a designer, with templates you can create your layouts once, and the Yahoo Store Editor will take care of the rest. No more HTML coding for hundreds of pages. If you are merchant, once your store is built using custom templates, you can concentrate on marketing and running your store. No need to deal with HTML, or hire someone to make small adjustments to the store such as removing products, updating prices, etc.


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