Creating Your Products in MCB
Products are the foundation of your shop. We hope that the capabilities we’ve built in to our Products customizations will:
- help you market your products with descriptions, images, disclaimers, etc.
- make it appealing for your clients to convert (purchase)
- help you stay organized, be intentional, and save time by deciding what information you need to collect up front, to reduce the time spent trying to extract design details from the client
- discourage non-committed clients from ordering (increase the percentage of serious inquiries and reduce ghosting)
Our flexible product builder is powerful, but because there are a lot of product parameters, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed with its capabilities. In this blog post, we’ll show you the basics so that you’ll feel confident enough to explore it further on your own. Please note that your page might look slightly different depending on what device you’re using, so please take your time getting acquainted.
All of your products are available in the Products section of your Dashboard. You have the ability to view all your products, or to organize and reorder your Categories and Products in each category, so that they show up in a certain order.
If you click on the All Products section, you have the ability to see all your existing products, sort or filter products (little icons, circled) and also create new products. If you click on the Categories section, you’ll be taken to a page where you can organize your categories, and then click into each category to reorder the order of which our Products are displayed in your main Shop.
If you click New Product, you can: create a product from scratch, copy an existing product, or start with a template. NOTE: if you start with a template, please customize the parameters to ensure that they are accurate to what you offer. Templates are there for you to reference and to give you ideas, not to be used as-is, since we are all different 🙂
In this example, I’m creating a product from scratch – select that option, and you’ll be taken to a page to set up the parameters for your product.
There are little “question mark” icons scattered throughout the app- tap or click on those to get embedded tips/tricks/guidance for how to use a specific area of the app.
On this page, The Product Status field allows you to control if and how your product will appear in the main product section of your shop. The options are Listed, Unlisted and Preview. Hit the “?” to learn more about each status. There are “tricks” to using the statuses; for example, if you are holding a Presale and you want your product to ONLY show up in your presale, keep your Product Status set to Unlisted so that it will not show in the main product section of your shop, and only be visible in your Presale. You can always change statuses on the fly as you rotate your inventory.
To learn more about what each statuses is intended to do, please read this blog post: https://info.mycustombakes.com/what-order-statuses-mean/
The Basic Product Info section contains your Product Category, and Product Name. We offer a drop-down selection for you to choose from for Product Type, but you can also type in a custom value to create a new type so that it fits your needs. This can be anything you want – we have folks using MCB for breads, charcuterie boards and even catering.
After assigning your Product Type, you also need to create a Product Name. Product Names should be descriptive and concise – we want our clients to get a good idea of what we’re selling straight out the gate. We recommend including the quantity in some form in the Product Name; for example: One Dozen French Macarons, One Dozen Drop Cookies, One 6-inch Cake, 6 Croissants, 1 Loaf of Sourdough Bread, 1 Dozen Chocolate Covered Strawberries, 6 Decorated Cakecicles.
The Description field is a great place to talk about your product and provide specific details about ingredients (i.e. allergies) when necessary. Our text editor allows for some basic formatting, so utilize bullet points, bolds, and italics to draw attention to important parts of your description.
The Product Images section allows you to display the images for that Product. Photos can be a powerful marketing tool (we eat with our eyes first!), and we recommend using a few photos to highlight your work. Please use your own images, and do not “borrow” someone else’s photos. You can also create cover photos instead of photos of actual product if you want your shop to have a certain aesthetic, so that when clients browse your shop, the cover photo/thumbnail they see is all uniform and clear. It can be as simple as how this shop has it set up: https://www.mycustombakes.com/jessaddsprinkles/products . Use free apps like Picmonkey or Canva to create your cover photos, if desired.
The Pricing section allows you to configure the pricing for your Product. We allow for both Variable pricing as well as Fixed pricing. The type of pricing depends on what kind of product/service you’re offering. Variable priced items are most commonly used for custom orders where you need to review the request before deciding if you should take on the work. Anything that you set as Variable pricing will automatically trigger a Quote workflow, which means that the client will request a Quote first, you will update the Quote based on the specific request, and you’ll send it back to the client for Approval before it becomes a confirmed Order. You can use this workflow to even sift through quote requests and only take on orders that you really want. To learn more about the Quote and Order workflows, refer to this post: https://info.mycustombakes.com/understanding-quote-and-order-workflows
Fixed price products are great for products that do not have variance in pricing. Most presale/flashsale/popup items have set prices per product, and this is the traditional ecommerce Product pricing we’re most used to seeing.
Consider this scenario – You’re offering 2 versions of a cookie: one version is plain, and the other version has a Name customization and you’re charging an extra $3. I would recommend that you create 2 separate Fixed Priced products, so that your client does not have to go through the Quote workflow to get their order through. You can always add URLs to the description to help link the 2 different versions as well.
The Unit Price is whatever you define a “Unit” to be. We like to advise people to name their products with the Unit included, for example: one dozen french macarons. That way, it’s more clear what they are getting for that unit. We also see people who want to sell in increments of 1 list a Single cookie, but set them Min. Quantity to 12– it all depends on how you operate. We have noticed that people are more likely to pay “$5/cookie” than “$60/doz” even though the math works out to be the same price for a dozen cookies. In the future, we may consider allowing you to customize this field.
The Quantity Requirements section allows you to customize minimum and maximum quantity requirements for each product. A lot of folks require a 2-doz min cookie order to book, so that’s where this functionality comes into play. Max quantity is pretty obvious- think about if you’re setting a limit for an order, for example, some people cannot take on more than 5 cake orders at once.
The next section is your Inventory management area, where you can decide if you want to track inventory for this product. For custom goods with Variable pricing, there’s likely not a need to track inventory, since you review Quote requests one by one to decide if you want to take on an order. But for bake-on-demand products or presale/popup items, inventory management is probably a good idea so that you don’t oversell. Since inventory can be changed on the fly, you can watch your sales to see what products are doing well, and then easily change inventory if one item is selling better than another.
In the screenshot below, you can see how I toggled Enable Inventory to the right, which then expands a field that asks for how many of something I have in stock or will plan to offer:
The Checkout settings are related to the specific Product. You can enable Direct Checkout, which applies only to Fixed price Products. This is your standard ecommerce option where you add something to your cart, checkout and pay. You skip the whole Quoting process for Direct Checkout, Fixed-Priced Products. To learn more about direct checkout, head over to this overview: https://info.mycustombakes.com/overview-direct-checkout/
The Custom Fulfillment Methods are your Product-Specific fulfillment methods for this item. You have global fulfillment settings in your Business dashboard that you can set for your shop, but in case specific products have special options, we allow you to configure it. For example, cakes are only available for local pickup/delivery, BUT you can ship cookies!
The Product Specifications are where things get really fun – now, you get to decide what questions you want your Client to answer when they order this product, so that you can either give the most accurate Quote for Variable-priced products OR get your customization details all captured in one place.
Clicking the Add Specification button will bring up this screen:
This is a form builder that you can use to configure any type of question you want.
Text: This creates a text field for your client to type an answer into. I like using it for capturing customization details like: What is the Name you’d like to be written on the cookie or Can you please describe your special packaging needs for me?
Numeric: This field allows the client to enter a number. In situations where people offer, for example, 2 flavors per dozen and you allow them to pick how many pcs of each flavor they want, you can set 1 question as “how many pcs of Chocolate do you want?” and then a second question “how many pcs of Strawberry do you want” or however many parameters you have.
Single Select: This is like your multiple choice question format. Clients may only select ONE option from the list that you configure. For example, we have a list of flavors, but they can only choose 1. Or if you’re working on a Variable Priced item and you are offering sizes for cakes: they can only select one size.
Multi Select: Think of this like checkbox options. For example, you have allow the client to select up to 3 flavors for a 3-tiered cake. You can load this flavor list and allow them to select what they want.
File Attachments: If you’d like your client to include reference photos, this is it- enable this option to allow your clients to attach photos of what they’re looking for. For example, someone wants portrait cookies made. This is a great spot to attach a picture of what they want the portrait to look like.
You can get creative and use a combination of these to get the most detailed responses possible, there aren’t fast and dry rules when it comes to creating your product specifications. People use Products to create additional packaging options, shipping options, and even use them for classes that they can then list in their Events. There are so many possibilities.
The best advice I can give anyone is to first generate a list of questions you’d need to ask your clients to save yourself the most time, and to get the most info possible if you need to provide a Quote. Then, depending on the format of the acceptable answers, select the Specification type. Take your time here to get familiar with all your options. If you need help, feel free to get insight from our Facebook Group or don’t be shy to send us an email: email@example.com
Check out some examples of shops that use a variety of these options to build their product offerings: