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Flow Types 

There is a choice of three Flow Types within the cart:

Multiple Stage

With this flow type the purchaser is led through the various stages one screen at a time, with forward and back links to navigate between them as they enter validate the cart contents, enter their address details and link out to the payment processors.

Recommended for: legacy sites targeting users with old browsers.


Single Stage (default text surfaces)

With this flow type the purchaser is able to manipulate the cart in any order: there is no longer the need to move from one stage to another as everything is editable at the same time. This is more suited to modern (current) browsers as it relies on the use of Javascript and Ajax technologies.

Recommended for: new sites, needing an instant cart


Single stage (custom text surfaces)

With this flow type the site designer has much greater control over the visual appearance of the cart interface. While the other flow types just allow styling and text phrases to be changed, this flow type provides complete layout flexibility too, by providing a set of text surfaces which are embedded on each other.

Recommended for: new sites, where control over the cart visuals is important


Transitioning from one Flow Type to another

A normal method of work is to develop and launch a site with the “Single Stage (Default text surfaces)” - so you can get selling immediately, and then spend time perfecting the design of the “Single Stage (Custom text surfaces)” flow type before moving users over to that.

To do this, set the site to listen on two different domain names: one that the public will use, and one for testing the new flow type.

In the Behavior Editor, set the Flow types as below:

Flow Type [Single Stage (default text surfaces)]

For the following domain [www.test-domain.com]  (for example)

use flow type [Single Stage (custom text surfaces)]


With this set, when you browse the site using the www.test-domain.com domain, then you will see the new flow type, whilst customers can continue to use the old one.

 

Designing a Cart with custom text surfaces

Set the Flow Types up so you are using the “Single Stage (custom text surfaces)”

In the Toolbox, choose 'Configure Cart' and then choose the “Text Surfaces” tab.

This shows a tree of text surfaces, the majority of which are under the 'Custom Singe Stage' node.

Configuring the appearance of the cart is simply a matter of editing these surfaces. The surfaces can contain any content you require, but to function as a cart they will need to contain various Embeds: in some cases the Embeds will be other surfaces, in other cases the Embeds will be special cart fields and functions.

Start with the “Custom Single Stage” surface itself: right-click on the node in the tree, and click 'Edit'.

In the Text Editor, click on the orange Embed icon to see a list of items that can be embedded on this surface. Note the set of surfaces with names starting with “Cart - ”. Most of these will need to be embedded on the surface, though you have complete freedom over where they are positioned.

Not all surfaces will show all the time. For example, there are a set of three surfaces for “user details”, one for each of the three possible states: “returning users”, “logged-in users” and “new users”. You should embed all three, but only one of them will ever be shown at a time.

Once a surface has been embedded you can edit that surface itself. You can either save the surface you are on and find it in the tree of surfaces on the Configure Cart / Text Surfaces tab, or, in the text editor of the original surface, you can right click on the embedded surface, choose Edit Embed and then Edit Text Surface. This method removes any ambiguity about which surface should be edited.

Note: If you have multiple text surfaces open for editing be sure to return to them all and save them individually, or you will lose some of your work.

As you edit each text surface in turn, follow the original procedure of using the Embed dialog to see which Cart embeds are available for embedding, and ensure you embed all those you require. In order to provide the required flexibility there are a considerable number of these surfaces.

As you test the cart be sure to cover all the possible circumstances: new, returning, and logged in users.

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