Explore the Merchant Center

New commercetools Projects are empty by default.

It is recommended to install the SUNRISE data to your Project to provide you with example data to work with.

Introduction

The commercetools Merchant Center web interface allows you to manage your commercetools Project (including Products, Product Types, Discounts, Orders, Categories, and Customers) with just a few clicks. Additional functions, such as configurable forms and batch processing, help you to easily complete your daily tasks.

This guide assists you in getting started with the Merchant Center and highlights some important functionality.

For detailed information on the Merchant Center and specific functionalities, visit the Merchant Center documentation.

Explore the Project settings

Project settings contain options for configuring localization, tax, shipping, and other configurable options for your Project.

Project settings can be configured in Settings > Project settings.

The Project settings in a commercetools Project

Setting up Internationalization

Internationalization options define the localization aspects of your Project. They can be found under the International tab.

Currencies

In a new commercetools Project, Euros (EUR) and US Dollars (USD) are supported by default. This means your Project is configured to sell Products in those currencies. This Project configuration allows you to add prices to SKUs with these currencies, maintain taxes, and shipping costs or even set promotions for those specified currencies.

Languages

Every localizable field (including Product Attributes, meta tags, and search keywords) can store values for each language that is added to your Project. In a new commercetools Project, German (de-DE) and American English (en-US) are supported by default.

Additional languages, including regional variants such as Austrian German (de-AT) or British English (en-GB) or all variants (de or en), can be added based on the locations and languages your e-commerce site will support.

Storefronts and other API clients can consume these localized values which you can preview and manage in the Merchant Center.

Localizable fields will display one language by default, but you can click Show all languages to view and edit the values for each language supported by your Project.

Localizable fields displayed in the Merchant Center

Countries

The country configuration determines where the Products stored in the Product catalog can be sold. This setting also allows you to set up different Tax Categories and prices per country, and it allows a single site to be served to different countries and/or geographic regions.

In a new commercetools Project, Germany (DE) and the United States (US) are supported by default, but others can be easily added.

A commercetools Project that supports Germany, Austria, United States and the Netherlands

Zones

Zones are used to group countries that share shipping costs. For more information, see Shipping Methods.

Example use of zoning countries based on proximity for shared shipping costs

Creating Tax Categories

Tax information can be found under the Taxes tab.

By default, the commercetools Platform calculates sales tax for each Product when they are added to a Cart. The calculated Tax Rate must be configured by setting a Tax Category which contains Tax Rates that are configured per country within a Tax Category.

The SUNRISE data contains two Tax Categories: Low Category and standard.

A list of Tax Rates in Project settings

The Low Category is meant for Products that can be sold at a reduced Tax Rate depending on the tax regulations in the countries you want to sell your Products in.

Within the standard Tax Category you see that Tax Rates are configured for each of the countries defined for the countries your Project supports.

Tax Rates are decimal numbers, so 0.19 is equivalent to 19% (the standard VAT rate in Germany).

Included in price is enabled for all Tax Rates in this example. This setting makes all the prices for Products in this Tax Category tax inclusive (suitable for countries like the United Kingdom and member states of the European Union). The Platform automatically calculates the net prices for these to be shown in the cart together with the tax amount. If you do not want to show gross prices in your storefront (as is common for B2B, or you want to use a third-party tax calculation service for the United States) then do not enable Included in price for the specific Tax Rate.

You can assign one Tax Category to your Products to define what tax is applicable for individual Products.

If advanced tax calculation is required, the default behavior of the Platform can be overridden so that an external tax calculation provider can be easily integrated.

Setting up Shipping Methods

These settings can be found under the Shipping methods tab.

Multiple Shipping Methods can be created to enable use cases like standard delivery, express delivery or click & collect. Creating a Shipping Method allows our Platform to calculate the exact shipping rate to apply to a Cart/Order and even make the shipping free if the value exceeds a specific Cart/Order value.

To provide different shipping services for your business, you can define specific Shipping Methods that have their individual shipping rates and Zones.

Example Shipping Methods for standard and express rates to the US and EU

The SUNRISE data contains four Shipping Methods: standard and express services for the EU and United States. The Standard EU method is set as the default Shipping Method.

Since VAT is also applied on shipping costs, each Shipping Method must have an assigned Tax Category. In the SUNRISE data, the methods for the United States are taxed with a US Tax Category and the EU methods are taxed with the standard category.

Shipping Methods use Zones to determine delivery services to countries. You can configure currency-specific shipping rates if needed.

Shipping Methods can have more advanced rules added as Predicates. For more information, see our tutorial on this topic

Setting up Channels

These settings can be found under the Channels tab.

A Channel is a grouping concept that can be applied to Product prices or inventories. Using Product distribution channels allows you to set different prices for the same SKU (each channel has a corresponding price). The use of inventory supply channels enables you to track different stock levels for the same SKU (each Channel will have its own inventory management capability). This allows you to represent a warehouse, a distribution hub, or even a physical retail space with a respective Channel.

The SUNRISE data includes several channels modeling physical stores in different cities. All of these channels have both Channel roles assigned: Inventory Supply and Product Distribution. Products in the SUNRISE data include channel-specific prices specified on the Product Variants. If you have imported the inventories from the SUNRISE data into your project also, you will find different stock levels for each channel on the SKUs.

Channels in the Project settings

Explore Daily Operation Features

Managing Customers

Customers can be configured in Customers > Customer list.

The Merchant Center provides the ability to add Customers manually, but in reality your store front will provide self-sign-up for your shop Customers so that you only need to adjust details like assigning them to Customer Groups (for example: bonus card members or other loyalty programs).

All Customers are uniquely identified by their email address that will be used by the storefront or any other API client to authenticate the Customer on the Platform. Customer passwords are encrypted and cannot be viewed in the Merchant Center, but you can assign a new password to a Customer if needed.

On the Addresses tab you can manage the shipping and billing addresses of a Customer. The country of the shipping address will be used to calculate the shipping costs for deliveries to this address specified on a Customer's Order.

On the Orders tab you will find all Orders the Customer has ever placed in your Project. The SUNRISE data does not provide any examples for this, but you can create an Order on behalf of an example Customer yourself as explained in creating an Order.

Managing Discounts

Two main types of promotions are provided: Product Discounts and Cart Discounts.

Creating a Product-based promotion

Product Discounts can be configured in Discounts > Product discount list.

Product Discounts are applicable to Products or Product Variants, typically used for presenting a reduced price on the Product list and detail pages next to the original price that is crossed out. Further information can be found in the Merchant Center documentation.

Creating a Cart-based promotion

Cart Discounts can be configured in Discounts > Cart discount list.

Cart Discounts apply a Discount to all or a subset of items in a Cart. This feature is designed for promotions like buy-one-get-one-free, free gifts, and free shipping. Use this promotion type when you issue Discount Codes to your Customers that they can apply on their next Order. Further information can be found in the Merchant Center documentation.

Managing Orders

Orders can be viewed in Orders > Order list

The Merchant Center allows you to manage all Orders that have been created by your Customers via the storefront in your commercetools Project.

Orders can also be manually created on behalf of a specific Customer using the Merchant Center.

Manage existing Orders

The SUNRISE data contains a list of example Orders. A search box and several filters assist you in finding Orders placed in a specific time frame, from a particular Customer, or with a specified Order status.

Selecting an order will allow you to see details about that Order:

An example Order in the Merchant Center

General tab

In the Order summary you can check and change the current Order status, Payment status, and Shipment status.

An Order workflow status has not been defined in the SUNRISE data. Order management workflows can be created by using the API.

The Order items section lists all the line items in the Order. You can check and set each Line item state. The SUNRISE data has three example line item states defined: Initial, Picking, and In replenishment.

Custom Fields tab

If you need additional information on your Orders that cannot be captured in the standard fields of an Order, you can customize them with your own Custom Fields.

Custom Fields can be set up using the API as explained in the Custom Fields tutorial. The SUNRISE data provides the Reserved Products field as an example Custom Field.

Shipping & Delivery tab

While we expect that on a production environment all these fields will be updated via integration from a third-party application (fulfillment or shipping processor), you can manually process a delivery by selecting which items are being shipped, including adding additional parcel data.

Returns tab

You can initiate a return process from this screen - add the return details and select which items are being returned. This will not override the initial Order data - instead it will just add additional return data to an Prder. Any other business logic can be applied with additional backend workflows (outside the Merchant Center).

Payments tab

Contains all payment-related data (status, amounts, IDs) associated with an Order to track the transactions with an integrated Payment Service Provider (PSP).

Creating an Order

Go to Orders > Add order and follow the wizard that manually creates an order on behalf of a Customer.

The wizard proceeds through the following steps:

  • Select the Currency for your Cart
  • Select the Customer associated to the Cart
  • Add line Items to the Cart
  • Select a Shipping method
  • Confirm the operation, which transforms the Cart into an Order

Orders, and all their details, can be copied by clicking the Copy this order button on the top right corner of the screen.

Next steps

You should now feel confident in configuring your commercetools Project using the Merchant Center.

You can continue your learning journey by reading the Merchant Center documentation.

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