Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is a Headless, SaaS, API-first, & Microservices-based commerce platform for brands with ambitious digital growth strategies. This guide was developed to provide tips for getting started with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud business user tooling called Commerce Manager. It covers an introduction to Commerce Manager, Product Content Management, and Data Model Extensions. It also provides information on managing customers, currency settings, and roles and permissions within Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. Note: active customers can find a more robust getting started guide in the Education Portal.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Commerce Manager
Commerce Manager, our business user tooling for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, is the command center for your commerce merchandising, marketing, and administration teams. Commerce Manager helps you to easily manage your store without requiring technical knowledge of the APIs. This is an ideal solution for both business and technical users. It allows you to set up and manage one or multiple stores with ease; including the ability to:
- Import, enrich, and organize product data
- Create and easily manage unlimited catalogs
- Manage store settings, such as currency, payment method, etc.
- Manage inventory, payments and refunds
- Assign and manage promotions
- Add and manage Flows (custom data) and integrations
Here are a few key concepts that will help you to understand how to work within the Commerce Manager.
A slug is a value used in development as a reference to an item. Slug names must be unique, use lower case and underscore instead of spaces.
Status allows you to post an item live to the front-end or save it as a draft. Once you set the status to live it is visible to all visitors. It is best practice to work in draft mode until you are ready to post your work.
With the exception of a product description, the description field is for internal reference and is not visible on the front-end. It is best practice to include a detailed description for all entries. When working within a team, documenting your work helps everyone know what entries are being used for.
Image File Format
The following are the accepted Commerce Manager upload file type formats: jpg, jpeg, png and gif
Variations allow you to create the variations that your products have. Things like size or color are examples of a Variation. Using this system you can reliably create all possible combinations of your product.
A modifier augments the properties of a base product, such as price, SKU, etc.
Here are some concepts and definitions that relate to the development or customization of the Commerce Manager in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.
API stands for "Application Programming Interface"
Flows allow you to extend an existing or create a new resource (such as products, customers and orders) by adding custom data fields and entries. Using Flows, you are able to create various types of fields, including strings, booleans, dates, integers and relationships with other custom flows.
A webhook is an API delivery concept. It enables data updates to be sent to an external public URL endpoints immediately. For example: A discount code or order confirmation email sent after an order has been fulfilled.
Postman is a tool that enables developers to easily create, share, test and document APIs
Chapter 2: Introduction to Product Content Management
We provide a product data and catalog management service for teams responsible for managing products, pricing, and catalogs at branded manufacturers that provides the flexibility to use your existing data structure to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, business models, and loyalty tiers. Examples might include:
- Multiple Geographies: Display different catalogs in different regions with suitable pricing or combine product hierarchies from two different regions to display in a third region.
- Multiple Channels: Display different catalogs based on how a shopper accesses your store, such as through a mobile app or a web storefront.
- Multiple Business Models: Offer different products and prices for B2B customers versus retail customers.
- Preferred Customers: Offer special pricing to preferred customers while displaying a standard price catalog to all other shoppers.
- Reward Programs: Enable reward programs where catalog prices drop after a certain spending level is reached.
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Chapter 3: Managing Customers in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud
When a customer is ready to purchase for the first time, the customer creates a profile. At a minimum, the customer provides personal contact information, such as full name, telephone numbers, and addresses. As a customer uses your store, you can enhance the customer profile with relationships to other information, such as payment methods, promotions, and order history.
Create a customer
If you are creating a new customer with the API, you can optionally submit a password along with that customer’s details.
You can use the Customer endpoint to store customer addresses and other information. The Customer endpoint allows you to generate JSON Web Tokens inside your client-side applications to authenticate requests to get all customer orders.
Delete a customer
Delete a customer from the dashboard. If you are using the API, use a customer id or customer token to delete a customer.
After you create a password for a customer, it cannot be retrieved again. Any customers with passwords will have the value of true in the password field.
If you have an existing customer who does not have a password, you can add the password field using the customer_id.
Customer tokens allow you to authenticate your customer’s identity by exchanging an email address and password for a customer token. On top of this functionality, we have the ability for those users to manage their addresses. This allows you to present them as part of your checkout process and avoids the need for authenticated users (as opposed to anonymous purchasers) to duplicate information that largely remains constant and static. Use customer token for a scenario in which you don’t have full read/write access to the API (implicit token type) and you want to authenticate your customers through email and password to access and manage their own details, such as address, orders, etc.
Use a customer token to:
- Authenticate your customer's identity (instead of using email & password).
- Get or update customer details.
- Get or update a customer address.
- Get customer orders.
- Provide your customer with implicit access to their details and orders.
Chapter 4: Data Model Extensions (formerly known as Flows)
You can define custom data fields for the resources that you use in your store, such as adding more fields to the customer resource. You can also create new resources, such as a wishlist resource to support wishlists in your store. With Data Model Extensions, you can apply Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to almost any use case.
The most common usage for flows is to extend existing resources, such as products, customers, and orders.
You can also create new resources to support product reviews, wish lists, blog articles, staff profile pages, and many more. These non-core Flows are referred to as custom Flows.
Chapter 5: Currency Settings in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud
In your store, you can display prices to customers in their local currency. It is best practice to configure currencies only for the locales in which you do business, and select one of the currencies to be the default currency. If a default currency is not selected, the store uses the United States Dollar (USD).
After a customer selects a locale, the product prices in the catalog, carts, and orders are displayed in the currency for that locale. Order totals and taxes are calculated in the same currency. You cannot have a cart or order where product prices are in mixed currencies.
Core elements of implementation have some common denominators. Among those using a Composable Commerce approach, the most common tools included are content management (40%), order management (39%) and digital asset management (39%), personalization (34%) and search (32%). Notably, content, order and digital asset management were frequently integrated with traditional commerce solutions prior to their availability as part of Composable Commerce solutions.
Chapter 6: Roles & Permissions in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud
Quickly and easily assign roles so that users can fulfill their responsibilities without disrupting other team’s workflows, ensuring brands can more effectively run their commerce business.
Elastic Path Commerce Cloud supports the following roles and permissions:
- Basic: User does not have any permission assigned.
- Seller admin: User has permissions to modify every aspect of the store
- Marketing/Sales: User has permissions to modify catalogue and flows, but cannot change the store settings or customers.
- Support: User has permission to modify customers and orders only.
- IT Developer: User can only modify store settings.
Chapter 7: Additional Resources
The Resource Center makes it easy to get the support you need while you are working in the Commerce Manager. Simply click on the question mark in the lower-right corner of Commerce Manager to connect to learning, support, and documentation.
From the Resource Center, go to “Help On The Dashboard” to get contextual help, see watch product demos and videos and access direct links to help for a specific topic, such as products, flows, promotions, and more.
Take note of recent announcements, search key concepts, how-to guides and API reference documentation. Interested in learning more about a specific topic? You can also access all of our training courses right from the Resource Center. If you can't find the help you need, you can always contact support from here too.
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