Detailed Features

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sPearCat offers features that only the most expensive catalog software products offer, for the price of a package.

What else makes sPearCat so incredibly innovative?

Staging and Deploying

• Staging is organizing a database and building a catalog with sPearCat Publisher. You will preview locally your catalog to verify layout templates, template plug-ins, database content, and to fine-tune catalog behavior. Once everything is ready, your catalog is published onto a hosting Internet server.

• Deploying is launching a live catalog on-line using a remote Internet server. A live catalog includes a live database and is the complete on-line catalog, designed to run on an Internet server and be available to the public on the Internet or on an intranet.

Staged and deployed live catalogs share the same data, templates, and option settings. sPearCat replicates information from the staging database to the deployment database, and runs ideally on different computers. At all times, the staging catalog is independent of the live catalog. One is optimized for building and proofing, the other for deployment.

There is minimal “down-time” when updating catalogs. This is because sPearCat utilizes a single commit: information is blocked, transferred to a server, and then committed in one go, ensuring minimal downtime for catalog publishing.

This feature allows you to create sales, promotions, or special features ahead of your chosen publishing dates giving you the ability to test catalogs on a staging server before publication. You have total control over the date and time you want to publish since publishing is the result of a click on a button. Your Web presence becomes a powerful part of your marketing strategy. At any time you can work on other seasonal catalogs on your local server and create multiple catalogs using the same item database.

Database Organization Created On-Line

Items, and categories can be given an unlimited number of attributes and can be attached to an unlimited number of price lists, images, PDF, video files, and more. Customer information can also be adapted to your needs. Database organization is created within the Publisher, using a browser through the attribute set feature. The actual structure of your database is created on-line, allowing you complete design flexibility. There is no predetermined pattern for you to follow. This is due to sPearCat’s three kinds of attribute sets (customer, item and category).
There is no requirement for a Java or PHP developer to change the information structure of a catalog, no database administration, no lag-time, no negotiation time with your I.T. specialist, when you discover you are missing an attribute. You just add an attribute type, choose its nature (textual, numerical, choice from a created list or Boolean) and save.

sPearCat developed 100% Java

Java is the chosen language for scalable applications and clustering possibilities. A small or medium sized business can start using sPearCat, and then upgrade with additional servers. The extra load won’t have any influence on live catalogs .

Fully customizable

sPearCat allows you, the business owner, to build a whole new storefront on the Internet with the same look and feel as that of your original business. All settings can all be altered and tailor-set to your needs. Merchandising is custom structured so that your business can remain with the same internal organization as it was before using sPearCat. You can market your goods with the same promotional tools. sPearCat doesn’t restrict you as software products often do. Each template has a fully customizable layout and structure. Catalog appearance is determined by the creation of personalized templates so that each catalog reflects the merchant’s personality and brand.

Web-Based

sPearCat is totally Web based, requires no installation on the user’s laptop and offers total remote administration for a fully customizable Web catalog. What is unique to sPearCat is the fact that the actual structure given to the database is carried out on line through the use of three types of attribute sets (items, categories and customers). No on-site work is necessary to create merchants, catalogs, or upload templates. Great care has been taken to provide maximum browser compatibility and speed. The use of cookies by an end-user is optional.

Multi-Currency, Multi-Lingual, any Tax, any Shipping Method

sPearCat is a multi-currency, multi-lingual package. sPearCat's interface is easily localizable for any language (European or Asian) and for countries (dates and currencies). Language strings are entered inside each entity by using a drop-down menu to switch languages. This is the first software to offer the possibility of building and easily maintaining multi-lingual catalogs in any number of languages (Asian, and Arabic languages included). Even Amazon.com doesn't have these features and have solved the issue by creating different Web sites for different countries and currencies.

Taxes are also setup according to the country, and to the rate applied to specific goods. Tax calculation is national or cross-national. This means that when a customer is registered, and a country of shipping and a country of billing are declared, exact personalized invoices with the correct tax can then be presented to that customer according to currency preference, billing and shipping address. Shipping is custom designed in the same way. Non-automated currency conversions allows merchants to remain in perfect control of pricing strategy, prices being usually imported from an ordinary spreadsheet.

Families and Marketing Tricks of the Trade

Not only items are placed in categories, sPearCat uses the feature “families” to create relationships between items. One commonly uses catalog families to group products to cross-sell or up-sell, or to associate prerequisite products or optional accessories. Families are also used to help present several products that are identical except for one aspect such as their size or color for example. One may want to present only one product in a catalog and then offer users a button to view other sizes or colors in which the product is available.Marketing tricks of the trade Whichever marketing strategy you use in your business, whether it be up-selling or cross-selling, seasonal, integrated launches, or personalized viewing for specific clients (private catalogs), sPearCat is the tool for you.

Templates and Graphic Sets

Only good HTML knowledge is necessary to use sPearCat to its full potential and we provide a demo with a first template to quick start a first catalog. What makes sPearCat catalogs unique is the total separation of content and presentation. Data content, templates, and graphic sets are all independent. Changing one doesn’t have any effect on any another. Data content can easily be changed on an everyday basis. Templates reflect attribute sets. Templates can be given a new look through the use of a series of separately developed graphic sets.
sPearCat’s code and templates are also separate, therefore updates to sPearCat Publisher and newer sPearCat versions cannot affect existing catalogs.

Sales admin tool (sPearCat back-office)

Customers can be created within the back-office and personalized access attributed, sales processed, and payment taken, adapting to previous business sales processing.

Price lists

There can be as many price lists as each business supports, for end-users, for distributors, etc. When a user logs into the catalog, he is presented with his or her own price list. The great advantage is that ‘business to business’ and ‘retail business’ can use the same unique database. As the business changes or develops, the key administrator sets a particular price list for particular users.

Payments, Purchase

sPearCat supports multi-currency payments and has a flexible architecture allowing most payment methods and processors. A shopping cart is available with purchase on line, features, we have come to expect from catalog software including: fully visible cart at any time, cart memorized for next visit, and order checkable on-line. A back-office built on a queue system allows merchants to follow and process each order and payment.
Accurate invoicing improves customer satisfaction, reducing charge-back.

Gift Registry

Any selected item within the catalog can be part of any gift registry, developed as a self-service feature for your customers. A specific gift-shopping cart will then be available for purchases made from this list. The back-office deals with these sales in parallel to ordinary sales. Any type of gift registry can be set-up by you, the Merchant. In other words, you are not restricted to either wedding registries or seasonal lists. You adapt this feature to your particular business.

Private Catalog

You may wish to keep certain catalogs private, for the eyes of a chosen few. This is achieved through the creation of private catalogs, where pages are still bookmarkable, but require both user name and password to be viewed. This is valuable for seasonal collections to be shown to only a specific merchant-selected group of people.

Fully Bookmarkable

Each item in your directory or store is fully bookmarkable. Your customers will have no trouble going back to the exact page that they bookmarked. Users can share information with others through email, and you, the merchant can track exactly where your catalog users have been. This is a feature only offered in the most expensive custom-made software.

Full Documentation

There is full documentation (400 pages +), FAQs, and an on-line forum available. Technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Training sessions are also organized.

Users and Permissions

Creation and maintenance of a catalog is easy because publisher users are given specific access to read only, write only or read and write by the merchant. This feature allows secure access to the database, and prevents unauthorized access.

Reports

Individualized CSV and PDF reports can be generated by sPearCat.