Commerce Manager manual

This article refers to our legacy product, Commerce Manager, which will be discontinued, effective August 1, 2023. For the best Finalsite experience, we recommend using Finalsite Store, which offers a more robust, secure, and modern solution for e-commerce needs. Visit our client portal for additional information and next steps.

This manual contains complete documentation for Commerce Manager, including how to configure your store pages and populate the Commerce datasheet to upload items to sell in your online shop. 

Table of contents

Commerce Manager videos

Commerce Manager Introduction (3:30) 7/27/2017

Topics covered include:

  • Site store page structure
  • Front end appearance
  • Purchasing process for end users

Commerce Manager Module Setup (7:48) 7/27/2017

Topics covered include:

  • Accessing Commerce module options
  • Available shipping configurations
  • Updating the Commerce datasheet Products tab
  • Updating datasheet Options tab

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Commerce setup information screenshots

In this section, you will find screenshots that are referenced on the Setup Information tab of the Commerce Datasheet.

Newsletter opt-in message

This message allows your users to sign up to receive emails from you regarding your store. This may be sales, specials, and so on. You can change the wording below the checkbox.

Newsletters Opt In Screenshot

Payment option instructions

There are different ways for users to purchase items from your store. If you'd like to include information for the user about each payment option you enable, you can customize what appears below each item. Note: The Secure Card information is not editable, but you can include a message to the user in addition to the card information.

Payment Options Screenshot

Shopping Cart, Shipping, Payment, and Thank You page content

You can add additional information to each of these pages, as well. On each page, the content you can edit is in the highlighted box.

Shopping Cart content

 Shopping Cart Page Content Screenshot 

Shipping Page content

Shipping Page Content Screenshot

Payment Page content

Payment Page Content Screenshot

Thank You Page Content

Thank You Page Content Screenshot

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Commerce Manager Products datasheet template

The Commerce Manager Datasheet lets site admins update school store pages all at once, rather than having to individually update each page.

Site admins should use the "Items" tab to create and edit merchandise entries. Each row represents a distinct product for sale in the store. 

Each item must have a Name and a Price. The values in these fields will be used to populate the "Title" and "Cost" fields on the corresponding Item Page.

Some items might have options such as size or color associated with them. These are not handled by adding new rows to the the spreadsheet! Instead, the option choices are listed on the "Options" tab. Options that are grouped together, such as shirt sizes (e.g., "Small," "Medium," "Large," etc.) should all share the same optionCode and Title on the Options tab of the spreadsheet. Then, add any applicable optionCode values to the optionid1, optionid2, optionid3, etc., fields to the appropriate row on the Items tab of the spreadsheet.

All of the image files for thumbnails, Medium Images and Large Images should be saved together in the same folder in File Manager. Do not include the full file path in the image columns on the Items tab; only enter the file names. Be sure to let Finalsite know which folder in File Manager you saved your images to!

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Commerce item options

Options covers the variations on a single item that a user can order - such as different sizes for the same shirt, or different colors for a mug or a bag. Merchandise with different options doesn't necessarily have a different SKU, but the options must be tracked and accounted for within Commerce Manager.

Options are defined on the Commerce datasheet, in the "Options" tab.


This example shows two sets of options, "Size" and "Color."

The first 5 data rows (excluding the header row) all belong to the "Size" options - you can tell that because they all have the same values in the "optionCode" and "title" columns. The next two rows are the "Color" options.

The "optionValue" field contains the unique name of each of the different choices within each set of options. 

The "priceAdder" field determines the amount added to an order's subtotal whenever a user selects a particular option. (In this example, purchasing a XX-Large shirt would add an additional $5 to a user's order.)

To apply a given set of options to a specific item for sale:

  1. Go to the "Products" tab of the datasheet
  2. Find the item in question
  3. Scroll over to the blue "optionID" columns
  4. Add the "optionCode" value for the options you want to use to the first available blue column
  5. You may repeat this process for up to 15 sets of options


When an option is applied to an item, end users will see those options appear as a dropdown menu on the item page when browsing the website. Whatever is in the "title" field for those rows on the Options tab of the datasheet will define the name of the dropdown menu. The values in the "optionValue" column will become the individual entries within that menu.


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Commerce item images

You can specify unique image's for an item's thumbnail, small image and large image on the Commerce product datasheet.

While there are no hard and fast rules for image sizes in Commerce Manager, ideally you want to have your largest version between 400 and 800 pixels wide. The height is relative to the width and can be whatever it needs to be to keep the proportions correct. The medium is usually half as wide as the largest and the thumbnail is usually half as wide of the medium or 1/4 the width of the largest image.

For example, if you large image is 500 pixels wide x height (let the height be proportionate); medium would be 250 pixels wide x N; and the thumbnail would be 125 pixels wide by N.

Image resolution can be set to 72 pixels per inch.

The datasheet accepts only file names, it does not accept the full file path. This means that all images must be saved to the same directory in File Manager. Make a note of which directory you use, and notify Finalsite Support when you submit the datasheet for upload.


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Commerce order shipping options

There are a number of shipping options available for use with Commerce Manager.

To customize your shipping settings, navigate to Site Manager > Site Administration > Site Modules > Commerce.

Shipping Options

Under the Shipping Options section, select your preferred shipping option from the list provided. Each option has additional settings that are shown when the corresponding radio button is selected. Here is a description of each option, as well as how to complete the additional settings fields:

UPS - calculated from

  • From Zip: Enter the zip code you will be shipping from. (i.e. Your school's Zip Code)

  • Methods: This is where you can select which shipping options are presented to the user when they are making a purchase by entering the appropriate UPS method codes into the field. The available UPS method codes for US-originated shipments are listed below.  Enter all of the two-digit codes corresponding to the shipping options you wish to display in a comma-separated list. The website user will only see those methods that UPS offers for the order's shipment weight and origin/destination zip codes.

    • 01 - UPS Next Day Air
    • 02 - UPS 2nd Day Air
    • 03 - UPS Ground
    • 07 - UPS Worldwide Express
    • 08 - UPS Worldwide Express Expedited
    • 11 - UPS Standard
    • 12 - UPS 3 Day Select
    • 13 - UPS Next Day Air Saver
    • 14 - UPS Next Day Air Early A.M.
    • 54 - UPS Worldwide Express Plus
    • 59 - UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.

Note: For full details of each shipping option, see the webpage for U.S. Shipping Services.

Fixed amount per order

A single fixed amount charged for shipping for each individual order. By selecting this option, you will add a set dollar amount to each transaction in order to cover shipping costs.

  • Shipping Amount ($): - The amount, in dollars, to charge for shipping.

  • ---: Not Used

Tiered amounts per order subtotal

Similar to "Fixed amount per order" in that a set dollar amount is added to each transaction, however, the actual dollar amount added will vary according to the total order cost - more expensive orders will be charged a higher shipping fee (i.e., a $5 for shipping fee for orders $0 to $20, $10 shipping fee for orders $21 to $40, etc.)

  • Shipping Tiers ($ List): Enter the shipping fees for each tier sequentially, without $ signs, in a comma separated list. (e.g. "5,10,15,20,25" ). These are the amounts that will be added to each transaction as a shipping fee. The number of values entered in this field will determine the number of different shipping amount tiers.
  • Subtotal Tiers ($ List): Enter the corresponding subtotal value ranges for each tier entered in the previous field. (e.g. "0,20,40,60,80" ). The number of values entered into this field must match the number of values entered into the "Shipping tiers ($ List)" field. The first number is the lower boundary for shipping costs - this should usually be 0, unless you want to waive shipping fees for orders under a certain dollar amount. The second number is the upper boundary of the range for the first shipping-cost tier. Each subsequent number is the upper boundary for the next sequential shipping-cost tier.

In the examples above, shipping rates would be:

Order Amount Shipping
$0 to $20 $5
$20-$40 $10
$40 - $60 $15
$60 - $80 $20
$80 or more $25

Percentage of order subtotal

Calculates shipping based on a fixed percentage of the order subtotal.

  • %: Percentage of order subtotal to charge for shipping. In the example above, each transaction would have an additional %6.25 of the order subtotal added as a shipping fee.

  • ---: Not used

None - No shipping

No shipping option. (Useful if you are selling items for pickup only rather than for delivery; see below)

Pick Up

Regardless of the shipping calculation option you choose, you can also include a "pick up" option, where users can opt not to be charged shipping and pick the item up themselves.

If you want this to be labeled something other than "Pick Up", you can input a custom label in the text field provided when this option is checked.

Limiting Shipping to Certain Countries

You can limit shipping to specific countries. Selecting this option will open two selection lists. Use the list on the left ("Potential Countries") to select the countries you will ship to, and click the "+ Add Country(ies) -->" button to add them to the Allowed Countries list. To remove a country from the list, select it in the Allowed Countries list, and click "X Remove Country."


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Shipping / return / refund policies for merchant account vendors

The merchant account or payment gateway may have some guidelines for minimum information needed in the policy. Otherwise, here are some basic points to consider for inclusion:

  • Do you accept returns? If so, for how long after purchase? 10, 30, 90 days? Is there a different time limit for returns for refund vs. returns for exchange?
  • Do you accept returns for refund, or only exchange? What about in cases where merchandise is defective?
  • Do you refund shipping costs, or only the cost of merchandise? What about in cases where the merchandise is defective?
  • If a customer returns something for exchange, is customer responsible for shipping charges, or you? Do you cover or reimburse the cost of return shipping if the merchandise is defective?
  • Can orders be cancelled? If so, how long do they have to cancel after placing order? 1 hour? 24 hours? (This will probably depend on how soon you ship orders. You don't want to be able to cancel orders that have already been shipped.)
  • How long after the order is placed will it be shipped? Same day? Within 2 business days?
  • How are orders shipped? USPS, UPS, etc.

Once you have formulated a policy based on your answers to these questions, you can put it together in bullet point format such as:

  • Returns for refund will be accepted within 14 days of date of purchase
  • Returns for exchange will be accepted within 60 days of date of purchase
  • etc
  • etc

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