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Where do I go to manage my store (and what do I do once I'm there?)

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The Members Page is the Control Center of Your Store!

The members page is the place that you come to manage your store. You should bookmark it so that its easy to find because you will be visiting it a lot. If your members page is not currently displayed, click this link https://www.tias.com/members/ to open it in a new window so you can toggle back and forth between your members page and this tutorial. It looks like this (the colors may vary depending on which mall group you join and the time of the year)

The tools that you access through your member's page are all you need to maintain your online business.  No knowledge of HTML or any esoteric programming language is required -- just your browser, your merchandise and your own good business judgment.

You should visit your members page at least once per day.   In addition to giving you access to the menus to manage your store, there are two parts of the members page that are very useful.  The Management Dashboard presents you with an up-to-the-minute overview of the state of your store.  The New Features section advises you of additions to the software and provides helpful hints on how to use the system.

Management Dashboard

The purpose of the dashboard is to give you a clear and readable report that tells you how your store is doing today.  Although the dashboard report IS generated by the computer, it is written in casual business English, much as if a trusted subordinate had prepared it for you.

The dashboard report is divided into paragraphs, each of which describes one facet of your business (month-to-date sales, for instance, or the amount of visitors that your site has had).  Where it tells you about a number, the dashboard will always give you a place to click to see the detailed information that backs up its assertion.  For instance, when you have orders, you will see a statement like this 'you have unshipped orders for 9 line items totaling $251.95. Click here to see them'.  The word 'here' will be underlined, meaning that it is a link.  In this example, if you had clicked on the link, your unshipped items report will be displayed to you.

New Features and News

The software system that you are using is very large and has a very rich set of business management features.  Unlike most online catalog systems, which only allow you to create an online store, the TIAS.com software product includes the tools that you actually need to run a business -- financial reporting, inventory management and so forth.   The software supports a very wide range of business structures, from one-of-a-kind and serialized inventory to the volume sale of recurring inventory.  Please note that there are many commerce groups ('malls' and other organizations) that use this software product; some may have restrictions on the type of merchandise your store can offer.  So just because there ARE features for selling mass-manufactured items does not necessarily mean that your commerce group will permit this.  Check with your customer support if you have any questions.

The company is also actively engaged in software development, so new tools and functions are added to the system very routinely.  Notices of new features are published in three venues:

  • On your members page, in the 'New Features and News' section which appears immediately below the dashboard;
  • in the weekly dealer's newsletter (to which you are automatically subscribed);
  • in the dealer's forum.

Be sure to review this information (at least) weekly so you don't miss any of the new goodies!

Menus

On the left side of your members page, you'll see a menu. The menu gives you a list of the tools you'll need for maintaining your online store. Using the tools on the menu, you can

  • create a catalog / online store of your items ('maintain categories');

  • add, remove and change items in your online inventory and organize your merchandise within your catalog ('maintain inventory'). Note that the system has a broad range of tools for managing your physical inventory as well.  These tools make it easy for you to ship your merchandise to the customer once you have an order;

  • post your inventory for sale on other sites like eBay and Yahoo! Auctions ('auctions');

  • accept and manage your orders ('orders and financial').  This option is the heart of your store.  Its where you come to process your orders and to deal with your customers;

  • maintain the appearance of your store ('site maintenance') and

  • use reporting tools to understand and improve the performance of your store ('reports').

  • use promotion tools to get more visitors to your store ('promotion tools').

We've tried very hard to make sure that each tool has enough  explanation that you'll be able to use it without difficulty.  In most cases, the documentation is shown to you as you use it.   You can also see a brief overview (like this one) for any option if you click the question mark next it on the menu.

If you have further questions, please contact support@tias.com

System Tutorial

This isn't really part of the members page, but its important not to miss!  The system tutorial section is used to give you and overview of addition to the system and to explain more about how the system is designed to be used.  The tutorial section is typically updated once per month.   

It contains more general articles. It describes functions and situations like 'How do I cancel an order?' and provides the general sort of overview that a store owner might need -- really more of the 'why' than the 'what'. To get to the tutorial, click the menu link titled 'System Tutorial'.

The tutorial also has a query engine where you can ask questions. This is available 7x24 and is swiftly developing into the best way to get a quick answer to a question.

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