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How to Set Up Your Web Store on Facebook

November 19th, 2013 Vijaykumar Phale No comments

With social media connecting the lives of so many people these days, consumers want to always be plugged-in to social media platforms. And given how important convenience is for today’s shoppers, allowing them to both view and purchase items from their favorite stores while on Facebook is a great way to gain more sales. 

Read our guide below to see how to set up a Facebook sales channel for your online store.

Running your web store as a Facebook Canvas Application

Facebook offers the option to run Apps on its platform. These Apps leverage a concept called Canvas within Facebook.com. The canvas is essentially a part of the Facebook web page that allows running your own application within an iFrame.

The web store application is compatible with Facebook Canvas. It is pretty straightforward to configure the web store on your Facebook Canvas so that visitors or friends who visit your Facebook wall can also access your web store without navigating out of Facebook.

There are a few branding caveats that you need to be aware of:

  1. Facebook Canvas is a 810px wide iFrame. This means that if your web store pages are wider than 810px then they would show a horizontal scroll bar. That is not customer friendly. Consequently, your web page design needs to be less than 810px wide to fit into the Facebook Canvas.
  2. The Facebook Canvas would show a header on top of every page of your web store. See below for a reference page from Flixster facebook app. This top bar is owned by Facebook and carries Facebook’s branding.

Running your web store as a Facebook Canvas Application

How to publish your web store to Facebook

Publishing your web store to Facebook requires three different steps as illustrated below:

  1. Create a Facebook Canvas Application.
  2. Create a Facebook Page.
  3. Link Page to App.

How to publish your web store to Facebook

These steps are pretty simple to do once you have your web store up and running. The steps primarily involve Facebook Application Configuration and Page Configuration on your corporate Facebook Account.

Create a Facebook Canvas Application

As the first step you would need to create a Facebook Canvas Application. Detailed steps to create a Canvas Application on Facebook are given below:

developer registration process

continue the registration process

continue the registration process

continue the registration process

Once you click on ‘Done’, your Facebook Account will be enabled for publishing the web store application.

Create New App

Create New App

App Name must not use more than 32 characters and no less than 3. Please make sure that your app name does not violate the trademark or other rights of a third party. The app namespace is a unique name by which your application is registered on Facebook. If the name is already taken by someone else, you will need to pick an alternate one. Click on Continue after filling out this form.

additional information about your web store application

App Domain is the domain name where you have hosted your web store. This has to be a domain name or IP address available on the internet.

Canvas related URLs

  1. Create your corporate account on Facebook.
  2. Login to Facebook and change the URL to http://developers.facebook.com
  3. From the header click on ‘Apps’. If you are not yet registered as a Facebook developer, then you will see the below screen.
  4. Click on the highlighted button/link to complete the developer registration process.
  5. The developer registration process will ask for some more technical inputs as shown below. Make selections as shown in the screenshots below and continue the registration process.
  6. To host your web store inside Facebook, we will need to create a new application. To create a new application, click on the ‘Create New App’ icon present on the below screen.
  7. The next page will ask for additional information about your web store application, as shown below:
  8. In the same form, you would need to provide the Canvas related URLs as shown below. These URLs are your web store URLs. If you have multiple stores, it would require creating multiple Facebook Canvas Applications.
  9. If you are running a mobile version of your web store, then type in that URL in the mobile web section as displayed in the above screen.
  10. Page Tab related settings are used to show your application on your Facebook page. These settings and their contents will get displayed once we add this application to our page. Maximum Page Tab width available is 810px, so you need to rework your web store UI to adjust within 810px. Otherwise you will get horizontal scroll bar while viewing web store pages via the Facebook Application.

Create a Facebook Page

The second step in publishing your web store on Facebook is creating your own Facebook page. Given below are the steps to create a page in your Facebook account:

Create a Page

Like Pages

Create a Page

select the appropriate category for the new page

page related basic information

Specify the profile picture for the page

Add a description and website for the newer page

Specify the page address

setting for enabling ads

  1. Login to your Facebook account.
  2. Once logged-in, you will be able to see the ‘Create a Page’ option at the bottom of the page.
  3. You can also click on the ‘Like Pages’  link present in the left hand side navigation pane, as shown below, to start the new page creation process.
  4. Clicking on ‘Like Pages’ brings you to a page where the ‘Create a Page’ button is present.
  5. To create a new Facebook page, select the appropriate category for the new page. Usually these types of pages would be in the Brand or Product category.
  6. Enter page related basic information as shown below. The name of the brand and product should be the name that you want to advertise to your customers/web store visitors.
  7. Specify the profile picture for the page as shown below. This picture is usually an advertisement for your web store, so it can be a ‘Logo’ or another picture that visitors relate to your brand/merchandise.
  8. Add a description and website for the newer page. You can provide multiple links that are relevant to your brand – these can be blogs, a customer service page, a Twitter page, etc.
  9. Specify the page address as below, which should be unique in the Facebook database.
  10. The last section in this process is the setting for enabling ads.
  11. After following all of the above steps, your newly created Facebook page will be ready to host your web store application.

Link the Facebook Page to the Facebook App

Once you are done with the Facebook application and Facebook page creation, you are ready to link your Facebook application to this newly created Facebook page. Note that you can also link the application on an existing Facebook page within your account, if you wish to do so. Given below are the steps to link the application:

Select the web store application

Now open the notepad and create an URL as shown below: http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=YOUR_APP_ID&next=YOUR_URL

In this URL, YOUR_APP_ID will be our application id that we want to add to the page, and the next parameter we will have will be the Canvas page URL.

For the application we created in this documentation exercise, the application URL will be: http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=164456380363965&next=http://apps.facebook.com/globalapparel/

add application to page

Facebook page

web store

  1. Open your browser and login to your Facebook account.
  2. In a separate tab open the FB developers URL: https://developers.facebook.com/
  3. Now that you are on the https://developers.facebook.com website, go to the Apps section.
  4. Select the web store application created previously, and note down the Application ID and Canvas Page URL from the application settings section.
  5. Copy this created URL from the notepad and try opening it in a separate browser tab and you will see the below ‘add application to page’ dialog in your browser window.
  6. All the pages existing in your account would be listed in the page list. Select the page on which you would like to add your web store application as a page tab.
  7. Once you click on Add Page Tab, the application will be a part of the specified Facebook page and will be visible on the page tab section, as shown below:
  8. In the above screenshot we can see that we have added three web store applications to the same page. Once we click on any application, the corresponding Canvas application will launch and the related web store will get displayed in the iFrame, as shown below.

If you have any questions on how to set up a Facebook sales channel for your web store, or if you would like more information on how to improve online sale operations, please email us at ecommerce@ignify.com, or call us at (888) 446-4395.

Vijay Kumar Phale is a Tech Lead for eCommerce at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERPCRMeCommerce and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Manufacturer Sponsored Rebate (MSR) Module in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

November 1st, 2013 Michael Gabriel No comments

We recently completed a large supply chain implementation that had complex requirements to calculate manufacturers’ rebates and claims. These rebates and claims were important because they had an impact on customer pricing and salesperson commissions.   

To meet these requirements, Ignify developed a module that is tightly integrated with the other modules of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for configuring rebates given by the manufacturers to their resellers. This module is designed to calculate and claim rebates from the manufacturers, with rebates calculated at the time of sales order creation, thus helping the sales representative to quote the competitive price to the customer.  

A service hosted by this module can be also used in a third party application used for creating sales orders. The rebates are stored as claims to the vendor or manufacturer in the MSR module. They are claimed to the manufacturer and are also reconciled back to approved or rejected claims.

Characteristics:

  • The rebates can be configured for a Manufacturer or a Group of Manufacturers. Manufacturer is the vendor entity in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
  • The rebates can be configured for individual item, group of items, partial string matching an item, and by a category under which many items fall.
  • Rebates can be configured by the financial dimensions that match the dimensions on the sales line.
  • Rebates are date controlled by having effective start and end period. The sales orders shipped during the active life of the rebate program are eligible for rebates.
  • The rebates can have constraint based setup such as an allowed maximum quantity and allowed maximum amount. Once the maximum amount or quantity is claimed, the rebate is no longer active. It also has minimum constraints for quantity that is needed for it to qualify.

Rebate Types:

There are primarily four types of rebates as described below:

  1. Individual Item Type: Line or Bids.

This rebate has a specific bid price or calculation rule based on the price or bid of an item. The calculation rules can be based on percentage of price, or percentage of bid price provided by the manufacturer. Usually a bid file is integrated from the manufacturer that contains the latest bids and prices.

  1. Combination

Get a rebate on selling two or more items, forming a bundle.
E.g. A laptop with an external disk combo is eligible for $10. In this case, the amount would be split equally for both the products – i.e. $5 each.

  1. Mix and Match:

One item from every group must be sold to get the rebate.
E.g. If the setup of items is as below:

Mix and Match Group Items
A iPod
A Headphones
B Laptop

A laptop can be combined with either an iPod or headphones to be eligible for a rebate.  At least one item from group A and B must be present to qualify for a rebate.

  1. Buy X, Get Y Free:

Get item Y free with selling item X. Rebate is the cost price of Y.

Rebate Stacking:

Sometimes more than one promotion is given by manufacturers to promote their products during a holiday or through web promotions. This can be set up in the rebate module as a stack. Stacked rebates mean that more than one rebate can be applied to the product during a period of time. For instance, a web promotion that gives an additional 10% discount to the original bid price.

Optimistic Algorithm:

The rebates are always calculated based on the best combination to give the best price to the customers. A customer may place many items in a sales order and the rebates are calculated based on a single order. Some rebates are also configured to look at the past sales to that customer and then the price is decided accordingly. These are called tiers – where you can have promotions that have a minimum and maximum quantity to qualify. For example, a customer gets a 10% discount for the first 100 quantities, and after that 15% for the next 1,000 quantities. The calculation, when considered with the stacking and tiers, gives the best result to the customer.

The calculation is based on best fit algorithm. To understand this, let us use a scenario. The items on the sales order consist of Apple products, as shown below. There are two active rebates, R1 and R2, configured individually and in combination, respectively. R1 gives rebates to individual items, and R2 gives rebates for a combination of items if sold in combination.

Items master
Iphone4S
Iphone4G
IPad32
Sales Order
Items master Qty
Iphone4S 10
Iphone4G 20
IPad32 10
Rebate :R1 Line Type (individual based)
Items Amount
Iphone4S 10
Iphone4G 20
IPad32 10
Rebate :R2 Combo Type (bundles)
Items Amount
Iphone4S  
IPad32  

 

Bundled Rebate: 120
Sales Order
Item Qty Rebate Rebate Amt
Iphone4S 10 R2 600
IPad32 10 R2 600
Iphone4G 10 R1 200
IPad32 10 R1 300
Total rebate 1700

The best way to allocate the rebate to get the highest rebate would be allocating as many combinations as possible on the SO. Note that only 10 combination rebates can be reserved against the order as the IPAD32 is only 10 pieces on the SO. The remaining 10 pieces of IPAD32 can be given a rebate from R1 at $30 per piece.  Thus the above table shows how R1 and R2 are combined to fulfill the rebate of the sales order.

Now let’s make it more complex by making R1 and R2 stacked rebates. Say that R1 is a web promotion for a limited period. If the above sales order was to calculate based on stacking, the allocation would look like:

Sales Order
Item Qty Rebate Rebate Amt
Iphone4S 10 R2 600
IPad32 10 R2 600
Iphone4G 10 R1 200
IPad32 20 R1 600

Note that the IPad32 would fully use promotion R1 and overlap the promotion R2 as they are stacked. Thus the stacked rebate amount would be $2,000 and this is the best among both calculations, so this is allocated to the sales order.

EDI Support:

The rebates can be updated by EDI files. There are two types of files for each manufacturer: the bid file and the price file. The bid file contains the bid information for all the items to various customers, and the price file contains the net and list price of the items. These files are loaded periodically through the EDI feeds and are used as the basis of rebate programs. EDI staging tables and services are hosted by this module.

Estimate on a Sales Order:

The estimates of rebates are shown on the sales order through a service call. They can also be obtained in a third party application through a live web service hosted from Microsoft Dynamics AX. If the item is a type of bill-of-materials (BOM), the estimates of all its components are also shown, even if it has not been exploded.

Calculating and Processing the Claims:

The rebate claims can be calculated for shipments for a defined period. They can be recalculated if better known rebates are available. If the items are returned, this module will adjust the transaction and finally the vendor account.

The claims transactions can be reviewed and adjusted before submitting to the vendor. When the claims are ready for submitting to the manufacturer, a claim journal is created for all the claims that are ready. The amount is posted in a GL transaction to debit the vendor (AR linked customer) balance. The claims are extracted into a file at a claim location and shared with the manufacturer. Receivable and P&L postings are set up for review and posting when a claim is submitted. Offset to AR posing is user definable in the rebate module parameters. An AR customer is determined by an address book relationship to the manufacturer AP vendor form. There is full traceability from the financial journal to claim transactions and back.

Settlement:

The manufacturer gets the claim file and usually makes the payment that is captured in the payment journal. The claims can either be fully paid, partially paid, or rejected. They are reconciled based on input from the manufacturer. The manufacturer pays the claim either through AP credit or direct AR funding.

Payment per claim transaction information is imported from Excel and reconciled to claims submitted.  Short pays or denied claims can be written off by creating a write off journal.  Over pay can be written on by creating a write on journal to credit the vendor (AR customer). Short or denied claims can be marked to adjust the salesperson’s commission calculation accordingly.

If you have any questions on rebate functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us at dynamics@ignify.com.

Parthav Patel is a Sr. Technical Analyst of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Michael Gabriel is a Sr. Solutions Architect of Microsoft Dynamics AX at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERPCRMeCommerce and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.