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axis vMerchant features

All the functionality you need to run a business online

With axis vMerchant it is not just a powerful and flexible shopping site application, it is a total eCommerce solution for your online business. It requires absolutely no specialised web knowledge to allow you to market your website and to promote your chosen products.

With axis vMerchant's extensive range of features you have all of the facilities you need to handle your on-going merchandising requirements. Choose which products to promote on your home page, decide what prominence to give to different products in search results and category listings, issue any number of promotional voucher codes that customers can redeem for discounts or free gifts and much more...

For a more detailed list of the capabilities of axis vMerchant please download the axis vMerchant Feature Guide.

Concepts & Design Features

Support Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Use axis vMerchant for both your retail and trade operations or, if you are currently a trade-only or retail-only operation, easily add another string to your bow!

Seamless Integration with axis diplomat

Maintain all of the content of your website using your back office stock control system. Have orders placed on your website automatically imported into your back office order processing system. Ensure that your trade customers see their net pricing when they log in to your B2B website.

Run multiple axis vMerchant websites from one back office system

A single place to maintain all of your product and customer data, even if you have multiple trading styles and offer different retail pricing on each of a number of different websites.

Totally Flexible Design

If you wish to use your own or a third party web designer then they will find that the innovative technology behind axis vMerchant allows them a huge amount of freedom in building your eCommerce site(s). Furthermore, those designs can be built using industry-standard tools (axisfirst recommends Dreamweaver).

Full Design Service Available

axisfirst can design and build your axis vMerchant site for you, from initial brief through to completion.

Content Management System

axis vMerchant's in-built Content Management System allows you to update the content of all of those "other" pages, such as News, Terms & Conditions and About Us, as often as you wish with no web skills required.

Banner Maintenance

You can also maintain series of "banner ads" on your axis vMerchant site, again with no web design skills required. You can change your banners as often as you wish, link them to specific areas of your catalogue or to other pages managed via the Content Management System.

Each page can show all of the banners from a specific series or show one chosen at random on each page.

Hosting Features

Secure Hosting

Your axis vMerchant website will be hosted in a secure data centre (or 'server farm') - not only is this using the latest security software and hardware to help protect from cyber-attacks by hackers but is physically secure - from redundent power supplies coming from different local sub-stations to anti-ramraid bollards around the completely anonomous building, with no external signage and restricted access.

Managed Hosting

We do not simply host websites - we actively monitor them so if, for example, data has not been synchronised with your back office system at the time when it would be expected then we will know about it - possibly before you do!

Optimised for Large Capacity Sites

axis vMerchant was designed from the outset for customers with large databases - many axis vMerchant customers have literally tens of thousands of products, for example.

Payment Processing

Real-Time Credit Card Authorisation

Either take payment with the order or authorise the card at time of entry and the software will automatically collect the payment when you are ready to ship the goods - the software even handles partial payments for part-shipments, correctly re-authorising the balance after each part-shipment.

Allow B2B Orders to be Paid for On Account or by Credit Card

Use your back office system to define Cash With Order customers who perhaps get special pricing but do not have a credit account.

Offer Retail Customers an Express Checkout, Register & Checkout or Both

Express Checkout allows customers to "pay and go" with the minimum of fuss; registration allows them to specify a password so that they can login in the future and view their order history, re-order items that they have bought before, check the status of outstanding orders etc.

Some axis vMerchant sites just use the Express Checkout whilst some sites insist that everyone registers and some offer the choice.

Automatically Create Retail Customer Accounts in Your Back Office System

Every order from a retail (B2C) customer on your site is matched to an account on your back office system; if one cannot be found then one is created. This is regardless of whether or not you ask your customers to register on your site.

This means that you can use every aspect of your sales & marketing tools and CRM functions with your retail web customers.

For example, use Gap Analysis to generate and send an email campaign to all of your customers that have purchase an inkjet cartridge in the last twelve months but have not purchased any inkjet paper.

Alternatively, all retail sales on the website can be allocated to a single Cash Sales account.

Search Engines & Web Marketing

Search-Engine Friendly

axis vMerchant sites generate code that is W3C clean so Search Engine robots do not get confused; all of the dynamic content of an axis vMerchant site is built "server-side" - in other words, the web pages as seen by the Search Engines are easy-to-understand, and therefore easy to index. There is little or no Javascript or other similar coding that can stop Search Engines seeing some or all of your site. The sites use CSS extensively to ensure that pages are more easily indexed too.

Search Engine Optimisation Facilities

For selected groups of products, or specific products, you can define alternative page titles, meta keyword and meta description values for precisely targeted Search Engine Optimisation.

URL Re-Writing

By using URL Re-Writing we make sure that your web page addresses include the description of the products or groups that they refer to, further enhancing your Search Engine Optimisation.

Affiliate Program Tracking

Affiliate Programs are where you pay for referals to your site from a third party. With axis vMerchant, you can assign a unique code to each Affiliate and that code goes right through to the back office accounts.

You are able to perform analysis, for example, to see over a given period of time the revenue, gross profit and gross margin from all of the business originating from a specific Affiliate Program.

Possibly even more important is the ability to monitor all of the subsequent business from customers that originally came to you via an affiliate scheme! The cost of some Affiliate Programs means that it is the return visit business that is crucial.

Pricing & Localisation


You can choose to have either different websites for different currencies or one website with a currency selection. You can define pricing for particular products in particular currencies. If these have not been defined for particular products then the system will automatically apply your current exchange rate to your base currency to obtain the currency price.


The multi-lingual content of your database is derived from your product file and other text is translated via the Content Management System. You can even have different images and thumbnails associated with different languages, in the event that images incorporate words or messages in them, such as "New" or "Special Offer".

As with Multi-Currency, you can either choose to have one website with a language selector on it (typically by clicking on a flag or selecting a language from a drop-down). axis vMerchant can remember the preference so once a user has chosen a particular language then when they next return to that site then the system will remember them.

If a particular piece of text does not have a translation available for the current language then the system will automatically default back to the base language.

Swap Between VAT Inclusive and VAT Exclusive Pricing

You have the choice whether retail customers always see prices including or excluding VAT and whether trade customers see prices including or excluding VAT. You also have the option of including a 'toggle' on every page so the shopper can switch between the two modes to suit them.

This is particularly suitable to businesses that sell in a retail style but know that many of their customers will actually be VAT-registered.

Customer Group/Product Group Discount Matrix

By defining discounts for specific groups of customer, for specific groups of product, you can build quite sohpisticated discount schemes for your B2B customers.

Customer Group Price Banding

By defining a range of trade prices for a product for various groups of customers, you can offer as many price bands as you wish.

Quantity Break Pricing

Each product can have different quantity break points - for example, one product may have a 1+ price and a 5+ price whilst another may have a 1+ price, a 10+ price, a 50+ price, a 100+ price and a 500+ price.

Order Value Discounting

Rather than, or as well as, offering reductions on specific products, you can offer a discount based on the total value of the order placed.

Customer Net Pricing

If you have agreed a net price, or a contract price list, with a customer, so that specific customer pays a specific pre-agreed price for a specific product then this can be handled too.

Product Navigation

Recently Viewed Items

This new feature in axis vMerchant means that items that are viewed by your customers can be tracked, and then displayed either in a display panel or in a new page. This is particularly useful when a customer is comparing several items as it means that they don't have to re-navigate your site to find a product; a potential point at which you could lose a customer.

Best Sellers and Featured Products

This facility enables you to highlight your best selling items in a particular product category as well as listing any special offers in that category or any specific featured products. This gives you the opportunity to promote products to your customers when they search for items; this is particularly useful in encouraging impulse purchases.

Social Bookmarking and Sharing

During the past two years there has been a well publicised increase in the popularity of Social Networking and Social Bookmarking sites such as Facebook, Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon. We are now able to incorporate links on all product pages to allow users of a number of the most popular Social Networking and Bookmarking sites to easily add your products to these sites. This facility is especially useful for promoting on sites specialising in unusual products or those aimed at impulse purchasing, since these products are more difficult to promote using conventional methods.

Filter/Search by Brand

Up to ten additional Attributes may be defined against each product code. Typically one of these is used to indicate the Brand. Each Attribute can, optionally, be offered as a filter on lists of products and/or as a search refinement on an Advanced Search page. Other common uses for attributes are to indicate colour, size and whether the product is recycled or not.

Add Products to Multiple Categories

If you want the same product to appear in more than one place in your catalogue then this is very easily achieved with axis vMerchant.


Link products to products, products to categories and categories to categories to offer "You may also be interested in ..." listings.

Linked Options

Link products as optional extras so that when a customer is shown a product, they are also additional items which they can choose to include.

For example, the main product could be a digital camera and you could link to it, as optional extras, the case and the extended warranty and, by utilising the Cross-Selling capability, also offer a range of batteries and memory cards underneath in a separate section.

A-Z of Products Categories

Not only can this be an easy way for customers to find the right product, it is another route into persuading Search Engines to index as much of your site as possible.

Site Map

A graphical representation of the product category is yet another alternative representation of your catalogue that you may choose to offer to your customers which also helps with Search Engine indexing.

Printer Wizard

For customers selling Inket and Laser Toner, axis vMerchant offers the ability to link to our database of which cartridge goes with which printer.

Please note: some of the features described above may be extra-cost options or involve additional design time when building your website. Some Back Office facilities may only be available in conjunction with the latest release of axis diplomat.

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