Previewing a store

Preview your store to ensure that changes made in Management Center show up in your store as expected. You can use store preview in production, authoring, and staging environments.

Before you begin

Certain store preview features require special support in your store pages. Talk to a store developer about whether your store pages support these features

Adding support to store pages for store preview features

Feature Store page requirements
Show Page Information button and click-to-edit function The Show Page Information button (see step 8.b) is displayed in the store preview window if you are using the Feature Pack 6 or later version of Management Center. However, for the button to function, your store pages must contain code that is included in Feature Pack 6 and later versions of the Aurora starter store. If you are using a store that does not have this code, such as an older or custom store, the button does nothing. A store developer can add the required code to the store pages. For more information, store developers can refer to Customizing the click-to-edit function.
In-context preview function The in-context preview function is supported for stores that use the SEO-friendly URLs introduced in Feature Pack 3 or later. Otherwise, store preview always opens to the home page, rather than to a specific store page. In-context preview is also supported for stores that use dynamic URLs, but it is recommended to use SEO-friendly URLs. For more information about the SEO-friendly URLs, store developers can refer to SEO for Version 7 Feature Pack 3 or later. If your store has sales catalogs and you want in-context preview to function on your sales categories, your store must have SEO enabled for the sales catalog. Store developers can refer to Enable SEO with sales catalogs and extended sites.

Procedure

  1. Open the Management Center.
  2. From the Management Center menu, select a tool:
    • Catalogs
    • Marketing
    • Promotions
    • Assets
    • Introduced in Feature Pack 3Workspace Management
    • Feature Pack 5 or laterPage Layout
    • Feature Pack 7 or laterCommerce Composer
  3. Optional: WebSphere Commerce EnterpriseWebSphere Commerce ProfessionalIf you use workspaces, to preview approved content, click Approved content. Approved content contains store changes from committed task groups outside of your workspace.
  4. Complete one of the following steps:
    OptionDescription
    Preview the store as a guest user or a specific registered user Select File > Store Preview, or click Open Store Preview dialog on the toolbar.
    Introduced in Feature Pack 2Preview the store as a user who belongs to a specific customer segment Introduced in Feature Pack 2
    1. Ensure that the Marketing tool is open.
    2. Find the segment that the customer belongs to.
    3. In the Search Results list view, right-click the customer segment; then click Preview Store as Segment to open the Store Preview Options window. The name of the segment that the customer belongs to when you are previewing your store is displayed.
  5. In the Store Preview Options window, select a URL from the Store URL list, or type a store URL.
    The default URL is the home page of the store that you are working with in Management Center. The Store URL list shows the first 10 store URLs. You can search for more stores.
    Feature Pack 6 or laterIf you are working on certain business objects, such as products and page layouts, the default URL is the associated store page, rather than the home page. For example, if you are working on a bicycle product in the Catalogs tool, the associated store page is the product details page for the bicycle. This in-context preview function is supported only for stores that use the SEO-friendly URLs introduced in Feature Pack 3 or later.
    Note: When you open store preview while in an asset store, you must select the URL for the extended site store. You cannot preview asset stores because they do not contain a web storefront.
  6. Optional: Expand Options and set any of the following options:
    OptionDescription
    Current date and time Use the system date and time in the preview.
    Specify date and time Enter a specific date and time. For example, you can enter a date two months in the future to test if a promotion displays on that date as expected.
    Time in preview does not change as real time elapses Maintains the same date and time in the preview. For example, if the preview starts on July 6, 2009 at 11:15 a.m. and 5 minutes elapse, the date and time in the preview remains July 6, 2009 at 11:15 a.m.
    Time in preview elapses as real time elapses Allows time to elapse in the preview. For example, if the preview starts on July 6, 2009 at 11:15 a.m. and 5 minutes elapse, the date and time in the preview is July 6, 2009 at 11:20 a.m.
    Product recommendations
    A store developer can enable an inventory filter for web activities. As a result, catalog entry recommendations display in e-Marketing Spots only if the inventory level for the catalog entry is above a configured amount. With this customization in place, you can set options to facilitate testing the catalog entry recommendations. Choose one of the following options:
    Use inventory levels in the database
    If the database says that the inventory level is higher than the specified inventory threshold, the catalog entry recommendation displays; otherwise it does not display.
    Set all inventory filter results to true
    The store preview behaves as if there is available inventory and the catalog entry recommendation displays. The data in the database is not considered.
    Set all inventory filter results to false
    Preview behaves as if there is no available inventory and the catalog entry recommendation does not display. The data in the database is not considered.
  7. Click Launch Store Preview. The preview store opens in a separate window.

    WebSphere Commerce EnterpriseWebSphere Commerce ProfessionalWhen you are previewing a store from within a workspace, attempting to process an order in the previewed store might cause errors that prevent you from completing the order.

  8. Optional: To preview and understand the information that is displayed in an e-Marketing Spot:
    1. Go to the store page that contains the e-Marketing Spot.
    2. Complete the steps that apply to your Management Center feature pack level:
      • Feature Pack 3Feature Pack 5Feature Pack 2WebSphere Commerce Version 7.0.0.0Feature Pack 4Feature Pack 1
        1. At the top of the store preview window, click Show Marketing Spots to display e-Marketing Spot names within a red marquee.
        2. Introduced in Feature Pack 2In the upper right corner of the e-Marketing Spot, click the help icon Help icon. Detailed information about which activities were evaluated, the results of targets, and the paths that were taken through the activities is displayed. When unexpected results are displayed in an e-Marketing Spot, you can use this information to help determine the cause.
      • Feature Pack 6 or later
        1. At the top of the store preview window, click Show Page Information.
        2. In the upper left corner of the e-Marketing Spot, click Show Information. Detailed information about which activities were evaluated, the results of targets, and the paths that were taken through the activities is displayed. When unexpected results are displayed in an e-Marketing Spot, you can use this information to help determine the cause.
        3. Click the Create or Edit links to open Management Center and make changes.
  9. Optional: Feature Pack 7 or laterIf you are viewing a page that is managed in the Commerce Composer tool, you can get more details about the page, its layout, and the widgets in the layout. For more information, see these topics: