Mar 24, 2008

Dusting off the website cobwebs for a May Sale

Babylon Mall will be holding a sale for the whole month of May! Sellers may choose to participate in the sale by selecting the items to go in the sale, and a discount percentage that can vary from item to item.

You will see that 2 new columns have been added to your items page. The first column is a list of check boxes to let you select the items you want to include in the sale. The second column is the discount that is to be applied to the item's price. These changes are actually new enhancements to the code based on seller feedback, and were implemented to make marking your sale items easier.

You can select individual items, or use the 'Check All' button to select everything. You will still need to include the discount for each item. To save the checked items and discounts don't forget to click the 'Save Checked' button.

If you edit an individual item, you will also see two extra fields. These fields only show up when there is an upcoming sale, on the General tab of the modify item page. They show up right after the 'Price' field. They are the same fields you see on the items page. It's a little easier to edit them all at the same time on the items page than to have to edit each individual item, but you can do it whatever way you like.

During the sale - from May 1 to May 31, your item's prices will automatically be discounted on the listings pages.

Participation in the sale is voluntary for sellers, you may choose whether or not a sale is for you.

We have not held a sale on Babylon Mall since switching to the new software and website design, so if you find any "cobwebs" (aka glitches) at all, please let us know and we will do our best to dust them off ASAP!

Mar 18, 2008

Setting up for Google Analytics

The mall doesn't have a great stats reporting tool. If you are using the stats with a subdomain, it does not count visits to your store through the main mall shopping page. Luckily, the mall gives you an easy way to integrate with Google Analytics.

If you edit your store, you will see the first field on the page stores your Google Analytics account number.

Where can I find my Google Analytics account number?

To access your tracking code account number, first you must sign up for a Google Analytics account. Then:

1. Sign in to Google Analytics
2. From the Analytics Settings page, find the profile for which you would like to retrieve the tracking code. Please note that tracking code is profile-specific. You will probably have to create a profile using your subdomain or the long URL to your store.
3. From that profile's Settings column, click Edit

4. At the top right of the Main Website Profile Information box, click Check Status

5. Your tracking code can be copied and pasted from the text box in the Instructions for adding tracking section.

Ok, so they've changed some stuff since I first wrote these 5 steps. The only tracking code you need to enter on the mall looks something like this:


(where the X's are digits).

You can copy it from the Legacy Tracking Code (urchin.js) section of the Google Analytics page that you should be on from step 5. You do NOT need to copy the whole thing:

<script src=" type="></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
_uacct = "UA-XXXXXX-X";

And back to your stores page, you will enter UA-XXXXXX-X into the first field. Don't forget to save!

Mar 5, 2008

Theme Manager Tutorial - Part 1 - Information Overload.

The theme manager on Babylon Mall lets you define colours and fonts for certain sections of your mall store pages. Every mall store has the logo, navigation and item information sections but in slightly different positions:

The theme manager lets you define colours, fonts and alignments for those 3 page sections. In addition, it lets you define general settings for every page. It also lets you redefine the colours of hyperlinks; the font sizes and colours of the HTML tags H1, H2 and H3; and lets you specify an alignment and border colour for images.

The theme manager is linked from your member's page that you see when you logged in. It is here:

Most seller accounts on Babylon Mall come with 10 pre-set themes. When you click to go to the Theme Manager, you should see a page similar to this:

You are free to edit any of these themes, or to create a new one. It might be easier to start with a theme that is close to what you want and modify it.

Click the Page link next to the Artsy theme. You will see a page like this:

You may decide that you want to change the background colour. You can enter a hex code for the new colour you wish to use, or you can click the little palette icon: . If you want a wider range of colours to choose from, you can use the colour blender.

So for this example, we click the little palette icon and choose a darker green in the popup window. The popup window will go away, and the value of the background color field will change to the new value. The screen you are looking at won't show the change in colour until you click the 'Test Theme' button.

When you are happy with the settings you have chosen, click the Save Theme button to save your settings for this theme.

Now, to apply the Artsy theme to your store, you will need to edit your store. Click the format tab as shown below:

The last field on this page is for plugging in the theme you would like to use.

Clicking the icon will give you a list of themes that you can pick from. Then save your store, and your theme will be applied.

Mar 2, 2008

The Shipping Inquiry Email

Buyers can add items to their Babylon Mall shopping cart and then send a shipping inquiry email to you, the seller, by clicking one button.

Now, the funny thing about this email is that if you just hit reply, and send a response, it goes to That's me. While it doesn't bother me, that's probably not who you were trying to email. You have to copy/paste the buyer's email from the shipping inquiry email message body into the To: section of the email.

This is a small attempt to keep a handle on spam emails and here's why: It's always dangerous to automatically put email addresses in the From section of an email using a program - this is how most spam emails originate and newer email programs are starting to check the From section against the server that actually sent the email. The email being sent to you is actually coming from a program on If I used the buyer's email address in the From section of the email, there is a very good chance that the shipping inquiry would end up in your spam folder.

So, faced with the choice of me getting the email or your spam folder, I chose myself!

Mar 1, 2008

Shop Babylon Mall From Anywhere! (on the internet...)

Ok, so just what is this thing anyway?

I have to confess that I use the Firefox browser. If I didn't, I would have about 150 open windows and my computer would crash. In Firefox you can install "bookmarklets", which let you add one-click functionality to your browser toolbar. You can also add them to IE but as a "Favorite".

For example, the "Hive It!" buttons on the mall could be installed as a bookmarklet, so that you can Hive any web page, even pages that don't have a "Hive It!" button. In fact, Stylehive has the "Stylehive bookmarklet" that you can install for just that purpose.

Ok, so what does this all have to do with the Babylon Mall bookmarklet and shopping from anywhere?

The Babylon Mall bookmarklet simply runs a search on the mall for the word or words you have highlighted on the web page that you are currently on. The web page can be anywhere on the internet. Say you are on a web site reading about a certain style or designer, and you think to yourself "Hmmm, I wonder if there is anything like that on Babylon Mall?" Just highlight the style or designer's name, click the bookmarklet you installed, and it will search the mall for that style or designer.

It just makes it easier to shop on Babylon Mall.

You can read more about bookmarklets here, including information about security and safety of bookmarklets.