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Migrate from Classic to Contexual Commerce

Overview

Upgrade from a Classic Store to a Contextual Store

When you upgrade to a Contextual Store, benefits include:

  • Same Page Checkouts - Popup Storefronts increase your conversion rates by up to 30%. These allow consumers to check out on your own webpage without redirecting to a FastSpring store. They also require a minimal amount of consumer information, making it easier for consumers to purchase products.
  • Customizable Consumer Experience - Using the Store Builder Library, you can display dynamic product details and localized pricing, including applicable taxes, directly to your website. Create a fully-customized Shopping Cart, or select the types of information you want to display.
  • Account Management Portal - Consumers can access order history, retrieve fulfillments, and manage subscriptions on a secure portal hosted by FastSpring, but branded and styled by you.
  • Reporting - Filter and break down sales and consumer data.
  • APIs and Webhooks - The FastSpring API allows more integrations and connections with third-party systems, including marketing analytics tools, CRMs, DRMs, BI tools, and more.
  • Modern User Interface - Contextual Stores have a modernized experience. We continue to add new features and functionality to allow for more streamlined order and account management.

 

Overview of the Upgrade

FastSpring features two ecommerce solutions: Classic, which is the original product, and Contextual, which is our modern solution.

With both Classic and Contextual, your account contains as many Stores as needed. Each Store is a separate collection of products, promotions, styling, consumer-facing email content, and checkout experiences. For example, creating a product in one Store does not create the product in another Store within your same account. This arrangement allows you to maintain separate business units and separate reporting.

However, it also means that when you create a new Store of either type, you must configure these settings manually. When FastSpring Support creates a new Contextual Store for your account, you can access the new Store via https://app.fastspring.com .  Your Classic Store(s) will remain accessible through Springboard.

Data that Cannot be Migrated

Since your new Contextual Store will be separate from your Classic Store, historical transaction data will remain in your original, Classic Store. Keep in mind:

  • Consumers' Current Subscriptions: You will continue to manage your consumer subscriptions via Springboard. Consumer cannot manage existing Classic subscriptions using the Contextual Consumer-Facing Account Management site.
  • Order History: To look up order details or process returns for existing orders from before the upgrade, please continue using Springboard. All orders placed in your Contextual Store will be accessible via the FastSpring App.
  • Reporting: When you need to run sales reports for your existing order history, please use Springboard. Reporting in the FastSpring App will cover all transactions and subscriptions processed in your Contextual Store. 

Differences Between Classic and Contextual

Some features of Classic require different solutions for Contextual. 

  • GET API:  With the Classic API, you can retrieve order records by calling GET /company/{company}/order/{reference}. With Contextual, you need to call GET /orders/{order id}. The API cannot return order records based on the consumer-facing order reference. However, you can obtain the order IDs for this purpose via webhook events such as order.completed or by calling GET /accounts.
  • Reseller stores:  Contextual does not have reseller store capabilities, but you can continue using your Classic reseller stores.
  • Coupons:  To generate a batch of unique coupon codes, we recommend using a third-party solution. Contextual does not have a built-in coupon code generator. For complete details about Contextual coupons, please see Coupons.
  • Checkout:  To enable consumers to navigate away from the checkout process and return to the Store, create a cart using the Store Builder Library on your web pages. The optional data-continuous directive writes consumers' cart contents to local storage in the web browser to allow persistent sessions. Web Storefronts do not have persistent sessions.
  • Backup CDs/DVDs/Flash Media: To offer physical backups of your software, set up an account with a third-party fulfillment partner. Then, create a product with a format of Physical Shipment for the backup media. Configure the order.completed webhook event to post to your fulfillment partner so that the partner can receive notifications whenever a consumer orders a backup. You or your fulfillment partner must create a script to parse the webhook event data, and host the script externally. For more information about product formats, please see Products. Contextual does not offer a backup media solution.
  • Store Styles:  Web Storefronts are very customizable, but they do not have an equivalent to the Classic Styles feature for direct control over the page contents. Instead, you can control the content of your store pages with the Store Builder Library. Just as with Classic styles, you may need the services of a web developer to implement the Store Builder Library.
  • Store-Wide Promotions: For promotional discounts throughout the store, you can create a coupon, which discounts all products for a limited amount of time. Alternatively, you can apply product-specific discounts with beginning and ending dates so that consumers do not need coupon codes. Contextual does not have a feature that applies a single discount to everything in the Store automatically.
  • URL Parameters:  With Classic Stores, you can append parameters such as &coupon={code} to your store URL to affect the order flow. With Contextual Stores, you can accomplish this using custom JavaScript code together with the Store Builder Library on your own web pages. Web Storefronts cannot read URL parameters and adjust the checkout flow automatically.
  • Custom Fields:  If you need to collect custom data (such as a survey response) from consumers, set this up using form fields and the Store Builder Library (or the /sessions API endpoint) on your web pages. You can pass custom data into the order using order tags or product attributes. Web Storefronts do not support custom fields.
  • Split Payees:  Contextual supports split payouts by product or by Store, but does not support splitting payouts by source or by coupon.

Part 1: Request a Contextual Store

To get your new Contextual Store at no additional cost to you, submit a support case at https://community.fastspring.com or by emailing support@fastspring.com. In your request, include the following information:

  • Base URL - Each of your Contextual Storefronts will have a unique web address, but they will share a common subdomain. For example, in the URL https://yourexamplestore.onfastspring.com, "yourexamplestore" is the Base URL. When you request a new Contextual Store, please tell us what you want the base URL for your Storefronts to be.
    The Base URL Cannot be changed after it is set.
    • Support Name: If we need to direct consumers to your support team, what name should we refer to your support team as?
    • Support Address: If we need to direct consumers to your support team, what address should we tell consumers to use?
    • Determine Your Pricing Mode: Do you want the new Store to use Gross Pricing Mode (FastSpring deducts applicable taxes from any non-USD price you configure) or Net Pricing Mode (FastSpring adds applicable taxes to any non-USD price you configure)? See Gross Pricing Mode and Net Pricing Mode for more information.

     

    Part 2: Update User Permission Access

    Since your Contextual Store is separate from your Classic Store, you may want to provide some of your team members with access to log in to the new Contextual Store. Team members can log in at https://app.fastspring.com.

    Users who already have the role of account Administrator or Accountant automatically receive the same level of access to the new Contextual Store. The rest of your Support Team must be granted access to the new Store through the FastSpring App.

    For further instructions on creating and administering users via the FastSpring App, see Users, Roles, and Types of Access.

    Part 3: Set Up Your Storefront(s)

    Your FastSpring Contextual Store comes with a Web Storefront and a Popup Storefront. You can customize these to meet your needs, and you can create additional Storefronts if need be.

    The Account Management portal, hosted by FastSpring, allows your consumers to view their order history and manage their subscriptions. You can style the appearance of the portal via your Store's default Web Storefront. 

    Part 4: Set Up Your Products

    Create product records for each item that you sell through FastSpring. The core concept is the same as product creation and editing in Springboard. Our Knowledge Base article Products, Bundles, and Subscriptions describes a key change to the way you interact with products in your Contextual Store. In addition, read about Fulfillment Options, including license key generation, and download hosting.

    Part 5: Customize Consumer-Facing Email Messages

    FastSpring automatically sends messages to consumers to notify them of events such as purchases and cancellations. In Contextual, these messages use a unified templating system. As a result, you can brand all of these email messages at once to align with your company branding, with just a few simple tweaks, such as adding your business logo to these emails. For more information, see: 

     

    Part 6: Place Test Orders

    To ensure that your Storefront’s Products and Fulfillments are working as intended, we recommend Placing Test Orders. Enter your email address as the consumer's address when placing a test order so that you can see the receipt and other Consumer-Facing Emails.
     

    Part 7: Set Up Promotions (Optional)

    To learn about offering discounts of specific products or purchases, read about Coupons and Product Discounts. Built-in product discounts allow consumers to receive discounts without entering a code. To suggest related items and upgrades during the consumer’s checkout process, see our Product Offers page.

    Part 8: Set Up Webhooks (Optional)

    The Vendor Notifications feature in Classic has been upgraded with a feature called Webhooks in Contextual. With Webhooks, you can subscribe to be notified by an HTTP post when a particular event occurs. For example, you can receive notifications when consumers complete orders or cancel subscriptions. Some events we suggest subscribing to include:

    See our Webhooks Overview for more details.
     
    If you prefer to receive notifications by email only, the Vendor Notifications feature lets you see the notifications that you have previously configured in your Classic Store(s). You can update these notifications as well.

    Part 9: Set Up API Integrations (Optional)

    FastSpring redesigned API for Contextual Stores. There are eight API endpoints that you can use to interact with various types of data from your Store without opening the FastSpring App.

    You can use the FastSpring API to create integrations with your back-end systems, or third-party services. As with the Classic API, all API interactions occur on the server side. This makes them more secure than anything that loads directly on your website.

    With the Contextual API, there is a single set of credentials associated with each Store, rather than having one or more dedicated API users. You make all API requests to https://apil.fastspring.com/{endpoint}. The username and password you supply identify your account and Store.

    For more information about the FastSpring API, including examples of what you can do with it, see About the FastSpring API.

    Part 10: Configure Third-Party Integrations

    To integrate your Contextual Store with third-party solutions such as Google AdWords or MailChimp, check out the Extensions tab in the FastSpring App. For more information on setting up these out-of-the-box integrations, please see our Extensions documentation.