Table of Contents
What are Polyptychs?
Polyptychs, or Multi-Panel art, are collections of 2 or more panels which are hung together to create an expanded art display. The term "Polyptych" is a general term for a multiple-panel set, but you may also come across "Diptych" for a 2-panel or "Triptych" for a 3-panel piece.
This format is unusual in that it is fulfilled through your auto fulfillment vendor, but it’s currently not possible to do so automatically.
In this article, I will walk you through the process of creating a 3-panel product, and then explain how you fulfill orders for this type of product.
Creating a Polyptych product
Unlike normal art prints or other products, Polyptych products require multiple individual components to be created on your site. There will be one product for each panel, which will be stored in your Art Print store, plus an additional product which will represent the complete multiple-panel product and is stored in your Standard store.
Before we start, make sure you have high-resolution images for each of the panel products, plus one additional image with a transparent background which has all of the individual panels arranged in the layout in which they’ll be displayed. For my example, I created the combined image using the high-resolution images (sunrise.png), and from that created a lower-resolution image (preserving the transparent background) which will be used for on the product in the Standard store (sunrise_sm.png).
I’ve also named them so it is clear that they are part of a set:
- sunrise 1 of 3.png
- sunrise 2 of 3.png
- sunrise 3 of 3.png
We’ll start by creating a new art print store. This will only be used to store the prints used to fulfill the polyptych product, and these prints will not be directly visible to your customers.
Starting first on the Pages tab of the Site Editor, click on Add New Page, enter a name for your gallery and select Store as the page type, then click on Create.
Now select Art Print Store, and click again on Create.
We are now looking at the empty gallery. Before we go further, let’s click on the Info tab.
Disable the Appears in Navigation Menu setting, as we don’t want the contents of this gallery to show up on the navigation menu.
Also, scroll down and disable the Display Related Products Bar? entry.
Now we go back to the Categories & Products tab, and we’ll upload the panel images. For convenience I’ll just drag and drop them onto the appropriate section of the page:
They will now be uploaded.
And when you scroll down, you’ll see the new products at the bottom of the screen.
I’ll just be offering my triptych on Canvas Gallery Wraps, so I’ll disable all the other mediums for this piece and click on Save. I’ll repeat this for all three of my pieces.
Now to select sizes. I’m going to disable all the sizes apart from 9x39, and then click on Save. Then I’ll repeat this for the other two pieces.
Now that the three panels have been set up in my Polyptych art print store, and going to go into my Standard store and create the product which I’ll be offering to my customers.
Once in the store, click on Add Product.
We’ll now select the product type, which is Polyptych Art Product.
Anyway, I’ll add a name for the product, and click on Save to create it.
This will put us on the product page for my new Polyptych product. As you can see, it’s a pretty bare place right now.
I’ll add my preview image to improve its appearance. I’ll scroll down, and click on the Add Photos button.
This will open a file dialogue.
From here I’ll select my preview image, sunrise_sm.png, and click on the Open button.
After loading, the page will refresh and my image will be visible below the Add Photo button.
As you can see, the Image section of the product is still blank. Let’s click on the Save button, and then refresh the page. When the page has reloaded, you will see the preview image is being displayed successfully.
Calculating the wholesale and retail cost of your Polyptych
In this section, we will calculate the wholesale price for your Polyptych product, and use this to look at how much you wish to charge for the full product.
Because of the way wholesale orders are generated, specifically, the way shipping costs are added to the wholesale product cost when creating the order, you will need to pay particular attention to this extra component of the price. As you will never be entirely sure where you will be having the order shipped, this could add an unexpected extra cost to the wholesale price which you are paying.
We would recommend reaching out to your fulfillment vendor about this issue; as you know exactly what number of prints are going to be ordered, and what size and print options they will be, it should be possible to ask for several quotes to cover different shipping possibilities such as shipping within your state, shipping to other states but within the continental US, shipping to outside of the continental US (eg, Hawaii), shipping to Europe, or other examples.
However, to find the base wholesale order price (not including shipping) you can follow these steps.
First, open the site editor, load your Polyptych art print store, and click on the Info tab.
Scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page, and under Media Types for Selling Sheet PDFs enable the medium type you’ve selected for your Polyptych. In my case, I have just enabled Canvas Gallery Wraps, so I select this and click on Save.
Now scroll back up, and click on the Categories & Products tab.
Scroll down, and on the first of my products, I’m going to click on the edit button.
On the product page, you’ll want to click on Load Selling Sheet.
This will create a list of price options for the product based on its medium type, size, and any style options. As you can see in this screenshot, because I’ve limited the product to a single medium and size, there is only one entry listed.
Because all three panels are the same size, you should be getting the same cost for each one. I’ll include the other two to illustrate.
Now, based on the price of $82.10 for each panel, the total wholesale price before shipping is $246.30. If your average markup would be 200%, this would make the total price around $738.90.
This is not including the cost of shipping, which will depend on where your customer lives. Your fulfillment vendor will calculate this depending on the shipping address of the order, and orders being sent within the US will be much cheaper than shipping internationally.
What you may end up doing is working out an average based on what shipping costs you expect to be facing for the orders you are expecting. If you have expected a majority of international purchases, you may have to either increase the price you charge for the Polyptych product to help cover the higher shipping costs or receive less from these orders than you would from local orders.
For the purposes of this example, though, I’m going to assume that the average cost of shipping is going to be around 20% of the total wholesale price.
This will add an additional $49.26 to the wholesale price. Adding shipping costs to the price including markup gives a total of $788.16 which I’ll round down to $788. Let’s put this price on the site.
First I’ll open the Polyptych product page in the standard store.
Scrolling down, there are a number of fields to be filled in, but the one I’m going to fill out right now is the Price entry, where I will enter the $788 I calculated above. Click on Save, and that will set the price.
Setting up the Polyptych and the Live Wall Preview
Another useful option you can enable is to set up the product to work with the Live Wall Preview and AR features.
The nature of these features requires that you’ve set the product image up in a specific way. The outside edges panels on the image must touch the borders of the image, the component panels should be separated by the same distance that the finished panels are designed to be separated, and the background of the image should be transparent so the background from the Live Wall and AR preview is visible behind and between the panels.
Provided your image meets these criteria, setting these up is as simple as adding a size value to the product page. For my example piece, it’s designed that the completed package to cover an area of 30x39 inches, which I will enter here in the Wall Preview Size section.
There are settings here to allow the display of multiple sizes if the product has been set up correctly, but for now, I’m going to restrict it to a single size. Now let’s click on the Preview Site button at the bottom of the screen and test out the feature. Click on Wall Preview to launch it.
After changing the wall color, you can see the effect of the transparent image background more clearly, as the wall is clearly visible between the panels.
I’ll go back to the standard store for a moment in order to enable the AR preview for this gallery.
Scrolling down to the bottom of the page, find the entry Display Live Preview Tool and set it to On. Now click on the Save button.
I’ll now switch to my phone, and open the page here.
As you can see, the Live Preview AR button is now available. When I click on it and test with the blank wall above my desk, you can see the preview clearly visible above my desk.
Adding the Polyptych to a gallery
Now to add make this product available on my store.
I’ll start by opening the site manager and going to the product gallery where I intend the item to be displayed.
I’ll scroll down now, and under Filter By Store, you will select the Standard Store which contains the Polyptych product.
Now that this has filtered out the print products, I can select the Polyptych product.
And click on the Add Selected button to add it to the gallery.
Once complete, there will be an okay button appearing on the center of the screen.
Let us switch to the View & Sort Products tab so we can confirm that it is now visible in the gallery.
Now to click on the Preview Site button, and we can confirm that it’s showing up correctly.
Connecting a Polyptych to a Print (Optional)
This section is optional, as you won’t always have a print version of the art used to create a Polyptych product. In my case, the multi-panel piece was created from a single photograph. For those who would like to use this feature, I’ll walk you through the process of linking a Polyptych to a print product in this section.
I’ll start by going into my art print store.
Scrolling down, I select the category in which the print from which I created my Polyptych is located - in this case, Fog.
And on the product thumbnail, I click on the Edit link.
This will open the product page for this print.
Now I scroll down and click on Connected Products.
Now I click on Polyptych Art.
And in the Find Product field, I’ll type in something that will bring up the Polyptych product - in this case, the word “perfect” brings it up.
Now I’ll click on the Connect button.
A confirmation dialogue will appear at the top of the screen. Click on the OK button.
Now you will see that the Polyptych product is shown as a connected product.
I’ll click on Preview Site now, and check the product page as my customers will see it. As you can see, it’s now possible to switch between the print products and a view of the Polyptych product.
Clicking on the Multi-Panel link brings up the details of the Polyptych product, as you can see.
Fulfilling a Polyptych order
The process of fulfilling a Polyptych order is an interesting one. The customer will purchase the standard store product, but this does not trigger a purchase order with your fulfillment vendor the way normal print purchases do. You will need to manually create a self-order with your vendor to fulfill the purchase. This table explains the process for a normal print order and the corresponding order for a polyptych.
|Normal Print Order Process||Polyptych Order Process|
You might find these articles on the process of creating a self-order to be a useful reference for when you work through this section:
How To: Create Orders (Using "Self-Made" Ordering)
Purchase Prints for Yourself at Wholesale Prices
Using a self-made order means that not only are the prints being created in the same quality as your regular print orders, it means that the sales are being recorded alongside your other orders on the site for future reference.
Let’s start with the process of making a self-order which will be used to fulfill the Polyptych order which your customer has made, and which you have just received.
We start in the site editor on Pages. Open the Jump To menu and select Orders.
Now click on the Self-Made Orders tab.
Click on + New Order
Before you can begin the order, you will need to read and accept the terms for the Self-Made Orders feature. This feature allows you to do more than just wholesale ordering. You can review the other benefits of this feature here: The Purpose of Self-Made Ordering.
All Self-Made Orders, other than wholesale, will have a 1.15% transaction fee. Once you have read through these details, please type in all capital letters "AGREE AND ACCEPT" in the text box.
After you have accepted the terms for the feature, please click on the black SUBMIT button.
If you haven’t already created your wholesale account, you will now need to create a contact for your website using the same email attached to your Art Storefronts platform to be used for wholesale purchases. If you're unsure which email address this is, you can check this under your Account page at the very top of the screen.
Click on New Customer to begin creating your wholesale contact.
Fill in your first name, last name, and email address associated with your Art Storefronts platform.
Add a phone number to your contact. You have the option for Business, Mobile, and Home phone number.
Turn the Tax Exempt status ON. Since you are purchasing wholesale, your order will be tax exempt.
Turn the Can Buy Wholesale? setting to ON. This setting is required to be ON when placing a wholesale order.
If the box next to Send Welcome Email To Customer has an "X", then you will receive a confirmation email that you're customer account has been created. This will also allow you to see what the customers will receive whenever they sign-up on your website.
Once all the details have been added, you can click on Create to save your wholesale contact.
Alternatively, if you have already created your wholesale account, you can simply enter an identifier in the Search Contacts box, and click on the OK button. Then click on Select to use this account for your purchase.
Now you are ready to begin creating your order.
For this order, because we are fulfilling a customer’s order you will need to want to send this order to the address from their order of the Polyptych product from the store. Under Shipping Address, click on Create New Address.
Enter the details from the customer’s order into this section. Also enter an Address Name that refers to this customer, in case you are going to re-use it in future. Then click on Create New Address.
Another dialogue will appear. Click on the OK box.
Click on the shipping address selection, and choose your customer’s address.
This will set it as the address to which this order will be shipped. It will also appear in the Order Summary on the right, under the Ship to entry.
Now you need to enter the Billing Address. Because you are creating the order yourself, even though it is being sent to your customer, you will need to enter your own address for the billing section. Because the billing address is different to the shipping address, your customer will be sent a packing slip with the order but no billing information (ie, the wholesale price which you pay for the items, which will only be sent to your billing address).
If you have already entered your billing address into the system, you can select it here otherwise you will need to first Create New Address before then choosing Select Existing.
The billing address will now be visible underneath the shipping address in the Order Summary on the right of the screen.
Now to select the panels which make up the order. Click on Add Items.
In the Search Products field, enter a term which will bring up the individual panels which make up the Polyptych product. In this case, “sunrise” returned the three panels plus the complete product. Click on the Select button next to each of the three panels, but do not select the Polyptych product.
Now click on Select next to the first panel.
This will open a new section beneath the search results where you select the sizes, mediums, and other options for the panels. In the case of these, they are already limited to a single medium, size, and finish. Click on the Continue button to confirm that it’s going to be a Canvas Gallery Wrap.
Then click on Continue again to confirm that the print will be 9x29 in size.
And now one last section where the finishing options are selected. I’ll use the default options for this example. Click on Continue.
A summary of the settings will be displayed.
Now click on Add to Cart.
This will add the panel to your order, as shown in the Order Summary on the right side of the screen.
Now scroll back up and click on Select next to the second panel of the Polyptych.
This will open the Purchasing Options section for this print. Repeat as for the first panel above.
Once selected, click on Add to Cart.
The first two panels are now ready to go.
Now click Select on the third panel.
This will bring up the product options for the third panel.
Select them again, and click on Add to Cart on the last tab.
You now have all three in your cart, and you’re ready to finalize the order.
Now to finalize Shipping. Click on the Shipping Method box.
This will bring up the standard shipping cost for your order.
Confirm the shipping method listed for your wholesale order.
Step 6. Discount can be skipped. If you are receiving the BOGO discount from your fulfillment vendor, this will appear for you automatically in the final step of the order.
Now to finalize the order. Click on Review & Pay.
This will display the information about your order, allowing you to review it before sending it to your vendor.
Scroll down the page and locate the Payment Method. This should appear as Purchase by Website Owner.
If you're a customer in the United States or Canada using either Skyline Art Prints, Bay Photo, or Print Partner, your first wholesale order will qualify for a BOGO offer. The details of the discount will appear in this step. Please be sure to state which print you would like a BOGO of. If this print isn't listed within the note field, the fulfillment vendor will select the print for you.
Once you have reviewed everything for the order, click on the black button labeled Place Order to send your wholesale order to your fulfillment vendor.