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How to Use Our Online Shop

This section includes expandable menu choices to give you an insight into how to use different parts of our online packaging shop.

Each of the menu headers can be clicked individually to reveal only the relevant information - or you can Expand All which will open all the information and you can scroll through to the relevant section.

We hope you find the information useful - and if you have any other questions we're always delighted to help, so call us on +44(0)1684578441 to speak to a member of our Customer Services team, email onlineorders@meridiansp.co.uk or complete a Contact Us form right here on the site.


The basic site layout is designed to be as simple and easy to navigate as possible. It is based around the top horizontal menu, which provides links to both site content and product categories. This is described below in the section headed Top Menu Bar.

If you're browsing for products, once you have selected a product category, you will see various filter options, which give you the chance to view only those products meeting your exact requirements. This is a fast way of drilling down into the products on offer very quickly and through the use of lots of different variables: pack dimensions, typical content weight (mostly used for chocolate and confectionery), typical number of pieces (for chocolate, truffles or fudge), colour or design, collection, and price range. This functionality is outlined below in the section headed Product Filtering.

There is also a search function designed to make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for, whether that's products or information. The search function is described in detail in the expandable section below headed Site Search.

Top Menu Bar (the "Mega Menu")

The Mega Menu offers a fast way to drill down straight to what kind of packaging you're looking for - whether by collection (range), occasion, style (description of what the packaging is), or end use (for instance loose chocolates, bagged products, soaps and candles, macarons...). 

The Mega Menu also offers links to key information such as our terms and conditions, various policies about how we keep your information secure or our point of view on producing safe and legal packaging.

To use the menu, simply hover your cursor (mouse pointer) over the title of the option you want to select. If there is a sub-menu or sub-category below, this will appear and you can either click the original top level category or drill further down into the site content.

So just hover to view the options and click to select where you want to go. It really couldn't be simpler!

Sometimes with these types of menus you accidentally jump off and the expanded set of options disappears. There's no absolutely perfect way to navigate a site and we understand that when this happens it can be annoying - but it's a well designed menu with a reasonable response delay and hopefully shouldn't cause you too many issues. Of course you can always give us welcome feedback on this or any other site element because we're always open to change when it offers a better experience for our customers.

If you do have any feedback on our menu structure, please contact us.

Product Filtering

To access the product views from which you can apply filters, you either select "Shop All" which starts by showing you all products and is a great place to start filtering, or choose a category from the site menu, which will then exclude all products from outside this category, giving you a more granular start from which to apply any filters you wish.

Filter can also be applied to search results, for instance if you've searched for something fairly generic like "Ballotin" and the results show hundreds of products - by applying a filter by size or colour you can quickly find exactly what you need.

Filters can be turned on or off, you can select multiple filters, and the resulting products on view will change dynamically as the filters are selected.

This aspect of the site is a key improvement and we hope you find it very useful. If you do have any feedback on our product filtering tools, please contact us.

Our site is responsive, meaning it will gracefully adjust to your screen size, whatever device you're browsing on.

When in portrait tablet or mobile view the main navigation moves from the horizontal (overhead) Mega Menu described above to a side menu often referred to as a "hamburger menu" because when it's not in view you can access it by clicking the symbol with three horizontal lines which many people think looks like a burger in a bun. It's probably too late but in our opinion, and particularly as we produce fine food packaging rather than fast food packaging, we think it looks more like a delicious layered sponge cake - but there you go, someone got there first!

It's something of a design digression, but there's actually a really interesting blog post on testing the hamburger menu from a time before it became quite so well recognised and it's definitely something which has become iconic in every sense of the word since it's rapid spread around 3-4 years ago.

Anyway - to use the navigation you lick the symbol and it appears as a stacked set of options with sub-categories available by clicking the down arrow to expand the menu down.

Once you've clicked through to a product listing, you can use the product filters described above for desktop, but in mobile view you need to click the bottom option entitled "Show Sidebar". When this option is available to select you click the plus sign (+) and when you want it to disappear you click the minus (-) sign.

Then below the menu options is the option to "Show" or "Hide" filters. When you click a filter it expands and you can use the tick box selections to apply filters which work dynamically as soon as you've selected them.

As well as being a fantastic gateway to using the Product Filtering described above, the site search can be the best way for experienced customers to find exactly what they're looking for.

You can search by product code and see the exact item you need or enter free test search terms.

The intelligent search prediction will help by prompting you dynamically with possible products as you;re typing, but you can also hit enter or click the search icon and then the search results will be shown in full.

The search results show both products and site content - you can select which results you want to view.

And if you're looking at the product view you can then apply all the normal product filters as you wish to reduce the results down to exactly what you want to see. Plus with search results, because you; haven't yet selected a category, you can also filter by category, which includes all top level navigation options - so you can also filter by Use, Collection, Occasion or Style. These enhanced filters are not available through the normal navigation so in some ways, for a really detailed set of filtering options, the search function provides the ultimate browsing tool.

Try searing for something general and then applying all the granular filters you want until you've got the ideal subset of products.

And don't forget for your regular or favourite items you can either add to your basket from previous orders (see the section below headed "Re-Ordering") or add items to a wishlist (see the section below headed "Wishlists").

Overall Layout

Our site works well at any screen size but the menu navigation changes to the universally recognised "hamburger" style menu when viewing our site on a smaller screen size from "portrait tablet" down to mobile phones. This is shown below.

Easy-to-navigate-our-webshop-with-a-responsive-menu

The My Account menu is accessed in the same way on both desktop and mobile views  - by clicking the words "My Account".

This menu does display differently depending on screen size - with the desktop view showing a simple drop down menu (as below) and the mobile view showing a stacked menu on the left hand side of the screen (also pictured below).

Desktop My Account Menu option at top right of the screen

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Mobile My Account Menu option as a stacked menu on left of screen

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There is also a handy tabbed menu option when the site is viewed at "landscape tablet" or desktop size. This appears above the main content and is an easy way to move between sections in your My Account hub.

The My Account menu tabs shown when you log in

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ORDERS

The Orders section is the default area which you see once you've logged in to your Account.

You will see all your previous orders and can arrange returns, print invoices or re-order easily by viewing an order and then selecting the products you'd like to add to your basket.

Order status information is displayed on the right hand side alongside each order.

You access an order by clicking on the order number.

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When the order status changes you will receive an email notification like the one below:

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If you click the link at the foot of the email it takes you directly to the order on our website.

This status change can also be seen in the order summary - again on the right hand side of the order. When an order has been shipped, the option to arrange a Return opens up and can be clicked. This is shown in the separate section below.

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RETURNS

(please also refer to our separate Returns Policy included in our Terms and Conditions)

If you are not completely satisfied with the goods received or have ordered an incorrect item, the My Account section of our site allows you to arrange and document a return at the click of a button.

To start a return you click the Return Items? link on the right of the relevant order in your order summary tab (see below).

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Having clicked this link you will be taken to a Returns Form which takes a short time to complete (see below).

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Once you have completed this form, we are automatically notified of the return request and will contact you to arrange the return of the goods and discuss options.

Please make it clear int he comments and by selecting a Reason from the dropdown menu why you're returning the goods and what action you would ideally like us to take.

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If we have a query or need to communicate about your return request (or in fact about any aspect of your order), this will appear in the Messages section of your My Account hub. Details of this section can be found below.

MESSAGES

The messages tab (or menu option) will show how many unread (non-viewed) messages there are in the system, awaiting your attention.

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When you click the tab, you will see a summary of the messages, together with a form for you to be able to respond.

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Messages are associated with orders, and you will receive email notifications as well, to let you know that a message has been sent. By responding from within the system rather than by email, we're able to track communication and retain it along with your order - which helps us as well as you. Of course if you respond by email it's not a problem and we'll still make sure we deal with your communication promptly and efficiently!

ADDRESSES

The addresses section allows you to keep all your billing and delivery address information in one place. This then allows you to add delivery information to orders quickly and easily when you;re placing an order.

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WISH LISTS

Wishlists are a handy way of saving products to view or add to your basket at a later date.

Currently the system only allows you to add to a single wishlist (although you can create more than one wishlist there's not an option to add to any wishlist but the first - we're working to resolve this technical hitch...).

While browsing you can click the heart symbol to Add to Wishlist and in the My Account section you'll be able to access this wishlist by clicking its name in the wishlist summary:

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From within the Wishlist you can either compare products side-by-side or click to Choose Options (view the product on the site) from where you can add it to your basket.

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RECENTLY VIEWED

A simple summary of the gift packaging products you've most recently been looking at - just in case you want a shortcut rather than gong through the site search or category navigation again to find it...

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ACCOUNT SETTINGS

In Account Settings you can amend your core data, including changing your password (which requires you to add your current password again for security - if you need to reset a forgotten password you do that through the Forgot Your Password? link next to the login button on the Account Sign-in section).

This section shoulkd be used to change your company name, VAT status etc.

If you are looking to change the email address associated with the account, this can be done here - but please also email us at onlineorders@meridiansp.co.uk or submit a contact us form to notify us of this change as we will also need to amend our back office systems accordingly.

 

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MAKE A PAYMENT

Our latest feature, this section allows you to make a credit or debit card payment of any amount you specify and to submit this payment through our secure payment option with the same peace of mind which accompanies the normal checkout process for stock orders.

This option is used for pro-forma invoices, i.e. invoices raised in advance against production orders for new customers or those without an existing credit account. 

A number of customers also use this payment option to settle existing credit account balances, which have been invoiced and are due for payment.

It's still possible to pay in lots o other ways - but this handy online payment option gives you a simple and effective method of paying us.

When you click the Make a Payment option in the menu, you will be taken to the payment form, above which are some instructions. This is show below. 

The Make a Payment screen:

 make-a-payment-screen.jpg

 

Below these instructions is the form, as pictured below. This form is provided by Launchcloud and integrates securely and seamlessly with Stripe to provide a PCI-DSS (payment card industry data security standards) compliant (secure) payment method which gives you the peace of mind necessary when making financial transactions online.

Please enter the invoice number in the payment reference field. Or for grouped payments use any easily identifiable reference so we can associate the payment with your customer account.

Before submitting the form, please ensure you have entered the amount you wish to pay – this must be entered manually.

For details of other payment options including IBAN international transfer please contact accounts@meridiansp.co.uk.

Payment through the secure form below is made via Stripe, with the payment confirmation email coming from the secure form provider Launchcloud. For further details see information security.

Payment transaction receipts (not an invoice) will be sent to you by email in the form of a PDF attachment. Please ensure you add admin@launchcloud.com to your safe sender list (whitelist) to prevent it being blocked by your spam filter.

Make a Payment Form

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