Customers Personal Page

Imagine if you will owning an osCommerce shop that is quite large, and giving customers the ability to “save” products to a special page thereby making it very easy for them to return and order something they found at your site. I suppose it is a bit like a “private wishlist”.

Imagine no more as this now exists for the 2.3.x branch of osCommerce. With a few lines of code I was able to make the following changes;

1. Add a button on the product_info.php page that allows a customer to “add” or “remove” a product to their personal page. Also a button that directly links to their personal page.

Note that the “add” button only shows if the product is not already saved to the personal page. And similar for the “remove” button, this only shows if the product is saved already in the personal page.

2. New page (I call this the “personal page”). This lists all the added products, and gives the ability to “remove” the product from the page or to “add to cart”.

The personal page is only available to logged in customers, and each customer can fill this with the products they love, or buy again and again etc. In this way each customer can use it as a personal reminder or wishlist.

Video of it in action

What we have here is the beginnings of a very solid public wishlist as there presently is no good wishlist system in osCommerce. With some extra coding this code foundation could be extended to allow customers to have multiple wishlists (eg, birthday, wedding, xmas and so on), and to allow other users to purchase items from the wishlist to be delivered to the lucky recipient. Perhaps in the future this foundation can be built upon to allow something that’s sorely needed in osCommerce.

Simple Pre Order System

One of my long standing clients needed a solution that allows customer to purchase “out of stock” products, and writes a prominent message telling them that their order will be dispatched when the product is back in stock.

Customer came up with the idea of some sort of flag based on products_stock (which is the correct way to do things). But what happens when the product is back in stock – the flagged message would disappear.

I spent 10 minutes thinking on this and decided to utilise the order_status_history feature. Why not set up a new order_status called “Pre Order” and write a message here that shows which products in the order are out of stock. This message would automatically in the account_history and in the admin/orders pages.

I then set out to make the code as quickly as I could to test out the idea, and it seems to work very well whilst keeping code changes to an absolute minimum.

In the Shop Side (account_history_info)

This status happens automatically for any product with a quantity of zero or less in stock. This is done on a per product basis, so the message only lists those products in the order that are problematic for delivery. This message is also repeated in the “thank you for your purchase” email as well.

All in all, a nice little modification that allows the customer to see exactly why they might have a delay in receiving their items, and allows the shopowner to receive fewer emails from customers wondering why they have not yet received their order.

osCommerce Reboot

It’s been a long time coming but osCommerce (the brand) has been rebooted.

Now that the website and forum have been overhauled, code work can begin again on the next three releases in the osCommerce portfolio;

  1. v2.3.4 – a final update in the 2.3 branch bringing a lot of bug fixes and some extra functionality
  2. v2.4 – a new release bringing the 2.3 branch closer to the 3.0 branch. A “halfway house” if you will.
  3. v3 and forwards – the main product of osCommerce for the coming years.

Good times ahead for osCommerce, and for the users of osCommerce.

Hopefully the bad and disastrous times that the osCommerce brand has suffered over the past 5 or 6 years can be repaired by the new emphasis on quality products and quality customer service. Only time will tell.