Twitter Cards for osCommerce

Twitter Cards are a new(ish) service from Twitter. In a nutshell, they give far more info than the standard 140 characters, including image, product name and other information. This is going to be BIG for promoting your products on Twitter.

How does it work ?

You add extra code (* see below) to your product pages. When someone tweets a link to one of your products, instead of seeing the URL only, they actually auto-post a “card” detailing your product! Everyone who follows the tweeter gets to see the card…

In this way you can present your products on Twitter far more professinally.

Here is a typical “Card”

tw-card

I’m looking for a couple of Test Guinea Pigs

I’ve coded this up as a 2.3.x Header Tag Module, and am now looking for Testers. In order to be a Tester you need to know the following:

1. Your thumbnail product images must be at least 280px by 280px, or you must create a special Twitter image of 280 by 280 for each product in your shop.
2. Once installed and tested, you must apply for authorisation via Twitter. Which means you have to have a Twitter account. Authorisation takes weeks.

It’s a 2 minute install, but you will need to amend your images or make new images. Interested? Email me.

Better Together Admin from Scott

My friend Scott over at That Software Guy is the go-to guy for discounting modules, and he has put together an Admin package for his “Better Together” system.

Better Together offers the following discount possibilities:

  • Two for one on product X
  • Two for one across category X
  • Buy product X, get product Y at a discount
  • Buy an item from category X, get an item from category Y at a discount
  • Buy product X, get an item from category Y at a discount
  • Buy an item from category X, get product Y at a discount.
  • Any of these may be configured using Better Together Admin for osCommerce. Why not try it!

You can even try it out before you buy it at the author’s admin demo site. The demo site is a Zen Cart site, but the admin panel itself looks the same in osCommerce. Click here to go to the demo site, and login with credentials test/test. The click on the Tools menu and scroll down to Better Together Admin.

To purchase Better Together Admin for osCommerce, contact Scott directly at help@thatsoftwareguy.com along with your osCommerce URL and version number, to dicuss pricing etc. Better Together Admin works on osCommerce 2.2 and 2.3.

Mailchimp osCommerce Integration

One of my clients needs the ability to send professional HTML Newsletters and keep tabs on open rates, subscriber levels and all the rest of that data that should be interesting to every shop owner.

So, he set out to find a Mailchimp integration that;

1. works
2. has modern code
3. looks good
4. has the ability to talk both ways (osc > MC and MC > osc)

There are NONE that are made for osCommerce. So…let’s get started;

What is needed?

a. ability for new customers to tick the newsletter box in create_account.php
b. ability for existing customers to add themselves onto the mailing list
c. ability for existing customers to remove themselves from the mailing list
d. ability for admin to add or remove customers from the mailing list
e. if a subscriber deletes themself via the unsubscribe link (in the newsletter) their shop account is changed to reflect this
f. ability for NON customers to sign up

Let’s look at each in detail;

a. newsletter box in create_account.php

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If this is ticked, I initiate a call to the Mailchimp API and the customer is added to the mailing list.
If this is not ticked, do nothing.

b and c. existing customer can sub and unsub

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Simply by unticking this box to unsub and ticking it to sub.

d. admin can sub and unsub individual customers

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This is at customers > {select customer} > edit

e. MC to osc, if an unsub occurs via the mailchimp API using a webhook.
Or, in english, if the subscriber leaves via the email unsub link, a signal is sent from Mailchimp which updates the customer record – and sets b/c and d to “unsubscribed”.

f. guests

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A nice little infoBox that is ajax enabled, so the customer does not have to leave your site.

Bear in mind that all these changes (subbing, unsubbing) are done silently in the background – so they will not take away the main emphasis of your shop, which is to sell your goods/services.

Conclusion

Working with the Mailchimp API is fairly straightforward if you are able to think logically about what you require. It’s my opinion that all shops should be making use of a newsletter system be that Mailchimp, the inbuilt osCommerce system or whatever is suitable for your needs. If you don’t send Newsletters, you are missing out on a good way to garner sales.

And now the Sales Pitch

If you are using Mailchimp and want this modification for your osCommerce Shop – get in touch. Feel free to post any questions in the comments.

Flexible Shipping Module – Per Cent + Fixed

How about the ability to create shipping costs, as so:

1. Percent of Product Cost
2. Fixed Amount Per Product
3. Extra Cost if buying multiples

And then go further and say;

A. I want these amounts to be different per product
B. I want these amounts to compound (add up)

So, for example;

Speed DVD: Charge $3.00 shipping + $1.00 for each extra copy
Unreal Tournament: Charge 10.5% for shipping

Shipping cost If buying 2 of Speed and 1 of Unreal would be:

Speed DVD: 3 + 1
Unreal Tournament: 9.45 (89.99 *10.5%)

For a grand total of $13.45

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Now let’s add in a 3 Microsoft Mouses for which we nothing for the first one and $5 each for the extras.

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As you can see, the cost for shipping has gone up by $10. Now let’s add in the ability to have an overall handling fee on the entire order of $2.75.

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Now let’s add in 3 of Blade Runner which ships free of charge irrespective of how many bought.

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The price has not changed! Which is perfect.

So, if you think about this, you can mix and match a number of costs;

– overall shipping fee
– per cent per item
– per item
– per item per multiple buy
– free shipping per item

This gives unparalleled flexibility in terms of shipping fee!