osCommerce News and Updates

I’m going to be emailing once or twice month – and each mail will contain interesting news, maybe a special offer, maybe some free code that no-one else gets.

You can sign up by inserting your email address into the form below and click “subscribe”. Nice and easy.
It’s a Mailchimp list so if you subscribe, you can easily unsubscribe should you wish to.



So, if you want to learn about the possibilities that YOUR shop can bring you, sign up today and wait for the next Newsletter.

Guest Checkout? Customer Actions…

If you are running any flavour of guest checkout, it is likely that your buyers have no way to easily perform after-sale actions. Typical examples would be;

1. Contact you about the order
Of course they could do this via your contact_us form, but they would have to somehow find their order number. Or you, the shopowner would have to waste time trying to marry up and order to the customers name or email address.

2. Leave a review
Once again, they could do this via the contact_us form. Shopowner, that’s you, would have to waste more time in (a) marrying up the customer and product and (b) somehow getting it into the reviews structure on your site

3. See their Order and Order Comments
It’s really dumb not to give customer the opportunity to see their order after the order is finalised. In addition why not allow the customer to track their order via your system of order updates.

Most shopowners who use osCommerce (with guest checkout) probably have never even thought about allowing guest to perform after sale actions. WHY ?

Let’s take just one part of this argument; Reviews

What is a customer review; CONTENT
What is a customer review; WORD OF MOUTH

Next up consider that the Reviews at your shop are fully microdata’d which ALL the major search engines love…and that the review posted is going to be custom content that your site (AND ONLY YOUR SITE) has! Win, Win, WIN.

Why the hell are you shopowners not able to see the wood for the trees? Get a system into place that allows both guest customers and regular customers to easily review the product(s) they have purchased. It’s pretty damned simple…

When an order is made:

1. Give it a random token, stored in the database against the customer ID.
2. Make customer aware of the Token, perhaps by email
3. Have a new page on which;
3a. the token is inserted, this gets the customer ID, which in turn shows the order summary, order update, and a form to give a review, and so on.

THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

Make it easy for your customers, make it easy for yourself. Let the software do the heavy lifting.

All of the above is available, now which shopowners want to see a brighter future for themselves – I’m betting not more than 2 or 3…if you are one of those few Band of Brothers, email me.

osCommerce and Mandrill

Lots of hosts have now placed rules and limits on emails, so if you are one of those shopowners having problems with emails being sent and received, maybe it’s time to use Mandrill to send and receive email…

What is Mandrill

A system that allows you to send Transactional Emails (eg; contact us, order updates and so on) via the Mandrill App, completely bypassing your hosts email system. The “from” address is still your own email address, so it is completely transparent to those who receive emails from you. Read more about Mandrill.

Upside:
You can track emails.
You can resend emails direct from the MandrillApp interface.
Better uptime than your host!

Downside:
There is a cost attached.
1 off cost to me: £20 for installation of the system to cover my coding time.
Ongoing to Mandrill: It is (as of todays date) $9.95 for 25000 emails per month, however the first 2000 emails are free so that you can test the system before deciding to continue with it.

Interested? Get in touch.