Limit Product Sales?

Today from a long standing client;

I want limit Product Sales to 1 per customer…

That seemed like a really strange question, as what shopowner in their right mind would want to limit sales? Then it became clear…this shopowner not only sells tangible items, but also intangible items such as event tickets.

Thinking further, I limit sales of some of my products to 20 (eg on my recent Responsive templates)…

My initial thought, before having an extra cup of coffee was to simply tell the shopowner to place a products_quantity of “1” on each product that he wants to limit. Absolutely dumb advice and of course no good, as the overall sales of the product is limited to one and one only…whereas this shopowner wants each customer to be limited to one purchase of a given product.

By re-using some code I had made previously, I managed to come up with a system to allow this Shopowner to easily and quickly place a limit per product, this is a whole new Admin page:

admin_limit

Admin Side Core Code Changes: NONE
– new admin page
– new entry in the “catalog” sidebox

Shop Side, I coded up a Header Tag module which activates on checkout_shipping.php, this HT module is a bit complicated, what does it do;

1. looks at each product in the cart and determines if there is a limit and if that limit has been reached or exceeded. If so error_message and redirect back to shopping cart to allow customer to adjust quantities
2. looks at previous orders and determines if the customer has previously ordered and reached the limit. If so error_message and redirect back to shopping cart to allow customer to adjust quantities.

shop_limit

Shop Side Core Code Changes: NONE
– new HT module installable via Admin

As you can see, quite a nice little system, giving you shopowners total flexibility in what you want to sell to your customers. Interested in this, or something similar – contact me at your convenience…

XML Files for Google Webmasters, Bing and others

XML sitemaps

If you have no clue what these are or how they can be good for your site, read https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184

I have take the time to create a better system for producing osCommerce specific sitemaps. By clicking one link in your admin area, you will produce 4 XML Sitemaps, ready for use:

1. Categories
2. Manufacturers
3. Products
4. Special Offers

You can use any or all of these to do wonderful things.

This new system has ZERO core code changes. It has been tested on a site with over 1500 categories and 23000 products – all 4 sitemaps were produced in less than a few seconds.

This new system will be made available in my next Newsletter which is due in the next week, if you have not yet signed up for the Newsletter, please do so at http://www.clubosc.com/oscommerce-news-and-updates.html

Featured XML Image courtesy of Hopstarter

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.