A friend of mine asked me this the other day, and I wanted to share my response in case it helped others wondering the same thing.
- Are there seminars, conventions or meetups you could speak at?
- Are there blogs you could guest blog on?
- Are you posting YouTube videos of uses for your product?
- Can you partner with brick and mortar establishments?
- Are there forums you could participate in to establish your expertise? For example, is there a StackExchange forum for your type of business?
- Can you segment your business into vertical markets and target one or two of those specifically?
- Have you asked existing customers for testimonials and referrals? How about video testimonials? Everyone has a smartphone nowadays, and making a video is a snap. You can host videos on your YouTube channel.
- Where do your customers go? Can you go there?
Back in 2013 I extended the one-to-one linkage concept in Zen Cart Better Together with the One-to-Many feature. This addition of three new radio buttons in the Zen Cart admin panel effectively tripled the number of permutations of computed discounts. What could go wrong?
Well, as it turned out, a number of things! Freed from the classic one-to-one constraint, the configuration
would discount a *single* product 3, because it miscounted the number of items in the cart. You can see this error in the screenshot above.
This bug is fixed in Better Together 2.5.3 for Zen Cart, which is available in the Plugins area.
If you send files around using your GMail account, you may have noticed an increase in the number of false positives in their attachment scanner. Files of type .php and .js are frequently incorrectly identified as malicious, and the attachment is blocked.
Fortunately, there is still a straightforward way to get around this – rename the file so the filetype is different – rename .zip files to .zip.file, for example.
Here’s a decent discussion of this topic:
Trick Gmail Antivirus Scanner: Send Any File Type with Gmail. (.exe, .dll, .com, .bat)
You may have already heard that Mastercard is rolling out cards that start with a “2” instead of the traditional “5.” You’ll want to check your version of Zen Cart to be sure you can handle this. Versions 1.5.5b and above have built in logic for the native payment methods (such as Authorize.net); if you are running a lower version, you will need to merge in the changes from the latest copy of includes/classes/cc_validation.php. If you are using an extension to manage credit card payments, be sure to test with Mastercard 2223000048400011. Then you can have confidence that your cart properly processes “2” series Mastercard cards.
Better Together is a BOGO discounting module I created for Zen Cart. I have ported the logic to a few other carts (osCommerce, Prestashop, and OpenCart), and this post pertains to the OpenCart port.
The first release of the Better Together for OpenCart module was for OpenCart 1.5. Then I made a handful of tweaks for compatibility with version 2.0. Now I knew I had to upgrade for 2.3 compatibility, but since the version 2 changes were pretty easy, I honestly thought upgrading for version 22.214.171.124 of OpenCart would be trivial. I was wrong! There were a few tricky things, and I’ll share them here in case other software developers are working on upgrading their pre-2.3 extensions.
- The file paths are different. All file paths now include “extension” directories. So instead of
catalog/model/total/better_together.php, the file path becomes
- The inheritance hierarchy is different. So instead of declaring your model class as ModelYourClass, it’s ModelExtensionYourClass, which extends Model.
- This is what really tripped me up. Because the 2.3 base class overrides getters and setters, you have to be sure to declare all your class variables so that magic methods won’t be used to access them(*). If you came out of PHP4, this is a bit of an adjustment, but there you are. The positive thing is that it makes your code more self-documenting.
(*) If you don’t do this, you’ll get the “Indirect modification of overloaded property has no effect” fatal error.
Extended Family joins Zen Cart Free Gift Chooser and Zen Cart Free Gift Spender as modules that required MySQL 5.7 compatibility changes. Please get these updates if you use these modules.
Newsletter Discount for Zen Cart has a few new features:
- Dollar off per order setting
- Caching of Mailchimp subscriber status
If you are willing to send multiple newsletters every month (I think the minimum cadence should be monthly), and you want to do some market segmentation, you may want to try this technique. It assumes you have already installed my Mailchimp Integration for Zen Cart.
- Login to Mailchimp and click the Lists menu at the top. Then on the right, click the Stats dropdown and select Signup forms.
- Click the Select button on Embedded Forms.
- Under Manage Contacts, click Groups.
- Click the Create Groups button, and add Checkboxes and Radio buttons as need be. You can add many Groups, so don’t be afraid to partition your questions.
- Click Signup Forms and Embedded Forms again. The code for the form shown in the preview is right below the preview window. Copy this code and paste it into a new page (or sidebox) on your site.
You can read more about creating groups on the Mailchimp Getting Started with Groups page.
So after a while you’ll (hopefully!) have some newsletter signups, with people identifying as being part of one group or another. How do you utilize this data?
- Select Campaigns, name the campaign and make it a regular campaign.
- You will be prompted to select Recipients. Select Group or New Segment.
- Use the query-by-example form to select the target group for your campaign.
You can read more about this on the Mailchimp Sending to Groups page.
As a convincer, see the email signup form we are using on keylessentrylocks.com:
There was a bug in the subscriber check in the discount logic which has just been fixed; please update to version 4.0b, which is available in the Zen Cart downloads area. Links and documentation are on the Zen Cart Newsletter Discount Help page.