Search has long been a pain point for ecommerce vendors. Take a look at some of the ways I have addressed search in Zen Cart, including creating custom pages for frequent searches, adding fields to the products table to permit searching, using jQuery, and designing custom sideboxes.
Zen Cart Discount Chooser has had some new features added at the request of customers:
- Add Group Selection per discount
- Allow the order of sort for discounted-item selection to be changed
- Allow some items to be marked as “preferred discounted items.
Discount Chooser is now an even *more* powerful way to create “Buy <n> get <m>” style discounts!
More options for you to sell a bundle and make a bundle! My new Kitbuilder for Zen Cart module is the latest entry in my series of Zen Cart Bundling options. KitBuilder allows you to build “kits” of related products (without attributes), which are all sold together with a single click. Kitbuilder even comes with a kit marketing plugin that allows you to show off your kits in a centerbox on your home page.
I have provided Edit Orders Integration patches for most of my Zen Cart mods, but for some reason, I just never did Frequency Discounts. It could be that I just thought it was working properly.
But the good folks at nailessentialz pointed out a problem: if you edit an order placed before today, the lookback period should begin and the point of the order, not at the current date. (This would be relevant for stores that set a lookback period units value of “Days”, “Weeks” or “Months”, rather than “All.”)
For example, if the current day is September 12, and the Lookback Period Units is “Days” and the Period Count is “10”, for an order placed on Aug 27 20:43:50, the lookback window is from Aug 17 20:43:50 to Aug 27 20:43:50. The old code would have computed the lookback window as September 2 – September 12.
I have had this on my to-do list forever. Finally I created a Zen Cart integration to Google Shopping I am happy with.
Here’s what you get:
- Installation of the feed file creation on your store
- Adding structured data to your products in json-ld format, as recommended by Google
- Automating the nightly creation and and upload of the file to Google Merchant Center.
- On a fee for service basis, I can also help with the remaining items you’ll need done to get your products into Google Shopping.
Oh and by the way – I’m not just the author of Google Shopping for Zen Cart … I’m also a client. 🙂
A while back, Braintree was offering a special – process $50K worth of payments for free. You bet I signed up! And at a standard 2.9% rate, this represented a $2500 savings over the lifetime of the offer. But all good things must come to an end, and I noticed that last week, I started paying fees on Braintree transactions. Ouch!
So what’s an entrepreneur to do? My suggestion would be to get creative with your best customers, and ask them to use fee-free bank-to-bank payment options rather than a credit card. Here are a few you can check out:
- Venmo – Venmo has been around for a while and was acquired by Paypal in the Braintree acquisition of 2014. Venmo is heavily tilted towards mobile/Facebook, so it makes sense if that’s your demographic.
- Zelle – Zelle is pretty new and supported by a wide swath of big banks. I think it might take off and become a Venmo-killer.
- Google Wallet – You didn’t really think I wasn’t going to talk about Google, did you? 🙂 Google Wallet is interesting because they offer more fraud protection than many vendors do – if this is a concern for you, take a look.
These payment methods are really more designed for individuals rather than businesses, so don’t hold your breath for an integration with your favorite shopping cart, but you might want to offer these methods for settlement with your best customers, and split the fees with them. Who wouldn’t want to save 1.5%? – on $2,000, that’s $30!
Periodically, the question is asked on the Zen Cart forum, “how can I set the Zen Cart Free Shipping threshold based on the Total AFTER all discounts and coupons have been applied?”
This can be done but there are a lot of variables involved. (If it was a simple mod, I’d package it up as a simple mod!) So I offer it as a service. It’s called Free Shipping Recalculation. It recomputes your free shipping threshold based on the subtotal after discounts.
Free Shipping Recalculation works, whether you are using Admin->Modules->Shipping->Free Shipping Options or Admin->Modules->Order Totals>Shipping to set your free shipping threshold.
For a lot of stores, it makes sense to build “product bundles” that can be sold with a single click. As long as your products don’t have attributes, you can easily do this with Zen Cart Extended Family.