Google Shopping Integration for Zen Cart

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. ūüôā

Getting creative with payment processing

A while back, Braintree was offering a special Рprocess $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? ūüôā ¬†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!

Recalculating Free Shipping after a discount in Zen Cart

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.

Testing out my new WordPress Plugin

I just created a new WordPress plugin called Zen Cart Product Display.  Giving it a try right now with OpenCart Discount Chooser:

OpenCart Discount Chooser

Discount Chooser simplifies the process of creating discounts based on items in the cart. You can create buy one, get one at a discount, buy two get one at a discount, or buy get a choice of at a discount. Item specification may be done by category or by product.

If you want offers involving more than just two items, Discount Chooser is a better option for your OpenCart based store than Better Together. An example of this would be "buy two, get one free."

Including a file in a PHP class

I was trying to figure out how I could manage the premium logic for my freemium Better Together for OpenCart module. ¬†You can’t just require¬†a block of code in the middle of a PHP Class:

class SomeClass {  
  premium_file = "premium.php";
  if (file_exists($premium_file)) {

So I cooked up another method that I documented in this StackOverflow post about how to include code into a PHP class.


Better Together Admin for OpenCart

Better Together Admin for Opencart, the web based configuration UI for OpenCart Better Together, has just been released.

Better Together Admin allows you to easily create “buy one, get one” discounts for your OpenCart based store. ¬†And it works right through your regular admin panel; no need to edit code to create the discounts. ¬†Here’s a video: