Zen Cart Loyalty Reward Points – Better than Discounts?

I just published Zen Cart Reward Points, a new mod that allows stores to assign loyalty points to transactions, which can be redeemed later for merchandise. Unlike discounts, which reduce the bottom line right away, reward points offer a way to incentivize customers to stay with you, but deferred the costs.

The Reward Points mod is a custom software installation, configured according to your request. One of the implementation models involves using Frequency Discounts to compute reward points, so a customer would only earn reward points if purchases exceed a certain amount during a specific look-back window (say 90 days or 1 year).

Other implementation models are possible; just let me know your needs.

LOL Shipping

It’s always hard to know the best way to price your e-commerce shipping. Should you exactly match the rate given by the shipping vendor? Add on a small margin? Use it as a profit center so you can show lower in-cart prices?

One thing is for sure, though: you should *not* offer as your only shipping option a $169 “white glove” delivery service the way Pier One does.

Zen Cart Changed Files Report now highlights 0 byte files

I just made a change to the Zen Cart Changed Files mod to highlight 0 byte files.

Zero byte files are produced when an FTP of a large number of files fails or times out. Obviously this can cause a lot of problems and take time to debug, so it’s best to know quickly if this is a problem you are having.

The zero byte files are colored in red for easy identification.

Responsive Fallback for Zen Cart

A lot of long-time users of Zen Cart have a template that was developed before mobile devices became so popular. These store owners have a difficult decision: give up the template they have grown to love, and start again with something responsive? Or just not worry about mobile traffic?

Now there’s a third choice. With my Zen Cart Responsive Fallback mod, you can keep your desktop template, but if a user visits on a mobile device, the template automatically switches to the built-in responsive_classic template, which was introduced in Zen Cart 1.5.5. It’s the best of both worlds!

Here’s a page rendered in a non-responsive desktop template:

Zen Cart Responsive Fallback - Desktop

and here’s the same page when viewed on a mobile device:

Zen Cart Responsive Fallback - Mobile

Zen Cart Missing Images

Everyone knows that images help sell products. But if you are uploading or creating a bunch of products all at once, it’s very easy to accidentally miss a product image here or there. So what’s a storeowner to do?

If you use my Missing Images for Zen Cart mod, you can quickly find and resolve those problems! Missing Images builds a report that shows you which products don’t have images (either because they were deleted or never uploaded in the first place), and provides a clickable edit link so you can quickly fix them. It’s a must for busy shops!

Automatically adding a downloadable product to the cart

People are using Zen Cart Auto Add to add bonus products to the cart when specific high value products are bought. But what if the bonus product is a downloadable? Since downloadables have attributes, this won’t work, right?

Wrong! All you need to do is install my free Default Attribute contribution, and you’ll be able to do this.

osCommerce Phoenix Discounting

The following discounting modules are now available for Phoenix:

Better Together

Quantity Discounts

Discount Chooser

and also

Discount Preview

The free modules are in the osCommerce App Marketplace, with links on the help page on my site; the commercial modules are in my store (linked on the help page).

There is no Better Together Admin for Phoenix yet; if there is sufficient interest, I’ll create one. But Discount Chooser provides most of the functionality, so you’re covered.

Zen Cart Jerkblocker

Blocking spam account creation and contact us usage has become increasingly important for Zen Cart operators, as bad guy activity has only gone up in the past few years. But how to do it!

The approach I used was to look for particular things which were commonly associated with bad traffic. Account creation attempts with these characteristics error out, and contact us attempts with these characteristics are dropped. The result is Jerkblocker for Zen Cart. It’s available to all my support customers on request.