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.
I’m a pretty skeptical fellow but I must confess to being impressed by some of the work that has been done in osCommerce Phoenix. In particular, building templates using content blocks enabled by admin was an inspired choice.
For modders, if you make the handful of changes described in my Phoenix Tweaks page, your old osC 2.3 code will likely work, but a better path is to adopt Phoenix standards and just update your code.
If you’d like to use my software with osCommerce Phoenix (the new Responsive osCommerce community release), there are just a few things you’ll need to do. I documented the required osCommerce Phoenix changes on my website; it’s a small list.
I updated the documentation for Zen Cart Delete Spam Customers to provide more examples for common spam hints that I am seeing from my support clients. If you are suffering from a deluge of spam from Russia, Ukraine or another country, please know that help is on the way! In addition to Delete Spam Customers, I highly recommend these mods for spam prevention:
By default, items in your shopping cart in Zen Cart are shown in the order they are added to the cart. The first one is at the top, the second is below that, and so forth.
Generally this is desirable, but if your business involves taking telephone orders, especially of long lists of products, it’s easy to reverse it to show the last item added first instead. This can be useful for confirming as you add item by item.
Abandoned carts represent sales that you *should* have made that you didn’t – at least in some cases. So how can you close this gap?
Zen Cart has a tool called Recover Cart Sales that allows you to see when customers have walked away before completing checkout and contact them.
If you want to learn more about abandoned carts, listen to Bob Dunn (@BobWP) talk about why customers abandon carts. He does a nice investigation of possible root causes that gives you some food for thought as to improvements you might consider making.
This is a hot one. If you haven’t yet installed the Notify Patch for Zen Cart, please do so immediately. All my clients got this patch within 24 hours of the release. If you’d like this kind of service for your Zen Cart, please go on Zen Cart Support with me.