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osCommerce

The e-commerce.

Help! Missing Order?!


norite

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Hi,

We have a problem....we received an email from a customer for payment of goods, bia paypal. So I went to the OSCommerce orders page, to check the order....and it wasn't there??! Erk. We phoned the customer and got his order OK verbally, but there's no record of it anywhere in the admin section....And yes, he did use the website correctly - he's a returning customer and ordered like last time (which worked fine)

 

This is rather worrying. Can anyone shed any light on possibly what's gone wrong here please? :(

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The customer surfed away from paypal without returning to your store. Read this:

My Experience with osCommerce and Paypal:

When I first opened my shop, everything looked fine until Paypal started sending me e-mail confirmations of payments and my store wasn't sending any records of sales. Credit card purchases were working fine. Two e-mails came for each order;one from my shop and the other from the credit card payment processor. In my Admin panel, the credit card orders were listed but not the Paypal ones. I could see a new customer with the same name as the Paypal payment, but how would I know what to ship?

 

Here's the problem: When a customer is directed to Paypal by the store to complete a purchase, the dollar amount is sent with them. However, if that customer surfs away after making the payment instead of going back to your store, Paypal never sends the data back to your store. Payment has been made. The customer's cart remains full and they expect the products to be shipped. They surfed away because they thought they were finished and maybe they wanted to check their account balance or something.

 

If this has happened and you have lost orders already, you can fix it without too much trouble. The trick is to do it without looking like a fly-by-night operation. You don't want your new customers to know you're mucking around with their information. Here's what I'd suggest. 1)Install a simple little Contribution called Master Password. Find it in the Contributions section.

2)Get your customer's e-mail address from the Admin Panel in the customers section.

3)Log in as if you were them by using their e-mail and the master password.

4)Change the e-mail address to your own. This is important.

5)Complete the order using the option to pay by check/moneyorder.

6)Change the e-mail address back to theirs. Don't forget to do this!

Now, you should see the order in the admin panel, the customer's account is left just as it should be for next time they log in and they haven't received a strange e-mail about paying for their order by check (strange because they knew they paid by Paypal).

 

Now, how do we keep it from ever happening again? Probably the best solution is to install one of several Contributions with names like Paypal IPN and Order Logging. These Contributions will make your store record the order before the customer leaves. If you are good at installing Contributions or just enjoy it, take a good look at these options. I don't know much about them since I opted for a different solution.

I enabled a feature on my Paypal account called Auto-Return. It can be found in the section called Website Payments. Go to My Account, Profile and look under the Selling Preferences column at Website Payment Preferences (as of 6-16-2005). Turn auto-return on. Use the return URL of https://www.xxxxxxxx.com/checkout_process.php or https://www.xxxxxxxxx.com/checkout_success.php. Adjust the URL as needed. I use checkout_process.php but others have suggested checkout_success.php works for them. The options below on that page I leave turned off except to allow payments from customers who don't yet have Paypal accounts. Most customers who choose to pay by Paypal will already have accounts, but this option may help reduce cart abandonment slightly.

Now, when a customer completes the transaction at Paypal, they will see a button that directs them to return to your site and a message saying it will happen in 5 seconds anyway. For almost all customers, this is enough to get them back to your store and, thus, complete the order. Every once in a while, one gets away and you just have to follow the steps outlined above. Why didn't I just install one of those Contributions? It only took a couple of minutes to change my Paypal account and it has worked for all but two Paypal orders through a very busy spring shipping season. I have also heard of plenty of troubles with the Paypal IPN Contribution. I'm sure this is just new shop owners having difficulty installing and configuring a Contribution but, in my opinion, the simplicity and effectiveness of auto-return outweigh the possible benefits of the Contributions in this case. Don't get me wrong. I believe the Contributions are the Lifeblood of osCommerce. I have dozens installed in my store. Sometimes simpler is just better. Best of luck with your on-line business and I hope this has been helpful to you.

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