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Surreal workflow in an online store


Cylon

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Dear Friends:

 

I'm new to oscommerce, and my English is not very good. I hope you understand my problem, and can give me a good advice.

 

I have a customer, wich owns an online store, based in OsCommerce. The store works very well, and they sell a lot of products every day, altough the workflow in the store is very strange.

 

The first problem is that the shipping costs, deppend on the weight of the product. But the owner of the store (wich has more of 4000 products in the catalog), does not want to mantain the weight of the products. This mentality can not be changed.

 

Then, the store can never calculate the shipping costs. The staff does it manually, after the checkout process is finished.

 

The second problem is related with the first problem. Because they don't know the shipping costs, they can not charge the customer for the order during the checkout process. They allow three payment methods (money order, paypal, or credit card), but the payment is done after the checkout process is finished.

 

The workflow of the store is the following:

 

1.- The client orders a few products. They want that in the checkout process, the client can not pay (but it would be desirable to select a payment method). An the shipping costs are not showed (but it would be desirable to show a text saying that the shipping costs will be notified later by email).

 

2.- The staff of the store, weighs the order, then calculates the shipping costs, and emails the customer with the total and the instructions on how to pay.

 

3.- The customers pays.

 

4.- The staff ships the order.

 

Well, I know that this workflow is a nightmare, and very inefficient, but they are happy with it.

 

What I want is to disable the checkout_payment, and the checkout_shipping, and only inform the customer about the available payment and shipping methods.

 

How can this be done?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Cylon

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Cylon,

 

 

That is not the correct way to resolve the issues. I would suggest maintaining the weight for each product and then use a service such as Fedex, UPS or USPS to calculate the shipping costs in real time so the customer can pay for the product and shipping during the checkout process. Once payment is confirmed, the store owner only needs to ship the product via the chosen shipping method.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Cylon,

 

 

That is not the correct way to resolve the issues. I would suggest maintaining the weight for each product and then use a service such as Fedex, UPS or USPS to calculate the shipping costs in real time so the customer can pay for the product and shipping during the checkout process. Once payment is confirmed, the store owner only needs to ship the product via the chosen shipping method.

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

Dear Chris:

 

I agree totally with you. But the owner of the store is like a wall. What can I do?

 

It's almost certain that they are loosing customers due to this workflow, but they don't want to change.

 

Then, any ideas?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Cylon

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Cylon,

 

 

If the store owner won't change his ways, there is nothing you can do to help him/her. The most efficient and accurate way is as I described above. I also believe the store owner is losing customers and profits by operating in the current manner, however if you can't convince him to change then there is nothing you can do.

 

 

 

 

 

Chris

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I personally have had a similar issue, starting an online store for our brick-and-mortar store.

I've setup a weight for each category under the assumption that items within the same category weight approximately the same. I had to adapt the shipping calculation a little to find the category weight when there was no product weight, but overall it worked pretty well.

 

Maybe that is an option for you to suggest to the owner ?

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The store is a perfume and makeup store.

 

I don't know if this can be an aproach. I will translate to the owner the situation, and wait what he want to do in the future.

 

Thanks for your help.

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