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Shop owners - what do you want in the core of future osC releases?

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On my old site I used to have headerttags_seo installed and used the search tracking to see what people were searching for within the site. This allowed me to change some product descriptions and titles to make sure that search terms were included if I thought they would be useful.

 

Now that I use the inbuilt SEO stuff, I have not got the search tracking bit. Its a shame that its not available as a separate addon as it is useful. May be an idea for a small addon.


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@@MrPhil Tracking the search is available in Header Tags SEO but it doesn't list IP's or search bots. Though the latter shouldn't be possible since they would have to submit the form.

@@MrPhil

 

For better search result, you can add to catalog side a typeahead search bar tool like "Store Search with Image (BS)" that will search into product name and model or keywords : http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/9504

It's real time search on screen very impressive and powerfull with the add of keywords.

 

This addon is compatible with  Header Tags SEO of Jack_mcs.

 

 

Edited by milerwan

Osc v2.3.4 BS "custom"
PHP 7.3 compatible (710 modified files => o_O')

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@@milerwan, I'm not looking for a type-ahead or auto-complete search. I'm asking about the ability for the shop owner to see what people are searching for, which could give hints about new products to add, or improvements that need to be made to existing product descriptions, or even improvements to the search process itself (such as allowing shorter words, or improving the help).

 

@@Jack_mcs, that looks like a possible solution. I'll have to look at it at it some more at some point (I must have missed search logging in a quick look at the add-on). I wouldn't want IP addresses (except possibly at a very granular level, such as by country), to avoid data privacy issues. I think it would be sufficient to have registered customer vs. guest (without bots, if possible), and maybe country.

 

@@14steve14, if it would take an add-on for 2.3.4BS/2.4, perhaps someone could take a shot at it. I'm sure many would find it useful for analysis. I can't get to it right now, but maybe some time in the near future?

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@@MrPhil

@@milerwan, I'm not looking for a type-ahead or auto-complete search. I'm asking about the ability for the shop owner to see what people are searching for, which could give hints about new products to add, or improvements that need to be made to existing product descriptions, or even improvements to the search process itself (such as allowing shorter words, or improving the help).

 

This addon has the capability of recording the searched terms. I disabled the 'Smart Suggest' feature, and am using only the recording feature on one of my stores. I do find it very useful to see what people are searching for ...

 

http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/8926

 

Malcolm


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One feature I have added to all of my stores is to disable the 'add to cart' or 'buy it now' buttons when an item is out of stock. I think this would be a valuable addition to the core.

 

Adding on this idea would be the ability to have several 'buttons' available, and have them displayed based upon preset conditions:

 

1) in stock, display the 'buy it now' or 'add to cart' buttons

2) out of stock, either hide or disable the button, or display a 'out of stock' non-clickable 'button'

3) if a flag is set in the product record, change the 'buy it now' button to a 'contact us' button (linked to the Contact Us page). This would be useful for products that need to be customized beyond what attributes can handle.

 

This functionality obviously isn't a core need, but putting in place the hooks necessary to implement something like this so that core changes are not necessary would be a good thing.

 

Malcolm


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Others have mentioned about attributes and inventory ... I strongly believe that this is an important area that needs addressing.

 

The common example is T-shits ... throw in a size attribute and an color attribute. Technically, each color and size combination *should* have its own inventory (or part) number. But, does osC treat each combination as a different number? Or, as a variation of a master number? And, how does it control inventory of each combination? And, do customers want to have to 'add $xxx for X-Large' to the displayed price to figure out what it costs (yes, osC takes that into account when the item is added to the cart)?

 

 

I sell gloves. For example, let's say that there are three materials, and three lengths. So, there are nine different possible combinations. Each has a different part number, and a different price. Right now, I have nine different individual parts in the database. This works, but it could be simpler.

 

It would be nice to have three 'master' items (in my example, based on material), and the option to select the length while shopping. Selecting the length would display the items actual part number and actual price (not a 'add $xxx'), and records the correct part number (and price) when adding to the shopping cart. And, this way, inventory control is also maintained.

 

I am sure other industries have a similar situation.

 

Malcolm


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Hopefully the new version will include all these types of things when its being updated. Hopefully the back end reports will get a facelift as well and actually help the store owner run their business.


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Hopefully the new version will include all these types of things when its being updated. Hopefully the back end reports will get a facelift as well and actually help the store owner run their business.

i use opensource reportico, it has a drop in structure and is customizable, i think this is a good fit overall.


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In case these haven't been mentioned, I suggest:

 

- State/City selector. So that when a customer selects a state for a new account, the list of cities is shown. There are already a few BS addons for this so making it core would be minor.

 

- Sorting for the sections in admin. Like the ability to sort customers and the reports.

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- State/City selector. So that when a customer selects a state for a new account, the list of cities is shown. There are already a few BS addons for this so making it core would be minor.

The states do not exist in many countries like France where I live.

I think it should be based on the postal code so that it is universal for all users of OsCommerce, regardless of the country.


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The states do not exist in many countries like France where I live.

I think it should be based on the postal code so that it is universal for all users of OsCommerce, regardless of the country.

Postal Codes do not exist in many countries ;)


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Ok burt,

 

So the simplest would be that it is in the form of addons, as this could each customize according to its country of origin and customers.


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What works well for one shopowner might not work well for the next. What one shopowner wants, another might not want or have a use for...

 

That is the reason why we are attempting to go modular;

shopowner who wants a cathedral can have it

shopowner who wants a small church can have it.

 

But this means a major change in policy and understanding;

 

1. core team sets up osCommerce to allow modules

2. developers write modules that "do things" without touching core

3. shopowners understand that old code and ideas should be discarded


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The states do not exist in many countries like France where I live.

I think it should be based on the postal code so that it is universal for all users of OsCommerce, regardless of the country.

Adding this doesn't work any different than it is now other than it allows for easier selection. If the customer chooses France as the country and there are not any states can your customers check out now? If so, then they would be able to checkout with this change made. Or, I suppose if it were going to be made core, having it as a module would allow only shops that want it to use it. One of the main parts of the shop is to handle the addresses so having more flexibility and ease of use for creating an account should be standard, in my opinion.

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My MS2.2 shop (I know ...) is in France and 95% of my clients are French.
In France we have no "states", I modified the script so that the input is not obligatory.
The entry in this field can be used for my 5% of clients outside France.
On the 2.3.4BS that I test, the "State" is obligatory if left true in the admin. If I put it to false, then it disappears from the input fields.

I have to modify the code so that the input is not obligatory but I will fall into the same trap as for the MS2.2: too much change the code does not allow to upgrade from 2.2 to a more recent version like 2.3.4BS.
For French customers, it would be convenient to use the zip code to provide cities. But not the "state".
For customers outside France, this can also be the postal code, but also the "state".
On the other hand for you it must be the "state" and not the zip code, hence my reflection in the form of addons in order to have more flexibility and ease of use to create an account, what Be the country of the shop.
OsCommerce must be scalable depending on the country if it is to be again at the top of the E-Commerce shops in the world. It's my opinion.
Sorry for my bad english.


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I haven't followed this all the way through, so I don't know if it's been discussed.  One thing I think should be in core code is product dimensions, as I beleive most people sell a physical product.  The reason this is important is dimensional weight in shipping.  I've modified my fedex module to use the packaging routine that is in UPSXML.  In 2007 UPS and Fedex both went to dimensional weight on boxes over 3 cubic feet, but as of 2015 all boxes face this.  For someone like me, that sells a light product, my shipping changed dramatically.  I think this is only a big factor in the US currently, but i can see it going worldwide.  Basically, a box that is 31x15x10 inches bills at  28 pounds.  Mine may only weigh 6. 

 

I guess I kind of rambled here, but has product dimensions been discussed?


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@@John W, dimensions also apply in the UK, royal mail having small and medium size parcels, and prices to suit.

Shipping modules have to be modified to suit,

 

So, in my opinion a good idea

 

Mike


osC CE live - developing osC Phoenix adding modules with no core changes(awesome and easy!)

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I haven't followed this all the way through, so I don't know if it's been discussed.  One thing I think should be in core code is product dimensions, as I beleive most people sell a physical product.  The reason this is important is dimensional weight in shipping.  I've modified my fedex module to use the packaging routine that is in UPSXML.  In 2007 UPS and Fedex both went to dimensional weight on boxes over 3 cubic feet, but as of 2015 all boxes face this.  For someone like me, that sells a light product, my shipping changed dramatically.  I think this is only a big factor in the US currently, but i can see it going worldwide.  Basically, a box that is 31x15x10 inches bills at  28 pounds.  Mine may only weigh 6. 

 

I guess I kind of rambled here, but has product dimensions been discussed?

@@John W

 

I just plug the weight...either the dimensional or physical, whatever is the greatest, into the weight field and use that when providing shipping rates. 

 

I'm not sure any of these things need to be added to the core...with the possible exception of variants, we just need a way to add them as, if or when needed. IMO, the core should be a clean, mean and well oiled machine.

 

Dan

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My mind may be stuck in the past, but I had to modify mine back in 2007.  My thought is that products_weight has been core forever and all physical products do have dimensions.  If you don't sell anything that is low density, it's not much of a factor.  I also sell a lot of items that go into a box, so dimensions come in to play on the packing routine.  My needs on this are probably more extreme than mosts, but shipping is a bigger cost going forward for everyone.  Fedex is going up an average of 4.9% on ground this year. 


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@@John W

 

The only issue I've had with plugging the dimensional weights in is when I have something that you can put several of them in the same box ie light bulbs....my routine would add those together and produce an outrageous shipping amount....Gary's Hazmat module solved that for me...I used it to add a box charge instead of a dimensional weight.  I guess that drives home the point...we all need different options and rather than mess with or have a bloated core we need...

 

modules that "do things" without touching core.

 

Dan

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As there are several discussions on here, its a job to know what to post where.

 

In the UK most deliveries are by Royal mail. They no longer need a county on the postal address, but some couriers do, so its best to leave things as they are as it could get too confusing. May be the core team could make a postal addon that would add a further feature and allow state or counties as in adding zones that could then be used by developers to make individual postal addons dependent on what the customer needs.

 

As to the dimension discussion, again Royal Mail and many couriers use package dimensions as well as weight to calculate costs. Adding dimensions would bring OScommerce into the 20th century, but working out the final size of the package for multiple different items could prove difficult as far as I have read here and other places. I think its a case of one size does not fit all, but something in the middle may work for lots of people. Without having the option to add dimensions on a product page does mean that it limits the possibility of someone creating an addon that could use the data. Its only a few more columns in a table so what does it matter whether it is entered or not.


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I guess I didn't explain my thoughts out completely.  It's only the additon of dimensions (L W H) I wanted to product just as product weight.  My whole mindset comes from the way UPSXML was done, which I originally used until I switched to fedex and modified that module to work with the packing routine from UPSXML.  I wasn't suggesting any other core changes, but adding dimensions.

 

Boxes and packing are separate and boxes are entered into a database table.  I've got it to where it works pretty well and I've tweaked my dimensions over time.  The biggest thing is having a packing routine (separate class) that picks the best box which I've tinkered with over time. 


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If you add an item to your cart in a quantity greater than the quantity in stock, you get this message:

Products marked with *** dont exist in desired quantity in our stock.
You can buy them anyway and check the quantity we have in stock for immediate deliver in the checkout process.

There are addons* that change this to reflect the actual quantity on hand, so the customer doesn't have to guess (or do a trial and error attempt) how many they can order.  This seems like such a natural and simple addition that should be in the core.

 

Malcolm

 

* example: http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/1906


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If you add an item to your cart in a quantity greater than the quantity in stock, you get this message:

Products marked with *** dont exist in desired quantity in our stock.
You can buy them anyway and check the quantity we have in stock for immediate deliver in the checkout process.

There are addons* that change this to reflect the actual quantity on hand, so the customer doesn't have to guess (or do a trial and error attempt) how many they can order.  This seems like such a natural and simple addition that should be in the core.

 

Malcolm

 

* example: http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/1906

 

Yes, that one definitely needs changing.

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But if oscommerce showed the quantity in stock on the product page customers would know how many were in stock and never need to see that message. Curing the problem is easier than fitting a band aid.


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