EasyCart Shortcode is Easy!

Looking to develop custom product pages with EasyCart Functionality?

Many customers have asked about creating new products and designs on their WordPress pages and then simply inject or add EasyCart add to cart behavior or products on those custom pages.  It is a common workflow, and while EasyCart develops an entire catalog system for you and your products, customizing ones pages to fit your specific needs is often a requirement.

With EasyCart shortcode, it is easy to develop your own product pages and add only specific parts of EasyCart to your system.  Here are a few good examples, but be sure to experiment with our shortcode to see all of the capabilities it has to offer.

 

Scenario 1:  Create your own pages, but want ‘Add to Cart’ button on your pages

This is very popular scenario, you have a few products, so you want to create highly customized WordPress pages and JUST use EasyCart add to cart behavior.

  1.  Create your page in WordPress how you like it, then access the EasyCart shortcode by clicking the ‘shopping cart’ icon on the toolbar.shortcode-toolbar
  2. Select the ‘Add to  Cart’ shortcode button.  There are lots of options here for shortcode, so worth time to explore and see the possibilities of each shortcode section.shortcode
  3. Once you select ‘Add to Cart’, you are asked which product would you like this add to cart button to represent, select which product from the dropdown.addtocart
  4. Select ‘Add shortcode’ and it will inject the shortcode into your wordpress page.  You can use the default editor OR some themes have custom page builders, which also work if they represent shortcode in them.

shortcodeaddition

Here you can see shortcode in the default editor, but you can also add it to your theme if it has a page builder system and will represent shortcode appropriately.

customlayout

5.  Now you can view your page, and if your product has option sets, those are also shown with your add to cart shortcode.  Notice how this is a completely custom page built in WordPress, and ONLY the EasyCart product options and add to cart behavior are shown.  This allows you to really extend EasyCart and WordPress by design and development on your own pages.  (Of course EasyCart can do all this for you by using our regular catalog and product details pages that are created automatically, but for those wanting custom designs and complete control, this is a helpful feature.)

customlayout2

Scenario 2:  A table of products with titles, pricing and view more options

Many customers have asked for a way to build a table of products.  We have an awesome shortcode for store table of products which allows you to quickly select groups of products, categories, and individual products and put into a quick shortcode table.  Of course you could use CSS to custom design colors afterwards, but this shortcode really helps speed up the process of building a product table.

  1.  Select shortcode as in previous scenario and select ‘Store Table’ shortcode.producttable
  2. Select all the categories and columns that you would like to insert with this shortcode.  Once finished, insert the shortcode into your page or custom page builder.tableshortcode
  3. Save your page and viewing shows the table of products along with a button to view the product in detail.producttable2

More Shortcode to explore!

We have more shortcode which allow extensive control over your product displays and setup.  You can display custom product categories on a WordPress page, very popular to do.  You can also display custom cart and account shortcode, place single items or selected items on a page, even create a page for manufacturers and place those designed manufacturer products on a page.

Subscriptions?

We offer membership content shortcode as well, so if you sell membership content such as video, downloads, or access to a members area of your website, simply use this shortcode and design ‘Member Content/Non-Member Content’ on a single WordPress page.  IF the user is logged in AND has purchased a membership, then they can view that content, otherwise, show the user directions to purchase OR login.

For more information on shortcode, you can also visit our online documentation:  http://wpeasycart.com/docs/3.0.0/themes/shortcodes.php

WordPress 4.3 Upgrade Procedures

WordPress has recently released version 4.3, and there are thousands of plugins that are still working to become compatible with this latest release.

WP EasyCart has released a 4.3 compatible version, but it is critical that you update the plugin before you update WordPress.

  1. First, update plugins to 4.3 compatible versions. (plugins will say if they are 4.3 compatible in plugin update section)
  2. Second, update themes to 4.3 compatible versions. (check with your theme developer if theme is compatible)
  3. Lastly, update WordPress to 4.3 and process should go smoothly.

 

 

What to do if you get a white screen?

If your website automatically upgraded to 4.3, then it may break due to plugins or EasyCart not being updated prior to this core WordPress update.  You may experience a white screen, or a PHP error notice saying it is having trouble loading.

1.  First, you will need to log into your website through FTP and disable the plugin, for exampe /wp-content/plugins/wp-easycart folder should be renamed to /wp-easycart-old.

2.  Second, you can log into wordpress admin  now and see that under ‘plugins’ that the conflicting plugin has been deactivated…  in this case WP EasyCart.

3.  Third, go back to FTP and rename the plugin back to wp-easycart.

4.  Fourth, go ahead and upgrade the plugin in question to a 4.3 compatible version.

5.  Fifth, you can activate the new upgraded plugin.

6.  Now you should be able to continue using WordPress as usual

 

 

Are there a list of other plugins that might not be 4.3 compatible?

Unfortunately yes, there is a huge list of plugins that this is known to have an issue with, and with automatic updater for WordPress running on many websites, this could accumulate into a huge issue.  We encourage everyone to turn off automatic updates if you do not want this type of unexpected update behavior to occur on your website.

Here is a list from GitHub of plugins still needing to be upgraded:  https://gist.github.com/chriscct7/d7d077afb01011b1839d

Leveraging MyMail Newsletter Email System

WP EasyCart integrated with the MyMail newsletter plugin some time ago, and we are huge fans of its usability and ease of use.  We have several months under our belts using this plugin with our own customers and feel we can show you some tips on how to utilize its features and give some guidance on best practices.

mymail

http://codecanyon.net/item/mymail-email-newsletter-plugin-for-wordpress/3078294?ref=wpeasycart

New to MyMail?

For those who have never use a subscriber newsletter system or sent out email campaigns from their WordPress site, it can be intimidating, but rest assured, its as easy as it can get with MyMail.  For a low cost of $39 dollars for the plugin, you can send out professional emails to customers with news about your business, online store, tutorials, special promotions, even send out autoresponders after a user action has occurred for an automated system.

Getting Started

First, MyMail is already integrated with WP  EasyCart, all you need to do is have both plugins installed, and then EasyCart will put users into your system as a subscriber when they checkout from an order and click ‘signup for newsletter’, create a new account and click ‘signup for newsletter’, or if you turn on the newsletter widget and they signup.

It’s that easy, nothing really to do, but makes a great way to get your subscribers into MyMail from EasyCart.  We even offer a quick import if you have EasyCart customers and want to quickly import all the users into MyMail for the first time.

Professional Email Templates

You can certainly build your own email newsletters, but why not go to ThemeForest and search for ‘MyMail Templates’ and purchase professional email templates that are mobile responsive and cost less than $20 dollars.  Most templates allow you to do a multitude of variations and build your newsletter in a modular approach, yet consistent look for your customers and subscribers.

http://themeforest.net/collections/728172-mymail-newsletter-templates?sort_by=sales_count&type_id=728172&utm_campaign=shorturl&utm_source=rxa.li&utm_medium=link&ref=wpeasycart

Email Sending Services

MyMail can connect to a variety of email sending services, and are a great approach to sending email campaigns without taxing your web hosting email limits.  We especially like the use of Mandrillapp.com, which allows us to connect MyMail and send email campaigns through the Mandrill system with a 12,000 email limit each month for free! Want to send more, it is extremely cheap to get extra emails!  As in .10 cents per 1,000 emails!

mandrill

http://www.mandrillapp.com

We also like that MyMail connects to these external sending systems and keeps your spam and black listing to a minimum. Mandrillapp.com even lets you know your sending reputation, bounce rates, open rates, click through rates, and more via their dashboard.

EasyCart has extended our integration with Mandrillapp.com by allowing you to use their email services for customer confirmation emails as well, allowing you to see them being sent, resend them, and see if the emails were open.

Strategies for Newsletters

There are countless articles on the interwebs that discuss how and what to send to your customers.  We find a good comprehensive approach is important and with MyMail, we can automate some of these newsletters while still customizing others.

Standard Newsletters – It’s a good idea to send a general newsletter about your business, what you are selling, what is new, and what in general is happening with your business once a month or even twice a month to all subscribers.  Keep the content fresh and keep it relevant.  It’s harder than it sounds once a month!

Order Confirmation Emails – While this is automated from EasyCart, it is usually the most read email by your users.  It might be nice to get some custom information on there, perhaps even a special email that includes custom coupon codes for future or returning customers.  You can easily customize the confirmation email by going into EasyCart Admin -> Language Editor and editing phrases.

Autoresponders – We really enjoy leveraging this in MyMail, because you can setup an autoresponder email to go out to users after a preset defined time.  Maybe after someone orders, you want to send an email out to the user with special coupons, extension products, or other products they may like.  It’s also nice to ask for reviews or other specialty articles related to their order.  MyMail allows you to setup autoresponders quickly, easily, and professionally using their newsletter campaign builder.

Custom Subscriber Lists

This is where things get even more interesting…  MyMail allows for subscriber lists, and you can custom code the automation of users into those lists based on products they purchase by simply creating a child layout file of our confirmation email and coding in a few lines of code to inject users who buy specific products into specific email lists.  That is targeted email!

lists

So a scenario may go like this; a customer orders from you and buys product XYZ.  They will receive a confirmation email that the order was successful, you could add a small bit of coding and put this customer into not only an ‘Customer List’ for future emailing campaigns, but you could also setup an autoresponder to email this customer 2 weeks after purchase to please come back and review their experience, rate your shopping experience etc.  You can also add this user to a ‘Product XYZ List’ so that you can later email anyone who purchased Product XYZ, or also send automated responders to them, such as special instruction emails, etc.

WP EasyCart Extensions

While our Mandrill extension is not required for MyMail to work, it is helpful to also use for all EasyCart confirmation emails and transactional emails in conjunction with MyMail.  This way all of your communications go through a secure dedicated professional grade email system that lets you insure deliver and takes away these extra tasks from your web hosting server.

 

 

Version 3.1 Released!

We have been working hard and are proud to continue to push new updates and features in WP EasyCart.  The platform is growing quickly and people seem to really be taking to the EasyCart shopping cart and eCommerce system with it’s low cost $80 dollar fee and huge list of features.

With version 3.1, we are continuing to make usability and speed our main goal.  We have a large list of fixes and features in this release, including some major new features that many will come to like.

Speed Improvements for Everyone!

We found several key areas we could improve speed, particularly with our database indexing and within our PHP session handling.  We found that some servers increased their speed by up to 400% with these new fixes and should help many customers, particularly godaddy hosted individuals.

One thing we have found critical to customers speed is to stay current on your WordPress and plugin updates.  Also be sure to eliminate any old plugins that you do not use, and try to keep the plugins to a minimum if you can.  Adding each new plugin to WordPress can cause large slow-downs in performance and download times for customers.

New Backorder System!

With the new backorder system, you can edit each individual product and enable the option.  Customers can continue purchasing products even if the quantity runs out, and it will show an estimated delivery date IF you enter it for each product.  This makes it great to continue selling goods and offering defined custom dates so they are aware of up-coming estimated delivery dates.

backordernew

Once you receive your new stock, simply update the quantity in EasyCart and the ‘Backorder’ system is turned off and the product goes back into ‘Add to Cart’ functionality.

Canadian Tax System Improvements

We have vastly revamped the Canadian tax system in our advanced options setup.  Now you can turn on Canadian taxes per province and it will display GST, HST, PST based on your specific needs.  The display of these taxes follows through to the receipts and order panels as well, for a more accurate and proper way to handle taxes.

If you ship to the U.S., and also need tax setups, you can simultaneously run TaxCloud’s free api to get current state and county taxes right next to your canadian tax structure.  As tax systems continue to evolve and get more complex in structure, it’s nice to know that we are working hard to make it as accurate and seamless as possible in EasyCart!

canadataxes

New Dimensional Option Sets

We have added a couple new option sets to our already extensive list, including the ability to add dimensions to a product and calculate square footage.  Two types of dimensional options are available (with or without sub-inch measurements) giving your customers a chance to enter height/width combinations and EasyCart will calculate the square footage and add it to their cart.

This makes it great for selling tile, flooring, cabinetry, posters or other types of square footage material.  Just enter a price for your product per foot and let EasyCart do the rest.

Authorize.net & Beanstream Integrations

You can now refund authorize.net transactions directly from inside the EasyCart admin consoles.  This includes full or partial refunds and makes order management easier than ever.

We have also integrated with Beanstream, a popular payment gateway, which now increases our payment gateway reach.  Beanstream is a popular Canadian and US gateway provider and offers low 2.65% per transaction fees.  Learn more at http://www.beanstream.com/ 

 

As EasyCart continues to improve, we always look for more input from users.  It doesn’t always mean we will get it in our software, but if you have ideas or need something added to EasyCart, just send us a support ticket and let us know.  We have some great new things planned for version 4.0, so stay tuned as we continue to develop!

WP EasyCart – Guide to Marketing 101

In this marketing 101 tutorial, we want to discuss all the various options EasyCart can offer you as a business owner to market your website.  It’s not easy, but with a lot of work and patience, you can attack each of these methods and gain more traction in the online retail world.

Marketing Basic Concepts

Social Media – Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, MySpace, Instagram, and others that allow you to post up links, pictures, and other pieces of information about things you like.  Others, who are associated to you in that social media, can then see your links, pictures, and information and view them.  Makes for a great marketing platform to have your products go viral.

Coupons – We refer to coupons as something the customer has to bring to your store.  Typically a paper coupon in a retail store, but on websites, coupons are often shopping codes that the customer enters during checkout to get an extra discount.  Coupons do not apply to everyone, only those who receive it, making it a ‘special’ offer for some.

Promotions – We refer to promotions as something that run on your website and EVERYONE receives the discount.  Perhaps you have a fall sale, or a special weekend sale that everyone will get on your store because it is set for a time period or specific set of products.  No entry of a coupon code is needed to redeem.

Cross-Sell –  Showing one product, and then showing some related products that allow you to cross sell to another product. typically a ‘You may also like’ or ‘alternative products’ sections on a site.

Up-Sell – Taking an existing product, and then adding some extra value to it to get the customer to purchase a little bit more.  Typically in the form of options, add-ons, etc.

Affiliate Marketing – Paying other people to promote your site and selling your goods.  Affiliates will often link to your website with a special code, and in return, if customers come from that link and purchase goods, you will pay the affiliate a specific cut of the profit.

Volume Pricing – Offering pricing based on quantity purchased.  Typically if you buy more, you can get each individual purchase at a cheaper price, especially useful tool for selling in bulk.

Customer Reviews – Ratings & customer reviews have become increasingly popular with a variety of retail goods.  Give a bit of confidence to customers by offering other peoples opinions on the product.

SEO and AdWord Marketing – specifically target market to the search engines, so the will index you and you can benefit from organic searches from the search giants.  You can even pay to advertise on giants like google to increase your search presence and attain higher placement on searches.

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1.  Social Media

There are a lot of misconceptions about social media, but it is really like any other market place.  If you are there a lot, spend the time, you can attract people, but it takes a lot of time, effort, and socializing to do so.  Facebook and Twitter are the highly regarded giants in this area, and you should always offer at least a page for your business to share it’s latest releases and updates.  It’s fairly easy to do and posting once a week or every couple weeks is easy to do.

You can recommend your friends like the page to begin with and it will slowly gain traction.  One good tip we have regarding social media is to ‘Boost’ an important post or sale you display on Facebook for a small fee.  This can get your small ad in front of thousands, get more likes, and in return more visitors and often will lead to a couple conversions on your store.

On EasyCart’s side, we offer sharable buttons for every product, so customers who visit your EasyCart products can click and share links to them.  No need to install another social sharing plugin into WordPress, it’s all automatic with EasyCart.

shareicons

 

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2.  Coupons & Promotions

A great feature of EasyCart is you can create both Coupons & Promotions for products.   Create a coupon and specify whether the coupon offers free shipping, or dollar/percentage discount.  You can even specify the coupon will only apply to a specific product, all the products in your store, or to a specific manufacturer group.

Once you create coupons, it is entirely up to you how customers will receive that special code.  You can develop custom email newsletter campaigns that distribute that code to specific targets, or you can post it on social media so only those folks see your coupon code.  You can even run public local ads that only local newspaper or visitors will see and use.

Promotions are very similar, but you can establish time periods in which the promotion will run.  Here is an example of a promotion that will offer free shipping to any order over $100 dollars.

freeshippingpromo

The best part about promotions is they apply automatically based on your specific date selection, product selection and type of promotion to run.  All your customers benefit from the promotion and no coupon code is necessary to enter.  So based on your specific needs and how you want to marketing, coupons OR promotions can be used in a beneficial manner.

We recommend that you run a banner on your home page or other pages that display what type of promotion is running, and even share on social media that you have a current promotion running.  Email campaigns are another great way to spread the word and get visitors returning to your site.

promo-applied

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3.  Up-Selling, Cross-Selling, Reviews, & Volume Pricing

EasyCart offers a vast option system that allows you to create options that change pricing for products.  This makes a great way to display a product and then offer up-selling options to a customer as they add to the cart.  These added value options often give the customer a sense of ‘why not’ at the product level and they are more likely to convert and add the extra options at this point rather than as separate products.

upselling

 

EasyCart also offers an easy way to attach like products that a customer may want to purchase.  You as the business owner know best what customers may like, so offering some featured items or a ‘You May Also Like These’ section is a great way to suggest to a customer online what they may also like and keep more visitors shopping without having to restart the navigation process.

crossselling

 

Customer reviews are another great marketing strategy to involve customers and get them to leave content on your website.  EasyCart offers a full 5 star review system and review commenting section for you as a store owner to activate per product.  Using this on a highly commented retail site is a great way to build confidence in customer decisions.  Of course it may not fit in every businesses product line, but if you sell one or two goods and receiving a lot of praise from customers, offer a coupon code to anyone who leaves good positive feedback for you on social media, on your website review system, or other website.

reviews

Volume pricing is a great strategy if your products fit into this type of bulk distribution.  Give customers an incentive to buying in bulk by using the EasyCart tiered volume pricing system.  Just establish a set price, then offer what each product will cost at various intervals of quantity, it’s easy and a great way to market a few more items.

tiered-pricing

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4.  Affiliate Marketing (new)

EasyCart just announced a new integration with AffiliateWP and we are continuing to develop this system further with the company.  The beautify of the system is you can offer affiliates a way to signup and register using AffiliateWP on your website, then affiliates use their custom link to promote your site.  The more they promote, the more they make, and the more you make.  As each customer  purchases, AffiliateWP software keeps track of the totals and even allows an easy one click bulk pay to the affiliates at the end of the month or other payout period of your choosing.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for you to leverage other people as marketers and to only pay them if successful.  Affiliates will spread the word about your products in channels of friends, social media, emailers, and websites that you would never reach, and yet you get complete control over how much affiliates take in proportion to your sales.

EasyCart even built in custom rules so that you can offer each product or each affiliate custom rates based on your specific needs.  We are working closely with AffiliateWP staff on this integration and it may change shortly to accommodate even more options.

affiliatewp

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5.  SEO & AdWord Marketing

One of the leading ways to market is via good old fashioned organic searches in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  Of course, you must realize you are now competing in a global marketplace and that your small retail store may have a million competitors in the search engine market, so here are a few strategies we recommend when focusing on search engine placements.

1.  Don’t spend thousands of dollars on SEO companies to ‘Get you on page 1’.  If you believe they have the answer to get you to page 1, we have some property on the moon to sell you as well!

2.  Spend money on AdWords, not a lot, but some reasonable marketing money on google AdWords.  Setup a small ad, and enter a few keywords that you really expect visitors to enter into a search to find you.

3.  Keep your key words focused and unique.  Don’t waste time on thousands of keywords, but really focus on a small handful of words that will bring in 90% of the customers.

4.  Write content that matters.  Your website must have actual words that people could read, blogs, stories, how-to’s, something…  don’t expect visitors through search engines if you don’t keep relevant content on your site that is continually updating.  Search engines even get bored if they see the same content each scan, so take time to write.

5.  EasyCart allows you to enter each product with keywords and SEO text.  Write descriptive descriptions and specifications if you can.  The more unique text you write, the more relevant the products will be in searches.

6.  Submit your EasyCart products to Google merchant feed.  While this may not be appropriate for all businesses, nor worth the time, if you have a bunch of retail goods, get them on the shopping section of Google merchant with our merchant feed system.

7.  Track visitors.  If you don’t use Google analytics, get it on your website.  You can see where visitors come from, what they search for, what pages they visit, and with EasyCart, you can enter your Google analytics code in our basic settings and track eCommerce sales data.  How can you expect to market a site if you can’t track what is successful or what is not?  Data is the only way to see what content is working, what changes are working, and where/why visitors come to your site.  It’s powerful, free, and only requires a bit of knowledge and research on your part.

 

Conclusion

marketing an online site is a lot of work, and if anyone felt they were going to make millions selling online without doing anything, they may be misguided…  In fact, we always felt it takes more time selling online than in retail shops because of the amount of descriptive work that goes into displaying and selling a product.  But do not let this discourage you, there is a lot of potential if you use the right tools, that you can get for the right price, and not eat away at your profit margins to much.  Utilizing a bit of your own time, researching your own content, finding your niche, and then following a plan can make you a marketing genius and help catapult your business into the black.

At Level Four Development, creators of the WP EasyCart, our mission has always been to provide tools that WE would want to use, at a low affordable cost to the mass marketplaces that want to sell online… and our software success is starting to show this.

Become an EasyCart Affiliate and Earn Cash

affiliate-program

Now you can market and promote WP EasyCart and earn 10% for each referral you make.  We have integrated with AffiliateWP and are tracking affiliate referrals so you can easily earn commission, and get paid for your recommendations.

Theme developers will be glad to know you can earn extra revenue by posting that your theme is WP EasyCart compatible and link to our website.  Earn 10% for each referral who purchases our standard or lite version plugins.

Web designers, now you can become an affiliate and have your customers purchase a license directly from us, while still retaining 10% profit.

It’s easy, just Click Here to Sign Up and then you will receive a unique URL to promote on social media, your website, or email and referrals are automatically tracked with your account.

 

Shipping Setup Guide & Tips

WP EasyCart offers an abundant amount of shipping options all within a low-cost plugin, but that doesn’t mean the options are not as powerful as some competitors plugins.  The shipping options of an online business can be confusing, and often difficult to setup regardless of the plugin used and the configuration needed.  When you consider all the facts that need to go into a good well rounded shipping system, it can easily be overwhelming.

This guide is to help you consider some of the many options EasyCart has to offer.  While I will be the first to say we do not offer ALL shipping configurations and options one could conceive, we do offer a good well rounded majority of choices that many businesses can adopt.

First Tip:    Before you read further, consider every software package is built for the masses, so if you have developed a shipping system that MUST be used, reconsider as it may not be conventional at all and/or have a small portion that will not conform to any software package…  be flexible as you explore options in software.

 Second Tip:  Are your products shippable.  Not every item in EasyCart is made to apply to shipping charges.  Downloads and Gift Cards for example are digital goods, they will not trigger shipping charges on checkout.  Also consider if you have a weight for a product!  If you enter a weight of 0.00 for a product, then it’s considered intangible good like a service… so shipping will not apply.

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Step One:  Determine your Shipping System

WP EasyCart offers a variety of systems, all fit different businesses, different models, and will likely cover at least a good portion of what shipping system you need in your business.

shipping-selection

 

Price and Weight Table Rate – These methods use triggers to establish shipping prices.  The are extremely stable if you set them up correctly and provide a quick return on shipping rates.  You essentially enter either a price or weight that you want to trigger and the rate it should show.  So you start with a trigger price or quantity  of 0.00 and then establish a rate, say $5.00.  Then at maybe $50 dollars you want to trigger a rate of $7.50 and then at $100 you want to trigger $10.00.  so on and so forth.  Same goes for weight, if a user has a total weight order of 5 in their cart, then trigger $x.xx amount, so on and so forth.  Remember that weight in EasyCart is just a numeric value… it can represent pounds or ounces, you set the measurement of calculation in various places where appropriate, such as live shipping gateways which use this.   Easy to setup, and easy to see working.

Percentage Table Rate – This method is the same as price and quantity, except you simply establish a set percentage when a trigger price range is reached.  Say from $0.00 to $99 dollars you want to charge 10% shipping, and then from $100 – $500 in cart total you want to charge 7.5% in shipping, this method allows you establish tiered pricing using  a percentage of their order.  Again, very easy to setup and very reliable system.

Quantity Table Rate – Like the other table rates, quantity table rate shipping simply adds the total in the cart.  This can be appropriate if you need to track how many items there are and then charge appropriately.  Set a quantity trigger, and then the price to charge.  The quantity table system only looks at products, so if you have option sets that change quantity, it will likely not be affected.  So this may work in your situation, or it may not.  It’s reliable and easy to setup.

Static Method Rates –  These are by far the most reliable shipping methods available.  Set a name for the static shipping and a rate… that’s it.  So if you always ship ‘Standard Ground’ and charge $5.00 for it, use this method.  Customers always see the correct list of options.  You can create several shipping methods using this option, such as a ‘Ground’, ‘Next Day Air’, ‘Express’, ‘In Store Pickup’ or whatever you need.  It gives you control over labeling, pricing, and options available to customers.

Fraktjakt – This is primarily only available to swedish residents, but a popular option that allows customers to select from several live carrier rates and get current up to date rates.

Live Shipping – UPS, FedEx, DHL, Australian Post, and Canadian Post have all been pre-integrated with EasyCart and included in our small $80 dollar license charge.  This is unheard of and other plugins charge $99 dollars for each individual one…  Live shipping can be intriguing and many businesses think they want live rates, but there are a few considerations before you choose to go this route.  Every detail must be accounted for on your part of the setup.  If you think you can just offer UPS Ground, think again…  Hawaii, international orders, they will see error messages with that setup.  If you offer only Express and 2nd day air, think again, some cities don’t offer all services… so those customers will see error messages.

Live shipping can be difficult to understand, but the key to it is to consider every single variable in the shipping world and it needs to be setup.  If you are game to tackle this, then we can show you some tips.

1.  Setup one shipping carrier first, get it working, connected, and then move on to another carrier.

2.  Include as many shipping codes as you can.  I realize you may just want ‘ground’ and ‘2nd day air’ but those may not be available in all cities or locations.  Adding more shipping codes means that you will likely get more to show to the customer and also less errors and holes in your locations.

3.  Do not apply shipping zones.  We will discuss this later, but if you only ship to US and Canada, don’t create zones for that.  The purpose of zones is to provide different rates, not limit who can buy on your store.  Get the entire shipping system working for your default country, whether that be US, Canada, Europe, Australia, or wherever…

4.  Use as few shipping carriers as possible.  It may be nice to show FedEx, USPS, UPS, and DHL, but that’s 4 calls to 4 carriers during checkout and can greatly slow the system down.  Try to stick with one or two.

5.  If you want to offer free shipping, simply add a common shipping code, such as ‘Ground’ and then override the price with $0.00.  You can even override the name of it and say ‘FREE shipping’ so customers have that as a selection.

6.  Even if you enter 6, 7, 10 shipping codes, EasyCart will only display what the carrier returns for that location.  So your customer may only see 1, 2 or 3 rates.  This is why we really suggest testing.  We have found some cities require select shipping codes if shipping within the same city.  If you have zero rates returned, we suggest you look at your settings zip code and the zip code during checkout and contact your carrier to see what rates are available.

7.  IF you have negotiated special rates with your carrier, we will try to display those instead of general rates.  AGAIN, test, test, test…  you are the web developer and that is part of the job!

 

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Step Two: Test Your System

We can not say it enough, but as a WordPress user you are likely taking on the task of making a website yourself.  Part of that job is to test your system.  Don’t assume it should just work or is working without going through the entire checkout process as a customer would.  This would be like fixed someones automobile as a mechanic and then assume it’s fixed and hand the vehicle over to the customer.  Always check to see if it is working as desired and fix accordingly.

test-shipping

 

Even when using basic table rate shipping systems, we have seen gaps in triggers, which means there is no rate going to show up.  We have seen live shipping setups without any shipping codes, which means no user will ever be charged shipping.

 

 

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Step Three:  Adding Shipping Zones

IF you feel you need to have a shipping zone, then you must be thorough about your setup.  Shipping Zones is not for the faint of heart.  You must have a thorough knowledge of what it means to setup a shipping zone, and DO NOT use shipping zones to limit who can buy from your store.  That is not the purpose.  IF you want to remove china or any country from ordering, do so by removing the country from the pull down of countries within the store admin -> settings -> manage countries.

shipping-zone

Third Tip:  Think of shipping zones as a post-address filter.  It only works AFTER the customer has entered their billing/shipping address information.  NOT when a customer just views the shopping cart.

So you decide you want to setup different rates for the US versus Australia versus Canada…  EasyCart can do that, but only with the right setup.

1.  Setup all of your shipping for your default country with ‘Do Not Apply Zone’ for every setting.  Whether using table rates, static, or live rates, set it up first without any zones.

2.  Test to insure it’s working for your default country.  What this will do is establish a ‘Default’ rate that all customers will see when they simply add an item to the shopping cart and view the cart.  Remember, they have not entered their address yet, so without a default, they would just see $0.00 for shipping, and it’s better to supply SOME type of shipping in the cart.

3.  Once all your default shipping is working, now you can setup a shipping zone.  Lets say you are in australia, and you setup all your shipping for australian customers.  Now you can add more shipping prices, triggers, or live shipping codes and add a shipping code.  So maybe you use Australian POST live rates, you could add ‘International shipping’ with a shipping zone of ‘North America’.  IF easycart sees a user checking out from anywhere in North America, it will apply International Shipping code that you applied.  If someone from Europe ordered, it would not see this ‘Post Fitler’ and just apply default shipping codes.

4.  This means if you use, for example, Price or Weight table rates, you would setup an entire table structure with ‘Do Not Apply Zone’ and then you would create an entire table structure for  each zone.  It’s necessary that you do not have any gaps, so 10 trigger rates would be added for default, then north america, then europe, then asia, so on and so forth.  This way you do not have any gaps…

Fourth Tip:  If you get confused, create a simple spreadsheet, list out the ‘Shipping Method’, ‘Trigger Rates’, and the ‘Rate expected’ and you can see how vast the options can become.  Now throw in a shipping zone and see things multiply!  Pre-Planning is important and can become overwhelming

 

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Step Four:  Handling Fees and Expedite Order Options

EasyCart has tried to make shipping as flexible as possible, without getting overly complicated that nobody could set it up.  Two options that are common are to add a handling fee.  Lets say you have a trigger rate system or live shipping system, but want to add a simple $5.00 handling charge to it, we provide a quick way to do so.  Another option is to do it at the product level.  Only add a handling charge to a product IF you enter it at the product level under advanced pricing options.  A great example is a furniture store… a couch may incure an extra large handling fee on one product, while the rest of the products may be just regular shipping rates.

optional-shipping-charges

We also offer an ‘Expedite Shipping’ option.  This can represent anything you want, maybe same day processing or actually a shipping expedite upgrade.  You can choose to enter that for trigger rates or not.

Fifth Tip:  Don’t be afraid to be a little off on shipping.  If you get fairly close on shipping costs, it usually will come out in the wash.  Consider the time and hours it may require to setup a perfect shipping solution versus setting up a really good solid simple solution easy for customers to understand and you may come out neutral.

 

 

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Step Five:  Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)

As a web developer or business owner who is building their own website, the old web design rule of keeping it simple stupid should apply…  Try to keep things to a minimum because if it’s hard for you to figure out, your customers may find it impossible to understand.  Many visitors want a choice or two on shipping, or to have it simply calculate automatically… which makes trigger table rates a good choice.   Static rates work great for flat rate type orders… giving customers simple pricing that is consistent and accurate.

The fewer intricate details you try to build into your shipping system the fewer errors you will receive on shipping, the less over and under charging you will receive, and the more conversions can be had by doing so.  Fewer errors, fewer complaints, and more conversions is what every store owner wants!  Keep It Simple…

Sixth Tip:  Remember EasyCart is an $80 dollar plugin made for the masses in WordPress.  If you NEED a solution that you do not see, you might consider ramping up to an Enterprise shopping cart solution and spend the thousands it costs to attain your specific customization.

Canada Post API Integration

canada-post-logo

We are pleased to announce the release of a new shipping integration partner, Canada Post.  EasyCart can now handle Canada Post shipping methods and allows you to set US, Canada, and International shipping codes for your products.

We have had good success from our northern neighbors and we continue to add features that are much needed, including tax structures, shipping structures, and various shopping features necessary to make a good international shopping cart.

This feature is standard and available in all future updates for our existing customers.  If you are a new customer, live shipping is only available in our Standard plugin license, not our Lite version.

 

Version 3.x Updates Important!

We have been working hard to improve the process of our plugin updates and plugin compatibility, while streamlining the overall shopping system in version 3.  It is important to stay current with any software, but with a shopping system, even more so.

New Update Processes

With V3, we have streamlined the plugin into a one click update within the regular WordPress plugins section.  In V2, you had to update  the plugin PLUS update your theme and layout files for WP EasyCart, but not anymore.

V3 brings the ability to handle child themes.  When we say child themes, we are talking about EasyCart’s system, not WordPress themes.  Since there are so many design elements in a shopping cart, we actually have our own design files and with V3 they are updated along with the plugin.

How Do You Use the New Theme Files?

To insure you are using the latest downloaded theme files, simply go to the EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Design File Management area and select ‘No Child Theme’ for both layout and theme.  The system will then use the new design files that are updated with every plugin update from here forward.

How do Child themes work in EasyCart?

Just simply create a folder in the /wp-easycart-data/design/layout or theme folder and then copy the file you wish to modify from the regular /wp-easycart/design/layout or theme folder to your child theme in the wp-easycart-data folder. The go to the EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Design File Management page and select the folder you created. The logic for this system works as follows: IF the EasyCart finds a child file in this /wp-easycart-data folder specified, it will use it, OTHERWISE, it will fall back to the main design files in the core plugin.

A great example is if you wanted to modify the email receipt that goes to your customers.  Simply copy that file from the /wp-easycart folder down to the /wp-easycart-data child folder you create and select your folder to be used as a child layout.  Now that one file will be used, but everything else can be used from the core plugin.  If you update the plugin, your changed file is not removed, yet the rest of the core files are updated.

Security Fixes

It’s also important to understand as we continue to update the plugin, keep your plugin version up to date so that you have the most current security fixes and modifications to work in latest WordPress version. If current on updates and design files, you are much less likely to get into trouble with compromised systems.

Earn 20% for your Reviews!

We value your opinion and we are looking for trial users and current customers to leave positive feedback.  In doing so, you can submit a link to us via our contact page, we will review the comment and send you a coupon worth 20% off the purchase of WP EasyCart products.*

Where to leave a comment?

You can submit a review, leave a comment about our shopping cart, recommend it via different social media channels, or comment via online forums of your choosing.  We recommend a few good places to leave a comment:

WordPress Plugin  Reviews
Facebook 
Twitter
WordPress Blogs (ex: http://www.wpexplorer.com or http://www.sellwithwp.com)

Where do I submit my Comment or Review?

Just send us an email through our contact page on our website:  http://www.wpeasycart.com/contact-information  — Send us the link to your review and we’ll send you a coupon code.

What’s the coupon code good for?

Obviously we are looking for positive reviews to help spread the word about the low cost and feature rich nature of the WP EasyCart.  If we review your comments and they seem objective and professional, we will send you a coupon code worth 20%*, at our discretion, and you can use it to checkout on our website.  This will apply toward the purchase of the Lite or Standard WP EasyCart plugin.

Does a Facebook like count?

No, that’s too easy 🙂  We are looking for a full 2 sentences, at least.  We do still encourage you to like our Facebook page! The only way to get access to our latest promotions is by connecting with us via social media, so what are you waiting for, like us now!

Do I have to give you 5 stars?

No, we encourage you to post your objective opinion, especially if you are a trial user or paid customer who has used the software.  We are always looking to improve and understand if things are not always perfect. The only way to let us know of issues with the plugin is through good feedback!  We will leave it to common sense and our discretion if it’s a review that has some thought and concise detail and worth a 20% coupon!*

* Discount applies to the purchase of a Lite or Standard version of the WP EasyCart plugin only.