Picking a Payment Gateway

Here at WP EasyCart we deal with payment gateway companies on a daily basis and understand all the pros and cons to each. We consider payment collection as a 3 step decision:

  1. Sales Volume – Will you be selling enough to make the lower transaction fee pay?
  2. Location – Where is your business located? Not all payment gateways server all areas of the world.
  3. Pricing – Do you know all of the added costs for live payment gateways?

Sales Volume

The first thing to think about is sales volume and average transaction amounts. most live payment gateways charge you a setup fee, a monthly fee, a transaction fee, a batch fee, and an additional fee to process cards like discover and american express. We know that most business want to make payment as easy as possible and is why most look towards live payment processing, but if you are not making enough money in a month or per transaction then you will be losing money over a third party option like PayPal Standard! We have seen many companies pay the fees for months on end while they are getting started and all the while they could have just gone with a simple solution like PayPal.

Location

This is a really important factor to think about before starting your e-commerce site. Do your research and ask around before locking yourself into a payment company. The WP EasyCart is setup to have an option for all countries and more information can be found by clicking here.

Pricing

The other important factor, as all business owners know, is the bottom line. It seems simple, but many do not think about how a payment company can effect the business’s bottom line. Issues like setting up an SSL certificate and the yearly cost to keep this current on your site, charge backs and the risk your business takes selling from your own site, and unexplained transaction fees and the reason they are incurred. The following are a few things to keep in mind with pricing:

  • PayPal Standard is a flat rate with no fees and a very low chance of charge backs.
  • Live payment gateways require an SSL certificate which is about $100/year.
  • Additional fees typically apply for Discover and American Express when using a live payment gateway.
  • The more security you implement in your live payment gateway account, the lower the fees.
  • Using a gateway with 3D secure implemented will lower your fees and prevent charge backs.

What is a Charge Back

Many people who have not dealt with a credit card company do not realize that charge backs exist. A charge back is when the merchant is required to return the amount of money made on a transaction that is found to be fraudulent and to protect the credit card owner. In addition to returning the total of the order, the company typically charges a flat rate on top to pay for their “costs”. Also, do not forget, as a business you also lose the product!! This is one of the worst things that can happen as an online store owner and is important to avoid. To do this, try the following tips:

  • Require the AVS/CVV2 value to match in your merchant account.
  • Require the zip/postal code to match from the customer’s billing account (this is also set in your merchant account).
  • If available, require 3D secure checkout on your site.
  • If an order seems out of place or fishy, contact the customer and have them verify their info. If something still doesn’t seem right, simply refund the order and contact the customer. It is always better to be safe than lose the sale and product later and be charged for it.

Shipping Your Product

Getting your shipping pricing just right can be a tricky task. As your business grows and expands where you are shipping your products, so does the complexity of calculating a shipping cost. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing a shipping system that will work best for you.

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  • No shipping system is perfect all the time
  • The goal of a shipping rate is not to be exactly correct, but to be an overall net cost of zero over the course of a year
  • Leverage the zone system as needed and create new zones to improve your rate accuracy
  • Choose a rate system that works best for your product
  • Many see the best results from live based rates through UPS, USPS, FedEx, and Australian Post. Keep in mind this may not apply to every one.
  • If shipping rates tend to increase evenly based on weight, choose weight based shipping.
  • If shipping rates tend to increase evenly based on price, choose price based shipping.
  • If a product tends to cost more to ship than all other products, use the additional handling charge option to adjust the shipping rate accordingly.

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How To Find My Layout/Theme

The selected WP EasyCart theme pack and layout pack are available in your WordPress Admin on the EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Design File Management.

choose_theme

Altering Products Per Page

changing the products per page for your WP EasyCart is really quick and easy. Go to your WordPress Admin -> EasyCart Admin -> Store Admin -> Settings -> Products Per Page. You should edit the values here. The default selected value is always the middle value for the EasyCart.

products_per_page

Manipulating the Product Sort Box

A common request that we get here is how to hide the sort box or change the options that are available.

sort_box

Hide the Sort Box

To hide the sort box, use the custom css box. This is available in your WordPress Admin -> EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Advanced Options.

custom_css

 

Enter the following value:

.ec_sort_menu{ display:none; }

Hide or Show a Specific Row

This feature is already built into the EasyCart system. Go to WordPress Admin -> EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Basic Settings and look for the heading “Store Page Display Options”. You can turn on or off any of these values. To prevent confusion in cases where the WordPress options are not added correctly, we do not allow you to turn all of these options off.

Change the Text in a Specific Row

To change the text displayed in a specific row of the sort box go to your WordPress Admin -> EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Advanced Language and open the “Product Page Sort Menu” section. Change the text as needed and save to finish.

Javascript Validation Customization

The WP EasyCart is setup to validate at the very minimum for non-US customers. This is because validation requirements vary so much from country to country. To make the system as flexible as possible, there is the opportunity to add custom validation for each and every country and a backup validation for those countries that are not specifically specified.

All validation is available in your theme folder, wp-content/plugins/wp-easycart-data/design/theme/{your theme}/ec_validation.js

If you do not know what your theme is, click here to learn how to figure that out.

validate_imag1

 

As you can see from this function example, the javascript validate function takes a ‘function_name’ and a ‘country_code’. If your country had, for example, a specific address format, you could edit the way the ‘input’ value is validated. If you often sell to the US and UK, you could add an ‘else if’ statement to validate the two countries differently.

Here is a nice example of how you would improve the state validation to check for a correct entry of a Canadian province. The addition is the ca_provinces variable as well as the ‘else if’ for the ‘country_code’ “CA”.

ca_province_example

Where to Find the Correct Layout File

We get many requests that ask, where do I find it!? This is the hardest part of learning any new system and being able to leverage it in your project. Hopefully some of this will be cleared up below. All of the following information is related to files located in your EasyCart store layout in the wp-easycart-data/design/layout/{my layout}/ folder.

For information in finding your selected layout click here.

The Product List/Grid Page

  • The Product Page – This is the main holder for the entire store page when displaying a list/grid of products.
    • ec_product_page.php
  • The Filter Bar – This is the bar that appears above the list/grid of products and includes a sort box, items per page links, and page set links.
    • ec_product_filter_bar.php
  • The Product- This is a product displayed in a grid format. It is pulled in for each product that is displayed on the given page.
    • ec_product.php
    • Made up of two parts, a quick view popup box followed by a holder for the product.
  • The List Type Product – This is not available in all layouts, but when it is used, it displays a product in a list format. It is pulled in for each product that is displayed on the given page
    • ec_product_list.php

The Product Details Page

  • The Product Details Page – This is the shell for the entire product details page.
    • ec_product_details_page.php

The Cart

  • The Cart page – This is the shell for the entire cart page and is what decides which elements of the cart to display.
    • ec_cart_page.php
    • Includes empty cart container, continue shopping button, checkout button, payment page order message, and the submit order button.
  • The Cart – This is where the customer sees items they have added to their cart.
    • ec_cart.php
    • Includes the column headers, container for cart items, gift card input, coupon code input, estimate shipping input, and the totals box
  • The Cart Item – This is the repeated container that displays the unit price, quantity, total price, options selected, title, and image.
    • ec_cart_item.php
  • The Cart Login Panel – This is the area where the customer can log into their account or proceed as a guest.
    • ec_cart_login.php
  • The Cart Logged In Panel – This is the line that tells the user they have logged in or proceeded as a guest that is displayed above the billing, shipping, and contact information.
    • ec_cart_login_complete.php
  • The Cart Billing Information – This is where the user inserts their billing address information.
    • ec_cart_billing.php
    • Includes the option radio box to use a different shipping address
  • The Cart Shipping Information – This is where the user inserts their shipping address information.
    • ec_cart_shipping.php
  • The Cart Contact Information – This is where the user inserts their first name and last name and, if checking out as a guest, their email address and optional password.
    • ec_cart_contact_information.php
  • The Cart Shipping Method – This is the container for the available shipping methods.
    • ec_cart_shipping_method.php
  • The Cart Address Review – This is the area in which the customer can review their entered billing and shipping information and check the selected shipping method.
    • ec_cart_address_review.php
  • The Cart Payment Information Selection – This is where the customer can pick and enter their selected form of payment.
    • ec_cart_payment_information.php
  • The Cart Success Page – This is the page that displays the receipt to the customer after an order has been completed.
    • ec_cart_success.php
  • The Third Part Redirect Page – In cases where the javascript redirect fails for third part checkouts, the form is displayed on this page.
    • ec_cart_third_party.php

Order Receipt

  • The Emailed Receipt – This is the layout of the email receipt sent to the customer on order completion.
    • ec_cart_email_receipt.php
  • The Printable Receipt – This is the layout of the printable version of the receipt which is accessed from a print button on the account order details page.
    • ec_account_print_receipt.php

The Account

  • The Account Page – This is the main shell for the entire account.
    • ec_account_page.php
  • The Login Page – This is where the customer logs into their account.
    • ec_account_login.php
    • Includes a link to forgot password and to register
  • The Forgot Password Page – This is where the customer can retrieve their password.
    • ec_account_forgot_password.php
  • The Password Recovery Email – This is the emailer sent to the customer about their password
    • ec_account_retrieve_password_email.php
  • The Register Page – This is where the customer can register for an account.
    • ec_account_register.php
  • The Dashboard – This is the landing page for a user that is logged into their account when they reach the account page directly.
    • ec_account_dashboard.php
    • Includes column headers for recent orders, container for recent orders, and containers for basic user information
  • Edit Billing Page – This is the page where a customer can edit their billing information.
    • ec_account_billing_information.php
  • Edit Shipping Page – This is the page where a customer can edit their shipping information.
    • ec_account_shipping_information.php
  • Edit Password Page – This is the page where a customer can edit their password.
    • ec_account_password.php
  • Edit Personal Information Page – This is the page where a customer can edit their personal contact information.
    • ec_account_personal_information.php
  • View Orders List – This is the page where a customer can see a list of their orders and click view more for each.
    • ec_account_orders.php
  • Single Order Line Item – This is the line item you see on the dashboard and in the order list.
    • ec_account_order_line.php
  • Order Details Page – This is the page that shows all the information relating to the order.
    • ec_account_order_details.php
  • Order Details Item – This is the individual product in the order details.
    • ec_account_order_details_item_display.php

What Makes Up a WordPress Store Design

A WordPress site is made up of the WordPress structure, a theme, plugins, and content. A WordPress theme is what makes the website look a specific way to the customer. It is made up of css, javascript, and php which depicts how the website is displayed to the viewer. Once setup, a website owner can then add and develop content as they see fit. Many website owners need a way to sell products and this is where the EasyCart comes in. The EasyCart is built with the same structure of WordPress and is made up of css, javascript, and php. The EasyCart, however, is a plugin and is loaded after WordPress loads and because of this requires its own css and javascript to make it function correctly.

The WP EasyCart is made up of the EasyCart core, an EasyCart theme, and an EasyCart layout. The EasyCart core is overwritten on each and every update. These files can be edited by a developer who understands php, but should be done with the realization that the plugin should not be updated on a regular basis. The design files (layout + theme) can be created, reused, and are never overwritten.

Layout and theme files exist in two places: wp-content/plugins/wp-easycart/design/ and wp-content/plugins/wp-easycart-data/design/. The system first looks in the wp-easycart-data folder and should be the place you upload and maintain your EasyCart designs. For some users, their severs will not allow us to make the new directory and because of this we have a fall back to the wp-easycart folder. If you are on a server and see this happening, we recommend creating the wp-easycart-data folder manually, then copy the design folder from the wp-easycart folder. This will prevent data loss in the future.

The layout files of a WP EasyCart can be thought of as the shell. They are a series of php function calls that pull in the pieces of the store in a particular location. Most of the time the pieces of the shell pull in content to a div tag, which is then styled by the CSS. This allows a designer to move the pieces around as they are needed to create any look they want.

The theme files of a WP EasyCart is what makes the store, account, and cart pages display properly to the user. The css and javascript can be edited to create any look and act in any way necessary.