Ballyhoo Commerce 1.9.19 is now available as a first time installation or upgrade for your e-commerce website. Along with the usual minor bug fixes, this version of our online shopping software is packed with features that help your customers to find and interact with your products, in particular giving them the ability to save orders for future completion.
Save Orders For Later
A major new feature of this version of Ballyhoo Commerce gives customers the ability to shop on your website and save their orders for later. Particularly geared towards those who want to price check or put together an order for approval, the save order feature is a real time saver for your customers.
Customers shopping on your website will now have a new option alongside the Checkout button on their shopping basket – Save Order. This enables the customer to store their order on the system at current pricing and return to the website at a later date (currently within a maximum of 30 days) to restore the order and complete the checkout and payment process.
Customers who want to save their order must register as a customer to do so, allowing you to capture their details for follow-up calls and marketing (if they opt-in during the registration process).
Improvements have also been made to the way the system manages orders, ultimately giving you more visible data about your customers.
Ballyhoo Commerce now tracks orders from the moment an item is added to the shopping basket – whether the customer has logged in or not. One benefit of this is to help you quantify what proportion of your orders are being pursued to completion, enabling you to identify areas for improvement.
In light of this a range of new order statuses were required, to summarise:
- As soon as an item is placed in the user’s basket an order is created in the database with a status of Pending.
- This order will be modified as the user adds and removes items or changes quantities.
- If the status of the order does not progress from pending within 24 hours we consider the order to be abandoned but do not change the order status.
- Once at the shopping basket stage a user can choose to proceed to checkout or save their order, changing the status to Processing or Saved respectively. Both require the user to login or register.
- Once an order is Saved we consider the order to be abandoned if it is not restored and authorised within 30 days.
- Orders that proceed to and return from a payment gateway are given a status of either Authorised or Declined.
- If Authorised the administrator has the ability to manually mark the order as Dispatched.
The system currently sends you an email every time a new order is received, inviting you to log in to your admin area and check the order manager.
This notification has now been improved to include the order number, the total order value and a link that will take you straight to the respective order in the admin area.
Search Engine Optimisation Enhancements
A number of SEO friendly changes have been made to Ballyhoo Commerce to further increase your chances of ranking well in search engines.
Essentially, we’ve made efforts to ensure that only the most valuable content on your website is picked up when search engine robots crawl your website, allowing them to focus on your rich, unique content. We do this by giving select links (to pages like enquiry and product request forms) ‘no follow’ tags, meaning robots should ignore them when roaming around your website.
We’ve also ensured that these robots don’t record empty pages on your website by using 404 Page Not Found messages where possible and have also taken care to remove any extraneous information that has no value.
Price Comparison Integration
If you’re selling competitively priced products you’ll understand how important it is to attract traffic from shoppers keen to get their purchases at the cheapest price possible.
Price comparison engines give you the ability to get your products out there in front of these shoppers, with many requiring just a simple product feed or minor integration to get you started.
We have now integrated the PriceRunner price comparison engine to complement our existing compatibility with Google Products and Shopzilla.
Following our addition of an auto-complete search facility in version 1.9.18 we’ve added the ability to show categories in search results too.
Auto-complete search presents your customer with a range of matching products after they’ve typed just a few letters into the search bar. The inclusion of categories in this list gives your customer a more comprehensive choice of what’s available on your website, helping them to find the perfect item in as few clicks as possible.