MarketPress – Certain products require custom data from shoppers

I’ve got a few MP users who have asked me about how to gather custom info for a particular product…

One client is selling an autographed book, and they need a custom field for people to input the name of the person the autograph should go to.

Another client is selling a product where they need custom fields for “organization name” and “organization address” to accompany the product. (Like for engraving or licensing reasons.)

How can this be done with MarketPress?

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya guys,

    Yep. We don’t provide something like this at the moment, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to add. You basically just need a custom field that would accept text input for that item.

    I’m gonna mark this as a ‘feature request’ and see what the developers think.

    Thanks! Any other +1s?

  • nickd32
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    I just got a new customer that sells custom lunchboxes — and they want to allow people to upload up to 10 photos for a particular product (in this case, a lunchbox… the photos are then organized into a collage and printed on the lunchbox).

    I gather this is in the same vein of “custom fields that accept input” —

    This would really be nice to have in MarketPress

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya guys,

    We’ll be looking into per-product based instructions, but you can already add special instructions to the shipping page by going to the Store Settings>General tab and scrolling to the bottom. Just check “Special Instructions Field” is marked to yes.

    Thanks!

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    One of the main reasons I signed up and purchased the membership was to be able to get this option working. I really need to have the ability for my clients to be able to tell me what name or other information they want printed on their product.

    I was under the impression that this option was already available in the full version of marketpress.

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya dean@kausphoto.com,

    First off, welcome to WPMU DEV!

    We do have the ability to provide special instructions during checkout. Would that suffice? If not, we’ll add your name to the list of folks wanting per-product customizations. We develop everything here based on member feedback so your vote makes a difference :slight_smile:

    Thanks!

  • Catrina
    • Flash Drive

    Hi,

    I’d love to see this added to marketpress. I have some products that need customer input and I used a plugin called Custom Contact Forms as a temporary fix. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/custom-contact-forms/ . The obvious drawback is the information is not recorded in the back end with the other information about the sale instead it comes to me as an e-mail and if necessary I have to add it manually. Obviously if the cart would do this it would be a lot less work, but this works for now.

    Catrina

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Realistically I don’t want to be negative here, however I would personally think that fixing or adding such basic things such as this should be a priority over changing the look of your website! The website looked good the way it was and it appeared to be working.g properly. Only thing I don’t see happening and is costing me sales big time is not having the ability to have a custom field so I can personalize products for.my clients. And another big issue I have is we really need the ability to have a shipping option for in store pickup.

    Another complaint and loss of.sales was that it was too difficult to not have a cart or checkout link on every page as well as a continue shopping button while in the cart where you see what you ordered.

    Really need to get these items sooner than later.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @aaron thanks for the update, is there any ETA? I know with programming that’s difficult.

    I just ran into this situation today actualy so I thought I’d see if it’s possible to have an option of making the Custom/personalized field mandatory?

    For example I had a mom who ordered DVD’s today online. Even though I had clearly directed clients to make sure they put the players name and jersey number into the special instructions box. Nearly everyone misses it or forgets. So this Mom is apparently divorced and remarried as I went through the complete roster of 80 kids with no match in the name.

    Then to top it off I had made a coupon for free shipping and posted it on the store page and one client said she forgot the code, went back to get the code and then lost her cart. I told her she probably had cookies disabled on her computer. I couldn’t recreate that problem… any ideas?

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @aaron I don’t recall or can’t find some of my previous comments or requests. One other thing I hope can be added is if I change my shipping method, say for example from weight based to USPS or vice-versa I lose all of the data I had entered for shipping weights etc… any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya folks,

    This is now in MarketPress as of 2.6. Simply check the new box entitled “custom” and give it a description and mark required if folks must fill it out.

    On the front-end the product will have a textbox with your description informing the customer of what they should do.

    Try it out and let us know what ya think. Thanks!

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Hi @masonjames and @aaron Thanks for putting in the Custom Field. Here is what I’ve heard today from my clients ( had 3 past clients make test purchases and give me their thoughts) here is their consensus

    1) They think that the custom information should need to be entered before they can add to cart. (claimed it was confusing to try to remember the details after they looked at and added a few other items.) In addition 1 person said he just removed the item from the cart as it was confusing to remember what information to enter.

    2) All said it was very confusing that after adding item to cart they were just left hanging on the same page not knowing for sure if the item had actually been added to the cart or not. 2 of them clicked add to cart again expecting to be taken to another page.

    3) All said it was very hard to navigate and that the purchase process and especially trying to find out how to get to the shopping cart was difficult and time consuming as well as totally confusing.

    So out of the 3 customers who I bribed into testing out my site with a $25 gift coupon from my products or services. Only 2 stuck it out and they said the only reason that they did is because I had taken their portraits and therefor they couldn’t simply find an easier site to purchase from. The other guy said he’d pay me $25 to never ask him to test out anything again. (I had to laugh at that one)

    Anyway after hearing these comments I went online to several different online stores and I have to agree with my clients that my store is probably one of the most difficult to navigate.

    So my thoughts would be (and I may have asked for some of these before)

    1) When client selects a product to add to cart. Any custom information needed for that product should be required to be entered at that time. So when they move onto the next product they won’t be as likely to remove the item from the cart if at check out they have to go back and think about that item.

    2) Once they click on the Add To Cart they should be redirected to another page that has additional items for them to select.

    3) On the page that they are redirected or on every product listing page there should be a link to the shopping cart or checkout page.

    This is just my clients $50 worth and my 2 cents

    Thanks and hopefully this information will be helpful.

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya Dean (and Sean),

    It’s definitely good feedback, but I’d say that’s probably more directed at the way your theme works and possibly just setting up MarketPress a bit differently. Let’s take a look:

    1) They think that the custom information should need to be entered before they can add to cart. (claimed it was confusing to try to remember the details after they looked at and added a few other items.) In addition 1 person said he just removed the item from the cart as it was confusing to remember what information to enter.

    That’s fair enough feedback, I think. Being able to enter the custom information right there before clicking add to cart makes sense and is something we can look into.

    2) All said it was very confusing that after adding item to cart they were just left hanging on the same page not knowing for sure if the item had actually been added to the cart or not. 2 of them clicked add to cart again expecting to be taken to another page.

    So, MarketPress gives you two options. You can have an add to cart button or you can have a “buy now” button which will take folks straight to the checkout when they are ready to purchase.

    If the process is confusing to folks when they click “add to cart” I’m wondering how the theme displays the message and where they shopping cart is displayed on each page. We provide some default stuff within the plugin for this (and within our GridMarket theme for example) but this is all customizable to your particular niche and customer expectations.

    3) All said it was very hard to navigate and that the purchase process and especially trying to find out how to get to the shopping cart was difficult and time consuming as well as totally confusing.

    See my response above. This is completely changeable within the theme.

    So, I think the valid feedback that’s specific to this feature is that entering custom information right on the product page would be really valuable. If you want to address some customization options for your particular theme, that’s something we can do, but let’s open a new thread for that :slight_smile:

    Thanks!

  • Paul
    • The Green Incsub

    Dean, Thanks for your very valuable feedback. As the developer of the custom fields logic for MarketPress I wanted to provide some feedback and. I know Aaron scoped out the functionality that I worked from.

    1. Fill in custom fields on the product page before the user adds to cart.

    Sure, I can somewhat see this. The user enters a quantity and then we show the sets of custom fields. The ‘add to cart’ or ‘buy now’ button is disabled until they fill in any required fields.

    Dean, I’m curious about the user who commented “In addition 1 person said he just removed the item from the cart as it was confusing to remember what information to enter.” The way the custom field sets display now on the checkout form there is a link for the product plus a description field telling the user what information needs to be entered. This is what you should have created when you setup the custom files. So I would like to ask for some screenshots of your setup if possible for review.

    2. All said it was very confusing that after adding item to cart they were just left hanging on the same page…

    This really has nothing to do with the custom fields implementation but is the standard way in which MarketPress works. There was actually a study a few years back about shopping cart functionality done by Practival eCommerce http://www.practicalecommerce.com/ The study was on this exact issue. Should the page redirect to the shopping cart or some other page of should it simply refresh and remain on the same page. 5 to 1 votes to remain on the same page. Many user felt redirecting the user was more confusing because they felt they were being forced to complete their order but instead wanted to purchase more items. Still I think MarketPress should provide an option the admin can control to allow you to setup the system to your own liking.

    3. All said it was very hard to navigate and that the purchase process and especially trying to find out how to get to the shopping cart was difficult and time consuming as well as totally confusing.

    My comment is the same as Mason. This would depend on your theme and if you are showing the cart widget and/or the nav elements to allow users to access the Store, Products, Shopping Cart, Order Status, etc. Again, provide us a link to your store so we can see how you are implementing MarketPress in your theme. What you don’t want a free evaluation? :slight_smile:

  • Sean Johnson
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Masonjames,

    Thanks for the response! I was actually brainstorming here, and thought of a work-around for our particular application. I will post the code here as soon as I can get it working – with any luck – i’ll put it in plugin form.

    In our case, we have only a handful of products, but each product needs our customers to specify WHO the product is for… So, what we are going to do is create a product (post) on-the-fly and store the collected custom data we need within our post (via custom fields or whatever). Since MarketPress products are driven from a post we think we should be able to accomplish what we need.

    We are going to try and keep our solution as unobtrusive as possible… We’re a little worried about having so many posts accumulate, but what else are we going to do? We are also going to have to setup no-follow and no-index for seo… or even just set the post as a draft or something…

    I’m not in love with the solution, but I think it will keep things cleaner than other alternatives.

    I’m open to suggestions! Thanks again.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Thanks for your replies @masonjames @ paulm and @sean Johnson

    I’m adding a screen shot file here but the first time I tried it it only listed the products I had purchased and all of the custom box’s were lined up at the bottom. As yu will see with my screen capture that the last item ordered Should display 2 separate games and description box’s, however the extra box is displayed under the first item that was ordered that didn’t have any options. You can also visit my live site to check it out for yourself at http://www.kausvideo.com

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Of course to make it small enough to attach you can’t even read it. I encourage you to visit my site and check out how it’s all working. http://www.kausvideo.com

    I understand about the study as with 2 of my professional organizations we had discussed and debated the fact about going directly to the check out or not. I do agree that back when the study was first done that to stay on the same page was the best option to get extra sales. However when that study was done you selected your item to order and add to cart but there were several items on that page and most of the sites (that we tested at the time) showed an icon of what was in your cart under the item you had already ordered.

    Also we did a study when taken directly to the cart to see that your item was added and any special customization of that item (in this case it was for photographers and selected options were color, black and white etc…:wink: There on the cart page was a bigger button to Continue Shopping and a Smaller Button to Checkout.

    This page resulted in 30% more sales than the page where everything was added to the cart and remained on the same page.

    Now on my site for example I have several Games (sporting DVDs) available for purchase. From the product page lets say your kid only played in 6 games for the season so you only want those games. You start selecting games and then the only way to tell if you already added it to your cart is to go to the cart to see and then you have to go back again to the product page and add the others.

    Sorry I was confusing everyone here. If I had 1 product in a certain category and the client purchased that item they were left on that page instead of being taken back to the main products page.

  • Paul
    • The Green Incsub

    @dean Kaus,

    So looking at your site and yeah I agree with the other user reports. I went to http://kausvideo.com/store/products/scn-girls-varsity-soccer/ which was the first one I saw having variations and forcing the user to come to the single product page to select the variation before adding to the cart. When the add to cart button pressed. It does the AJAX thing and if you watch carefully you can see it change states from ‘Adding to cart’ then it returns to the same button and quantity box. Here is a video. http://screencast.com/t/UymPSRSyuwI4

    In your site’s case (and probably assuming most sites) you are not showing a sidebar. I think the anticipation was most sites would have a sidebar or footer widget to show the mini-cart contents to the user. I’ve even seen some place the simple cart link with the item count in the header. Aaron will be back for next week maybe he will have some thoughts on this direction.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @paulm Thanks for your input and thoughts. I appreciate the video capture as well that was pretty cool. What software did you use for that?

    Anyway I think I may have tried to have a cart in a sidebar type of thing but it really threw everything out of whack. I may have to give it another look and or possibly customize my theme.

    My real goal here is to not only get my site looking good but if we can get some of the features that some of the more basic carts e-commerce sites have without having to customize every theme or at least be more compatible with the majority of them.

    After all if everyone here had only 3 clients and 2 of the 3 sites required customization just to be able to use the Marketpress plugin then think of all of the hours that could be saved.

    Again appreciate your input and am sending you a few points!

  • Paul
    • The Green Incsub

    @dean Kaus, First thanks for the points! Second, the software I used is called Jing from TechSmith (http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html). There are some other packages like Skitch.

    And yes I agree 100% on the need to keep improving MarketPress. I’ve just become more involved with it while Aaron is out. Plus working on the custom field logic. I know it has a long way to go and agree we need to set some priorities and maybe define a roadmap for the user for when milestones will be implemented. I guess part of that issue if figuring out where to focus on things. Always a hard task in itself in my opinion. As I mentioned Aaron will return to us form his much needed vacation next week hopefully ready to dive into this and other issues.

  • Sean Johnson
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi again,

    Just wanted to let those who are subscribed to this thread know that I have created a solution (a hack) – that fixes some of these custom product issues.

    This isn’t pretty, but only requires one hook to be added to marketpress, at this time. Everything is documented as neatly as possible, so please read the comments in the file. Refer to this tread for more details: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/marketpress-full_cart-object#post-244892

    I hope this helps the developers of the plugin and does not hinder marketpress’s current structure!

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