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WP e-Commerce 3.9 Wish List

The WP e-Commerce 3.8 Plugin release has been a really awesome success. It has been a great opportunity for us to improve our code base and align our Plugin with the very latest WordPress standards.

Now that we use Custom Post Types for Products and the smoking hot WordPress User Interface for managing your product catalogue, I think it is fair to say that the foundation upon which WP e-Commerce is being developed will continue to grow and is more solid than ever before.

What this means for shop owners is that we are ready to start really focusing on some more turn-key e-Commerce related features. Almost.

While its true that we’ve done the hard yards, we recognize that there are still some important optimizations that need to take place in 3.9, for instance we are more than likely to convert the remaining database tables (except maybe purchase logs) to Custom Post Types, we are very likely to use the WordPress settings API for our options/settings, we are going to move away from using PHP sessions to using WordPress transients, we are going to overhaul the transaction results page template and the checkout page template to make it even more customizable, and we are going to make our template engine even better than it is now. Because we love WP themes!!

So now that you’re up to speed with some of our intentions I don’t mind saying that WP e-Commerce Plugin 3.9 will be a mixture of continued optimizations and improvements with the odd new feature added here or there.

Here are some of the features / shop improvements that we are actively considering for inclusion in the WP e-Commerce 3.9 release, the fact that these features already either exist as a Plugin or have had great demand plays a large role in our decision-making;

  • More advanced digital upload management – view wireframe concept
  • Stock alert email subscription for your customers – existing Plugin inspired by thinkgeek.com
  • Customer Roles and Capabilities & Shop Owner Roles and Capabilities
  • Cash on delivery payment module tailored for the Japanese market
  • More advanced related products Plugin
  • Another shipping module – maybe this one

The other thing we are working on is an e-Commerce Market Place built right within the WP e-Commerce Plugin! We anticipate this will foster the WordPress e-Commerce eco system by providing developers and theme creators a place directly within the core of WP e-Commerce where they can promote or sell their premium add-ons and / or share them with their friends. I won’t give too much away at this stage but think wordpress.com upgrades meets the Gravity Form’s add-on page.

The Feedback loop

So tell us what you want in an e-Commerce solution? The more specific and detailed you can be the better – and even if it doesn’t fit into the WPEC 3.9 RoadMap, if  happens to be  a really cool idea, then we’re totally open to funding additional Plugin development to achieve your goals should we have the resources / find developers with the resources to do it.

What are you waiting for? Ready. Set. Comment!

49 Responses to WP e-Commerce 3.9 Wish List

  1. Dan Milward April 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    A few other little things I want to see;
    - display fancy notifications by default
    - refine default ordering of screen options on product page
    - UI overhaul for presentation settings page

  2. JesperN April 30, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    As I wrote in a forum post the other day, I want even more customization in every aspect of the plugin to better support localization/internalization and just personal preferences, so that one avoid doing code changes and screw up things with future versions :)

    Some of the things that I think should be fully customizable:

    - Customize the valuta symbol: Right now the danish currency is set as DKK, which is good and all, but for some sites, it might be preferable with the more usual “kr.” or even “,-”

    - Hide decimals: Get an option to hide decimals. In general, look at something like excel for inspiration on how to fully customize prices (decimals amount, currency format etc.)

    - Customize the admin report: Right now, only parts of the admin report can be customized. Why? Give us full control… fx, I want it to be more apparent what is the billing adress and what is the shipping adress than it is right now.

    - Customize the user notifications: How should user notifications/emails be formatted? Give us full control… for each type of email even! Order received, payment accepted, order dispatched: what should their content be and should they even be sent?

    • Dan Milward May 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m pretty sure that we can grant you your localization wishes – especially around currency, obviously that is pretty fundamental to running a shop in your part of the world :)

      In terms of email customization I’m not sure what the best approach is just yet or when we’ll get to fit it in, if it isnt possible to do this in 3.9 then the least we can do is add all the necessary hooks and filters to do it as a Canonical Add-on Plugin. At least that way you would get the functionality while it isnt in core.

      I like the idea of making the admin reports more customizable. Its probably a matter of us making it more templateable for themers like the rest of the software.


  3. ByMiki April 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    For me the duplicate-products was an essential option untill v3.7. I cant upgrade yet for this. So would be really great to re-include again this functionality on next versions, but I dont know if its possible ussing custom post types. Anyway, great plugin, thanks for your efforts guys.

    • Dan Milward May 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      Yeah I personally loved that feature. It was something I advocated and got happening back in the day – I’ll have a chat to the powers that be about this. I’m pretty sure Justin had this working in one of the earlier 3.8 beta versions – but I’m pretty sure that the Custom Post Type UI took it away again.

  4. Lee Willis April 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Dan,

    Any reason you wouldn’t implement purchase logs as CPTs?

    • Dan Milward May 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      When I talked to Barry Abrahamson from Automattic last year about converting everything to Custom Post Types he told me that logs are usually the least important thing to change – and that if we “had” to create database tables for something then purchase logs would be the least offensive reason to do so. Whereas everything else seemed somewhat dubious. He didnt say that last bit, but that was the impression I got.

      Jeff also thinks that purchase logs will be the hardest to convert, so I just figured maybe we leave them till last and we make that conversion in 4.0 or something like that. I think there are probably more critical jobs that need taking care of first.

      Ultimately converting everything to CPT is best solution because that makes us about as WordPressy as WordPress. What do you think?

    • Justin Sainton May 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

      FWIW, I’m a big +1 on converting purchase logs to CPTs.

  5. Mike May 1, 2011 at 3:30 am

    I would like to see quantity discounts. e.g. Buy 4 get 5th free, Buy 2 get 3rd free. AND/OR Quantity purchase history e.g. Once a threshold has been met (10 purchases, etc.) receiving an automatic freebie.

    • Dan Milward May 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      Quite possibly something we can bake into our existing Coupon system when we implement the Coupons to Custom Post Type work that was done by Web Dev Studios.

  6. Jean-Paul May 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

    1. the ability for editors (rather than just admins) to view the sales page and sale reports
    2. quantity discounts
    3. more options on shipping discounts, and do “exclude” free shipping on certain items such as heavy freight or oversized items.

    • Dan Milward May 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      1. this will change somewhat when we implement shop owner / shop admin / customer roles and capabilities – this work has been done once before by our partners in Japan and we just need to get it cranking with 3.9, unfortunately it didn’t make it into the 3.8 because by the time it was done we were in feature freeze… and we were busy making 3.8 more stable :)

      2. could you not just use the existing Table Rate Pricing feature to achieve this?

      3. what is wrong with the “Exclude Shipping for this Item” option? Can you explain in more detail how you want this to work…

      • Jean-Paul May 3, 2011 at 5:58 am

        1. good stuff
        2. yeah looks like table rate should do it – THANKS, I didn’t see that.
        3. Exclude shipping or disregard shipping is the opposite of what I mean. I would like to exclude certain items from the Free Shipping over certain value so that bulky, oversized and heavy items are not included in the free shipping over $50, etc.
        4. The ability to hide or “draft” categories would be great.

  7. Dan Milward May 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Oh yeah. I think there should be a better way to purchase / download free digital items on a successful checkout.

  8. ita_shop May 2, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Better PayPal integration?

    • Dan Milward May 2, 2011 at 10:35 am

      We have awesome Paypal integration.

      I’ll tell you why. Because we use it to process thousands of sales. Because hundreds of thousands of our users are selling online using Paypal making a living using Paypal.

      Be more specific dude. If there is something awesome you’d like us to add or if there is something you feel is missing, perhaps because of where you are based, then ask nice and we might just grant your wish ;)

      • ita_shop May 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

        using 3.8.2, paypal standard does not work with ipn and leaves the purchase unclosed even if the client pays quickly

        also, I have tried to put express checkout at work but still not very clear how to do it

        what I feel is that we newbies need some sort of documentation put in simple terms “how to…” do things, at least the more simple things like paypal easy set up

        if I can ask you one more thing, why don’t you add “c.o.d.” option?

        because now with “manual payment” it is not clear if the payment is done in andvance or on delivery, this is awful on the part of the merchant who has to contact the buyer and wait for another reply from him, very frustrating in my view

        anyway before I buy gold cart option I would love to send some little money as a donation for the use I am doing of the plugin which is free, thanks if you let me know how to send that

  9. BottomlessDesign May 2, 2011 at 9:22 am

    What about variables? We used to be able to custom order variables, now they’re automatically alphabetical. For an apparel store offering variations in size, alphabetical doesn’t work very well. I would like to display XS, S, M, L, XL but instead it forces L, M, S, XL, XS.

  10. Sol May 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Good on ya guys.

    Here’s my top 5

    - At the moment it seems checkout registration is either mandatory or off – i’d like to have it optional AND pre-population of checkout form fields for logged in users.

    - NZ post integration – don’t forget the mother country :-0

    - Easier “quick update” of a products variable stock somehow, rather than having to go into the product and edit the variables (time consuming when you have lots of prod)

    - better support for Import via CSV for multiple products (including images, description text, downloadables etc)

    - and plus one for duplicating

    • Dan Milward May 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Sol. Yeah I’d love to see a NZ Post Plugin built…

      I don’t support here are any developers out there wanting to build an NZ Post shipping module?

  11. Nefarino May 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    One thing I’ll like to see implemented is a real multi currency support, in the way that any user can change the currency displayed in the store using a dropdown menu in a widget or somewhere in the page.

  12. a3rev May 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Dan from Across the ditch,

    How far along are you with:

    “Customer Roles and Capabilities & Shop Owner Roles and Capabilities”

    I’m currently working on just such a plugin and would stop if i knew you where not far off?

    Also do you know of any plugin that gives customers an account management page – (not the User Profile page) that allows them to update and edit their account details, and also stores the Order / Purchase history and current pending orders.

    Cheers – Steve

    • Dan Milward May 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      I can email you the work that has gone into Customer Roles and Capabilities if you like?

      At this stage it only deals with Customers and not Shop Owners. If you wanted something more advanced then it sounds like you might already be on the right track – at some point we’d be keen to talk about baking that into WPEC core. Its pretty important stuff.

      What do you think?

      • Steve Truman May 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm

        Hi Dan,

        If you are happy to email what you have done – that would be good – and yes you are right we are advanced on this – here is where we are at:

        1. Admin can Create New User Role
        2. Once created Admin can apply Wholesale discount or markup to all products for that Role either % or $’s
        3. Users see Retails prices on front end – but when logged into the site they see the retail price with a slash through it and see their discounted price and add to cart at that discounted price.

        All of that is done and compatibility with WP ecommerce 3.8.2 and Gold Cart 2.9.1 has been tested and complete.

        We are now adding the ability for Admin to set all WordPress Capabilities for each Role created. All of these actions can be completed on the one page simple layout.

        Dan you are right that this is pretty ‘important stuff’. We should be finished this plugin within a few days and hoping to sell the plugin for a few dollars to try and recoup the cost of development. I’ll send it to you to try out when we are finished.

        Once we launch this plugin – then plan to start work on the plugin that will give backend users an account and the ability to manage their past and pending orders – Would be happy to work with you on this project and if you where happy have the code ‘baked into’ WPEC core. But you’ll want to have a look at our work first.

        Thanks mate – Steve
        PS – I assume you have my email address from the Users adim – BTW – how do I uplaod a profile photo – or does it work off gavatars

  13. Kim May 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I’d really love to see something like WPEC-Personalize functionality integrated — so I can add different custom variables for each product. This is a must for me — when I upgraded to 3.8 I had to make a wacky workaround by collecting the variables in the checkout form (which is a nice feature BTW!) but it doesn’t allow my customers to customize each product individually. Over all wp-ecommerce is great and I appreciate your work on this plugin!

  14. Dan Milward May 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for your input.

    If you were a member of the WP e-Commerce developer mailing list you could propose putting your code forward and we can see whether or not you could contribute something at a later date in a later branch… the more people doing things in “less hacky” ways the better :P

  15. Ilari Mäkelä May 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Possibility to drag&drop style reorder of categories. For example a weight field which defines the order of categories in a list view.

  16. David May 3, 2011 at 1:31 am

    As much as I am excited about the above post and new directions/features, I am worrying people are getting ahead of themselves when its obvious 3.8 still needs some ironing out for a lot of the users using particular themes. I love the wpec guys but am getting a lot of bad feedback from clients at the moment because they cannot incorporate wpec 3.8 successfully with their theme. Hopefully I can get a few hours with one of the devs to overcome a few of the main things preventing them from benefiting. :)

    • Dan Milward May 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Don’t worry about theming David. We’re working on making theming even better for 3.9, especially for people upgrading :)

      It upsets me that some of the people experiencing theme issues are using themes specifically made for WP e-Commerce Plugin 3.7, I feel it is the developers of those themes that let their customers down for not upgrading their themes in time for launch. They literally had MONTHS to do this and consult with us during our Beta phase.

      I do not accept that 3.8 is not ready for serious theming.
      That is crazy talk if you stop to consider this:

      I’ll be writing about this on our blog a little later. All those themes have been built for WP e-Commerce Plugin 3.8 and Roy (the boss) has been an active member in our community for a long time. Because of that participation we feel confident that his users will be safe from these types of issues.

      So to conclude, there are some “kick ass” 3.8 themes and I’m aware of more coming soon :)

  17. Matt May 3, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Hiya guys, I’m currently using a different solution for the Website I’m developing and although it’s very good as far as it goes, there are a number of issues which it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to resolve any time soon.

    The developers of the solution I’m using actually suggested I check out Gold Cart, and so I’m going to list the capabilities I’m after below, and hopefully you can let me know if WP ECommerce and Gold Cart can support them, or if it doesn’t currently, how much you’d charge me to implement the features, keeping in mind they’re features that will benefit everyone who uses your system.

    1. Customer Wishlist – I need customers to be able to add products to their Wishlist so they can return to the store at a later date and purchase them. Additional capabilities would include allowing others to purchase items in a customers Wishlist for them as gifts but this is not mission crytical.

    Dan: There are third party plugins for this made by the WPEC community. Search out Visser Labs.

    2. Secure customer download area – once a customer has bought a digital audio product, I need them to be able to download it whenever they wish, up to the maximum number of downloads allowed which we’re currently setting at 5 downloads like Apple. Once they’ve downloaded it the maximum number of times, the product remains in the download area but the download button switches to a Repurchase button.

    Dan: Yes.

    3. Full and secure integration with Amazon S3 storage – all our audio content is stored using Amazon S3, so when customers purchase the content the system needs to be able to pull the download from S3 buckets in a secure, encrypted way.

    Dan: We have an Amazon S3 Plugin for digital downloads and its secure. You can sync it up with your WPEC shop.

    4. The audio content we offer is split between a store area where content is purchased and downloaded, and a library where access to the content is by membership rather than specific purchases. Content in the library will be streamable for all library members, and downloadable by top level membership. We need the ability to make the download option unavailable to certain membership levels. We also have a 24 hour download pass product option available so that lower level members can download from the library and have temporary access, so we’d need to be able to open access to the download button depending on if a customer has purchased the download pass or not.

    Dan: Our Members Plugin would probably cater for this distinction. Although you might need to find a developer consultant to make it do exactly what you want.

    5. Library membership is currently charged using Papal subscriptions, but there is a major problem with the Paypal system. Basically if you want to offer a new member a free gift for signing up say for a full 12 months, there’s nothing stopping them from signing up, receiving the gift, then cancelling their Paypal subscription. So they get their gift, but we don’t get 12 months worth of membership dues to offset the cost of the gift, and they’d know that the chances of legal action being taken would be slim. If we were processing their credit/debit card directly, the only way they could cancel their subscription would be to actually report their card lost or stolen and have it cancelled which is much more inconvenient than simply clicking a cancel subscription button in their Paypal account! Do you know if Paypal Website Payments Pro has a better and more secure way for murchants to offer contractual payment arrangements than the Paypal Subscription option with Website Payments Standard?

    Dan: No I’m sorry I don’t know. I doubt Paypal Pro offers you more protection – maybe you’d be better off with Authorize.net for something like that. You’d probably need to talk to a few payment gateways to decide which one is best for you.

    6. We currently offer a WMA format and MP3 format version of each product, and the customer can choose which version they want to have access to. Also, some audio content is pretty long so we’re splitting it in to chapters for the customer’s convenience. Does Gold Cart support multi-file downloads? Does it support the ability to choose which file type a customer wants to go with?

    Dan: You can upload more then one downloadable file to a product – but you can’t associate access based on variations yet… you could commission a consultant to do that :)

    Sorry, I know there’s quite a lot of stuff here…

    7. Does Gold Cart offer a news letter feature?

    Dan: No but there are plenty of WordPress Plugins that deal with this type of thing. The Campaign Trail Plugin does however allow you to sync your customers with a Campaign Monitor account. Again if it wasnt exactly right you’d need to commission somebody to tweak it for your needs.

    8. Does Gold Cart offer You Must agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement tickboxes on account signup?

    Dan: Yes. Even the free version does.

    9. Does Gold Cart offer the ability to integrate Amazon Affiliate product links in to the store so they look like our own products until the customer checks out?

    Dan: Nope

    10. We opperate a revenue share scheme with our content providers. It works like this:

    A. Content providers who offer digital products for us to sell in the store are paid 60 percent of each sale, unless a customer uses a membership store credit to purchase that product, in which case we pay 5 percent of the product price.

    B. If a content provider is selling a product jointly with my audio production company, we share equally 50 50.

    C. If a content provider is selling a physical product in the store and is going to handle the dispatches themselves, then we pay 70 percent of net sales receipt. Customers will not be able to redeem membership credits against physical products.

    D. Content providers who offer content for the library receive an annual dividend which is a share of the membership dues pot. Their share is based on the number of hours of audio content they’ve made available.

    Is it possible to set this complex Affiliate system up with Gold Cart, or would I need to use a different plugin like WP Affiliate Platform? If I need to use a third party Affiliate plugin, which ones are correctly integrated with Gold Cart?

    Dan: I’m not sure. We often use the 9seeds affiliate plugin but it doesnt sound quite right for this – I don’t know enough about the WP Affiliate Platform and whether it integrates with WPEC.

    11. I guess the same question about memberships is relevant here, does Gold Cart support multi-level memberships which offers restricted access to content, can it support multiple membership levels per customer at the same time, I thinking about a basic library member buying the 24 hour download pass, that would probably be 2 membership levels assigned to that customer each time they buy a download pass?

    Dan: Yeah I think our Members Plugin should be able to do that.

    12. Is Gold Cart cross browser compattible? Does it work correctly on devices like Iphones and Ipads, Android handhelds, Firefox, IE etc?

    Dan: Thats more to do with the theme you use. Definitely cross browser… but cross device.. you’d have to experiment or hire a dev to do the whole job for you to make sure its exactly what you want.

    13. How extensive is the shortcode system? For instance, can I use shortcodes to display specific products, specific categories, specific product atributes etc?

    Dan: Definitely products and categories – but I’m not sure about product attributes yet. That will definitely come though.

    14. Does Gold Cart support customer reviews and product ratings or would I need a separate plugin for this?

    Dan: Would WP comments serve the turn? There is a star rating system… depends what you want it to do precisely.

    15. Does the MP3 player you offer work on all devices? Can it securely stream audio content from Amazon S3? Does it support the RTMP streaming protocol or sudo streaming so that I’ll only have to pay for what a customer actually listens to? Some players require that the entire audio file is buffered or downloaded to cache before streaming begins, and that’s going to bump my bandwidth costs right up! Does the player support theS3 Private Streaming protocol?

    Dan: The player is probably going to work on all devices. We tested it on an iPad… however my feeling is you’d want to commission a developer to make sure that our MP3 player does all the private streaming properly to your expectations.

    OK folks, that’s about it for now I think, I’d really really apreciate a response because as you can see, this project is quite detailed and quite a lot depends on it’s success.

    Regards and best wishes,

    Matt from England

    • Dan Milward May 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      I was actually going to delete this and email you because its more of a pre sales question… but I figured my answers, inline, might be useful to the entire community :)

  18. Ann McG May 3, 2011 at 4:12 am

    There may already exist a solution to this, but I have been unable to ascertain from searching the forum posts. My client has a retail store and online business. She’s using Quickbooks to manage inventory in the retail store, and wants to integrate inventory management with her online site. Her QB developer suggests we look at a cart that has integration to QB natively or via Atandra T-Hub.

    I have just convinced her to stick with WP eCommerce and Gold Cart and converted the site to the latest and greates on my testbed when this monkey wrench came in.

    Any chance of native QB integration down the road?

  19. mjunker May 3, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Is there anyway to get multiple prices according to user role?

    • Steve Truman May 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      Hi mjunker,

      The plugin that we have developed allows you to set pricing according to user role. You create user role i.e Dealer A and then set the pricing level for that role ie – -20%. When the user logs into the site they see all Retail prices less the discount you have set. ie. Retail $100 – 20% discount = Your Price $80.

      If you create Role Dealer B and set discount at 10% – they log in and see Retail $100 – 10% Discount = Your price $90 and so on.

      You will be able to also set a full range of Capabilities for Each Role ie. Write posts – Read Private Posts and many more.

      At this stage all going well with final testing – Plugin is scheduled for release tomorrow.

      • Dan Milward May 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

        Sounds awesome. Can’t wait to see your press release so I can post about it on our blog :D

      • Sol May 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

        Steve – I’m interested in this as I will shortly be building a wholesaler site
        are you able to forward any further info ?
        Thanks Sol

        • Steve Truman May 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm

          Hey Sol,

          Sure thing – that is exactly how I came to build the plugin – I’m doing a site for a business who has 900 Dealers and wanted those dealers to be able to log into the site and order at their set discount price.

          Happy to send you more info but don’t know where or how to forward it to you?

  20. Sylvain May 3, 2011 at 8:12 am

    What would be nice is some form of thickbox where when you point your mouse to it it activateves automatically

    Here is an example of what I mean



  21. simon May 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Here’s a question posed earlier by Sol
    “- At the moment it seems checkout registration is either mandatory or off – i’d like to have it optional AND pre-population of checkout form fields for logged in users.”

    The last part interests me as well where logged in users do not have to input their details to make a purchase.
    The site I am working on, home delivers to known customers who (long term) will become members of the site..so once we are up and running I would like to think that whenever we convert it into the membership functionality (still trying to decide what is the best way to do that too btw.) WPEC will bring with it that kind of feature.
    Thanks Dan

  22. Kerry May 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    This is a very small and particular wish… But I run a stationery company, and having billable gift wrap at checkout would be fantastic. I’ve seen some other users ask about this in the forums, but I’m not sure how many requests you get for it. Right now I have it set up for an option in the checkout for free, but to be ale to add it on the checkout page would be fantastic. :)

    That said, the newest version is awesome. The Gold Cart is great, my grid view looks better than ever. And the newest “fix” upgrade solved all the problems I’d been having. Thanks to WP e-Commerce, I’ve been able to run my online store at a fraction of the cost of doing it with something else, and I get compliments on how it looks all the time. You guys are great!

  23. Dan Milward May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks everybody – thats more then enough for us to think about for now. Stay tuned for the next Wish List post and feature poll