WP e-Commerce Cross Sales

The latest version of WP e-Commerce (3.8.x) for WordPress is a significant move on both in terms of stability and extensibility.

This is partly down to an extensive re-build on the codebase to take advantage of some of WordPress’ latest features; custom post type and taxonomies. This has the added benefit of making it much easier for plugin developers to create add-on plugin to enhance WP e-Commerce functionality.

The key objectives now seem to be to keep WP e-Commerce ‘lean and mean’ to provide a solid platform on which to develop WordPress-based e-commerce sites, and provide additional functionality through plugins.

Part of this process includes stripping out some of the less-used parts of WP e-Commerce and turning them into plugins. Once such example is the automated ‘Also Bought’ functionality which can be found in the Marketing tab of WP e-Commerce settings.

I have worked extensively with WP e-Commerce over the last 2-3 years and frequently try to get involved wether it be fixing the odd bug or helping out on the forum – when I have time ;) so I jumped on board to help separate the ‘Also Bought’ functionality into a WordPress plugin.

Also Bought > Cross Sales

The ‘Also Bought’ functionality is now available to download as the ‘Cross Sales’ plugin on WordPress Extend.

The plugin will function exactly the same way as the current Also Bought feature in WP e-Commerce. When someone buys multiple products, this information will be saved so that we can identify that “someone who bought this also bought that”.

There are few small additions though:

You will be able to set a limit for the amount of cross sales you want to show – what looks best may  depend on the theme you are using.

By default, cross sale product images will be the same size as product thumbnail images, but there are now settings to override this if you want.

Installing/Upgrading

In WP e-Commerce 3.9 the also bought functionality will not be available by default, you’ll need to install the plugin. For those of you who are already using that functionality, don’t worry, I’ve made it easy for you… you’ll be able to install the plugin directly from the Marketing tab in WP e-Commerce and have it back up and running straight away.

You can even install the plugin now if you like. It won’t do anything until you upgrade to WP e-Commerce 3.9 and the transition will be seamless.

I recommend that you change the wpsc_also_bought() references in your single product theme template to the following:

<?php if ( function_exists( 'wpsc_cross_sales' ) ) wpsc_cross_sales( $product_id ); ?>

This will ensure compatibility in the future if you deactivate the plugin, and ensure it works with future versions. You don’t need to change this as the wpsc_also_bought() function should work for the time being, but it will cease to work in a future version of this plugin so do get around to changing it sooner rather than later.

What next…?

Expect to see other areas of WP e-Commerce being moved to separate plugins. My guess is the following features may at some point find themselves moved to external plugins:

  • Social Integration, Like, Tweet etc…
  • Intense Debate comment integration
  • Custom survey
  • Off site product links
  • Personalisation options
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Ben Huson