Shop-Script 5

A major update for Shop-Script was released today! We've been working on Shop-Script 5.2.0 during several months, and today we are excited to share the results with you! This is the biggest update since the product's very first release. Plenty of new features were added to Shop-Script:

  • search of orders by customer name, email address, telephone number, and product names
  • advanced product search settings by various parameters with search index update function
  • manual sorting of product features in category filters
  • ability to perform bulk actions with orders in the table view mode
  • order filter by storefronts (if more than one storefront is set up)
  • option to specify service price as percentage of the product price as an alternative to fixed amounts
  • viewing of product stock updates per product (like a bank statement)
  • support for multiple senders, which can be specified for different notifications and follow-ups sent by an online store
  • additional settings for several elements of the basic design themes added to theme settings screens to facilitate the changing of those elements' appearance by users
  • parameter "AJAX filter" added to the settings of basic design themes, which enables category filters to display results without reloading the page
  • in basic design themes, if a product without a default SKU is being added to the shopping cart, a selection dialog is displayed to customers
  • large Sitemap files containing over 10,000 products are split into several smaller files; similar behavior also implemented for other Webasyst apps
  • HTML tag with the rel="canonical" attribute added to product category pages
  • product image thumbnails updating function for the entire product catalog
  • new product feature type "color"
  • ability to view customers' orders via the Contacts app
  • customer merging function (available in Contacts app) which also combines customers' orders and other information
  • displaying of the estimated time when a product may run out of stock with the current sales rate maintained
  • installation of plugins directly within the online store's backend
  • option to change the type of a product feature
  • formatted output of telephone numbers
  • new plugin hooks: frontend_my_nav, frontend_checkout
  • multiple user interface improvements
  • performance optimization

Bug fixes:

  • import of products from a CSV file
  • improved calculation of profit with the purchase price taken into account on the date when an order is marked as completed
  • multiple minor bug fixes

Use the Installer app in your Webasyst account to install this update, as usual.

Thank you for using Shop-Script 5 and for your feedback!

Shop-Script 5 is used by one of Russia's largest multi-channel retailers Enter Svyaznoy.

Webasyst & Enter Svyaznoy

In the complex infrastructure of Enter Svyaznoy, Shop-Script 5 ensures reliable management of content, which is displayed on the website, by acting purely as a CMS.

This case is rather unusual for Shop-Script 5, because it is mainly perceived as a solution for small and medium-sized businesses, designed to facilitate all sorts of activities for an online store, from product management to order processing and customer relations. Enter Svyaznoy is a fast growing national multi-channel network of non-food product retail outlets located in 53 Russian cities; its data management system utilizes various complex software components such as Apache ServiceMix, 1C, etc. Content management on Enter's website now utilizes Shop-Script 5; it currently includes complete synchronization of category descriptions as well as management of product descriptions and dynamic product categories, and the hierarchical category tree (under development).

Enter's team has chosen Shop-Script 5 because of its all-purpose model of product and category descriptions provided by the basic Shop-Script 5 package, which includes product types, various types of product features (text, number, selectable list, ranges, multidimensional features, etc.), static and dynamic product categories, product SKUs, products' photo galleries, and much more. The facts that Shop-Script 5 was specially optimized to manage large amounts of data and that it allows easy extension of its functionality by means of plugins and API, enabled Enter to integrate Shop-Script 5 into its complex infrastructure.

The following figures will provide a more detailed picture of the number of entries stored in the database of Shop-Script 5 which Enter Svyaznoy has currently connected to their website: shop_category3,638; shop_feature9,282; shop_feature_values_dimension39,436; shop_feature_values_varchar588,958; shop_product126,398; shop_type1,891; shop_product_features2,175,212.

By closely co-operating with Enter, we developed API for Webasyst framework and Shop-Script 5, improved the system of plugin hooks, and optimized the user interface of backend screens for large amounts of data; for example, Enter have set up almost two thousand product types while an average online store powered by Shop-Script 5 normally contains no more than several dozens of product types.

Shop-Script 5 installed on Enter's web servers is updated to newer versions via our official GitHub fork (we offer free access to Shop-Script 5 repository to developers!).

We deeply appreciate Enter's participation in the development of our software product and are very pleased that our solution provided successful application in such a large project!

People's attitude towards email newsletters may be very different. For example, some Internet users never read any bulk messages landing in their mailboxes and regard them as spam. In spite of that, the sender of a newsletter always hopes that it will be read by most recipients and will generate more sales. As we will show you, this is an absolutely justified expectation! Below we provide a brief report of our newsletter dedicated to the Cyber Monday sale, when we reduced prices for all products by 50% for only one day. As a result, we received significantly more orders than we usually do on an average day.

On Monday, December 2, we sent a newsletter about the Cyber Monday special offer to our clients. According to our delivery tracking report, 4,372 recipients at least opened the message in their email client (we do not have exact data to verify how many actually read it). Among them, 2,792 recipients clicked on a link in the newsletter and visited our website. We have counted results using utm parameters, which are automatically added into a message sent via our Mailer app. By the way, we use this app to track the delivery rate, too. In summary, 64% of those who actually read the newsletter proceeded to the website. A very good result!

In addition to the 2,792 visitors whom we invited using the email newsletter, 1,905 more visitors were registered on our website that day; therefore, the total number of visitors on December 2 was 4,697.

We then counted how many of these clients placed an order on the same day and paid for it immediately or several days later. There were 495, including 55 new customers (3%) who had never ordered anything before and were not subscribed to our newsletters. This means that 440 customers, representing 16% of recipients who clicked on the link to the website, actually purchased from us. In our experience, 16% is an unusually high conversion rate!

The data is shown in the picture below for better understanding:

Only one newsletter generated almost 500 orders in a day!

Of course, the effect of a newsletter greatly depends on the specific offer and the message contents. Information about a 50% discount, which was valid for only one day, persuaded many of our clients to place an order. If we had merely informed them about adding new features to our software products or about the release of a new application, we would not be able to report even a tenth of such a great result.

Nevertheless, this example of a successful email newsletter confirms our belief that it is essential to keep your clients informed about your offers! Even if some of your recipients report your newsletter as spam or unsubscribe from future mailings, it is still an effective method of delivering important information to your genuine clients. Many of them will find information useful and will thank you for the ability to buy something with a discount, to order an item of a limited-edition collection, or to use any other special offers that you may have. This will bring you more and more loyal customers, and additional revenue.

New year — New business!

Special Christmas & New Year offer for Shop-Script 5 and Webasyst apps: 30% discount until the end of 2013!

Webasyst Store
Cyber Monday special offer (one-day 50% discount during December 2nd, 2013) is now over.

Order Shop-Script 5, Helpdesk, and Mailer — and save!

2 comments
Helpdesk

We are happy to announce the release of our new Helpdesk app!

Helpdesk is a convenient tool for interaction and communications with your clients. If you have a website; e.g., an online store or a blog, then it is highly likely that your visitors have all sorts of questions to ask you. Offer them a comfortable environment for communicating with you because this is a great opportunity to offer your website visitors additional products or services.

The new Helpdesk app is a successor to the previous app's version, with a major improvement — it is based on the Webasyst framework

The most important advantage of the new Helpdesk is the randomly adjustable request processing workflow. You are free to create any number of actions which you would like to perform with customer requests. With installation of Helpdesk, you are offered a default set of actions: reply, discuss/assign, add comment, close without reply, delete. In addition to these actions you may create your own custom ones; e.g., forward to accounting department (if a customer requests information about his payment or a refund) or raise priority (in order to mark certain requests as urgent). You may even want to modify those default actions or delete them.

You can also create custom states for customer requests. Here are examples of states: new, discussion, closed, deleted. For example, if you create a new action called “raise priority”, then it would be convenient to also add a corresponding state, urgent—for requests with which this action has been executed. Just like with actions, you are also free to modify or delete default request states.

As you can see, Helpdesk offers you complete freedom in setting up your custom workflow so that you can process customers' support requests exactly as you need.

Workflow setup in Helpdesk

Helpdesk app receives customer requests from various sources:

  • feedback form on your website: a simple form, which adds all submitted customer queries directly to the request list in Helpdesk; you may create and publish any number of such forms on your various websites;
  • Customer Portal: a password-protected page on your website, which can be accessed only by your clients who have sent you at least one support request; in the Customer Portal, your clients can view their previous queries, reopen them (if your workflow setup permits that), or create new requests;
  • email: Helpdesk is capable of retrieving incoming messages from the specified mail boxes and displaying them in your backend for you to work with;
  • Helpdesk backend: the new Helpdesk app has an option to create a new request on behalf of a client using the “New request” button in the backend; this may be convenient during a telephone call with a client who requests a reply sent to an email address.

Helpdesk also features a spam-protection filter; if enabled, it automatically sends request confirmation notifications to the authors of new requests received from unknown email addresses, which are not yet available in your Contacts database. Only after the author of a request clicks on a special confirmation link in the anti-spam notification, will his request appear in Helpdesk.

Read the description of our new app and learn more about it by signing up for a trial account in Webasyst Cloud, it is free to do so.

Note that if you decide to purchase Helpdesk to install it on your own server, we offer you a special price right now!

Effective today, registration in Webasyst Store is available to third-party developers who would like to create and distribute their products on our website!

Your benefits:

  • Quick signup and extensive developer documentation. Join now, it's free!
  • We promote your products to all Webasyst users at www.webasyst.com/store/ and in framework's built-in Installer app. Your apps, plugins, and design themes are available in Installer with only one mouse click!
  • You receive 80% of your products' sales revenue. Our commission for promotion of your products in Webasyst Store, provision of server infrastructure for delivering software updates, and accepting payments from your customers is only 20%.
  • Payments of your revenue share are made once a month to your PayPal account.

Webasyst Store will continue to grow! In future updates we are planning to add product search, top charts, even more convenient product installation in Installer, categories and filters, and much more.



Become a Webasyst developer

5 comments

Special offer: Buy Shop-Script 5 today and receive your Webasyst Cloud account prepaid for one year! This special offer applies both to purchases of new and additional Shop-Script 5 licenses, and to upgrades from the previous version (WebAsyst Shop-Script) to Shop-Script 5. When placing an order, simply specify your Webasyst Cloud account so that we can credit it with one-year payment of basic server resources!

Webasyst Cloud is the best hosting solution for Shop-Script 5 and other Webasyst apps:

  • Optimal server configuration for apps based on Webasyst framework.
  • Cloud hosting infrastructure: the functioning of servers is automatically adjusted according to the current load. Should you exceed any of the basic limits, the system will automatically add the payment amount for the use of extra server resources to your monthly charges, and your website will remain available even if accessed more intensively than usual.
  • 99.99% uptime. The ”Cloud” page on our website displays up-to-date information about the Cloud's current status and its uptime history for the past week.
  • 2GB+ disk space. Need more? Just use as much space as you need, and your account will be billed automatically.
  • Excellent option to rent Webasyst apps instead of buying them. You may use individual apps in the Cloud free of charge or at very attractive prices, without buying a license. For example, you can install Mailer app for free and use it to send bulk email newsletters for as low as $0.001 per message.
  • Secure SSL connection is always enabled when you access your account's backend at youraccount.host.webasyst.com.
  • No FTP—no viruses! FTP is one of the most frequent causes of malware embedded in websites. In Webasyst Cloud there is no such possibility. Webasyst apps offer a variety of tools to upload files using only a web browser, and those tools completely eliminate the necessity of using FTP.
  • The servers operating in Webasyst Cloud undergo daily pentesting for availability of eventual security breaches or vulnerabilities:

    McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Buy Shop-Script 5 now »

Create Webasyst Cloud account »

For only $329 you will receive one of the most fully functional and technically promising tools for creating an online store PLUS one (1) year of extremely reliable Webasyst Cloud hosting prepaid. Do not miss this valuable offer!

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is an information security standard for organizations handling cardholder information for popular credit and other payment cards. All companies which store, transmit, or process cardholder information must be certified to do so in accordance with the requirements of PCI DSS. See more details on the official PCI DSS website and in Wikipedia.

Do I have to pay for the expensive PCI DSS certification if I'm using Shop-Script 5?

No, you don't! Shop-Script 5 does not store, transmit, or process cardholder information and, thus, is not subject to certification required by PCI DSS. All payment plugins for accepting bank cards in Shop-Script 5 are functioning in such a way that cardholder information is never submitted via your online storefront, but rather on a special secure page of the appropriate payment system or gateway. Therefore, PCI DSS certification must by handled only by that payment system and not by your online store. In Webasyst Store there are no payment plugins, which may require certification for compliance with PCI DSS. Should such a plugin be published there in the future, its description will explicitly state the necessity of such certification.

The certification is required only in the case when you want your customers to be able to submit their cardholder information directly on your website. The certification procedure is rather lengthy and expensive, and is performed by specially authorized QSAs (Qualified Security Assessor).

McAfee SECURE. About information security in Shop-Script 5 and Webasyst Cloud

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Even though PCI DSS certification requirements are, formally, not applicable to Shop-Script 5 and our other products, that does not diminish the importance of continuous security testing of the Webasyst framework and individual applications. During the development, we pay a great deal of attention to ensuring a high security level for our products.

We have been cooperating with McAfee, the certified ASV auditor (Approved Scanning Vendor), for a long time and we perform daily testing of the Webasyst Cloud and all products working on it: Shop-Script 5 as well as Blog, Photos, Site apps, etc. An automated routine every day performs pen-testing of our products and server resources by checking them for availablility of security breaches or vulnerabilities, such as SQL injections, XSS, etc.

The scanning report witnesses full compliance of the Webasyst Cloud service, and all software products it offers, with the requirements of PCI DSS: view McAfee Compliance Report in PDF.

Blog app has been updated to version 1.2.0. In this release we have implemented many useful features, which will make your online blogging experience more convenient and pleasant:

  • Overdue post reminders. If you have planned to publish a post on some date in the future, the app will automatically remind you on that very day, or on the day before, or several days before the due date (according to your setup).
  • A plugin for editing blog posts using the Markdown syntax has been released (available in the Installer).
  • Convenient editing of META tags and TITLE tags of blog posts.
  • A completely new HTML source editor (Ace).
  • API for the Blog app.
  • Option to import news from WebAsyst Shop-Script added to “Import posts” plugin.
  • Enhanced overall performance.
  • Multiple UI improvements and bug fixes.

You can install this update for the Blog app in your Installer, as usual.

1 comment

In section “Help & Support” we have published a how-to article about conducting A/B testing of your online storefront powered by Shop-Script 5 using Google Analytics: http://www.webasyst.com/help/323/shop-script-5-a-b-testing-google-analytics/

The point of A/B testing is alternate displaying of various versions of some website page or design element (“version А” and “version B”) to different visitors to find out which of these versions yields the best effect for your business; e.g., more orders, higher average order price, longer website visit duration, lower bounce rate, etc. In the article we have described placing different product lists in the homepage, but you can actually test very different elements in the same way, from the appearance of the “Add to cart” button to the exact location of the login link to enter customer's account. You may conduct A/B testing both in the Shop-Script 5 storefront and in the frontends of other Webasyst apps: Site, Photos, Blog. To give you a real example, on our website at shop-script.com, powered by the Site app, we sometimes carry out A/B testing exactly as described in the article.