osCommerce Order History Issues
After a customer places an order on your osCommere store, the store should keep track of that order and allow your customer to see what they ordered. There is a side menu that displays the list, if you wish to have it on your site. Sometimes the items will display in the sidebar, but there will be nothing in the customer’s account under “View the orders I have made.” This link should bring up the complete order history for the customer. In this article I’ll briefly explain one simple reason why the order history may be missing.
The Order History – Orders Status Connection
The connection between “Order History” and “Orders Status” is the typical problem. “Orders Status” allows you to set up a number of categories within which an order may be placed. Default values, if I remember correctly are: Pending, Processing and Delivered. One of my clients uses a few including:
- On Hold for Check Payment
- Credit Card Preparing Order
You can discover which your store uses by opening your store’s administration side and clicking Localization > Orders Status. Typically, for this client, an order comes in and is automatically assigned to the status of “Credit Card Preparing Order.” At this stage, the order may or may not show up on the customer’s Order History list, depending upon how the status is set up.
Setting up “Orders Status”
In your situation, you may not want the customer to see the order on their history list until you actually ship it. In my client’s case, he wants the customer to have the order on the list as soon as credit card payment s received.
To make it work for my client, I went to Localization > Orders Status and edited “Credit Card Preparing Order” so that “Show the order to the customer at this order status level” is checked on. This way, as soon as the order is received, it will appear on the customer’s history list.
If you would rather wait until the product is shipped, you can leave the initial status turned off and the “Shipped” status turned on. Typically you would change the status to “Shipped” on the customer’s order page (Admin > Customers > Orders > (Select an order) Edit > Chose from the “Status” dropdown menu near the bottom of the page). When this happens, the order would show up in the Order History list as “Shipped.”
If you have both Order Statuses set on, the Order History list will display the order as soon asit is received and show it as “Credit Card Preparing Order.” When the order is updated to “Shipped”, the Order History list item will be updated to show the product as shipped. This is actually the way my client’s system is set up.
I’m not sure how my client actually uses his store, but it appears that he never updates an order. I suspect he simply uses the emails from the store to trigger his processes to prepare and ship orders. If you are using an osCommerce store, or any other type of store (I often use WooCommerce for small stores set up in WordPress), I strongly recommend that you use the capabilities your store provides. This includes keeping your store’s admin side constantly open in your computer so that you can see orders as they come in and handle them expeditiously.
If you have several steps in your preparation and shipping process, you should add them to the list of order statuses and update the order as it moves through your system. This keeps your customer fully informed of the process and you can add comments to the email the customer receives as necessary.