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Settings related to orders and customers

Ability to Order

These settings affect whether or not products can be bought from your Web catalog and what the requirements for your customers' orders should be. The first three settings have to do with store-wide ordering restrictions, which allow you to use your store as an online catalog instead of an online store. For example, if you select Only wholesale customers, retail customers will be able to browse the catalog, but not place orders (“Buy” or “Add to Cart” buttons won't be displayed).

  • All customers
    When you select this option, anybody that visits your store will be able to place an order.
  • Wholesale customers only
    When you select this option, only wholesale customers will be able to purchase. Retail customers will be able to browse the catalog, but will not be shown a “Buy” button on any product details page. As only the store administrator can change a customer's status from retail to wholesale, this feature allows you to review and approve who can place an order. Some businesses prefer not to fulfill retail orders directly, which is the reason why this feature was added to ProductCart.
  • None of the customers
    This feature allows you to use your store exclusively as an online catalog where customers can view product information, but not place orders. Companies that are gradually moving their business online appreciate this feature as it allows them to transform their catalog into a full-featured e-commerce store with just one click. Note that ProductCart also allows you to set individual products as “Not for Sale”.

Note that the settings above deal with the ability to purchase, not with whether prices are shown or not. If you not only want to prevent customers from placing an order, but also from seeing product prices, you will need to set those prices to 0. See ”How to hide prices in the storefront”.

The following settings define requirements that an order has to meet for the store to process it. In all four cases, customers whose shopping cart contents don’t meet one or more of these criteria are notified of the problem during the check out process.

  • The Maximum Number of Items is the largest number of separate items your customers will be able to add to their shopping cart and purchase at one time, regardless of the quantity ordered for each product (i.e. 20 units of one product is equal to one cart item). For technical reasons, this number is structurally limited to 100 .
  • The Maximum Number of Units is the largest quantity your customers will be able to order for one product (i.e. 20 means that they can only order up to 20 units of a certain product).
  • The Minimum Order Amount is the minimum dollar value of the products added to the shopping cart for your store to accept the order. Orders below the minimum are considered too small and will not be processed. You can set separate minimum levels for retail and wholesale customers (see below).
  • The Minimum Wholesale Order Amount is the minimum dollar value of the products added to the shopping cart by your wholesale customers. Orders below the minimum are considered too small and will not be processed.

Order and customer numbers

  • Order Number Increase
    Order numbers start with 1. If you would like to start at a higher number, insert the increase amount in this field. For example, if you enter 100, the first order will be 101. Once this setting has been configured, it should not be changed as it could create customer service issues (e.g. difference between order numbers appearing in the store, and order numbers previously communicated to store customers via email confirmations, etc.). The order ID in the database will start with 1.
  • Customer Number Increase
    Customer numbers start with 1. If you would like to start at a higher number, insert the increase here. For example, if you enter 100, the first customer number will be 101 when the customer ID is shown in the storefront. The customer ID in the database will start with 1.

Other settings

Allow customers to checkout without registering a password

This setting no longer exists in ProductCart v4 as “One Page Checkout” handles the checkout process differently: guest checkout is always allowed in ProductCart v4 and customers can switch from a guest account to a registered customer at any time.

In ProductCart v3, when this feature is set to YES, customers will be able to checkout without having to enter a password. Note that even when this feature is on, a customer account is created saved to the store database as an order cannot be saved to the database without saving customer information. A random password is added to the customer account in the process and the customer will be able to retrieve it, if they ever wish to do so (e.g. to log in and check the status of an order or track a package).

Allow users to nickname their orders

When this feature is active, your store will allow customers to nickname an order during the checkout process. Customers can also name an order, or edit an order's name, when viewing information about a previous order from their account area.

This feature is useful for stores where customers tend to repeat similar orders over time and want to be able to quickly locate a previous order to create a new, similar one.

The input field where customers can enter a name for their order is shown on the billing/shipping address page of the checkout process (pc/login.asp), towards the bottom of the page, above the Order Comments area.

Allow separate shipments

This feature only applies to store that make back-ordered products available for sale. If you allow customers to purchase products that are back-ordered, there might be cases in which they order a combination of products that can be shipped immediately and products that cannot be shipped right away because they are back-ordered. In this scenario, you can allow your customers to tell you whether they would like to receive one shipment (they would wait until all products are available) or multiple shipments (products that can be shipped are shipped immediately). More information on managing this kind of order.

Note that it is up to you to decide whether additional shipping charges should occur in case the customer opts to receive the packages in multiple shipments. You can use the Edit Order feature to increase the shipping charges, if you wish to do so. You should provide your customers with details on your shipping policy in a “Customer Service” area of your store, which you could manage directly with ProductCart using the Content Pages feature.

You can notify customers that they are purchasing products that might be shipped in separate shipments by setting that option on the “Shipping Settings” page.

Allow customers to purchase out of stock items

Use this setting to allow (“Yes”) or disallow (“No”) the purchase of out-of-stock products store-wide. If inventory is an issue on your store, you will typically disallow the purchase of out of stock items by setting this option to “No”.

On a product by product basis, you can then override this setting so that specific products can be purchased even if they are out of stock. Again, remember that if you set this setting to “Yes”, then any product-specific setting that is related to inventory is not taken into account. So you must set this setting to “No” whenever you need to keep track of inventory, even if only on a few products. This is the case for the vast majority of online stores.

When you set this setting to “No” (i.e. out-of-stock items cannot be purchased), an individual product can be purchased even if out-of-stock in the following scenarios:

  • The “Disregard Stock” feature has been set at the product level
  • The product is a downloadable product, and set for “Electronic Only” delivery
  • The product can be back-ordered
  • The product is a Build To Order product, and the Build To Order settings have been set so that inventory settings are ignored for BTO products.


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