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Ecommerce - In stock/out of stock message

Anyone knwo an "easy" way of getting this message into product pages?

     
8:30 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Ok, here's the problem

I have, say for instance, a large music instrument retail site or something along these lines - high value items. Because of this there is a sales hotline so that people can phone in and hear someone's voice and take their details - thus offering reasssurance.

This is fine, but when they start asking loads of questions, normally whether we have an item in stock, the sales phone isn't taking sales, but answering queries etc.

I would like to tackle one of the most common, by indicating on our product pages whether an item is in stock or not - and if not, how quickly we can get one to the customer.

All our product pages are static, nothing being read out of databases - it really has been a labour of love! I do have MYSQL capability on the server - so I thought maybe I could list all our products in a table and if the number in stock is 1 or >1 then it prompts a message on the pages i insert some code into "in stock". Maybe have another column I could check if it is back in 2 weeks, and another one for "within 1 week". etc etc.

I'd be grateful if anyone has any experience of using anything like this, and how useful they found it. Also, remember my MYSQL and PHP experience is 0! So ideally i want to be able to insert a line of code that will be automatically updated when the "database" i don't mind what guise it takes, is updated.

Ideally, i'd like to use a little piece of javascript in the page so I don't have to turn my pages into .php. I know js can be a bit crap but a few lines wouldn't hurt too much.

Any ideas/Suggestions etc etc would be great.

And - no. At the moment I don't want the whole site to be database driven.

Cheers

Richard

9:14 pm on June 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You could always have a custom shopping cart designed for your business. That would be one way to make sure things were perfect. But on the same lines I am sure there is some shopping cart software that will automatically put an "Out of Stock" sign when you are low. Assuming it is a dynamic page.
9:03 am on June 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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How many products do you need this information for? If it's only a handful, the easiest way might be to edit the html pages by hand each morning (if this is quicker than answering enquiries on the phone).

If there are a lot of products, then I'm sure a professional web developer could knock something up in a day or less.

One approach (of many):
1 - Give each product a unique id or name
2 - Create a .js file with an array of ProductID->AvailabilityDescription
3 - Create a function WriteAvailability(ProductID), that looks up the ProductID in the array, and Document.Write the AvailabilityDescription.
4 - Include the .js file in the <head> of each html page
5 - Call WriteAvailabilty(ProductID) in the relevant place in the html code.
6 - Update the .js file with new availability information as required.

11:26 am on June 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi Pete - Yeah, this was the kind of thing I was after I think.

We are approaching nearly 1000 products at the moment so as you mentioned, doing it all by hand each time would get pretty tiring fast!

Where abouts can I find someone who can do this?...For cheap! If not for free! hehe =0)

Richard

11:44 am on June 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well you could always try the Commercial Exchange [webmasterworld.com] forum of this very website!
12:12 pm on June 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Actinic generates static HTML pages and can automatically generate an out-of-stock message once stock reaches a pre-determined level. This happens when the site is refreshed from the desktop.

Declaration of interest: I work for actinic.

Chris

11:15 pm on June 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The default build of oscommerce does this, & the software is free.