My PayPal Shopping Cart Odyssey - Part 1
(or How I Came to Hate the Continue Shopping Button)
This is the first installment in the just beginning (but destined to be never ending), story of my attempts to get the PayPal shopping cart "Continue Shopping" button to work correctly (without PayPal's involvement - highly unlikely as it is anyway.)
I look after a small handcrafted-jewelry ecommerce site called AliBaubles.com.
It's a very simply put together site, implemented with the blosxom weblog application (just like this blog), and incorporating a shop plugin that I built.
I based the shopping/payment functionality around the PayPal shopping cart.
Everything works really, really well, except for what amounts to less than 1% of the browsing/searching/shopping/payment-transaction experience.
That fraction of underperformance can be summed up in four words... the Continue Shopping button.
So that adding things to one's shopping cart, viewing the shopping cart, and checking out, wouldn't ruin the navigation of the site, I implemented PayPal's shopping cart in a pop-up fashion using "Add to Cart", "View Cart", and "Checkout" buttons on the main site, that trigger the pop-up and submit the required Paypal form for processing within the new pop-up window.
Here's a screenshot of the cart pop-up...
For the most part it works fine... items can be added to the cart or removed, or the shopper can checkout by clicking a "Proceed to Checkout" button... and then there's the "Continue Shopping" button. Clicking it in any browser (as far as I can tell - I do have versions of IE, FF, and NN that I've tried it with), just minimizes the pop-up, IT DOESN'T CLOSE the pop-up.
From the main site, a shopper can still add other items to the cart, or click the "View Cart" or "Checkout" buttons, and the contents of the MINIMIZED pop-up is updated... no new windows open up... that part is actually good, but they have to know to maximize the cart pop-up to deal with the cart again.
It would be infinitely nicer if the "Continue Shopping" button simply CLOSED THE WINDOW, and then when a button back on the shop site was clicked, a new cart window would appear.
Tune in soon for more in this continuing saga (I couldn't resist)...
posted at: 1:46am on 03-May-2008
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