Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

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Our shop is now ready for customers. They can register to the shop and get some permissions to browse products and place orders. After building the catalog, one of the big tasks of the shop administrator is to manage the orders. Managing an order includes viewing the order, ensuring that payment is made, shipping the product to customers ship to address, and setting the appropriate status of the order. Whenever the status of the order changes, the shop administrator can also notify the customer about its status. When the product is delivered, the status should also be changed. Sometimes, you need to change the status when the customer refunds it for some reason.

Viewing the orders

To view the list of orders placed, click on Orders | List Orders. You get the Order List screen:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

The Order List screen shows all of the orders placed so far in that store. It shows the latest order first. As you can see, it shows the order number, name of customer, date of order, date last modified, status of the order, and total price of the order.

As there may be hundreds of orders per day, you need to filter the orders and see which ones need urgent attention. You can filter the orders by their status. For example, clicking on the Pending link will show all of the orders which are pending. Viewing the list of pending orders, you may enquire why those are pending. Some may be pending for not making the payment, or you may be waiting for some offline payment. For example, when the Money Order payment method is used, the order needs to remain Pending until you receive the money order. Once you get the payment, you can change the order status to Confirmed.

Viewing an order’s details

In the Order List screen, you will get an overview of each order. However, sometimes it may be necessary to view the details of an order. For viewing an order’s details, in the Order List screen, click on the order number link under the Order Number column. This shows details of the order:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

In the Order Details page, you will first see the order number, order date, order status, its current status, and IP address from where the order was placed. There is a box section from where you can update the order’s status and view the order’s history. Then, you get the Bill To and Ship To addresses. After the Bill To and Ship To addresses, you get the list of ordered items and their prices. You can also add a new product to this order from this section. This section also shows taxes added, and shipping and handling fees:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

After the product items, you get another section which shows shipping information and payment method used:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

In the Shipping Information section, you get the carrier used, shipping mode applied, shipping price, shipping and handling fees, and shipping taxes.

The payment section shows what method was used and when the payment was made. It shows the payment history for this order. It also shows how much of a coupon discount was applied to this order. As an administrator of the shop, you can change the values in the fields where an update icon () is displayed.

At the bottom, you see the customer’s comment. Customers may provide comments while placing the order. These comments may be very much valuable for the shop owner. For example, the customer may want the product to be delivered in a special way. The customer can express that in this comment.

For printing the purchase orders, you may use a printer friendly view. To see the purchase order in a printer friendly view, click on the Print View link at top. This formats the purchase order as a plain document, and also shows a printer icon. Click on that printer icon to print the purchase order.

Understanding an order’s status

How is the order management workflow maintained? Mainly, this is based on the order status. After receiving an order from the customer, it passes several statuses. An order’s life cycle is shown in the following diagram:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

These order status types are defined in advance. At the very outset of starting the shop, the workflow should be clearly defined.

Managing order status types

You can view the existing order status types from Orders | List Order Status Types. This shows the List Order Status Types screen:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

As you see from the screen on the previous page, there are five status types. We may add another status type of Delivered. For adding a new order status type, click on the New icon in the toolbar, or on Orders | Add Order Status Type. Both brings the Order Status screen:

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

In the Order Status screen, first type the Order Status Code. For the Delivered status, assign D as code. Then, type the name of the status type in the Order Status Name text box. In the Description text area, you may provide a brief description of the order status type. At the end, specify a list order value. Then, click on the Save icon in the toolbar. This adds the new Delivered order status type. You can create as many order status types as you need.

Changing an order’s status

As indicated earlier, while fulfilling the order, the shop owner needs to update the status of the order, and communicate that status change to the customer. You can change an order’s status from two places. In the Order List screen, you can see the orders and also change status. For changing the status of an order, select an order status type from drop-down list in the Status column. Then, click on the Update Status button to save the change. If you want to notify the customer about this     status change, select the Notify Customer? checkbox.

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

One disadvantage of updating the order status from the Order List screen is that you cannot add a note on changing the status. The other way of updating the order status provides this advantage. For using this, click on the order number link in the Order List screen. The order details page will open. On the right side, you will see a box from where you can update the order status. Can you see the Comment text area in the following screen?

Managing orders in Joomla! and VirtueMart

As you can see, from the Order Status Change tab, you can change the status, write a comment, notify the customer about the status change, and can also add the comment with that notification.

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