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My client is selling two types of tickets - one is really a voucher that has separate fields for the voucher holder and voucher payer and another is a general ticket. Both are really the email notification that is redeemed at the door. I’ve set up the voucher orders channel and had the shipping information actually be the voucher holder information. Now I want to set up the tickets orders which won’t have any shipping information. After these two, we’re going to set up physical products, such as T-shirts with different colors and sizes, to sell as well which will require separate billing and shipping information.

In short, we’re selling widely different products with different characteristics. Each type of product - tickets, vouchers, physical products will be sold separately - the customer can not buy all three in one order.

It would seem logical to have separate orders channels - one for each type. Is this possible in CartThrob? I can see that it’s possible to add additional products channels but I haven’t found any way to set up corresponding orders channels. Do I have to combine them all into one large orders channel?

JP

  • Aside: Something that comes to mind is Zenbu - you could create search filtering for certain fields of the order channel; one for each of your products. – Natetronn Jul 29 '13 at 14:50
  • Thanks. I did install Zenbu. The ticket and Product options are stored in a Matrix field and so far, at least, there's limited searching by Zenbu within Matrix fields (or I haven't got it right yet.) Even if I can perfect it, it still leaves the issue of the additional empty columns and the too wide for the screen issue. – Jeanne Pickering Jul 30 '13 at 2:59
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In short, no, you cannot to my knowledge have multiple orders channels.

My question to you would be, "why do you feel you need multiple orders channels?"

All purchases through your site are orders and are irrespective of the actual items being purchased. The orders channel is a list of transactions made. Everything in that channel is an entry indicating something was purchased. The data being stored is the same for each order (no, you don't have shipping details for some items, so those fields just stay blank). The point is, it is still a record of a purchase.

Personally I think you'd run into big problems later trying to audit orders if they were split into different channels.

Think of the real world. Would a business keep records of orders in separate systems? The only time I can think that this might be a sensible idea is if the orders were actually for separate businesses being run through the same 'front' - it would keep the accounting much simpler.

Multiple product channels, as you note, are supported and this does make sense since the products can be wildly different and as such require different types of data to be stored. But orders are orders so they should always be together.

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  • Thanks for your reply. I was afraid that I could only have one orders channel and you confirmed it. – Jeanne Pickering Jul 29 '13 at 14:07
  • I'm no business expert but orders for tickets require no extra handling while orders for products have to be found in inventory, processed and shipped. Products have additional options of size and color and so on which mean a lot of empty columns in the orders channels for tickets. I'll figure out a way to separate them but separate orders channels up front would have made it a lot easier. – Jeanne Pickering Jul 29 '13 at 14:17
  • It makes no difference that the columns are empty really since they exist anyway for the other orders with data in them - especially given the way that EE stores data. There is zero point in separating them if you are concerned with performance. – foamcow Jul 29 '13 at 19:55
  • It's not so much a performance issue as it is a user (in this case, the client's staff) experience issue. All those additional columns make for a wider-than-the-monitor-screen page that they have to scroll to the right to follow (they're using a old CRT monitor for these tasks.) I'd certainly appreciate some direction on how I could improve the user interface! – Jeanne Pickering Jul 30 '13 at 2:47
  • You could look at something like Zenbu which will let you show/hide columns in all your entry lists. Alternatively you could look into using the CT Order Manager (part of CartThrob but a bit buggy unfortunately) or CT Admin add-ons to present a different interface. If the issue is that their screen is extremely low resolution it might even be simpler to just buy them a new (cheap) monitor! – foamcow Jul 30 '13 at 8:32

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