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Thread: NOF E-Commerce Catalog & Mals & Multiple Currencies

  1. #1
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Default NOF E-Commerce Catalog & Mals & Multiple Currencies

    I know, here we go again...

    I'm now at the point where I need to set up an E-Commerce page. I've got a Mal's Account, Client's Paypal account and NOF E-Commerce Catalog. I've set the default currency in Mals to $CDN. I've set up "Multi Currency" options for $CDN and $US.

    Some items are to be in $CDN and some in $US. I set up two separate catalogs, and set up a profile for one to be in $CDN and one in $US. I've put them on the same page, so they look like one continuous shopping experience.

    When I publish, the catalog duly states the price in Canadian or U.S. Dollars on the page. But when I click "Buy" the Mals cart screen will show only one or the other.

    If I open up the CDN$ Catalog, and set the Monetary Format to $CDN, or use a Custom Value set to $CDN, the catalog items get updated to $CDN. When I open up the US$ Catalog, the setting is at $CDN, so I switch it to $US, and that catalog is displayed as $US.

    But if I now go back to the$CDN Catalog and look at the Monetary Format, it is now set to $US. And 'round we go.

    So I tried deleting the $US Catalog, and republished after setting Monetary Format to $CDN. If I add an item to the cart from the List Page, the cart says nothing about currency (so I'm assuming $CDN). If I try to add the same item from the Detail Page, Mals says:
    You have already added products to this order which are priced in a different currency.
    If I add the first item from the Detail List, Mals cart says "US DOLLARS".

    Now, if I add an item from the List Page, and get no currency indication from Mals, then proceed to Paypal for checkout, now Paypal says "US Dollars".

    I even tried creating a new catalog, and put an item in, setting everything to $CDN. Still, when I get to Paypal, it says US Dollars.

    So what's my question... where do I begin...
    1.) Is it possible to set up the NOF Catalog to use multiple currencies, say by using a different instance of the catalog and profile for each currency?

    2.) Any guesses as to where the system is breaking down? Is my problem with NOF Catalog, Mal's or Paypal?

    3.) If I look at my aborted orders in Mals, it says Currency = 3. Anyone know what that corresponds to?

    I've got a little more digging to do. But if someone has a clue about any of this, it would surely save me some time and aggravation.

    -RayC

  2. #2
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    I think the key issue here is, I'm pretty sure you can only have one currency on a PayPal checkout. To add to that, as a consumer, I think it would be very confusing for me if you had multiple currencies for different products on a single page. With most eCommerce sites, as a consumer you choose the currency you want to buy in (if at all) and it converts the base currency to that one.

    Is it not possible to simply convert your CDN products to USD conversion yourself?

  3. #3
    Senior Member gotFusion's Avatar
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    If you want anything outside of the "normal" you will need to roll your own.

    Take a look at this tutorial which should get you started building a store without using the component

    http://www.gotfusion.com/tutorials/tut.cfm?itemID=4050
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  4. #4
    Twayne
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    Default Re: NOF E-Commerce Catalog & Mals & Multiple Currencies

    In news:RayC.4ad24n@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com,
    RayC <RayC.4ad24n@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com> typed:
    > I know, here we go again...
    >
    > I'm now at the point where I need to set up an E-Commerce
    > page. I've got a Mal's Account, Client's Paypal account and
    > NOF E-Commerce Catalog. I've set the default currency in
    > Mals to $CDN. I've set up "Multi Currency" options for $CDN
    > and $US.
    >
    > Some items are to be in $CDN and some in $US. I set up two
    > separate catalogs, and set up a profile for one to be in
    > $CDN and one in $US. I've put them on the same page, so
    > they look like one continuous shopping experience.
    >
    > When I publish, the catalog duly states the price in
    > Canadian or U.S. Dollars on the page. But when I click
    > "Buy" the Mals cart screen will show only one or the other.
    >
    > If I open up the CDN$ Catalog, and set the Monetary Format
    > to $CDN, or use a Custom Value set to $CDN, the catalog
    > items get updated to $CDN. When I open up the US$ Catalog,
    > the setting is at $CDN, so I switch it to $US, and that
    > catalog is displayed as $US.
    >
    > But if I now go back to the$CDN Catalog and look at the
    > Monetary Format, it is now set to $US. And 'round we go.
    >
    > So I tried deleting the $US Catalog, and republished after
    > setting Monetary Format to $CDN. If I add an item to the
    > cart from the List Page, the cart says nothing about
    > currency (so I'm assuming $CDN). If I try to add the -same
    > -item from the Detail Page, Mals says:
    >> You have already added products to this order which are
    >> priced in a different currency.

    >
    > If I add the first item from the Detail List, Mals cart
    > says "US DOLLARS".
    >
    > Now, if I add an item from the List Page, and get no
    > currency indication from Mals, then proceed to Paypal for
    > checkout, now -Paypal -says "US Dollars".
    >
    > I even tried creating a new catalog, and put an item in,
    > setting everything to $CDN. Still, when I get to Paypal, it
    > says US Dollars.
    >
    > So what's my question... where do I begin...
    > 1.) Is it possible to set up the NOF Catalog to use multiple
    > currencies, say by using a different instance of the
    > catalog and profile for each currency?
    >
    > 2.) Any guesses as to where the system is breaking down? Is
    > my problem with NOF Catalog, Mal's or Paypal?
    >
    > 3.) If I look at my aborted orders in Mals, it says
    > Currency = 3. Anyone know what that corresponds to?
    >
    > I've got a little more digging to do. But if someone has a
    > clue about any of this, it would surely save me some time
    > and aggravation.
    >
    > -RayC


    Perhaps not what you are willing to accept, but why not put both prices on
    the same page at the same time? Or even just allow a setting that switches
    it to all of one or the other. Depending on how you do it and what info
    you're taking, you could even set a cookie so next time they come in it's
    already set to their country's code. But still keep the possibility of
    changing it. And, to avoid confusion add a prefix or suffix to each price
    detailing which country the amount is for.

    Dual catalogs could also work; choose to go to one or the other upon going
    to any page and then keep that setting/sectoin of the site. Always calculate
    one price off the other so you never had a chance to screw things up.
    Depending on what the site is about, you might even have one site for each
    currency, one auto-created from the other, of course. Whatever you do, make
    it so you only have to enter a price once and it auto-populates/calculates
    to other places. PHP would seem to be the best idea for doing these;
    definitely don't use javascript, IMO.

    HTH,

    Twayne`



  5. #5
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I really must get to that "PHP For Knuckleheads" course I've been meaning to take. I can sometimes manage a Server Side Include...

    I've done some experimenting, starting over with a blank page.

    If I go into the NOF E-Commerce Catalog, and under "Monetary Format", I select "Use Predefined Values" and choose "Canadian Dollar", by the time I get to PayPal, it's asking for $US.

    But, if I select "Use Custom Value", and input "CAD" for the "Code sent to store engine" (which is the code that Paypal wants to see), I do get Paypal to say $CAD at checkout.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	StoreSetup..jpg 
Views:	405 
Size:	34.6 KB 
ID:	95

    So, somehow the "Predefined Value" is sending some code that Mal's is misinterpreting, or is simply passing along to Paypal which is misinterpreting.

    Is there a way to hack into the NOF Catalog to see exactly what gets sent to Mals?

    -RayC

  6. #6
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    I'm still not sure if you're just sending 1 x CDN product to PayPal and it's coming up USD or whether you are trying to have multiple currencies. If you are, you can't send multiple currencies to a single PayPal cart. This is direct from Mals eCommerce site:

    WARNING! The currency in the cart is set when the first product is added to it. In order to ensure that the cart doesn't end up with a "mixed bag" of currencies it won't allow a customer to add any more products in a different currency. So, for example, once they have added an item priced in US Dollars they then won't be able to add any more items unless they too are priced in USD.
    See this link regarding your issue: https://www.mals-e.com/tpv.php?tp=21 It mentions about the currencies.

    Also read: https://www.mals-e.com/tpv.php?tp=30 as it mentions about stripping the currency codes down from the NOF configuration. If you've done that, it might give you that problem.

    Also, the settings file for Mals is C:\Program Files\NetObjects\NetObjects Fusion 10.0\NetObjects System\FSI\Ecomm\lib\store\engine\MalsE\settings.p roperties and that has all the currencies listed in order and looks correct, but check it in reference to the link above.
    Last edited by Technology Ideas; 05-03-2010 at 11:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Thanks, Andrew, for those links and that info. I recall seeing the one about NOF several months ago when I started thinking this through, but forgot about it. And the NOF properties file for Mals E is very illuminating.

    Here's what I have sussed out, and hopefully this helps someone else out setting this up. Some of this will be review for some of you, but is important.

    1. First, if you remove this line:
    parameter.input.hidden.currency=<%store.currencyCo de%>
    as implied in this link about Mals with NOF, then NO CURRENCY INFORMATION is sent by the NOF Catalog to Mal's, and whatever your default currency is set to in Mal's will be used. For most folks who only need to operate in a single currency, this is fine, but depends upon it being set in your Mal's account.

    2. To use various currencies, Mal's allows you to define five alternate currencies and assign a code number to each, from 1 to 5. Number 0 (zero) represents your default currency, and you can list up to 5 others by assigning them in a table.

    In the NOF settings.propeties file for Mals, it has these lines which represent the "Pre-Defined Values" for the Monetary Format:
    store.currency.code.euro=2
    store.currency.code.usdollar=0
    store.currency.code.pound=1
    store.currency.code.cadollar=3

    So, what happens is the Pre-Defined Values in the NOF Catalog can conflict with what's set up in Mals.

    So if my default in Mals is $CDN, that has a code of '0'. But if I select the Pre-Defined settings for $CDN, NOF sends '3'. If I have not defined something for currency #3 in Mals, nothing gets sent to Paypal, which will default to $US. Or if I happen to have set up currency #3 in Mals to Pounds Sterling, Paypal will come up in Pounds Sterling.

    Likewise, if I choose the Pre-Defined Value for $US in NOF, that will send a '0' to Mals, which will tell Paypal it's in $CDN (my default currency). Now if your default currency in Mals is $US, and all you ever use is $US, it will look fine and you'll never know you're just being lucky.

    Bottom line: If you want to use various currencies and the NOF Catalog, define them in Mals using the 5 alternate currencies, and use the "Custom Value" option in NOF.

    You could also, explicitly define your default currency in Mals to $US, and then your alternates in this order:
    #1 Pound Sterling
    #2 Euro
    #3 Canadian

    But you're at the mercy of NetObjects if they ever change these numbers in an update.

    So, one mystery solved. Now on to various currencies in a single "store".

    -RayC

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    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    So, I'm thinking of rolling my own catalog, using Mike's helpful tutorial as a guide.

    To deal with my currency issue, I'm thinking of having a drop-down for the shopper to select the currency they'd like to pay in. Although my form HTML does not reside anywhere near my frontal lobe, I'm pretty sure I can take this parameter for Mal's:
    HTML Code:
    <input type=hidden name=currency value=3>
    and put that in a drop-down with whatever currencies I want. So a shopper can select their native currency, and pay in Paypal in that currency.

    I've seen a few currency conversion scripts/widgets around that will do a conversion, but does anyone know of a way to have the price automatically converted and updated in the form when a different currency is selected?

    Admittedly, I need to check out some of these in more detail, but in case someone knows how to incorporate this (or if it's impossible!) it would save me some time.

    I think this is along the lines of what Twayne suggested, but I'm now looking at the actual mechanics of making that work.

    Thanks,

    -RayC

  9. #9
    Senior Member gotFusion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayC View Post
    So, I'm thinking of rolling my own catalog, using Mike's helpful tutorial as a guide.

    To deal with my currency issue, I'm thinking of having a drop-down for the shopper to select the currency they'd like to pay in. Although my form HTML does not reside anywhere near my frontal lobe, I'm pretty sure I can take this parameter for Mal's:
    HTML Code:
    <input type=hidden name=currency value=3>
    and put that in a drop-down with whatever currencies I want. So a shopper can select their native currency, and pay in Paypal in that currency.

    I've seen a few currency conversion scripts/widgets around that will do a conversion, but does anyone know of a way to have the price automatically converted and updated in the form when a different currency is selected?

    Admittedly, I need to check out some of these in more detail, but in case someone knows how to incorporate this (or if it's impossible!) it would save me some time.

    I think this is along the lines of what Twayne suggested, but I'm now looking at the actual mechanics of making that work.

    Thanks,

    -RayC
    If you are going to use a drop down for currency you do not want to put it into a hidden field. This would be a useless step as your drop down will conflict with it.

    Paypal will automatically handle the currency conversions for the shopper when they are charged. Just use the currency of the country where the store is located.

    Many shops use the US dollar as that is easily understood by most international shoppers. If the shop is in Canada use the Canadian dollar.

    As another alternative you can put a currency converter script on the page and let the user see what the value is by using the converter on a per item basis (a whole lot less work for you this way)

    Since conversion rates change almost every second you will need to use something that references live rates such as this

    http://www.textor.com/include.html
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  10. #10
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mike.

    I also came across this service for realtime currency conversion: http://www.yourcurrencyconverter.com

    Perhaps I'm making this more difficult than it has to be (I always do that! ). It seemed like it might be "shopper friendly" to have them pay in their local currency rather than have conversion done by their Credit Card Company. If I can somehow get the converted value into the cart when they select their currency, that would be ideal.

    Or does Paypal bill the shopper in their local currency when they actually check out? If that's the case, then displaying the estimated conversion may be enough.

    -RayC

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