Virtuemart credit points 3 manual

System Required:

Preliminar system checkout

  • First, your virtuemart must be well installed! and shop must have no errors (obvious, but too many times we are asked for support for Virtuemart problems, and not for our extensions!) and Virtuemart is required to be well configured.
    Example: Virtuemart 3 needs to have .gif or .jpg (not .png) on logos for shop, payments and shippings or it gives error. It required to have at least one menu link in a joomla menu in order to work, to have a main currency configured, and so on.
  • Before install the credit points, be sure you have the reward points installed and upgraded to the latest version.
  • if you want the credit points to show/hide other payment methods based on what it's purchased you should disable 3rd part one-page checkout extension. If you want, you can use the Virtuemart internal one page checkout or simply disable.
     

1 Install the virtuemart reward points 3

The Virtuemart Reward Points 3 is needed, because it's the framework where the Credit Points plugin works. A consistent part of the credit plugin code is written in the Reward Points Extension. It contains also the module to show the credit amount to customers and the main configuration for credit system. See this manual in order to install, while configuration will be shown here.

 


2 Install the credit points 3 plugin

AFTER the Reward Points 3 is installed (NOT BEFORE! it is important), install the Credit Points plugin, going in Joomla extension manager, choosing the zip archive and installing as usually. The plugin will install

  • the configuration section on the reward points
  • the virtuemart payment "Creditpoints" plugin
  • the new "credit points" custom field in virtuemart and finally
  • the new "Credit" currency ready to use!

As you see it values the price of its cost. It seems "only a plugin" but many rows of code just for credits are in the reward points extension, and the plugin section is ...amazing, it handles really many many function. 

 


3 publish the plugin!

Go in joomla plugin manager, find it (under vmpayment plugins) and publish! You should find it at the end of all others vmpayment plugin, we coded a routine to move it always at the end in order to work with all features enabled (example: hiding the other payment methods when you want customers to see only credits). 

 


4 create the "credit payment method" in Virtuemart (and also the "money" methods to buy credits!)

You have now to create some payment methods in your store. Money payment (such as paypal, money transfert, etc) to buy credits, and Credits payment to buy products. You can obviously use creditpoints plugin just as a "pay with points" method (not a "full" credit system as Fotolia, iStockPhotos) you will decide after, in the main reward points configuration, how to do.

Go to the Virtuemart payment methods, and create a new method. First choose the plugin as shown in figure in the "payment method" field, then save once, then go in the configuration tab.

Credit to Currency Ratio (default is 1) is the ratio for credits/currency and it's set HERE (not in the currency page). The ratio is intended for "how many points for 1 of your currency" - where for example 10 means that 1 credit values 0.1 of your currency. 

We suggest to leave this 1 and decide later in the product page how much 1 credit costs. Easier!

Credit name is just for label in the transactions and in the module, just the title (example if you want to call credits "points" you can write here points.

Successful transactions and Failed transactions are important to be set. If you choose "pending" for successful transactions, credits are not automatically subtracted from customers until administrator put the order in "confirmed" or "shipped" status.

How orders will be treats will be discuss later in this manual.

The others are regular vm payment fields, set when necessary.

In particular, "Countries" should be leaved empty in order to be available to all your customers before they compile the registration form.

 

 


5 setup the configuration in Virtuemart Reward Points config

Go to VirtueMart Reward Points -> Configuration, you will find a new section on the bottom of the page. This section configures the credit points program and the main options.

Hide not-credit payment when buying products
You can hide the "not-credit" payment methods when purchasing regular product. In this way, a "regular" product of your shop can be purchased only with credits. Hide is the option to choose if you want a "full" credit system as fotolia does, or as in our demo website of credit points plugin (here). "Show" is useful when you are building your store, in order to check or debug the other methods.

Hide credit payment when purchasing credits
You can hide the credit payment when customers purchase new credits, so they will see only the money payments you created before. As above, Hide is the option for a "full" credit system, "show" is usefull during debug and website creation.

The previous 2 options should be set identical. You can experiment, but if you want a credit system, choose "hide" on both, if you want a "pay with points" system, choose "show".

If they are set "HIDE" the automatic selection of credits payment for regular products and money payment for credit product in the cart will be activated.

Validity for credit points from purchasing
Days of validity for credits. They are stored in the Virtuemart Reward Points extension. Note: this duration refers only to credit purchased, not "earned" as reward points.

Automatically switching currency from products and cart
One of the very great new feature! Now the plugin can switch currency from products page (such as home, browse page, product details) and cart, so when Customers purchase new credits they see their price in money, and when purchase products they see price in credits. Choose your shop master currency (it has to be the same you setup in "shop" in Virtuemart) and choose the "Credits" currency that is installed with the plugin (or another, if you want to create one and experiment).

Optional page to buy credits when needed
Another new feature! After creation of a menu link that points to a virtuemart "credit" product, you can choose in this popup the menu link. When customer's credits are insufficient, they will be redirect automatically to this page. They won't be able to finalize their order until they purchase credits. If you don't choose anything in the popup, they will be advice by "insufficient credits amount, please purchase new credits" message. They will still not able to finalize the order, but they will remain in the cart until in the "buy new credits" page.

When PAY WITH CREDITS exclude to win points from orders amount and product points
This disable the reward points to calculate new points when a customers are paying some products with credits. We suggest "exclude" is a good idea. You can eventually choose if you want to leave the bonus active or note with "discart" and "keep".

When BUY NEW CREDITS exclude to win points from orders amount and product points
As the previous point, exclude is a VERY GOOD idea. Exclude the reward points to give new points when customers are purchasing new credits. You can eventually choose to leave bonus active as above. 

Email setting for new credits purcase
This email will be sent when buying new credit points. You can simply specify witch joomla content to send (one each language, if you send the same content, you must specify it in each "content to email" popup). The title of the content will became the subject of the email. In both title than body of content, you can use the next variables. These are:

  • {username} = The username of the customer
  • {name} = Name of the customer
  • {order} = The Virtuemart order reference
  • {credits} = Total points earned from the order (including bonuses)
  • {newtotal} = New total user points of the customer.

 


6 create shop categories and the "buy credit" product

IMPORTANT! Separate "regular product" from "credit product".

A "Credit product" is product that will be used to buy new credits. A "Regular product" is a normal product that your sell

The easier method is to create two main categories: credits and products. Products will contain all other categories of your shops.

This is useful to create two separate menu link, one "buy credits" (that points to the credit product) and one "products" that points to a main virtuemart category (or more) that contains subcategories and so on. 

 

Now you have to create one "credit" product to let customers to buy credits. Simply create a new product in Virtuemart, (image A) put in the "Credits" category you created, choose a price for it (each, unit) and - in the custom field tab - choose the "Credit Points" custom field (image B). Write in the field how many new credits are purchase with the product:

  • Assign 1, give the price to the product as "price for each", and choose "hidden" from custom field configuration (image C).
  • Assign a quantity (example: 50), give the price for this pack of credits (example, 50$)

In the "Product Status" you can also specifying the minimum quantity of credits to purchase (as we done in the demo website). Anyway, until virtuemart will tune the price for that minimun quantity, you will have to specify this it in the description (as we done in the demo website) or in the template for the product.

You can also use the normal joomla overwriting feature to duplicate the Virtuemart's product page template and to give it a new name (example: credit.php), and then choose it in the menu that points to that product to replace the virtuemart default one.

image A - setup category and price for the product

 
image B - assign the custom field to the product

 

Display the credit custom field in the product page

Note: in order to show the credit custom field, as anyone else in VIrtuemart, you may set "ontop" or "onbottom" in the layout position field in the custom field setting (see next pict). We choose "middle" becuase we done a customization of our product page.

image C - the custom field configuration

 

If you want to customize the custom field, go in the custom field page, choose the credit points and edit.

You can setup a title here (note for developers: you will NOT be able to create other credit points custom fields just by giving the title, because the system doesn't recognize it by the title, but by the plugin name).

You can also decide to show / hide the custom field in the product page.

 
 

Example of "buy credit" product, page will be shown (based on your template) something like this. 

 


7 create (or import with a CSV component) your shop "regular" products

Just create as usual your shop products. It not important that you select "Credit" in the currency instead of €, $, etc, because the ratio is managed in the plugin, but if you want you can do. Also the switching from money currency and credits not depends on this, because Virtuemart is not able to do. So we built another method, based on recognize the product with the "credit points" custom field instead of the currency.

If you select the "Automatically switching currency from products and cart" option in the reward points configuration, at the credit points section, when you go in the "regular" product (or in the virtuemart home or in the browse page) it displays the CREDIT currency, when you go in the "buy credits" product  it displays your shop's main MONEY currency.

Example of "regular" product

 

 

8 publish the reward points module and setup it to "credit points"

Go in the module manager in joomla, create a new module (if not present) choosing "reward points module"

Publish the reward points module somewhere (we suggest on the top of the website, in "horizontal" mode).

Choose the layout (Module mode) you like more.

Choose the preset "Credit Points" (this will hide coupons and other things)

Choose the icon you like more (Money and Credits are oriented on credit points)

And publish on pages you need or on all pages.

 

 
 

9 check the features in the cart

Go in the front end of your website, you can login or test it as a guest.

  • A) Add a regular product in the cart
  • B) Check the cart. It should show the currency in credits.
  • C) Now go in the "buy credits" and add them in the cart and check.
  • D) Check the cart. It should show the message "cart saved" and the currency in money. Also it should enable the "Ugrade cart with saved". You can click the "Upgrade cart with saved" and it should restore the last cart.
  • E) Now go in a regular product different from before and add it to the cart.
  • F) Return on the cart. (In the process, check that credit points payment is auto-selected and auto-deselected - see "main configuration" at point 5). Again, click the "Upgrade cart with saved". If you choose a different product than before, it should add the cart with old products, restoring it. 

Note on the "intelligent auto-cart restoring feature"

If customer adds some new "regular" product to the cart, the "upgrade cart with saved" will add the products of the last cart to the existing one. It's intelligent, it does not only replace it! And if customer has still changed the quantity in the cart, it will keep the new quantity for that restored product. 

The testing procedure should shows something similar:

 

 

10 check user activities with the user administrator of reward points extension

As with points (because Credits are points) you can check your customers activities in the administrator, going to component -> Reward points for Virtuemart -> user manager 

 

 

 

11 test the cancelled, refund, pending, confirmed by shopper, confirmed and shipped status for orders

Test the new amazing intelligent refunding and re-confirmed procedure.

 

If you choose something different from "pending" in "successful order status" in the virtuemart payment setting for credit points method:

On user order of regular product: confirm order and delete credits
Upgrade from confirm (or confirmed by shopper) to shipped: do anything
Downgrade from shipped to confirmed (or confirmed by shopper): do anything
Downgrade from shipped, confirmed or confirmed by shopper to pending: do anything
From shipped, confirmed, confirmed by shopper, pending to refund or cancelled: refund credits
From refund or cancelled to pending: delete credits
From pending to confirmed or shipped etc: do anything 

On user order of new credits: confirm order and assign credits to customer
Upgrade from confirm (or confirmed by shopper) to shipped: do anything
Downgrade from shipped to confirmed (or confirmed by shopper): do anything
Downgrade from shipped, confirmed or confirmed by shopper to pending: do anything
From shipped, confirmed, confirmed by shopper, pending to refund or cancelled: delete credits purchased
From refund or cancelled to pending: restore credits deleted with refund or cancelled

 

If you choose "pending" in "successful order status" in the virtuemart payment setting for credit points method:

On user order of regular product: pending the order and do not delete credits
Upgrade to confirm (or confirmed by shopper) or shipped: delete credits
Downgrade from shipped to confirmed (or confirmed by shopper): do anything
Downgrade from shipped, confirmed or confirmed by shopper to pending: do anything
From shipped, confirmed, confirmed by shopper, pending to refund or cancelled: refund credits
From refund or cancelled to pending: delete credits
From pending to confirmed or shipped etc: do anything (just done before)

On user order of new credits: pending the order and do not assign credits to customer
Upgrade to confirm (or confirmed by shopper) or shipped: assign credits to customer
Downgrade from shipped to confirmed (or confirmed by shopper): do anything
Downgrade from shipped, confirmed or confirmed by shopper to pending: do anything
From shipped, confirmed, confirmed by shopper, pending to refund or cancelled: delete credits purchased
From refund or cancelled to pending: delete credits
From pending to confirmed or shipped etc: do anything (just done before)

 

You can work without fear, the credits balance (and the money for orders) will be always right!

 


Author notes and warranty

Author won't assume any responsabilities about method of using our software. Please write us questions, features request and bugs helping us to collect a developement forum and the requested updates of our extensions.