I would like to share my site and hopefully receive constructive criticism and insights to areas which may be flawed or would benefit from improvement. Also, if anyone finds something of interest I will try to share the code if you wish.
My site – http://www.luxchroma.com
Custom page when no search results are found. A email is sent to the store admin email stating the term used that trigger a no result. This gives more ideas for products to stock : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...ch_results.jpg
Custom checkout process template. The theory is to keep customers concentrated on the task of checking out. http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...kout_login.jpg (inspired by cafepress.com's checkout process, they use one page checkout which I will testing again shortly)
A survey after checkout success. This provides valuable customer insight as well as product design ideas :
Coupon codes provided for customer reviews. When a review is made an email is sent to the admin email and the review must be approved in the admin panel : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...view_write.jpg
Image uploader in the customer account area. For customer appreciation photos a design requests : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...ux_uploads.jpg
Added a Facebook Like tracker in the admin panel snapshot : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...ebook_snap.jpg
Added colorization to the order snap shot so a quick glance can check for new orders : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...order_snap.jpg
(This was hardcoded)
When flat rate shipping is activated show graphical promo on the product page : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...ipping_pop.jpg
In admin, added custom title tags to products (w/counter), added custom product type (for sorting), added youtube video integration, now using TABs for extra display information outside of the default TAB integration. Example: the product name is ‘Peace Sign’. TAB 6 places the work ‘Light’ to the end of the product name on the product’s page. This is for easy SEO experimentation without needed to change the product URL : http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...lux_orders.jpg
Also in the above mod the TAB ‘Short Desc. Quote’ allows to add information to the product page that is excluded from the feedmachine during product feed construction.
In the shopping cart the custom can change the attributes of the products via drop down menu. The page refreshed when the custom selects a new attribute. (only works with drop downs)
The front page shows random products. Achieved by adding custom product type attribute to each product.
Moved the search bar and my account, cart contents, and checkout links to breadcrumb row. Removed ‘Top’ from breadcrumbs.
Removed the TABs system and manually expanded relevant information directly below the fold. Old tab system - Lighted Peace Sign - Glowing Wall Art and Decor - new default view - Lighted Peace Sign - Glowing Wall Art and Decor
The product_info page shows a template depending on the custom product type : example - HALO product type Lighted Peace Sign - Glowing Wall Art and Decor vs. Light Art product type Abstract Light Art - Colorful Night Light - Glowing Home Decor Notice the youtube video integration (second link). (not much of a template difference other than removing auxiliary product information and spacing.
Added ability for customer to quickly send an email from the product info page! (passes through contact_us.php)
PDF invoice modification. Shipping address is juxtaposed next to the billing address for better and quicker clarity if the addresses is different. Removed redundant order ID from the bottom. Added spaces around products rows for clarity. http://www.luxchroma.com/images/offs...ux_invoice.jpg
Added links to the top and bottom of the template to the various information pages.
Added cart image with checkout buttons and cart total to the top right of the template. (inspired by pgmarshall and the cottonbarn site)
Added multiple side catalog menus for better product line separation and organization. I did not want to us submenus as they add extra complexity for uses that is not necessary for this site.
Added Facebook Like/Send box, Google +1 box, and addthis Social Bookmarking applet to all product pages.
Removed slider from thumbnail box on product_info pages, now shows all product thumbs. My goal is to keep it simple for the visitor.
‘View All Items’ has been moved to the top of the categories box. When the visitor clicks ‘view all’ the search page forces all items to show. Removed all pagenation from search and the categories. (not practical for many other stores, however) Forced grid view. Forced 5 rows of thumbs. Removed ‘Buy Now’ or ‘More Info’ buttons. Added new sort ability to sort by 'date added'.
Review pages have been stripped down. Links to view ‘all reviews’ provided in the product pages (as my products are all similar)
Removed the need to have mopics sequentially named. Naming images pic_1.jpg, pic_2.jpg, and pic_5.jpg will now show all the pictures instead of breaking after pic_2.jpg. (mopics now scans for images names _1 to _100. Alpha character support removed) This allows to color code images for future modifications as I can give all the red product images a suffix of _21 and still have them show on the products page.
Customized feedmachine to meet Google’s feed requirements. (soon to add Google category and other attribute information to the product admin page / database) Added mopics support to the Google feed as they accept extra product images.
Added feeds for Bing and the Find.
Automatic reply sent when custom uses the contact_us form.
All emails sent by the store are copied and sent to a debug email account.
Forced account creation when guests checkout. (email sent with automatically generated password) Cleaned up the account creation process during checkout. The goal is not to scare customers away with a zillion input fields. Added images to shipping options. USPS, UPS logos now show. (for strong branding and customer recognition.)
SEO related mods:
Custom H1 and H2 tags on the product_info pages on a per product basis.
Custom Title tags on a per product basis. (soon, custom meta tags)
Forced canonical tags built based on SEO URLs on all products pages. (strips out all parameters) Helped to deindex none SEO URLs links.
SEO friendly image names. This is the most important aspect of the site as the bulk of the site’s traffic comes from images searches. (which is high quality traffic for the site!)
Blocked all thumbs in robots.txt. This has DOUBLED the image referral traffic.
Add product gallery of customized design with a semi-prominent link.
Add visual color indicator next to product name on the shopping cart page as well as through the applicable checkout pages.
Possibly add higher caliber trust seals (like verisign)
Have product pictures for each product color available.
Add contextual pictures showing products in natural placed environments.
Add full tracking number support in admin, customer email, and customer login area.
That's all I have for now without digging to deep into my modification notes. As stated, questions welcome. I hope my site inspires some good looking osCmax stores!