How to Use Attributes Quantity Price Discounts Field in Zen Cart

May 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Zen Cart Optimization

Recently in the forums I answered a question that reminded me of a situation I was quite a while back. An avid Zen Cart follower had a question on how to use the attributes quantity discount option within Zen Cart.

The question was as follows:

“Can someone please tell me plain and simple, how do you use the Attributes Qty Price Discount Field?

What is the syntax?

I have a single product and price is based on quantity as follows.

1-4 $35 ea
5-9 $25 ea
10-19 $20 ea
20-49 $12.50 ea
50-99 $7.50 ea
100+ $5.00 ea”

The answer is as follows for those of you looking for it. Keep in mind that there are “2 structural ways” you can use quantity discounts within Zen Cart.

  1. The first way is to simply offer a quantity discount for a single product based on the number of items the user puts into their cart (like bulk discounting).
  2. The second way to use them is to offer a Quantity Discount on an Attribute of the product. For example and illustration, the product is priced at $50.00 and you can add-on a “pen” (again, for illustration only) for an extra $1.20. However, if you add-on 5 -10 pens, you get them for $1.00 each. Add 10 or more, get them for $.75 and so on.That is an example of using quantity discounts on an Attribute of the main product (not the main product itself).

Ok, so having explained that, I’ll detail my response to the Zen Cart question presented above. The following is how you would setup Quantity Discount Pricing for Zen Cart using the sample figures mentioned earlier.

The Answer

Take the following string (adjust to fit your needs) …


And paste it into your “Attributes Qty Price Discount:” box for the product attribute you wish to “discount by quantity”.

If you are doing “Quantity Discounts (not directly related to a single product ‘attribute’)”, follow the same concept as above, except do the following:
1. From within the Admin click on Catalog > Attributes Controller.

2. Find the product for which you want to offer a quantity discount for and once selected, click on the “Display” button

3. Now, the product will be selected. Click on the “Price Manager” button near the top of the page

4. Scroll all the way to the bottom of that page and find the section that says “Preview Only … Current Price Status … Preview Only”. Click on the “Edit” button.

5. Scroll to the bottom of the next screen, and find the area that says “Add 5 Blank Qty Discounts:” and has a “add blank discounts” button under it. (bottom left). Click the button. (If you need more qty discount options, click the button again until you have the required number. Each time you click, 5 more option spaces will be added). As an example, if you need 6 quantity discount options then you will need to click the button TWO times in order to get enough options to fulfill your “6 qty discount levels” needed. (you’ll end up with 10 boxes, just fill in the 6 you need and leave the remaining 4 blank).

6. That will bring up a section that allows you to set your prices and qty discounts accordingly. Set them and be sure to click the “Update” button to save. Viola, ready to go! If there are extra “option boxes”, just leave them blank. After you click “Update” they will “disappear”.

That should do it! Comments? Questions? Post them here.

A few tips to help generate sales from Zen Cart

Ok, it’s been a while. I have been “out” working to increase sales on a number of sites using Zen Cart (new and old).

They just keep getting more exciting so I am making it a point to post more often and on a weekly basis the findings we have uncovered with a number of zen cart projects relating to an increase in sales.

In addition, after running through the forums for sometime over at “Zen Headquarters”, I decided to post a number of “How To’s” that I have come across while assisting others in developing usable solutions for their e-commerce store.

A few quick “adjustment tips” you can make to your Zen Cart in order to help increase conversion:

  1. Create a unique “Home Page” (using the “define_main_page.php” file located in /includes/languages/html_includes/[YOUR TEMPLATE]/define_main_page.php) that specifically targets your audience. Don’t try to do too much with it. Just give your audience what they are looking for, and get them to it in the least amount of clicks.
  2. Most home pages seem to do better with the “right side column” turned off. In fact, I like to use the global override (from within the Admin) in order to change the cart to a more simple “2 column layout” across the board. Keeping it simple is the name of the game. Give a user too much to choose from, and information overload takes over … causing a higher abandonment rate (and a decrease in conversion).
  3. If utilizing it on your site, customize your search results to display at least something even when no results are found. If a user searches on an item, and you do not sell that item in your store, why not show them other items that are similar which they may be interested in! This will help to “keep traffic” and give you another shot at making a sale (rather than simply have them leave because nothing fit their search).
  4. Create a navigational structure that “speaks” to your target audience. An important step toward increasing sales is to allow your potential customers to find what it is they are looking for. For example, if your products can be sold to both boys and girls, then rather than have a navigational structure that simply lists out all the categories you offer, it would be better to list them under separate “headings” (that “speak” to your customer) like: Shop for Girls (and under this include all items / categories that fit girls only). Or … Shop For Boys (and under include items / categories for boys only).
  5. When possible, keep your navigation as simple as possible with as few “deep level sub-categories” as possible. The more clicks a user has to take to get to the product, the greater the chance they will leave all together (decreasing conversion and resulting in potential lost sales for you.).

These are just a few of a large number of items you should consider when looking to develop a “user friendly” shopping experience with Zen Cart. More to come in the future.

How to optimize Zen Cart templates to increase sales from your store


After looking high and low for what seemed to be “an eternity”, for an open source e-commerce shopping cart that was not only reliable, but offered enough flexibility to allow change, ZenCart was the hands down winner.

I have been working with this cart for over 2 years now, and through that short time, have seen it go through a number of alterations. Each revision progressivly built upon the last, and each made the cart stronger from a “technical” standpoint. Currently the most recent release as of this post is 1.3.x.

Zen Cart alone (what I call “out-of-the-box” Zen) is one extremely powerful cart – from a structural and technological perspective. “Out-of-the-box”, Zen Cart by itself, can produce some ok results (I’m talking sales here).

However, to REALLY get Zen to perform (from a sales perspective), the focus also has to be on the “Customer Experience” side of the equation (not just the “technical” side which is already solid). To get Zen Cart to “sell” you need to answer the question: “How do my customers perceive my site when they arrive, and how can I implement proven best practices to give them “what they want”, “when they want it”, and “get them out the door easily” (complete the entire checkout process). Sounds easy enough right? WRONG!

Read my previous post titled “The Online Customer Experience” to learn more about the various parts that make up a website that “works”, and how they all tie together to ultimately make your site produce more sales.

There is a lot that goes into actually applying these principles. Starting with multiple tracking systems that need to be in place (you ARE measuring your website’s conversion aren’t you! If not, don’t worry, I’ll show you why you NEED to measure it in order to put Zen on “steroids”) from follow-up newsletters and autoresponders, to proper navigation, to ease of use, to customer retention systems, and more…

I’ll continually post new and proven tactics (including samples) to this blog which will all revolve around “How you can transform Zen Cart into not only one of the most powerful open source e-commerce shopping carts today, but how that transformation will produce superior sales results for your business“.

From the “must have” 3rd party add-on modules (modules that actually can increase your sales) to the best “layouts” for achieving optimal sales performance.
Stay tuned ….