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Managing Customers

You have to take good care of your customers. That means making sure their profile contains all the information you need to have a package shipped to them, following up on their support requests, creating special discount groups, knowing which orders have been completed and which have been abandoned, and much more.

The "Customers" menu enables you to check on your customers' details, create groups to which you can apply discounts, view the current shop carts, handle customer service, etc.

When installed for the first time with sample data, PrestaShop has a default user, named John DOE.

You can use this fake user to test some of your shop's features, and generally browse your shop and see it the way a regular user would.

To log in to your shop using this public account, use these credentials:

  • E-mail address: pub@prestashop.com
  • Password: 123456789

Before you open your shop to the public, make sure to delete this default user, or at least change its credentials! If not, malicious visitors could use it to make fake purchases and more.

Your customers

The first page under the "Customers" menu gives you a list of all the registered users on your shop.

This gives you a bird's eye view of your customers, with some details thrown in which you can use to sort and search accounts:

  • Title. Customers can declare their social title, which are matched with a genre and can help you better customize your customers' experience. There are three default social titles (Mr., Ms., and Miss), but you can create more in the "Titles" page under the "Customers" menu.
  • Age. Knowing the age of you customers can also help you better target your demographics, and choose to sell products that appeal more to them.
  • Enabled. Indicates whether the customer is active or not. You can disable an account by clicking on the green checkmark.
  • News.. Indicates whether the customer is subscribed to your shop's newsletter or not. You can unsubscribe it clicking on the green checkmark.
  • Opt.. Indicates whether the account has accepted to receive e-mails from your partners or not. You can unsubscribe it clicking on the green checkmark. Do not subscribe a user to these e-mails without their consent, as this is considered spam.
  • Registration date and last visit can always be useful when sorting user accounts.
  • Actions. You can edit the user's account, simply view it in full (with its messages, orders, addresses, vouchers, etc.), or trash it forever.

Below the customers table is the "Set required fields for this section" button. It opens a form where you can indicate if a database field is necessary or not by checking the appropriate boxes: this way, you can make it so fields such as "newsletter" or "optin" are mandatory when a visitor is creating a customer account on your shop.

You can export a list of your clients by clicking on the "Export" button at the top.
You can also import customers using the "Import" button. You will need your CSV file to follow this format:

ID;Title;Last name;First Name;Email address;Age;Enabled;News.;Opt.;Registration;Last visit;
2;1;Gorred;Francis;francis@example.com;-;1;0;0;2013-07-04 15:20:02;2013-07-04 15:18:50;
1;1;DOE;John;pub@prestashop.com;43;1;1;1;2013-07-02 17:36:07;2013-07-03 16:04:15;

More import options are available in the "CSV Import" page of the "Advanced parameters" menu.

Creating a New Customer Account

To create a customer account manually, select "Add New". A form appears.

Fill out the customer's information:

  • Title. Choose between the ones available, or create another one in the "Titles" page under the "Customers" menu.
  • First name, Last name, E-mail address. Those are essential: the names are used in the confirmation e-mails that PrestaShop sends, and the e-mail address is used for log-in.
  • Password. Choose a password, at least 5 characters long.
  • Birthday. This information can be used for birthday e-mails and temporary discounts.
  • Status. You may wish to create an account, but not have it yet active.
  • Newsletter. Can be used by the "Newsletter" module, for sending regular information to those customers who requested it.
  • Opt-in. Can be used by modules for sending regular partner promotions to those customers who requested it. Do not subscribe a user to these e-mails without their consent, as this is considered spam.
  • Group access. Having customer groups enables you to create group discounts. Many other PrestaShop feature can also be group-restricted. You will learn more about group in the "Groups" section of this chapter of the PrestaShop user guide.
  • Default customer group. No matter how many groups that customer belongs to, s/he should always have one main group.

If your customers are mostly companies, you should enable the B2B mode in order to get additional options: go to the "Customers" page of the "Preferences" menu, and choose "Yes" for the "Enable B2B mode" option.

Viewing a User's Information

In the case where you would like to have more information on a given customer, you can click on the "view" button, located at the end of the row in the customer's list. A new page appears.

The various sections provide you with some key data on the user:

  • Customer information, first and last name, e-mail address, ID, sign-up date, date of last visit, rank.
  • Information regarding the subscription to the store's newsletter and subscription to ads from partnering companies, the age, date of last update, and whether or not the account is active.
  • Private notes from the store's employees (i.e. you or your team).
  • Messages sent by the customer to the shop's team (through customer service).
  • The groups to which the customer belongs.
  • Summary of the customer's past purchases. Amount spent, type of payment, order status. For more information about each order, click on the icon in the "Actions" column.
  • Summary of the products that were ordered by a customer. Among other things, this enables you to know when a customer is very fond of a product, and maybe create a special discount for the 10th purchase. Clicking on a product directs to the order to which that product is tied.
  • Registered addresses.
  • Available vouchers / cart rules.
  • Carts that the customers has created (but not necessarily validated) since sign-up. When your customer is currently on your shop, you can see what is being added to the cart in real time.
  • Previous connection to the shop.

Searching for a Customer

Searching for a customer on your PrestaShop shop can be done two different ways.

The first method is to enter the information you have into the PrestaShop search bar, which is found in the top center of your back-office. By selecting "everywhere", "by name" or "by ip address", you can perform a search based on:

  • ID. The numbers that is assigned to the customer in the database.
  • First or last name. Note that you cannot search for both: choose either "john" or "doe", as "john doe" won't work.
  • E-mail address.
  • IP address. You can search using the IP of the latest connection to your shop.

The results, if any, are then presented: the list presents you with the users' ID, social title, e-mail, birthday, registration date, amount of orders and whether or not the user's account is active. From there on, you can view the whole user's page, or edit its details.

The second method consists of going to the "Customers" page, and listing all of your customers.

On this page, you can complete the fields at the top of the list, in order to filter it according to the following criteria: ID, social title, first name, last name, e-mail address, age, account status (enabled or disabled), subscription to the newsletter, subscription to partnering ads, registration date, and last connection date. Enter your criteria and click the "Filter" button in the top right-hand corner of the table. You can then sort the list for some of the columns.

Click the "Reset" button to go back to the complete list.

Addresses

By clicking on the "Addresses" page, you will have access to the list of your customer's home addresses. You can edit them using the "Edit" button, or delete them altogether.

You also have the possibility to create them yourself with the "Add New" button.

Below the addresses table is the "Set required fields for this section" button. It opens a form where you can indicate if a database field is necessary or not by checking the appropriate boxes: this way, you can make it so fields such as "company" or "phone number" are mandatory when a customer is registering a new address on your shop.

Groups

PrestaShop enables you to give your customers certain privileges, by assigning them to Groups. You can create as many customer groups as needed, and assign a user to as many groups as you like.

This is all done from the "Groups" page, under the "Customers" menu.

By default, three special groups are available:

  • Visitor. All persons without a customer account or unauthenticated.
  • Guest. Customer who placed an order with the Guest Checkout – that option needs to be enabled.
  • Customer. All persons who created an account on your shop, and are authenticated.

These three groups replace the "Default" group from PrestaShop 1.4, which applied to all users. They cannot be deleted.

To create more groups, click the "Add New" button: you will get a creation form.

  • Name. Use a short and descriptive name.
  • Discount (%). The discount that you set for members of this group applies to all products on your shop.
    You may prefer to not set any discount value, and create cart rules. You can learn more about cart rules in the next chapter of this guide, "Creating Price Rules and Vouchers".
  • Price display method. PrestaShop is frequently used in the Business to Business (B2B) sector. You can create a group of customers who can buy products without paying the tax. The drop-down list gives you a choice between "tax included" and "tax excluded".
  • Show prices. By default, all users of your shop can view the prices. You may prefer some to not have access to your product prices. For instance, you could make it so users can only view prices if they have an account: from the groups list, click on the green check-mark in the "Show prices" column for the "Visitors" group to turn it into a red cross.

Once these settings are in place, you can save the group as-is, or add per-category and/or per-module settings, by clicking on either the "Save" button or the "Save then add a category reduction" one.

In that second case, the form will reload with two more options:

  • Category discount. Click on the "Add a category discount" to bring up a new window, which contains a list of all your categories. You can pick one, and apply a specific discount which will apply for that group of customers only, and to that category only.
    Note that:
    • Only products which have this category as their default category will be affected by the discount. Products which have this category as a secondary category will not be affected.
    • This category discount will replace any other discount that members of this group would otherwise enjoy on this category.
    • You can add as many category discounts for this customer group as you need – thereby enabling to entirely give this group a whole set of different discounts if you feel the need.
  • Modules restrictions. This section enables you to block members of this group to access and use some of your shop's modules. For instance, you might prefer some customers to not be able to see your top-sellers or to your specials. You can move modules from the left panel ("Authorized panel") to the right one ("Unauthorized panel") by either drag-and-dropping them with your mouse cursor, or by select many modules at a time and clicking on the "Unauthorize" button at the bottom.

You can add a customer to a group of your choice by editing a customer's details: from the list of customers (in the "Customers" page under the "Customers" menu), click on the Edit icon on the customer's line. Then, on the "Groups" table, select the group(s) to which you want your customer to belong.

Shopping Carts

PrestaShop contains some very powerful marketing features that enable you to see the products that customers are adding to their carts in real time. There are two ways to achieve this:

  1. Go to the "Clients" page in the "Clients" menu, find the customer you are looking for, and view his or her customer profile. In that profile, scroll down to the "Shopping carts" section, where you can see all the carts created by this customer.
  2. Go to the "Shopping carts" page in the "Clients" menu. The carts are sorted by ID. Find the customer you are looking for.

In both cases, you can click the "View" icon to see the content of your client's cart, and use this information to improve your commercial performance.

Click the "View" icon on the right to get the cart's details.

In the cart's page, the most important information is in the "Cart Summary" section, where you can see what products the customer chose to purchase, the price of each item, the quantity they put in their cart, and the total value of their cart.

Managing abandoned carts

Cart abandonment often means that a sale has been lost.  The "Shopping cart" page indicates the carts that have not been turned into proper orders, and it is up to you to remind the customer that they can still come back to finish their purchase.

Abandoned carts (or "ghost carts") will have a delete link at the end of each row, while carts without delete links are processed carts, i.e. the purchase has been confirmed and you are supposed to send the products.

By default, it is up to you to contact the customer about his abandoned cart. You can install the Customer Follow-up module, which is available in the default installation and enables you to send vouchers to those who have abandoned their shopping carts, or to those who you want to thank for their order, to the best clients to thank them for their purchases and for being faithful... Note that this can lead to abuse: some customers might abandon carts on purpose in order to receive a voucher...

You can also buy PrestaShop's Abandoned Cart Reminder module for a complete tool: http://addons.prestashop.com/en/checkout-modules/3503-abandoned-cart-reminder.html.

Customer Service

PrestaShop enables you to centralize all the customers' request within its confines. This helps you keep track of which discussion threads needs answering, rather than having to check with all the recipients of the mail to see if someone did answer it.

In practice, the contact form of your shop, available under the "Contact us" link at the bottom of your front-office, presents the customer with two contacts by default: "Webmaster" and "Customer Service". The customer only has to choose who to contact, and then fill the rest of the fields. The message is then recorded in PrestaShop's customer service tool.

Discussion threads are only included in the customer service tool if the contact has the "Save Message?" option enabled. You can change this setting, or add more contacts, by going to the "Contact" page, under the "Customers" menu. This page is explained in detail in the next section of this chapter of the PrestaShop User Guide.

If the option is disabled for the contact that the customer chooses, the message is simply sent to the contact's e-mail address, and is not stored in PrestaShop.

You also need to properly configure your IMAP settings, so that PrestaShop can retrieve the customer's answers to e-mail that were sent from the customer service tool. This is done in the "Customer service options" section.

On this page, each contact has its own box, where you can quickly see if a there are new messages (meaning, those that have not yet been read). By default there are two, and adding more contacts will move the "Meaning of status" and "Customer service: statistics" boxes further to the left and down.

These two last boxes are handy when you need to handle new messages daily:

  • Meaning of status. A simple reminder of the color codes that your team can apply to a discussion thread.
  • Customer service: statistics. An overview of the global activity of your customer service since the beginning.

Further below is the list of received messages, both old and new.

You can edit a couple options at the bottom of the page, which apply to all contacts:

  • Allow file upload. Whether the customer can attach a file to the message. This can be useful in case of visual issues on the front-page, as the customer can send you screen captures.
  • Pre-defined message. The default template for your employees' answer. Keep it simple, so that it can adapt to many situations, even if it needs a little editing for each case.

Finally, the bottom of the page features the "Customer service options" section, where you can set many options pertaining to your mail (IMAP) server.

Handling Customer Service Messages

Each conversation with a customer can be entirely handled through PrestaShop's complete interface, without having to use an e-mail client such as Outlook or Thunderbird.

In the conversation list, click on a row to view to view the conversation's details:

  • Forward this discussion to an employee. From the moment an employee has started replying to a customer message, he becomes in charge of the customer's request. If during the discussion it turns out another employee should handle it instead, you can use that drop-down menu to attribute it. That other employee will receive a notification about it.
  • Change status of message. You can apply a handful of color-coded status to a discussion, in order to quickly sort them and thus handle them quicker. There are 4 available statuses:
    • Open. The issue is still going, or has not yet been answered.
    • Closed. The issue is been resolved.
    • Pending 1 and Pending 2. These two statuses are internal: their meaning is up to your team. You may even choose to not them, and only rely to "Open" and "Closed".
  • Essential details are available:
    • Customer name (used as section title) and ID.
    • Sent on. Date of the latest message in the discussion.
    • Browser used. This can be very useful when having to debug an error on your front-office.
    • Subject. The default subject for a new discussion thread is the one chosen by the customer when choosing a contact. If it turns out it was not the right choice, you can change it using this drop-down menu. For instance, the customer chose to write about "Customer service", whereas the discussion is mostly about "Webmaster" issues.
    • Thread ID and Message ID. These help you count the number of exchanges needed to reach a conclusion for the customer's issue.
    • Message. Finally, the message itself.

Clicking "Reply to this message" will display a form with your default message. The default message is set in the "Contacts" page as set in the "Contacts" page.

Customer Service Options

This section basically enables you to precisely configure PrestaShop's access to your e-mail server through its IMAP interface. You should make sure all fields are filled in order for the customer service tool to work properly. Most of this information should be provided by your webhost.

  • IMAP URL, IMAP port, IMAP user and IMAP password. Essential details to access the e-mail server using the IMAP protocol.
  • Delete message. If enabled, messages on the server will be deleted as soon as PrestaShop has retrieved them. Use with caution: this would make your messages unavailable to other e-mail clients.
  • /norsh. If enabled, the connection to your e-mail server will not pre-authenticated. Not recommended.
  • /ssl. If enabled, the connection to your e-mail server will not be encrypted. Not recommended.
  • /validate-cert. If enabled, PrestaShop will force the validation of the server's TLS/SSL certificate.
  • /novalidate-cert. If enabled, PrestaShop will never try to validate the server's TLS/SSL certificate. Essential for servers with self-signed certificates.
  • /tls. If enabled, PrestaShop will force use of StartTLS to encrypt the connection. Servers that do not support StartTLS will be rejected.
  • /notls. If enabled, PrestaShop will not use StartTLS to encrypt the session, even with servers that support it.

Contacts

To facilitate communication with your clients, you can create multiple contact accounts. For example: customer service, technical support, sales department, etc. This feature allows your customers to directly contact the right person according to their needs.

To contact the appropriate team of employees from your shop's front-office, the customer clicks either on the "Contact" link at the top of the page, or on the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page. The contact form appears.

The customer is then asked to choose the service to contact, enter the e-mail address and then complete the message. A drop-down menu makes it possible to choose which order is being discussed, and even which product from that order.

In order for the message to be redirected to the intended recipient, you must configure the contacts in your shop.

By clicking on the "Contacts" page under the "Customers" menu, you can access the existing list of contacts.

Click the "Add new" button to access the contact creation form:

  • Title. The name of the contact: either a person's name, or the name of the service itself. You could also choose to use a phrase, such as "I have a problem with my order", "I want to return a product" or "I want to become a partner".
  • E-mail address. The address can be the same as another contact. In fact, all contacts can share the same address if you don't really have a team – customers will never know, but having many contacts helps them trust your shop, as it means there are many people working for your shop.
  • Save messages?. Indicate if the e-mail is to be saved in the "Customer Service" tool, or simply sent to the e-mail address. If disabled, PrestaShop will not help you handle customer service for this contact. This might be useful for "Partner e-mail", as you might not want your customer service employees to have access to these.
  • Description. Make it short, no more than a single line, as it is displayed to the customer in the contact form.

Social Titles

Previous versions of PrestaShop had hard-coded customer genders: a customer could only choose between "Mr.", "Ms." and "Miss".

The social title tool helps you better define your customers: in the customers list, you can choose to only display customers having a given social title. Modules may also rely on social titles for certain features.

Clicking on the "Add new" button brings you to a form:

  • Name. You can choose anything, from the very common ("Sir", "Lady", "Gentleman", etc.) to the very unusual ("Jedi", "Magnificent One", "Money carrier"...). The important thing when departing from the commonly accepted titles is to reflect your shop's true identity.
  • Type. Some names may apply to both male and female customers. Be sure to set that option to "Neutral" then.
  • Image. A 16*16 image file representing the title. Classic gender symbol are the Mars and Venus ones (♂ and ♀), but there are many other possibilities. PrestaShop enables you to characterize your creation with a unique image.
  • Image width and Image height. PrestaShop works best with 16*16 image, and will resize your image if it bigger than that. Nevertheless, you might feel necessary to use bigger images, and these two options enable you to set the exact size required by your image. If you enter "0", PrestaShop will simply use the image's original size.
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