If you’ve been following what we’ve been publishing here over the years you know how much Web AddiCT(s); love SMS. I fondly remember learning what was possible with LAMP and the first site I built on my favourite open source platform. It was 2003 and a few friends and I patched together site1 that attempted to build a community that targeted the tourism industry. There were no Bulk SMS providers worth mentioning back then. Actually, let’s rephrase.. there were no free Bulk SMS providers. Our friends at Clickatell were founded in 2000 but we couldn’t afford to utilize their services then. When you’re a student the cost sending an SMS actually had a direct impact on your budget (or lack thereof). Back then you were allowed to send a free sms to any Vodacom number via email. Having just grasped PHP’s mail() function I quickly set site1 to alert my friends & I whenever a new user signed up or anyone completed the online contact form. Remember, this was before the days of smart phones and push notifications. So much has changed since then, yet SMS remains an ubiquitous communication mechanism, the web has evolved and with it our need to always be connected and informed.
Gerhard Potgieter released a WordPress SMS plugin that allows you to build an opt-in list of subscribers and allows you the functionality of sending out a Bulk SMS to your subscribers. You can see it in action in the sidebar of this site (SMS competition Alerts).
A few months ago the WooTeam assimilated JigoShop into WooThemes, rebranding it WooCommerce. A brilliant move by Adii and the rest fo the WooTeam.
With WooCommerce morphing your WordPress blog into a full featured e-commerce shopping cart some extra functionality is required. Alerting your customers to the status of their orders via SMS using the Clickatell APi is one of those features I’m sure most online stores would desire. With Gerhard already having designed the Clickatell SMS Alert WordPress plugin that has been downlaoded 5000 times, the next obvious step would be creating something for the 30 000 strong WooCommerce community…
It’s called WooCommerce Clickatell SMS Notifications, basically the idea behind it is to keep WooCommerce customers in the loop of the progress of their orders, you can personalise the messages with variables ranging from the customer name, address, order total to the order status. Shop owners can enable/disable automatic sending of sms updated based on the status of the order. There is also ability to send out special SMS updates from the customer order page and then the option of sending out bulk sms messages to all your customers from the WordPress dashboard.
Like I mentioned I am also busy with the development of a lite version, basically this version will have no customization options, SMS updates will always be sent out no matter what the order status changes to, and you will not have the ability to use variables in the messages to personalise it. There is also no bulk messaging widget in the lite version.
Keep a lookout for the WooCommerce Clickatell SMS Notifications plugin coming to your Woo within the next few weeks.
Update: Clickatell SMS Notifications for WooCommerce now available to download.
The Clickatell SMS Notifications plugin for WooCommerce allows you to keep you customers updated on the progress of their orders by sending them SMS notifications when their order statuses change.
SMS Notifications are fully customisable via the settings pages, allowing you to give the messages a personal touch by adding order totals, first names and the shop name. You also have the option to enable/disable SMS notification depending on the status of the order.
You can get delivery reports on each message that is sent. Delivery reports are integrated into the WooCommerce order notes system showing when SMS messages have been sent, what the message was and whether it was delivered or not with a short error message explaining what went wrong.