Commerce for Stations and Events

So you want to collect money or signup information, eh?

We're ready for that.

Basics of Commerce

The CCA Club site and each station site can transact online business, when enabled. Once we activate the commerce modules, each site can:

  • Take signups for an event
  • Sell items
  • Collect credit card payments (or other forms of payment, if they prefer)
  • Generate lists of attendees, and download them
  • Create their own payment or sales pages

This is done through "shopping cart" software. Our general choice is called "Ubercart," and is tightly coupled with the system that creates the sites.  Another related option is called Drupal Commerce.  Both work similarly for purposes of this discussion.

Money

An item may have a price, and variations on that price depending on quantity or other attributes selected.  When the buyer completes the checkout, if credit card information is entered, the card is charged and the amount is remitted to the bank account of the organization.  Each site controls its own finances. Specifically, each site, or station, should specify which "Merchant Account" (or Paypal). This is set up separately by the entity collecting the money.  Stations will likely prefer to do this themselves, rather than run their cash flow through the parent club.  We can provide advice on this if needed.

Once the merchant account is set up, we'll provision your site with the ability to collect credit card revenues.  In case you opt to provide a refund to someone, that needs to be handled in two places: first the order is marked "cancelled" and second, whoever manages the merchant account triggers the refund of that particular order.  At the CCA level, we keep these functions separate for "financial control" reasons.

Members

Members may check their purchase history at a provided link on the site, and they can see the status of the order (if that is relevant).  For each event, they can see who else is attending.  This tends to improve participation.

Usage

Generally, it's best to (a) create a calendared item such as "Beer party at Tad's House" and then create the payment page and link to it from the afore-mentioned calendar item.  There are other ways to go, but this is the more straightforward.

The payment page can have blanks for the number of attendees, meal choice, virtually anything.  These are called "attributes".  We have recently developed a neat way of only displaying the number of slots for names that correspond to the tickets bought.

The item can also be given a cutoff based on date or on quantity sold.  Or not.  Up to you.

Contact the webmaster to get this set up for your site.