ASA2 has a new feature for automatic replace of unavailable products

Timo ASA 2 Pro, Updates Leave a Comment

This post is also available in: deDeutsch (German)

ASA2 version 1.15.4 is out and it brings a special feature: The automatic replacement of unavailable products.

What is it good for?

Affiliate marketing is all about getting the visitor interested in a buy link so that they click on it. If the product is not available, it cannot be ordered and the commission is lost.

Keeping track of the availability of all advertised products is not only impossible, but also unproductive. Therefore, the new function of ASA2 has the approach to independently find a replacement product with as little preparatory work as possible and to display it if the main product should not be available. Because every semi matching available product is better than an unavailable one.

How does it work?

When updating a product (e.g. via the Amazon PA API), and it is detected that it is currently unavailable, ASA2 can search for an alternative. If an alternative product is found, it will be stored in the products area and linked to the main product as a replacement.

This connection remains until the main product is updated again. When it is available again, the connection with the replacement product remains deleted.

This entire procedure is optional and must first be activated via the “Auto-replaceoption. As long as this is not the case, ASA2 works as before.

Influencing the search for replacements

 

You can influence the search for a replacement product in several ways:

  • Search term: By default, the product title is used as search term. You can specify an optional search term for each product if the title is not suitable for a search.
  • Search in the same category as the main product. This usually makes sense, so that a product of the same type can be found as a replacement.
  • Search for the same brand.
  • Search for the same author.
  • Search for the same artist.

You can find more details in the online documentation.

How can I check this?

To get a deeper insight into the process, there is a separate logging option for this new feature. You can find it in the “Options > Logging” section. When activated, you will find details about the process of finding a replacement product in the “Log” section.

What are the next steps?

Certainly, the possibilities of this function are not yet exhausted. In this first version it should start as simple as possible. If you like it but can’t use it yet, I’m looking forward to your feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Smart Collection

New sorting option

Smart Collections can now be sorted by Custom Fields, which makes this already very versatile shortcode even more flexible. For example, if you have set up custom values for your ASA2 products using the ACF plugin, you can now use them to sort a product list.

For example, if you use a custom field called “custom_rating” to store a custom rating for products, you can sort by it using the new filter option “cf_*“. You have to replace * with the name of your custom field:

[asa2_smart_collection cat=”4″ limit=”0″ orderby=”cf_custom_rating” order=”desc” /]

Improved handling of i18n

When using ASA2’s i18n feature, only parent products will now show up in a Smart Collection, or those that do not have i18n child products. This avoids that the same products from different countries are displayed next to each other.

Solved issues

  • The placeholders for the item dimensions did not work (width, height, length, weight)
  • When creating a new template, there was a problem when the default HTML text was missing
  • The availability of a product was calculated incorrectly, which could cause inconsistencies between the display in the dashboard and on the product page
  • The caching for the shortcode [asa2_smart_collection] was not prepared for custom products
  • The function to reset the default i18n mappings did not work
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This post is also available in: deDeutsch (German)

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About the Author

Timo

I started working on AmazonSimpleAdmin back in 2007 because I could not find an Amazon plugin for WordPress that met my requirements. After many years of experience and hard work, the complete new ASA 2 Pro was released in early 2016. Follow me on Twitter. Learn more about me and the story behind ASA in this interview on expertentesten.de (in German).

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