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Northwest Airlines: WORLDgear Webstore  
of Northwest Airlines, sent in the following note about the success of their WebStore.

"When the project for the web store was started, one of my coworkers began working on it. She had looked at a number of pre-packaged web stores that were available. I showed her yours and how easy it was to customize. Eventually, this resulted in her purchasing the CGI for Commerce book and then passing the project off to me.

The success of WORLDgear comes from the popularity of NWA.COM. Whenever they highlight the store, it brings in orders.

[I made] many changes after the initial design. The largest change was to pass html output as variables instead of printing it out. This obviously allowed me to:

  • change the sidebar highlighting for whatever section the user was in
  • change the category heading for each type of search results
  • provide more user-friendly error handling.

In addition, a system was incorporated to do form field verification, such as credit card number needing to be 12 digits, or the zip in all numbers if a US order.

We also combined the delete and change quantity screens (0 is used to remove the item). We also added an error message in case someone fails to enter any quantity and then presses 'Add Items to Cart'.

There are also some behind the scenes actions going on for the order. Each option in the store has its own item number. However, it is set up so that the end-user sees one item number with the order option, while the store admin gets the particular order number for the option selected (more substitutions going on).

I set up a routine to provide an error message for clicking on links that would leave the store, and cart id. This is just a simple passthrough script that carries the cart_id info as a hidden var. When the template pages are brought in, the cart_id, cust_id is substituted as part of any link on the page.

There is an extra option column for price if it is a taxable item (MN doesn't charge tax on clothes).

If you are interested in any particular routines, please let me know and I'll see what I can do to put the code together for you so that it makes sense."