Before you get started selling your stuff in Ontraport, let’s go over some important sales concepts — namely, the differences between purchases, transactions and open orders.
Purchases are a record of the products customers buy. Anytime someone successfully buys something from you, the thing they bought will show up in their “Purchases” history.
Transactions are records that are created each time an order gets processed. One transaction might have several products in it and will have a status such as “successful” or “declined”, “write-off”, “void” and so on.
Open orders are standing orders. They keep track of transactions that will be run in the future, like subscriptions or payment plans. Open orders describe what’s going to be purchased and when. Every time an open order runs, a new transaction gets created and, if the transaction is successful, the purchase will be recorded in purchases too.
To keep track of your contacts’ payment history, you’ll simply go to the “Purchases” tab in their contact record where you’ll find all three of the subcollections - for purchases, transactions, and open orders. If you want to see sales reports for all clients at once, you’ll find those under the sales tab on the sales reports screen.
Now, let’s dive deeper into transactions, purchases and open orders in your Ontraport account.
So as I said, transactions can include multiple purchases. Think of transactions as everything that you’d find on one receipt. Even if you bought three items, it’ll still just be one transaction. Let’s take a look.
Go to your “Contacts” collection and pick one of your contacts. Then click on the “Purchases” tab on the left-hand side.
You can create new transactions manually by clicking Log a Transaction up top, or in the “Transactions” section by clicking “Add New Transaction” here. Then add the products purchased and choose a payment gateway and invoice template. You can learn more about logging transactions in our video that’s linked below.
The “Transaction Info” section shows you details about your contacts’ most recent transaction. These fields are typically used as merge fields if you want to send an email about the last transaction a customer made.
The “Last Credit Card Used” section shows you the last card they used. You’ll see info about failed transactions here as well. Again, these fields will be mostly used as merge fields in your automated messages.
You can also select specific transactions and take any of these actions:
”Mark as paid” This option is available for unpaid transactions. Use this action to mark a transaction as “paid” without having to process it through your payment gateway, for example if someone pays you by cash or check.
”Rerun transactions” If a transaction previously declined, this option attempts to process the transaction again through your payment gateway. Normally this is done automatically, but this is just a manual way to give a card another shot.
”Refund transaction” If you need to issue a refund, mark the transaction as “refunded.” Ontraport will attempt to process the refund through your payment gateway. Keep in mind that this will not work with PayPal standard — you’ll have to go through PayPal to refund transactions made there.
”Void transactions.” This option is available for transactions that are already paid and those in collections. Voiding transactions erases it but does not attempt to refund the transaction through the payment gateway. You’ll use a “void” action typically for errors or when you want to pretend the transaction never happened.
”Write off.” Ontraport’s collections system will stop trying to charge the card when you write a transaction off. Accounting systems often treat orders in collections as bad debt after a set period of time, like 90 days or so, and this helps them keep track of that debt.
”Rerun commissions” allows you to edit who gets credit for a sale that was made, if you’re using Ontraport’s partner program features. You can remove a commission from one partner and add it to another, or add a commission to a partner who was not originally specified in the first or last referrer fields when the transaction was made. Watch our series on Ontraport’s partner program to learn more about this.
”Resend invoice” This option resends the original invoice to your contact.
”Export transactions” This allows you to select one or all transactions and export them. You can send a CSV file to any email address you wish.
Now to check on your transactions for all your contacts, go to “Sales,” “Reports,” then “Transaction Logs.”
You can perform all the same functions in “Transaction Logs” as you can in the “Transactions” section of a contact’s record. Think of your “Transaction Logs” as the “Transactions” section for your whole Ontraport account.
You can also look at your Dashboard Trends chart to get insight into the total amount of sales you’ve made and the number of transactions made over time.
Now let’s go back to the contact record.
The “Purchase History” section in your contact’s “Purchases” tab zeroes in on the specific products your contact has bought. “Purchases” are typically used for triggering automations.
If your contact has purchased two items in a single transaction, each product will appear on its own line. If they subscribe to a product, every time a transaction is successfully processed, the product will show up here again.
You can also see the same information for all the contacts in your account by viewing your “Product Sales Logs.”
While your sales reports give you useful info about your customers' purchases, this is more of an overview of how well your product is performing.
And when you go to your Dashboard Tends sales chart again, you can filter your results by product to see trends in the individual sales of a single product over time.
You can also check in on your contacts’ open orders — a.k.a. subscriptions and payment plans — in the “Subscriptions and Payment Plans” section of their contact record. From there, you can edit or delete your contacts’ open orders if they’ve changed something about their subscription plan or haven’t paid their dues for the month.
Some edits you might make to your open orders are changing the card to be charged on the next transaction, or changing your next charge date. You can edit anything about your open order, like the product, price, what invoice you want to send and so on.
Each time your contact’s open order is charged, it’ll be logged as a transaction and will get added to both the transaction and purchase history.
You’ve also got an account-wide report to check in on all of the open orders in your account. The report is an overview of how your subscription products are performing.
Once more, you can use the Dashboard feature to see trend charts for your payment plans, as well as your monthly recurring revenue. You can see at a glance how well your products are performing and predict future earnings.
So for example, if your “Dad Bod to Rad Bod” program is seeing a lot more sales than some of your other fitness programs, maybe you’ll want to spend more time advertising your best-selling product in the future.
With that, we’ve covered transactions, purchases and open orders, and how to access them in your Ontraport account. You’re well on your way to becoming an ecommerce rockstar!
If you want to know more about taking payments with Ontraport and storing credit card information, keep watching the rest of this course!