Since we updated to FC 2.0, I have been trying to figure out the best way to set up the checkout to process gift orders -- as in: an order made by a customer that is shipped to someone else as a gift. A few things to clarify up front:
1. We don't want to use multi-ship, as it seems like it would be more complicated and confusing for our purposes, and the design of our product pages would not accommodate an extra select field for this.
2. We used to process gift orders pretty easily in our store checkout with FC 0.7.2, but the information flow at checkout was different in that version, where the billing address served as the default shipping address and the option to use a different shipping address was provided. Version 2.0 has reversed this flow for some reason.
3. We use the default checkout user type of "Allow guest and customer accounts, default to account".
So what we used to do, in FC 0.7.2, was to add an optional "gift message" field to the form container that was revealed when a customer checked the box to use a different shipping address. In that context everything was pretty clear, especially for customers who used an account at checkout. The customer account flow would save the last used billing and shipping addresses, so if there was an alternate shipping address used for a previous "gift order" it would be saved too. But this wasn't a problem if on their next order a given customer didn't use an alternate shipping address, so their order would just ship to the billing address.
Now that the shipping address is displayed as the primary address in FC 2.0, the process of placing a gift order in the manner mentioned above is confusing and burdensome, especially for customers who use their account at checkout. The problem is that if they want to place a gift order and ship it to their friend/family, the address that is pre-populated when they log in to their account is the shipping address. This forces them to delete all the shipping address fields and re-enter a different address. Some customers have reported problems changing the shipping address on their accounts (the state select field being particularly troublesome for some reason). Further, assuming a customer succeeds in completing their gift order, this presents a problem later when they log in to their account the next time they order -- because the gift order address they entered last time will now be the default saved address, so they have to change their address again. On that note, I can can tell you that it's already a somewhat regular occurrence for customers to NOT notice problems with their shipping address at checkout, and I am sure that plenty of them will take for granted that everything pre-populated by their account is correct without looking at it closely and breeze through checkout with the wrong shipping address populated from their last order.
When the billing address was the default saved address on customer accounts none of these problems existed. I don't know what your rationale was for making this change, but I think it presents a significant usability problem in our use case. It would be great if there was an option in the configuration panel to choose between making the billing address or the shipping address be the default address. Or if there was a built in option to give customer accounts a place to enter an alternate shipping address on a given order that does not overwrite their default shipping address. Without options like these I'm at somewhat of a loss on how to re-add "gift order" support in a manner that is clear and uncomplicated to customers. As I said above, I do not think that multi-ship is a viable solution or alternative to the functionality I'm describing, mostly because it sets the shipping address on each item and that kind of order flow only seems truly relevant to very small minority of stores. We just want there to be easy and uncomplicated gift order support, where a customer orders any number of things that can be shipped to ONE alternate address that doesn't overwrite their default saved address.
Given the way 2.0 checkout flow is set up, the best option I have come up with so far is to try indicating to customers who wish to place a gift order that they should NOT log into their account and use guest checkout instead, so that they can enter an alternate address without overwriting their account address. This is a rather confusing process to try explaining to customers though, and it also has negative implications for tracking a customer's order history. We are developing a customer account portal, and want to make order history available to customers in a meaningful way, but presumably their guest checkout orders might not show up in the history associated with their customer account. Anyway, I would rather have a more direct way of letting customers place gift orders while still being able to use their account, and not have to worry about their default address being overwritten. I don't think that's too much to ask, and if we could just have the option of reverting to the old flow of the billing address being the default that would be fine.
This is especially important to us with the holiday sales season coming in short order. Is there anything you guys can suggest or do for us on this? Thanks for your help and consideration.