The main difference will be with the PayPal checkout. I have been having some problems recently with international buyers selecting the US shipping options during checkout. Which has been a problem for years, and the PayPal api doesn't seem to work well with our shipping setup (or anyones). We will be moving the PayPal cart back into the site (as most other merchants do) and will be confirming the PayPal cart before the final checkout is made. That means once you do your PayPal login, you will be sent back to the site to confirm address and shipping options... then you pay.
This adds an extra step, but will be important.
We will be adding the ability to change shipping options. Currently pre-orders are setup to ship on a weekly basis and are charged separate shipping. We will be adding the ability to have all your items shipped together (when they all arrive in stock). This will allow you to save money on shipping if you are willing to wait for your items to be shipped in one box.
You will also be able to select your shipping method. Depending on weight, packages will have the option to select between First Class and Priority Mail classes. (Italy customers will still only be able to ship via Priority Mail International.) Currently the system ships using the lowest cost option, so for many members Priority Mail will cost a little more for each order, but would give faster delivery. (Note: All US packages over 13 ounces are required to ship via Priority Mail, all International Packages over 4lbs are required to ship via Priority Mail).
Additionally we will be recording and calculating package volumes and hopefully will make flat rate Priority Mail boxes available. Sometimes we ship heavy items that could fit into a flat rate box for less money, and with this method we will know ahead of time if that is possible.
I am also considering adding the option of UPS and FedEx. These are typically more expensive, but on larger and bulkier items can actually reduce costs signifigantly. We will be looking into this more in the next few days... hopefully we can figure out an easy way to accomplish this.
With this new style checkout, I hope to also allow the use of Gift Cards and purchases of Supporting Memberships with PayPal.
With the new information we will be recording. We will also have an updated Order Status page. This will keep track of the shipping methods you choose, as well as giving an up to date and current shipping date estimate. If a pre-order shipment date changes, this information will be reflected and updated on your order status page.
We have been wanting to add package deals for a while. When added, the new package system will give discounts for items added to your cart that are part of a package. For example, there will be a Uniform Package that will give you a discount if you add something like: Flight Suit, Belt, Patch, and Gloves. (Or some variation of that). There would likely also be a Proton Pack package that would give you 1 of everything we currently sell to make a Proton Pack, and allow for 1 click insertion into your cart.
Changes to Product Pages
There will be slight changes to the product pages as well. We will be getting rid of the drop down box and listing the options below the description text to ensure you know exactly what you are ordering. We'll also be getting rid of the image popup, and hopefully be adding AJAX to allow you to add items to your cart without having to leave the page.
I'll have more things as I come up with them. If you have any requests please let me know!