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Part of the Getting Started with Shoppe series

Working with Shoppe baskets

Shoppe has the concept of orders - an order is a collection of products along with other information about how they should be delivered and billed to a customer.

A basket is simply an order which has not yet been "checked out". Therefore, whenever someone adds a product to their basket, there must also be an order in the backend database.

Accessing the basket

We recommend adding the concept of a current_order to your application. This means that you can, at any point, call current_order to receive an order which you can put items into.

The following two private methods should be added to your application controller.


class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base


  def current_order
    @current_order ||= begin
      if has_order?
        order = Shoppe::Order.create(:ip_address => request.ip)
        session[:order_id] =

  def has_order?
      session[:order_id] &&
      @current_order = Shoppe::Order.includes(:order_items => :ordered_item).find_by_id(session[:order_id])

  helper_method :current_order, :has_order?


The current_order method will always return an instance of Shoppe::Order. The first time this is called for a visitor, an order will be created and its ID stored in a session. Any subsequent calls within the same session will simply return the created order.

The has_order? method will return true or false depending on whether an order has been created for the current session.

Adding products to the basket

Once you have added these methods, we can go ahead and implement the buy method on the products controller. We already created a route for this earlier.


def buy
  @product = Shoppe::Product.root.find_by_permalink!(params[:permalink])
  current_order.order_items.add_item(@product, 1)
  redirect_to product_path(@product.permalink), :notice => "Product has been added successfuly!"

Let's go through this method. Firstly, we find the product we want to add. Secondly, we use our current_order instance to add a new item to it by passing the product we wish to add plus the quantity. Finally, we redirect users back to the product page with a message.

Of course, you can do different things with this - you may wish to do this with AJAX or may want to allow users to add more than one item at a time. Those things are outside of the scope of this tutorial.

Don't forget to add the correct route if you haven't already. Head over to your config/routes.rb file and add the following routes.


post "product/:permalink", to: "products#buy"

This mean that you can post to buy method

What's in the basket?

We haven't yet done anything to display the contents of the basket so although we may have added items, they just disappear.

Let's open up our application layout and pop the following just after the opening <body> tag.


<% if current_order %>
<p style="border:1px solid black;padding:10px;">
  You have <%= pluralize current_order.total_items, 'item'%> in your basket which cost
  <%= number_to_currency current_order.total_before_tax %>.
<% end %>

This will insert a box at the top of each page with your current basket price and number of items.


I'm sure people will forget what they put in their basket, so we should also add a view which allows visitors to see what's in their basket.

Before we can build a page, we'll need to add a route. Add the following route to your routes file.


get "basket", to: "orders#show"

We'll also need a controller because it doesn't really fit into our products controller.

$ rails generate controller orders

Let's make a quick partial to render a table or products. We'll probably be needing this in other places as part of the checkout process so let's partial-it from the start.

Open up app/views/orders/_items.html.erb and pop the following in:


<table width='100%' border='1'>
    <% order.order_items.each do |item| %>
      <td><%= item.quantity %></td>
      <td><%= item.ordered_item.full_name %></td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency item.sub_total %></td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency item.tax_amount %></td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency %></td>
    <% end %>

    <% if order.delivery_service %>
      <td><%= %></td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency order.delivery_price %></td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency order.delivery_tax_amount %></td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency order.delivery_price + order.delivery_tax_amount %></td>
    <% end %>

      <td colspan='4'>Sub-Total</td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency order.total_before_tax %></td>
      <td colspan='4'>Tax</td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency %></td>
      <td colspan='4'>Total</td>
      <td><%= number_to_currency %></td>

This table will include all items in the order plus any delivery service which is appropriate for the order. In some instances, you may wish to allow users to choose a delivery service, while this is possible it is outside the scope of this tutorial. Our example store implements this so you can take a look there for an example.

Now, in order to render this we need to create a view for our order controller's show action.


<h2>Your basket</h2>
<%= render 'items', :order => current_order %>

You can now browse to /basket to view this. Let's add a link to our basket information section in the application layout though.


<%= link_to "View basket", basket_path %>
<%= flash[:notice] %>


Emptying the basket

Users may wish to remove all the items in their basket. In this case, you can just delete the current_order object. To do this, we'll just a create a route as follows:


delete "basket", to: "orders#destroy"

Then we'll add a destroy method to our orders controller.


def destroy
  session[:order_id] = nil
  redirect_to root_path, :notice => "Basket emptied successfully."

Finally, we need to link to this. We'll just put a link on the bottom of a basket page.


<p><%= link_to 'Empty basket', basket_path, :method => :delete %></p>

Further techniques

  • Allow customers to change the quantity of items in their basket
  • Allow customers to remove individual items from the basket
  • Allow customers to change their delivery service
  • Allow customers to view & purchase products with multiple variants
  • Catch errors when a product is not in stock and added to a user's basket