Customising Oscar’s communications

Oscar provides the ability to customise the emails sent out to customers.

There are two main ways this can be achieved, either in code (via template files) or in the database (via Dashboard > Content > Email templates).

Communications API

First, it’s important to understand a little about how the Communications API works.

Oscar has a model called a CommunicationEventType. When preparing an email to send out to a customer, the client code will do something like this:

commtype_code = 'SOME_EVENT'
context = {'customer': customer, 'something_else': 'Some more context.'}

    event_type = CommunicationEventType.objects.get(code=commtype_code)
except CommunicationEventType.DoesNotExist:
    messages = CommunicationEventType.objects.get_and_render(commtype_code, ctx)
    messages = event_type.get_messages(ctx)

What’s happening here is:

  • The code defines an arbitrary communication type code to be treated as the reference for this particular type of communication. For example, the communication type code used when sending an order email confirmation is 'ORDER_PLACED'.
  • The database is checked for a CommunicationEventType with this communication type code. If it does, it renders the messages using that model instance, passing in some context.
  • Otherwise, it uses the get_and_render() method to render the messages, which uses templates instead.

So, your first step when customising the emails sent out is to work out what communication type code is being used to send out the email. The easiest way to work this out is usually to look through the email templates in templates/oscar/customer/emails: if the email template is called, say, commtype_order_placed_body.html, then the code will be 'ORDER_PLACED'. See ‘Customising through code’ below.

Customising through code

Customising emails through code uses Django’s standard template inheritance.

The first step is to locate the template for the particular email, which is usually in templates/oscar/customer/emails. Then, in a template directory that takes precedence over the oscar templates directory, copy the file and customise it. For example, to override the templates/oscar/customer/emails/commtype_order_placed_body.html template, create the file customer/emails/commtype_order_placed_body.html in your template directory.

Note that usually emails have three template files associated with them: the email subject line (commtype_CODE_subject.txt), the html version (commtype_CODE_body.html) and the text version (commtype_CODE_body.txt). Usually you will want to make sure you override BOTH the html and the text version.

Customising through code will not work if there is a template defined in the database instead (see below).

Customising through the database

Oscar provides a dashboard interface to allow admins to customise the emails.

To enable this for a particular communication event type, log in to the admin site and create a new CommunicationEventType. The code you use is the important thing: it needs to match the communication event code used when rendering the messages. For example, to override the order confirmation email, you need to create a CommunicationEventType with a code 'ORDER_PLACED'.

Once you have created the CommunicationEventType, you can edit it using the (much better) dashboard interface at Dashboard > Content > Email templates.

If you have an email template defined in the database it will override any template files.