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mnstr_trd_sd
Jan 24, 2006, 08:48 PM
Hello,

I'm building a site for a client that wants to sell product online. I am searching for an easy and affordable merchant software to help me. I don't have experience building this kind of site so "easy" is key. What have you used and why do you like it? Also I'm not new to the web design field, so, if you know of a better intermediate type of software it would help a great deal.
One more thing, I'm working on macs, of course:D .

Thanks in advance.



ChicoWeb
Jan 24, 2006, 09:35 PM
Hello,

I'm building a site for a client that wants to sell product online. I am searching for an easy and affordable merchant software to help me. I don't have experience building this kind of site so "easy" is key. What have you used and why do you like it? Also I'm not new to the web design field, so, if you know of a better intermediate type of software it would help a great deal.
One more thing, I'm working on macs, of course:D .

Thanks in advance.

Yah, I think what you are looking for doesn't exist. There isn't really anything "easy" about an ecommerce web site. You have so many variables from payment modules to product and manu attributes, shipping, taxes. There are out of the box solutions like cube cart, oScommerce and a few others that are the leaders of the market. I use OScommerce for all of my shopping carts, but they dont look ANYTHING like the out of the box, nor do they function like the out of the box. Good luck and find yourself a good developer. You'll find that these solutions are built to work for everyone and probably won't address your situation.

mnstr_trd_sd
Jan 24, 2006, 09:42 PM
maybe i should restate what i'm doing. i'm designing a site for a client who already has the product. All i need is a good program that i could set up shopping carts with. I was wondering if anyone knows of any good solution. I know that I didn't state it clearer, but all the angles have been taken care of. the site is almost ready and now i need to set up shopping carts for each product. I've never done a shopping site before and it's my first one.

What is a good program to use.

Also, Chico, what do you think about Oscommerce and cube cart. Are they too over the top for what i'm doing?

Thanks.

D0ct0rteeth
Jan 24, 2006, 10:00 PM
Chico really did answer your question.

OSCommerce and X-Cart are both good apps.

But you have to dig your hands in and actually do some development. Its not an sunday afternoon project.

If your trying to do a quickie and are just selling 1 or 2 products, you could go ghetto and just do a paypal cart.

- Doc

mnstr_trd_sd
Jan 24, 2006, 10:06 PM
okay, cool, thanks.

also, the client has about 15 products, then wants to add more in the future. will this be a problem. sorry for all the questions, i'm a newb when it comes to e commerce. (honestly, it's still not regestering that well):rolleyes:

also does anyone have any links to where i could learn more.

oh yeah, great site chico!

zimv20
Jan 24, 2006, 10:30 PM
i'm designing a site for a client who already has the product. All i need is a good program that i could set up shopping carts with.
i find this a little worrisome. there are actually a pretty large number of shopping cart technologies, and all the ones i've seen assume that you're starting w/ their package, not using it as an add-on to an existing site. i.e. the shopping cart is the paradigm to which you must shift.

adding products is no problem; most use some kind of underlying database and give you a backstore interface for adding / maintaining products, customizing the look and feel of the site, handling payment, managing the store, etc.

also, it's easiest to start by finding a hosting company that has your chosen shopping cart pre-installed. i.e. you wouldn't be downloading anything to your computer, but rather doing everything through a browser. a benefit of this is that all work is automatically cross-platform.

the product with which i've had the most experience is Miva. it's not going to set the world on fire, but it's a pretty solid shopping cart that allows for a variety of payment options. it's pretty easy to manage and, i feel, a reasonably customizable look and feel. be aware that it conforms to the design where there are function buttons across the top, a menu of products and categories down the left hand side, and products displaying in the middle.

if you're a programmer, you can program your own behavior in what's called MivaScript. and there are several companies offering lots of expandable behavior w/ packages built in MivaScript specifically for the Miva environment.

the hosting company we used is http://www.hostasaurus.com/ . it's a small hosting firm, but they specialize in miva and they had excellent customer support. actually, i should say we switched to them after a horrible miva hosting experience elsewhere. hostasaurus' servers were an order of magnitude faster and they made the switch painless, even transferring our stores and database for us.

good luck.

londonweb
Jan 25, 2006, 04:28 AM
It can be done very simply (in an afternoon if you like) provided you're ok with using a 3rd-party cart and payment gateway.

I have done a basic 'ecommerce' site for a small charity that wanted to sell tickets for different nights of a series of events they were holding back in September. I used RomanCart (http://www.romancart.com) as the shopping cart. It costs about 60 per year, is very easy to use and comes with step-by-step instructions explaining how you integrate it with your site. The customer can then shop on your site, with the information being sent via forms to RomanCart, and then when they check out they are diverted to a RomanCart page detailing their purchases. You can customize your pages to a degree so they look like the rest of your site.

I used PayPal (http://www.paypal.com) as the payment gateway, and since they've abolished the 100 limit anyone can pay through it without having to register for an account- you just enter your details and go. It's fairly easy to link RomanCart, and you can set it so that it diverts back to your own page so that you can display a message saying 'payment received' or whatever, and the customer's invoice.

It's not an ideal method since the customer is being diverted to two different 3rd party sites, but you can offer them reassurance that this is what will happen so they are prepared for it and don't think they are being fraudulently diverted. Also Romancart logs all of the sales and email addresses etc. (in fact you can set it to collect quite a bit of information) so that you can contact customers after their orders have been processed, or send them a despatch notice or whatever. It's a very cheap and easy option, and you could say to your client that if they want a full-on ecommerce site they are going to have to pay quite a lot more for it.

Hope this is some help

Les Kern
Jan 25, 2006, 08:41 AM
I looked into this a bit ago, and decided it would be easier and a lot cheaper if I just had Kagi do it. Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but the service is very extensible, and the fee structure is very fair. No messing with credit card numbers for you.

ChicoWeb
Jan 25, 2006, 01:05 PM
15 products or 50,000 products, once you get the framework in place it's all the same. If you want something dymanic and something that isn't going to ship your users to a 3rd party webpage, then you are limited to writing something yourself or using a solution as suggested (Oscommerce, and X-cart). Then, you aren't talking about something you can bang out in a few hours.

It's almost worse that they have something in place now, because you are going to have to take that site and structure it around one of these solutions. I have a developer who can take your PSD files and convert them into OScommerce template files if you are interested.

zimv20
Jan 25, 2006, 01:20 PM
If you want something dymanic and something that isn't going to ship your users to a 3rd party webpage, then you are limited to writing something yourself or using a solution as suggested (Oscommerce, and X-cart).
to the OP: i find that one of the marks of a more professional online presence is that the user does not get routed offsite for payment. that always rubs me the wrong way and i suggest you avoid such solutions.

add the aforementioned miva merchant to the list of sites that does not send the user offsite for payment.

also, be sure to investigate how shipping charges are handled, especially calculation.

ChicoWeb
Jan 25, 2006, 03:09 PM
to the OP: i find that one of the marks of a more professional online presence is that the user does not get routed offsite for payment. that always rubs me the wrong way and i suggest you avoid such solutions.

add the aforementioned miva merchant to the list of sites that does not send the user offsite for payment.

also, be sure to investigate how shipping charges are handled, especially calculation.

Don't forget taxes and integration to quickbooks ;)

DAAANGIT
Jan 25, 2006, 04:47 PM
CCNOW! (http://www.ccnow.com)


I use that for my online store and it works great!

zimv20
Jan 25, 2006, 05:49 PM
CCNOW! (http://www.ccnow.com)


I use that for my online store and it works great!
...it also sends you offsite to complete the transaction.

OP: most shopping cart vendors will have either an example site and/or a list of their customers. i find checking the latter very useful, because you can get a sense of the look and feel flexibility, plus do a couple test drives to see if you like the mechanics of the cart.

...and to see if completing the xaction sends you offsite...

mnstr_trd_sd
Jan 26, 2006, 03:59 AM
wow, it looks like I've got to do a lot more research. thanks guys, I'm looking into miva. i found a friend of mine that actually uses it so hopefully he has time to guide me through it.