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Author Topic: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget  (Read 10244 times)

superboyac

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Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« on: October 09, 2010, 01:07:13 PM »
I'm looking for a shopping cart widget that can plug into a small business website I'm working on.  Can any of you recommend one?

The website is being deisgned using squarespace.com's design tools.  But they don't have a payment widget.  I'm looking for something that can process al the major credit cards and paypal, and maybe amazon and whatever else.  I don't know how all of this works.  I'm hoping that I can find something to just plug into the website and use easily.

Thanks.

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2010, 03:27:06 PM »
So this is very interesting.  There's a lot more involved here than I initially anticipated.

First thing I noticed is that a lot of website design places offer complete website e-commerce solutions.  One of the heavy hitters out there seems to be BigCommerce.  So most of these places offer just about every feature you can imagine.  EXPECT for the full payment processing services INCLUDING major credit cards.

So, of course, I began to wonder what makes the credit card thing such an obstacle.  The reason why is because that's an arrangement I would have to make with the credit card companies.  Meaning, I need to set up accounts with them and the method with which I'm going to use them to process payments.  So it's hard for the website development companies to just have a ready-made module in place to handle all the payment processing.  It would mean they'd have some cooperative agreement in place with all the credit card companies, which I don't see happening.

Anyway, so I'm trying to find the best combo of website design PLUS payment processing that is the EASIEST and the least amount of useless monthly fees.  The monthly fees I am willing to shell out for are the payment processing with the credit card companies, and the hosting of the website and bandwidth.  I DON'T want to pay monthly for what simply amounts to be a one-time simple website design.  I consider that to be independent of hosting.  The only thing I'm worried about is that nothing exists that is easy and a one time fee.  So the compromise will be that I'll pay monthly fees for things that I don't consider to be monthly services, but at least it will be super easy.

Those are my thoughts so far.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2010, 12:45:44 PM »
Now here's a boat we're both in. One of my projects at the office is to revamp our company website which also involves getting and setting up a shopping cart. The project was going fairly well right up until it completely hit the wall with regard to the (Comersus) shopping cart I'd been planning to use.

(In a nut shell) Use of a CC gateway exists as a sudo insurance policy against taking the hit for fraudulent charges. In today's world it just has to be done because there is no safe way to deal with customer CC info by yourself. Best option to start with (oddly enough) is your bank. The fees aren't always the lowest, but the money is deposited directly into your account instead of having to wait for third party X to do yet another transfer (usually involving yet another transaction fee) in their own sweet time. Also your bank will (may) have a group of carts that they recommend which gives you a place to start looking.

Most carts are template driven (slap on your sites header and footer and you're golden), so just pick one you like and play with it for a bit to make sure it does what you need it to do. The tricky part is how well does it handle transaction for the types of stuff that you sell. This is the key question I ran into just moments before the project went completely to shit. :)

The cart should have the option to tie into UPS/FedEx/etc. to calculate shipping charges on the fly. These are generally based on package size and weight. Weight is/was easy and worked perfectly the first time. Size on the other hand (with the Comersus cart) completely killed the project because it wasn't handled in a fashion that allowed for the fact that a single shipment could actually be broken up into multiple boxes. Hence the length (width, height) of all items was getting totaled into one massive box that (quickly exceeded 9') would never fit into the shippers truck...Instead of allowing for the fact that putting them in separate smaller boxes (actual max length 22") would easily allow the entire order to fit in a compact car.

Make sure the cart is written in a language you like to deal with ... Because if it ain't you'll start hating yourself in short order which is the mistake I made going with Comersus which is written in .asp. I originally thought it would be fun to learn ASP on the fly - Which (in retrospect) was one of the stupidest ideas I've ever had. I'm currently looking for something in a full service shopping cart written in PHP ... But haven't had time to start testing anything specific.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2010, 12:55:18 PM »
Depending on what you are selling there are various options with PayPal - which provides many payment options with no monthly charge at all - just 3% per transaction plus a flat rate transaction charge (30p in the UK).

If you are selling things one at a time (ie. you don't need a multiple object cart) just add a PayPal button to each product page. PayPal will let buyers use any credit card (without needing a PayPal account) as well as PayPal payments.

If you want a full shopping cart system there are a few standalone carts out there such as ZenCart and osCommerce. Both are free and support PayPal payments (with non-Paypal user credit/debit card processing) but I have to say they are both beasts to tailor.

Personally I quite like VirtueMart (which is a component for Joomla based sites). Free with lots of payment options and shipping options but you do have to be using Joomla to use it (though there is no reason why you couldn't set up a Joomla subsite and tailor the Joomla template to fit in with the main site).

(PS all of these are PHP/MySQL based.)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 12:58:56 PM by Carol Haynes »

nudone

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010, 05:00:56 PM »
I'll say what i don't recommend: Interspire shopping cart.

To say that it's meant to be a premium product there are some fundamental things missing in the backend - which I discovered when it was too late.

e.g. add a new attribute to a specific product - oh dear, all your previous attributes across similar products are now deleted. Please manually enter all these attributes all over again. Maybe this bug/feature has been resolved - I just don't understand how such a cart could have been designed with such fundamental things not working.

Curt

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shopping cart
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 08:34:03 PM »
Not tested by me. Normal listed price is $129 for the Pro version only.
I guess the company is getting ready for version 4.

http://www.coffeecup...m/shopping-cart-pro/

Quote from: CoffeeCup
CoffeeCup Shopping Cart Creator Pro 3.8

Shopping Cart Creator Pro (SCCP) is the easiest way to create online stores with great features like helpful store search, automatically generated breadcrumb navigation, and subcategories — not to mention inventory management, weight-based shipping, and five — count ‘em, five — payment providers integrated right into the software. All these powerful features (and a heck of a lot more) are packaged in and easy-to-understand, WYSIWYG-inspired workspace that’s a pleasure to use.

Take a peek at our new Swag Shop (built entirely with SCCP)

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Pick up SCCP at a huge discount today!

Scoop up Shopping Cart Creator Pro at the introductory price now:

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199.GIF

Stoic Joker

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 06:42:50 AM »
Interesting idea, but a trap I'd (very much) like to avoid. You see while create your own shopping cart sounds just groovy on the surface. It also means that you gotta support it (forever...) too. There is no support to fall back on if the thing goes poof...So you just got (shotgun wedding) married this thing.

In the interest of sanity, I (and I suspect superboyac also) need a layer of abstraction between myself and the project once it's done ... So it stays done. Otherwise, for the next four forevers, every nifty idea/passing thought/feature request the brass can think of will be dropped right in my lap...because the only thing down hill of me, is the edge of a cliff... :)

So, Clean, Simple, Done. <-Key word there is done.)

Getting everyone to even decide on what it is they are going to agree/disagree on regarding what the site will look like is (and has been for several years now...) enough of a nightmare ... There is no way in hell I'm going to add gas to the fire with more options of that magnatude.

Curt

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 01:09:58 PM »
Today's Giveaway on http://www.brothergiveaway.com/ for another 10 hours and 50 minutes:

Quote
Bizbox DIY 5

Unzip and run, self-customizable, all-in-one business manage, integrated emails This system is specifically designed to help you to manage the Customers, Suppliers, Products and/or Service Items, Purchasing, Cash and Banks, Invoicing, Receipts, Emails and Mail Merges. Plus, the build-in "FieldDesigner" gives you the "DIY" capability to customize/enhance the system to fit your needs 100%.   

http://www.brothergiveaway.com/

201011149bbf419765.png


Carol Haynes

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 02:05:44 PM »
Somewhat bizarrely the restriction "strictly personal usage" seems odd on a package specifically designed for small businesses???

Curt

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 02:24:03 PM »
hmm... in a a poor mood today? We have seen the same situation several times on giveawayoftheday. Nothing 'bizarre' in it. Here, a (very) small business is personal, obviously.

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 03:25:30 PM »
Curt, awesome find!  The application is very promising, especially for a free one.  I'm going to seriously play around with it.  It may not be be a website shopping cart plugin, but it may prove to be extremely useful for the simple accounting that I will need.  Maybe it will let me avoid using Quickbooks or Peachtree, both of which are overkill for my needs.

Stephen66515

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 03:31:13 PM »
If you would rather use a fully featured, open source, free, ecommerce script, i would HIGHLY recommend www.tomatocart.com

The admin back-end of that is without competition and the slick design is so simple to modify even a person with very little knowledge of web-design could manage it in a click.

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 04:11:50 PM »
If you would rather use a fully featured, open source, free, ecommerce script, i would HIGHLY recommend www.tomatocart.com

The admin back-end of that is without competition and the slick design is so simple to modify even a person with very little knowledge of web-design could manage it in a click.
Stephen!  Thanks!  That looks so awesome.  i was dreading the deadline I've set because i wasn't sure if I could set up a good looking store in time.  And i didn't want to pay an hourly programmer's salary, nor did I want any of those monthly fee managed solutions.  This tomatocart looks really great.

Stephen66515

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 04:18:46 PM »
If you would rather use a fully featured, open source, free, ecommerce script, i would HIGHLY recommend www.tomatocart.com

The admin back-end of that is without competition and the slick design is so simple to modify even a person with very little knowledge of web-design could manage it in a click.
Stephen!  Thanks!  That looks so awesome.  i was dreading the deadline I've set because i wasn't sure if I could set up a good looking store in time.  And i didn't want to pay an hourly programmer's salary, nor did I want any of those monthly fee managed solutions.  This tomatocart looks really great.

I am currently helping a friend open his online based clothing store using that, we switched from Zen last night, after finding that and seeing the demos in action, its beyond amazing, and it seems to be able to use osCommerce scripts and addons (dont quote me, but some files in the admin tool show "osCommerce" as the author, so im figuring that it does).

Be sure to check in the admin tool for ALL options from the start menu, as some are hidden, but very very handy, and you can add all the links to your Virtual Desktop Panel.

**edit**

Would love to see what you did with this when your finished if you end up going with it :D

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 04:25:54 PM »
Thanks.  It really seems to be the best all-in-one solution so far.  Previously, the best solution I had was using wordpress with the Prophoto theme and a shopping cart plugin.  But this is better i think.  I will experiment this week.

Stephen66515

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2010, 04:29:52 PM »
Awesome, would certainly love to see the outcome.

If you need any help, gimme a shout, im not exactly a pro with it, but spent a fair few hours figuring out the admin side of things now :)

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2010, 05:41:45 PM »
Awesome, would certainly love to see the outcome.

If you need any help, gimme a shout, im not exactly a pro with it, but spent a fair few hours figuring out the admin side of things now :)
Thanks Stephen, I really appreciate that.  I'll definitely keep you in mind for when I run into issues...and I will.  I just love that it's completely open and free, and the shopping cart and website stuff is all in the same package.  Actually, what's more important is that it LOOKS like a nice, elegant website.  I'm very impressed so far.

Stephen66515

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2010, 06:37:21 PM »
Thats the thing about it, even as a default theme, you can sit there and thing, "ill just change the products, logo and slideshow and leave things as they are" instead of some, like Zen, or osCommerce where you think "right, EVERYTHING needs to go...now HOW do I do it?" lol

I know when I first installed it I thought "Wow, I hardly have to touch it"


**edit**

I may review this...hmm...yeah...I think I will, keep a look-out on the reviews section, it will be there within 24 hours  :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2010, 07:25:03 PM »
Thats the thing about it, even as a default theme, you can sit there and thing, "ill just change the products, logo and slideshow and leave things as they are" instead of some, like Zen, or osCommerce where you think "right, EVERYTHING needs to go...now HOW do I do it?" lol

I know when I first installed it I thought "Wow, I hardly have to touch it"


**edit**

I may review this...hmm...yeah...I think I will, keep a look-out on the reviews section, it will be there within 24 hours  :Thmbsup:
Thank you so much.  I would really appreciate the review.  I'm already pretty excited about it.

Stephen66515

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2010, 08:36:24 PM »
Review #1 is online: http://www.donationc....msg224025#msg224025

I shall write a much more in-depth review of the script tomorrow when my puppy isnt begging for my attention and jumping on me  :D

superboyac

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Re: Please recommend a good "shopping cart" website widget
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 03:36:46 PM »
Well, we have started selling our books.  Check out the website:
http://www.compleximaginary.com/

I've been happy overall with the phpurchase plugin we are using for the shopping cart stuff.  However, we've already run into some limitations that makes me think that I have to change to a more sophisticated, complicated plugin.  Here's the problem:
Calculating shipping costs is a headache.  Fedex has a bunch of excel spreadhseets they use to calculate the shipping to each area.  Phpurchase doesn't have a way to tie into all that data.  As a result, I have to average shipping costs or something like that.  I don't like that.  i want the shipping to be precise and nothing more or less.

Anyone have suggestions or advice?