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Simple Shopping Cart
Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:38 PM
Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:08 AM
Here's a dumb Paypal shopping cart question. Can I use as payment options, with a Paypal shopping cart, money orders and cheques or can I only use Paypal?
Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:32 AM
If a form builder suits your needs, then a shopping cart is probably to big & cumbersome.
Not as cheap, but you can be up & running tomorrow.
BTW, if you Look at Goodbarry, you'll see that their form builder will connect to payment processing. It's not as easy to set up as Wufoo, but it's possible to do the same with it. It's not worth it though if you're not going to run your whole site on their system.
Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:23 AM
Have you seen Machforms? It's fantastic, just like wufoo but you can own it for for less than $50 and customize it, full source code included. It's a VERY nice product.
I looked at Goodbarry again today. It's too expensive.
I'm starting to think I may have to hire a coder.
Posted 28 November 2008 - 12:39 AM
Last Friday I finally got enough time to sit down, look at it, read some support forum posts and away I went. I reckon I looked at about 20 carts and I finally settled on Zen Cart for the very reasons I advise people to buy well known stuff instead of cheaper, lesser known gear.
1 - It's a mature product, it's not release 0.0.1.1
2 - It's very well supported, so if you run into trouble, someone else will most likely have run into the same problem before you, so an answer should be known.
3 - It's very widely used, why is this good? See (2) above.
4 - If you need a unique mod, there is most likely going to be someone who can do it for you
5 - If you can't/don't want to set it up, there are many people who are able to set it up for you.
6 - There is lots of documentation available for it
Having said that, it is still a bit clunky and there are some areas that really could do with an introduction to the web 2.0 way of thinking.
From all the carts I looked at, I can say this:
1 - There are not many carts that have user friendly checkout processes
2 - There are not many carts that are completely easy to setup, I always found one area that was a bit unclear or too complicated for me to worry with
3 - There are not many carts that are visually appealing
4 - I always found in my evaluations that I nay have been able to setup a cart easily but it lacked in another area. For example, I may have got my product setup with options (height, width etc), got the shipping sorted out, but then I may have found that the reporting side of things was sorely lacking. There's no point selling stuff if you can't find out what's selling best.
I started off hoping to find a cart that was as easy to setup as an AJAX web form, I came close with a few carts, but I couldn't find one that satisfied all my requirements. I also thought that setting up a cart would be an easy task taking maybe 2-3 days. Not so, you need to be prepared to learn some new stuff, learn how your cart works and put aside at least (in my appraisal) 7 full days to have a relaibly working cart.
If you're looking for a cart, I recommend Zen Cart, it is pretty good. It looks clunky but take some time to read some of the setup docs on the Zen Cart web site. I did a full circle evaluating carts and it took me 4 weeks.
I hope this info may be useful to someone.
Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:41 AM
That's probably the most important thing.
What I've found in my years of doing this stuff is too often people try to make their choice too quickly, without digging into the details to see what each cart does well and what it doesn't. Every site has unique necessities, so it's rare to find a cart that does it all and doesn't confuse with other capabilities that you don't need. That takes time and effort.
IMO you're better served by doing your homework on the front end than grabbing something and trying to figure out how to make it jump through the hoops you need it to jump through. This way you don't end up settling for something less now and regretting it a year down the road. Doing this homework takes time. But you're still better off than settling for less or spending 10 times as much time trying to get a cart to do what you need it to do but was never constructed to support.
Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:16 PM
Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:16 PM
As I mentioned, I used Zen Cart and I am over the moon with it. It's one of those open source apps that you can't believe is free. I'm finding it extremely useful in many ways. I receive orders, process orders, print out shipping dockets, track product build stages with it and more. I've even found myself a good programmer who is custom coding some bits and pieces to make my 'store life' a bit easier as well.
Just about every problem I encountered along the way I was able to solve by searching for the problem with Google. I did the same with enhancments and mods I wanted done as well.
Zen Cart has allowed me to do much more than I was wanting to do when I started looking at carts, as well as things I didn't know I needed to do.
Anyway, I'd recommend Zen Cart to anyone, I'm hooked.
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