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Ecommerce Forum

Ecommerce suites
Are they really worth it when you need a professional looking site?

 6:23 pm on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most of the sites I see that are made using something like OSCommerce look like complete rubbish. They are so plain. I understand that it is possible to make something like OSCommerce look good with lots of customization, but is it worth it? In the end is it worth it to use something like OSCommerce, Zencart, or X-Cart when your goal is to have something that looks nice, well integrated, and not at like the template?

If your goal is to have an ecommerce site created that truely looks professional should you even consider one of these ecommerce suites?

Furthermore, beyond the look and feel, then their is the equally important issue of SEO, which OSCommerce lacks big time. How reasonable it is to expect that an OSCommerce expert can rewrite OSCommerce so that it doesn't use Session IDs and so that I can manually enter the page title, meta keywords, meta descriptions for each product detail page?



 6:52 pm on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are other carts besides OSCommerce. Why the focus on them?


 7:01 pm on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Few here seem to know that there is a world beyond OSCommerce.


 7:29 pm on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you guys know of something that is pretty good, please feel free to offer your suggestions.


 2:15 am on Jun 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

AbleCommerce and AspDotNetStorefront are two that I'm aware of. There are a dozen others that I'm not familiar with, but that have been praised by others on WebmasterWorld.


 2:28 am on Jun 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use osCommerce. Even though it is not perfect, you can make it SE friendly. There are different add-on contributions you can use. You can manipulate the titles, meta tags, etc. so it dynamically loads the correct information depending upon the item the customer (or SE bot) is looking at.

You can have the session ID's only load if it is not a spider by indicating in files the various SE spiders.

My big gripe with osCommerce is that it isn't easy to have the customers place an order without having to create an account first. There are add-on contributions that address this issue, but I haven't had the time (or hutzpah) to bother with it.

I think the main issue you will have is how much money you are willing to spend and how much time you have to set up your website. Another thing is how handy you are at writing or manipulating code.

Since osCommerce is free, you will only need to pay for your website hosting fees & domain name.


 4:06 am on Jun 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have worked in ecom for 8 years.

Face lifts, are worth 1% additional sales at the best.

Improvements in navigation or other user improvements can yield up to 7% at the top end.

Driving users to targetted keyword pages can provide a dramatic conversion improvement.


 6:20 pm on Jul 5, 2007 (gmt 0)


what do you mean by "Driving users to targetted keyword pages"?


 2:19 am on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

what do you mean by "Driving users to targetted keyword pages"?

If you sell blue widgets with red stripes that are compatible with brand x widget synthesizers then you use ppc, seo, social media, etc. to drive traffic on blue widgets with red stripes that are compatible with brand x widget synthesizers, and not blue widgets with red dots that are compatible with brand x widget synthesizers.

Be very specific and focused in all you do.


 11:32 am on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

This discussion on OSC is the sort of thing that im having to kick around in my head at the moment.

having used OSC a lot its good to a point but no further, personally im thinking of spending far more and getting a more flexable cart, that the world and 15 year old brother dont use.

To make OSC look different to the rest you would I imagine have to spend bundles of cash to edit the code, however I have seen many big and I mean big sites using it.....

Hmmm its a hard choice.


 8:57 pm on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree that OScommerce is generally horrible to look at and i can smell it a mile away.

There are some good solutions out there (and some great providers *cough*) so do your research!


 6:16 pm on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Have any of you considered using Joomla + VirtueMart as an eCommerce solution? I have been working with both for several months now, and I have to say that it functions every bit as good as many fo the commercial applications.

Just a thought to add to the discussion.


 1:03 am on Jul 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

The goal is to sell products, right? I am not sure how OSC stacks up in terms of real-world conversion rates, but design is often secondary. Just because it looks like all other osc stores, might be a good thing as the shopper feels more trusting since it looks familiar, and familiar with using it.

There are lots of carts I believe as others have mentioned:

too many to mention

Try going through Authorize.net's compatible cart list as a start


 4:53 pm on Jul 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

It appears that quite a few of the new packages are based on ASP.NET, and some look pretty impressive - at least on (virtual) paper.

With some - such as aspdotnetstorefront, the documentation is less than stellar.

So while many seem to have a lot of pretty nifty features that required extensive programming just a couple of years ago, evalutating them has not gotten any easier.

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