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Changing shopping cart software
How much of a pain in the *** is it?
mellowmayhem




msg:4047416
 6:42 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just wondering anybody's experience with changing their shopping cart providers. I ask because when I start getting MILLIONS of sales per day, I imagine I will start to find weaknesses with the cart software I originally chose, and need to change.

Anybody actually changed their cart providers? How long did it take to set up and transfer how many products?

 

Morgenhund




msg:4047559
 1:45 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Changing provider can be a lot of work, but is doable. Just make sure you own the domain name, not the cart provider.

And with millins of sales per day that would be not your pain anyway: you'd just hire some people to do all the dirty work.

CarlaR




msg:4048088
 5:10 am on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think when I get millions of sales per day, I'd just hire someone to do the dirty work. I thought about switching from what I have, but decided to stick with what I use so far for my site...

mellowmayhem




msg:4048109
 6:03 am on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems like after running a store for a while, you realized all the flaws of your cart and have enough experience to really choose the perfect cart for your needs. Another cart may be much better, but most people don't change because changing is too costly most of the time.

BTW, I'm joking about MILLIONS of sales, just to be clear.

gpilling




msg:4048134
 7:10 am on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems like after running a store for a while, you realized all the flaws of your cart and have enough experience to really choose the perfect cart for your needs.

And then you find out that the cart you switched to has all sorts of new flaws that you didn't think about until they bite you in the rear. I have used 5 different carts in the last 5 years (not all on the same site) and have found that they all have issues, just in different ways.

The trick is to figure out what headaches you can live with.

mellowmayhem




msg:4048168
 8:54 am on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

And then you find out that the cart you switched to has all sorts of new flaws that you didn't think about until they bite you in the rear. I have used 5 different carts in the last 5 years (not all on the same site) and have found that they all have issues, just in different ways.

The trick is to figure out what headaches you can live with.

That rings true. There is no perfect cart. All have flaws. Like you said, figure out which flaws you can live with.

I wish I did have millions of orders per day to fund programmers to make the perfect cart.

HRoth




msg:4048266
 1:04 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I switched carts after eight years. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. I went from only being able to figure shipping based on a proportion of the sale to being able to calculate it by weight. And with this new cart, I could hook up directly to USPS and whatnot if I wanted to. I'm happy with it. There are some problems--the secure pages are ugly. But I am now able to offer some seriously low shipping prices without ending up having to add shipping to the cost of the item. So I'm happy. It took me several days to change over.

chadhenry




msg:4050806
 3:07 pm on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Switching cart platforms can be easy or hard. It really depends on what you are using and what you are upgrading to. Some carts provide 'migration pathways' to help move your store from the old cart to your new cart. That being said, in most cases it's going to be a pain... even if there is a migration path.

Not only will you experience a pain moving your store but your site will most likely experience some downtime - so expect lost sales.

Something that many people don't think about is the URL structure of the old cart and that of the new one. If you aren't experienced with htaccess files and/or your new cart doesn't provide the option to create your own URL structure - you're most likely going to have 404s all over the place in the SERPs. So again, expect to have lost sales and less traffic until your new site is reindexed.

I've moved numerous ecommerce sites for clients, and it's really a pain - sometimes taking a month or more to do it properly. That said, with my own ecommerce sites I 'beta test' 6-10 carts before I choose the one I want to go with. I set up the carts on a subdomain, import the products and then have family, staff, friends test the heck out of the site until I find flaws. I then try and find solutions to those flaw, or I just scrap the cart altogether. Once I've found the best cart for my particular need I move the cart to the real domain and go live with it.

It should be known that I don't use the same cart for every site. I use the best cart for that particular niche. That can only be determined by knowing the needs of your customers and planning for future expansion of product lines and site features.

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