I am trying to come up with shopping cart options for a company where I am doing some website modifications (my role was really only to do some html and flash design). They have given me a "wish list" for what their shopping cart would do and I am looking for options in various price ranges for them. I would love to hear any input from other, more experienced, webmasters out there. The company currently has a cold fusion based shopping cart but they are very unhappy with their host and can't take the cold fusion with them when they move their site. They want a shopping cart which will support online cc processing, create or integrate with a database with all customer info, create invoices and shipping labels which can be printed out and something where the products can be added and removed in-house by someone with very limited training. They don't want much do they ;p Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
The shipping label thing seems a little bit funny.
The method I've seen most often is to send the data from the website to your in-house customer management software. That software can print labels.
Most shopping carts assume your business already has a suite of software that it can't live without, and it doesn't seek to replace that, it just becomes an additional "sales center." The better carts can output their activity in comma-delimited datafiles for your main db to slurp up and process.
Maybe that's the "old 90's way" but in my experience, that's what most people are doing. Perhaps the movement is towards having one software company stock your office PCs with business software, and your web server with ecommerce server, and the whole thing just grooves together like one big happy family. And I'm sure we all have an idea of which giant software corporation wants to do that for all of us :-P
Hey, ask them if on their wish list they should include "Pages in the ecommerce area are prohibited (unindexable) by most major search engines and therefore reduce your SE traffic to almost nil." Then explain that this "feature" is included at least 90% of the ecommerce packages out there--including all the high-profile big bucks .asp systems. I bet you'll be able to count every filling in their molars.
No promises, but take a look at Cartit... I had this cart doing some very high-end stuff by feeding its tags through a database. That was around 3 years ago, as I recall it was very php-like. They seem to have dropped out of sight for awhile, but someone has revived the script site fairly recently (they've been emailing their old userbase). [cartit.com...]
As far as the label making thing, and actually all of it, these people don't even know what it is they want(and change their minds every 30 seconds anyway). When they mentioned the label making thing in their last list of demands I asked what label making software they are currently using and apparently that would be none which is why they expect their shopping cart to do it for them I guess. As far as the search engine thing goes this is kind of a unique project where search engines aren't actually an issue. The store exists almost soley for customers who have moved out of the company's distribution area and want the product shipped to them. I will look at cartit. Thanks for the suggestion! I've looked at about a dozen so far but I'm not finding anything which will create an invoice or shipping label for them. Do I just need to get them to buy other software which will be compatible with whatever shopping cart they decide on to handle these tasks? If so, suggestions on that?
Unless they have their own trucking system for shipments I would think that shipping lables and tracking could be handled by the freight companies (by passing them the data much like cc procesing). I know that UPS is doing some pretty neet automated stuff with their business partners.
Wow! What great advice! I think cartit plus the FREE ups software (if the client has an existing ups account) will do everything this company needs, including printing out the darn labels. I'm giving them several options to choose from but that is personally the way I would go if I were them. Thanks so much, you all are total lifesavers I was really starting to pull my hair out over dealing with these people!