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10,000+ shopping cart budget, suggestion?
ptech




msg:643180
 4:57 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most of the carts I've seen discussed are fairly inexpensive, is there any advantage to going with a pricier solution? I'm not apposed to $10-20K, I just don't know where to look or if there is a reason to spend that kind of money. We have pretty basic needs but I do have a few requirements.

1. Search engine friendly (custom title tags, SE friendly URLs, etc)
2. Export orders to Quickbooks (or at least in a file that a third party app can do the import).
3. Allow for static tutorial pages, and links from those pages to products in the catalog.

I've looked at Litecommerce and it seems to do everything I would need but I'm nervous about it's security and not having complete control over the code.

 

jsinger




msg:643181
 11:35 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Shopsite and many other inexpensive carts will securely do what you need for $50-$150 per month, I'm sure.

You may want a better back end, but you can add powerful stats and order processing/shipping software for far less that $10K. Cheap software has a far larger group of knowledgeable users and designers. What do you do if your high priced cart company goes out of business? Who ya gonna call?

While on this subject:
Can someone tell me what features ultra high end carts have that you can't get for $100 a month?

madmac




msg:643182
 4:45 pm on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> What do you do if your high priced cart company goes out of business?

What are you gonna do if the company you're paying $100/month for a hosted cart goes out of business? You are in real trouble then.

At least if you bought a license for a cart, and the company goes under, you still have a valid license and are still able to operate since you are hosting your own site.

jsinger




msg:643183
 6:35 pm on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

How many remote carts abruptly go out of business? (I don't know). The ones I've followed just gradually fade away. They stop enhancing their cart, and support disappears gradually. As long as you're paying monthly, my experience is they will keep the cart alive. You can see the end several years in advance.

We pay monthly for our cart but could buy the license.

Before using ANY cart I'd check to see:

1) where the company is located and is it easily reachable by phone and in person if necessary

2) How long has it been in business?

3) When and how often is it enhanced?

4) How big is the user base?

5) If it has a user forum (a necessity to me), how happy are the members?

6) How proprietary is the software; can we switch later if necessary?

7) Are there third party enhancements?

ptech




msg:643184
 2:14 pm on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the input.
jsinger --> I've been looking at Shopsite very closely but I couldn't find a forum, only a newsgroup. I'm trying to get a feel for the size of its userbase, and I completely agree with the 7 points you made. I'm also looking for a rock-solid host, some people in the newsgroup really like Lexiconn and Pair but Lexiconn seems to have had some recent outages.

One positive point about monthy/annual fees for a shopping cart is that the developer is less likely to go under if they have a constant revenue stream. If you buy a one-time license for a cart then where is the company going to get revenues to stay in business? Same thing goes for free cart scripts. Where do you turn for reliable, on demand support? I'm not trying to start a debate, I just feel more comfortable purchasing from an established developer that appears to be profitable. It means they'll be around for support and upgrades.

jsinger




msg:643185
 4:23 pm on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm glad to help.

Shopsite has a large user base. Oddly (I think) Shopsite's highly active forum is on a Newsgroup, forum.shopsite .

Many users host with Lexiconn or Pair. Shopsite itself offers almost no customer support; I've never spoken or emailed them! You can buy the license, or rent as we do. The program is available in three levels of features and cost.

With Shopsite, certain partner/hosts provide all the support. Lexiconn is fabulous with knowledgeable telephone support during normal hours and fast email support 24/7.

Neither Shopsite nor Lexiconn provides design support. About 20 small firms around the company are certified to build sites if you need that. We used a free lancer to build our first "custom template" to give our site a totally custom look. After that, I've done everything myself.

Lexiconn has had some minor problems over the past two months. Total downtime just a few hours.

Several excellent third party add-ons are available for SS including the Stoneedge Order Processing software which we should use, but don't, yet. An outboard stats program is almost a necessity; we use Urchin.

You can't beat the Shopsite/Lexiconn/Stoneedge combination for hand-holding and reliability. Shopsite doesn't represent themselves to be an ultra high end enterprise cart. They're just a notch down from that.

(I don't work for any of them. I'm not an affiliate either)

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