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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just a thought to add to the discussion.
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
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.