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Feedback on my shopping cart requirements, please

Got one in mind, would like feedback and options

12:24 am on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I need a shopping cart that accepts PayPal, snail mail payments, perhaps a third party CC processor and later on credit cards. It also needs to calculate shipping by weight and zone. I'd like for the order form to be customizable so that it looks like my site. I have all my items for sale on html pages, not in a database. Ease of installation is a must! Installing my autoresponder for my newsletter just about drove me nuts. I don't want to go through that again. It involved MySQL and perl. SecureNetShop looks like it has everything I want and I can afford it, but it is hosted on their site. I think I'd rather have it all on my site, but would that involve complicated (for me) installation? Has anyone used SecureNetShop or know anything about it? I don't want to do something I'll regret. If there's something better out there that suits my needs, I really want to know.



8:23 pm on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I use secure net shop and I like it for what it is. It's basically a remotely hosted shopping cart that you integrate with by adding buy now links and buttons to your website. I use software from fourth world called web merge that creates the website from templates I have and a csv database file. For a site with relatively few products that won't change a lot, the remotely-hosted-cart with buy now button works well.

If you're going to change your site a lot, it's a pain to have to update an HTML page (or pages) and THEN go and update the shopping cart's database.

It has two downsides that I have come across thus far:

1- you can chnge product inventory levels, but SNS doesn't have a method of running an inventory report to see what those levels are or what is marked out of stock.

2- the affiliate program tracking is just insanely archaic and I can't see how it would work in the real world. Now you may nothave an affiliate program, but being able to create affiliate-like tracking links for tracking clicks-to-sales from PPC search engines is a really useful thing to do and SNS can't do that.

Otherwise, I think it's a good solution, definitely more flexible than something like Mals, more customizable and with many more options and I have been happy with it.

11:37 pm on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks. That's the kind of thing I needed to know. Yes, I add and delete stock every week. Sometimes lots of it. Guess I need one that's not remotely hosted, huh? Ugh. I'm looking at ClickCartPro at the moment. They say it's easy to install. 5 minutes. I'm guessing that's just installation and not figuring out how to use it. LOL


12:50 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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How much does Secure Net Shop and ClickCartPro cost anyway?

Just give me a ballpark figure if you don't have the exact

Thanks everybody!

10:37 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I recommend using a shopping cart software that is database driven. Even if you have already built out HTML pages (you can still use these pages to help you in search engines)... you will be better off in the long run to have easy edit software.

Have you ever heard the expression... sometimes an inexpensive product will end up costing you more?

Something to think about.


1:43 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>SecureNetShop looks like it has everything I want and I
>>can afford it, but it is hosted on their site.

that means it's a remotely hosted shopping cart and no need for you to install anything. remote carts make life very easy for the site owners - simply create html pages and add buy now buttons. also, because you're not tied into a combined catalogue / cart system, you can switch to a different remote cart fairly easily.

however, a quick look at securenetshop shows it's a combined catalogue / shopping cart system. that might not be so good (see below).

you might like to look at another remote cart, www.mals-e.com - this is often recommended here, has lots of shipping options, works with paypal and many card processing companies. there are others out there as well ....

>>I recommend using a shopping cart software that is
>>database driven. ... you will be better off in the long
>>run to have easy edit software.

when using a combined database driven catalogue with shopping cart, be careful that it doesn't include session IDs in the URLs and links. session IDs will stop search engines spidering the site and you will lose traffic. turn cookies off to check if session IDs are used in the catalogue - if so, dump the cart.

also watch out for the query string - the bit of the URL like?item=1234&colour=blue - search engines have trouble with these. if you're hosted on *nix servers, use mod_rewrite so you can use www.yourdomain.com/1234/blue instead.

>>Have you ever heard the expression... sometimes an
>>inexpensive product will end up costing you more?

quite right.
look very carefully at every product / service and make sure it's right for your customers. think about the payment system as well - do your target customers all have paypal accounts? if not, do you think they'll open an account through you? or will they just go elsewhere? why not just let them pay with credit cards from day 1?

[edited by: Crazy_Fool at 1:51 am (utc) on Mar. 19, 2003]

1:50 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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there are quite a few open source carts that make good use of paypal IPN. The main benefit of this is you fill your store with your inventry and as you sell items they are removed. This prevents you selling items that are out of stock.