Home – New Forums Tech talk Shopping Carts

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  • #1015735
    sleepyoz
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    A fantastic solution if you want your online store to link straight into your MYOB Accounting/Retail Manager/Exonet to give inventory control etc is
    http://www.webninja.com.au/ is Web Ninja – the support and assistance provided is excellent and they have solutions for all sizes of business – tell them Leanne Berry referred you and they will see you right

    #1015736
    HappyCamper
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    My website is http://www.coolartvinyl.com.au

    This is an OSCommerce site that is heavily modified.

    The issues I have had with heavily modified open source shopping carts is that they often conflict with other aditions or coding you want to put in.

    For the first year of this website I consistently had problems with conflicts. I have just spent some money on a new payment system and a “conflict clean up” for want of a better term.

    In preparing for a new website for the other side of my business (Cool Art Canvas). I am going to go with the http://www.bigcommerce.com option that someone posted about a couple of months ago. I have been playing with the website admin and it is great. Much cheaper that Ashop and there has been zero speed issues with the servers being based in US.

    Huge ability to customise and great support. I will probably put that new site live in a week or so when I finish adding the products.

    Please note, I definitely needed to use a developer for the OSCommerce website, but I have been able to create and adapt the entire new website myself via bigcommerce. I may get some minimal tweaking of templates just before I go live.

    Hope that helps.

    #1015737
    prepaidplans
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    • Total posts: 38
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    This summary produced by Digital Pacific might prove useful it covers free and paid shopping carts.

    http://www.digitalpacific.com.au/blog/web-hosting/the-most-popular-free-and-open-source-shopping-carts/

    #1015738
    Spiffy Brian
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    I thought I’d take this opportunity to mention a new entry into the Shopping Cart arena.

    We’re an Australian company, and one of the things that we have found annoying is that most software packages either come from the US or cater solely for the US market and you end up having to work with something that doesn’t quite do the right thing in an Australian environment.

    So with that in mind we set about to create a brand new hosted shopping cart product which would look after the needs of Australian customers.

    For more details on Spiffy Stores, go to

    http://spiffystores.com.au

    This is our initial release (although we’ve been in beta for quite a while now). We’re always interested in feedback on how to improve the product for the next release.

    Cheers,
    Brian

    #1015739
    Samith
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    • Total posts: 187
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    I would definitely recommend Magento, they have all the features of a enterprise level ecommerce platform and the best thing is it’s free! you can easily pick up really nice agency quality templates for Magento as well.

    Have a look at the available templates for magento
    http://www.buywebsitetemplates.com.au/search.html?type=27

    #1015740
    JohnW
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    Spiffy Brian, post: 33020 wrote:
    So with that in mind we set about to create a brand new hosted shopping cart product which would look after the needs of Australian customers.

    For more details on Spiffy Stores, go to

    http://spiffystores.com.au

    We’re always interested in feedback on how to improve the product for the next release.
    Hi Brian,
    Handling & calculating freight are possibly the most vexatious areas for online shop owners.

    Do I understand your system only interfaces with Aust Post for this function?

    Do members have feedback experience on Aust Post’s ability to provide the online support function?

    Regs,

    John W

    #1015741
    Spiffy Brian
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    • Total posts: 25
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    Hi John,

    We use the Australia Post postage calculator to optionally provide shipping costs based on weight and destination and method of shipping. Of course, the store owner is free to use other forms for shipping charges, such as flat rate charges.

    We’ll be doing some work to enhance this area with the possibility of adding in other shippers such as UPS and FedEx, and we’ll also be looking at providing options for registered post and the shipment of bulky items.

    Cheers,
    Brian

    #1015742
    InfoMantra
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    • Total posts: 4
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    MAGENTO is the way to go if you want to offer your clients the option to check out without having to register / create an account.

    For a lot of our clients, this is an essential requirement that the shopping cart software has to cater for.

    There is a lot of research available on the net which suggests that focring your clients to register / create an account before they can order from your site is a major reason for abandoned shopping carts.

    Also, as others have already mentioned in previous posts, Magento is free, has a huge variety of plugins (both free & commercial) to add extra functionality and there are loads of free plugins to customize Magento for use in an Australian environment and linking with Australian banks’ payment gateways.

    We recently did a Magento set up for an Indian restaurant in Melbourne and it’s been working very well for them http://misht.com.au

    If you haven’t already made your choice, you should definately consider Magento.

    – Mandar
    InfoMantra
    http://infomantra.com.au

    #1015743
    peppie
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    InfoMantra, post: 34631 wrote:
    MAGENTO is the way to go if you want to offer your clients the option to check out without having to register / create an account.
    I would imaging the idea of not having to register/create an account would work for something like a take away – but surely if you are selling a physical product which needs to be shipped, or even downloaded, people would understand that they need to provide contact and shipping details???

    Is there really that much difference between “registering” and “providing shipping details”? Even a take away would need to know where to deliver!

    #1015744
    InfoMantra
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    • Total posts: 4
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    peppie, post: 34652 wrote:
    Is there really that much difference between “registering” and “providing shipping details”? Even a take away would need to know where to deliver!

    You’re right Paul, even a take away would need to know shipping/delivery details.

    It’s a matter of giving your customers the choice, to simply provide the required billing and delivery details or to register and create an account on your site.

    I probably did’nt express myself clearly, what I meant to say was that if your customers can shop on your website without registering it saves them the hassel of creating and remember another login and password combination and makes the checkout process just that little bit faster.

    In my experience a faster checkout process which only asks for information absolutely essential to complete the sale is definately an advantage.

    Plus there’s not too much you’re loosing out on by not forcing your clients to register. All the core marketing and demographic data is being captured by the standard checkout process anyway.

    – Mandar

    InfoMantra

    #1015745
    peppie
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    Ok I probably knew you would say that anyway. I guess I am just a bit of a stirrer.

    Yes I can see that you have to make it as easy as you can for people to make that step. I might add that I get annoyed by the sites that don’t tell you things like the price or shipping costs UNTIL you go though the shopping cart that requires you to provide all your contacts details first. I am always wondering what I am going to end up with in my inbox if I opt out of the purchase.

    #1015746
    John Debrincat
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    • Total posts: 963
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    peppie, post: 34794 wrote:
    Ok I probably knew you would say that anyway. I guess I am just a bit of a stirrer.

    Yes I can see that you have to make it as easy as you can for people to make that step. I might add that I get annoyed by the sites that don’t tell you things like the price or shipping costs UNTIL you go though the shopping cart that requires you to provide all your contacts details first. I am always wondering what I am going to end up with in my inbox if I opt out of the purchase.

    Actually you don’t need to collect all the adress information and sometimes it actually causes basket abandonment. You can easily create a simple gadget that gets a shipping cost estimate from Australia Post as an example – you can see how it works at one of our customer sites – http://www.onautos.com.au.

    Just open any product and click on the “Calculate delivery cost” link that is above the “Add to shopping cart” link. This works great and has improved the basket completion rate and is offered to our customers who use Australia Post but it can be done for any shipping method.

    Just one of our many innovations that make ecommerce easy.

    John

    #1015747
    The Internet Bloke
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    • Total posts: 131
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    Interesting how everyone has jumped in with recommendation of their favourite shopping carts, and nobody has even asked the thread starter ANY of the fundamental questions that should be considered before even thinking about which shopping cart to use.

    Things like:

    1. How many different items are you selling, and are there large numbers of the same item?
    2. Will they change often?
    3. What sort of items are they?
    4. Do you intend to use your own merchant account, or just use Paypal?
    5. How would you want the system to be updated?
    6. Are the products physical items, or electronic (ie e-books)?
    7. Does inventory need to be tracked?
    8. What’s your budget: Hundreds, Thousands, or Tens of thousands of dollars?

    Answers to these questions give an indication of size, scope, and payment handling requirements to compile a “shortlist” of possible solutions that are tailored to the needs of the client.

    Developers should never impose their “favourite” systems onto sites where it may be totally inappropriate.

    Small case study to prove my point:
    A craftsman has 4 products, and produces about 20 (expensive) items a year.
    He has a merchant account.

    Is it appropriate to set him up with a $12,000 database driven shopping cart system with all the bells and whistles, a real time payment gateway, and expensive monthly fees?

    Or with a simple Mals-E-commerce account and page modification costing a couple of hundred dollars, with no ongoing fees?

    There’s at least one developer I know of who reckons option 1 is the way to go!

    Regards,
    Eric Graudins

    #1015748
    JohnW
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    The Internet Bloke, post: 35252 wrote:
    Developers should never impose their “favourite” systems onto sites where it may be totally inappropriate.
    Well said Eric.

    Regs,

    John W

    #1015749
    John Debrincat
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    JohnW, post: 35260 wrote:
    Well said Eric.

    Regs,

    John W

    +1 I couldn’t agree more. We sell a ecommerce solution but it is not always the best solution for a given requirement.

    My recommendation is to try out a few and see what you can handle. There are many levels of non-technical and often you find that some people will find even the simplest solutions difficult to manage and managing what is delivered is critical. Most of the providers will allow free trials for their ecommerce solutions so start a few and make a list of what you like and don’t like.

    Most of the hosted solutions will come with some pre-built templates where you can easily change banners, colours, navigation areas and items. So you might want to consider starting with a basic design and see how you go first. Your view on site look and feel will change in the first few months. I am not suggesting not getting professional design just leave it for a few months. Design should always follow function.

    Functionality is really important and payment and shipping are the 2 key areas that need to fit your business processes. We often hear customers tell us they want to sell worldwide but end up getting 99% of the orders locally so planning is really important. Decisions on payment and shipping should be business decisions and not a technical ones as cost depends on the average value of the order and expected number of orders and your established margin.

    The other big issue is what are you selling because that will have an influence on what style of online store you need and functionality (like digital product downloads) and wine as two examples.

    When looking at functionality also think about:

    • Support for multiple languages (including Asian – UTF8)
    • Support for multiple countries and currencies
    • Newsletters and coupons
    • cross sell and upsell (manual and auto)
    • product accessories
    • product comparison
    • Portals – eBay, Getprice, Shopping.com
    • How variations are handled (e.g. size, colour etc)
    • Define resources and sell services
    • Image processing – auto resizing and multiple images
    • Handling analytics like Google Analytics
    • User account capability (ie login for customers)
    • Price lists and discounts (and by customer groups)
    • ability to add attributes to customers, products etc
    • ability to bundle products
    • Search
    • Import / export for orders, customers, content etc
    • SEO capabilities – Titles, Meta tag, Image alt tags etc
    • SEM integration – like Google conversion tracking code
    • Social networking integration and gadgets
    • Shopping cart and functions like gift wrapping
    • Security – SSL and PCI
    • SLA and support costs – should be 99.5%+ availability
    • ability to easily add html, CSS, Flash and JS
    • Upgrade path to grow with your business and roadmap features (i.e. new releases etc)
    • Cross browser capability IE, Safari, FF, Chrome etc

    A plan and budget are essential. Always ask for a complete quote or statement of work, and try to get a fixed price and timeframe for delivery.

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