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ECOMMERCE

These are some of the ecommerce solutions we use:

Virtuemart.

It began as off shoot of the stand-alone phpShop e-commerce web application. Originally dubbed mambo-phpShop it became the first substantial native e-commerce component for the Mambo CMS system. After the community forked Mambo into Joomla, the developer re-branded mambo-phpShop as VirtueMart, officially supporting the newer Joomla CMS. While current implementations may still function with Mambo CMS, and older editions of mambo-phpShop are still available to download, they are no longer actively supported.

VirtueMart supports an unlimited number of products and categories, with products able to be assigned to multiple categories. It also permits the sale of downloadable products, and offers a catalog mode where the shopping cart features are turned off. VirtueMart supports multiple prices for a single product, based around shopper groups or a quantity range, and permits the use of a variety of different payment gateways.

Because VirtueMart is an open source ecommerce solution all the application code is openly visible in php. This allows PHP developers to view, update or customize the operation of the shopping cart. In addition VirtueMart itself offers simplified templates ( called 'fly pages' in VirtueMart) structure that allows various shopping and cart page(s) to be edited as standard html and css.

VirtueMart is the leading Online-Shop solution for Joomla! & Mambo (more than 1.5 Million downloads so far). VirtueMart is no stand-alone script, but a Plug-in and requires the PHP Content Management System like Joomla! or Mambo.


Magento.

Magento is one of the most robust open source ecommerce solutions on the market today. It is a web application launched on March 31, 2008. It was created by Varien, building on components of the Zend Framework. Magento Enterprise Edition, aimed at larger companies, was launched on April 15, 2009.

Magento offers the following features:

  • Site management.
  • Mobile commerce.
  • Marketing promotions and tools.
  • International support.
  • Search Engine Optimization.
  • Checkout, shipping, and payment.
  • Order Management.
  • Customer service and accounts.
  • Catalog management and browsing.
  • Product browsing.
  • Analytics and reporting.
  • Customer reviews, cross-selling and customer tags.
  • Compare products and wishlists
  • Google Base and Google Website Optimizer Integration

osCommerce.

It has attracted a large growing e-commerce community that consists of over 204,600 store owners and developers who support each other and extend osCommerce Online Merchant with add-ons being contributed on a daily basis. To date there are over 5,300 add-ons that are available to customize osCommerce Online Merchant online stores and to help increase sales.

osCommerce Online Merchant is an Open Source online shop e-commerce solution that is available under the GNU General Public License. It features a rich set of out-of-the-box online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain online stores.

With over 8 years of operation, osCommerce has built a showcase of over 14,100 online shops that have been voluntarily added to the live shops section, and powers many thousands of more online shops worldwide.

osCommerce MS2.2 provides a basic set of functionality that meets the common needs of online businesses. Beyond the basic functionality, osCommerce is able to be augmented, via either community-supplied add-ons or custom code, meaning that it can be customized to meet the specific needs of any business.

The following is a list of key features of osCommerce MS2.2 as stated on their site:

  • Compatible with php 4 and mysql - easily portable to version 5.
  • Compatible with all major browsers.
  • Multi-lingual English, German and Spanish by default.
  • Automatic web-based installation.
  • Unlimited number of products and categories.
  • Automatic setup of ecommerce payment systems: Authorize.net, 2Checkout.com, iPayment.de, PayPal.com, PsiGate.com, SECPay.com, and TrustCommerce.com; Many other add-on ecommerce payment systems, off-line (manual) credit card payments and on-line payment processing.
  • Multi-currency support via manual update from exchange rate server.
  • Support for dynamic images (one image per product).
  • Supports physical products as well as product downloads.
  • Web-based administration module.
  • Database backup and restore.
  • Temporary and permanent shopping carts.
  • Secure transactions with SSL support.
  • Many shipping options including by weight, price, or destination.
  • Real-time shipping quote integration with UPS and USPS.
  • Zone-based shipping options as well as a free shipping option as part of Order Totals Module.
  • Full tax functionality, included compounded taxes, different zones for different products.

In implementing an osCommerce-based site one key decision is how to integrate the design. Unlike its forks, osCommerce MS2.2 does not come with a template system, though third party osCommerce templates are available. This has been seen as a negative for some. However it does mean that designs can be hand-coded or a template system installed. There are several well-known template systems, including STS, BTS and SMARTY.

Zencart
.

It is an open source online store management system. Support is provided for several languages and currencies.

Zen Cart branched from osCommerce as a separate project. Beyond some aesthetic changes, the major differences between the two systems come from Zen Cart's architectural changes(e.g. a template system) and additional included features in the core. Among the modules already included are a Gift Certificate/Voucher module which allows to create, send and manage the digital coupons. A module to sell downloads (pdf or other media files) is included as well.

Zen Cart truly is the art of e-commerce; free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software. The ecommerce web site design program is being developed by group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think ecommerce web design could be and should be done differently.
Some shopping cart "solutions" seem to be complicated programming exercises instead of responding to users' needs, Zen Cart puts the merchants and shoppers requirements first.

There are hundreds of shopping cart programs available, but none come close to offering the level of options, features and support available with Zen Cart. Even the commercial programs have a hard time competing.

Products, pricing, shipping, newsletters, sales etc. are managed by the store owner through the administration area. The shopping cart is set up to receive payments from major credit cards and several payment gateway services are also provided.

The following is a list of some of the key features of Zen Cart as stated on their website:

  • Multiple language support and customer modes.
  • Unlimited category depth.
  • Multiple sales and discounts.
  • Multiple display modes.
  • XHTML 1.0 compliant template system.
  • Extra pages.
  • Multiple ad banner controller.
  • Multiple shipping and payment options.
  • Newsletter manager.
  • Discount coupons and gift certificates.
  • Featured products
  • Quantity discounts
  • PhpBB integration through external module

Although Zencart improved the shop management and administration with the template system, still it suffers from the fact that editing core files for customizing is often required (no real modular structure). Therefore, in case of heavy customizing, the software is cumbersome to maintain and update.

 


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