My web design business used to deal exclusively with setting up shopping cart/e-commerce software for small businesses. The great thing about offering e-commerce solutions is that they provide a tremendous amount of value to the client. As a result, setting up shopping cart software for small businesses can be very lucrative.
My Experience with Shopping Cart Software
We have tried many different e-commerce products, including osCommerce and Zen Cart. That being said, e-commerce setup, installation, and customization can be one of the most frustrating things to do. In my opinion, there is seriously not any good out-of-the-box e-commerce software available. Fortunately, it appears that a much more powerful and easy-to-use e-commerce solution is on the way…
My good buddy and entrepreneur-extraordinaire, Mitchell Harper, is currently working on what looks like will be the best shopping cart software available. It is called StoreSuite and it has many features that I have longed for in e-commerce software.
What’s So Great About StoreSuite?
StoreSuite is a complete PHP and MySQL e-Commerce platform that’s currently being developed by Interspire. It includes everything necessary to sell physical and/or digital products (eBooks, etc) online. It will integrate with all major payment gateways, is 100% HTML template driven, includes a powerful control panel as well as too many other features to list.
Other awesome features of StoreSuite include:
- Drag & drop design mode.
- Extensive use of “AJAX” technology.
- Sell physical and/or downloadable products.
- 100% template driven layout.
- Integrates with all major shipping providers.
If you have ever thought about setting up an online store, I highly recommend you check out StoreSuite. Judging from the product interface videos that Mitch has been posting so far, this software looks ALMOST too good to be true…
Have you guys ever played around with other shopping cart products? If so, what did you think of them? As I mentioned, I used to use osCommerce and wow… customizing that was a nightmare!
22 thoughts on “Ending The E-Commerce Nightmare: StoreSuite”
osCommerce is actually very easy to customise – it just takes an understanding that the code is from 1999, hence think in terms of tables rather than divs 😉
Zen Cart was fatally flawed from the very beginning by relying on the osCommerce codebase. osCommerce might yet prove to be the best about – have you seen the new features of the latest point release?
The problem with MOST carts is that they are coded up by geeks. These geeks have no real world knowledge of e-commerce. What it takes to make a successful site is the following;
~ a geeky coded script
~ the store owner
~ a middle-man who knows his onions about design, usability, SEO, accessibility and all the rest of it. This person takes the “geek features” and makes them usable for “Mr Store Owner”.
The origins of my own blog date back to the dark days of osCommerce – heck, my first ever blog was on the official osCommerce site 😉
I shall have to take a look at Store Suite. Might make a good possibility for future clients.
Couldn’t agree more. I’ve started a few online stores, one of which got to $300,000/month in revenue, so I know exactly what an eCommerce application needs to be usable, and that’s exactly what I’m building with StoreSuite.
Just too many ecommerce software out there, if I really have to pay for an ecommerce software, I choose java ecommerce server and open source rather then proprietary service. Anyway, just my personal preference.
I heard that CubeCart was pretty good, ever try that?
I use Cubecart, it’s OK as long as either you are into code or get someone to do it all for you. What is anoying is that in order to make it any good you have to buy mods, this can end up costing a small fortune and is a bit of a shock when you start out thinking it’s free.
I have used both Zen Cart and Actinic. Actinic is VERY easy to customise once you get the hang of it. The only problem is that is’ a couple of hundred pounds.
Zen is free, and has a lot of support. Out the box it’s not brilliant, but the amount of customisations you can achieve with the software makes it worth the while.
The front end in the screenshot looks a lot like the admin panel in WordPress. I really like that.
I haven’t used any eCommerce packages, but when it comes to scripts I usually give first consideration to the ones that come with cPanel.
i thought about a store for a while, but never got into it
The big-money game right now is in ecommerce solutions that integrate into major accounting packages (QB, SAP, MS Nav). People are screaming for solid integrated solutions that are affordable. Especially with CRM B2B functionality.
Affordable …. SAP ….. now Im confused 😉
That’s pretty sweet that it’s template driven so it’s easy to alter the look instead of having to manually go into the files to edit things (kinda like how it is with vBulletin). I’ll check it out if I find the need for a shopping cart solution.
a buddy of mine is using oscommerce and is freaking out. he just doesnt know how to work it. i tell him to google around and see if he can find some help. guess its user error?
Our store uses X-Cart but it took a lot custom coding to get it to work like we wanted… customizing the look is also a pain until you get used to the smarty templates.
I have been using virtureMart, a Joomla! / Mambo plugin. The advantage with that is you can add content, forums and other community building components. The other OS apps you mention can only do e-commerce, nothing else. Currently stuck with tables but that will change in the near future….
There is also a new OS app currently in beta
It is not as well featured as other apps and the demo is very unstable at the moment, but it looks pretty and is one to keep an eye on IMO.
I use http://www.omnistarcart.com It is from a company called Omnistar Etools which has tons of great software http://www.omnistaretools.com
Looks like an interesting store – I’ve been playing with a few recently to see how the compare. I’ll see if I can get on the beta program 😀
That example certainly looks very professional
How much does this software cost? Is it competitively price?
Responding to Mike: pricing has not yet been announced on this product, so we’ll have to wait and see. They’re trying to get ready for a beta in December, so we’ll certainly know by or before then.
I second Magento – seems to be leading the pack. It has some advanced features that none of the other products come close to.
Interspire and Omnistar’s carts are the same but their prices vary greatly. Strange.
Magento WILL in my humble opinion be the best free OS solution out there once they add downloadable products in version 1.2 (sometime very soon according to them).
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