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  1. Code Monkey V. 0.9
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    Looking for E-Commerce suggestions


    I've been approached by a client that has some specific ideas for their e-commerce site, and I'm at a loss to find one that can do what I'm looking for. Unfortunately I'm also working of an incomplete spec for now... as the client is a bit over 2 hours away by car so setting up a face-to-face meeting hasn't happened yet. Hopefully soon though so I can get the actual requirements.

    The client is basically a wholesaler so they buy products in bulk and brand them when the products are sold to their customers. The problem that I have is that they want to have sub-domains or sub-folders where selected clients can log into their own version of their website and order in their own little system. From what they've said so far I am thinking that this has to do with the personalisation that is required.

    So far I can find lots of shopping carts that can handle the stock, inventory, multiple pricing, etc. I've found a couple that can handle multiple store fronts and give different products to different stores. So far I haven't been able to find one that can make it easy for my client to set up the multiple stores themselves (they aren't tech-savy at all... they only barely know how the web works) so I am getting the feeling that this is going to be a hard task for me.

    I do have the option of writing a custom system for them, but I'm not sure that their budget is going to allow for that so for now I'm hoping to find something that can almost work off the shelf and doesn't need a full-blown customisation to get something close to what I want.

    So, are there any ideas out there for what I can do?
  2. #2
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    Lost in code
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    Avoid osCommerce (code is hideous) and X-Cart (UI and English translation are hideous).

    I also do not recommend using any E-Commerce system that is designed as a module for a non-E-Commerce system (Drupal and WordPress have a lot of these).

    You might want to consider using Magento, which has terrible performance and an ungodly complex architecture, but also provides nearly every feature and the kitchen sink out of the box, is free, and has a pretty good default UI for both the front-end and the back-end. Code quality is not amazing, but it's above average for these types of scripts.

    Prestashop is an E-Commerce script that I've seen around but haven't actually used before so I can't make a recommendation one way or the other. Based solely on their website it looks like it could be OK.
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  4. #3
  5. Code Monkey V. 0.9
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    Don't worry... There will be no OS-Commerce/X-Cart etc going anywhere near this project! The last time I used that was a long time ago and even back then I hated it all.

    I have looked at Magento, and I do use that for more "standard" stores. The problem that I have with it for this project is the automated set up of the new store front/sub domain for customers. I know that I could do it manually for each one that's needed, but if there's a way to get around that it would be a lot easier for me and the client. Unfortunately I have to make this thing as idiot proof as possible. I'm still thinking that it will end up being Magento, but I might have to try to talk them into a few different ways of doing things. I'll have to see how open to change they are, but from a historical point of view the answer to that is "not much".
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    Magento is a free to use open source web development software which does not need any monthly fee like other shopping cart software. This feature is one of the unique features of the Magneto which attracts consumers to optimize for customized application development services.

    To develop a Magento site is somewhat harder than developing other platforms, but Magento Extensions and the Extension Community have set platform apart from others in developing the site with best features.
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    if you dont mind coding custom blocks, null nuke 1.3 can do whatever you like, a main catalog module is simple to make, then you can have more custom blocks for index pages in every new theme you create
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    just remove user submissions and a few other things from the downloads module and you have a catalog, changing database column names etc
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    Don;t think that Uberart/Virtuemart will be bad for that. And I'd also recommend you Magento, just for it's functions.

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