LiteCommerce is a compact e-commerce and shopping cart commercial software developed by Qualiteam Software. Their other product lines are X-cart shopping cart software for more comprehensive e-commerce needs, Sales’n Stats and Hacker Proof/Hacker Guardian.
LiteCommerce license for one store costs $109 and there are several optional add-on modules available like Wish List, Affiliate Management, E-Commerce reports, Gift Certificates, Wholesale Trading, Multi Currency, etc for $13-$17 each for your particular store needs.
The difference between LiteCommerce and X-cart is that LiteCommerce have modular design. When purchasing X-cart you will have all the functions included to one license as in LiteCommerce, you will purchase the basic core license, and then will specify your shop needs by purchasing those extra modules for $13 each or download some of those free of charge.
If you want to become an e-commerce application service provider Qualiteam has another package for you: LiteCommerce ASPE
With LiteCommerce ASPE you can take full advantage of Application Service Provider business model. LiteCommerce ASPE is specially designed for:
* Hosting service providers (HSP)
* Companies running multiple shops powered by LiteCommerce
* Companies that provide ecommerce application services
* Companies who need the ability of rapid shops deployment (e.g. shops dedicated to special events to catch up market opportunities)
By registering to the 30 day evaluation version, I got email containing several download links for different operating systems.
As my hosting runs with Debian GNU/Linux, I decided to download the Linux version.
Other Options where Windows 98/NT/2000&2003, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, BSDi, Solaris and Mac OS X.
LiteCommerce is built using the open source PHP/MySQL technology which can run on operating systems above.
As my hosting service does not provide me the Unix Command Shell access, I usually Unzip program files to my computer and upload those with ftp.
This was a way I tried to install it this time but none of those php modules worked when in server, including install.php. They just showed up as empty pages showing only HTML header for each page.
The manual was showing some kind of windows installation screens but only thing I had was compressed file which contained another tar file.
So when I finally installed this file to the server and decompressed it directly in the server something started to happen.
To get it finally work I deleted all my previous files and decompressed all again in the server again as some of the modules where still showing as corrupted or not working.
Lucky me that I’m using net2ftp browser interface which offers me such kind of activity instead of my hosting provider default control panel.
The second problem was some directory rights. So you need to assign several CHMOD’s after the uncompress procedure is complete like even providing 777 (full access) to the main directory and later change them back when the installation is complete.
You can order the professional installation service together with your license for extra $57.
Site setup allows defining some look and feel of the site, like does catalogs listings show up as Icons or Listings, will there be thumbnails shown on product listings, how many products are listed per page, the measurement unit, currency and time settings, also row limits per page using administration module.
The company setup asks Company Name, website and year business started, physical address, and email addresses to website administrator, customer relations, sales and support.
Email section allows to setup will the order to be emailed to customer, sales department and will administrator email contain also credit card information or not. I assume that administrator will get emails from each order. To prevent spam, the valid domain names must be listed.
The security section allows defining where the system will use secure (HTTPS) connection. Like in customer zone (login, shopping cart, etc) and in administration zone and will the shopping cart to be cleared after customer had logged off or not.
The modules section allows to define integration with payment, shipping and other third party e-commerce service providers and the list is impressive having 33 payment processors listed.
The payment methods section allows defining seven payment methods like credit card, phone order, fax order, cod, etc.
In credit card types you can list the entire card list accepted in your store.
Shipping methods will allow to define shipping and shipping zones can be countries or states. For each method and zone you can define different shipping cost for weight/items/order total range which can be either flat, per item, % of subtotal or per lbs.
The tax schemes seem to be built in but you can upload your country specific tax schemes as .tax files. Hopefully there has been lot of third party developers to produce those or you need to figure out the format yourself.
Administrators can define new countries and their states, set them active and specify will the VAT calculated to particular country.
The product comes with two skins: modern and classic, both available as two or three column version but the look and feel are fully customizable.
With HTML and CSS knowledge, administrator is able to write new templates or modify existing .tpl files.
Products belong to categories which are customizable. When adding a new product, administrator will define the price, weight, tax class, is product taxable, available for sale, thumbnail and full size images, page title, brief and full description, Meta keywords and description for search engines and sort order.
You can add new fields for product category, import and export product catalogs as CSV files.
User management allows creating new users, modifying existing ones and importing them from CSV files.
Order management allows searching orders by time frame, status, e-mail or ordering id and exporting those to MS Excel (XML file).
From the maintenance part, administrators are able to restore/backup database, manage images between files and database, view sales statistics, clean cache and purchase new modules.
Site design is very clean from the first page you have tabs for catalog, my cart, my account and contact us. Having additional modules like Wish List installed, some of those will appear as tabs. The catalog page shows product categories and featured products together with news box. Featured products had even Buy Now bottom in first page. From the product page, I can email it to friend, buy now or put to my wish list if such kind of module is installed.
When pressing Buy Now, I was redirected to shopping cart page where I was able to clear cart, go to checkout, delete items or continue my shopping session.
When you go to checkout, the system will ask you to create an account with your billing and shipping (can be copied from billing) details or to login as returning customer. You can also login by clicking My Account tab and see your purchases. Pretty standard ecommerce stuff.
The Contact Us tab opens a contact form with mandatory physical address to fill which will be emailed to particular department mailbox defined from administration module.
The product was very easy to use with nice user interface and besides hassles with installation (which is not that of a big deal), I didn’t encountered any other problems or bugs. User interface was so clear so I would do shopping from any sites running Litecommerce. The modular design allows you to grow your business or purchase additional modules for your particular needs. I was playing little bit with affiliate module which worked well and had similar user friendly interface however little bit different from main module. It contained all the functionality to run your affiliate network, including support to multi tier affiliate programs.
The company has prepared an online demo of this software so if you are eager and don’t want to install it yourself just go to this page.
Do you want to see how others have implemented this e-commerce solution? Just check out this page and you willl see live e-shops around the world built in LiteCommerce.
LiteCommerce is perfect to run a small business e-commerce store but let’s not forget the competition which is quite strong, especially that there are some free e-commerce software solutions like Zencart, Cubecart, osCommerce, Magento and others.