The AdVantShop.NET team has recently released an updated version of v2.2.3 e-commerce engine. All the abilities of e-commerce have been largely extended in the new version. One of the new functions is AdVantShop.NETuploading / downloading goods catalogue from Microsoft Excel (.xls). Many of the online shops owners would like their sites to meet following requirements,
- Comfortable and easy working with e-commerce engine
- Stating the prices
- Working with payment systems
- Uploading the data to online-markets etc.
The updated AdVantShop.NET v2.2.3 simplifies working with your online shop. It has some considerable enhancements. Firstly, it enables you can upload your goods offers from Excel file or get the price-list from your shop in Microsoft Excel format (.xls). Meaning that it’s much easier now to operate price-lists both at the initial stage of working with online shop and at further stages. The only thing you need to do is to fill the xls-file with your goods, load it to your shop and start to sell the goods. Secondly, it has added the essential e-commerce function to this new version – Adjustable Options. This improvement allows to set up the goods options: color, length, size etc. For example, you can set different prices for each size of trousers. Finally, it’s available now to import your goods offers to the most popular on-line shopping services: Yandex.Market, Google Base, Shopping.com, Yahoo Shopping, PriceGrabber, Amazon.com and Shopzilla. You can promote your goods on the largest online shopping destinations. The updated AdVantShop.NET v2.2.3 is available as demo-version, version for downloading (for developers) or trial-version, that you can checked out at AdvantShop. For beginners it also offers a detailed video-guide for installing and operating the AdVantShop.NET e-commerce engine.
The team behind it just released the version 2.0 of this shopping cart software I never heard of until now. But that’s no wonder because there are way too many shopping cart solutions out there (free or paid).
CS-Cart is just one of those e-commerce solutions and it’s not free, will cost you $265 to get a license (they offer a free trial though so I might try it and see how it looks/works – they offer an online demo as well).
The technology behind it is a classic open source PHP/MySQL stack, like many other solutions and the target of this software seem to be geared towards small shops (which don’t have too much technology knowledge – that’s why this solution it’s called “out of the box”). If that is so then they have to compete with Zencart, Cubecart, osCommerce which are more established e-commerce shopping cart solutions and are free.
In this new version they seem to have improved their product by adding new designs and skins, layout block manager, design mode, web-based upgrade center, product filters and others (see the complete list here). Also, now it is possible to customize the software without any (or with minimum) modification in the source code which is always a good thing if you don’t want to spend money on the programmers.
One thing they should put on their website though is their contact details (and I don’t mean just the contact form but their location, maybe a phone number). This can boost the customers confidence.
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.
Interspire is built on PHP/MySQL open source software (running on either Linux or Windows operating systems) but this e-commerce software solution is NOT a free and open source solution (that is because we have presented on MyTestBox.com mostly free and open source web software – we intend to present both of them).
The price ranges from $295 (Interspire Shopping Cart Starter Edition), going to $995 (Interspire Shopping Cart Professional Edition) and finishing with $1795 (Interspire Shopping Cart Ultimate Edition). To see the differences between these different versions, checkout their comparison page and, of course, checkout the server requirements if you plan to host Interspire e-commerce software on your own server and run your own online store.
The support and maintenance is free for only 3 months, then you have to choose your plan if you intend to let Interspire do that further.
Some of the new features the version 5.0 has are:
* Entice customers to spend more with discount rules
* Add your own form fields to the signup process
* Tabs on product pages
* Re-Ordering from a previous purchase
* Export to any Order/Accounting system
* Add multiple products to your cart at once
* Sell products with delivery or event dates
* A new dashboard
* The Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing add-ons (a $298 each) are included free in all editions
* The ability to choose if FedEx rates are based on account or list rate
* The ability to give customer groups a $ discount and fixed product price as well as a % discount
* Additional payment gateway support for PayPal Express, QuickBooks Merchant Services, Secure Trading, OGone and IWSmile
* It’s now optional to upload an image for a product
* The default “no image” for a product can be uploaded
But to get a better grasp of what Interspire Shopping Cart 5.0 means take a look at the video they have prepared to demo the new features (or take a look at the screenshots).
Of course, you can try an online demo here if you are eager to experiment with it (or watch a screencast of it).
Interspire is a six years old privately held australian company based in Sydney which has also offices in Austin, Texas (USA) and London (UK). It boast about 20,000 customers worldwide and some of them are well known names: Ubisoft, Virgin, Monster.com, Intel, Shell, GE. It also develops other kind of web software like content management systems, email marketing systems and knowledge management systems.
Zen Cart (or ZenCart) www.zencart.com has been developed by group of professionals from Newcastle, England, Cleveland, Ohio and Ontario, Canada. It’s not a simple shopping cart module, but truly professional ecommerce store management platform (named also a shopping cart system) with newsletters, coupons, gift certificates, etc more capable to run Amazon type of stores than small websites with thousands of products allowing unlimited category depth and site search.
Even if Zen Cart comes with one standard outlook, there is several free sites and commercial stores (algozone.com, zen-cart-templates.ichoze.net, zencarttemplates.info, www.templatemonster.com/zencart-templates.php, themestock.com) available to give your store a custom outlook.
Installation and store setup
ZenCart shopping cart installation went smoothly, however the system complaint again several PHP setting parameters like register_globals=on (had to create separate php.ini for those), and even I didn’t had secure server protocol purchased to my hosting account, I was able to complete the installation with some simple steps.
The administration module is extremely broad and from first look, I was little bit confused where to start.Defining the products should be most reasonable step to start and as those are belonging to categories, those should be defined first. For SEO purposes, you are able to define your own Meta tags (title, keywords and description) for the category and build category tree structure.
Magento is a feature-rich, professional open source e-commerce solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the look, content, and functionality of their online store.
Magento’s powerful marketing search engine optimization and catalog management tools give merchants the power to create ecommerce sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. Magento is distributed free under the
GNU General Public License OSL license.
Magento is a registered trademark of Irubin Consulting Inc. DBA Varien. It is currently listed as in a preview release mode and not recommended for use in production environments. There are articles written by community members who have tried this new program and available for your benefit at http://www.magentocommerce.com/wiki/
Is this software compatible with your server?
Megento can be used on any server that is Linux or UNIX based. It can be run on a Windows based platform but at the moment there are some known issues that are being worked on and it may cause some conflicts, although, there are some documents on the main site to help. You can find some guidelines here
One of the known issues is the image uploads do not work in Windows.
This system is a Linux based software program and was designed with ease of install on a Linux based platform that has PHP 5 installed. This software is a PHP 5 only application and may cause issues if your system only supports PHP 4, although there is a work around solution found here
If you do not have any programming knowledge or skills, this system may not be suitable for you unless you have a technical support team who can assist you.
The server requirements for this software are:
- Linux or another UNIX-compatible operating system
- Apache web server (1x or 2x)
- PHP 5.2
- MySQL 4.1
- A sendmail- compatible Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)- if not Megento connects to SMTP server.
Also recommended is the use of APC as a bytecode cache for performance improvements. You can find it in the PECL archives here: http://pecl.php.net/package/APC
Other bytecode cache systems are not supported at this time.
osCommerce www.oscommerce.com is an open source online e-commerce software solution that is available for free under the GNU General Public License. osCommerce was started in March 2000 in Germany by project founder and leader Herald Ponce de Leon. Every year the members of the community join forces in designing more add-on features to increase the feasibility and functionality in all areas of development. The new version 3.0 is planned to hit the market and it will have a template feature that will allow users to create a more unique layout for their site.
OsCommerce was designed with a rich set of out of the box online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain their online stores with minimum effort, and no costs, fees, or limitations involved. This software was designed for ease of install and usability for any online store owner from newbie to techno king.
Is this software compatible with your server?
OsCommerce can be used on any web server that has PHP and MySQL installed. Most of the web host providers have included this software for a general automatic install from your account control panel or within the Fantastico control panel, depending on which host provider you have gone with. If you do not have the automatic install capability, the osCommerce software is available from main site for downloading and installing manually.
You will need to know where to access your files, usually under the file manager option in your control panel, to FTP your extracted files into the correct folder. You can use this software as a standalone site, meaning you can choose to install in the root directory of your domain, and have the store as you main index; or you can choose to install in a sub directory as an add on, an example being http://www.yoursite.com/store.
Although the oscommerce is not the “ultimate” e-commerce solution, it is by no means “basic”; with the capabilities of customizing to meet the specific needs of ones own business.