Time for a psycholog?

I’m saying this in a positive way. The CS-cart is taking it far away and I wonder?

Is it room/time for a webshop psycholog in the dev team? I have been with C-cart from the early beginning and have spoken a lot of nice word about it and still do. Fairly the best card you can by - but. It now has so many add-ons and functions that your head are spinning. Is it maybe time to sit down, take a breath and think of a lite version? Free for all the non shopping value options? My suggestion is this – make a lite version and sell it for example $85.

I base my saying on this:

To many functions and add-ons confuse you and especially the customers.

Stripping all this away will give a faster shop – it starts to be slow and heavy.

I’m shore half of the database and the admin back end can be deleted.

The skin designs are good but they are building on an old site stile model like oscommerce – zen etc. A good selling shop (isn’t that what we want?) are simple and quick for the users with focus on the products – not all heavenly functions. They don’t by functions!

I’m trying to simplify one shop that I’m about to set up – not half way true but this gives an idea about what I mean. http://www.lillemote.no

Here is an example of what I think is the perfect shop: [url]http://www.halmenmusik.se/[/url]

See how fast the products added to the cart – hove easy it is to go to the Checkout!

Another ting – today’s CS-cart have many double and triple information in the front.

Site info is triple?

Authentication is double. What is the need for the authentication box at all? You can log in on my account.

The only needed functions I see in a lite version:

Related products

Featured products

News on E-mail

Wholesale trade

Send to a friend

Rest - put in the basket!

Manufacturers – No - maybe if you sell nike and addidas – who does?

Search – No – maybe if you have 1000 hardware in the shop.

Events – No

Bestsellers – No – I say irrelevant for the customers – but only for you

Site News – No - If something happens weekly – ok

Wish list – No – don’t wish my products – by them.

Some things I like to see is a view larger image possibility from the product list.

Guess I get a lot of pepper here no – but if you are not making shopping carts for a hobby – only a must to set up a well selling store – please try to think from the customers point of view. Focus on the products – good pictures and simplify. Finally it will be a faster shop and more simple and easy to set up.

Give me a lite version and some dozen skins with it – please!.

CS-Cart is designed to allow you to remove functionality through admin or simple edits of templates.

I now - but do you not see my point?

simple editing of the templates is a saying with modifications.

and what about the speed?

[quote name=‘terje’]I now - but do you not see my point?[/QUOTE]I do. That is way I’ve looked at using a Flex like cart for some other products.


I just need to add PayPal Pro when I get some time.

I do see your point, and could definitely see a Lite version opening CS-Cart up to a broader market, especially since the full package has jumped significantly in price. The new price is likely to scare off some folks new to e-com.

I kinda think your desired features of a Lite cart might be a bit aggressive though … it’s not that short of the full cart to merit such a discount (i.e. perhaps it’s a bit much to ask for News on E-mail, Wholesale trade, Send to a friend … some of those are available as free php scripts elsewhere that could be incorporated by a merchant if they desired). My point being, if CS-Cart were to offer a Lite version, they shouldn’t provide too many features or they will undermine sales of their full package. It would be better to treat it as an entry-level package.

I have several site ideas that I would like to explore that might not produce enough income to justify the cost of the full cart. Right now I’m thinking I’ll have to build them with a free cart and if they prove to be money makers upgrade later to CS-Cart. It would be great to launch these sites on a Lite version of CS-Cart so that transition would be greatly simplified (easily expanded db, smarty templates, same basic skin elements).

If the CS-team considered this idea (who knows) I would hope it would accommodate selling both physical and downloadable products. Otherwise, it would just need to accommodate the basics of e-commerce, no frills … just the ability to manage products and take and manage orders. If you want frills, upgrade and disable the modules you don’t need. $85 would be super.

i do agree alot with what you are saying. you could turn off alot of the features, but if you dont want them why pay for them. an entry level cart is a good idea then you could always buy the add on mods or impliment the free ones. although i think it depends on what your selling. my customers use the manufacture list and the search. we are also a physical store that holds events so now and again i use the events and news. i think there is a broad market out there for carts and mabey with an entry level cart they would capture more of them.

I was thinking of doing a store for my mother, she definatley does not need any of the modules. but now that the price went up, i am sad to say, i would not use this cart for her, as much as i love it.

[quote name=‘zoom4267’]… then you could always buy the add on mods or implement the free ones.[/quote]In my experience looking at add-on module based carts, it doesn’t take long to add up and before doing lots of mods, you’re better off just upgrading to a full version that has been completely integrated. That’s part of the reasoning behind CS-Cart I think, to avoid the mess that creates with a holistic and relatively inexpensive solution, which they have accomplished quite effectively

[quote]I was thinking of doing a store for my mother, she definatley does not need any of the modules. but now that the price went up, i am sad to say, i would not use this cart for her, as much as i love it.[/QUOTE]I might have bought at $125 for a few more of my site ideas, but will only do so on sites I have confidence will earn a reasonable return. I don’t have a problem with the price for sites I have confidence in and need the features on, but can’t afford to experiment at just under $200 a whack. The price you pay for progress I guess.

We’re planning to release CS-Cart Lite in near future. If you have any wishes regarding this version, feel free to post them here.

That’s great news Zeke. Out of curiosity, are you months or years away from that?

My request would be provide the basics at a very low cost (closer to $50 the better, I’d rather have a super cheap alternative that just gets the job done than one that grows to compete with the full package). Also, if possible make the license transferable (if you abandon a site idea, you could change your registration to a different domain, this would allow for experimentation). I guess thirdly, make upgrading to the full package as seamless as possible (when your needs demand it and your profit justifies it, you can upgrade overnight).

consider not using smarty templates with CS-Lite, it slows the system down way to much…

Maybe there is justification to offer a couple of levels Zeke?

CS-Cart Bare Bones (just the basics, no frills) +/- $50

CS-Cart Lite (a few features such as related products, etc.) +/- $100

This approach would accomodate both 1) the total newbie or experimenter to have nothing but product management & order management, and 2) the basic shop that only needs the norms of e-commerce like related products, featured products, CMS, etc…

It would allow you to capture the broadest market anyway.

Another thing you might consider is offering the full version cart, but you would host it. This would solve three problems: lastest software is aways installed, no hosting required for an owned cart, no SSL certificate to purchase. You said in another post you were putting together a Mall cart system. Why not use the Mall cart for your entry level system? With the recent eBay store price increase, you should be able to capture some marketshare because these people are used to a monthly fee to host there store and pay percentage to list and sell items. The migration path would be from a hosted cart by CS-Cart to an owned system.

Another entry level owned cart solution could be restricted to just PayPal (not pro) to keep it as simple as possible. I wouldn’t use smarty, just PHP in HTML. Don’t use a database as it scares some people because they just don’t understand them. Look at using text files or pure cookie base cart in place of a database. These carts are about as simple as they come.

[quote name=‘zeke’]We’re planning to release CS-Cart Lite in near future. If you have any wishes regarding this version, feel free to post them here.[/QUOTE]

that IS great!. and as far as the hosting, i would do the whole package with cs cart.

arlene, you are right with the mods and stuff. but for example. the site i was going to do for my mother is for a simple type store. so a bare cart would be great. but i could see that for a store where you are not sure where it will end up an upgrade would work.

i was not going to hesitate at spending another 125 for the cart but at 195 for needing a bare cart, i wouldnt do it. so a lite version will be worth the wait

While I could see a number of folks finding a hosted solution desirable, for myself, I would not. If I’m going to try to promote a new idea to see how it performs and if it makes money, I want to be able to ensure any search engine placement I manage to attain is to my own domain, not a shared or hosted domain. Building enough of a traffic and customer base to justify upgrading, then changing domain names would be disastrous, and would basically mean starting over.

If virtual hosting was a part of it, maybe. If CS-Cart only hosted the cart / checkout functions, maybe, but I’ve been down that path and won’t go back. It’s definitely the easy way to get started but has a lot of drawbacks too. I would far prefer a standalone completely stripped product (and though I understand the db comments, I would want that capability if at all possible though I could probably live w/o it if necessary ). I could live w/ just PayPal, but would prefer the option of a 2CO type payment option as well … full fledged gateway support wouldn’t be necessary, but some customers hate paypal).

Sorry for all of the edits, and I am aware that my anticipated needs don’t represent everyone’s, but I’d like to expand on what I’ve said. In my mind, if a hosted solution was the ‘entry level’ solution, I don’t see any real advantage to using CS-Cart’s version over one of the many others, such as Yahoo stores, etc. What appeals to me is the idea of starting w/ a very basic core package, and having the option of upgrading to another level when my needs expand, then up again as needs dictate. By starting at a basic level, incuding a basic db, each upgrade would be an expansion of existing capabilities rather than a total rebuild of my store. Simple is best as a starting point, but the upgrade path should be as seamless as possible. Switching to CS-Cart represents my 4th ground-up rebuild of my current site, I want a solution that doesn’t require that.

I’ve seen some talk on here about stripping out the Smarty Templates for the Lite version to speed up performance. Does anyone know how much this would speed things up? It would be interesting to see a version of 1.3.4 without the smarty tags.

Larry - The CS-Mall will actually be larger than the existing CS-Cart. I will be using it in a similar format of eBay Stores and try to compete with them on the Disney categories. My only concerns are how long it takes pages to load and how many sellers/number of products the CS-Mall will be able to handle at any given time.

[quote name=‘zoom4267’]i was not going to hesitate at spending another 125 for the cart but at 195 for needing a bare cart, i wouldnt do it. so a lite version will be worth the wait[/quote]

$195 is a bit much if your not going to use most of the features. I’ve been designing a site for a friend’s company who doesn’t sell products over the net, but i’ve turned the shopping cart into an enquiry form. All i’m using is the cart and news and mail. It’s taken so long to crawl through all the tpl’s, removing parts that i don’t need. But considering what’s included in the cart now, and what’s coming in the future, $195 is very very reasonable.

Another thought … it would be possible to utilize a very basic cart w/o a database if the software was to have an html link generator. I’d prefer a database be included, but this could be offered as an option for those who don’t want to use a database. An example of this type of setup can be seen at 2CO’s website ([url]http://www.2checkout.com/plug-n-playoverview.htm[/url]).

Here is my take…

CS Lite is being worked on, as posted by Zeke

Smarty system adds a good amount of overhead within php/mysql. removing that would be a good improvment; however all files would be php then, that may scare people.

Hosted solution, I think some of you miss the point of this. it doesnt mean you dont get your own domain name, it means CS has their own dedicated server, and you get your own domain name but they monitor the server and the software for a monthly fee. just like monstercommerce.

i got the point on the hosting, i think it would be a good idea and if they had a stripped down cart i would definatley do that and the hosting so if there were any problems i would just be dealing with one company.

[quote name=‘ETInteractive’]… I think some of you miss the point of this …[/QUOTE]Some of you? :smiley: very subtle ETI, lol.

OK, I get that, just like monstercommerce, basically just like yahoo stores … I do understand your point about PHP being scary for true beginners, so as an entry level solution, well ok. Nothing wrong with the idea, and it would do in a pinch for my needs as well, but I doubt I’d opt for it … maybe for a few site ideas, but not for most.

I can host an experimental site on the same server as I host another for about $1 a month, $2 if I include a database, the bandwidth used is lumped in under the other site’s account. So a $50-$60 one-time purchase price for a cart that provides very basic functionality is far more attractive than a monthly fee and always will be for what I’m hoping for. If it’s more than that, I’ll be better off paying for a $45 one-time setup w/ 2CO, and pay a small fee per purchase, just as you will w/ PayPal. That or just use the core functions of a free OS cart, and just deal with the rebuild issues when upgrade time comes.

I suspect CS-Cart Lite is more likely to be twice that cost and have more functionality than I’m suggesting. Once everyone gets their wish-list in, I see a $100 or $125 version being most likely, but that’s just a guess. I see a real need for that as a ‘Lite’ version, a lot of stores don’t need the full version, and I’d like to smoothly upgrade to that once an idea has proven viable. But I would still like to have a very basic bare-bones self-hosted option available that can readily be upgraded, so I can launch a site cheaply and step up easily when upgrading proves warranted - a smooth transition to a more functional version rather than a rebuild.

I think both options have merit though, the non-scary hosted version and the bare-bones php version for CHEAP (in addition to CS-Lite). We’re just addressing different needs which may not be doable with a single solution. Maybe both could be offered if the CS-team sees merit. This is all rhetorical, don’t know if CS would even consider this, but Zeke asked for suggestions.