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Thinking about swtiching to Interspire Rate Topic   - - - - -

 
  • jobosales
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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:45 PM #21

My biggest seller on my site is something that is only held by a few retailers in th uk. A third of what we sell is this one item. We sell other stuff that everyone else sells and that sells constantly at a low volume but it's this one product that sells all the time because of it's USP. CS cart need a USP

The problem is that it is difficult to carve out and maintain the USP.

In his book, Reeves identified three core principles to USP (emphasis mine):

1) Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: "Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit."
2) The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique—either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising.
3) The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.

Item 2 is unlikely to prevail since (as you pointed out) other carts are constantly improving. I have a hard time seeing CS-Cart going after another cart developer alleging copyright violations.

Item 3 is the big problem. Your unique feature appeals to a niche, not the broad market.

I am not suggesting that they should not try to incorporate specialized features, it's just that I think their USP has been the combination of the features offered at a very reasonable price point. I don't believe a specialty add-on is going to be incorporated into the cart and, if it is, I suspect a substantial increase in the cart price.

Bob
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:55 AM #22

cs-cart does have a combination of features that I think makes it unique.


But don't forget that CS-Cart is not standing still and will likely be competitive for many people for quite some time.


I agree with these points 100%.

CS-Cart is not yet the "Absolute Perfect Shopping Cart", however, you have to blind or clueless to not see that they are working quite hard on accomplishing this! ;)

I have been involved in ecommerce for quite some time, as have several others active here in the forums, so I uhm beg anyone to show me the perfect shopping cart & I will quickly find its flaws.....

Recently I have read at least a few rants about how great & polished Sunshop was, including some unregistered posters claiming to be near genious level, so I just had to check this incredible cart out! For starters, if you do b2b ecommerce, then it is highly likely that you will need to offer Purchase Orders with Net 30 day terms to your repeat customers, well, sunshop will allow you to offer this, however, if you offer it, then you must offer it to everyone "believing" they should get net 30 day terms, there is no way to only assign it to certain customers, Nice Thinking There, only a moron would do that! :D Then they "claim" to be ultra search engine friendly, I also found that to be quite comical as every customer demo site I visited was still using dynamic urls, it is 2010, what top level shopping cart developers haven't figured this out yet? :o
ALSO, after reading a few kind words regarding there advanced shipping control capabilities, thought I would check into that a bit closer..... Granted, they do some of the "shipping thing" right, allowing carton dimensions, ship in a seperate box, etc. However, A very serious flaw I discovered in there shipping methodology is that they do NOT allow you to offer BOTH realtime as well as manually configured shipping methods, so, you can choose one or the other! Again, dealing in b2b ecommerce this doesn't cut it, primitive functionality.

So, I said it before, and I will say it again, CS-Cart is the absolute best value on the planet, dollar for dollar, feature for feature! Yes, there are still a few design/usability flaws that must be corrected, and they are listening to our comments! ;)

And, btw, I also follow & watch competitive shopping carts on a weekly basis, because I am an ecommerce/shopping cart junkie, & if there is something truly better out there, then I want it, and will most likely have it!
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:01 AM #23

The problem is that it is difficult to carve out and maintain the USP........... it's just that I think their USP has been the combination of the features offered at a very reasonable price point.......Bob


I agree and if they simply keep at their price point and add great service and a stable cart they will have an almost unique product or possibly a unique one for awhile.

To me great service includes a manual that is like the "Missing manual.." series of books easy to understand.

Also fast service.

Good communication

Easy Upgrades

And so on...

We are not talking rocket science or advanced marketing. I have no need for split testing or any new marketing tools until after the basics are covered.

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:37 AM #24

....And, btw, I also follow & watch competitive shopping carts on a weekly basis, because I am an ecommerce/shopping cart junkie.....!


I like the sound of that! smiling...

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:43 AM #25

I like the sound of that! smiling...


It truly is nothing less than a "Sickness" Traveler, you would not even believe how many thousands of dollars worth of shopping cart licenses I own & have operated! :???:
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  • ogia
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:49 AM #26

Unfortunately I own several thousand dollars worth of shopping cart licenses too. :rolleyes: The bulk of that was wasted on Interspire. I was running Miva Merchant for many years and once I decided to upgrade to a new cart, I think I tried at least 6 before settling on CS-Cart. It's probably a good thing... If I'd found CS-Cart first I probably wouldn't have realized how good it is.
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:52 AM #27

To me great service includes a manual that is like the "Missing manual.." series of books easy to understand.

Thanks for bringing this up. I know it gets mentioned from time to time, but the manual is probably one of the greatest shortcomings. Cs-Cart is not unique in this regard - all too many software companies provide inadequate documentation. They really need to hire a technical writer who can address this issue.

Bob
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:58 AM #28

If I'd found CS-Cart first I probably wouldn't have realized how good it is.


Ogia, you hit the ole nail on the head!

You can read & research, & research some more, however, unless you run an ultra simple business (& it never changes), then there are always hidden quirks in every system which you very likely will not find until you have operated you strore on it for a period of time. So, the past purchases are not complete money down the drain, and I have always made money on each & every one of them, they did also all provide knowledge useful in our quest for the perfect shopping cart system, right! ;)
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:16 AM #29

Thanks for bringing this up. I know it gets mentioned from time to time, but the manual is probably one of the greatest shortcomings. Cs-Cart is not unique in this regard - all too many software companies provide inadequate documentation. They really need to hire a technical writer who can address this issue. Bob


The technical writer needs to be a native speaker and a very good writer.

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:18 AM #30

They really need to hire a technical writer who can address this issue.


The technical writer needs to be a native speaker and a very good writer.


Bob, you would be the perfect candidate! Would you consider relocating to Russia if needed, I hear the winter sports are a big attraction over there! :cool:

Also, if you are into bear hunting, I hear they have some of the largest bears on the planet!
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:44 AM #31

Bob, you would be the perfect candidate! Would you consider relocating to Russia if needed, I hear the winter sports are a big attraction over there! :cool:

I only like places where winter is an option - something I can drive to and from as I desire.

Bob
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:50 AM #32

The technical writer needs to be a native speaker and a very good writer.

Even without translation, they could greatly enhance the documentation by explaining concepts and workflow. What is an exception? What is the workflow for recurring billing? How do you handle an RMA? What are the consequences of setting the various options for an order status? And on and on.

Bob
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:57 AM #33

Exactly!

And lets not forget illustrations.

I will be happy to pay $40 for a good "Dummies guide to CS Cart"

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  • JerryRider
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:38 AM #34

Exactly!

And lets not forget illustrations.

I will be happy to pay $40 for a good "Dummies guide to CS Cart"


I'd pay double that... I literally printed out all 392 pages of the User Manual. It's now in a huge binder that keeps getting bigger every time I print out a useful thread for easy reference.

Why don't they just offer a self-published User Guide?

http://www.booksurge...CFSgnawodvA1a0Q

 
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:54 AM #35

The trouble with manuals is thier always out of date after the first update (although a good reference point) .your better of with knowledgebase and forum help. I don't think people looking for a cart put this as a must have. What I also like about cs cart is because of it's user friendlyness you don't need a manual most of the time as you do in some of the other carts around. (I do get confused about blocks content though)
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Posted 23 March 2010 - 07:13 AM #36

The trouble with manuals is thier always out of date after the first update (although a good reference point) .your better of with knowledgebase and forum help. I don't think people looking for a cart put this as a must have. What I also like about cs cart is because of it's user friendlyness you don't need a manual most of the time as you do in some of the other carts around. (I do get confused about blocks content though)



I very strongly disagree - the forum is very helpful but does not replace a manual fot 2AM questions that need a quick answer

Also updates are easy for on line manuals they can be done as bugs are fixed etc

I personal put it as a top priority. as I said I would be happy to pay for a good manual.

there s no chance that someone can use most features without a manual unless they have lots of computer experience or are very smart - I am not that smart and do not have a lot of computer experience.

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:52 AM #37

I'm actually working on one with screen shots, etc. My biggest fear is that the business is going to come to a screeching halt if something happens to me and my husband will be stuck with angry customers and a failed business overnight. Right now it has the basics, but am working on it steadily. It is a "dummies extreme" version, as my husband can't find google unassisted. Right now the manual is going slow as I am working, but once school is out (teacher), I will finish it and will post a link.

 
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Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:55 AM #38

I'm actually working on one with screen shots, etc. My biggest fear is that the business is going to come to a screeching halt if something happens to me and my husband will be stuck with angry customers and a failed business overnight. Right now it has the basics, but am working on it steadily. It is a "dummies extreme" version, as my husband can't find google unassisted. Right now the manual is going slow as I am working, but once school is out (teacher), I will finish it and will post a link.


Sounds great.

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:25 PM #39

You can read & research, & research some more, however, unless you run an ultra simple business (& it never changes), then there are always hidden quirks in every system which you very likely will not find until you have operated you strore on it for a period of time


Oh, that is for sure! I just launched CS-Cart on Monday and while I am finding alarming stuff in practice, I think it's stuff that's broken on my install, or simply needs adjustment, rather than a core functionality that is unsuitable.

In 2007 I invested a couple solid months of installation and configuration (learning as I went, including learning that cart's proprietary tag system for calling PHP code). Product upload was a nightmare and we spent as much time taming the upload process as we would have spend just entering 900 products by hand. But it was PHP, and could be optimized, which are big improvements over an ASP cart.

We found out part way in that the cart removed items from stock at the moment they were placed in a user cart, and then did not return those items to stock upon deletion of the abandoned order! It blew my mind that a cart claiming to offer "inventory control" still expected me to manually adjust inventory for every item placed in an abandoned cart. We even paid the dev team for a mod to handle this, because we were too deep in development to back out at that point.

After all that? In use, the code was so processor-abusive that our host shut us down without word or warning. When the hosting was restored, the cart was still unusable because it would either fail with a 500 error or go to a white screen and hang after submitting the order. None of this showed up in testing. After all the time spent and money invested, we had to go back to the ASP cart. It was limited, but it worked.

So, the inevitable glitches are frustrating, but this is still a big improvement over other places I've been!

 
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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:38 AM #40

I think you guys covered it very well. This thread started out with someone leaving and I did not see anybody crying. Instead you covered every aspect of this Great software including the Book that Bob has been voted to write after ho moves to Russia .

Bob , besides the winters and the Big Bears there are some Good Looking Babes over there too.:P

Joe

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