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Can You Convince Me? I Really Want To Buy Cs Cart Mv But These Are The Things Stopping Me From Doing So... Rate Topic   - - - - -

 
  • jrnozid
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Posted 30 October 2019 - 06:17 PM #1

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Hi Everyone!

 

So I have been searching for the best marketplace platform to start my apparel multivendor marketplace and I have found that Cs cart MV was always at the top 5 because of it's "fully customizable out of the box features, the no need for developer skills, simple drag and drop store editor and one time payment that doesn't need extra add-ons.

 

I do have a shopify store website that I built and run locally on my country, have joined other marketplaces as a vendor. I have also watched other MV platforms work on youtube. Most of my findings will be compared to what I have seen and experience with other ecommerce platforms.

 

So I went on and downloaded the 4.10.4 30 day demo, and is now on my third day of tinkering with the software. Some findings were already a deal breaker for me. Now bear in mind, I am no developer nor a programmer but I do know how to copy and paste and edit codes on some files as long as there are instructions on how to do it and what code to put. These are just a few of the things that come into mind. 

 

1. Themes - Now, for the price of $1,450 dollars. I was expecting a lot more themes included in the software not just the theme clones where only the colors were different. The main home page was ok, not the best but still looks modern and intuitive but when you move to the product page that's where it get's a little old fashioned. I tried searching for themes that resembles some of the decent free shopify themes only to find out that these kinds of themes actually cost a lot in the cscart marketplace ranging from 70$-199$. I've also read somewhere in the forums that the look and feel of CScart in general is lagging way behind it's competitors. 

 

2. Theme and Layout editor - Now, this was one of the reasons I wanted to try the demo was to see how "easy" it was to edit your store layout and themes. I was quite disappointed since it was only the texts and button colors that you are allowed to edit "on-site". I thought it was like the shopify theme editor where you just add, drag and drop objects on-site. The layout editor on the admin panel was even more confusing for me at first. Rearranging blocks would be more easier if it was seen live while you try and move it. Also, I had a hard time trying to figure out how to navigate this layout editor.

 

3. Vendor Registration Page - I was trying to figure out how to make the vendor registration page look more modern like how other ecommerce platforms show their subscription plans to would be vendors and show the available plans and it's advantages not just a drop down menu with a text block on the right but I couldn't find an easy way to do so.

 

4.1Vendor Panel - Now this is the most important for me, as your marketplace would only be successful if your vendors can easily navigate your vendor panel. Most vendors are not tech-savvy and would easily get lost on all the unnecessary clutter on cscart's vendor panel. For example why show the categories and features option when they can't add or edit custom categories and features. I think it would be more vendor-friendly if the vendor panel looks more like in the front end rather than a backend feature. Yes, I know there's an app to convert vendor panel to frontend that but it would cost another 200$.

 

4.2 Vendor Panel Adding Products - Adding products on this panel was really intimidating as there were lots of extra boxes for vendors to fill up which can really be omitted and not affect the end result whatsoever. Moreover, ADDING A VARIANT of a product was really complicated, and you can't really add a custom variant out of the box because it has to be included in the "features" that is only configured by the marketplace admin. I know you can edit a code in a file to activate that feature since I searched the forums for this but isn't that supposed to be a given? I really like how easy Shopify is when adding products, it was nicely laid out and easy to add variations of a certain product. 

 

4.3 Vendor Store front - Limited options to edit. I can't seem to find an easy and free option where a vendor can put a banner and a background image for their micro-store. When I joined the Lazada marketplace, it was easily done on their store front editor.

 

 

That's all for now, since I haven't finished testing the software but to summarize:

 

 

TL:DR - Cs cart can be an amazing product with lots of features out of the box and a completely editable code but sometimes it's more of a disadvantage rather than the other since it can be overwhelming and intimidating for someone who is just starting. A lot of problems I encountered can "easily" be resolved ONLY IF you know what to look for, if you are a programmer/developer or have LOTS of money to buy marketplace addons or to hire a developer. Marketing it as "for business owners not developers" is an overstatement. I do understand the community is very small compared to well known platforms, but I don't think they'll catch up anytime soon if they don't make it more user friendly in the future.  For the price of $1,450 dollars for a one-stop solution, I've expected more.

 

PS: I may be wrong with all my findings so please do educate me since I'm really in need of a good multivendor marketplace solution and CSCART might be it.



 
  • HareRama
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Posted 04 November 2019 - 05:16 AM #2

Hi, I have similar experience, plus much more troubles on way which never happened in different CMS..

 

My previous posts have been deleted but no matter what it's my experience and cost my time and sometimes money.

 

First I couldn't installed it on first hosting -  I received info about requirements problem, however server passed all requirements. Second one - I've installed shop - however I couldn't turn off Mod Security and.. I wasn't able to add new product or what ever demands access to files /upload etc./.

Third host works voila! but.. I imported some products and I didn't realize "Add to Cart" doesn't work. After several changes and looking into core I found the post someone with same problem and he advised to add product first, not to import anything.. so I have to install it again. Of course I copied changes with skin template etc.. After adding first product "Add to cart" start working?! Import also.. but no skin changes.. 1 MB of adjustments can put into rubbish because blocks and grids has been messed with no sense to me.

OK I can deal with that.. I have tried get some more information about API, because general settings of template are VERY limited (still better then nothing but we have 2019 and most CMS doesn't demands any programming skills). So.. generally API Guide is far away from Sunday programmers requirements, not much examples and focused on small range of usability.. I'd to use forums again and different version CSC deal with problem on different way. I tried my best but nothing changes.. then I realized.. clear storage cache doesn't work properly and there is no way for temporary turn off caching (even change permission doesn't work).

It's just few days of my experience but I feel some analogy with old car but works fine, however if you not mechanic better consider a lot.

 

CS-Cart has serious problem with data standardization for example: date ID/Product Code. Sometimes date is show as xx.yy.zzzz but sometimes.. xx/yy/zzzz . How difficult is it? Excel automatically convert dates and I couldn't find anywhere as example of Russian style timezone with exampled: "/" which is necessary for features.. Import export sometimes accept only Product ID, sometimes only Product Code. Also developers of third part software are not sure what they should use and they will choose only one standard as compatible.

 

There is many bugs and not user friendly solutions behind, for examples duplicated blocks with same names. Many options are not drag & drop. For example if you want to reorganize menu you will have to reorder all data each by each. I can't understand why it's like that (form builder support drag & drop). Every time I login I have feeling not to make any mistake which can crash whole shop.

I have found many other annoying issues, but I lost my list. So far newest bug is disappearing + button for adding new products and posts..

The good thing about CSC is easy to edit source, however you have to learn about structure (my_changes). Some skin changes are related to dedicated template, some to built in template. If you do something you better keep doing it, otherwise hire a programmer will be nightmare if you made already a lot of changes in different files. For examples template has an addon and this addon change some core files, so to overwrite the changes you need to make new changes which overwrite changes made by add-on. If you forget where you made changes it might be hard to localize affected file. Btw. support here on forums is good. I can't comment paid support, it's very sad.



 
  • jain1980
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Posted 04 November 2019 - 06:26 AM #3

You are still using Cs-cart or switched to something else? Below mentioned issues can be resolved with the help of a good developer but of course, it depends on each store and how much its customized.

 
  • HareRama
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Posted 04 November 2019 - 07:51 AM #4

Yes, I am using it, however it's not published so I don't have any experience about server environment/performance or lack with security. You can grab software for $1150 if you lucky, or $1250 with eComLabs (and 100 voucher for their products, what is worth also). I strongly recommend test it before buy, but if you want to swap ready & working shop it might be better idea then start-up with MV with no knowledge.

If you checked other solutions and still like this engine I suggest you:

1. theme from Alexbranding or Energothemes - they look quiet different depends of products you selling (colorful or with white background). I can find some nice discount from from Alex if you ready.

2. learning layout system cost some time and nerves. Don't edit existing blocks if you not sure what they responsible for.

3. it's included I believe plus edit template page, here example from Alex: http://electronics.m...es-vendorplans/

4. I paid for personalized addon to hide all stuff around include not necessary menu and products details. Some templates provides additional addons for better customization banners (again Alex), but I believe good graphic it's must have or some template in PS.



 
  • jrnozid
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Posted 06 November 2019 - 01:32 PM #5

Well I haven't had any issues installing CS-Cart on a server as I followed all their video tutorials and used fastcomet as well for the server. 
 
I agree, CS-Cart is very good if you have money to spend on themes and add-ons, as well as if you have programmer/developer background to edit the source code.
 
I'd like to love CS-Cart as much as others but it seems it's just a little outdated for me.