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Member Since 25 Sep 2006
Offline Last Active Aug 21 2011 03:08 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Checkout changes for CS-Cart 2.1. First draft.

14 May 2010 - 05:45 PM

I cannot agree with this. Some stores have a lot of one time shoppers and it is fine. But we, as an example, have a loyal group of customers who want to have their account pronto and those who want to checkout as guest happens very rarely.

Ok ... I'll revise my statement.

For those shops such as my own who have 75-95% new customers or return customers who prefer not to have yet another account with yet another website, this extra step in the checkout process is simply a pain in the ass, and is frankly a turn off to many. It's an additional and completely undesired step and presents a barrier to completing their order.

I don't think our goals are mutually exclusive. If a store setting was provided to 'checkout as guest by default', thereby skipping this step if it is not needed or desired, it wouldn't affect your preference and would allow for mine.

In Topic: Checkout changes for CS-Cart 2.1. First draft.

13 May 2010 - 06:31 PM

I’m late to the conversation, and haven’t tracked every change since 2.x was introduced, so some of this may be covered already. But in the version of 2.x I tested (.8 I think), my comments would still apply.

I am using multi=page checkout right now because I think the one-page checkout is a bit confusing and the ajax is problematic for some customers. I *really* would like to use one-page checkout, however. In another thread someone pointed to a simple one-page checkout and many people liked it. If nothing else, I think an option to have a checkout like this would be popular. I just encountered another good example here:

It has all the elements clearly visible and it's fast and easy for the customer. I noticed this doesn't have an option to estimate shipping but that could be added without complicating things.

I would vote for and use this option (single page, no ajax) if provided. From my perspective, the more straight forward and simpler the better. At most, 2 steps: 1) Address page 2) Review / Payment / Submit page.

Each ‘step’ of a checkout process is an opportunity for a customer to get frustrated and abandon their purchase. The fewer steps the better. Marketing Experiments has done a number of real-life studies and their conclusions support this.

I do have a caveat or two however.

PayPal (or other 3rd party payment processors): When a customer opts to pay with PayPal, it is extremely annoying for them to be forced into providing any billing info, as their choice of payment processor already has that info on file. It would be best in my view if the fields displayed could be limited to only those applicable to the payment method (or be ‘grayed out’ if not applicable) so that a customer choosing PayPal would not be forced to provide info that I as a the merchant don’t require to complete their order. This is similar to ‘ship to billing address’ option. Where if selected the shipping address fields should not be available or required to complete their purchase.

In the case of the one page non-ajax checkout this is pretty easy. In the case of the other 2 multi-step options, it’s harder as you would be forced to ask them how they intend to pay before they fill their info out (that’s the way several 3rd party hosted carts work, having separate checkout ‘forms’ available that are payment-type specific).

I consider the confirmation page a very critical ‘step’ … and agree that it’s a great place to offer incentive to become a member, opt in for a newsletter or sale notices, etc.

1. Sign in: three choices - Sign in/Register/Guest checkout

Register choice: displays fields required for account registration only - Username(if used in the store)/E-mail/Password+confirmation.

Checkout as guest choice: jumps to the Address step

Sign in choice: jumps to the Address step where the address details are filled with the profile details entered previously.

I don’t want my customers to be required to select from the 3 options given (login or checkout as a guest) as a step to completing their purchase. I think for most merchants the default assumption is that you will checkout as a guest, but on the checkout page you have the option of logging in for ‘express checkout’, where stored info would automatically be filled in, and you skip the address step (but are shown that info for review).

In Topic: CS 2.0.13 Wishlist

14 January 2010 - 02:20 PM

I'm firmly in the fix the problems first camp.

All the new features are desirable, but I'd rather see 2.12 be completely absent of any new features, but stable ... all existing bugs and issues worked out as completely as possible before release and before adding new features and the bugs they will inevitably bring.

Once a version is finally deemed stable, then add the new features one at a time, and any code changes required to make them stable. Constant new feature adds is keeping this cart in an unstable limbo.

I'll do with out the new stuff until the existing stuff is competely reliable.

I'm also concerned about bloat and the slow-down those can bring, so making all features addons is preferable.

My one strong wish beyond getting the bugs worked out (and I haven't reviewed the latest additions) is functional backorder management.

In Topic: 2.0.11 really out?

13 January 2010 - 12:10 AM

I have to agree with most of Spiral's comments concerning releasing too quickly.

In my opinion CS-Cart would serve their customers and their reputation much better if they'd just hold off on adding new features for a while and focus on establishing a stable release. Continue releasing for beta testing as issues are worked out, but don't release for general use until the software is stable. Once you are on a stable platform, then concentrate on requested new features and any code patches they might require, but release these only after they've been beta tested thoroughly as well.

I still support CS-Cart. It just seems to me like they're trying to do too much at a time. Trying to do too much at a time just invites errors to creep in.

But then, on the new feature front, they're just reacting to 'our' constant demands for more nifty bells and whistles, aren't they? I understand the impulse to insist that these new features be added to make your store competitive, I want them too, but at what cost? I for one would FAR prefer a dumb, near featureless but stable store over one with lots of features that is full of bugs.

Based on my reading here, there hasn't been a stable release since 1.3.5 SP4 ... and in my memory, that was the first since I purchased in '06. That's not a great track record.

if I were CS-Cart, I would also additionally consider releasing incremental patches to transform heavily modified custom installations into the newer version code without the work of re-installing, re-modding, etc etc etc. This is the largest complaint I see CS-Cart users make ...

Do not complain about not being able to upgrade your heavily modified shops. Do you think that other ecommerce scripts upgrade well? I work with Joomla CMS and it's a pain in the [you know where] when a new version comes out

If a "core" release was made stable, new features could be added incrementally, which a heavily modded shop could easily absorb. I understand major releases like 2.0 requiring major coding, but if I tried to make my full set of mods every time a new release of 2.x came out, I wouldn't accomplish anything else. I've got a business to run.

I can't afford my live shop to be a beta test. I won't upgrade to 2.x until the general consensus is that it is finally stable, maybe 6 months after that. It's on the shelf for now.

In Topic: can't log into labs...

03 October 2009 - 02:19 PM

Are others still having troubles logging in? I get the error 'invalid username', and have each time I've tried to gain access.

I posted to the helpdesk and was told there isn't any problem, and I should be able to log in. I've paused my support period for a few weeks while I work on other things so can't ask them anything w/o starting it back up ... just wondered if people are still having problems.

I sure like the idea of the Labs, just wish I could get it and look around.