The Great Cart Review Continues

We found two carts that we like so far, which look like they’ll be sustainable. One has a fussy (but flexible) templating system, the other is more standard, though less flexible. The backends are the same – both are surprisingly navigable, though the terminology isn’t exactly intuitive, and both are highly functional cart systems, one with more choices than the other. For the first time, we’ll have two stable database cart options, one in the $500 starting price range – a first. We have that now for our CMS systems, but not for our cart systems, so this will be a benefit to our clients long term.

Carts have some functions that you expect. One is that there will be a functional installer. Sure, you still have to create the database, but the installer runs and creates the config file.

One of the systems did not have that. No documentation on their site about it either, they put it into the install folder instead. In the current technological arena, nobody OPENS an install folder to LOOK inside it, they point their browser to it instead! Not this one… You had to import the database file yourself, and set up the config.

Sure, I know how to do those things, they’d take me an extra 5 minutes or so to do. My point is, why should I have to? Every other cart does that for me. If that is left off, what else is left off? How much can I trust the rest of the software, or the development team to see to the needs of the user?

I did not even install it. I deemed it unworthy of my time, based on the fact that the first function I expected from it was missing.

Fair? Maybe not. But that is the reality of business, software, and the web. If you lose someone on step 1, they’ll never get to see how great step 2 is.

So after a long day of sorting through cart systems, I have two that are worth offering. Neither one was even available as a viable option a year ago when we last made this search. This time though, I’m more experienced in seeking out information about carts, and how to assess them. I searched for several weeks last time, and was able to do most of it in a day this time.

So, we’re now offering a deep discount on the first client site builds in these two systems – one a functional but lightweight system, one a full featured system. First come, first served.

Note: The opinions expressed in this post are the perceptions of the writer, and should not be interpreted or quoted as fact without corroborrating evidence.

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