E-commerce Systems

I have been developing an e-commerce system for my company over the last few months. We decided to use a canned system so I looked at Goodbarry a content management system that allows you also include e-commerce.

I have to say that the site setup in Goodbarry was relatively easy, but it got frustrating when you wanted to change things that were locked in their code. The dreamweaver tools didn’t help much either. I have to say that their support was a little slow too, and their link to email support was very well hidden. In fact I only found it when I bagged them on Twitter!

I was trying to stick with goodbarry though until I got to a real problem. In Australia they really don’t have a delivery solution to products over 20kg. They do have a manual option but without the necessary control to really work.

After running into this road block I looked around for an alternative and eventually settled on gate13. These have been quite responsive to requests for info and have even uploaded special pricing from our standard delivery company. I must admit that the way you had to do this was a bit odd though. Instead of a basic and per kg weight, you had to upload prices for each weight for every postcode. In our case we have products to about 50kg and that meant nearly 300,000 lines on a spreadsheet (btw reply to me if you want a copy of the spreadsheets we put together to automate this).

The other thing that I think will be good for us is the configurable discounts. You can add affiliates, create users that see special discounts, but also create complex discounts based on combinations of items. This is great for us as we normally sell through wholesaler chains and this may help to keep them happy if they don’t like us selling online.

Things I haven’t liked are a couple of the system messages, you seem to struggle to move items like the add to cart button and the design seems to be table based (which I don’t like in my carefully coded css based design).

Gate13 are a lot more expensive than Goodbarry ($115 compared with $35 per month), but so far I have only got frustrated a couple of times!

In short for e-products or light weight goods you can probably get away with goodbarry, otherwise gate13 could be a reasonable choice.

Btw the site is http://www.broverstock.com if you want to take a look. It does need more work, but it is usable for our target market!

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