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Big foot retail : Opencart

How did I select a Shopping cart vendor in 2012?

In January 2012, I had quit my job at the hedge fund Brahma Management and retured back to my home town in Jodhpur. This is when I started working on setting up an ecommerce website for my first startup Artlivo . It was challenging as I was learning everything from scratch and the industry itself was undergoing very fast change.

Hence, to choose the best option I took a very extensive exercise to narrow down the exact requirements which we needed. The list below is what I made before shortlisting the vendors.

My Requirements

  1. I needed the ability to make customizable products; i.e.
    -> Input for words (max limit)
    -> Example : Nameplates
  2. Shipping under my name – Easier to coordinate
    -> I thought I might want to exercise this, hence there should be an option here
  3. The solution should include the setting up of a blog for my website and its maintenance too.
    -> There should be a database for designers / Artists – integration with the main site
    -> There should be the ability to leave comments, and interact freely
    -> There should be forum / discussion board
    -> Single login for the blog and the site
  4. Payment Gateway – It was a big thing back then.
  5. Multiple users for the backend.
  6. Customize the look of my EBS Payments page.
  7. “Refer a friend” which allows the customer to send a personalized note to their friends. You will have access to their notes about your products. There should also a system for this referral tracking.
  8. Single page checkout.
  9. Has the vendors ever heard about heat maps/click maps? Have they ever tried them?
  10. Marketing Services.
    1. SMS Integration.
    2. Facebook commenting under each product/ compare with disqus.
  11. Newsletter subscribe option like.
    1. understanding the process of product updation.
    2. Refine search.
  12. The site should have a login for both bulk and Retail Buyers. Bulk buyers also order online, but have the flexibility of paying by check, they are also able to see their shipped history, etc. and order status, official Rep.
  13. How easy or difficult is it to set; offers such as buy one; Get one free.