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Features of an Ecommerce plugin


Rob

Anonymous
Ok, so aside from the paypal plugin (which is a step in the right direction) what are the real features that we as a community would want to see in an ecommerce/shopping cart plugin? I've done some research into other shopping cart systems, and non of them are simple enough to just mold into a plugin for geeklog. So hopefully if we start talking about what we would like to see in the plugin we can get someone who knows what their doing in php (unlike me, more like Vinny and Dirk but with more time on thier hands) to come along and write one. Here is a simple list of what I would like to see in a eCommerce plugin: Uses Geeklog's template systems, much like what Blaine did with the forum. Also notice that the forum templates go into the specific layout folder unlike some other plugins. Use the "built in" static pages for product pages instead of trying to reinvent the wheel Needs to be able to handle both digital downloads and physical sales Integrates with UPS and/or Fedex to calculate shipping rates for physical sales Integrates with assorted payment options featured product block random product block(s) sales coupons or discount codes. Discount codes can either be one use or multiple use account history N to N product to catagory relationship allow for multiple sub-catagories Anyone have any other additional things that they would like to see built into an ecommerce plugin? Also if anyone wants to start with broad generalizations of how to get something like this done feel free to add your 2 cents. -Rob

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dokeeffe

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Maybe a sales tax calculation or ability to connect to a service such as certicalc for sales tax calculation.
Another thing would be reports. Maybe for people in finance for reconcilation etc.

Derek

Mickael

Anonymous
Hello.

I wrote to Dirk Haun because I plan to develop this e-Commerce plugin. He advised me to see directly with you to have more details on what is expected by the community.

1) I totally agree with the subcategories system. Here is what I see:
A block on the left which provides a tree with categories and subcategories. When we click on a category or subcategory, the product list is displayed in the center block. This product list is a page whose type is specific to the plugin (not a built-in type like static page). Then, we can click on a product to have more details and to add it to the cart. Once again, the page type is specific to the plugin as every product page must be similar and must use the same elements (price, in stock, description...)

So where is the question? Because you asked
"Use the "built in" static pages for product pages instead of trying to reinvent the wheel"
I do not see exactly how it could be possible to use static pages except for static content (sales conditions, return policy, presentation...)? I need an explanation for this idea.

2) "coupons or discount codes. Discount codes can either be one use or multiple use"
I proposed three sorts of coupons:
* Coupons available to everybody, for the whole shop
* Coupons assigned to a specific user on a specific product or on the whole shop
* Coupons assigned to a specific product, for everybody
Do you see anything else?

3) "N to N product to category relationship"
Do you mean a product can belong to more that one category (what I agree)? I am not sure about that.

4) If you have anything to add...

I look forward to your answers. That way, I will be able to submit a project well-suited to people expectation.

Regards,
Mickael.

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Dirk

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To clarify: Mickael is planning to do this as a Summer of Code project, the deadline for which is on Saturday.

So give him some feedback, please.

bye, Dirk

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daioh_

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Hello

There is ZenCart On Geeklog in Geeklog Japanese though whether it uses it in English is not understood.

It is not possible to use it by attention UTF-8.

ZenCart On Geeklog
http://www.geeklog.jp/filemgmt/index.php?id=129


Introduction ZenCart On Geeklog site
http://zencart.geeklog.jp/

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k74

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Registered: 19/09/04
Posts: 128
Location:Australia
hopeful
Hi Mickael

This would be a great plugin to have for the Geeklog community, and thanks for looking into developing it. If you need testers I run my own server and could possible help.

Anyway these are my suggestions hope they are useful:

*ability to set currency and taxes (for example GST) for different countries and individual products
*ability to integrate with Geeklog group permissions so you can set certain products to for site members and anonymous user if wanted, or for members and non-members prices
*integration with paypal for payments, and maybe other automated pay systems
*ability to setup delivery charges manually for different areas (for example: city, state, country) maybe via a manually inputed delivery database which has an edit function to change rates when necessary easily
*related product section which can be added to each product, or products other users bought when purchasing this product
*top selling products block
*ability to highlight new products and products on special and menu tabs for these sections for quick reference for users
*integrated in Geeklog search function, rating system and comments functions, with the ability to turn each option on/off per product
*maybe for a later version, the ability for users to aquire their own individual shops (like what Mark has done with Media Gallery users albums) each having their own admin rights for their own albums. This function will allow admins to sell eshop space to users, or for the plugin to operate sort of like an eBay store for selling products only. This option can be turned on or off as per Media Gallery plugin

Regards

Kev


Live everyday as if it was your last!

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GeorgeR

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A few thought's

international sales: What currency, vat if any and overseas shipping.

Inventory management: Quantity of product on hand, weight (for shipping) who I ordered it from, UPC code if available,.....

Each physical item may be either inventoried, or dropped shipped, have a way for the shipping & handling to be overridden by items. For example I ship from N.Y and have a drop shipper in Texas, who charges $15 per item for handling plus the shipping.
George

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Blaine

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I had replied to the Geeklog list with my comments on this SOC project - but for completeness, I will post it here as well.

Some feedback - ideas after having explored and created a few e-commerce enabled GL sites (none are live yet). I think what we need in GL is an extensible payment plugin that has a flexible structure to support new payment gateways and tax/reporting/shipping methods. It's important to focus initially on core features first and then add more catalog and reporting features.

A site that is primarily an e-commerce site, will start with an full e-commerce app like x-cart or oscommerce or one of the many others. Our GL community will mostly want e-commerce as a secondary feature for their sites.

Note: Good design will use Design Patterns to create a flexible and extendable plugin/API

Core features would include a secure cart and payment processing base with tax and shipping calculations.
  • Support multiple payment gateways. Look at the PEAR Payment class, Google payment and Paypal support to begin. Additional payment gateways can be added as PEAR classes. Note the PEAR Payment class is a good example of using Design Patterns.
  • Support for physical and electronic goods - authorized download once purchased
  • Base Tax and Shipping Calculations with extensions to local and custom functions (or contributed extensions).
  • Shopping cart would store user cart contents (logged in or not) in a temp table with a secure hash key (browser based cookie) until user decides to check out. This way user can come back to the site and my cart contents are recognized. Temp records deleted after configurable time.
  • Secure and logical Checkout process with Review/Confirm/Receipt steps and users able to cleanly exit and restart/backup (Key to a solid re-useable cart component). This is where the temp stored cart records and state are helpfull.
  • Purchase History linked to user profile - users can view purchase history.
    Link to run custom invoice report (provide base report - use templates for easy theming)
  • Use templates for all layout related output so local sites can theme them.

GL Supports blocks so provide some base blocks but provide functions like autotags or base functions that users can add/use for their own content.
Provide basic catalog management where items are added and sale/purchase properties are maintained. Maybe link to the Media Gallery (MG) for images and possibly there could be some easy integration with MG to have it recognize and add links for buy and cost details.

Allow someone to create their own content using a Staticpage or Story and add the [autotags] to add the purchase related block/template. The payment autotag may be like [payment:101] adds a predefined HTML block in the content to buy item 101. This may be just a buy/view product link with cost or maybe includes a image thumbnail as well.

Basically, create a flexible plugin that is extensible and can be integrated / used by existing GL components and more in the future.
Geeklog components by PortalParts -- www.portalparts.com

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beewee

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Location:The Netherlands, where else?
Since Geeklog is also ment to power community driven sites: multiple merchants would be a nice feature...
Dutch Geeklog sites about camping/hiking: www.kampeerzaken.nl | www.campersite.nl | www.caravans.nl | www.caravans.net

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jmucchiello

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Quote by: Blaine

Support for physical and electronic goods - authorized download once purchased

And forever thereafter. Once you own the electronic download, you can always redownload it.
Shopping cart would store user cart contents (logged in or not) in a temp table with a secure hash key (browser based cookie) until user decides to check out. This way user can come back to the site and my cart contents are recognized. Temp records deleted after configurable time.
Including lasting forever. This means that discounts and stuff cannot be stored in the shopping cart but unused coupons can stick around.
Allow someone to create their own content using a Staticpage or Story
And provide "product" forms for people who don't want to use staticpages/stories.

That's IMHO of course.

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Mickael

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Hello.

Thank you for those comments. They will help. All suggestions or recommendations seem clear to me. I will submit a complete proposal.

Mickael.

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sangprabo

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Location:Indonesia
excited
Hi everyone.
@ Mickael
Nice idea! Because I think your idea is not implemented yet, I think I will use it to send an application to Geeklog for this summer of code. But, there are several things that will be different.

I have used and modified wp-shopping-cart (a plugin in Wordpress) which made by Instinct (http://www.instinct.co.nz). The l10n came from Kresna Bagus Pakerti (my best friend), and the rest modification (weight property for product to calculate shipping cost based on Indonesia Post (http://posindonesia.co.id), captcha, and little modification) made by me.

Here is an overview about the plugin. Any comment or feedback would be appreciated.
0. This plugin only serves Indonesia's need. There is no pay pal (yes, we can receive but not send. afaik), and shipping would exist only for particular area (not all area are covered by Indonesia Post)
1. There is only one method of payment, via a bank. The product's purchased will be delivered after payment confirmation accepted (I think the coupon is good idea)
2. category 1:N products
3. A product's cost is sum of many other cost (product cost itself, shipping, tax, etc) minus discount (if any). Shipping cost could be edited (Yogyakarta - Jakarta, Yogyakarta - Medan, and other combination of it) by add a city to the list of "city that delivered". For example if you can deliver the products to Medan City, so Medan City would be added to "available for shipping"-list.
4. In the administrator's option page, there is an option to choose base-city ( a city that the product will be sent from). And each destination city has its own shipping cost (for every city in Indonesia that covered by Indonesia Post (http://posindonesia.co.id). I use Indonesia Post because it covers almost all of Indonesia's area. However, there is another option for shipping service (but sometimes they are expensive)
5. The shipping cost for each city, come from Indonesia Post. It is a kind of messy: I can not get the data from Indonesia Pos directly, so there would be a "Cost" page for administrator to add and edit the shipping cost, manually. I don't know how to solve this problem yet. I meant, the administrator doesn't need to change the shipping cost manually every time the data changed, but the data (about shipping cost) is taken from Indonesia Post.

This plugin is used to Indonesia's purpose, so it fits on Indonesia's condition. Of course, any further development is very welcome. Any comment please? Forgive me because I'm not good in speaking English. Thank you

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Laugh

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I think an ecommerce plugin is a great idea and will attract more new users to use geeklog.

I had to pipe in here when I saw the mention of categories. It's probably too late to suggest this for this years GSoC but geeklog really needs a builtin category management solution that not only stories could use (instead of topics) but other plugins could as well. One integrated catgory management system would save plugin developers from having to code there own solution. I'm thinking of plugins like Links, Menus, FAQs, etc. could all use the one system.

Maybe we could get this done for next years GSoC.
One of the Geeklog Core Developers.

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jmucchiello

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Quote by: sangprabo

I have used and modified wp-shopping-cart (a plugin in Wordpress) which made by Instinct (http://www.instinct.co.nz). The l10n came from Kresna Bagus Pakerti (my best friend), and the rest modification (weight property for product to calculate shipping cost based on Indonesia Post (http://posindonesia.co.id), captcha, and little modification) made by me.

That shopping cart is not GPL. They don't even say if it is GPL compatible. I wouldn't base your code on something that isn't GPL.

Of course I also doubt an Indonesian only solution will be acceptable to the Geeklog devs running the GSOC.

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sangprabo

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Location:Indonesia
That shopping cart is not GPL. They don't even say if it is GPL compatible. I wouldn't base your code on something that isn't GPL.

Yes, they don't even say that it is under GPL.

License
WP e-commerce is certainly going to be GPL friendly. We are currently exploring what license will suit us best - we are likely to use the same model as Akismet where we offer a free version and a developer version.

But, I am not using that plugin as a core. It is just as a reference: the features that would exist may be quite similar. I am sorry if my words make you confuse. Thank you

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jmucchiello

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Quote by: sangprabo

But, I am not using that plugin as a core. It is just as a reference: the features that would exist may be quite similar. I am sorry if my words make you confuse. Thank you

I had the feeling you weren't using it. I just wanted to be sure. Good Luck

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sangprabo

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Registered: 28/03/08
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Location:Indonesia
Thanks Joe. Well, at the first time I sent my proposal, there was no pay pal (or other payment gateway) because I've never tried the feature to the plugin I've modified (wp-shopping-cart). Now, I have modified my proposal based on this topic. (yes, you all are right. Creating a plugin for Indonesian use only is a kind of 'discrimination' ).

Thank you all and please forgive my English.

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Chase

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Location:Karachi, Pakistan
SInce geeklog is a CMS there should be a way to sell content as well.
So if you can make that part of your ecommecer plugin that would be great.

my suggestion is that we allow submission users to sold. And if possible also a preview. from the intro box. To look at body text payment will be required.

a more simpler approach will just plain membership.

regards

Chase

-- http://TazaKino.com - Pakistani News Where YOU report the news

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k74

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Idea Seeing there is a partial integration done already with ZenCart which is open source, would it not be easier to do a collaboration with Zen Cart or just complete the Geeklog integration of Zen Cart as a plugin/hack than to have to write a complete plugin for GL from scratch?

But I do think this is one plugin that is widely needed in the GL community. The existing product is fantastic and this would be the cream on the cake.

Live everyday as if it was your last!

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sangprabo

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Location:Indonesia
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@ Chase
SInce geeklog is a CMS there should be a way to sell content as well

Do you mean like other news website that provides a feature so the user should pay to read old contents? I think a user's "virtual shop" as Kev (k74) said is enough. Thank you for your comment Chase.

@ k74
Thank you. I've never tried ZenCart yet. But, since it is open source, may be I could get partial functionality from it. As I've done with comment moderation in sBlog, I got the idea from Wordpress. And when I did my modification at wp-shopping-cart, I include captcha features from another plugin (which licensed under GPL).

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