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  1. #1
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    Default Question about Zen Cart

    I've been searching through the threads in this and other forums for the past week or so, but I haven't found answers to all of my questions yet. I have some very limited experience with Zen Cart - I used to sell a lot of things on eBay and I once set up a Zen Cart shop but ended up going with another solution so I really didn't experience it. I am now working for a retail company that has 9 locations and we are thinking about setting up an online store. I think that Zen Cart will do everything that we need it to do, but I've got a few questions before I make my final recommendation to my company. Again, I've searched through the forums for all of these questions - I could have missed something (I've done it before and I'm sure I'll do it again), so if one of these questions is answered in another thread I would greatly appreciate it if you could point me to that thread instead of telling me to search the forums. Thanks in advance for all of your help!

    1. I know that there is a module for in-store pickup, but does that module allow me to have multiple store locations? For example, let's say a user wants to purchase an item from our website and pick it up in a store. Do they have the option of picking it up from store #1, store #2, store #3, etc...?
    2. How do I handle post-transaction processing? Meaning, once a user purchases an item from my online store what is the next step? Obviously, I need to ship the item to them, but what I am looking for is the steps on how to do this. Surprisingly, I haven't found any good information regarding what happens after an order is placed.
    3. Is it possible to seperate my stock into categories? For example, I am going to be selling some housewares, some clothing, some toys, and other items. I am going to need to be able to seperate these categories in my daily reports so that if we have $5,000 a day in sales I will know that $3,000 came from housewares, $1000 from toys and $1,000 from clothing. I was thinking that I might be able to use the manufacture option for this because the manufacture of an item is not that important to us anyways. For example, I could creat a manufacture called Toys and one called Housewares, etc. and then put all of our toys under the Toys manufacture (instead of putting Hasbro, Mattel, etc). If I did this would I be able to pull up a report that would allow me to see what my total sales were for each manufacture (product category)?
    4. What are some of the biggest shops that use Zen Cart. I am 200% sure that Zen Cart will be able to handle our site for a while, but I am wondering if, down the road, we might need to start using something that has been tested more for larger environments. Really, here I am just looking for a list of some of the larger Zen Cart sites to reassure my mind that we'll be OK using Zen Cart. Kind of like the noticeable users section of the Wordpress.com site (http://wordpress.com/notable-users/).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    A few too many very detailed questions covering too many questions for one person to answer.

    I'll take a crack at 3 and 4.

    3. Yes you can divide your products into categories and many levels of siubcategories if needed, in fact unless you had very few of them, this would be the recommended approach. No need to mess with the manufacturers field.

    4. I believe that one of the Development Team may run a Zen Cart store with 600,000 products. I suspect that might be pushing it a bit, but the next release of Zen Cart will be addressing some core database access issues that will further improve its scaleability.
    See and test drive Zen Cart's free templates at zencarttemplates.info

    Kuroi Web Design and Development | Twitter

    (Questions answered in the forum only - so that any forum member can benefit - not by personal message)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    I have worked with sites that have 700,000+ products ...

    1 you will need a good hosting site and not a hosting site that does not maintain their servers with php, MySQL and e-commerce in mind

    Look at our Zen Cart Certified Hosting sites for this and check with them first

    2 There may need to be some customization done based on how your Categories and Products are setup to optimize the Admin functionality and the speed of the Catalog ...

    Most are not grueling customizations but can make 30-240 second pages run in 0.2 seconds ... so they are worth doing

    3 Depending on Products and configuration ... it is hard to guesstimate issues ...

    I have seen 1 product sites run slower than 100,000 sites because of what the product is, how it is configured and that is was not on a fast, and reliable server

    Zen Cart does not have the limitations in 9 out of 10 cases ... the server does ...

    Tweaking Zen Cart for a 600,000+ site would be expected to conform to your specific needs ...

    Each release of Zen Cart we work to speed the site up for both the 25 product site as well as the 600,000+ product site ...

    I have a lot of tricks to make sites faster ... and while not all are built into Zen Cart core code at this moment, they are being added along the way ...

    For others who cannot wait for future releases of Zen Cart, I am available for customizing your site if you need help on this ...
    Linda McGrath
    If you have to think ... you haven't been zenned ...

    Did YOU buy the Zen Cart Team a cup of coffee and a donut today? Just click here to support the Zen Cart Team!!

    Are you using the latest? Perhaps you've a problem that's fixed in the latest version: [Upgrade today: v1.5.1]
    Officially PayPal-Certified! Just click here

    Try our Zen Cart Recommended Services - Hosting, Payment and more ...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    Store Pick up is designed for general use ...

    For multiple locations you would want a customized Shipping Module ...

    You should also consider, is the customer smart enough (can be allowed to say where they want to pick up their product) or does this need to force the choice ...

    Example: Where I live, I want to be able to sometimes pick up the hard drive I need from 5 miles away and sometimes from 50 miles away as that is where I an installing it ...

    I want that choice ...

    At other stores, I can say "here is my money ... I will walk in and pick it up at the store" and I can walk into any store to pick it up as it is paid for ...
    Linda McGrath
    If you have to think ... you haven't been zenned ...

    Did YOU buy the Zen Cart Team a cup of coffee and a donut today? Just click here to support the Zen Cart Team!!

    Are you using the latest? Perhaps you've a problem that's fixed in the latest version: [Upgrade today: v1.5.1]
    Officially PayPal-Certified! Just click here

    Try our Zen Cart Recommended Services - Hosting, Payment and more ...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    A few too many very detailed questions covering too many questions for one person to answer.
    Unless of course that person is Linda
    See and test drive Zen Cart's free templates at zencarttemplates.info

    Kuroi Web Design and Development | Twitter

    (Questions answered in the forum only - so that any forum member can benefit - not by personal message)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    Thanks so much to everyone who has answered. I really appreciate your prompt answers. Linda (or anyone else), I have one question about something that you said...you said to go with a quality host, preferably a Zen Cart Certified Host. I am currently using 1and1.com for our website hosting. Do you or anyone else have any experience with them? I've been using 1and1 hosting for quite a few years now without any problems whatsoever, but I haven't done a whole lot of ecommerce with it (mostly blogs (wordpress) and static html pages.) If I do need to switch from 1and1, which of the certified hosts would you recommend? Thanks again!

    -Andrew Cannon

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    If you want a site with 600,000+ products ... even 50,000+ products ... you may seriously need to consider an alternative ...

    Again ... 1 Product can run slower than 100,000 products ...

    You need to test your server before you need to use it to that capacity ...

    Know your limitations ...

    When I see sites that take 10 to 45 seconds (or worse) to run a page that the exact same database can run in .5 to 2.0 seconds on my server ... I have to think that my hosting guru knows more than their hosting guru ...
    Linda McGrath
    If you have to think ... you haven't been zenned ...

    Did YOU buy the Zen Cart Team a cup of coffee and a donut today? Just click here to support the Zen Cart Team!!

    Are you using the latest? Perhaps you've a problem that's fixed in the latest version: [Upgrade today: v1.5.1]
    Officially PayPal-Certified! Just click here

    Try our Zen Cart Recommended Services - Hosting, Payment and more ...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question about Zen Cart

    I am currently migrating my sites from 1and1's UK operation because it's painfully slow, not just for Zen Cart but for CMS-based sites as well. It doesn't help that run their databases on a separate cluster of servers which seems to add extra slowness to the configuration. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to tell you that I'm off to Camelot-Hosting.

    I also remember reading a post from another developer a while back explaining that they had had to move their clients from 1&1 for exactly the same reason.

    To be fair to 1&1, they offer generalised shared hosting with no particular reason to optimise it for PHP/MySQL let alone e-comm and offer it at low cost so have to cram lots of sites onto the same servers.
    Last edited by kuroi; 8 Aug 2006 at 10:31 PM.
    See and test drive Zen Cart's free templates at zencarttemplates.info

    Kuroi Web Design and Development | Twitter

    (Questions answered in the forum only - so that any forum member can benefit - not by personal message)

 

 

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